Month: March 2018

The Progeny Book Spotlight

iRead Book Tours

From New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee comes a story of love, ancient secrets, and survival. Book One, The Progeny, in the House of Bathory duology.

The Progeny Book Spotlight

About The Progeny

When you wake up, you remember nothing. Not your name, or where you were born, or the faces of the people you knew. Just a single warning written to yourself before you forgot it all:

“Emily, it’s me. You.

Don’t ask about the last two years… Don’t try to remember and don’t go digging. Your life depends on it. Other lives depend on it.

By the way, Emily isn’t your real name. You died in an accident. You paid extra for that.”

You start over in a remote place with a new name, a fresh life. Until the day a stranger tells you you’re being hunted for the sins of a royal ancestor who died centuries before you were born.

You don’t believe him, until they come for you. Now you’re on the run.

Every answer you need lies in a past you chose to erase. The only thing you know for sure is that others are about to die and you need those memories back.

But first, you have to stay alive.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Book Excerpt

No one speaks when you enter the Center for the last time. There’s no need. You’ve gone through the counseling, tests, and a checklist of preparations to get the plastic bracelet you wear the day of treatment. The one that saves a life. They don’t need to know why you’re doing it any more. Or that you lied about it all. Just the scratch of the stylus as you sign your name on the screen one last time.

A nurse takes me into a room and I lie down on the table. I give her the sealed packet—the only thing I brought with me. There’s cash, meds, and an address inside, the one for “after.” It’s a thousand miles away. She’ll pass it to the companion assigned to me. No point meeting her now.

I’m 21 years old and my name doesn’t matter because it’s about to be erased forever. I’m choosing to forget the ones I love, and myself, in the process.

They say your life flashes before your eyes when you die. But they don’t tell you that every detail comes screaming back to life. That you taste each bite of every meal you savored, feel the shower of every rain you walked in… smell the hair against your cheek before that last, parting kiss. That you will fight to hold on to every memory like a drowning person gasping for poisoned air.

Then everything you knew is gone. And you are still alive.

For now.

Read the next four chapters here.

The Progeny Book Spotlight

About the Author

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the House of Bathory Duology (The Progeny and Firstborn, currently in development for television), Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign). A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games and football with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband.

You can find Tosca at, on social media, or hanging around the snack table. (And be sure to check out Ismeni, the free e-short prequel to The Legend of Sheba!).

Get your copy of The Progeny here: (Kindle readers: now you can enjoy special insights in the author’s highlighted comments!)

Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

The Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This is a spotlight post, I received no compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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How to Create the Ultimate Homemade Easter Basket

How to Create the Ultimate Homemade Easter Basket

Easter is just around the corner and you may be struggling to come up with ideas that are outside of the traditional giant chocolate eggs. You may have even left this to the last-minute as the season seemed to come up pretty quickly this year.

How to Create the Ultimate Homemade Easter Basket

I love to create baskets that are personalized to the child and more than just sweets and chocolates as let’s face it, as parents we know our children don’t need anymore sweets – they get enough. But sometimes we may be at a loss on what to purchase and how much. I like to follow my three item checklist: something educational, something fun and then something sweet and delicious. But where do you start?

Here is your complete Easter basket checklist:

Know the child you are buying for! Sounds simple right? But a lot of times people forget this and get things that look cute and are Easter branded. Look at the child’s hobbies, extra curricular activities, their personality and their age. All of these factors will give you great clues into what to buy for them.

Set a budget and stick to it. We spend roughly $40 on each boy and $30 each for our niece and nephews. Now before you think that is too much you could easily blow that on chocolate alone for each child and we try to shy away from that.

Add in something educational. I love reading and always include at least one book in every gift that I give someone. Personalize the inside cover with a special message to make the book that much more memorable for the child.

How to Create the Ultimate Homemade Easter Basket

Add in something fun – this is a must for kids of all ages. This year, we added in Zing’s Glove-A-Bubbles. These “bubble gloves” come in eight different animal themes including lion, alligator, hippo, elephant, dinosaur, panda, bunny and monkey. Each package comes with one glove and two bubble solutions for hours of active play. They are super easy to use (especially for younger kids who struggle with the bubble wands and their smaller fingers), just dip the glove that is on their hand into the solution and begin to wave it around to create bubbles. These super fun gloves come in at a great price of $3.99 Canadian and can be found at Amazon, Mastermind, Indigo, Giant Tiger and Canadian Tire. You can find even more unique and fun gifts for all year round at the Zing Store online.

