Tombquest Book of the Dead Unlocks Ancient Egypt in a new Scholastic Series! {Book Review}

* I received a free copy of Tombquest Book of the Dead from Scholastic in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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 Fans of The 39 Clues, the Infinity Ring series, and the Spirit Animals series, heads up!  Scholastic (one of my favorite and the world’s largest publishers of children’s books is at it again in a brand new series that is going to have young readers hopping in 2015.  I was super excited to get to read the first book in the new Tombquest series, called Book of the Dead, which you will find on bookshelves in just THREE days (January 27, 2015).  But just to get you even more excited, check out the book trailer…Pretty awesome, huh!

 

About Tombquest Book of the Dead

Alex Sennefer’s mom uses the Lost Spells of the Egyptian Book of the Dead to crack open a door to the afterlife and pull her son back from the brink of death. But when she uses the spells, five evil ancients–the Death Walkers–are also brought back to life. Mummies are awakening. New York is overrun with scorpions. And worst of all for Alex, his mom and the Lost Spells have both disappeared. He and his best friend, Ren, will do anything to find his mom and save the world!

My Review

I loved this book as an adult, and I have no doubt that my two girls (both fans of 39 clues) will be huge fans, even though my older daughter is 13!  When I was recently in New York, I took selfies in the Egyptian area of the Met, where a good portion of Book of the Dead takes place, and sent them to her…the replies were unkind (as unkind goes for 13 year olds).  I pretty much know that after reading this book, I’m going to have to make a trek in from Western NY to take the girls to the Met.  This is the kind of book that sparks kids imaginations, and can get them interested in some serious history – which as a mom and former teacher, I love.

Attention – skip to the next section if you want to miss a few little spoilers (don’t worry I won’t give it all away!)

I think the book is correctly aged at 3rd-6th grade, but I think older students (and adults!) will enjoy as a quick read.  I love how Alex begins the book suffering from an illness…I think children who are chronically ill would see Alex as a hero!  He is “cured” by his (single) mother’s use of the scrolls, but I’m interested to see how this plays out in further books.  Ren also isn’t the “perfect” character – she speaks of working extra hard at school, and having a hard-working dad who spoke only Spanish at home growing up, but put himself through engineering school.  I love to see this type of diversity in main characters, and I hope this continues as characters get added to the books.

In terms of plot line and character development, I think Book of the Dead deserves five stars.   There is a build up at the beginning of the book, but it doesn’t drag and once the action gets started, it goes full-speed towards a harrowing conclusion.  There is definitely a “hook” at the end, but Michael Northrup did a masterful job of creating an ending that is both satisfying, but leaves you wanting more.  It is a first class start to what I’m sure is going to be another hit series!

The Tombquest Game

As you saw in the book trailer, there is an accompanying game that kids can play online that goes along with the book series.  I didn’t play too, long, but setting up an account was really easy and fairly kid friendly…here I am…

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You pretty much get to customize everything about your avatar, which I know my girls are going to LOVE (don’t even ASK how many Miis they have created…it’s pretty disturbing).  The game is easy to navigate and you basically move from tomb to tomb, collecting treasure, attacking enemies (mummies) and raiding other players’ tombs!  It’s like you are a little Indiana Jones/Lora Croft…definitely no archaeology here, but fun nevertheless. Here I am about to collect my first treasure, woohoo!!

Capture

The game is going to be a huge hit with kids, and I think it will keep kids engaged in the series as they wait for the next book to come out (shhhh, don’t tell them it’s all about encouraging reading!).  Speaking of which….


Tombquest Teacher Resources

One of the great things about Scholastic is that they do such an amazing job supporting teachers (and homeschooling parents)!  And their roll out of the new Tombquest series is no exception.  You don’t have to go hunting for Tombquest Book of the Dead teaching activities or make up your own – Scholastic has a lot of great resources already prepared for you that are aligned and meet the Common Core State Standards for Grades 3-6!

Using Book of the Dead as a book club book?  Check out the Tombquest Book of the Dead Discussion Guide.  How about some awesome Tombquest videos featuring the awesome author, Michael Northrup doling out facts on Ancient Egypt?  Or how about some fun Book of the Dead activity sheets (great for morning work!)?  The best part is that all of these resources are completely FREE – just check out Scholastic’s webpage for teachers using Tombquest in the classroom!

Buy Tombquest

You won’t be able to find it until January 27, 2015, but you can preorder now on Scholastic.com or Amazon.

Cover Reveal: Nobody’s Goddess by Amy McNulty #M9BFridayReveals

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Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Nobody’s Goddess (The Never Veil #1)
by Amy McNulty

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Nobody's Goddess

In a village of masked men, each loves only one woman and must follow the commands of his “goddess” without question. A woman may reject the only man who will love her if she pleases, but she will be alone forever. And a man must stay masked until his goddess returns his love—and if she can’t or won’t, he remains masked forever.

