Investment for Children Book Helpful for Children, Families

Write Now Literary is sponsoring this two-week book tour for My 1st Investments Coloring Book by R. LaMont. W, V. Honey Savoy and Khaliah T Ingram. We are the stop today. There will be some book details, a giveaway and book review provided for today’s children’s book.

ISBN-13: 978-1519467249

Reading age: 7 – 9 years

Grade level: 2 – 3

Genre: Nonfiction/Education

Book Title: My 1st Investments Coloring Book

My 1st Investment Coloring Book (the ABC’s of Investments) is dedicated to children and their families who foster a desire to develop financial knowledge. It is a beginner’s guide to developing knowledge critical to their prosperity which is not taught in elementary schools during a child’s formative years. It is the groundwork and the beginning of a foundation for learning financial literacy. Designed as a resource guide it is a keepsake for future reference.

Learning to read this book plants the seed for financial success and provides knowledge that can never be taken away.

My 1st Investments Coloring Book is a book of characters describing the letters of the alphabet and their meanings. A Glossary of the full definition of each letter and word is located at the end.

A stands for Account, Asset and Annuity

B stands for Bank, Bond and Broker

C stands for Cash, Cryptocurrency and Check

D stands for Dividend, Deposit and Debt

E stands for Equity, Enterprise and Earnings

REVIEW

Financial knowledge are not easy to understand no matter the age. This book helps explain these concepts. It is designed for children, but it is helpful for everyone. It is a nice book to study as a family. Learn the ABCs of investments from Account to Markets to Profits to Zero Coupon and everything inbetween even things you’ve never hear of before.

This is an important book to help children as they get older. The younger we understand this subject it will help us make better understand choices when involving finances. Even this is listed as for ages 7-9 I this is also good for early elementry age and younger. The pages with letters is well designed for that group. The illustrations are friendly and help teach investments well. Even though the older elementary age is the target I feel even older are not forgotten and can benefit. There are pages for them too. Coloring is fun and a nice way to learn. There are pages teaching with a brief explaination of each term too.

Parents and even older siblings can get in on the fun to help color and talk about the terms. It will help with the learning process creating some family time. There are skills we all need to learn growing up and there is knowledge we all need. As parents we want to help prepare our children as best we can. This coloring book helps when it comes to teaching about money and investments. It helps bring some relaxing fun to the learning too and creating something fun as well as benefical for the whole family.

Yes, this book is best for mid-elementary age to before middle school, but it can be a fun family activity. It all depends on how you design the time and use the material. You know your family best. Have fun with it as you learn — maybe make it a game too. Nevertheless, we recommend it!

R. LaMont W

R. LaMont. W

Degree from UC Davis and an MBA in Finance and Investments from Golden Gate University with 44 years of finance and investment experience.

V. Honey Savoy

B. A. Degree from the University of Phoenix and author of “What Time is It?”, a children’s book on how to tell time, published in 2007.

Khaliah T Ingram

B. A. Degree in Art Studio from the California State University, Sacramento. She is a digital art/freelance artist since 2005…Gallery online at: http://www.envyskort.deviantart.com

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$10 Amazon Gift Card

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Tour organized by Write Now Literary

Promotional information provided by Write Now Literary while the review is my own.

Reviewing Trash Bags Helping You Taking Out the Trash

This is a good month to review trash bags as our product. Perhaps you wonder why. Sure you need trash bags at home, but now many of you might be camping or visiting parks. You have trash to carry out with you and that’s why I am reviewing the two options we had provided to us to review — Glad trash bags and Hefty trash bags.

Both are good options when looking for trash bags. When I purchase trash bags I look for a few things and that’s what I’ll be talking about today. These things are smell, easy use, durability and how much it holds. Ultimately price is a factor too yet when I reviewed these they did not give me price points and I only looked at them for performance as a trash bag.

This is available in stores and online for various prices as well as box counts. The link at Walmart.com is for 40-count unscented and it is less than $7. There are other scents as well.

Glad Trash Bags

An example of what a Glad Trash Bag looks like.

The Glad trash bags are forceflex with leak protection. It also has “ripguard protection, leakguard protection and a grips-the-can drawstring bag”. We used several bags and while it mostly didn’t rip or leak we did have a few items puncture a bag with a small hole in a couple places. It was not a major issue though. We had no issues with the draw string and we do fill the bags full including with boxes, which I feel lead to the holes. We had the tall kichen size bag that fits a 13-gallon trash can and it does well with this. The scent was fresh clean and other scents were not listed on the box. Yet, it does mention being a steadyrelease for long-lasting odor control product. It is odor controlled by Febreeze and while I enjoy the scent of Febreze this is a very strong scented product. It is overwhelming out of the box and continues to be strong. It does the job of overpowering trash odor yet for someone sensitive to smells it is intense. When the box says “Long-lasting odor control for even the strongest trash odors, leaving behind a fresh clean scent” it means it!

This is available in stores and online for various prices as well as box counts. The link at Walmart.com is for 40-count lavender and sweet vanilla scent and it is less than $7.

Hefty Trash Bags

An example of what a Hefty Trash Bag looks like.

