Saturday, November 24, 2018

Black Friday Book Blast

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WELCOME TO THE BLACK FRIDAY BLAST! 

Click on any of the below book covers to be taken to the page that has more information on the novel as well as the Buy Links!

Before you leave, don't forget to enter the Giveaway!







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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Review - Lovability by Brian de Haaff

Lovability: How to Build a Business That People Love and Be Happy Doing ItLovability: How to Build a Business That People Love and Be Happy Doing It by Brian de Haaff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
ebook, 272 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Greenleaf Book Group Press

Synopsis:
'Genuine, heartfelt devotion and loyalty from customers — yes, love — is what propels a select few companies ahead. Think about the products and companies that you really care about and how they make you feel. You do not merely likethose products, you adore them.

Consider your own emotions and a key insight is revealed: Love is central to business. Nobody talks about it, but it is obvious in hindsight. 

Lovability: How to Build a Business That People Love and Be Happy Doing It 
shares what Silicon Valley-based author and Aha! CEO Brian de Haaff knows from a career of founding successful technology companies and creating award-winning products. He reveals the secret to the phenomenal growth of Aha! and the engine that powers lasting customer devotion — a set of principles that he pioneered and named The Responsive Method. 

Lovability provides valuable lessons and actionable steps for product and company builders everywhere, including:
•   Why you should rethink everything you know about building a business
•   What a product really is
•   The magic of finding what your customers truly desire
•   How to turn business strategy and product roadmaps into customer love
•   Why you should chase company value, not valuation
•   Surveys to measure your company’s lovability

Brian de Haaff has spent the last 20 years focused on business strategy, product management, and bringing disruptive technologies to market. And in preparation for writing this book, he interviewed well-known startup founders, product managers, executives, and CEOs at hundreds of name brand and agile organizations. Their experiences, along with headline-grabbing case studies (both inspiring successes and cautionary tales), will help readers discover how to build something that matters.

Much has been written about how entrepreneurs build innovative products and successful businesses, but the author's message is original and refreshing. He convincingly explains that there is a better path forward — a people-first way grounded in love. In a business world that has increasingly emphasized hype over substance and get-big-at-any-cost thinking over profitable and sustainable growth, it's time for a new recipe for company success.

​Insightful, thought-provoking, and sometimes controversial, Lovability is the book that you turn to when you know there has to be a better way.'


My Thoughts:
I run my own small business and have done so for the past 8 years so I was very interested to see what this book was about and whether I could pick up any actionable tips on how to better engage with and serve my clients.

Lovability did have some interesting and thought provoking ideas, especially the concept of bringing the emotion of 'love' into the performance metrics of a business. It's not something that you would normally associate with running a business but I can certainly see the benefits of keeping it in mind when engaging with customers and catering to their needs and wants.

Unfortunately this book was very repetitive in some places and I think it could almost have been cut down by almost a third if a lot of the repetition was taken out. Some sections also felt very generic and were points that could be found in practically every other business book out there.

Also, some parts could have been explained in a lot more detail to really show the point being made and to assist the reader with implementation in their own business.

Overall though, this book does give a good basic framework to follow around offering a complete customer experience and in making sure you deliver real value and it may be useful if you're after a new way to measure and view your business other than just from a financial perspective.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Review - The Last Clinic by Gary Gusick

The Last Clinic (Darla Cavannah Mysteries, #1)The Last Clinic by Gary Gusick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
ebook264 pages
Published November 18th 2013 by Alibi
Source: Netgalley

Synopsis:
Outside the local women’s health clinic, the Reverend Jimmy Aldridge waving his protest sign is a familiar sight. But that changes early one morning when someone shoots the beloved Reverend Jimmy dead. Sheriff Shelby Mitchell knows the preacher’s murder will shock the good people of Jackson—and the pressure to find the killer is immediate and intense, which is why Shelby calls in detective Darla Cavannah. 
 
When police detective Darla moved from Philadelphia to Jackson with her husband—hometown football hero Hugh “the Glue” Cavannah—she never imagined the culture shock that awaited. Then after Hugh dies in a car crash, Darla enters a self-imposed exile in her Mississippi home, taking a leave of absence from the sheriff’s department. Now she’s called back to duty—or coerced, more like it, with Shelby slathering on his good-ole-boy charm nice and thick, like on a helping of barbecue.
 
