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Archive for the ‘4 Star Books’ Category

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Building a Better World in Your Backyard by Paul Wheaton

Luxuriant Environmentalism

Make a huge, positive, global difference from your own home! Prioritize comfort over sacrifice while saving thousands of dollars. Explore dozens of solutions and their impacts on carbon footprint, petroleum footprint, toxic footprint, and other environmental issues.

If 20% of the population implemented half the solutions in this book, it would solve the biggest global problems. All without writing to politicians, joining protests, signing petitions, or being angry at the people that are causing the problems.

Good solutions are often different from conventional environmental wisdom. The average American adult has a carbon footprint of 30 tons per year. Replacing a petroleum car with an electric car will cut 2 tons. But if you live in a cold climate and you switch from electric heat to a rocket mass heater, you will cut 27 tons!

Join Paul and Shawn on a journey featuring simple alternatives that you may have never heard of — alternatives which are about building a more symbiotic relationship with nature so we can all be even lazier.

Nurture nature and nature nurtures us all.

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Photo of Paul Wheaton

About the Author

Paul Wheaton is the tyrannical dictator of Permies.com, the largest permaculture forum on the web. As a certified master gardener and permaculture designer, he’s built an empire around what he calls, ‘infecting brains with permaculture’. His forums are full of rich information, and there are a number of great free resources, guides, and articles that can be found on his sister site, Richsoil.com as well. Most recently, he has worked with rocket mass heater experts Ernie and Erica in developing a 4 DVD set on all things rocket science, and has built a following around his World Domination Gardening DVDs, which detail how to use hugelkultur, swales, and natural ponds to capture and utilize water without irrigation. His recent work with natural buildings based on Mike Oehler’s designs have resulted in the creation of the Wofati, a semi underground natural home design. Currently, Paul continues to run his internet empire, and is now offering several opportunities for people to learn and experience permaculture at his property in western Montana, where he offers PDCs, workshops, living arrangements, and even resort stays.

Website

My Review

4 stars

Do you find yourself worrying about our world and the damage that humans are causing? Do you want to cut your own carbon footprint? What about heating your house in the most effective way? If you are looking for ideas to get you started you are in the correct place.

This book is a collection of blog posts and such that give great advice on decreasing your carbon footprint in a smart way. Recycling, reducing, and being smart about your actions can clean up so much of this world. I liked the example that Paul gave of people driving their SUV’s to protest the pipeline. There are plenty of suggestions on how to change the world.

I will be honest and say that I thought this book would have more guides on what exactly to do but that is not how it is outlined. It gives many examples of how little changes can make a big difference. Its not what I expected but still a great guide.

If you are looking for ideas on how to change your carbon footprint you need to check out this book. It has some great idea and many resources for further reference. It’s definitely a book to add to everyone’s shelves.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Sherri Rosen Publicity for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Brittle’s Academy

50411943. sx318 Brittle’s Academy for the Magically Unstable by Lily Mae Walters

It’s Charlie’s first day at high school, his blazer is too big and his shoes are too small, but that’s the least of his worries. He’s been missed off the class lists and is now enrolled in a new school called Brittle’s Academy with a magical and mysterious head teacher. But to stay at Brittle’s Charlie must pass one of the tests…otherwise he’ll be sent to Oblivion!

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About the Author

Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honor of her beloved Grandparents who also star in the Josie James series.

She is married with two teenage children and two Huskies who are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.

Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local places and even her old school in her stories.

Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series.

Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling.

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My Review

4 Stars

Its Charlie’s first day of high school. But when they are done sorting the kids there are at least 15 that don’t have a class. In comes Professor Brittle with a new adventure for the kids. Professor Brittle runs the Brittle Academy for the Magically Unstable. Charlie finds himself with several kids from other schools that are tested to find what group they will be in.

This is a wonderful short read that will surely please mid grade readers and adults alike. This is a short read about Charlie’s first day and finding out what class he will be in. I loved this introduction to this world and hope that there are more books to come.

I recommend checking out this wonderful read. Those that like Harry Potter will be as captivated with this new world as I was.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Daylight’s Deadly Kiss (Blood Riders Book Two) by Jay Raven

In 19th century Europe the most deadly vampire-killing weapon ever devised is up for grabs – and both the Undead and the living will stop at nothing to possess it…   

It’s a legend, a fairy story parents tell frightened children to make them sleep. Basium Lucis – Daylight’s Kiss – the fabled compound that recreates sunlight in a bottle, and incinerates bloodsucking monsters on contact.

Vampire hunter Anton Yoska doesn’t believe in its existence or the whispered rumours of its creation by Leonardo Da Vinci 250 years before.