The Hefty trash bags are ultra strong with 6 in 1 protection. This means “1. Flex Strength, 2. Secure-Fit Closure, 3. Odor Control, 4. Resists Leaks, 5. Resists punctures and 6. Resists Rips”. We used several bags and I’d say they are pretty strong compared to other trash bags. I had no trouble with the draw string and was able to fill the bag very full. We even placed boxes and didn’t have any tears or rips. The smell of the trash bag is fairly pleasant and what we tried was clean burst in the continuous odor controlpatented odor neutralizer scent. Other options are scent free, citrus twist, tropical paradise, and lavendar sweet vanilla. The scent is from Arm and Hammer. I liked it best of the two trash bags we tried when thinking about scents as it was not as overwhelming from the start, but continued to do the job of masking trash odor.

Overall, the winner for me of these two is the Hefty Trash Bag. It is seemed a little stronger and has a more pleasing smell for me. Both are easy to use and good products though.

Say Hello to Bon Voyage to Murder

As promised here is the second blog for the Maxed Out Book Tour. If you want to know more about C.S. McDonald’s featured book my review was presented earlier this week. There are details and more provided. Today is a review and book details on another of her books in another of the author’s mystery series. You will also find the giveaway link included. I have read several of her books and continue to enjoy her writing. Today’s book is Bon Voyage to Murder and it is an audio book review. She is great for older young adults and beyond!

BOOK DETAILS

Book Title:  Bon Voyage to Murder:  A Fiona Quinn Mystery #8
Author:  C.S. McDonald
​Category:  YA Fiction, 198 pages
Run Time: 6 hours, 52 minutes
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  McWriter Books
Release date:  Nov 5, 2019
Content Rating:  G (The Fiona Quinn Mysteries are for everyone–adults love the books and they are appropriate for teens and tweens too!)


BOOK DESCRIPTION

Hooray! Fiona has finally convinced her boyfriend detective Nathan Landry to go on a romantic Caribbean cruise. Unfortunately, their fun on the high seas is interrupted by murder. It isn’t long before they discover a boatload of suspects, who have motives deeper than the ocean for wanting the victim out of their lives.

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Audible
Try Audible for free!

REVIEW

I have read several books by this author and this is the second I have read or listened to in the Fiona Quinn Mystery series. This author knows how to tell a story and presents a mystery very well. If you haven’t read other stories in the series you are OK. I haven’t read them in order and I haven’t felt lost. I have only wanted to read the other books because I have enjoyed what I have read so much.

The writer brings us along on a cruise with Fiona Quin and her boyfriend, Nathan Landry, who is a detective, for Bon Voyage to Murder. You feel like you are there as she does a great job with the description of the setting and cruise life. She introduces us to fun characters and develops characters well to bring the story to life. Since this is an audiobook that was very well presented as well. It was a pleasant listen and fit the story with the pace as well as tone you would expect.

There is great suspense and twist in this mystery. It gets you thinking and keeps you interested throughout. It is a fun mystery and you forget it is a murder case as you are more thinking about why it happened and solving the mystery overall. Fiona and Nathan are a great couple to join as they solve the mystery.

I enjoyed this voyage and recommend it if you are looking for a cozy mystery good for older YA readers and beyond.

BUY THE BOOKS (Maxed Out): Amazon ~B&N

AUTHOR DETAILS

For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time, she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries nine books with a tenth slated for 2021. The books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The female protagonist, Alexa Owl, is much different from Fiona Quinn. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy! Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

GIVEAWAY

Enter to win: Autographed copy of MAXED OUT, plus other gifts (USA only) (ends Jul 23). Good luck and let me know if you win!

Here is the link to enter the contest is you are interested. It also includes other blogs on the tour, which will provide access to other reviews to the books on the tour.

BOOK TOUR: Maxed Out (an Owl’s Nest Mystery) by C.S. McDonald – iRead Book Tours

ANOTHER BOOK ON THE TOUR

book details

Book Title:  Taking Notes on Murder:  A Fiona Quinn Mystery #9
Author:  C.S. McDonald
​Category:  YA Fiction, 184 pages
Run Time: 5 hours
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  McWriter Books
Release date:  May 19, 2020
Formats Available for review: audiobook (audible download), ebook (mobi for kindle, epub, pdf)
Content Rating:  G (The Fiona Quinn Mysteries are for everyone–adults love the books and they are appropriate for teens and tweens too!)

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Mysterious notes are showing up in Fiona’s kindergarten classroom, claiming a suicide from 2005 was actually a homicide. Detective Landry maintains the messages are too vague, possess no integrity, and do not warrant a review of the old case.

NOTE: This blog was written with and provided by media kit information from the iBOOK BOOK TOURS Host team. The review is my own idea as the book was provided.

Maxed Out Interesting Mystery Won’t Max You Out

I have read several other books from this author and was glad to join another tour of her work as the other books I also hosted a tour. Today is a review of author C.S. McDonald’s featured new book Maxed Out. I enjoyed her other books and this mystery did not disappoint either. Later this week I will be reviewing another book on the tour. Until then today’s blog includes details of this book (and others on the tour), a link for the giveaway and my review for this book. Remember to return in a few days for my next review on this tour.

