Thursday, July 19, 2018

Meeting Author H.L. Burke and Weekend Linky!

Heidi Burke and Christina Morley

I was in San Diego for my grandmother's 90th birthday. I knew that one of my favorite indie authors lived there, Heidi Burke, so I asked if we could meet. I've read and reviewed many of her books over the years on this blog. Amanda also read and reviewed one of her books with me, Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon.

She brought gifts, specifically two books that I haven't yet read, which she signed! I also gave her a few goodies from South Africa and my own self-published book, Happy Moms, Happy Homes

Below are photos of the gifts that I received from Heidi. The large dragon belongs to her and goes wherever she goes. 😄





Check out the author interview of Heidi that
I did in 2013 on A Tale in Two Parts!

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Want More from H.L. Burke?
Check Out My Reviews!

recommended for ages 9 - 12



A Tale in Two Parts
with Author Interview

Dragon's Curse - Book 1

Dragon's Debt - Book 2

Steampunk Fiction

Steampunk Fiction

Apocalyptic Fiction


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About the Author:
H.L. Burke


Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

For information about H. L. Burke's latest novels, author news and events, or to contact the writer, go to the H.L. Burke author website.


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Welcome to my weekend blog hop -
Make My Saturday Sweet #274

Make My Saturday Sweet is a weekend blog hop for all family friendly blogs. You are welcome to link your favorite post from the past week(s) and to visit the last link before yours and leave a sweet comment. It's a really easy and fun way to make new friends and to catch up on old acquaintances.

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

It's time for another Make My Saturday Sweet blog hop!

Join me (your host) for this fun and easy hop.
All family friendly blogs are welcome!

I would love for you to follow me on

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow Tina (your host) on one or more links listed above.
  • Link up a post from your family friendly blog.
  • Please try to add my hop button on your post or side-bar.
  • Share about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.
  • Visit the last link before yours and leave a sweet comment.
Blog Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

Weekend Linky


Visit my Blog Hops page to see
what link-ups I take part in.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Family and Friends Gather for Grandma's 90th

My aunt, me, my mom, my grandma, and my cousin

For the past 3 weeks, Hubby and I have been gallivanting across 5 States to include 2 different family reunions - 1 was my grandma's 90th in La Jolla, California, and 1 was my cousin's wedding in Kansas City, Missouri. We also visited with family in Kansas, Atlanta, and Florida. Hubby was a real trooper giving up watching a big part of the Soccer World Cup and later Wimbledon, especially the epic match between South African Kevin Anderson and American John Isner. We were packing and flying back to South Africa during that record-breaking semi-final. 

This blog is best viewed in Google Chrome.
Click on the photos to enlarge them.

My step-dad, his friend, my hubby,
my cousin, and my aunt

I'm in this photo with the sunset behind us.





Hubby

Selfie time: Hubby and me




Over several days, family and friends
gathered in this fabulous holiday rental.

My grandma's friend, my mom, my grandma, and me

That's my brother in the middle. We rarely
see each other because he lives in China
and I live in South Africa.


My step-dad and my cousin

My mom and my grandma

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Here's a peek at
my latest post
on 1camera1mom:

High Tea at Shakespeare's Corner Shoppe


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Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

Come link up your Wordless Wednesday
(with or without words) or any picture post
at this Picture Perfect Party Linky.
Join me on this fun and easy blog hop!


I would love for you to follow me on
and
Follow on Bloglovin

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow me on one or more links above or via email.
  • Link-up your post with a picture and follow as many new blogs as you like.
  • If possible, copy the button code below and add it on your linked post or blog's side-bar.
  • Tell others about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

The Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

This is a Wordless Wednesday blog hop.



Visit my Blog Hops page to see the hops that I often link up to.


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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Last Blog Post for June!

This is my last blog post for the next 3 weeks until Tuesday July 17. Hubby and I are heading to the States for my grandmother's 90th Birthday! We'll get to see many of my relatives on this trip. I wish everyone a safe summer or winter vacation (depending on where you are in the world)!


I often use Paperless Post to send eCards like on Mother's Day, Father's Day and birthdays. You can check out my review that I did for them last year here. Above is an eCard I picked out for my grandmother, although this time I'll get to physically hand her a card too!

Disclosure: I'll receive Paperless Post virtual coins for telling you about them.

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My Latest Book Reviews:



Lizzie and Lou Seal by [Keeler, Patricia]



Dragon School: Mark of Loyalty by [Wilson, Sarah K. L.]

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Dragon School Books 11 and 12

Dragon School:
Bright Hopes

Dragon School: Bright Hopes by [Wilson, Sarah K. L.]

About the Book:

Title: Dragon School: Bright Hopes | Author: Sarah K. L. Wilson | Genre: Fantasy Adventure | Pages: 92 | Recommended Age: Young Adult

Book Description:

Only Amel knows the truth.

A new story from USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah K. L. Wilson

With a grievous head injury, even Amel can’t really trust her own memories, but what she thought she saw feels very real and if it’s true, it will change everything.

On top of that, someone is hunting Lightbringers and Amel and her friends are swept up in the hunt. Can they escape or will the world remain ignorant of their secret forever?

Fans of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern and Christopher Paolini’s Eragon will love Dragon School.

Bright Hopes is episode eleven of Dragon School – expect a new episode every eighteen days!

Always FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Purchase on Amazon

My Review:

Dragon School: Bright Hopes is Book 11 in this new and exciting young adult fantasy series. Here’s another episode full of adventure with twists and turns and a smidgen of romance. The battle rages on as the Dusk Covenant twist their lies to look like truths. They grow stronger and the people foolishly follow. With zeal, the Lightbringers are hunted down and killed. The Dominar is not who he seems to be. Savette is dying. Just when things are at their darkest, a spark of bright hope appears.