Where the rest of her village celebrates this mystery that binds men and women together, seventeen year old Noll is just done with it. She’s lost all her childhood friends as they’ve paired off, but the worst blow was when her closest companion, Jurij, finds his goddess in Noll’s own sister. Desperate to find a way to break this ancient spell, Noll instead discovers why no man has ever loved her: she is in fact the goddess of the mysterious lord of the village, a Byronic man who refuses to let Noll have her right as a woman to spurn him and who has the power to fight the curse. Thus begins a dangerous game between the two: the choice of woman versus the magic of man. And the stakes are no less than freedom and happiness, life and death—and neither Noll nor the veiled man is willing to lose.

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Title: Nobody’s Goddess (The Never Veil #1)
Publication date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Amy McNulty

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Amy McNulty

Amy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin with an honors degree in English. She was first published in a national scholarly journal (The Concord Review) while in high school and currently spends her days alternatively writing on business and marketing topics and primarily crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

(Winners will receive their book on release day)

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Get a Taste of Grandma’s with In Her Kitchen

* Disclaimer: I received the In Her Kitchen cookbook from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.

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About In Her Kitchen

In a gorgeous keepsake volume based on the slideshow that captured the world’s attention, Gabriele Galimberti’s beautiful portraits of grandmothers from all over the world with their signature dishes stunningly illustrates the international language of food and family.

On the eve of a photography trip around the world, Gabriele Galimberti sat down to dinner with his grandmother Marisa. As she had done so many times before, she prepared his favorite ravioli—a gesture of love and an expression of the traditions by which he had come to know her as a child. The care with which she prepared this meal, and the evident pride she took in her dish, led Gabriele to seek out grandmothers and their signature dishes in the sixty countries he visited. The kitchens he photographed illustrate both the diversity of world cuisine and the universal nature of a dish served up with generosity and love. At each woman’s table, Gabriele became a curious and hungry grandson, exploring new ingredients and gathering stories. These vibrant and intimate profiles and photographs pay homage to grandmothers and their cooking everywhere. From a Swedish housewife and her homemade lox and vegetables to a Zambian villager and her Roasted Spiced Chicken, this collection features a global palate: included are hand-stuffed empanadas from Argentina, twice-fried pork and vegetables from China, slow-roasted ratatouille from France, and a decadent toffee trifle from the United States. Taken together or bite by bite, In Her Kitchen taps into our collective affection for these cherished family members and the ways they return that affection.

In Her Kitchen is an evocative, loving portrait of the power of food and family, no matter where in the world you sit down for dinner.

My Review

In Her Kitchen is an AMAZING book.  Without even looking at the recipes, I love this book!  Each recipe starts with a picture of a grandmother from around the world, pictured with the ingredients used to make the recipe, and a picture of their recipe.  The first thing I did when I opened up the book was flip through the book and look at all the grandmas.  I loved this!  I miss my own grandma, and it was very cool to read about each grandma’s story.  This would be a great book without the recipes!

Now – onto the food.  There are some seriously AMAZING recipes in this book.  The recipe that I can’t WAIT to try is Valagerdur Olafsdottir’s (from Iceland!) recipe for Kjoysupa, which is a yummy-sounding recipe for Lamb and Vegetable soup.  There are also some…unusual recipes.  For example, Susann Sorenson, of Alaska, cooks up a yummy looking moose steak!  And then it gets even more exotic: Regina Lifumbo from Malawi, who cooks up Finkubala, which is Caterpillars in Tomato Sauce.  Not something I would give my kids for dinner, but I thought that these recipes give a wonderful glimpse into the culinary lives of women around the world in a wonderfully relevant and relatable way.  The beauty of this book is that it helps make connections through something that we can all relate to:  food and family!

I highly recommend this to anyone who loves to cook (especially with family) – it will be a treasured addition to your cookbook collection!

 

 

Avenge by Amity Hope + Win $25 Amazon Gift Card

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Avenge-Redo full sizeTristan Johnson is not an easy guy to get to know. He’s quiet, shy, and borderline elusive. That never stopped Samara Cavanaugh from claiming Tristan as her best friend, her tutor, her longtime crush.

She knows Tristan better than anyone. Sam was the one person that Tristan had allowed himself to get close to. But even Sam wasn’t aware of the secrets her best friend had been keeping.

When Sam’s life was in jeopardy Tristan didn’t hesitate to protect her. Now that he’s gone, Sam will do whatever it takes to get him back.

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Malice full sizeSamara Cavanaugh has grown up in a world filled with magic users. She’s used to bizarre and peculiar. But when a stranger checks in at The Bella Luna, the bed and breakfast her family owns, the strange occurrences in Granite Falls escalate.

