Posted by: suzan | December 3, 2018

Clever and Fun Gifts for Kids this Season

Every year it seems merchants around the country are trying new ways to vie the interests of their customers. With online shopping getting more and more easy, it’s no wonder that shoppers can choose anything from pomegranate scented candles to cashmere-lined pajamas with just a click of the mouse. But trying to find the right gift can be daunting as well as I usually go by the practice of buying gifts that the recipient wants rather than what I think they would like. I try to avoid buying gifts that the recipient will probably never use or goodness forbid, re-gift it!

But what about gifts for kids? Well, you can go the usual route of toys, but in the vein of trying to reduce waste around the world, why not give children something that’s good for the environment and good for them? Below I’ve listed gift ideas that are clever, fun, and reduces waste for this holiday season.

INSPIRING GIFTS:

Inspiring gifts are filled with wonder and imagination. Give children gifts that inspire them to be who they are and help them grow into better individuals.

BOOKS – instead of just giving books, make it a fun sensory experience by including items that go well with the title or genre of the books. For instance, if you’re giving a child a book about cars, add a toy car or a bookmark with their favorite cars on it and include them in a box with the books. For teens, include themed bookmarks and some candy while they snuggle up on the couch to read their new books. I’m old fashioned when it comes to books. While I do love reading on my tablet, there’s just something tangible about holding a paper book in your hands while flipping through the pages and smelling the fresh press through each page. Children benefit much more when they can hold the book in their hands and connect with the natural feel of nature with paper.

Some great books for kids are:

Ages 0-3 – Picture books are great little treasures for children in this age group. They are filled with colorful drawings and larger text with clever stories. Books by Sesame Street, Dr. Seuss, and Eric Carle always makes delightful books for young children and teach important skills for young minds.

Ages 5-8 – In this age group, children are starting school and learning new words and sentence structure. Why not give them books that help them learn as well as make it fun? This is the best age for kids to start getting interested in reading as grasping new words make their young minds excited! Try books about science that includes fun and easy experiments, art books with inspirational drawings, and books about friendship.

Ages 9-12 – At this age, children are developing a bigger vocabulary and their interests can shift dramatically. Give them books that include a sense of wonder and imagination as well as fact-filled fiction and humorous books. Even books with pictures in them are still captivating in this age group because you still want kids to enjoy reading and not feel as a chore for school or homework.

Preteen to Teen – When kids are entering the teenage years, they have either developed a love for reading or hate it terribly. Keep the ones interested with exciting stories in specific genres. About this age, kids tend to like a favorite genre or two which can include fantasy, sci-fi, realistic fiction, and so forth. Box sets are also great for young teens because they could start a new set or fill up their existing collection. For latest titles, check out bookstores as they tend to put new titles towards the front of the store.

LEGO – This old fashioned toy is truly a wonder. Great for all ages, Lego sets come in a variety of interests including airplanes, movie-themes, holiday crafts, and so forth. Whether the child you’re buying for is trying Lego for the first time or is an expert builder, Lego is a gift that can last for many years and inspire many wonderful minds.

DIY – Do-It-Yourself gifts are great for kids that like hands-on crafting or to do with friends. DIY gifts can include anything from bath bombs to food crafts. You can create your own DIY kit for the recipient by including items that make a complete gift. For example, if you’re making a bath bomb, check out this easy Lavender bath bomb here:  Proven Winners Lavender Bath Bombs. Just be sure to include a kit that they can either make on their own or  with friends and family. Your DIY kit should be able to make either one gift or several so that kids can give them away as presents for others.

BEAUTY AND WELLNESS GIFTS:

Virtually everyone likes to be pampered now and then. From young children to older teenagers, feeling calm and relaxed is beneficial for their minds and bodies.

BATH AND BODY – Children as young as infants can benefit from naturally made bath and body products. Give them soothing and healing products that include lavender, calendula, and almond oil that nourishes and calms them. Great bath and body gifts include body lotion, body wash, organic cotton bathrobes and towels, and bubble bath. A couple of my favorite natural and organic brands are Weleda (https://www.weleda.com/) and Dolphin Organics (https://dolphinorganics.com/).

AROMATHERAPY – Aromatherapy isn’t just for adults. This ancient and wellness form or therapy is great for any age. Children can benefit from specific scents that can relax and calm them to preventing illnesses to giving them a clear mind. Some popular and beneficial scents include: lavender, peppermint, rosemary, ylang ylang, and geranium. Just be sure to use 100% essential oils instead of artificial fragrances which can be harmful to children. Use aromatherapy in baths, in lotions, and my favorite – essential oil diffusers. You can find diffusers at any natural grocery stores and online stores.

