Tag Archives: Book Review

Book review: Too Cute Puppies and Too Cute Kittens

If you’re like me, you try to resist watching the Too Cute! series on Animal Planet because well, you might end up getting more cats. (And that is something that I do not need.) However, those adorable kittens and puppies draw me in every time. It also doesn’t help that my mom texts me to remind me when it’s on.

Now you can enjoy viewing a bunch of cute little furry creatures with these Too Cute books, both published by Harlequin Nonfiction in conjunction with Animal Planet.

P1030839Like the show, Too Cute Kittens has pictures of various breeds of kittens, from British Shorthairs to Tabby cats. Some of the kittens are shown with others from their litters, or with their mothers, or even on their own, posing in adorable ways. (Have you noticed a distinct overuse of the word “adorable” in this post thus far?)

It was hard to not to “aw” at every single page, because I have a weakness for kittens, cats, and pictures of the both of them. This should be evident by the number of furry creatures that I’ve adopted/rescued/couldn’t resist feeding over the years.


Too Cute Puppies is equally, well, cute, for lack of a better word. It’s hard to resist a picture that zooms on the nose of a cute little P1030840Dachshund puppy, especially when the next page is a shot of the whole litter of them laying in one big (cute!) pile of fur. Other breeds of puppies featured in the book include Pitt Bulls, Labrador Retrievers and Rottweilers, to name a few.

The books are available now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the Animal Planet website, among other places. They make a great Christmas gift for the animal lovers on your list, although there’s nothing wrong with buying copies for yourself :-).



(Disclaimer: I received copies of these books from a press representative in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.)


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Book review: Beckon by Tom Pawlik

Imagine if an ancient tribe of Native Americans called the N’Watu had gone underground into a cave near the town of Beckon, Wyoming centuries ago. Over time,  they adapted to a cave-dwelling way of life, and remained anonymous until discovered by Jack Kendrick, an anthropologist. While this scenario of evolved cave-dwellers may sound similar to the movie, The Descent, I assure you that it’s not. The plot to Beckon by Tom Pawlik differs quite a bit.

After losing several members of his original group of explorers, Jack is joined by Elina Gutierrez, a police officer looking for her cousin, and George Wilcox, who wants to cure his wife’s Alzheimer’s disease — only to stumble on a drug called Perilium that has more interesting effects. I can’t say much more without revealing the major plot points that drew me to this novel, so I can only recommend that you read it yourself. 🙂

Beckon is fast-paced and the plot unravels well, revealing interesting tidbits a little at a time before the giant reveals that explain everything. The various plots (those of Jack, Elina and George) come together nicely at the end. While I do wish that the back story behind each character was a little more intricate, I do understand that too much background would have interfered with the quick pacing of the action. If you love a good, imaginative suspenseful sci-fi novel, you’ll enjoy Beckon.

Beckon is available at booksellers everywhere, including Amazon.com. If you’d like to know more about the author, check out TomPawlik.com.


(Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. For more information, please check out my disclosure policy.)

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Book review: Side-Yard Superhero by Rick D. Niece

Rick D. Niece grew up in tiny DeGraff, Ohio where he spent years delivering the local Bellefontaine Examiner. Several of the customers on his daily newspaper route influenced his life in a positive way, but none had the same impact as his friend Bernie Jones. At first Niece was afraid of Bernie, since he was in a wheelchair and hard to understand. As time went by, he realized the truth – that Bernie had cerebral palsy and was lonely and in need of a friend. Bernie wasn’t scary at all.

Niece and Bernie had plenty of “adventures” together. They helped a neighbor, Miss Lizzie, pass out pumpkin bread one Halloween while dressed as Superman (Bernie), Lois Lane (Miss Lizzie) and Superman’s alter ego Clark Kent (Niece.) He took Bernie with him to collect on his newspaper accounts, even conquering  Thatcherville Hill with Bernie in his heavy wheelchair. But the best adventure of all took place when the carnival was in town. With the help of two other friends, he got Bernie out of his wheelchair and onto the whirling teacup ride!

Unfortunately, Niece graduated from high school not long afterwards, and fell out of the touch with Bernie through the years despite a promise to come back and visit. Plus, it didn’t help when Niece’s parents moved away from DeGraff while he was in college.

Side-Yard Superhero: Life Lessons from an Unlikely Teacher begins in the present when Niece hears from his mother. She has finally located Bernie in a Lakeview, Ohio nursing home. Using a relative’s wedding as an excuse to travel to Ohio, Niece rekindles his friendship with Bernie, spending an entire day with him. Without giving away the ending, I will say that it brought me to tears.

Although my opinion is slightly biased (I have a friend with cerebral palsy, although not as extreme a case as Bernie’s) I honestly loved this book. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down, and literally devoured it in a day. Although the main story line is Niece’s friendship with Bernie, the other characters in the book, as well as the other situations that occur took me on a time warp to small-town Ohio back when life was simple. The poems sprinkled throughout the book, placed to provide emphasis were excellent, and really enhanced the meaning of each chapter.

Side-Yard Superhero: Life Lessons from an Unlikely Teacher by Rick D. Niece is available through Amazon.com and Five Star Publications. One dollar from every book sold goes to United Cerebral Palsy.


(Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for my unbiased review. For further information, please check out my Disclosure Policy.)

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