Saturday, August 31, 2013

Balance of August

During the month of August, I reviewed the following:

- "Becoming Fearless" by Michelle Aguilar. Read my review.
- "Cruxim" by Karin Cox. Read my review.
- "Warriors - Omen of the Stars - Night Whispers" by Erin Hunter. Read my review.
- "The Survivors" by Angela White. Read my review.
- "Stone of Destiny" by Thor Stonewell. Read my review.

Other Products:
- "Cathedral Snow 1000-Piece Puzzle" by Pastime Puzzles. Read my review.
- "5-Position Baseball Brush Tee" by SKLZ. Read my review.
- "75-feet expanding hose, lime" by Rumford Gardener. Read my review.
- "5-Port Desktop Gigabit Switch, Steel Case" by TP-Link. Read my review.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Product "5-Port Desktop Gigabit Switch, Steel Case" by TP-Link

About the Product: The TP-LINK 5-Port 10/100/1000Mbps Desktop Switch provides you an easy way to make the transition to Gigabit Ethernet. Increase the speed of your network server and backbone connections, or make Gigabit to the desktop a reality. Moreover, TL-SG105 adopts lower power consumption design. With the innovative energy-efficient technology, the TL-SG105 can save up to 65% of the power consumption, making it an eco-friendly solution for your home or office network.

My Review: This is not a popular brand for Switches, but I decided to try it anyway, considering that the price was honest and I was in need of a Gigabit Switch. The product did not disappoint me. I was able to hardwire my laptop (1000Mbps), my Apple TV (100Mpbs) and they worked just fine together. At this point I do not have any 10Mbps device I could attach to the switch, so I was not able to test that particular speed. The product comes in a very tiny case, very convenient as it does not use a lot of space and it does not get hot over time. The metal case might help dissipate the heat.

The manufacturer sends the 9V adapter and also four rubber feet that you can glue to the bottom of the case, if you are using it over the table. You have the openings in the case, to hang it on the wall, although necessary screws for that are not provided. was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Book "Stone of Destiny" by Thor Stonewell

About the Book: Through an onslaught of gunfire a well known professor leaps to his death off the mighty Irish Cliffs of Moher. Discovering a buried secret was his last fruitless act; keeping hidden a far greater secret, a secret concealed by the Queen of England herself, was his sacrificial intention. 
As cogs drop into play throughout the United Kingdom a young American in London finds himself caught up in the world’s greatest unknown conspiracy. With the life of his grandfather on the line, and the legitimacy of the British royal family in question, Trevor Emerson races against time and history in his shared quest to find the Stone of Destiny. 
From Edinburgh Castle to Piccadilly Circus to King Arthur’s ancient Isle of Avalon, join our heroes down the rabbit hole of royalty where the right secret, sufficiently veiled, can ensure the lifelong reaping of billions of dollars, and worse, the lifelong ruling over billions of lives. 
Is the Queen of England playing the world for a con? Where is the Stone of Destiny? 
To answer one question is to answer the other.
Stone of Destiny is an archeo-cryptological thriller. At just over 126,000 words the length is that of an average novel. The main focus of the book is the actual stone of destiny, a real-life artifact used in the coronation of English monarchs. 
"Stone of Destiny" has been exhaustively researched over the course of three years by the author, Thor Stonewell. While the characters and modern-day plot are fictional, the history taught and featured within its pages is true and hopefully as fascinating as "Stone of Destiny" itself. 
Adventure, hidden history, conspiracy, poetry, revenge, murder, treasure maps and more await the next reader. 
Why not make that reader you?

About the Author: "I am Thor. Not the God, not the Superhero, just the writer.
 My first completed novel, Stone of Destiny, is written in the vein of literary archeocryptology. You know the type, secrets hidden for centuries, alternative historical approaches, bad guys chasing the hero and heroine, a bit of romance and a surprise ending. You've seen it before and will see it again but from what I've been told it manages to entertain well.
I am currently working on my second full length novel, with a working title of "The Face in the Mirror". It is young adult fiction about a teenage boy that discovers... well, I don't think I will share what he discovers yet. Check back at some point in the future to see if I change my mind.
I currently live in a huge and (over the Summer) hellishly hot city in central Arizona with over four million other people. I have a lovely wife and a furry dog, both of which I adore.
I am a fan of fast-moving fiction and well-researched historical biographies.
I especially love getting email from readers and friends (both known and unknown). If you have something to say (and who doesn't?) please send me an email at"

My Review: This is a very entertaining book, with a beginning, a middle and an end! Different from the current trend of every writer, this author did not look for a trilogy or a series, but his whole story is delivered in this book. I love that! The plot is simple but very well developed in a fast pace. Our hero is running against time to save his grandfather, counting with the help of an unusual allies, the daughter of the man who is persecuting him, just because he stole a property of him, and an old friend that wants to kill him, just because he put his apartment on fire... And they are searching the Stone of Destiny to trade for the life of grandfather Archer. This plot would be an excellent story for a Hollywood movie.