STUFFED ANIMALS – A good old-fashioned stuffed animal is always a well received gift. Find stuffed animals that match the child’s favorite animal or help an environmental cause by supporting a charity such as the World Wildlife Fund (https://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/Default.aspx) and the Sierra Club (https://www.sierraclub.org/ways-to-give).

UNCOMMON GIFTS: Kids can be fun and quirky so this holiday season give them unique and unusual gifts that help kids express themselves.

SKILL TOYS – Ever heard of toys that can actually help kids develop an untapped skill? Well, there are actually many products out there that were invented to do just that. These type of toys help with motor and cognitive skills and can be enjoyed over and over again. Skill toys include building blocks, build your own robot kits, and design your own comic books. Check out one of my most favorite sites: Uncommon Goods.

GARDENING – Gardening is both fun and therapeutic for kids. Give them a sense of nature by letting kids learn all about how plants grow and thrive. Planting indoors or outdoors teaches children about the life cycle of plants and that caring for nature is important for their future. Try growing easy and edible plants such as snow peas, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Grow seasonal plants so kids can enjoy their fresh harvest. A great idea is a gardening kit that includes some clay pots, seasonal seeds, a kid sized rake and shovel, and a decorative stake.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS – Ever heard of the saying, “music soothes the savage beast”? It stemmed from the fact that music (especially those that are instrumental) help calm children and can help them expand their creativity. Musical instruments should be appropriate for the age and because they can get quite expensive, start off with some toy sized instruments that are easy to hold and can actually create sounds.

So this holiday season, whether you’ve barely started shopping or are just finishing up, give children of all ages gifts that can take their creativity to new heights while teaching them that they don’t have to be wasteful with their presents. The ideas listed above can be enjoyed for many years and can even be passed down or donated to another child.

Happy Holidays and may you all have a wonderful New Year!

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

Posted by: suzan | November 28, 2018

Self Care Tips for Winter

We all know that as the weather changes from warmer climate to breezy chills, our health can take a drastic change as well. Now is the best time to start with a self care regime to get ready for the holiday season. With the bustle of getting our homes ready for the holidays, planning and shopping, and finding things for the kids to do while they’re out of school, it’s important to take some moments for ourselves and not be drained of energy.

Here are some TLC tips to help you transition from fall to winter:

Rest and Sleep –

Proper sleep is an important step in taking care of ourselves. In the busy world of high stimulation – demanding job, technology, and juggling family life – we often stay up late at night to finish whatever we couldn’t finish during daytime. But not having enough sleep, or the proper amount of sleep, can drastically alter our health. Good, quality sleep is essential in preventing illnesses as the body goes through a cycle during the typical 8-hour sleep. Quality sleep helps reduce stress, and can rebuild damaged cells when you’re resting. Here are steps in helping you get better quality sleep in your life and is crucial as the day grows shorter and your circadian rhythm is thrown off.

  • Start by turning off distracting electronics at least 45 minutes before bedtime. This helps prepare the brain and body to relax. Read a fun and light book (paper, not electronic) or try meditating by closing your eyes, taking deep breaths, and let your mind drift to “nothingness”.

  • Get comfortable sleepwear and bedding. When you wear soft pajamas, the aesthetics of something soft against your skin is very therapeutic. Soft and high quality bedding (preferably organic) reduces allergens that could be making you uncomfortable. Cotton is a great material for keeping the body temperature cool and even.

  • Keep the lights in the bedroom low and non-evasive. Keep your phone face down so you’re not distracted by the screen’s light and any alerts that pop up on your phone. When meditating, keep the lights off or use a low light in the hallway if complete darkness bothers you.

  • Keep your bedroom clean and clutter free. A cluttered room creates a stressful mind which interrupts your attempt to relax instead of trying to clean everything up.

Eat Well –

Colder weather tends to bring out the need to eat more as we feel the chill in our bones and want food to feel comfortable. But as colder weather settles in, it’s also harder to exercise because our bodies are in natural hibernation mode. With less exercise or moving about our bodies become sluggish, and the effect of eating because we’re bored will put a toll on our health. Stay on track of eating healthy during the winter season especially with holidays coming up.

  • Stay away or reduce sugar intake, alcohol, caffeine, and inflammatory foods. As colder weather causes us to move less, our bodies don’t move enough to expend all the extra food, calories, and fat absorbed. Therefore food that causes inflammation will create illnesses and diseases that will be harder to eliminate as it accumulates.