This series is full of quotable quotes. Sometimes I like to share one or two. Here's one from Bright Hopes. Raolcan is speaking to Amel:
“Then take your heart in hand and bend it the right way, Amel…. It’s up to you to manage your heart and to make it bend to your will, not the other way around.”


Dragon School:
Mark of Loyalty

Dragon School: Mark of Loyalty by [Wilson, Sarah K. L.]

About the Book:

Title: Dragon School: Mark of Loyalty | Author: Sarah K. L. Wilson | Genre: Fantasy Adventure | Pages: 92 | Recommended Age: Young Adult

Book Description:

Who is the true Chosen One?

A new story from USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah K. L. Wilson

Free from the grip of the Dusk Covenant, Amel and her friends are headed to swear their loyalty to Haz, Queen of Dragons. But they aren’t the only ones who plan to negotiate with the Dragon Queen. When old enemies resurface, how will Amel convince her friends to stand for the truth in a world of lies?

Fans of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern and Christopher Paolini’s Eragon will love Dragon School.

Mark of Loyalty is episode twelve of Dragon School – expect a new episode every eighteen days!

Always FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Pre-Order on Amazon

My Review:

Dragon School: Mark of Loyalty is Book 12 in this new and exciting young adult fantasy series. Amel is loyal to the truth when the masses are supporting a lie. Standing up for what she believes in by supporting Shonan also puts her at odds with Hubric, but especially with Leng. She's made tough choices before and she'll do it again. Savette has her own battles to fight. Will their collective efforts be enough?


More Dragon School Books:


More Books by Sarah Wilson:


About the Author:
Sarah K. L. Wilson

Sarah K L Wilson


USA Today bestselling author, Sarah K. L. Wilson, hails from the rocky Canadian Shield in Northern Ontario where she lives with her husband and two small boys. Her interests include the outdoors, history, and philosophy. Her books are always about fantastical adventures in other worlds.



Disclosure: I received an ARC for both books and these are my honest reviews.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Father's Day and Cats


Today I'm sharing photos from Father's Day. That's why I'm including the family photo above, which was taken earlier this year. We had toast, eggs, sausage, and baked potatoes for breakfast. The "cake" in the photo below is a traditional South African "melktert" (milk tart), which we had in the afternoon with tea. It says, "I ♥ Dad."

I also thought that it would be nice to share some pics of our two cats. It's been a while since they were featured!

For the next four weeks until the middle of July (June 18 - July 16), I won't be hosting any blog hops and for three of those weeks (June 22 - July 16) I won't be doing any blogging. Hubby and I are heading to the States to visit my side of the family. I wish everyone a safe summer or winter vacation (depending on where you are in the world)!

This blog is best viewed in Google Chrome.
Click on the photos to enlarge them.







***************************

Here's a peek at
my latest post
on 1camera1mom:

Allesverloren Wine Estate

Jessica and my mom

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My Latest Book Reviews:
Read More

Monday, June 18, 2018

Lizzie and Lou Seal

Lizzie and Lou Seal

Lizzie and Lou Seal by [Keeler, Patricia]

About the Book:

Title: Lizzie and Lou Seal | Author & Illustrator: Patricia Keeler | Publisher: Sky Pony Press | Pages: 40 | Genre: Children's Picture Book

Book Description:

What will Lizzie do when Lou Seal loses his puff?

Lizzie loves her flip-flops. They go shuffle shuffle across the rug, smack smack on the floor tiles, and thwap thwap down the stairs. Lizzie also loves her blow-up toy, Lou Seal. Lizzie and Lou Seal are off to the beach, but beach fun turns to beach disaster when Lizzie loses her flip-flops and Lou Seal starts losing air! It’s a sink or swim scenario. What will Lizzie do?

This is a beautiful book with mixed media art and a lovely retro feel, for fans of Ladybug Girl at the Beach. Children will relate to Lizzie’s independence and creative problem solving and fall in love with Lou Seal themselves. Filled with lots of fun words and sounds, this is a perfect read aloud book for parents and children alike.

Purchase on Amazon


My Review:

Lizzie and Lou Seal is an adorable story about a little girl and her inflatable dolphin. It's kind of bittersweet. As in life, things happen that don't go as planned, but the girl makes the most of it. My only concern with the story is that the girl goes to the beach alone. There are no adults watching over her. Otherwise, it's a lovely picture book with whimsical illustrations and plenty of onomatopoeia. Amanda thinks that it's a nice book for young children.


About the Author:

Patricia A. Keeler

Patricia Keeler is the author/illustrator of SCOOP THE ICE CREAM TRUCK and LIZZIE AND LOU SEAL, both of Sky Pony Press. Patricia received the Christopher Medal in 2011 for her illustrations in WOULD YOU STILL LOVE ME IF. She was also the winner in the children's book category for the New York Book Festival 2013. Patricia has been positively reviewed by the New York Times Book Review, along with Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal. Her work has also been a selection of the Junior Library Guild and the Children's Book-of-the-Month Club. About DRUMBEAT IN OUR FEET (Lee & Low Books), The Horn Book wrote, "With each page exploring a different aspect of African dance, the book provides history, general information about the various roles of dance in African cultures, and inspiration for all, in addition to facts about costumes, music, and performance. Detailed paintings beautifully support the text." The Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota, which houses the largest collection of children's books in the world, has obtained the original illustrations, galleys, proofs, acceptance letter, contract and pages of editorial critiques for Patricia Keeler's Drumbeat In Our Feet. The Drumbeat collection is currently studied by emerging children's book authors and illustrators.

Disclosure: Amanda and I own the Kindle version of this book. This is our honest review.

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