Monday, December 22, 2014

Album Review: Miss Gabby - Care, Share, Groove

Artist: Miss Gabby
Album: Care Share Groove
Reviewer: Andrea Guy

Miss Gabby looks like any kid's idea of the perfect babysitter. Care Share Groove is her debut album, and it is bound to delight both kids and parents.

Her songs are are full of energy and fun. They make you feel good and they will educate the little ones in your life, without them even knowing. All ten songs on Care Share Groove were penned by Miss Gabby. The topics of the songs range from animals to manners to eating habits.  The songs are short and catchy, most clock in right around two minutes.

“Let's Sing a Song” opens the album. It is a delightful pop tune for all ages. The lyrics “Let's sing a song that is easy to sing, with a catchy chorus and a melody,” sum up this song perfect. One listen, and you'll be singing this one all the time.

“Clean Up” is a song about that thing we all hate doing, cleaning up after ourselves. The style of the song is pure 60s guitar pop. The guitar riffs are playful and the chorus is silly and catchy. The song is so fun that it might even make everyone clean up their own messes.

Miss Gabby has a light, youthful voice that is full of sweetness. It is easy to listen to her sing because she doesn't go all cutesy. Her style is folk pop for kids.

The only time she really ventures into the realm of silly is on “Furry Friends” which feels like a song taken straight from a kids TV show. The song is a trip to the zoo, complete with some great sound effects.

Miss Gabby teaches us a thing or two about manners on “Manners.” She makes saying please and thank you, as well as excuse me something that is done with ease and is likely fun.

One of the songs that really stands out is “Grumpy Day.” It is one part pop and one part blues. It pretty much sums up how every child gets, heck, how everyone feels now and then.

Miss Gabby goes calypso on “Down at the Beach” a fun little song that reminds you to put on the sunscreen.

“Love No Matter What, My Friends” is a hippy folk song. This is another song that can step away from the genre of children's music. Its an acoustic ballad, that reminds us to love and accept each other. The message of this song comes across loud and clear.  This short little tune packs a social punch that everyone should hear, and it does it without coming across as preachy, well not all the time.

Touching and coughing and germs, oh my. That's the topic of “Wash My Hands.” This is probably the only time that Miss Gabby comes across as preachy, though all in the name of good health and hygeiene.

“Fruit and Veggies” is a dance-y, silly bit of fun. Most of the lyrics are Miss Gabby singing fruit and veggies, but the arrangement is wild and crazy. It may not make you want to eat your vegetables but it may make you want to sing about them.

Miss Gabby knows her way around a song. She has a playful style that is fun to listen to and though her songs are geared to the younger crowd, she doesn't sing down to her audience. The music is enjoyable and if the kids learn something as a result, that's an added bonus.

Care Share Groove is a great addition to any child's music collection. Miss Gabby mixes music and learning in a way that is fun for all that are listening.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Little Holiday Magic

If you want to hear something beautiful, I suggest giving Pentatonix's version of Mary, Did You Know a listen.

It isn't often that I can say a song is like a religious experience, but this version of this song is just that.

A full review of their holiday album will be forthcoming

Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Blast and Review: Mistletoe Wedding

Mistletoe Wedding
by Melissa McClone

ONLY 99¢ ON KINDLE DEC. 5 – 9, 2014
Mistletoe Wedding

Event planner at the Bar V5 Dude Ranch, Meg Redstone is dreaming of a white Christmas with twinkling lights, sparkly decorations and strategically placed mistletoe. She loves making dreams come true for others, whether planning a holiday wedding or giving her young daughter the best Christmas ever.

Ranch foreman Tyler Murphy loves the holidays, but his newest employee has taken over his barn with her over-the-top decorations. He admires Meg’s desire to give her daughter the perfect Christmas while planning a winter wonderland wedding, but he wants to show her that a Montana Christmas is more than glitter and lights.

After raising his younger sister, an instant family is not on Ty's Christmas wish list. But he finds himself falling hard for the single mom and her little girl. Meg, however, is not interested in a romance with a cowboy like Ty, or any man. Getting her under the mistletoe is going to take a Christmas miracle . . . or a little help from Santa.