  • Eat what’s in season. Seasonal foods are fresher and provide the necessary nutrients during colder months. Fall/Winter foods include pumpkins, cauliflower, broccoli, and squash. Try roasting them for a less fattening version and a tastier flavor.

  • Eat simple. Use less ingredients when cooking to cut down sugar, salt, and fat intake. Try making soups, roasting, or a simple stir fry.

  • Eat warm meals as it will bring more comfort and less need to binge on unhealthy fast food.

  • Eat in moderation. During the holiday parties and celebrations, enjoy a holiday treat but keep it in moderation and pick and choose the healthier options when possible.

Healthy Skin – 

As climate drops, so does the bite of cold wind cut into our skin. We tend to lose moisture during the colder climate so it’s important to keep skin well moisturized and healthy.

  • Drink plenty of warm water during the day. Warm water is easier for our body to process especially when it’s cold so be sure to drink at least 6 cups of water every day. If water isn’t a favorite, then try other health inducing beverages such as hot tea, hot lemon and honey, and warm milk (dairy or plant-based).

  • Keep skin moisturized by using moisturizers that contain natural ingredients. The upper layer of your skin is more delicate in colder weather so you don’t want to damage it by using harmful ingredients. Try using moisturizers that contain essential oils and herbs such as lavender, calendula, and rosemary to naturally soothe and protect your delicate skin.

  • Eat plenty of fruits to keep your skin healthy. Fruits that contain Vitamin C contains cell regenerating qualities that helps fight off germs and keep your skin healthy.

Go Outside –

So your’re wondering why opt outside when it’s freezing out there? Well, depending on where you live, opting to play outside helps keep your circulation going and prevent sedentary bodies and brains. Fresh air is also important to keeping your brain cells chugging along when all we want to do is settle in on the couch and cozy up. But it’s so easy to just stay on the couch all day and forget that we need to get up and move around. Just be sure to dress warmly and appropriately for the weather when you’re outside.

  • Take a short walk every day to keep up your circulation.

  • Open windows when the weather isn’t too cold to circulate the air in your house.

  • Get grounded by walking through a forest, touching a tree, and breathe in the fresh and untainted mountain air.

Remember that in order to thrive during the winter months, we must take care of ourselves in as natural a way as possible. Drink healthier beverages. Walk or play outdoors. And don’t let stress overwhelm you.

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

 

 

 

Posted by: suzan | November 1, 2018

A Parent’s Guide to Being Green

Do you ever wonder what the phrase, “going green” really means? This movement, if you want to call it – began over a decade ago when people started to really open up their eyes and notice that our environment is alarmingly in danger. While our planet slowly deteriorating is certainly not new news, the harmful effects of long-term damage has increased drastically over the years.

As a parent and an educator, I want to teach my son and other students the importance of preserving our precious planet. A small impact of good can slowly grow to something bigger and better: one child can make a difference and one adult can help them achieve their goals. And while you’re reading this, let’s break it down to the importance of teaching our children to being “green” and allow them to make a better world for the future.

So how do you “Go Green”? With climate changes negatively affecting the world, greenhouse gases are increasing around the world, making it almost near impossible to reverse the damages. But global markets in major consumer industries are finally starting to recognize the dangers of our depleting environment and are moving towards natural resource energy makers such as wind, solar, and water. We, as individuals may think we can’t do much to improve our environment, but all it takes is one person to care, to make a change for the better.

So how do we teach our children to protect the future of their planet? We must start by realizing that children have the potential to make positive changes in the world. “We must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.” – Mary McLeod Bethune. Children have the drive, intelligence, and ability to make positive impacts in improving our planet and being great leaders of society. Children around the world are taking winning steps in reducing waste while not only helping the environment, but other people as well. Their leadership and compassion are things we want to emulate and encourage so that we can all eventually open our eyes to the climate changes around us.

What can kids do? Here are some great (and easy) examples of environmentally-friendly acts and projects for kids of any age:

– Follow the 4 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle.

Reduce your purchases, wants, and needs. The less we buy, the less carbon footprint we contribute to.

Reuse what you already have. If we can reuse even just 3 times, we will already have made a dramatic change.

Repurpose what you can still reuse. Repurposing is truly a great trend that should go on forever. For example, you can take a pair of torn jeans and make it into a unique grocery tote* or zippered pencil cases.

Recycling is typically the last resort as not everything can be recycled. Most plastics, glass, aluminum are readily recyclable but it still takes up carbon footprint when machines are used to break down these materials. Still, it’s better than throwing them in the trash where they’ll most likely end up in the landfill. To find recycling centers in your area, check it out here: https://americarecyclesday.org/find-recycling/

– Sort trash properly.