I recommend this book for the permanent library of any reader who is fan of a fast pace thriller, Dan Brown style, but even better.
I bought this book from in an electronic version and took me approximately 12 hours to read the whole book.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Book "The Survivors" by Angela White

About the Book: An action adventure quest, with a supernatural romance, and many other subplots, set during the aftermath of the apocalypse.
So what's really in this series? Here's a short list:
*The End of the World, right-up-close and full of apocalyptic horror.
*A government conspiracy that caused the apocalypse.
*An adventure into the wastelands to find family, supplies, and safety.
*A supernatural romance with a dangerous secret about a child's parentage and a love strong enough to survive the end of the world.
*An invasion, ambushes, attacks from Nature and man - guns and magic.
*A refugee camp with very different laws, picking up those who've survived.
*A Hero you'll love, even as you ponder the secrets that could lose him leadership.
*A Witch, a Doctor, a government Storm Tracker, a TV Star, and three Marines struggling to keep their people alive and together as they prepare to defend themselves against Cesar's Slavers.
*A constant battle for survival that includes deadly trips into decaying American cities, insanity, relics of the past, and ghosts that stalk their every move. 
Life After War. Magic and Reality blended into a post-apocalyptic fantasy series that you won't ever forget.

About the Author: Hello, I'm Angie. (Pen name) 
Little pleases me more than to explore the dark fantasy and horror stories in my head. Knowing other people like them, is second only to the magic of this new career I've chosen. As a die-hard Cincinnatian, I much prefer writing to the stresses of being a city Taxicab dispatcher. Thank you for making my dreams possible, and for looking at this page! 
Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, lets you and I take a little stroll. There's a story I need to let out of its cage and I think it's one you need to hear. It's about the end of the world as we know it... 
Note: Many of my books were removed until the new editors, Kim and Sharon, and I, could get them into top shape. It was clear from the reviews, that we had a lot of work to do. We began in Feb. As of Oct., we now have 9 of 11 titles finished and back online for your reading pleasure. The remaining books will return as soon as we finish them. 
Searching for more? My Dark Fantasy Blog is a good place to start. The feeds to your right are my most recent posts. Want to contact me? There's a form on my website. 
Looking for a more indepth summary of who I am? There's a link for that, too.

My Review: This is a very dark book, describing a reality that everybody wishes to be just fiction, but that the author brings with such vivacity that we feel like we are living the situation. Plot can be resumed in a few words: survivors struggle to adjust to the new world order. All the radiation emitted causes mutations on animals and sickness on people. Among the survivors we have a woman searching for her son that call for help of an old boyfriend, that turns out to be the real father of her son. He is a marine, as well as her current husband. Other parallel stories are developed, but the central one deals with survivors that are grouped in a community called Safe Heaven in search for a new place to establish themselves. But there are also the bad guys that are trying to take advantage of everything in this new lawless world.

I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader that loves a well written book full of action. I bought this book from Opinion expressed here is my own.

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Book "Warriors - Omen of the Stars - Night Whispers" by Erin Hunter

About the Book: After the sharp-eyed Jay and the roaring Lion, peace will come on Dove’s gentle wing.
Jayfeather and Lionblaze are determined to uncover the real reason that ThunderClan was led into the deadly battle with ShadowClan. Meanwhile, Dovepaw grapples with a startling fact and realizes that evil is sometimes no more than a whisker’s length away. As tensions grow between the four Clans, one cat will make a stand for what is right—and another will be lost to the fight.

About the Author: Erin Hunter is the author of the bestselling Warriors and Seekers series. She is inspired by a love of animals and a fascination with the ferocity of the natural world. As well as having great respect for nature in all its forms, Erin enjoys creating rich mythical explanations for animal behavior.

