Saturday, November 30, 2013

Balance of November

During the month of November, I reviewed the following:

- "Whispers of Hope" by Beth Moore. Read my review.
- "The Guardian of the Threshold" by A.A.Volts. Read my review.
- "New Zealand" a travel guide by National Geographic by Peter Turner, photography by Colin Monteath. Read my review.
- "Dawn of Destiny" by Lee Stephen. Read my review.

Other Products:
- "QuickBooks Pro with Enhanced Payroll 2014" by Intuit. Read my review.
- "PC/Silicon Case for iPhone 5S & iPhone 5 - Black / Lime Green" by AmazonBasics. Read my review.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Product "PC/Silicon Case for iPhone 5S & iPhone 5 - Black / Lime Green" by AmazonBasics

About the Product: Product Features: Combines a polycarbonate hard shell with a shock absorbing silicon core for optimal protection.
Perfect fit for iPhone 5S allowing easy access to all ports and controls.
Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging.

My Review: This is a very bright design for a protective shell for your iPhone. I have to confess that I did not drop my iPhone on purpose just to test how good this case would be. I do not have the guts to do that. But I am confident that in case the phone really drops (Oh, Gravity!) it will be protected as good as it gets (keep in mind that this is not an Otterbox...). The design is beautiful and the openings are in the correct place for the speakers, camera etc.
I recommend this product for every user that is worried about protecting his/her iPhone with elegance. There is a variety of different color combination available for you to choose. 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, feel free to leave a comment.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Book "Dawn of Destiny" by Lee Stephen

About the Book: From the Inside Flap - The year is 0011 .NE, and mankind is under attack. Hostile forces from other worlds have come to Earth, their motivations a mystery, their objectives unknown. In the face of the alien threat, a global military called the Earth Defense Network--EDEN--was created.
Dawn of Destiny begins the story of Scott Remington, a new graduate of EDEN Academy. It is the first chapter in an epic that will carry him to the ends of the Earth, challenging the very faith he clings to as he confronts a purpose he can barely understand. For Scott, war is more than an occupation. It is the place God has led him. It is his destiny. Only one thing remains to be seen.
Is it a place he's willing to go?
From the Back Cover - Some men go to war for the glory. Some men go to war to escape. For Scott Remington, war is entirely different. It is a belief. It is a calling. It is a destiny. Leaving everything behind - his fiancée, his future, his life - he embarks on a mission of faith into a battle he can barely understand. This is his story. This is his war. This is only the beginning.

About the Author: Born and raised in Cajun country, Lee Stephen spent his childhood paddling pirogues through the marshes of South Louisiana. When he wasn't catching bullfrogs or playing with alligators in the bathtub (both true), he was escaping to the world of the imagination, creating worlds in his mind filled with strange creatures and epic journeys. This hasn't stopped. 
Now a resident of Luling, Louisiana, Lee spends time every day delving into the world of Epic, the science-fiction series that has come to define him as a writer and producer. Alongside his wife, Lindsey, their son, Levi, and their dog, Jake, Lee has made it a mission to create a series that is unique in its genre--one unafraid to address the human condition while staying grounded in elements of faith. 
In addition to writing, Lee works full-time for the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. He has also spent time as a church deacon, guitar hobbyist, and New Orleans Saints season ticket holder. He is a graduate of Louisiana College in Pineville.

My Review: Very well written book, very entertaining, you will start and there is no way you will put this book down before you finish it. The author creates characters full of life and you quickly get connected to them, cheering for them and suffering with them during their quest to save earth from invasion from aliens. Scott Remington is a regular guy that thinks God has a purpose for his life and it is his destiny to be at the front of this war defending earth, although he does not fully understand why. The story starts with Scott arriving in Richmond, Virginia after leaving the EDEN academy and meeting his colleagues in the fight against the aliens. When going to EDEN academy, Scott left behind Nicole, his fiance√©. He thought the war was a calling from God. His first real battle happens in Chicago. After succeeding in that battle, their group is transferred to Novosibirsk in Russia, under the command of general Thoor, a very powerful person that also commands a secret parallel force known as the Nightmen. the story proceeds and they are assigned to attack an alien base that was established in Siberia. Using  his own judgment, general Thoor leads them to succeed in that battle, but with huge losses in personal. Then the retaliation comes. Every page turned is a new adventure and you sure will read this book at the edge of your sit.
I recommend this book to any science fiction lover that appreciates a good reading. It took me around 11 hours to read the whole book.
I bought this book in its electronic version at I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