One of the biggest problems with overflowing landfills is trash that aren’t sorted properly. You can probably find at least 30% of your trash that can be recycled, reused, or repurposed. And if you can recycle any kind of beverage bottles, your kids can make money from doing that too. When recyclable products are mixed in with trash, it takes tremendous time, money, and effort for facilities to sort them. Oftentimes, the recyclable items will end up with the rest of the trash, thus leading to the growing problem of overfilled landfills in our country.

– Use reusable containers whenever possible.

Kids can bring their school lunches in resuable lunch containers, water bottles, and utensils. To make it even more fun, give them colorful and fun reusable napkins. Great ones can be found at: http://www.ukonserve.com/ and https://ecolunchboxes.com/.

– Pick up trash.

Pick up trash around your neighborhood as you’re taking walks along the roads. This helps keep waste from going into storm drains and ending up in unlikely places where they might just get disposed of improperly. Plus, it helps the neighborhood look nice and clean too. Just remember to have kids wear gloves if they’re doing a “clean up the neighborhood day”. Then, be sure to sort and dispose the trash properly.

– Eat local, co-op, and organically grown food.

Local foods are usually produced by companies within your county or city’s range. This is a rather tricky range as there is currently no guidelines to how far or close a product is produced in order to qualify as local. Read labels on products and check out the local companies you buy from to get a clearer picture. Co-op farms help the farmers and the consumers. Co-op is governed by its members so there is more control of what is produced, how it’s produced, and where it’s sold. Organically grown food must follow strict guidelines that companies must follow in order to be certified. Organic products simply means any product made without certain fertilizers and pesticides and without any synthetic ingredients used in producing the products. This applies to both food and non-food items. Take your kids to local farmers markets and grocery stores where they can see and feel the difference between organic produce and conventional produce. When you make the change yourself, your kids can greatly benefit from it.

– Reduce use of electronics and water.

In a perfect world, we’d have less electronics to use and we could all produce our own water usage and recycle it. But in this day and age of fast growing technology, it seems that the future will only continue with this trend. While technology is important, using too much of it can also drain our natural resources as well as enable harmful aftereffects of radiation and coal. Remind your children to turn off lights when not in use, reduce their screen time by playing outside or reading a book, and turn off the water when brushing their teeth.

We can all strive to make a better impact on our environment if we remind ourselves that our children, their children, and all future generations should have the ability to live on a clean and healthy planet. It can take small and simple steps but each step can lead to bigger steps that can make a dramatic improvement for our world.

For some fun and helpful tips for parents and kids, check out PBS Kids Green project book: http://meetthegreens.pbskids.org/features/pdf/Greens_Activities.pdf

*photo source: www.denimdoover.com

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: suzan | October 31, 2018

Broken Arrow Book Tour and Giveaway

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Set in ancient times when magic first ruled, our young hero, Ealdred discovers powers within him that can never be brought to light. With a powerful adversary and an unlikely ally, Ealdred embarks on a treacherous journey to find the truth even if it will end up getting him killed.

Broken Arrow is quite the typical fantasy read with an unwilling hero versus a revengeful villain. The story is written from the view of Ealdred which makes him quite endearing. He is gentle and brave yet has a naivete that draws him into danger at every turn. If you like fantasy novels with adventure, magical creatures, and powerful magic, then you’ll enjoy this coming of age story by author, Azaria M.J. Durant.

Synopsis:

An ancient power long kept dormant stirs in the shadows once more as one boy embarks on a quest to earn his freedom and the freedom of his world!

Magic has turned to myth, the Vaelhyreans of old to legend, and the power wielded by the ancients has long been forgotten. However, with Ealdred, a mere half-breed slave boy, myth becomes real, the forgotten remembered, and the power of legend is reborn within him.

Ealdred is merged into a world of mystery, brimming with deceit, where the remaining Vaelhyreans are in a desperate fight for their very survival. When Ealdred is kidnapped by the power-mongering dark lord Zeldek himself, he must make a choice; to commit his newfound magic to Zeldek’s service or die. But when he meets Bellator, clever yet treacherous servant of Zeldek, an alternative is presented to him: to escape from Zeldek’s stronghold and embark on a quest to find a cursed arrow and free the Vaelhyreans from the spell that keeps their powers at bay.

Yet how can he survive in a world where magic is illegal, half-breeds are hated, and the four countries are on the brink of war?