My Review: My daughter book this book and she is completely addicted to this author, so I decided to give it a shot with this particular volume. The plot is entertaining, but I felt that I missed a lot by not having read the previous books and knowing more about the clans and the characters. Now I feel like I have to go back and read the series from the start. My daughter has all the previous printed books, this one being the first she bought on electronic version. The characters are very well developed and the ambient is described in a way that you feel yourself in the story. Very easy reading, the plot flows in an adequate path. If I could complain (not really a complain, but...), I would suggest easier names for the cats. After a while you get used to read all the long names, but at first it was hard. It is like referring to a person by first name, middle name and last name every single time you mention that person in the story. Anyway, overall it was worth the experience and I shall read the series from the beginning, as I mentioned before.

I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader that loves a well written book.  We bought this book from Opinion expressed here is my own.

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Product "75-feet expanding hose, lime" by Rumford Gardener

About the Product: The rumford gardener expanding hose is durable and kink free. expands to 75ft with water pressure and shrinks back for easy storage in the provided cinch bag. no more straining with heavy hoses, the rumford gardener expanding hose weighs less than 1lb.

My Review: Interesting concept, but poorly executed. The idea behind this hose is great, being flexible, but they used poor quality material. The water pressure it delivers is very low (do not take me wrong, water pressure at home is great), and the loss of pressure comes from leaks that appears immediately throughout all the hose. The connector is made from a very cheap plastic and cracked at the first installation. I am disappointed with overall quality of this product. was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Book "Cruxim" by Karin Cox

About the Book: What is Cruxim? Amedeo is Cruxim, a mysterious, immortal fallen angel. Destined to seek redemption as a vampire hunter, he nourishes his insatiable hunger on vampire blood. But when the object of his passion, the novice nun Joslyn, is turned into a vampire and enters a vampire coven, Amedeo's worlds collide. Shattered by the loss of his beloved, he vows to rid the world of vampires once and for all, even if it means destroying Josyln in the process. 
A Paranormal Game of Cat and Mouse. 
Joining Amedeo on his quest to rid the world of the undead is Sabine. Half-woman, half-lioness, she is a Sphinx, a Guardian who has protected humans from vampires since the dawn of time. Yet Sabine comes to this fight pursued by her own enemies. Dr. Claus Gandler knows the secret of Sabine's mythological past and has vowed to torment her for eternity or destroy her forever. 
Immortal Ever After? 
Captured by the evil doctor, Amedeo and Sabine are paraded as sideshow freaks in Gandler's Circus of Curiosities. Only vampire Joslyn has the power to intercede. Will she prove Amedeo's redemption, or his destruction?

About the Author: Karin Cox edits and writes in her "spare time" while being a fulltime mum to a toddler and to a black cat with the improbable name of "Ping Pong." 
She is the author of more than 30 trade-published natural history books, biographies, Australian social history books, children's picture storybooks, and travel guides, several of which have won awards. Karin has had poems and short stories published in anthologies worldwide and her ebooks CRUXIM, GROWTH, CAGE LIFE, HEY LITTLE SISTER and PANCAKES ON SUNDAY are available on Amazon. 
Thankfully, the busier she gets, the more creative she is (and the more likely to afford to hire a housekeeper). Karin and her partner live in sunny Queensland, Australia, where she writes from her back deck overlooking the pool, her study (overlooking her messy desk) or her couch (overlooking Dr Phil, who gives her a lot of inspiration). You can follow her on twitter @Authorandeditor or visit her fanpage on Facebook Also, feel free to email her on

My Review: This is quite an entertaining book. Unfortunately it is the first volume of a series, so the story does not end with this book and you stay wanting to know the end. The beginning could not be better. The entities the author created (the cruxim (Amedeo) and the sphinx (Sabine)) are immortal creatures that have a common enemy, the vampires. The plot is simple: Amedeo helps a young lady (Joslyn) to survive from an abusive father and fall in love with her, but she is turned into a vampire by one of his enemies. And he happens to meet Sabine, an sphinx that also kills vampires. They are persecuted and captured by Dr. Gandler, their enemy, that wants to become a vampire, and they are exposed in a circus of curiosities. After some animosities, they find some allies and manage to escape. But Sabine is capture again and Amedeo now has to rescue both Sabine and Joslyn. Very fast paced story, characters well constructed, this is a story that you read on the edge of your chair. Very hard to put the book down before it finishes and I really hope it does not take long for the author to come with the sequel. I am addicted to her style of easy reading and story flowing like there is no tomorrow!