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

Friday, November 22, 2013

Product "QuickBooks Pro with Enhanced Payroll 2014" by Intuit

About the Product: Intuit QuickBooks Pro 2014 with Payroll Enhanced 2014
Product Features: Value Pack: Two products in one box; Organize your business finances all in one place and save time on everyday tasks; Pay employees and file taxes in 3 easy steps from within QuickBooks; 1 year prepaid Enhanced Payroll subscription (includes 1 employee – easily add more); 60 Day Money Back Guarantee.
New to QuickBooks? Easy to Set Up, Learn, and Use; No accounting knowledge necessary; Quickly import your data from a spreadsheet; Step-by-step tutorials show you how to create invoices, record expenses, and more.
Organize Everything in One Place and Save Time on Everyday Tasks: Manage vendors and expenses easily - enter, track, and pay bills; Easily create and customize estimates, invoices, and statements; Get complete and reliable records at tax time; Download your online banking transactions directly into QuickBooks.
Track How Your Business is Doing and Get Financial, Tax, and Sales Reports in One Click: Get the information you need with easy-to-use reports; View and manage income and receivables using the new Income Tracker; Get a real-time snapshot of your business activities with Company Snapshot.
What's New for QuickBooks 2014? Powerful new email capabilities. You can now add multiple attachments, customize email templates to include customer or job info, and see email history by customer. See all your banking transactions. Improved bank feeds pull in all your banking transactions from multiple banks and accounts so you can view and categorize them for tax time. See who's paid you (and who hasn't). The new Income Tracker shows all your income-producing transactions in one spot, including overdue invoices so you can remind customers to pay you. Little things to make business easier. Track bounced checks, see key reports in just one click, and other customer requested improvements.
Intuit Enhanced Payroll 2014 - Paychecks in Three Easy Steps: Create unlimited paychecks; Just enter hours and approve salaries; Get instant paycheck calculations; Print paychecks instantly; Use free direct deposit.
Pay Payroll Taxes: Calculates federal and state payroll taxes; Click to pay taxes electronically.
File Payroll Tax Forms: Automatically fills in the latest federal and state tax forms for you; Click to file federal and state tax forms electronically. 
Additional Features and Benefits: Unlimited payroll runs; Pay 1 employee and easily add more (nominal fees apply); Track job costs within QuickBooks; Get instant W-2s at year end; Free support from payroll experts (phone, chat or online); Works within QuickBooks—no double entry; Requires Internet access and QuickBooks Pro, Premier or Enterprise Solutions.
System Requirements Pro Requirements: Windows Vista (SP1 inc 64-bit), 7 (inc 64-bit), 8 (inc 64-bit); At least 2.0 GHz processor, 2.4 GHz recommended; Minimum 1 GB of RAM for single user, 2 GB of RAM recommended for multiple users; Minimum 2.5 GB available disk space (additional space required for data files); 60 MB for Microsoft .NET 4.0 Runtime (provided on the QuickBooks CD); Minimum 1024x768 screen resolution, 16-bit or higher color, default DPI settings; Minimum 4x CD-ROM drive;
All online features/services require Internet access. Product registration required. Integration with Other Software Microsoft: Word and Excel integration requires Word and Excel 2003, 2007 or 2010 (inc 64-bit); Synchronization with Outlook contacts requires QuickBooks; Contact Sync for Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010 (32-bit only) (downloadable for free at:; E-mail Estimates, Invoices and other forms with Windows Outlook, Outlook Express and Mozilla Thunderbird, as well as web mail services such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail Compatible with QuickBooks; Point of Sale version 10.0 and later Multi-User Windows Vista (SP1 with UAC on), 7 (with UAC on), 8 (with UAC on),Windows Server 2003 (SP2), 2008 and 2012, Windows Small Business Server 2008 Enhanced Payroll Minimum System Requirements Internet access Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) QuickBooks Pro or Premier 2012 or newer, or Enterprise Solutions 12.0 or higher (all sold separately) updated to the most current maintenance release; Valid credit/debit card on file for processing payroll.
Note: Not compatible with QuickBooks Online editions or QuickBooks for Mac. Check stock sold separately. Plus sales tax where applicable. Pricing varies depending on number of employees. Terms and conditions, features, support, pricing and service options subject to change without notice.
General disclosures: Requires an annual payroll subscription, Internet access, Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), valid credit/debit card for processing payroll, and QuickBooks Pro or Premier 2012 or newer, or Enterprise Solutions 12.0 or higher (all sold separately) updated to the most current maintenance release. Not compatible with QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks for Mac. After the first year, your subscription will automatically renew each year at the then-current price using the billing info we have on file at the time of your renewal, unless you cancel. Call us anytime at (800) 624-2106 to cancel your payroll subscription. Note that you must activate this payroll subscription within 60 days of purchase or by May 31, 2015, whichever comes first. Check stock sold separately. Plus sales tax where applicable. Pricing varies depending on number of employees. 24/7 access is subject to occasional downtime. Terms and conditions, features, support, pricing and service options subject to change without notice. 
1. Includes paying 1 employee; $2 per employee, per month for each additional employee. QuickBooks Pro and Premier support a maximum of 14,500 employees, customers, vendors and other names combined. However, performance may slow when processing files containing more than 100 employees. 
2. If you are not completely satisfied, simply contact Intuit within 60 days of purchase for a full refund of the purchase price (excludes employees and other connected services fees). 
3. Transfer data from Peachtree 2009-2011; Microsoft SBA 2006; and Microsoft Office Accounting 2007–2009 using free tool available at Transfer data directly from Quicken 2012-2014, QuickBooks 4.0-2014 and Microsoft Excel 2003–2010, as well as web mail services such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail. 
4. Download your data from participating banks until May, 2017. Online services vary by participating financial institutions or other parties and may be subject to application approval, additional terms, conditions and fees. 
5. Direct deposit to W-2s employees is free, but additional fees apply for direct deposit to vendors. 
6. E-file and e-pay features are available for federal and select state taxes. Please check availability at You may need to register with tax agencies in order to use e-file and e-pay features 
7. All available state tax forms are listed at 
8. Active subscription required or additional fees may apply. You are responsible for printing W-2s for your employees and filing with the IRS. 
9. Payroll phone support is available Monday-Friday 6 am-6 pm Pacific Time. For more info, see Intuit reserves the right to limit each telephone call to one hour and to limit each contact to one incident. Inquiries are limited to the following QuickBooks payroll areas: installation, upgrade, assistance, and basic functionality. Fees apply for QuickBooks Pro support. 
10. QuickBooks Pro/Premier: One user included; option to add up to two additional licenses for Pro and four for Premier—sold separately. All copies of QuickBooks must be the same version-year. Online Simple Start: One user only. Product upgrade required for multi-user access. QuickBooks Pro supports a maximum of 14,500 customers, jobs, employees and other names combined, and a maximum of 14,500 items.