***Xpresso Book Tours is also hosting a giveaway for 2 ebooks of Broken Arrow: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251232689/

You can also purchase Broken Arrow at the following retailers:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2nmkGV2  

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/brokenarrow-azaria-mj-durant/1129486535?ean=2940161650844

AUTHOR BIO:

Azaria M. J. Durant is a young, passionate writer of fantasy with plans to branch out into sci-fi and dystopian. She enjoys writing stories with action, adventure, unexpected plot twists, and fleshed out characters that challenge gender roles and expectations.

Azaria lives in Atlantic Canada with her family, cats, and dogs, and her big dreams to travel the world. In the moments when she isn’t writing, she is sketching concept art for her stories, participating in community theatre, or curled up with a good book and a bag of mint chocolates.

Author links:

*Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and Azaria M.J. Durant for the book tour!

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

Posted by: suzan | October 29, 2018

To Catch a Rogue Blog Tour and Giveaway

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A beautiful cover with an exciting story, To Catch A Rogue is a steampunk version similar to a rousing Regency romance story. Set in the darkest hearts of London, England and traveling to the foreign land of Russia, spies, thieves, and nobility race to save one of their own while solving an even bigger mystery within their clan. Written with wit and flair, To Catch A Rogue is a breath of fresh air with a delightful twist to an ancient Russian tale.

There are quite a lot of characters in To Catch A Rogue, with Lark and Charlie as the central main characters. The story reminds me of A League of Gentlemen where every character has their own skill and talent and each of them a very unique personality. My favorite character is perhaps Charlie, who is the longtime friend of Lark, until a fateful incident drifted their friendship apart. Years later, Lark is called to help Charlie out to save the leader of The Company of Rogues, and perhaps deal with their enemies along the way. Lark is hesitant at first, unsure if she could trust Charlie again but neither could she resist her old friend’s charms and good looks.

There is a much deeper secret within the pages of the story and as it slowly unfolds, we get clear and defining hints of who Lark really is. She has been hiding this dangerous secret of hers for years and only one other person knows. As Lark starts to unravel the mysteries that has held her in fear and hiding since she was a child, she also starts to trust Charlie again and the Company of Rogues who shows her that friendship and trust are not only earned but can be freely given.

What I liked about To Catch A Rogue was the clever bantering between the characters and the easy style that the story was written. I got swept up in the story from the first pages and was intrigued with how steampunk became a popular literary sensation when technology and fantasy meshed into one. To Catch A Rogue has elements of the supernatural with vampires, werewolves, and such; an old world Victorian darkness feel; and the technological wonder of the steam engines and mechs. You’ll find that the mystery behind Lark is very tell-tale but the author puts a very interesting spin on it as well. Is Lark the long-lost Princess of the last Russian Tsar that presumably died in the fire that killed the entire royal family? And why has she been hidden all these years? You’ll have to read To Catch A Rogue to find out!

Synopsis:

An impossible heist. A thief and a rogue. But will she steal his heart, instead?

The Company of Rogues finally knows the identity of the mastermind behind a plot against the queen—but their enemy is still one step ahead of them. When he kidnaps one of theirs, the Rogues plan a daring rescue mission that will lead them into the heart of the bloodthirsty Crimson Court.

It’s a job for a master thief, and there’s nothing Charlie Todd likes more than a challenge. To pull off the impossible, Charlie needs a crew, including the only thief who’s ever been able to outfox him.

He broke her heart. But now she must risk it all to save his life…

Lark’s spent years trying to forget her past, but the one thing she can’t ignore is the way a single smile from Charlie still sets her heart on fire. When he proposes they work together again, it feels just like old times, but she has one rule: this is strictly business.

It’s Charlie’s last chance to prove he can be trusted with her heart. But Lark’s keeping a deadly secret. And as passions are stirred and the stakes mount, it might be the kind of secret that could destroy them all…

Ocean’s 11 meets Dracula, in this sexy paranormal heist by USA Today Bestselling Author, Bec McMaster. If you like sexy paranormal romances, steampunk shenanigans, and plenty of action-adventure (vampires, dirigible flights, and steamy rooftop chases), then dive into this thrilling heist with Charlie and Lark.

*Xpresso Book Tours is currently offering a giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card so that you can purchase your own copy of To Catch A Rogue: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251232690/.

You can also purchase the title from the following vendors:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/CatchRogue-London-Steampunk-Conspiracy-ebook/dp/B07G3W2DQ3/

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-catch-a-rogue-bec-mcmaster/1129072381?ean=2940155754008

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/to-catch-a-rogue/id1411192004?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/to-catch-a-rogue-2

AUTHOR BIO:

BEC MCMASTER grew up on a steady diet of 80’s fantasy movies like Ladyhawke, Labyrinth and The Princess Bride, and loves creating epic, fantasy-based worlds with heroes and heroines who must defeat all the odds to have their HEA. If you like sexy, dark, paranormal romance, try her Dark Arts series; for some kick-bustle ladies-saving-the-day steampunk romance then check out London Steampunk; and for rocket-fuelled post-apocalyptic romance with a twist on the werewolf theme, then see her Burned Lands series.