Reluctantly partnered with a mulish Elvis impersonator, Darla keeps a cool head even as the community demands an arrest. The court of public opinion has already convicted the clinic’s doctor, Stephen Nicoletti, but Darla is just as sure he’s not guilty—even as she fights her growing attraction to him. From the genteel suburbs to a raunchy strip club, Darla follows a trail of dirty money and nasty secrets—until the day of judgment comes, and she faces down an ungodly assassin.


My Thoughts:
I found The Last Clinic a little bit slow to start with and the storyline didn't automatically grab me right from the first page. It definitely became more interesting the further I got through it and I am really glad that I persisted and read it to the end.

This book covers the very controversial topic of abortion and women's rights and does so in a really surprising unbiased manner. It doesn't try to swing the reader's opinion either way and I was very impressed with the way the author kept this level of consistency throughout the whole story.

Darla makes a good, strong female lead character who isn't swayed by the pressures or views of those around her. The rest of the characters were all believable as well in my opinion as was the way the town itself was portrayed.

I would definitely read another book by this author and look forward to seeing if these characters are developed further in another story in the future.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Review - Cool Science Experiments for Kids by Sumita Mukherjee


Children’s Learning and Education
Date Published: June, 2017


 With this book all you need to do is gather a few household items and you can recreate dozens of mind-blowing, kid-tested science experiments. Meant for kids between six to ten, it is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step instruction book for children. It introduces kids to the magic of motion, energy, chemistry, art, games, math fun; understanding basic scientific principles and most importantly, having a blast making them. Inside this book you will find projects that bursts, glows, erupts, spins, runs, ticks and more!

There is also a BONUS: A FREE downloadable book on young kid inventors and their inventions. 



My Review
Cool Science Experiments for Kids contains some great school holiday or just general boredom busting activities for kids of the ages 6-10.

Most of the activities in the book contain materials that you would have hanging around the house and each one contains very clear, step by step, instructions with pictures that show each important stage of the making process. For any of the other materials that you don't have on hand, they are all easily obtainable with a little planning beforehand.

I have a 6 year old son who loves building and making things at home and there have been quite a few experiments in this book that he's enjoyed which have been nice and easy for him to do. Most of them can be done unsupervised as well but there are some that are a little bit more technical or use some tricky materials so some adult supervision may be required depending on what your child chooses to do.

About the Author


Sumita Mukherjee is a NASA STEM certified leader and children’s book author. She has been fortunate enough to travel around the globe, explore many countries and meet different people. Mysteries and adventures have been captured from there in the form of Keiko and Kenzo’s travel adventure series. These books are to inspire young readers to know and appreciate various countries, develop a love for discovery and learn about the world around them. Her series of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) books encourages kids to invent and explore, to empower themselves and see themselves as world leaders and problem solvers. Her books celebrate diversity, spark curiosity and capture children's imaginations! Sumita currently lives in Toronto with her family.

Her website, WizKids.Club was created with a vision to raise the next generation of creative leaders. WizKids.Club offers highly engaging kids activities, educational books, experiments, hands-on projects, DIYs, travel stories and engineering books perfect for children 4-12 years to spark creativity and scientific learning.

Contact Links


Purchase Links



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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Review - From A Killers Mind - Jason Helford

From a Killer's MindFrom a Killer's Mind by Jason Helford
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition242 pages
Published July 29th 2013 by Jason Helford
Source: Author for Review

Synopsis:
'John has been a successful serial killer for his entire adult life, committed to his craft without detection or disruption. He’s spent years perfecting his process and meticulously planning out each kill, honing his abilities to horrible heights; however, when one kill doesn’t go as planned, his confidence is shattered, and his dark life starts down an even darker road, to either his salvation…or his ultimate downfall. John finds his private sanctum infiltrated by chaotic characters from the most unlikely of places, putting him through an existential crisis of the soul. As John loses control, his true crucible begins.

From a Killer’s Mind, the debut novel of writer Jason Helford, is a mind-bending, scary, and emotionally honest trip through the life of a serial killer, laying bare the killer’s soul for all readers to see. The remarkable twist at the core of this novel is something that will leave you open-mouthed, shocked, and completely hooked, until the very last page.'

My Thoughts:
First up I just have to say that this book would have to be one of the most disturbing books I have read in a very long time.