BOOK DETAILS

Book Title: Maxed Out (The Owl’s Nest Mysteries)

Author: C.S. McDonald

Category: Adult Fiction, 184 pages

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Publisher: McWriter Books

Release date: April 2021

Content Rating: C.S. McDonald’s books are appropriate for YA readers as well as adults–no bad language or sexual content.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

The Owl’s Nest Couturier Shoppe is a huge success! Business is booming and Alexa Owl’s love life is heating up. Yet much to the seamstress’s dismay, Detective Bobby Starr is suddenly back again! Bobby isn’t your everyday gumshoe. Rather, he’s an angel who’s trying to earn a place in Saint Peter’s Guardian Angel Squad. He’s required to solve murders he had left unsettled from when he walked the earth in order to be accepted into this prestigious group. Of course, they will need to return to the time period in which the murder took place, and again, Alexa is a reluctant time traveler. Oh, and there’s one more little problem—this time, Bobby’s brought along a friend, Maxi Krogen, and she’s no angel!

Buy the Book: Amazon B&N

REVIEW

I have read another book in The Owl’s Nest Mysteries series and enjoyed it. This one is actually only the second one so you will be OK if you haven’t read the first one yet, but you will enjoy it even more if you read the first one in the series first starting in order. You will have a better picture of the characters and their interaction helping you appreciate the story. Again don’t worry if you haven’t because you won’t feel lost or overwhelmed. The writer does well welcoming all readers. She brings readers into Alexa Owl’s (the main character) world and the story quickly. The action starts engaging readers into the world of mystery as well as supernatural that you might not expect if you haven’t read the first book. The author’s story is full of twists and wonderful characters with a fun read including many elements that work fantastic together.

The writer adds to her supernatural element with this one from her first book, but it still not all of the story. The story is different than you expect with the supernatural element being part of the mystery making it very interesting and fun. The characters are well developed and it was a fun story. She created a well designed mystery, which was a joy to read. Again no worries if you haven’t read the first one throughout she makes sure to keeps all readers up on what is happening with the characters and does so very well for all readers.

It is appropriate for young adult readers and adults, but I think older young adults such as high school age and beyond will be the best age to enjoy it. If you have read the first book you will enjoy this one as well. I must warn you though you might be hooked after reading this book. If you have read the first one and this one then you will want more in the series. If you are new to the series when you finish this book you will want to go read the first book Back in the Burg and Beyond and want more in the series too! This one and the other in the series are recommended — I am looking forward to more!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time, she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries nine books with a tenth slated for 2021. The books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The female protagonist, Alexa Owl, is much different from Fiona Quinn. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy! Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

GIVEAWAY

Enter to win: Autographed copy of MAXED OUT, plus other gifts (USA only) (ends Jul 23). Good luck and let me know if you win!

Here is the link to enter the contest is you are interested. It also includes other blogs on the tour, which will provide access to other reviews to the books on the tour.

BOOK TOUR: Maxed Out (an Owl’s Nest Mystery) by C.S. McDonald – iRead Book Tours

OTHER BOOK DETAILS:

Book Title:  Taking Notes on Murder:  A Fiona Quinn Mystery #9
Author:  C.S. McDonald
​Category:  YA Fiction, 184 pages
Run Time: 5 hours
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  McWriter Books
Release date:  May 19, 2020
Formats Available for review: audiobook (audible download), ebook (mobi for kindle, epub, pdf)
Content Rating:  G (The Fiona Quinn Mysteries are for everyone–adults love the books and they are appropriate for teens and tweens too!)


BOOK DESCRIPTION

Mysterious notes are showing up in Fiona’s kindergarten classroom, claiming a suicide from 2005 was actually a homicide. Detective Landry maintains the messages are too vague, possess no integrity, and do not warrant a review of the old case.

Fiona’s not convinced. She’s determined to find the author of the enigmatic notes and uncover the truth about a man who had many secrets and countless enemies, including Fiona’s mother and former suspect Nancy Quinn!
Can Fiona crack this cold case, and what will it take to get Detective Landry involved? Don’t miss taking notes on this murder!

BOOK DETAILS

Book Title:  Bon Voyage to Murder:  A Fiona Quinn Mystery #8
Author:  C.S. McDonald
​Category:  YA Fiction, 198 pages
Run Time: 6 hours, 52 minutes
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  McWriter Books
Release date:  Nov 5, 2019
Formats Available for review: audiobook (audible download), ebook (mobi for kindle, epub, pdf)
Tour dates:  Jun 21 to Jul 16, 2021
Content Rating:  G (The Fiona Quinn Mysteries are for everyone–adults love the books and they are appropriate for teens and tweens too!)


BOOK DESCRIPTION

Hooray! Fiona has finally convinced her boyfriend detective Nathan Landry to go on a romantic Caribbean cruise. Unfortunately, their fun on the high seas is interrupted by murder. It isn’t long before they discover a boatload of suspects, who have motives deeper than the ocean for wanting the victim out of their lives.

NOTE: This blog was written with and provided by media kit information from the iBOOK BOOK TOURS Host team. The review is my own idea as the book was provided.

Tidal Rage Provides Story of Detail

Earlier this week I introduced the book Tidal Rage by David Evans. If you haven’t read that blog yet it includes some information about the book as well as an interview with the author. Today is my book review. I am including some brief details and if you’d like more read the the full details from previous blog that includes the interview.

Purchase this book from Amazon.com for less than $17.

BOOK DETAILS

Title: Tidal Rage: Out on the Water, There Are No Rules . . .

Author: David Evans

Genre: Thriller/Fiction

Publisher: Loudhailer Books

BRIEF PREVIEW

On the cruise ship circuit, Sebastian McKenzie is a star. And some of the other entertainers have nicknamed him the Grim Reaper, because whenever Sebastian is on board, people go missing.

After escaping from prison, Josef Werner is driven to a safe hideout in the Didim area of Turkey. But Werner has been followed by a private eye named Cortez, and the premises are bugged.

Max Cutler is an All-American boy. A stand-out student at law school, he is immediately recruited into the Secret Service, to protect America’s interests overseas.

In a gripping thriller crossing three continents, these three men find their fates are entwined.

REVIEW

Have you ever thought about murder on a cruise ship? Have you ever thought about life on a cruise ship? Well, this book creates a story about these ideas and more — much more. It puts together the idea of the sister of a Secret Service Agent –well ex-Secret Service Agent, and she goes missing on a cruise. While the writing isn’t always smooth sailing and with some chopping waves throughout it presents a chilling story.

This well written book overall is a good idea for a story might not be the type of book I read all the time it is worth reading. If you enjoy crime stories this is an interesting read. Once you start reading it gets your attention and continues throughout. The writer has done a wonderful job with description letting readers know about ship life bringing us along to different countries and on the ship helping us learn about how it is there. He does all this while also creating an interesting and thrilling story with intertwining storylines. It is a book that keeps you thinking. He knows how to keep you ingaged in the story while sometimes you might find yourself wanting to know more about the story and less about some of the characters. This does not mean the characters aren’t interesting and many of the details are needed, yet become overwhelming in places. There are just times the story might be a little overshadowed.

He does a brillant job with the twists and turns making it a great crime thriller. I overall enjoy the detail put in this book as it is well done and helps bring me into the story, yet there times when it is overdone taking me right back out. Still, I was on the ship with the characters walking about with them and watching the story unfold in the fairly fast-paced story. You can tell the writer has done his research and has his heart in this story.

Not all storylines are pleasant to read. There are some stories that have language and situations true to life, yet are well written and needed for realism. This is an example and not unexpected seeing it is a crime thriller and we are dealing with a murder — a serial killer afterall. Horrifying things happen and details including fetish details are provided as well as animal abuse is mentioned. As I said not typically my type of book, but it doesn’t not consume the whole book and the general story idea is intriging as these elements don’t take away from the story, yet are elements.

The author mentions he plans on this being a trilogy and he is already planning on his next two books. I look forward to reading these and hope I will be able to bring reviews for these to you as well.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

David Evans spent his formative years in Singapore and Germany before returning home to Liverpool. He attended the same school as John Lennon and Paul McCartney, albeit a generation later.

He is currently Managing Director of Business Consultancy, and has investigated over 200 industrial accidents. This has given him a unique insight into causations and forensics. He is also a qualified lecturer teaching industrial and safety law, and a Principal Designer.

He is a chartered member of the Institute of Safety & Health. Having been a technical author for many years, he has decided to use this knowledge and imagination to write fiction.

Learn about Author David Evans, His New Book Tidal Rage

It is time for a special two-day book post. I recently had the chance to read a book and interview the author. Sometimes you get a chance to do something and you go for it. It might not be a book we often read and review for our blog, but I read all types of genres and having an opportunity to interview an author and help promote their book is what this blog is all about. Today’s blog is all about the book and the interview. Later this week is my review.

Tidal Rage by David Evans was just released in June 2021. Purchase this book at Amazon.com for less than $17.

BOOK DETAILS

Title: Tidal Rage: Out on the Water, There Are No Rules . . .

Author: David Evans

Genre: Thriller/Fiction

Publisher: Loudhailer Books

PREVIEW

Out on the Water, There Are No Rules

On the cruise ship circuit, Sebastian McKenzie is a star. A brilliant pianist and singer, he entertains the wealthy guests every night in the piano bars and restaurants of the world’s leading cruise liners. But he never stays with the same ship for long. And some of the other entertainers have nicknamed him the Grim Reaper, because whenever Sebastian is on board, people go missing.

After escaping from prison, Josef Werner is driven to a safe hideout in the Didim area of Turkey. He sets up his base in the beautiful bay of Akbuk, and buys two isolated villas high on a hill overlooking the bay. But Werner has been followed by a private eye named Cortez, and the premises are bugged.

Max Cutler is an All-American boy: tall, blond and handsome, with a sharp wit and a keen eye for female company. A stand-out student at law school, he is immediately recruited into the Secret Service, to protect America’s interests overseas. Max is in Europe, breaking up a violent counterfeiting ring in Germany, when he hears that his baby sister Elisa has disappeared from a cruise ship in Alaska.