Bec has been nominated for RT Reviews Best Steampunk Romance for Heart of Iron (2013), won RT Reviews Best Steampunk Romance with Of Silk And Steam (2015), and Forged By Desire was nominated for an RWA RITA award in 2015. The series has received starred reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal, with Heart of Iron named one of their Best Romances of 2013.

Escape the Ordinary at www.becmcmaster.com or follow her on Twitter @BecMcMaster, or www.facebook.com/BecMcMaster

Join Bec’s newsletter for all the latest news on releases, exclusive excerpts and cover reveals, and get your copy of ‘Tarnished Knight’, a novella in her award-winning London Steampunk series. Copy and paste this link into your browser: http://eepurl.com/F_LkD.

Author links:

http://www.becmcmaster.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5763301.Bec_McMaster

https://www.facebook.com/BecMcMaster/

https://twitter.com/BecMcMaster

*Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and Bec McMaster for the opportunity to be on the book tour!

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

Posted by: suzan | October 24, 2018

The Scythian Trials Book Tour and Giveaway

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Amazonian warriors, epic battles, lies, secrets, love, and betrayal. All the feels and emotions in this amazing new story by author Elizabeth Isaacs, The Scythian Trials will take you on a journey for the truth that could end all of mankind.

The Scythian Trials takes on a sort of dystopian-world feel, where the ancient Gods and Goddesses of the past blurs into the present. Nya Thalestris, a direct descendant of Ares and Otrera, is the last of her pure bloodline and it seems everyone from across the globe is interested in taking her as a mate. Nya however, has other intentions as the mere thought of having another male close to her sends her mind and body to fear and pain. She just wants to be left alone to live her life as an Amazonian warrior and not have to worry about carrying on the brutal traditions of her kind.

The Scythian Trials is a very well-written story. From the first pages to the very end, I couldn’t help but feel Nya’s plight and cheering her on to solve the mysteries of her past. Lost to everyone around her for several years, the gaps in Nya’s life fills her with dread every time her trainer and friend, Jax, helps her open up. Something sinister is deeply embedded in her memory and the only way for Nya to overcome her fear of her destiny is to find out what happened in her past.

The Scythian Trials is a mixture of the old ancient warriors of Greece to the new technologically advanced inhabitants of Earth. There are contenders from all over the world for Nya’s heart and hand but only one can win. Will it be Jax, the mysterious and broodingly handsome warrior turned psychologist, or Killian the handsome and cunning Scottish fighter, or Aran, the hulking leader from Africa? Throw in an old flame who will do everything to win back Nya and you’ve got a heart pounding story from beginning to end.

Synopsis:

Descendants of the Amazons, the Scythians work alongside prominent governments but answer to no one. Warriors living on the fringe of civilization, they live by one credo: Strength through Equality. Power through Knowledge.

Nya Thalestris is the brightest Scythian of her generation. Strong, capable, ruthless, she is sure to earn a spot in the Trials, a time-honored mating ritual responsible for the evolution of her species.

Abducted by their sworn enemy, the Drahzda, Nya is forever altered and spirals out of control. The Society sends in Jax Nickius. Infamous psychologist and one of the most brutal warriors of their kind, he discovers triggers planted in Nya’s mind. As Nya solidifies her spot in the Trials, Jax develops a plan to help her heal—while pursuing her as a mate. But, Nya’s attraction to Jax is at war with her instinct to never let anyone get too close.

During the Trials, Nya’s repressed memories surface, revealing a new enemy—one from inside the consulate walls—and a traitorous alliance on the horizon that could irrevocably change the course of history.

Since before the Bronze Age, the Society has managed to safeguard humanity from itself … until now.

Xpresso Book Tours is offering a giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card so you can purchase your very own The Scythian Trials: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251232682/.

You can also purchase the book here:

Purchase:
AUTHOR BIO:

Elizabeth is an author, teacher, and publishing professional who began her career as a national presenter for Resource Profiles, where she developed teacher seminars designed to foster creative brain stimulation. Moving into formal education, she helped at-risk students improve their writing skills as well as created and implemented a creative writing/blogging program that centered on teaching the 21st-century learner. Works stemming from this initiative were published online and seen in over 40 countries.

Elizabeth receives invitations to speak nationwide at schools and book clubs. She co-founded the popular book site, Chirenjenzie, which reaches thousands of people throughout the world. The writer support and reader interest group promotes and interacts with followers on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and various other blog sites. Elizabeth has a Master’s degree from Austin Peay State University, where she studied classical opera. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

“The Light of Asteria” received Honorable Mention at the New York Book Festival. Her newest work, “The Scythian Trials” will be released in 2017 by Vesuvian Media.

For more information, please visit www.elizabethisaacs.com

Author links:
*Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and Elizabeth Isaacs for the opportunity to be on the book tour!

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

Posted by: suzan | October 22, 2018

Nemesis Book Tour and Giveaway

 

Gods, Goddesses, Magics, and Mortals, all caught up in an epic battle that could end everything or save the entire realm. In Kat Ross’s 4th book, Nemesis, Nazafareen and her comrades continue with their journey to free the heirs from their bindings and once again bring peace and harmony in Nocturne and Solis.

Nemesis, book four in the Fourth Talisman series takes you right after the downfall in the previous story. To really get the whole gist of the saga, it’s best to read all four books as there are too many details, names, and places to try and remember.

Author Kat Ross is a very talented author, and with the entire Fourth Talisman series, you feel like you’re right there in the scenes with all of the characters. The series is filled with an old world feel and some of the names and places might sound familiar. There are magic, Gods, Goddesses, monsters, and evil versus good throughout the entire stories.

Synopsis:

In the fourth volume of the Fourth Talisman series, Nazafareen risks everything on a desperate gamble to stop the Vatras once and for all…

With Meb safely among her own people, Nazafareen has finally embraced her dangerous fire magic. She is the Fourth Talisman, destined to free the heirs from the wards binding their own extraordinary power. With Nocturne and Solis poised on the brink of war, the choices she makes will decide the fate of mortals and daevas alike.

Determined to confront Culach and make amends, Nazafareen goes to Val Moraine, setting off a chain of events that ultimately leads her deep into the perilous wasteland called the Kiln and the faceless enemy waiting there. But the ancient hatred that shattered the world a millennium before is stronger and far more devious than she and her companions imagine.

Is the Viper truly dead? And can Nazafareen triumph without facing the darkness that lurks within her own heart?

Xpresso Book Tours is also giving away 10 ebooks of Nocturne (the 1st book in the series) to get you started on this epic journey between light and dark, good and evil. https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251232691/.

You can also purchase Nemesis and the other Fourth Talisman books here:

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AUTHOR BIO:
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy trilogy (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and a new gaslamp mystery series that opens with The Daemoniac and continues with The Thirteenth Gate. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. For more information about Kat’s books, come visit her at katrossbooks.com.
Author links:
*Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and Kat Ross for the opportunity to be on the book tour!

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

Posted by: suzan | October 18, 2018

Maiden Book Tour and Giveaway

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Two young friends on the brink of adulthood find that their preconceived destinies walk a much different path than planned. For Marta and Jayme, their friendship is tested to the point where they both lose hope of ever being together again.

In Teresa Harrison’s novel, Maiden – The Ligthwalkers Series, childhood best friends Marta and Jayme must separate in order to find their own paths to eventually reunite again. One walks the destiny as a magical healer, the other must fight the evils that could ruin both their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

Maiden is a light-hearted story, told with vivid imagery and imagination. The two best friends are very different from each other yet quite similar as well. Both of them want what’s best for the world and each other, yet one dire mistake shakes them both apart. What I liked particularly about this story was how Jayme changed from a non-believer of magic to one who embraced it. Marta on the other hand, seemed to always know she had some kind of magic inside her and was more than happy to use her healing abilities to save her people.

Maiden is a young adult fantasy series with elements of old fairy tales drifting throughout the story. You get the immediate sense that Marta and Jayme are wholly devoted to each other yet Jayme was guided down the wrong path. Enemies in this story were well written and the descriptions of the Fae and other magical creatures were a delight to read. I recommend Maiden for ages 13 and up.

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Synopsis:

Marta and Jayme are childhood friends with different beliefs. Marta dreams of becoming a healer. Jayme has been schooled by the black-coats, a group of priests who claim women are inferior, and he fears Marta is jeopardizing her eternal future.Despite a heated debate over Marta’s soul, Jayme betrays her to the priests. The consequences of this betrayal change Marta’s life forever and sends Jayme on his own journey.

After a brutal massacre, Marta awakens deep in the forest overcome with grief for her lost sisters, but the world will not let her rest. The tragedy has changed her. She hears the call of nature, eventually steering her toward a small cottage in the wilderness. There she learns of nature’s magic and what it means to be a LightWalker. The path is there for her to follow. If she’s strong enough to embrace it…

Xpresso Book Tours is currently offering a giveaway of a $25 Amazon gift card so you can purchase Maiden and begin on this refreshing journey of magic and redemption.
*Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and Teresa Harrison for the Book Tour!