Many people are leery of Levi, their new guest. He claims to be in town doing research but Samara’s friends aren’t so sure that his claim is as innocuous as it appears to be. When two of her classmates disappear, her friends seem convinced Levi had a hand in it.

Those closest to her have been keeping secrets from her. Those secrets put everyone close to her in danger.

Suddenly, her unrequited crush on her best friend, Tristan becomes the least of her troubles.

On Sale for $.99 January 19th -31st Buy on Amazon

 

About the author:

Amity lives in beautiful northern Minnesota with her two sons, two cats and their Rottweiler.

She has a degree in elementary education and worked in that field for ten years before deciding to self-publish.

Her first self-published novel, Twisted, was listed by Amazon as a Top 100 Kids & Teens Kindle Book of 2012. It hit Amazon’s Teen & Young Adult Contemporary Romance Best Sellers List in several countries. Truths and Dares held the #1 position on Amazon’s Best Sellers in Teen & Young Adult Contemporary Romance eBooks in the UK.

If she’s not writing, or spending time with her boys, she’s most likely reading

Find Amity on Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Giveaway ends 1/31/15 at 11:59 pm EST
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100% Plant Based Konjac Sponge Infused with French Green Clay {Product Review}

* I received a free sample of the Konjac Sponge Infused with French Green Clay in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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The 100% Plant Based Konjac Sponge Infused with French Green Clay is 100% NATURAL, ECO-FRIENDLY and BIODEGRADEABLE, and is a great beauty sponge to add to your beauty regime.

As I have aged, my skin hasn’t exactly improved.  I’m actually more prone to having bouts of acne and blackheads than I did as a teenager.  Not to mention some of the anti-aging products can make my pores feel clogged after a bit.  An exfoliation routine is super important for me, but many of the products with chemical exfoliators are too harsh for my super sensitive skin – so I often have a bit of a dilemma on my hands!

This beauty sponge contains Konjac fiber, which is is grown on the pristine volcanic plains of Jeju Island in South Korea, free from chemicals, pollution and irritants.

When you open the sponge and get it wet, it soaks the water right up and just about doubles in size – it starts out quite hard.  However, once it is wet it is very soft and glides over your skin.  It gently exfoliates, cleanses, and is naturally pH balanced.  This is the perfect exfoliator for me – it is soft but still exfoliates – and the price can’t be beat, unlike expensive electronic gadgets.  

My favorite feature of the Konjac sponge is its shape – the tear drop is PERFECT for getting into the blackhead ridden creases around my nose! And the other best part is that the sponge is:

-Free From Chemicals, Pollution and Irritants

-100% Biodegradable and Sustainable (You can even plant it in your flowerbed or compost when you want to retire it)

-Not Tested on Animals, and Vegan Friendly

-Has NO Added Dyes or Colorants

PERFECT!  I am always trying to add more natural products into my routine, and the 100% Plant Based Konjac Sponge Infused with French Green Clay definitely fits the bill!

You can purchase the 100% Plant Based Konjac Sponge Infused with French Green Clay  on Amazon for only $10!

$10 Paypal FLASH GIVEAWAY! Today Only!

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It’s almost the weekend and it’s time to celebrate!  Enter below for a quick FLASH giveway – but it’s only for today so get all the entries you can!!

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How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots {Book Review}

* Disclaimer: I received How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots from BookLook Bloggers for this review. All opinions are my own.

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About the Book

How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots by Ron Bates is a great book for middle school students.  It follows the story of Howard Boward, who is a bona fide science genius.  The victim of bullies, Howard often has a rough time of it, but Howard is super excited when he hears about an upcoming robot-building contest.  He decides to use a secret weapon:  a secret goo that makes his cardboard robot move.  Unfortunately, the secret good backfires and the robot turns into a replicating, evil monster, and it’s up to Howard to save the day.

My Review

This is a fun little book that I think is best suited for middle-aged boys – my daughter is in middle school and wasn’t super interested but I think this would definitely appeal to boys the same age.  It is a Christian novel, but the religion aspect isn’t overdone and doesn’t take away from the story at all.  A big part of the book that I liked is the interaction and dealing with bullies, which is obviously a huge hot topic.

Howard isn’t necessarily nice at the beginning of the book, but he does learn the value of helping others, hard work, and not getting even with bullies towards the middle/to the end of the book.  So I think there are definitely some good messages coming from this book if readers stick with it.  It is very appropriate and I would not hesitate to give it to any middle schooler!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Supermarket Healthy: Great for Your Body and Your Budget {Book Review}

* Disclaimer: I received the Supermarket Healthy cookbook from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.

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About Supermarket Healthy

Food Network star and New York Times bestselling author Melissa d’Arabian proves that healthy eating at home is easy, achievable, and affordable.