How to Create the Ultimate Homemade Easter Basket

Add in something sweet. Let’s face it while we can try to avoid the sweets as much as possible, the kids still expect a little something in their basket. I like to avoid the holiday commercialized sweets as much as possible and go for candies and chocolates that my children will actually eat. This means I pick up a couple of chocolate bars from the Dollar Store to add to the basket.

Pick a base. Now that you have all the items for your basket, you can choose the type of Easter basket you want to use. I have used everything from a traditional basket to a plastic basket to even a plant pot. I have also just used the green “grass” under the presents and wrapped the entire gift up in cellophane with no firm base at all.

Beautify it! Once the base is chosen, I like to add in the extras like green “grass” and some small plastic eggs around the gifts. Then wrap it all up in cellophane and tie it off with a bright bow in a colour of your choosing. Then display it proudly for Easter morning in a giant wooden basket.

What are your top choices of Easter basket gifts? Do you prefer sweets or choose practical gifts to add to your homemade basket?

How to Create the Ultimate Homemade Easter Basket

Make sure to follow Zing on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with all of the coolest new toys and games.

Disclosure: I received Glove-A-Bubbles in order to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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A Most Noble Heir Review

Litfuse Book Tour

In A Most Noble Heir, forces work to keep the couple apart, and a solution to remain together seems further and further away.

A Most Noble Heir Review

About A Most Noble Heir

When stable hand Nolan Price learns from his dying mother that he is actually the son of the Earl of Stainsby, his plans for a future with kitchen maid Hannah Burnham are shattered. Once he is officially acknowledged as the earl’s heir, Nolan will be forbidden to marry beneath his station.

Unwilling to give up the girl he loves, he devises a plan to elope–believing that once their marriage is sanctioned by God, Lord Stainsby will be forced to accept their union. However, as Nolan struggles to learn the ways of the aristocracy, he finds himself caught between pleasing Hannah and living up to his father’s demanding expectations.

At every turn, forces work to keep the couple apart, and a solution to remain together seems further and further away. With Nolan’s new life pulling him irrevocably away from the woman he loves, it seems only a miracle will bring them back together.

My Thoughts

On the death of the only Mother he has ever known, Nolan’s whole life is turned upside down. He has always wanted to find out the true identity of his Father but when he does his whole world is changed. His Father is the Lord Stainsby that he had begun to hate! Nolan, who has only known the life of a servant, is thrown into the world of nobility – a world that he despises for their arrogance, wealth and air of superiority. While his Father tries to accept him, there is someone who clearly wants him gone.

I fell in love with this unique story. I really thought that Lord Stainsby would be more accepting of his son and the relationship he has with one of the servant girls considering his own personal history. I was disappointed at first but as the story goes on, you learn more about the Earl and you start to understand him better. It doesn’t make it easier at times to accept what he does to Nolan but it gives you a better glimpse into his inner mind workings. Nolan’s story was so unique and my heart went out to him as he struggled. He wants to be a good son and a good husband but the two worlds seem to keep clashing and then throw in someone wanting to get rid of him and you have a page turner. Nolan has to learn to control his emotions, his past hurts and his own pride if he wants to keep his marriage and build a relationship with his Father. No easy task for anyone and especially for the quick to anger Nolan who is still reeling from his Mother’s revelations.

This is a beautiful story of faith, humility and second chances. I loved every moment of this well written novel. The characters and plot are well-developed and you have a hard time putting this book down as you become invested in Nolan.

You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

Susan Anne Mason‘s historical novel Irish Meadows won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA as well as the Christian Retailer’s Choice Award for Debut Novel. A member of ACFW, Susan lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children. She can be found online at

The Giveaway

If you’d like to enter for a chance to win Susan Anne Mason’s Courage to Dream series, plus A Most Noble Heir, here’s your chance!

Enter here now.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo is a children’s picture book that imagines the story of Marlon Bundo, the Bunny of the United States (BOTUS), who meets the bunny of his dreams.

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

About A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo is a children’s picture book that imagines the story of Marlon Bundo, the Bunny of the United States (BOTUS), who meets the bunny of his dreams. Published by Chronicle Books in collaboration with the hit HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the book is being released, coincidentally, the day before Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President, a different picture book written by Charlotte Pence, the Vice President’s daughter, and illustrated by his wife, Karen Pence.

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

Instead of following around the Vice President, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo follows a day in the life of the BOTUS, as he falls in love with another bunny, Wesley. The two decide to wed, only to be told by the Stink Bug in charge that same-sex marriage is not allowed. When Marlon, Wesley, and their supportive animal community realize that they can choose who is in charge of their society, they vote out the Stink Bug and the couple is married surrounded by their friends.