The mental pictures it put into my head while I was reading it were so unpleasant at times that it actually made me feel ill during certain scenes.

The level of psychological abuse and violence in this book was uncomfortable to read at times and it really did make me wonder about the imagination of the author and how one thinks about writing such things.

I struggled at times to decipher if what was going on was actually real or just happening inside the mind of the main character. It really did stop and make me think a few times about what it really would be like inside the mind of a serial killer, especially to know how they internalise and justify their own actions to themselves.

If you like to be shocked or disturbed in your reading, then this is the book for you.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review - Networking Thoughtfully by M. Wheadon

Networking Thoughtfully: The 30 Minute Read That Could Change Your LifeNetworking Thoughtfully: The 30 Minute Read That Could Change Your Life by M Wheadon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition
Published January 26th 2017 by Troubador Publishing
Source: Netgalley

Synopsis:
'Networking Thoughtfully is a short guide for people who need to build relationships, but do not know where to start. Martin Wheadon takes readers through a step-by-step process to help achieve positive results. The reader is provided with over thirty thoughts and clever remedies to boost their confidence and communication skills. Although the book has been written with businesses in mind, Networking Thoughtfully can also be used to aid and abet personal development, as learning how to start conversations is beneficial when meeting new people, regardless of the circumstances. 
Networking Thoughtfully draws from Martin's own experience of developing a successful marketing facility, called the High Tea Club. Wheadon provides clearly-written advice in a conversational tone, encouraging the reader to believe that he understands their anxieties and talks from personal experience, using examples to illustrate the guidelines provided. The book also provides space for the reader to write their own thoughts or answers to various tasks suggested by the author. It is a book that can be read in parts, or as a whole in only half an hour. Networking Thoughtfully will appeal to readers of all ages particularly those that are new to networking or want to improve their skills. It will also appeal to businesses and organisations looking to improve networking skills.'

My Thoughts:
Networking Thoughtfully is a very quick read and as it states, it took me only around half an hour to get through it.

It contains some good tips, especially for anyone who is new to networking or has a bit of a fear of getting themselves and their business out there.

It contains short and sharp steps that give the reader ideas to put into practice before, during and after any networking or social event they attend.

The points are all easy to understand and implement and are nice, practical ways to improve or fine-tune you networking skills.

If you are a business owner who struggles with networking or have a fear of these types of events, this book may give you a bit more confidence and some practical advice to implement at your next event.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review - The Four Legendary Kingdoms by Matthew Reilly

The Four Legendary Kingdoms: A Jack West Jr Novel 4The Four Legendary Kingdoms: A Jack West Jr Novel 4 by Matthew Reilly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Hardcover430 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Macmillan Australia (first published October 8th 2016)
Source: Own Copy

Synopsis:
'There are sixteen contestants, but only one will survive.

The last thing Jack West Jr remembers is arriving for a meeting at a top-secret military base with his family in tow.

Now he awakes to find himself in a hellish scenario. Jack has been selected to take part in the Games, a series of deadly challenges designed to fulfil an ancient ritual. If he chooses not to compete, both he and his daughter will be killed.

With the fate of the Earth at stake, Jack will have to traverse diabolical mazes, fight ruthless assassins and face unimaginable horrors that will test him to the limit.

In the process, he will discover the mysterious and powerful group of individuals behind it all: the four legendary kingdoms.'

My Thoughts:
So if you've read anything by Matthew Reilly before, especially the first three books in the Jack West Jr series, you'd have an idea that you were in for another wild, action filled ride with this one. And, yes, you would be 100% correct!

This instalment in the Jack West Jr series was definitely, hands down, my favourite one so far. I literally could not put it down and spent so many nights forcing myself to stop reading because my eyes were closing and losing focus. I haven't felt so invested and excited while reading a book like I did with this one in quite a while.

This book is your typical Reilly with non-stop, totally unbelievable action from the beginning all the way to the very end.

I really liked how human Jack West Jr was in this book. He got injured and felt tired like a regular person and wasn't always the absolute best at everything. Due to his intelligence and determination though, plus a bit of Reilly's typical over-the-top, cliffhanger moments, Jack managed once again to come out on top.

I also loved the historical aspects of this book and I thought they were inter-woven into the story so well again just as they were in the first three instalments.

There is no argument that Matthew Reilly is my favourite action/adventure author and I cannot wait for the next instalment in this series to be released.

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