I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader that loves a well written fantasy book.  I bought this book from and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinion expressed here is my own.

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Product "5-Position Baseball Brush Tee" by SKLZ

About the Product:
  • When you are at the plate it's important to be ready for whatever pitch comes your way - be it inside, outside or right down the center. The 5-Position Brush Tee allows you to master these while also giving you a more realistic ball flight off the tee. 
  • Standard tee with brush top and height adjustment. 
  • Positions for 5 different zones across the plate. 
  • Helps build confidence and hand-eye coordination in youth players. 
  • Brush top provides more realistic ball flight, feel and feedback - get cleanly through the ball without any shock to the bat or hands.

My Review: This is like the traditional T used for training on your swing at baseball/softball balls. Extremely easy to assemble, it is solid and made with excellent quality. My daughter is using this product for the last two weeks and she cannot be happier. Her hitting already improved in real games during last weekend.
The difference with this one is that you can adjust the pole to different positions related to the plate, to simulate inside or outside ball, for example. You can also easily adjust the height. Very useful tool to improve hitting quality and hand-eye coordination. was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Product "Cathedral Snow 1000-Piece Puzzle" by Pastime Puzzles

About the Product: Designed by Stephen Lyman, this Puzzle marks the revival of the cherished Pastime Puzzle brand - from Winning Moves Games - featuring the return of unique puzzle piece shapes called Whimsies. No two puzzle pieces are the same and include interlocking border pieces. The pieces feature a clean snap and fit, found only among the highest quality jigsaw puzzles.

My Review: I love the picture selection. It is very challenging with the fog and sky in similar shades and all trees, mountains and ground contributing to the difficulty. 
I am a puzzle maniac, having assembled jigsaw puzzles from 100 to 9000 pieces (a 13200 pieces is in the queue and I am really going to the 18,000 and 32,000 pieces from Ravensburger in the future...). Some of them were 3D puzzles, like the Taj Mahal, US Capitol, Neuschwanstein Castle, Big Ben, etc. This particular puzzle is a very high quality product from Pastime Puzzles, the first one I assemble from this company. All the pieces have an excellent finishing and they stick together very well. I usually assemble this size of puzzles on Foam Boards. They are very light and conveniently cheap. The foam board being 3/16'' (5mm) gives your puzzle enough support. I usually cut the board (easily done with a cutter) after glueing the puzzle, leaving a border of 1'' at each side, so I can pin the board in my garage (that, at this point, is full of puzzles...). What help me a lot is that my wife and daughters also like the challenge, so we move fast. A 1,000 piece puzzle do not last a weekend, although the 8,000 piece one took us 2 months (most 2 to 3 hours at night work) to put together. It took us 10 days to put this one together. I highly recommend this puzzle for the excellent quality to everyone that enjoys challenges alone or with the whole family. It is a guaranteed entertainment for hours, listening to music or talking in family environment. was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Book " Becoming Fearless" by Michelle Aguilar

About the Book: “I will never forget the emotions that night as I stepped up to the scale and won the title as America cheered me on. It was an unforgettable journey from ‘little girl lost’ to ‘champion crowned,’ and the priceless gift I’d been given—to become fearless—is one that will keep on giving.” —Michelle Aguilar, Becoming Fearless.
Michelle Aguilar’s inspiring story goes beyond her grand-prize victory on television’s immensely popular The Biggest Loser. Becoming Fearless is about having faith in God when you have lost faith in yourself. It is an encouragement to “feel the fear” in any obstacle in life without being paralyzed by it. Finally, it is a story about reconciliation between Michelle and her mother, an exploration of the difficult and freeing work of forgiveness, and a reminder that what you learn on the journey is even more important than the destination.

My Review: This young lady teaches the world through her book on how to overcome the worst fears we might face on our daily lives. This is a true inspirational book. Her relationship with her mother goes wrong when her mother leaves her father and she feels abandoned, as her mother leaves the house by surprise taking her two younger sisters with her, but never asking if Michelle wanted to go with them. And from there Michelle lives a roller-coaster life and she learns to place her confidence and hope in Jesus. And the reconciliation and forgiveness is shown as a process and the parallel "Biggest Loser" contest is a tool God places in her life so she can demonstrate her will to overcome all difficulties and win her battle against her worst fears.

I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader that needs a boost in his/her faith.  I bought this book from and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinion expressed here is my own.

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment!