Monday, December 19, 2011

Review of I Love You More Than Chocolate by Melanie Milburn

I Love You More... Than Chocolate
I Love You More Than Chocolate by Melanie Milburn

I received this book from the author. The review is my honest opinion. No compensation was offered or received.

This is now one of my favorite children's books. I share it with children I love every day. The words are easy and fun. The illustrations, by Cindy Coleman, are awesome. The children I have shared this book with take great delight in it. They know when to say I love you more than chocolate! We have even kept it going after with made up things always coming back to I love you more than chocolate. This is an awesome children's book! It also comes with a CD of the author singing I love you more than chocolate. I highly recommend this book!

This would make a fantastic Christmas or Valentine's present! Seriously, it is a fun and engaging book that any child will treasure. I have read it to both boys and girls and it has been loved by all of them. It is what I like to call a memory maker. Years from now your child will remember reading this book with you. I bet they buy it for their children too!

For more information on Melanie Milburn please visit:

Comments Always Welcome!

Review of Chasing Amanda by Melissa Foster

Chasing Amanda
Chasing Amanda by Melissa Foster
Kindle Edition Published  by Solstice Publishing 

Good Reads Synopsis:
Nine years ago, Molly Tanner witnessed a young girl’s abduction in the busy city of Philadelphia, shifting her occasional clairvoyance into overdrive. Two days later, the girl’s body was found, and Molly’s life fell apart. Consumed by guilt for not acting upon her visions, and on the brink of losing her family, Molly escaped the torturous reminders in the city, fleeing to the safety of the close-knit rural community of Boyds, Maryland. 
Molly’s life is back on track, her son has begun college, and she and her husband have finally rekindled their relationship. Their fresh start is shattered when a seven-year-old girl disappears from a local park near Molly’s home. Unable to turn her back on another child and troubled by memories of the past, Molly sets out to find her, jeopardizing the marriage she’d fought so hard to hold together. While unearthing clues and struggling to decipher her visions, Molly discovers another side of Boyds, where the residents--and the land itself--hold potentially lethal secrets, and exposes another side of her husband, one that threatens to tear them apart.

* This book was purchased by me. All opinions are mine and mine alone.*
My turn:
I have often witnessed a child having a tantrum leaving a store or in the parking lot of a store, Chucky Cheese's Pizza, the zoo and various other fun places. I'm sure you have too. I have also been the parent or grandparent trying to get the child out of there. So when I read this book my mind went into overdrive. I flashed back on many of those incidents. I was trying to determine how I knew it was a parent or relative, babysitter, etc. who was taking the child. The sad truth is I have no way of really knowing. That was brought slamming home when I read of Amanda's abduction being witnessed by Molly. I was able to really fall into Molly's character and her world from the start of this book.  Melissa Foster did an excellent job with this book. I do not have second sight. I do get creepy feelings in my stomach when something does not feel right to me. This does not always mean something is wrong - it is just my feelings. But it did make me able to understand Molly and her hesitation to further confront the "father". Melissa wrote this book in a way that you can really get involved in the story that unfolds. I appreciate the portrayal of Molly's husband and the problems in their marriage. I like that Melissa did not make him go along with Molly's visions with no hesitation. I think it would be difficult to come to terms with something that you don't have experience with. With him being a doctor, I imagine, it would be even harder to accept clairvoyance. While the main mystery is the disappearance of Tracey, there is a enough mysterious things to keep you guessing on how this will end. Enough so that I did not guess the ending. The characters were well developed and I could understand the psychological changes that a few of them were going through. Melissa Foster did an exceptional job with Chasing Amanda. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good horror/mystery.  The story line is complete and fascinating. The mystery was not easily solved for me even though I knew and understood the players. This is one of my favorite mysteries I have read this year. I can see why it won 2 awards in the Readers Favorite Award for Women's Fiction and Suspense/Mystery and also the Global eBook Award by Dan Poynter. A reader's guide is available on the author's website which makes this an excellent choice for reading groups.

Also by Melissa Foster:
Megan's Way Come Back to Me

Melissa Foster Links:

Comments Always Welcome!

12 days of Christmas with Dianne Venetta

12 Days of Christmas Extravaganza is being brought to you by Peggy at Pawing Through Books, Jennifer at Books and Barks, and myself. 
Each day for the next 12 days each of our blogs will feature a different author. There will be guest posts, interviews and giveaways! So be sure to stop at each blog to join in the fun!

A special thank you to all the authors who are participating and those who have donated prizes!