In a gripping thriller crossing three continents, these three men find their fates are entwined.

AUTHOR BIO

David Evans spent his formative years in Singapore and Germany before returning home to Liverpool. He attended the same school as John Lennon and Paul McCartney, albeit a generation later.

He is currently Managing Director of Business Consultancy, and has investigated over 200 industrial accidents. This has given him a unique insight into causations and forensics. He is also a qualified lecturer teaching industrial and safety law, and a Principal Designer.

He is a chartered member of the Institute of Safety & Health. Having been a technical author for many years, he has decided to use this knowledge and imagination to write fiction.

INTERVIEW

Why did you become a writer?

It is not something I chose; I was driven towards it. I am a Chartered member of the Institute of Safety & Health.  I have been a technical author for many years, and although it may seem drab, it taught me how powerful the written word is.

I have to travel a considerable amount for my work, and found I spent most of these nights away in a restaurant or pub, and went up from 70 kilos to 85 kilos. I decided I needed to do something, or I would be 120 kilos by time I was sixty. I had always made up stories and played them out in my head to get to sleep. I began to write in hotel rooms from 5pm to 9pm when I was away, mostly listening to either Wagner, the Bee Gees, Queen or Beatles.

One of my strengths is research, because of the job I do, Copious amounts of research and getting to the areas you want to write about are vital. Nowadays we have Google and can jet off to exotic places quite easily (Covid apart). I admire the likes of Agatha Christie who spent months of research for her novels, and multiple days in trains, planes, and ships to perfect her tales.

The trouble is that once you start it becomes addictive and the ideas flow and you need more time to set them out, write, edit, re-edit, and sometimes rewrite. I hear many people saying they are writing a book but never seem to complete their novels. I think all writers must be dedicated if not obsessive with their work. I also think it is important to get a good editor, I was lucky to find David Haviland, who polishes my novels to a professional standard.

What is your writing process (such as with this book as an example)?

I normally mind map the book. I have a beginning, a middle and end, but the story evolves as I start to write and the ideas flow. I have never had writer’s block when writing, and must contain myself sometimes. I want to make the story as believable as I can.

For Tidal Rage I knew it would be a trilogy. Tidal Flow will be completed in August 2021, and Tidal Ebb in May 2022.

I did some research on missing persons at sea, and discovered that many families had been left in the dark about family members who had gone missing or died. Many complained the cruise line companies in some cases did not investigate thoroughly and forensically and there was a blur between which country if any investigated the deaths. Many families say their family members death was put down as a suicide to expedite the matter. Death is not a good marketing tool when selling cruises.

So first I came up with MIDAS (Marine Investigations for Deaths at Sea), and then the central character Max Cutler. Cutler had to have a vested interest, hence his sister’s murder and he needed to be an experienced investigator, so I based him as a secret service agent fighting counterfeiting. Normally leading characters are portrayed as highly moralistic with very few faults, I did not want this for Cutler. I wanted him driven and fighting with his conscience how he could finance MIDAS. He appropriates money from a counterfeiting operation and in later books this will come back to cause him problems. Cutler needed a gang to steal the money from and that was led by Seppi Werner, and this comes back to haunt him in the death of one of his operatives. I set the takedown of the gang in Berchtesgaden, a beautiful area in Bavaria where I lived for twelve months.

Then I needed an evil adversary, Sebastian, a sociopathic serial killer. I wanted him driven by something not considered before, trichomania. I was the chairman of my daughters’ company which looks after mentally unwell people. One person I met had trichomania and explained their compulsions to me in detail, which helped.

So now I had a protagonist in Max Cutler who sets up MIDAS, Sebastian who killed for fun across the globe and I needed to bring it together.

I needed special forces, a technical genius and a translator for MIDAS and created an ethnically and operationally diverse set of characters. Tuck I based on Maui from Moana which I had to watch a hundred times whilst babysitting the Grandchildren and I really enjoy writing this character. I go into Andy McNab style of writing for Tuck as it suits his character, ex special forces with a sharp tongue and a penchant for swearing.

I developed Sebastian from killing as a child to being a prolific serial killer at sea. As with all books it needed for the killer to be caught but I wanted to show his fighting skills, and how he escaped.

Werner’s finale was dished out to him in Turkey, with Sebastian’s end coming in Sicily.

What inspired you to write this book?

I had been interested in deaths at sea for many years, and tracked cases of accidents, missing persons, suicides, murders put down as suicide and manslaughter, and murders at sea. I observed a case at first hand, when a Singapore businessman murdered his wife after being caught stealing in the ship’s jewelry store. I was the only person observing the stern of the ship as the helicopter whisked the body and husband off to the island. The cruise line called an impromptu pool party with free drinks at the front of the ship to divert attention.

I pay waiters, barmen and security guards on ships to explain the CCTV cameras, which one works, and which does not. They tell me the hiding places and about where the garbage goes, how they launch lifeboats etc. You can find out any kind of information if you tip.

My inspiration I suppose is to leave a legacy, something which will outlive me. The Yellow Pages advert springs to mind, where the actor playing J R Hartley searches for his book decades after he wrote it. Like anything on the internet, once it is out there it is for good. I also wanted to know if I could be one of those people that finish the book, and not stop there but go onto write other novels.

