Book Reviews: “Double . . by Gretchen Archer

I have noticed a growing trend in my reading!  I am reading more cozy mysteries, but I am getting tired of the cheese chick flick mysteries.  They are the type that seem more prevalent among the authors that self public on Amazon.  No I am not going to specify authors, because whether I believe it or not they do occasionally come up with some decent books.

These books usually see between $.99 – $2.99 on sale on Amazon or I get a code in the in email or on Facebook, encouraging me to download their book.  If they are free I usually do it but it takes me awhile for me to review it, if ever especially if I don’t like the book. Then I feel guilty because I know writers do depend on reviews.  However, I have several books that I actually do like and haven’t reviewed.

Another trend is that when I am having a bad day, week I tend to go back to old favorites and read those books, even if I have several books on tap that I need to read.  Very bad habit that I need to break.  Consequently, over the next week, I will be reviewing several books that Henery Press are promoting.  They have several old and new authors that they are currently promoting.  As I went through my list I have in my Kindle app, there are quite a few that I do enjoy and are becoming fast favorites.

Gretchen Archer is an author that has a series of books where the title begins with Double.  The primary character in her books is Davis Way.  I will go through the books from beginning to end or from my first to the last in the series of Gretchen Archer’s books.

Double Whammy

This is the first in the series.  The MC, Davis is starting over because of some issues with her first husband.  It may not hook you with the first sentence, but keep reading and I (almost guarantee) that you won’t be putting it down any time soon.

Double Dip

Davis Way is part of the security team at the Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, MS. Her latest assignment is to find out why a little old lady with a PO Box address keeps winning the slots tournaments. In her spare time she doubles for her bosses wife,

This is a great read!  Her zany, but loving family is something that you will love.  It is great and you will enjoy the whole story.


Double Strike

I have to admit, the third book kind or worried me.  I have noticed that some authors get a little comfortable at this stage and it become a make it or break it book within the series.  Fortunately, in my opinion,  Ms. Archer did a great job with this book.

Double Mint

What I really enjoyed about this book, is that Davis is married.  In a lot of the cozy mysteries, the MC does not get married.  This kind of bothers me, I am  old fashioned and I think that couples shouldn’t play house for so long, they should get married.  Granted Davis gets into trouble and there are a some issue, but I love her husband and I think they make a great pair.  You will love the book.

Double Knot

What I like about this series is the reality!  I have had breast cancer, people do survive and people do die from it, but it a real fear for a lot women and men.  I like how Ms. Archer handles it is this book.  You will love the story.  Enjoy!!

When you go to Amazon or Barnes & Noble, you will find that the books fall between the price range that I listed above, this is NOT A CHEESY MYSTERY BOOK.  They are all great, as stand alone books, but read the series, you will enjoy them very much!


The Kindle and other tablets


The first comment I would like to make about the Kindle is that Amazon is not paying for this blog post. I don’t receive any benefit from it, other than this blog is my own opinion. Having gotten that off my chest, I am going to move on the reason for this post. I miss my Kindle.

My husband bought me my first Kindle and I believe it was one of the first devices that Amazon made in the mid -2000s. That Kindle saw me through several long trips and chemotherapy treatments. The best part and the top reason I miss mind was that it had an audio to the story. There was a computer generated voice that the reader could select and it would read the story to the individual. It was great!!! Shortly afterwards the Nook and the other e-readers began to make an appearance, but I stuck with the Kindle.

After a while, and playing around with the device I noticed that I could go online with the e-reader and slowly began using that when I was at the doctor. In addition, I could write on the device and make notes on whatever I read. Wonderful!

The computer generated voice would read the book, documents, notes, almost anything that I asked it to read for me. I have a form of dyslexia so when I received treatment or tired, the reversal of letters and inversion of words would really kick in. As a result, the computer generated voice would read it to me and I could comprehend what the book was about and actually I would finish a book sooner in this manner.


A week or so ago a co worker wanted to get a device for his son to use in college. This student has a form of dyslexia as well. I suggested the Kindle for all of the reasons I stated in the above paragraph. However, in today’s world there are more options, more tablets, and more apps that will read the text for the individual. The same options will also write the notes for an individual.

The immersion of various types of e-readers that were taking on the characteristics of tablets began to flood the market. I attended an AECT conference around that time and a few students from the University of Hawaii had completed a study of the tablets that were available for use. Their data was located on a poster board. The conclusion that they arrived at was he same as their hypothesis, which was supported by the data. The answer: all tablets are pretty much the same, with the exception of one feature. That particular feature is unique to that tablet/ereader and depending on how you are going to use the device that is the feature you need to look for in the tablet. That feature will help you decide what device is best suited to your needs.

Consequently, over the last few years, companies have been really selling their devices to schools. There are Kindle schools, Chrome book schools, google schools, iPad schools; in addition, these schools also get breaks from their dealer on apps and other equipment that go along with their devices. It really surprised me at one point because I thought at one time that an iPad with a keyboard was the ultimate device to use in school, especially for children with special needs. Nope, not right!.img_0203

It turns out that the school should decide what they want to achieve with the device. This is where the people who are charge of educational technology come into play. I recently attended a professional development that dealt specifically with this area. So many individual education plans (IEP) include the following as an accommodation “student needs assertive technology to access the general education classroom.” Okay, what exactly does that mean and in another moment of self disclosure, I have written IEPs with those exact words written in the IEP.
At this particular professional development the facilitator stated that at the beginning of the IEP development the case manager should make a list of deficits that the student has that makes it difficult for the student to access the general education curriculum. The list can include the following items:
1. student needs help with writing
2. student has poor spelling
3. student reads 3 levels below the grade level
4. student has poor attention
5. student wears glasses
and on and on.

Now you weed the list down to precisely what you need for the student and how assistive technology can help the student access the general education curriculum. Remember assistive technology does not necessarily mean an device that requires a charger. It can be a piece of paper, a stick, whatever. It is important to determine exactly what the student needs to access the curriculum.

Let’s determine that we think the best form of assistive technology would be a device that would read to the student. The issue with this is where and when would the student be read to, because the noise would irritate the other students in the classroom. In addition, it would single the student out because they need someone to read to them in order to understand the text. Also, there are apps that can read to the student as well. For the sake of argument lets say we agree that a Kindle device would be best and the publisher has a program that fits wonderfully for the device. (Almost as if the program was designed for the device) Now the school needs to buy the device, the program, headphones and guard for the device. This all gets pricey!

Now you understand why it’s important not to just look at the cost, but the need, especially what is you want from the tablet. In my case, I honestly thought I wanted and needed an iPad, specifically a mini iPad. The reason behind this is because it fits well with the other technology I use in my classroom. However on a personal level, I really like the Kindle. It reads to me, it plays my videos really well and I can use some of my writing apps on the Kindle. Finally, I have determined that it is a better fit for me with regards to my blog, I am able to keep my documents all together, my books all together and for the books that don’t fit on the Kindle app I still have my iPad. For me, personally and professionally, it is good for me to have the Kindle, iPad and my smart phone. The smart phone, that is a whole new blog.

When you are looking at a new device; look at what it will be used for, who will use and

specifically what you want the device to do.

Netgalley Review Badges


These are the four badges that I have earned Netgalley!!!

I really enjoy reading!  I love that I get books from them that I love.  In addition, I love the fact that I have gotten to know some new authors.  Really cool!

I also review and post on these sights:

Michelle Dragalin’s Book Reviews:


I also post on varios parts of Amazon & Barnes & Noble



It’s been a tough day, God

The day started out bad. It got worse. It reminded me that the man makes their plan and God laughs.  It was very hurtful and sad.  In addition, I was unable to leave because there was no one to cover for me. It was definitely a long day.

On the way home I listened to a Joyce Meyer tape “Pressing forward”, in addition to another tape session.  Last month I wrote a letter to the Joyce Meyers’ ministry because I listed to her on Youtube and she said if you don’t have anyone to talk to send me a letter. I took her literally.

Nothing really changed.

I realize that I have to change, not because of what happen today. A person took comments I said and put them together in her mind.  It reminded me of political commercials that I am watching on T.V. I also realized that the best defense is to go back to school, present a good attitude.  However, I also know that I need to move forward in order I need to move forward and not let Satan take anymore of today that he already has taken from me.

My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”


As I wrote in my last blog, well sort of my goal is to work online and write curriculum.

Anyway, I have been receiving requests for interviews.  I believe the I let the devil get today, but he won’t get anymore time.

Book Review:  Haunted is Always in Fashion by Rose Pressey


This is a cozy mystery series; Cookie Chanel loves vintage fashion.  She has a popular blog and store devoted to vintage fashion. In addition, Cookie has a ghost, who loves fashion, named Charlotte and un-Psychic friend, Heather, who owns the Psychic store next to Cookie’s store.  In this book, the threesome are joined by Juliana who has been murdered.  Who murdered her?  Everyone wants to know, including Juliana. However, not everyone wants Cookie to solve the case, she understands why Dylan, her detective boyfriend, doesn’t want her to get involved.  But what about Julianna’s boyfriend, his grandma and her aunt?  Why are they so unhelpful?


This was a great read!  I am very surprised because I didn’t only Rose Pressey’s last book about Cookie.  At that point, I thought the series was going to become a cookie cutter of some of the other cozy mystery series I have read.  I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the book.

This ARC was given to me by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review of the book.

Book Review: Shaken by Tim Tebow

Book Review: Shaken by Tim Tebow

Initially I thought that this book would be a vanity book by the author.  Please understand I have been impressed by Tim Tebow, I feel for him.  He has been cut from four football teams and he was an Heisman Trophy winner.  Of course he wouldn’t be the first football player to win this trophy and not make a mark as a NFL player.  Tim Tebow has been through the wringer in a very public format.  I give him credit, he has not bad mouthed his football teams. 

This book was provided to me at a very interesting time for me.  I have been “cut” from four different districts, not is such a public manner.  However, I reacted in the opposite was, I was very upset and reacted in a negative manner.  I did not see it as God’s plan, prior to coming to Colorado I stayed with the same district in each state that my husband had been transferred to, I DID NOT UNDERSTAND.  This book was titled correctly for me Shaken.  I had been shaken.  There is also a song called TELL YOUR HEART TO BEAT AGAIN that incorporates the same theme as this book.

As a result, this book hit some very personal spaces.  Despite how positive he reacted publicly, he stated in this book that he was upset.  One statement “Everyone’s got a plan until they get punched in the face.” really hit home for me.  The main theme that he emphasized thorough out was that God has a plan and we just need to be in with his plan.

The section I liked the past was the distinction he made between the different types of love.

-storge: signifying a natural affection we feel for our family.

-philio: to show warm affection in an intimate friendship, characterized by tender,

heartfelt consideration and kinship.

-agape: unconditional love that is always giving and impossible to take or be a taker. It

requires commitment to seek your highest best no matter how anyone would

respond. This form of love is totally selfless and does not change whether love

that is given is returned or note.

I realized that I need to develop agape love and believe it has been hard.  I am in a very challenging job and my home life is equally challenging.  I have committed an Ismael.  That references Abraham ’s and Sarah’s plan to help God.  They were promised a son and it wasn’t happening fast enough so they developed a plan and with Sarah’s handmaiden had a son, Ismael.  God was not happy.  In addition, I have looked to money as my idol, I was waiting for some money to come in to solve my situation.  It was not to be.

Agape Love is difficult, it requires constant prayer and attention to God.  The individual must also look outside themselves in order to obey God’s commands and do what he has planned for you.  Tim explains how he was able to do  this and also provided examples of other individuals who illustrated agape love in a beautiful manner.  These examples like Tim’s did not result in happily every after.  The ending came hard and hurtful, but by promoting and striving to show agape love he has been able to go through it with the help of God.

This book is great!  I haven’t read any of his previous books.  I thoroughly recommend this book.  You don’t have to be going through a hard time to enjoy it.  The lessons are for everyone!

I was provided an ARC of this book by the authors’ marketing team in exchange for an honest review and assistance in launching the book.

Cozy Mysteries and Writing

Cozy Mysteries and Writing

I like most cozy mysteries.  I like the format.  I like most of the main characters. I like most of the settings.  I like the various careers and businesses that the characters in the book hold while they solve mysteries.

This came to pass the last time I read a cozy mystery.  I realized that I like the fact that most of these women have relocated to another part of the country.  Most of them have gone back home or close to home and restart their lives.  Some are divorced, some are widowed, some are married and some are single.   They all are starting over after leaving a fairly successful career, laid off, fired or the job has ended.  The jobs I like best are the ones that are the most plausible and compatible with sleuthing.  Some I have to just laugh at because they have to juggle and still make a living.

Recently I read “Haunted is Always in Fashion” which I will be reviewing shortly.  However, this woman own and operates a vintage clothing shop, has a ghost or two who are always around and she blogs.  I like this because this is what I would like to be doing.  I would like to have a successful blog and career that I can maintain at the house or while we are traveling.  I know it will happen, I believe to be eventually something that will happen because it is God’s plan.  Right now I have to get straighten out.  Anyway, I really enjoyed the book and like her style.

In addition, I learn a lot.  As stated in the above paragraph the main character provides information about vintage clothing, another tells me a lot about herbs, another reminds me how much I like crocheting and knitting, then there is cozy mystery that deal with embroidery and another concerning quilting.  I tell you there are so many crafts that an individual can do at home and make a living.

Some day I may be writing about a curriculum writer who blogs, while the main character sleuths in her free time.

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