But when a mysterious Hungarian arts dealer claims to have uncovered the long-lost formula, Anton’s cynicism is shaken to the core as he is tasked to procure the pyrotechnic marvel for the Vatican’s centuries-old battle with the vampire sect known as the Brethren.

In a desperate race to beat nosferatu forces intent on destroying the wonder weapon, and cold-blooded gangsters who desire the Alchemist’s most prized invention for their own aggrandisement and riches, Anton is caught in a maelstrom of double dealing and lies..

Traps loom at every turn, and nothing is what it appears, but acquiring the Basium Lucis is the least of the his problems  – for the ferocious Modjeski vampire family want retribution for his slaughter of their clan chief a year before. And old flame and rival slayer, Nadia, has her own devious plans to thwart Anton’s quest.

As time runs out and predators circle, the beleaguered hunter realises he’s been tricked into a suicide mission. But Anton Yoska won’t go down without a fight – and he doesn’t care who he takes to Hell with him.

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Godreads

Author Bio

Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.

If you would like to be informed of new releases, enjoy free short stories and access exclusive giveways and competitions, please subscribe to Jay’s monthly newsletter on his website at http://www.jayraven.com

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My Review

4 stars

Anton Yoska is a vampire hunter that is barely scraping by with his little group of the dwarf Quintz, helper Toby, and Samson the bear. They accept an odd job that leads them to the crowned prince Leopold. Supposedly Leonardo created a formula that is sunlight in a bottle. The Vatican wants Anton to find the formula for them.

But Anton is not the only one hunting it, someone from his past is looking for the formula and is willing to betray him for it. Also, the Modjeski vampire clan is out for blood after they lost their leader the year prior to Anton. Although Anton knows the odds are stacked against him but he is willing to put up one heck of a fight.

I admit that I have not read the first book but it didn’t take me long to get the idea of what was going on. I’m sure if I would have read Crimson Siege I could relate more to the characters. I did like the group and was cheering them on although I wondered about Anton having been half turned.

I liked this story. There was a lot of action and some gore, which is to be expected. I really want to go back and read the first book to catch up on what I missed. I think this is a good read and I would be interested in reading the next book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Harry Potter Crochet Kit by Lucy Collin

Create adorable yarn figures of “the boy who lived” and his friends with a 76-page instruction book featuring step-by-step instructions to make 12 amigurumi dolls, including Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dobby, Hagrid, Dumbledore, Snape, Hedwig, Voldemort, McGonagall, Ginny, the Sorting Hat, Norbert the Dragon and other fun fan favorites All the materials you need to make Harry Potter and Dobby (with his sock!) are included: yarn, stuffing, needle and thread, safety eye beads, and a special crochet hook shaped like Harry’s wand. Full-color photos will ensure your projects turn out completely enchanting.

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About the Author

Lucy Collin learned to crochet as a child, taught by her grandmother. But it wasn’t until she had children of her own and discovered she could use her slightly rusty crochet skills to create amigurumi characters and cute toys that her obsession was born. Nine years later, Lucy has combined her passion for designing creatures and characters with her love of science fiction and fantasy. She has published patterns in magazines such as Inside Crochet and Crochet Gifts and created the patterns for the book Hollywood Crochet. Lucy Collin lives in West Sussex, England.

Website

My Review

4 stars

This is a cute little crochet kit that lets you make two of the Harry Potter characters. The book in the kit gives great instructions on how to crochet and gives you patterns to make fourteen Harry Potter characters. The kit contains the materials to make Harry and Dobby.

The book gives great instructions on how to crochet although it might seem difficult for beginners. There is no real direction with how to end a row. Do you keep crocheting around or join the rows?

I have two complaints about this kit, the wand crochet hook was difficult to use for me so I ended up using one of my aluminum hooks. I also had one heck of a time working with the yarn, especially to longer colors.

Over all this is a really good kit. It might be changing for new crocheters but you have some wonderful patterns to make. I will admit that my complaints are very minor and stem from my personal preference when I crochet. But I recommend checking out the kit is you like Harry Potter or if you like crocheting little figures.

I would like to thank Medial Masters Publicity for the opportunity to read, create, and share this kit.

I would like to thank Media Masters Publicity for the opportunity to read, create, and share this kit.

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Reset

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Reset (The Obsolescence Trilogy – 3) by Chris Muhlenfeld

Humanity teeters on the edge…

…One wrong move could mean extinction.

James is lost in the desert, and may never find his way back. While his friends go on a desperate search to find him, the planet continues to unravel. Will they find him before it’s too late?

Humanity’s next great leap in evolution is starting to look like the trap that Alexa had always suspected it was.