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

With its message of tolerance and advocacy this children’s picture book beautifully explores issues of marriage equality and democracy. John Oliver is donating all proceeds to two charities: and

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

My Thoughts

Our differences are what makes us special. I have spent so much time encouraging my children  to embrace their differences and to respect others for who they are. Sometimes I find it difficult to understand that we have come so far but yet we have not when people still do not accept others based on gender, sexual preference and the colour of their skin.

This heart warming and beautifully written book is a special celebration of love – the love between two male bunnies. As Marlon puts it, his husband to be makes his heart warm and fills his lonely life and he can’t imagine life without him in it. His husband to be feels the same. They can’t imagine a life without each other and that is why they want to get married.

Isn’t this the love that we hope our children find? Someone who makes them happy, loves them with all their heart and respects them as a person? I can only pray that my children find such happiness whether it be with a male or a female. It is disheartening that people can be cruel enough to think that some individuals don’t deserve this happiness in marriage because they want to marry a member of the same-sex. This is what this wonderfully written book addresses in a positive, humourous manner.

Marlon knows its okay to be different but the leader of the group of animals refuses to honour his wishes to marry another boy bunny. The Stinkbug (the leader) states that boy bunnies do not marry boy bunnies and he will not allow this to happen. All of the other animals are left confused – they all do things differently so why isn’t this okay? The animals come together to vote the Stinkbug out and celebrate the union of two bunnies who love each other regardless of their gender.

This is a special book that is beautifully illustrated with an important message for youth and adults alike – that we are all special and worthy of love. That differences should be celebrated and encouraged and that we should embrace these differences. I loved reading this book not only by myself but with my children.

It was a breath of fresh air in a world that can sometimes be difficult to understand. It hits very close to home when we look around us and the lack of acceptance for same sex marriages that we see happening now. This book is released a day before Pence’s daughters book was to be released and while they are both focused on the life of Marlon Bundo, this book is all about acceptance and love – something that this world needs a lot more of right now. All profits from this book will be going to two charities: The Trevor Project and AIDS United.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Indigo and Amazon.

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

About the Author

MARLON BUNDO is a very fun bunny who recently relocated to Washington, D.C. from his home in Indiana. He enjoys hopping through the garden, eating all his vegetables, and hula-hooping.

Book Video

Disclosure: I received digital copies to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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My Body’s Mine: Can-Do Kids Book Series

My Body's Mine: Can-Do Kids Book Series

My Body’s Mine helps children learn they have the rights to their body.

My Body's Mine: Can-Do Kids Book Series

About My Body’s Mine

My Body’s Mine helps children learn they have the rights to their body. Told through rhyme from a child’s point of view this book on boundaries empowers each child to say no when others approach them in ways that make them uncomfortable. It also gives clear instructions on what to do if they are approached in an unwanted manner. The questions at the end of the book provides an easy transition for counselors and parents to open a discussion to prevent abuse or to further explore if abuse has occurred.

My Thoughts

One of the most difficult but important conversations we can have with our children is about their body. They need to understand that their body is theirs, respect and what is normal/not normal and to empower them to say no and go for help.

A lot of the old practices of forcing children to give hugs and kisses to adults are now being re-examined as you are teaching your child that they have to do this and that they don’t have control over their bodies and the ability to say no when they feel uncomfortable. It is so incredibly important for children to be confident in their ability to say no and who they can go to for help if they need to. If you force them to do things like hugging people they don’t want to, it contradicts what you are teaching them about their body and confuses them. It doesn’t mean they have to be mean to family members and you as the parent can speak to family about what you are teaching your child so that they understand the reasoning behind your teachings. They also need to understand who is a safe adult and what is inappropriate touching. If we don’t take their concerns seriously, it may teach them that their emotions and feelings don’t matter.

My Body’s Mine teaches children that their body is theirs and no one else’s in a catchy rhyme that is repeated throughout the book. In an appropriate manner it teaches children what is bad touching, when something feels wrong that they need to talk to an adult and that if someone says ‘don’t tell anyone’ that this is wrong. This is an excellent starter resource for parents and children to get the conversation rolling.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

A native Texan, Kayla lives with her husband and three cats in Austin. Her two married daughters, along with her faith, have been an inspiration in many of her writings. She has been a guest speaker at elementary schools, women’s retreats, writer’s groups, and University of Texas. At the request of teachers and counselors, she has provided stories to broach difficult situations. Her passion is to empower and validate children, helping them know they are not alone in their feelings or circumstance, and ways to deal with it. When she is not writing she loves spending time with family and friends, read, scrapbook, and watch old movies. You can find her on her website.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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