Her gaze kept straying back to the man walking next to her.

And she knew with pulse-pounding certainty.

All the rationalizations of why romantic feelings didn’t matter and why she was better off alone than in a relationship disappeared like a snowflake being caught on a tongue. They mattered, and she wanted those things badly.

With Ty.

She hadn’t meant to fall for him, but she had. Hard.

A shiver raced down her spine. The realization was unexpected, scary.

He shot her a sideways glance, which she knew because she couldn’t drag her attention off him. “You, okay?”

“Just thinking.” Of course, he would sense something was up. That was part of his appeal. He got her. The way he understood her daughter, too. If there was one man out there who was what she needed and Brooklyn needed, that was Ty Murphy.

Feelings and desires long buried rose to the surface. She was ready to stop saying she didn’t want more, want him.

“Know what you want?” he asked.

Meg swallowed around the lump in her throat. “Excuse me.”

“What chocolates you’re going to get?”

She sighed with relief. She thought he’d read her mind. “Salted caramels for the guys. I’ll have to see what Sage has in the display case before I decide what I want.”

Besides him.

“You can have more than one,” Ty said.

“I might want only one.”

“It’s Christmas. Don’t be so cautious. Live it up.”

If only she knew where he stood . . . Dare she ask?


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa McClone worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! Since then, she has published over thirty romance novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group. She’s also been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities. She also sends care packages to deployed service members and fosters cats through a local no-kill animal shelter. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

Twitter: @melissamcclone

Buy links:

Mistletoe Magic


Mistletoe Magic is FREE on Smashwords:

Kiss Me, Cowboy

Mistletoe Wedding

Review: I'm always a sucker for holiday romances, and this was such a sweet story. Meg and Ty both fight their attraction for different reasons, but that attraction is definitely there. Then there's Meg's daughter, Brooklyn. She's absolutely adorable, and she steals all the scenes that she's in. At times she sounds much older than her 6 years, but she is precious.

I love the ranch setting especially for a holiday romance. Melissa really brings the setting to life. You can picture all the lights on the barns as you read. Any time I read a book like this, I want to be there and this story wasn't any different. Plus I probably could help Meg learn how to cook. Why are so many heroines so inept in the kitchen these days?

Stories like this always make me wish they were a little bit longer. I would have really would have liked to know more about Meg's first husband and how he came to be such a jerk about children and even more so I would have liked to sort out what really happened with Brooklyn at the end of the story.

This was a perfect Christmas story. It was festive, fun and made me long for more.

Rating: 5 stars

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Goddess Fish Book Promotions Book Review: Emma Blooms At Last with guest post

Naomi King is stopping by today to talk about her dream home, and I'm reviewing her latest book Emma Blooms at Last.

Can you describe your dream home?

            I live in it! When we moved to Minnesota a few years ago, we bought a town home that needed a total update, so I had the rare opportunity to have a place stripped down to the bare walls and subflooring and to create the kind of haven where our family antiques look their best and where we enjoy spending our time.

            We did a major makeover in the kitchen: new cherry cabinets, granite countertops, and we replaced a worn-out dishwasher and cooktop. We kept the original Subzero fridge, however, because even though it’s 30 years old, the repair guy thought we could get another 10 or 15 years out of it. The contractor covered its dated beige exterior with a wooden facade that matches the cabinets. He also ditched the corner cabinet lazy susan for full extension drawers that make much better use of that space.

            In the rest of the house, we got rid of all the wallpaper and three entire walls of smoked glass mirrors (one of those was in the hall bathroom. Imagine watching yourself go!). Now most of the walls are shades of adobe and copper pot, with a few deep red accent walls. This past spring our contractor came back and redid the main bathrooms, so we now have ceramic tile partway up the walls, and tile floors that match new tile in the entryway.

            We chose a town home with a yard out the back door for our dog, only 10 minutes from the airport and about 15 minutes from downtown where Neal works. From my office window I can watch the guys who mow our yard, shovel our snow, and blow the leaves. That alone makes our wonderful new home ideal!