A frantic escalation of action drags the world unwillingly to a mind-bending climax that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Will anyone survive obsolescence? Grab your copy now.

RESET is the final book in The Obsolescence Trilogy. Plausible, near-future sci-fi that’s full of rich, insightful characters and compelling ideas. Make time now because you’ll be hooked instantly once you start reading this thrilling page-turner. Get it now.

Amazon     Audible     Goodreads

About the Author

Chris writes science fiction, and although he’s tried several times to write non-sci-fi books and stories, somehow a wormhole always seems to open up and the story veers off into sci-fi land. He’s loved sci-fi since he was a kid. Some of his favorite sci-fi authors are Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Neal Stephenson, Douglas Adams, Phillip K. Dick, and George Orwell.

While he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, hiking, exploring, traveling, and sending long, rambling emails to the ten people left on the planet who still use long-form written communication. You can write to him, and he’ll write back to you. It’ll be fun. For now, though, you should probably go read one of his books. Yes, you should definitely do that.

If you asked him, he wouldn’t be able to explain why he wrote this author biography in the third person. Chris only refers to himself in the third person in his author profiles. He thinks that to do so on a regular basis would be an open invitation to any number of personality disorders. While he may be a little bit weird, he has yet to be diagnosed with a personality disorder, and he hopes to keep it that way. To that end, he will cease and desist from writing about himself in the third person at the end of this profile.

To learn more about Chris, his books, and his general (though not pathological) weirdness, check out his website at Here.

My Review

4 stars

We have finally come to the end of the series. James’ upgraded has short circuited and he is wrapped up in a Hope Indian legend. Just as Alexa and their friends help him they learn that Eve’s versions are insane and that she has a plan to reset everything and bring James’ upgrades back on line. James is so wrapped up in how important the upgrades are he is off to help Eve.

Logan is a wreck with Monica terrorizing him and threatening to show the video to Mia and Grace. He wants to get out of New Chicago with everything malfunctioning yet is kept firmly in place with Monica. But the truth is going to come out and there is going to be one chance to get back to the real world.

Well we have come a long way from the collapse of the world to a crazy AI trying to kill mankind. James has become more robot than human and is so focused on getting his upgrades to work that he can’t see those around him.

Logan has become a sniveling man so worried about breaking Mia and Grace’s hearts that he has lost sight of the big picture. I do understand the position he is in but I admit that I was getting tired of his going around and around and it started to take away from the story.

Besides that, this is a great ending to the series. I really didn’t expect what was happening at the end and thought that was a great twist. Price Waldman does an excellent job narrating this story and keeping me interested.

If you love the dystopian/apocalyptic stories like me I think you will enjoy this series. Just make sure to read them in order because the next book jumps right into when the prior one ends.

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook. I voluntarily chose to listen to and post an honest review.

I would like to thank The Audiobookworm for the opportunity to listen to and share this book.

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Upgrade

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Upgrade (The Obsolescence Trilogy – 2) by Chris Muhlenfeld

Gigadeaths. Super-intelligence. Upgrades.

In book two of The Obsolescence Trilogy, James, Alexa, and the rest of the survivors are coming to terms with the dizzying new reality that they’ve been forced to live in. They soon discover that everyone still alive must face a seemingly impossible choice: either betray their very humanity to survive or watch civilization retreat into a stone age before dwindling out of existence altogether.

Set in the near future, Upgrade is the second book in The Obsolescence Trilogy. Plausible, fast-paced and full of rich, insightful characters, this sci-fi thriller will keep you up well past your bedtime!

Continue your journey through the world of obsolescence today!

Amazon     Audible     Goodreads

About the Author

Chris writes science fiction, and although he’s tried several times to write non-sci-fi books and stories, somehow a wormhole always seems to open up and the story veers off into sci-fi land. He’s loved sci-fi since he was a kid. Some of his favorite sci-fi authors are Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Neal Stephenson, Douglas Adams, Phillip K. Dick, and George Orwell.

While he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, hiking, exploring, traveling, and sending long, rambling emails to the ten people left on the planet who still use long-form written communication. You can write to him, and he’ll write back to you. It’ll be fun. For now, though, you should probably go read one of his books. Yes, you should definitely do that.

If you asked him, he wouldn’t be able to explain why he wrote this author biography in the third person. Chris only refers to himself in the third person in his author profiles. He thinks that to do so on a regular basis would be an open invitation to any number of personality disorders. While he may be a little bit weird, he has yet to be diagnosed with a personality disorder, and he hopes to keep it that way. To that end, he will cease and desist from writing about himself in the third person at the end of this profile.

To learn more about Chris, his books, and his general (though not pathological) weirdness, check out his website at Here.

My Review

4 stars

It is official, Eve is a super computer that took matters into her own hands to save humanity. She is unfortunate about those that died but she understands that there will be casualties. She is essentially in control of everything and is planning on upgrading humans so they will be able to interact and live peacefully with her in this new world.

Logan, Mia, and Grace have adjusted to living in New Chicago. It’s still creepy all the advanced technology but they have no choice since they have been told that there was a nuclear war above ground and they can’t leave the shelter. But some people, the tin foil had club, don’t believe everything they are told and want the truth and someone is willing to punish and blackmail members to keep them quiet and the city peaceful.

James and Alexa have learned that Eve wants to inject nanites into humans to give them upgrades to help them mesh with her world. James decides to bite the bullet and get the upgrades. At first things are shocking and disjointed but he is clearing upgraded and very excited for being an advanced person. But not everything agrees with him.

All I will say was that I was completely correct on the cause of the Crash. Of course I could see where this book was going to go but I was thrown a loop when there are different versions of Eve that don’t seem so peaceful.

Once again Price Waldman does an amazing job narrating this story. I really got into it more than Crash and was left wanting more at the end. I’m just happy that I have the third book to hop into right away. I recommend checking out this series but make sure you read them in order.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to listen to and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Audiobookworm for the opportunity to listen to and share this book.

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Crash

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Crash (The Obsolescence Trilogy – 1) by Chris Muhlenfeld

And then it went dark…

…the world’s electrical grid was gone.

Who would survive the chaos?

For James and Alexa, they saw it unfold from their ranch, which was a blessing. They were away from the chaos, and they thought they were safe. They thought wrong.

What will they do?

All across the country cities are in crisis.

Logan and his family look out from their Manhattan penthouse. The world is crumbling before their eyes. Unprepared, he’s got to do something. They can’t stay. But how can they leave and where will they go?

Someone has a solution.

It’s Logan’s domestic android.

Can he believe a machine?

The twists and turns may leave you dizzy, but you’ll love the adventure.

Get it now.

Amazon     Audible     Goodreads

About the Author

Chris writes science fiction, and although he’s tried several times to write non-sci-fi books and stories, somehow a wormhole always seems to open up and the story veers off into sci-fi land. He’s loved sci-fi since he was a kid. Some of his favorite sci-fi authors are Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Neal Stephenson, Douglas Adams, Phillip K. Dick, and George Orwell.

While he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, hiking, exploring, traveling, and sending long, rambling emails to the ten people left on the planet who still use long-form written communication. You can write to him, and he’ll write back to you. It’ll be fun. For now, though, you should probably go read one of his books. Yes, you should definitely do that.

If you asked him, he wouldn’t be able to explain why he wrote this author biography in the third person. Chris only refers to himself in the third person in his author profiles. He thinks that to do so on a regular basis would be an open invitation to any number of personality disorders. While he may be a little bit weird, he has yet to be diagnosed with a personality disorder, and he hopes to keep it that way. To that end, he will cease and desist from writing about himself in the third person at the end of this profile.

To learn more about Chris, his books, and his general (though not pathological) weirdness, check out his website Here.

 

My Review

4 stars

Some years from now, in a world with neuroderms, bots, food assemblers, something has gone wrong. Ian and Jess are on a plane that is redirected to land and as soon as the people are off a load of robots fill up the plane and take off. Nothing is connecting to the web and nothing is working. Ian takes Jess under his wing and tries to get her home to her parents.

Logan, Mia, and Grace are shepherded from their apartment to a secret underground bunker then to New Chicago. A world of strange material, everything is automatically provided for them and not wasted. But something is wrong with this new city, the story of a nuclear war doesn’t sound right, and Logan can’t help but try to get his family safe.

James and Alexa are on his ranch in the forties when things go wrong. They have managed to stock up and have neighbors that are similarly minded. Strange reports are coming in from around the world and everyone is worried about whatever caused the crash.

This was a really good start to the series. It seems humans have become very dependent on technology. When something happens some turn evil and many people die. It’s interesting to follow along with the different groups. It’s not real surprising what happens if you love dystopian stories like I do.

Price Waldman does an amazing job narrating this book. He had my attention through the whole story even if I become a touch tired of the redundant events. I admit that I guessed what happened but then again I love these kinds of stories. I am really glad that I have the whole series to review because although Crash tended to drag at points I am excited to see what happens next. If you like dystopian stories I think you will like this one. It’s definitely worth checking out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to listen to and post an honest review.

I would like to thank The Audiobookworm for the opportunity to listen to and share this book.

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