Who are your favorite authors and how did they influence your writing?

Agatha Christie, the amount of research and carefully crafted plots make her one of my go-to reads. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a master writer who can twist and turn and some of his ideas in Sherlock Holmes are pure genius. Harper Lee, I studied To Kill a Mockingbird for my O’Levels and it changed my life. In the 1970’s bigotry was rife, on the TV in films, on the street, this book made me change the way I looked at the world and how to treat everyone with dignity regardless of race, creed, sexuality. Len Deighton is a master of spy writing and I learnt so much from his style of writing.  Clive Cussler and his Numa novels are my go-to on holidays and I have read every book he has written, Wilbur Smith, Eagles in the Sky and part of the Ballantyne series had me hooked, so did his Egyptian and South African novels. Dennis Wheatley was one of the first writers I read after school when I was in the Navy, his to The Devil a daughter and subsequent novels had me looking over my shoulder for quite some time after reading them. Frederick Forsyth, The Odessa file, this along with Le Carre’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Smileys people all up there in my top 5 reads. Jeffry Archer, I didn’t think I would like, Kane and Abel, Shall we tell the President and  First Amongst Equals  showed me what an adept and brilliant writer he is. Rudyard Kipling, for his poetry and his business skills as described in Six Honest Serving Men I have used so many times when I undertake Business Lectures. Lord Roben seems an unlikely choice, trade unionist and labour politician who was Chairman of the National Coal board when Aberfan disaster occurred in 1966, killing 116 children and 28 adults when a colliery spoil tip engulfed Pantglas Junior School and a row of houses. Some blamed him directly for the disaster. Roben in 1974 was one of the main architects in writing the Health and Safety at Work Act, which over the decades has saved countless thousands of lives, hence why he is on my list.

If someone was considering reading your book, what would you say to encourage them or how would you describe your book?

Not for the faint-hearted. If you like thrillers with lots of twists and turns, and you do not mind a bit of blood and guts, Tidal Rage is for you. It won’t be on the school curriculum anytime soon.

Give the book a chance, and I promise you won’t think I have wasted your time.

Check out The New Enchantress

Today is a review on the main book on the tour and more book details. There is also a giveaway.


 Book Details:

Book Title:  The New Enchantress (Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions, Book 3) by Sunayna Prasad
Category:  Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  175 pages
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Amazon KDP Release Date — March 2021

Content Rating: PG–Some intense scenes and mild language.

Book Description:

The point of no return has come!

It’s the summer before high school and life is about to change for fourteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy. A sorcerer hexes her with everlasting powers, requiring her to become an enchantress. If she cannot learn to control her magic pronto, she will forget her loved ones and serve as the warlock’s eternal slave.

In order to control her powers, Alyssa must gain control of her emotions. With the struggles of adolescence and disasters everywhere, catastrophes are bound to happen! It’s only a matter of time before Alyssa’s world changes, for better or worse…

BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo Apple
Add to Goodreads

Review

This is the third book in the series of Alyssa McCarthy’s Magic Missions and as I said in a blog earlier this month this is the featured book on the book tour. I had read book one The Frights of Fiji and I liked it alright. I was eager to learn more about the character. The featured book is The New Enchantress and I am reviewing it today. I liked it more than the first book and recommend keeping with the series after the first book. I am eager to read the second one especially after reading the third one since both the first and third were provided and I enjoyed the third one more than the first. It makes me think what happened in book two and how did it improve upon the first book. If you decide you want to read this series or recommend it to your child starting chapter books or in middle school be sure to start with the first book. Don’t give up on the series as it continues getting better.

I like the magic and adventure of this story. Alyssa is a good character and most youth will enjoy this book and series. She is true to her age and the other characters are interesting. It is important to point out there is some mild language in this book and some intense scenes though as the content element does indicate. It mostly involves fighting and Alyssa is learning to use her powers. There are some lessons to learn in this book.

I would enjoy another book in the series.

Also Available for Your Reading Enjoyment: 


Book Details:

Book Title:  The Frights of Fiji (Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions, Book 1) by Sunayna Prasad
Category:  Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  136 pages
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Amazon KDP Release Date — October 2018

Content Rating: G– There is no mature language or adult content whatsoever.


BOOK DETAILS:

Book Title:  A Curse of Mayhem (Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions, Book 2) by Sunayna Prasad
Category:  Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  173 pages
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Amazon KDP Release Date — July 2019

Content Rating: G– There is no mature language or adult content whatsoever.


Meet the Author:

Sunayna Prasad enjoys writing fantasy books for children, as well as cooking, creating artwork, watching online videos, and blogging. She has also written The Frights of Fiji, and A Curse of Mayhem and is constantly creating and brainstorming new ideas.
Sunayna also loves cartoons, traveling, and thinking outside the box.

She lives in New York.


Enter the Giveaway  

THE NEW ENCHANTRESS (An Alyssa McCarthy Magical Missions) Book Tour Giveaway Good luck! Let us know if you win!