Emma Blooms at Last
by Naomi King



Romance is in the air during the fall wedding season in the Amish community of Cedar Creek. But while one loving couple prepares to tie the knot, Amanda and Wyman Brubaker’s large family faces a threat from outside their happy circle…and must learn to pull together.

Recently wed Amanda and Wyman Brubaker are thrilled that their children from previous marriages have blended together to form a strong family. But when the construction of Wyman’s new grain elevator is delayed, making the project more expensive than anticipated, Amanda’s determination to rally the kids into taking on work to improve the family’s finances comes into conflict with Wyman’s sense of responsibility as head of the household….

Meanwhile, as James Graber and Abby Lambright prepare for their long-awaited nuptials, folks gather from far and wide. Amanda’s nephew Jerome has long been smitten with James’s sister Emma and wants to seize this chance to woo her. But Emma’s been burned once and is twice shy of trusting the fun-loving, never-serious Jerome. As Emma and Jerome struggle to understand each other, and find the courage to make a leap of faith, the Brubakers face a bigger challenge than they first anticipated and begin to discover just what it means to fight…the Amish way.



“It’s been way too long since I hitched up a sleigh,” Jerome said as he lightly clapped the reins on Sparky’s back. “I don’t think this one’s seen the snow since Uncle Atlee passed, and that’s a shame. Are you warm enough?”
Emma burrowed deeper beneath the quilts Jerome had draped over them. Now that she was settled on the plush old seat, leaning into Jerome as the sleigh tilted slightly on the downhill lane, she felt happier than she had in a long time. The full moon was beaming down from a blue velvet sky dotted with diamond stars, making the snow-blanketed pastures glimmer all around them.
“I’m cozy. And I’m having a really gut time,” Emma replied with a contented sigh. “Night rides are the prettiest, especially now that the wind has died down.”
“Jah, it’s a perfect evening,” Jerome replied softly. “I’ve been hoping for more time alone with you, well—since the day we went shopping, Emma.”
As she thought back to that day she’d spent trying to escape Jerome’s attentions, Emma let herself relax . . . allowed the breeze from the accelerating sleigh blow away her former objections to the handsome man who was driving it. The clip-clop of Sparky’s hooves on the snow-packed road settled her heartbeat into its rhythm while the warmth they shared beneath the quilts soothed her after a day of surprising guests and revelations. “Denki for giving me another chance, Jerome,” she murmured. “You were right at the wedding. I’ve missed out on a lot of opportunities to go out and have fun.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Drawing upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi, longtime Missourian Naomi King writes of simpler times and a faith-based lifestyle in her Home at Cedar Creek/One Big Happy Family series. Like her series heroine, Abby Lambright, Naomi considers it her personal mission to be a listener—to heal broken hearts and wounded souls—and to share her hearth and home. Faith and family, farming and frugality are hallmarks of her lifestyle: like Abby, she made her wedding dress and the one her mom wore, too! She’s a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and when she’s not writing, Naomi loves to travel, try new recipes, crochet, and sew. Naomi, whose real name is Charlotte Hubbard, now lives in Minnesota with her husband and their border collie, Ramona.

One Big Happy Family, Book 2
NAL Trade (November 4, 2014)
ISBN-13: 9780451417886 •• ISBN-10: 0451417887

Buy Links:


 Review: First, let me say I love Amish fiction and Amish romance even more. This is the second book in the One Big Happy Family series. It is part of a series, but not to worry, this book can be read as a stand alone novel.

I have to say that Naomi is now one of my favorite writers in this genre. She brings the many characters to life in such a way that you feel you are watching through the window.

Its a novel of family, big family, and the hardships they face as well as their faith.  Amanda and Wyatt face some financial hardships, while Emma's family are dealing with a heartbreaking loss, while she is discovering love for the first time.

I was really drawn to the characters, all of them! I especially loved Emma's father Merle. He was a sweetie and he made me think of my own father quite a bit.

Jerome was lovable too and his courtship with Emma was sweet and heartwarming. (And not at all easy)

Through the two families, you see growth through change. Jerome and Emma brought out good things in each other and Amanda and Wyatt's family proved that a family that can work together can pull through just about anything.

This is the type of book that you curl up with on a lazy afternoon and you don't move until the last page is turned.

Rating: 5 stars