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

Posted by: suzan | October 9, 2018

The Fear of Falling Book Tour and Giveaway – Updated

Sorry for the faux pas! Here’s the updated version 🙂

Happymomblogger's Blog

*So sorry about the faux pas post! This is the REAL one! 🙂

Can a boy and a girl be best friends and nothing more? In Amanda Cowen’s latest contemporary romance, The Fear of Falling, Ella and Ryan face that exact question years later after becoming fast friends in college. To the outside world they are nothing but the best of buddies – siblings almost – in the way they argue and make fun of each other, but something deeper runs in their friendship that neither one of them wants to acknowledge.

In a series of events that puts these two friends together at every turn, Ella and Ryan soon realizes that their friendship is put to the test when they accidentally spend the night together. Ella is working hard towards a future career with Disney while Ryan is destined to become a lawyer and work in the family…

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Posted by: suzan | October 9, 2018

The Fear of Falling Book Tour and Giveaway – Updated

 

 

*So sorry about the faux pas post! This is the REAL one! 🙂

Can a boy and a girl be best friends and nothing more? In Amanda Cowen’s latest contemporary romance, The Fear of Falling, Ella and Ryan face that exact question years later after becoming fast friends in college. To the outside world they are nothing but the best of buddies – siblings almost – in the way they argue and make fun of each other, but something deeper runs in their friendship that neither one of them wants to acknowledge.

In a series of events that puts these two friends together at every turn, Ella and Ryan soon realizes that their friendship is put to the test when they accidentally spend the night together. Ella is working hard towards a future career with Disney while Ryan is destined to become a lawyer and work in the family business. As these two friends struggle with finishing up college and making hard choices, will their friendship end when college is over or will something more come out of it?

What I really liked about this story is the honesty portrayed by Ella and her drive to become a successful Graphic Designer. She’s humble and kind and tries to do the right thing by studying hard in hopes of making a good life for herself in the future. Ryan on the other hand, struggles with becoming a lawyer as his parents force him to follow in the footsteps of his family. While Ella tries her best to not cross that line of friendship with Ryan, it is Ryan who drops very non-subtle hints that he wants something more.

What I didn’t particularly enjoy is how Ryan portrays his growing romantic feelings for Ella. He’s jealous all the time, picks on Ella in a not so good way, and prevents her from having a caring boyfriend. Part of me wished he would just tell Ella how he feels but towards the end of the story, Ryan reveals why he kept it a secret all this time.

The Fear of Falling is a delightful read. The dialogue is catchy and upbeat even though a few instances I wonder why these young twenty-year-olds talk like they’re WAY older. I could easily look past these discrepancies enough to enjoy reading the book in one sitting. Amanda Cowen is a talented author and has an innate way of helping you connect with her main characters and feel their plight and anguish.

You can purchase The Fear of Falling on Amazon and Xpresso Book Tours and the author is hosting a giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card here: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251232672/

Synopsis:

When Ella Jones’ twenty-first birthday ends with a bang – literally – she never imagined it would be with her best friend since freshman year, Ryan Owen.

A year later, after their so called “mistake”, they’re still best friends and about to rock their Senior year at the University of San Francisco. But when Ryan returns from spending a summer in Australia and brings back a friend, Liam George, who takes an immediate liking to Ella, Ryan starts to question the Aussie’s intentions with his best friend. The trouble is, Ryan has a girlfriend of his own, and Ella and Ryan swore they would never cross that line again – until they do.

They try not to let their second slip up affect their friendship, but when Spring Break forces them to vacation under the same roof; and Ryan’s ex walks back into his life, Ella is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ella continues to see Liam, Ryan finds himself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship strained for the first time, Ella and Ryan face an alarming truth: Maybe they can’t be just friends. Maybe they are falling faster than expected. And maybe, deep down, they want to.

AUTHOR BIO:
Amanda Cowen can be found eating cupcakes, singing off-key, or watching a good RomCom when she isn’t trapped on her computer writing stories. She is an “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” fanatic, a hater of roller-coasters and a country music junkie. She lives in Thunder Bay, ON where the summers are short and the winters are long.

Amanda would love to hear from her readers. Become a fan on Facebook, follow her on Instagram @authoramandacowen, or follow her on Goodreads.

*Thank you Xpresso Booktours and Amanda Cowen for the book tour opportunity.

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

 

 

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