NOTE: This blog was written with and provided by media kit information from the iBOOK BOOK TOURS Host team. The review is my own idea as the book was provided.

Take Some Time to Enjoy Some Recipes

Seems like a nice time to review some recipe books. These include a variety of cookbooks and as was a gardening book to help when starting to provide some veggies there is a book featuring information about vegetable gardens. I figured it would fit well with this blog and is fairly timely.

Nourish

Nourish: The Definitive Plant-Based Nutrition Guide for Families — With Tips & Recipes for Bringing Health, Joy & Connection to Your Dinner Table by Reshma Shah and Brenda Davis is full of nutrition information. There is a wide variety of information in this book. There is more in this book than I thought. If you are looking for healthy tips for your family that are plant-based or if you want more information about living a plant-based this book is a good option. Perhaps you have a friend or loved one that is living a plant-based lifestyle and you are interested in knowing more this book is helpful.

It is well-written and well designed. I liked the meal planning advice and various charts included throughout the book. There are also helpful shopping lists and helpful items that are needed in the kitchen. Also included are some ideas of what to cook and sample menus for the entire family as well as details on best ways to cook some items. Overall there will be elements in this book you won’t expect.

This book is available for preorder until June 28, 2021 at Amazon.com for less than $16.

Great Book of Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese has always been a favorite, but as a child I had no idea there were so many options. Then several years ago I learned it was OK to use different cheeses and a variety of cheeses. WOW! Now, I had a chance to review this cookbook and was eager to learn what else could happen with the great taste of grilled cheese. Kim Wilcox brings us Great Book of Grilled Cheese: 100+ Recipes for the Ultimate Comfort Food, Soups, Salads, and Sides.

I enjoy this cookbook and recommend it. There are a wide variety of recipes in this cookbook. It includes recipes for grilled cheese and a few for items that work well with grilled cheese including the different varieties in this cookbook. Looking forward to trying the pizza grilled cheese and jalapeno popper grilled cheese as well as salads and homemade chips. But, someone else can try Crab Rangoon or Peanut Butter and Cheddar grilled cheeses and tell us how they like them. Anyway, it provides nice tips too such as what types of cheese are best to use. This really is the ultimate cookbook.

This presale book is available for less than $14 at Amazon.com until July 27, 2021.

Illustrated Step-by-Step Baking Cookbook for Kids and Teens

The Illustrated Step-by-Step Baking Cookbook for Kids and Teens by Skye Wade is a great option for a cookbook for youth and families. This is another fantastic cookbook and we recommend this one too. It really is wonderful. The design is perfect for kids! The design is outstanding and the recipes are kid-friendly. Baking Basics are included, which are important then there are recipes perfect for various treats and snacks. The illustrations are fun for showing the tools, ingredients and instructions. If there is a school bake sale, family event or club event needing a treat or perhaps other gathering this is the cookbook to grab to find the treat and work together to create a treat to enjoy at home. There is even a difficult chart to help determine how much work or baking knowledge is needed.

Breads, pastries, cupcakes, savory treats, cookies and more are found. This book is clear to understand. It has safety rules, steps and how to do important things such as measuring. The Oatmeal Bars are something we would like to make and something else that looks good is the pizza.

This book is available for around $34 at Amazon.com.

Starter Vegetable Gardens

Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens by Barbara Pleasant is a helpful book for gardeners. The design and diagrams are colorful and useful. It gives tips and details for planting and caring for a garden. The information is for all seasons. It gives a variety of designs with ideas of what to plant.

It also provides elements of information on plans over a few years. Various yards or areas to use are mentioned including the front yard. Important information including times to plant due to frozen zones are also in this book.

This is the second edition available for less than $20 at Amazon.com. It is for pre-order until Feb. 15, 2022, but the first edition is available now.

Hack Your Kitchen

Hack Your Kitchen: Discover a World of Food Fun with Science Buddies ® by Niki Ahrens is a great cookbook to bring fun into the the kitchen for the family. A fun activity for us is cooking and baking together. Finding different ways and different cookbooks with options is always a great activity. We also enjoy Science and enjoy experiments. Adding the two is wonderful and this cookbook is perfect for us. We recommend it!

I feel it is a well organized book. It clearly provides information on what is needed and what needs done to complete the tasks. The supplies are easy to find, which is a great thing when working with these kind of projects and books. It really is fun with food and a great learning experience. It is a fun family time.

There are also great tips and wonderful photos. An added bonus is what you make are a treat when you are done. The ice cream or slushy will be fun to create and eat — for examples!

This book is available for less than $28 at Amazon.com.

Join The Frights of Fiji Magic

Welcome to today’s blog as part of a book tour. We are reviewing a book and there is a giveaway too. There will be a few other details included as well. Come back in a few days for some more details about this book tour because it is a multi-day tour this time. I’m reviewing a book today then the main book on June 28 as well.

Book Details

Book Title:  The Frights of Fiji (Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions, Book 1) by Sunayna Prasad
Category:  Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  136 pages
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Amazon KDP
G: There is no mature language or adult content whatsoever.¨

REVIEW

This is Book 1 Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions series by Sunayna Prasad The Frights of Fiji. I wanted to read this before getting into the featured book on the tour. I thought it would give me more understanding of the series and the character.

The age group for this book will enjoy this especially if they enjoy magic stories. If they enjoy Harry Potter-type stories they will find it interesting as it reminded me of this idea with a girl, Alyssa, as our main character. But, it isn’t Harry Potter, yet you see the influence of his story. The details are creative and well described in many places throughout though with some interesting characters and with great parts within this story.

Yet, it was also difficult to connect with this book sometimes. Whether it is relating to characters or elements of the story feeling underdeveloped or rushed I found myself rereading some elements to ensure I followed the story properly. Some elements while it is magical might leave readers wondering what happened. There is also an overwhelming amount of dialogue in parts of the book some readers might find off-putting, but if they keep at it they might find magic in this book.

After reading Book 1 it was interesting enough letting me feel I want to learn more about this character and her story. I am eager to see if some questions I have about the character and the world will be answered in the other books. Now on to reading the featured book The New Enchantress set for the blog later this month.


Book Description

A world of magic and adventure awaits…

Sent to live with her strict, aloof, and uncaring uncle after her parents are killed in a car accident, twelve-year-old orphan Alyssa McCarthy longs for the life she used to have—one filled with fun and love. Then one stormy night, a message appears in the raindrops on the window that will change everything.

“Your life will never be the same again, as magic will interfere.”

Before long, Alyssa is kidnapped by Master Beau, a banished sorcerer with a mysterious connection to her who can only regain his power by weakening hers. Suddenly hurled into a world of wizardry filled with fantastical beasts and marvelous technology beyond her wildest imagination, Alyssa must defeat Master Beau if she ever wants to get home again. But Master Beau will stop at nothing, including using Alyssa’s friends, to ensure he is triumphant.
“Originally titled “From Frights to Flaws”, this story is the exciting and enchanting first book in the “Magical Missions” series. 

BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo
Add to Goodreads 

Meet the Author

Sunayna Prasad enjoys writing fantasy books for children, as well as cooking, creating artwork, watching online videos, and blogging. She has also written A Curse of Mayhem and is constantly creating and brainstorming new ideas.
Sunayna also loves cartoons, traveling, and thinking outside the box.

She lives in New York.

Enter the Giveaway

THE NEW ENCHANTRESS (An Alyssa McCarthy Magical Missions) Book Tour Giveaway Good luck! Let me know if you win!

NOTE: This blog was written with and provided by media kit information from the iBOOK BOOK TOURS Host team. The review is my own idea as the book was provided.

Take a Taste of Ocean Spray Wave™ Caffeinated Water

We enjoy flavored water. When visiting a hotel and there is often complimentary cucumber water, lemon water or even watermelon water available and we are thrilled. We have a fruit/veggie fusion pitcher and mug so we can enjoy this refreshing beverage at home. When flavored water is on sale at the store it is treat. That’s when we were given coupons to try Ocean Spray Wave™ we were excited. It is a good time of year to review a refreshing beverage and this one is something new as well as a store exclusive.

Ocean Spray Wave™

Ocean Spray Wave™ is a new sparkling water product. It is caffeinated and has real fruit juice. It is available at Walmart exclusively. Yes, it is a caffeinated beverage and yes, we typically don’t drink caffeinated beverages. Yet it is lightly caffeinated and we thought if a person is wanting a little caffiene it might be an option. Therefore, we thought we would try it. The 50mg of “naturally sourced caffeine” was not an issue for us. That’s basically what’s in something such as black tea.

Being at Walmart only when we were given the coupon to try the product it was difficult to find. This is because it wasn’t available at our stores yet. Once it showed up within a few weeks of launch there are a variety of flavors available and it isn’t difficult to find.

We liked that it is a water drink with real fruit juice. It is also nice to have an option as a less sugary beverage with no artificial flavors, zero grams of sugars added and no artificial sweetners. It is designed as an everyday beverage without the worry of too much caffeine or sugar compared to soda. It delivers on this.

The flavors available are cranberry and pinapple, mango and passionfruit, mandarin and blackberry and strawberry and lemon. We think all these flavors sound interesting. The two flavors we tried were mango and passionfruit and strawberry and lemon. The different flavors vary in calories. The mango and passion fruit is 15 calories and the strawberry and lemon is 5 calories.

All that being said it is time for the actual taste review. It isn’t on our top recommendation list, but it might find a fan or two. I don’t think it is something we will purchase again. It is something we have other products we like much better.

We didn’t like the taste. We gave it a chance, but we have decided even after trying simular products we don’t enjoy sparkling or carbonated waters. We enjoy flavored waters without the carbonation. We enjoy sparkling cider, but not sparkling water even if it is flavored. These are not the same thing. Ocean Spray Wave™ is one of the better sparkling waters we have tasted though and if you like this type or product or are considering trying one this is a good choice. We felt it tasted like bland soda that was watered down with a hint of the real fruit juice taste. If it had more of that flavor we would have enjoyed it more we decided.

Ocean Spray Wave™ is currently available online at Walmart.com and in store. To learn more, visit OceanSpray.com. The suggested retail price is $4.98 for an 8 pack.