My Review: I have been using Intuit products since 1998, when I started doing my checking account control using Quicken98. When I had my company in Florida (from 1994 to 2005) I started using QuickbookPro around 1998 and I had no issues for many years, but I just used it to print invoices, estimates and control checking account and other investments. Minor inventory control was done manually. In 2010 the Hard Disk on my computer crashed and I called Intuit to grab a new installation code for my Quicken98 and the operator laughed in my face, said that they did not support Quicken98 for years and that I was crazy if I wanted to still use that product, when they had much more advanced ones and I should update to Quicken2010. That type of treatment made me very upset, but after two months considering what I should do, I ended up buying Quicken 2010, and I do not regret it. And generally speaking I like the format and user friendliness of Intuit products and that is why I decided to give QuickBooks Pro 2014 a shot, as I intend in the near future to open a new small business. I am not sure if I am ready to use the payroll feature immediately, but I intent to try.
I received this package and immediately installed the QuickBooks Pro 2014 part of it. It was straight forward. No flaws. It was a very quick installation process. After entering data for a fictitious company I was able to create items, services and customers and then, invoices. Although it has been 8 years since last time I used QuickBook Pro, I was back to speed in no time. Overall I am very pleased with this software and I know it has all the features I need to have the job of controlling my small business done. Probably I will try the payroll feature in the next 2 to 4 months and I will be back here to share my experience. 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!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Book "New Zealand" a travel guide by National Geographic by Peter Turner, photography by Colin Monteath