Everyone wants to feel good about what they are eating, serving guests, and feeding their families, but most of us don’t do our weekly shopping at pricey specialty stores– we do it at the local supermarket and we don’t want it to break the bank. In her second book, Melissa demystifies the task of preparing nutritious and delicious food by showing exactly how you can make your grocery store work for you. She offers helpful strategies for shopping, cooking, and entertaining, as well as meal blueprints and nutritional information throughout. This book will make you confident about the food you’re buying, preparing, and eating. Delicious recipes like Almond Waffles with Raspberry-Basil SauceKale and White Bean Caesar Salad in a JarSlow-Roasted Tomato SpaghettiniFlatiron Steaks with Quick Cauliflower Kimchi, and Flourless Fudgy Dream Cookies have something for every type of eater at every meal of the day. No matter your favorite flavors or dietary needs, cooking on a budget is empowering– and now you can learn how to make every bite count. If cooking at home is the key to healthy living, Supermarket Healthy is the only tool you’ll need.

My Review

There’s nothing I enjoy more than spending an afternoon in the kitchen, surrounded by unusual ingredients, making a fabulous new dish for my husband and kids.  However, this often isn’t practical, especially in the week, since our work and school schedules are often bananas.  And while my foodie children would love to have seared scallops or roasted duck breast at every meal, the bottom line on our budget just won’t allow that.  Add in a desire to buy exclusively organic, non-GMO food for my family and you have quite the conundrum.  Planning affordable, healthy meals isn’t always easy, especially since there isn’t a gourmet or high-end grocery store (I pray for Whole Foods) anywhere near me.

If this sounds like you, you have to check out Supermarket Healthy, a new cookbook by Food Network star Melissa D’Arabian.  First of all, I feel like Melissa, who has four children, understands planning family meals on a budget, with economical but still healthy ingredients.  One of the things that I love most about this cookbook is that it has ingredients that I can find at the grocery store.  Without hunting or ordering anything on the internet.  This is real food, that is tasty, and quick and simply to prepare.

I actually put Supermarket Healthy to the test the first night I received it.  My husband was supposed to put a recipe into the crock pot before leaving for work, but forgot.  So I was stuck with some chicken breasts and no dinner for myself and the girls.  I turned to the chicken section and looked for a recipe – I quickly found a recipe for Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken – I had EVERY ingredient in my pantry, except for whole wheat breadcrumbs, which I don’t usually have because many breadcrumbs have dairy (my daughter has a dairy allergy). However, I did have panko and many of the recipes are designed as a “blueprint” meaning that you can easily sub ingredients.  This recipe claimed to be a healthier version of fried chicken – and WAS IT EVER.  The chicken breasts were tender and moist, and the sauce doubled as a dipping sauce.  The panko made it super crunch and yummy, and frankly, we loved it even MORE than fried chicken.  That’s saying a lot, but without a doubt Supermarket Healthy delivered on its first try!

So if you are a working mom and need quick, healthy recipes that taste amazing and have real-life easy to find ingredients, Supermarket Healthy is for you!

Bella Spill-Proof Dog Mats {Product Review}

* I received a free Bella mat for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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If you have pups like I do, you know that your fur babies can be as big of a mess as your human kiddos.  So I was super excited to try out the Bella Spill Proof Dog Mat.

The Bella Spill Proof Dog Mat comes in an adorable bone shape and sits under your dogs’ food and water bowls.  I have the small mat and my dog’s full sized bowls easily fit inside of the mat.  My dog is pretty sensitive and she refused to eat her food in the kitchen – it took a while but she finally will eat on our hard word floors.  So it makes it even more important that we prevent spills and splashes – or else our hard wood will be ruined.  Before we got a Bella® Spill-Proof Dog Mat, we were constantly wiping up spills and sloshes with a towel, and food would scatter all over the place when she would eat.

One of the best things about the Bella Spill Proof Dog Mat is that it is slip resistant- it has little rubber feet so Sunny can’t push the mat across the floor.  It stays in place and catches any food pieces that she drops.  It makes clean up as simple as dumping the mat rather than sweeping the whole floor.  And it cleans really easy no matter how big the mess – I just rinse if off in the sink.  Also, I don’t worry about Sunny eating directly off the mat, since it is non-toxic and BPA free.

So if you have a messy eater or need to protect your floors, I highly recommend that you check out a Bella Spill Proof Dog mat!

M9B Friday Reveal Blitz: 2014 M9B Books you may have Missed with Giveaway

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Hello everyone! Welcome to Month9Books 2014 Books you may have Missed Blitz!

Check out all M9B 2014 titles below and enter for a chance to win 1 of 3 prize packs of eBooks! International

Click on the cover for book information.

 

 

Tantrum Titles

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(3) winners will receive eBook prize packs of 5 Month9Books of your choice! International