Today's guest is:
Dianne Venetta

Christmas in Miami

When you live in the hot tropical climate of South Florida, forget “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” and start thinking, “Feliz Navidad!” Doo-doo-doo-doo (read sound effects as humming and shake your hips here—this rhythm is not only catchy, it’s quick!) 

As a Miami native, I can well remember the days of running around outside on Christmas morning, bright-eyed and barefoot and absolutely thrilled the moment had FINALLY come.  I mean, my brothers and sister and I thought Christmas morning would never arrive! But it did.  It always did, and the awe and amazement never ceased for us, nor did it dim. 

Oddly enough, as an adult I still feel that same excitement when it comes to the holidays.  I don’t know if it’s because I have kids or want to remain a kid at heart, but when the holiday season arrives, everything feels more magical, more warm, more loving.

Which is saying something around these parts, because unlike New York City which becomes decked out in full Christmas regalia with its 50 ft. tree in Rockefeller Center, store windows dressed in bows and glitter, snow falling, lights flashing—

Oh wait.  Er—those were blue and red.  (Lots of blue and red flashing around the big city, but no need to dwell on it.J)  Moving right along! 

As I was saying, Central Florida doesn’t quite hit the ambiance spot when it comes to Christmas.  Not really, anyway.  Despite being raised in Miami, I always yearned for cozy fires and heaps of snow, horse-driven carriages lined with bells, commandeered by men with top hats.  Where did I derive these expectations?  Too much television, you say?

Maybe.  Yet whatever the reason, my imagination runs north this time of year as my heart and body reside in sunny Central Florida. Why do I stay?  Why not pick up and move to the glorious hillsides of Carolina, the snow-covered mountains of New York or Vermont where I might actually live this dream?  It’s a logical question.

And the answer is easy. Because the true meaning and splendor of Christmas don’t lie within the warm embers of a fire, they lie within the warm hearth of family. You see, my entire immediate family lives within an hour of me and without them, this season wouldn’t be the same.  Without my children to surprise and delight, the pile of gifts would simply be another stack of pretty boxes.  Without my parents and siblings, the grand turkey feast would simply be another dinner to cook, more dishes to clean.

For me, without my family to share the magic of Christmas, it wouldn’t be the same, because the magic is created by love, a love that can be shared by family, friends, even those folks we don’t know, yet identify as “in need” of love, companionship, even a toasty meal. 

Christmas tends to bring out the generosity in us, the goodwill, and while many of us choose to express this feeling with gifts, they are merely symbols of the greater good that dwells within our spirit, the joy that is the spirit of giving. So as we count down the days until Christmas, remember to dole out a smile full of cheer to everyone you meet.  It may just prove your greatest gift of all. 

Dianne is the author of these wonderful books:

JENNIFER’S GARDEN epitomizes the showdown between a career woman’s criteria for the perfect husband and what true love means. 
In a race against time, cardiologist Jennifer Hamilton is caught between her mother’s dying wish and taking the risk of a lifetime with Jackson Montgomery. He’s the man hired to complete the landscaping for her new home; the venue for her upcoming wedding. Jackson’s everything she never wanted in a man, but as the job progresses, his lure pulls strong. It’s an attraction she cannot deny. 
And one that puts her career on the line.

She has what he needs, and he won't stop until he gets it. Trouble is, what begins as a matter of death, becomes a matter of life. One case away from partnership, Samantha Rawlings is forced to share her high-profile case with a sexy younger man, whose eyes are on a different prize. In the best interests of her client, Sam opens the door to his strategy. Turns out, a little too far... Victor Marin has ulterior motives. The defendant in her case holds the key to his revenge and his last chance for justice. But as he chases old demons, he uncovers a powerful woman with no inhibitions, one he wants to possess for himself. But decidedly single, Sam wants no part. Until Vic walks away.

For more information on Dianne and her books please see her website at  where you can receive information on joining Team Bloomin' Warrior, (a very fun club that I am a proud member of).

Dianne is a Good Reads author:

She is on FaceBook:

On Twitter:!/DianneVenetta


To be entered for a chance to win a Kindle version of Jennifer's Garden or Lust On The Rocks please leave a comment with your favorite holiday song. Please be sure to include your email so I can contact you if you win!

When you finished here please stop by and see Jenn at Peggy at

And be sure to enter the Rafflecopter Form to be in the big Giveaway!  ENTER HERE

Comments Always Welcome!

Review: Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery

Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery by Jamie Rutland Gillespie My rating: 5 of 5 stars ...