About the Book: Active travelers trust National Geographic to deliver what they want in a guidebook: expert advice, insider tips, and the cultural feel of each destination not easily found online. These guides are pitch-perfect for today's experiential travel enthusiasts who want an authentic, enriching immersion.
From the heart of Auckland and Christchurch to the lakes around Queenstown; from the fjords of Milford Sound to towering Mt. Cook on the South Island; and from the beautiful Bay of Islands to the bubbling sulfur springs of Rotorua in the North, this guide gives you every tool you need to plan a trip to this unique land on the other side of the world. Australian native and frequent Kiwi visitor Peter Turner escorts you through the incredibly varied land - and cityscapes that are today's New Zealand. Starting with a detailed introduction to the country's history, food, land, and culture, the book explores every corner of New Zealand, starting with Auckland, the bustling cosmopolitan jewel in the North. Turner takes readers down the islands to such magical places as Kiakoura, where you can swim with wild dolphins; stately Wellington, the proud and lively capital; Westland National Park, with its incredible gleaming glaciers; and charming Christchurch, whose gardens and parks give it a distinctly British feel. Special sidebars describe such topics as the Maori, the national obsession of Rugby, and the many adventure activities (like bungee jumping, which originated outside Queenstown) that people often associate with the country.
Experiential sidebars abound, including one on how to live and work on an organic farm, one on the hidden corners of the country where you can spot a real Kiwi bird, and another on places to learn to surf. The book also features guided drives and hikes through some of the land's most spectacular natural scenery. Whether you're checking out the subterranean glowworms at Waitomo Caves or trekking along the famous Milford Track, this guide has everything you need for a memorable trip.

About the Author: Drawn by family ties and a love of New Zealand's natural splendor, Peter Turner has been a regular visitor to the Land of the Long White Cloud for more than two decades, traveling the length and breadth of the country numerous times on writing assignments. Australian by birth, journalist by trade, and wanderer by nature, he has worked as an editor, publisher, and journalist in Australia and for newspapers in Indonesia, Thailand, and Brunei. As a travel writer and photographer specializing in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, he has contributed to newspapers and magazines worldwide and to more than 20 guidebooks.
About the Photographer: Based in Christchurch, New Zealand, Colin Monteath is a freelance photographer, writer, and mountaineer who has traveled widely in the polar and high mountain regions of the world. In 1983, he started Hedgehog House New Zealand, a photographic library that specializes in polar, mountain, natural history, and travel imagery. Colin has spent 28 seasons in Antarctica and has taken part in 20 Himalayan expeditions. His assignment have taken him to numerous countries and to nearly every continent, and his pictures and stories have appeared in National Geographic, Time, New Zealand Geographic, and many other publications around the world.

My Review: This is a travel guide that should be able to fulfill all your needs for information on what to do, how to do, where to go, where to eat, where to sleep, etc... when you are visiting New Zealand. The author did a magnificent job putting together this excellent travel guide. The book is structured in twelve chapters, going from an overview on how to visit, going from North to South, length travels and covering different cities and regions, like Auckland and Around, Northland, Central North Island, Wellington and the South, Marlborough and Nelson, Christchurch and Canterbury, West Coast, Otago, Fiordland and Southland. Each chapter has dozens of beautiful pictures, maps, as well as top tips, best places to eat, best places to drink and best places to shop, costs for attractions, etc. I have never been to New Zealand, and this guide was an excellent way of awakening my desire to go there. It is full of magnificent photos and so rich in detail that I felt that I had already visited most of the places. Definitely I will include New Zealand in my plans for future travels. This is an outstanding result for the effort from this author and photos are amazing. This is a must have book for those who are serious about planing their trips and also for those who want to remember details on previous travels, while wishing they can return to New Zealand some day in the future. was kind enough to provide this book 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, November 7, 2013

Book "The Guardian of the Threshold" by A.A.Volts

About the Book: Love survives everything... Even death. Unfortunately, so does hate.
When Mark wants to see his dead mother again... He gets his chance. But, like everything else in life... It comes at a hefty price.
While normal sixteen-year-old boys are out chasing girls, Mark is floating outside his own body being chased by a nefarious demon. Death itself can't keep him from trying to see his dead mother again, but when he disturbs Phasma-the Guardian of Threshold, he may have gone too far.
Forced into Threshold--the mystical world of the dead--to rescue his clumsy best friend; Mark will not only have to defeat Phasma and his army of Night Dwellers, but his own demons if he's going to save his friend, find his mother and survive the night.
How far would you go to see a dead loved one again?
* "A fantastic and unforgettable journey into the astral realm"
THE GUARDIAN OF THRESHOLD is a thrilling paranormal fantasy that will appeal to young adults and adult readers alike.

About the Author: A.A. Volts, writes paranormal, contemporary, horror and urban fantasy fiction. He lives in Kissimmee, FL with his wife and son. He fell in love with the English language at a very young age. He started his first book when he was twelve years old, which he wrote with a pencil in one hand and a dictionary on the other. He started writing his debut novel "The Guardian of Threshold" on a summer evening of 2008, after several revisions and rewrites the novel was finally ready for prime time. Throughout the years A.A. Volts lived in many places, including Boston, Philadelphia, San Jose, Phoenix, etc..., but the nearly infinite amount of sunshine in the State of Florida finally won him over. He loves to spend his days writing paranormal fantasy for young and new adults. His passion for the paranormal and his experience with astral travel (astral projection) inspired the birth of the Threshold Series. His favorite hobbies include: writing, technology, out-of-body experiences, photography and spending time with his family, not necessarily in that order.

My Review: 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Book "Whispers of Hope" by Beth Moore

About the Book: Scripture tells us to pray without ceasing, but how in the world do we do that? In fact, how should we effectively pray to begin with? 
Best-selling author Beth Moore addresses these practical and pervasive matters in Whispers of Hope by walking readers through an easy to remember and apply method of prayer, coupled with seventy daily devotionals and followed by prompts to put this prayer method into practice. 
Indeed, Whispers of Hope teaches the manifestation process of powerful Word-saturated prayer in response to a daily Bible reading. In turn, you will better understand how devotional reading and prayer are central to a stronger relationship with God.

About the Author: Beth Moore has written many best-selling books and is a dynamic teacher and a prolific Bible-study author whose public speaking engagements take her across the United States to challenge tens of thousands. Beth is focused on teaching women all over the world and is known and respected wherever she goes. She is a dedicated wife and mother of two adult daughters and lives in Houston, Texas, where she leads Living Proof Ministries and teaches an adult Sunday school class at her church.

My Review: This is the fourth book I read from this author. I was hooked on her inspirational writing style after reading "A Heart Like His" and also after reading her devotionals "Voices of the Faithful" volumes 1 and 2. This "Whispers of Hope" is a devotional type of book where we have a total of seventy short and inspirational themes for pray and meditation. After each chapter the author leaves a space for us to write our thoughts on Praise, Repentance, Acknowledgement, Intercession, Supplication for Self and Equipping. Production of the book was very well done, with a nice cover design and an old fashioned type of paper selection giving the book a very nice look. This would make an excellent gift to any serious Christian or to any one you want to make start praying.
This was a magnificent effort from the author who put together this excellent book with strong messages, and I recommend it to the permanent library of any person who enjoys a good reading to boost their faith. This book was written by Beth More and published by BH Publishing Group in 2013. The author was kind enough to provide me a copy for reviewing, and I was not asked to provide a positive feedback. Opinions here are my own.

If you read this posting, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.