Friday, January 31, 2014

Kids Volume Limiting Headphones 2/1-2/12 US Residents 18+

Thank you for stopping in and Entering to win here at Cassandra M's Place!
These headphones feature sound isolation that helps clarify audio, a ferrite magnet that reinforces sound, and large, full-range drivers that deliver powerful audio, along with a built-in volume limiter to protect children's hearing.
Prize: Kids Volume Limiting Headphones (Winners Choice of Hello Kitty, My Little Pony or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Dates: 2/1-2/12
Open to: US Residents 18+
Enter to win using the Giveaway Tools Widget below. Good luck!

Disclosure: Cassandra M's Place did not receive compensation for this post and is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Hershey’s Valentine’s Day Prize Pack Giveaway 2/1-2/12 us 18+

Thank you so much for entering to win at Cassandra M's Place, I hope you have a sweet Valentine's Day!

Prize: Hershey's Valentine's Prize Pack
Dates: 2/1-2/12
Open to: US Residents 18+
Enter to win using the Giveaway Tools Widget below. Good luck!

Disclosure:Cassandra M's Place did not receive compensation for this post and is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

All New Kindle Fire HDX 7 or paypal cash Giveaway Enter here Now through 2/28/2014

February Kindle Fire Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)   This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7".
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)
  Or $229 Gift Card (International)
  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
      February Sponsors
  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. Romance Through the Ages
  4. Buried Under Romance
  5. Author Inger Iversen
  6. Jenna Does Books
  7. Author Jennifer Laurens
  8. Author Bonnie Blythe
  9. Author Bella Street
  10. The Reporter and the Girl
  11. Author Brinda Berry
  12. The Storybook Kingdom
  13. More Than a Review
  14. Bea's Book Nook
  15. Bookroom Reviews
  16. The One With The Fairy Tales
  17. MyLadyWeb: Women's History and Women Authors
  18. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl
  19. I Heart YA Fiction
  20. My Devotional Thoughts
  21. Kindle and Me
  22. Clever Me
  23. Every Free Chance Book Reviews
  24. Author Karey White
  25. Author Aubrey Wynne
  26. Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton
  27. A Leisure Moment
  28. Author Louise Caiola
  29. Author Christie Anderson
  30. Author Carol Malone
  31. Immortal Ink Publishing
  32. Author A. Wrighton
  33. Author Heather McCoubrey
  34. Attack of the Books!
  35. Rumor Has It
  36. Barb's Wire - eBooks & More
  37. Author Linda S. Prather
  38. Tressa's Wishful Endings
  39. Laurie Here
  40. Author Heather Gray
  41. Author Kelly Martin
  42. Author Brenda Maxfield
  43. A Southern Lady's Book Blog
  44. Author Paige Ryan
  45. Confessions of a Librarian in Training
  46. My Nook, Books and More
  47. Lori's Reading Corner
  48. Author Elizabeth Woodrum
  49. Author Kristin Wallace
  50. Author Jo Grafford
  51. Writer Wonderland
  52. Author Jaret Martens
  53. Author Christi Corbett
  54. Author Derek Rempfer
  Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Fire Giveaway:   Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7". Ends 2/28/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keurig Vue V700 Brewing System Value $149 and a bonus pack Jan. 31 12:01am to Feb. 21 11:59pm Continental US resident only

Hosted by:

Co-Hosted by:
Thank you for Entering to win at Cassandra M's Place

One lucky winner will win 

Keurig Vue V700 Brewing System Value $149 and a bonus pack

Bonus variety box includes:
  • 1 Barista Prima Italian Roast Coffee
  • 1 Café Escapes Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa
  • 1 Celestial Seasonings® Sleepytime Herbal Tea
  • 1 Celestial Seasonings® Southern Sweet Iced Tea
  • 1 Gloria Jean’s® Hazelnut Coffee
  • Green Mountain Coffee® Breakfast Blend Travel Mug Coffee
  • 1 Green Mountain Coffee® Nantucket Blend Coffee
  • 1 The Original Donut Shop® Extra Bold Coffee
  • 1 Timothy’s® Columbian Decaf Coffee
  • 1 Tully’s® French Roast Coffee
    *Selections may vary based on supply

Jan. 31   12:01am to Feb. 21 11:59pm
All entries are optional,
Continental US resident only

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: Cassandra M's Place  is not responsible for the awarding of the prize.  If you have any questions about this giveaway, please email the host at

Julep Beauty's Maven subscription box FREE first month

Julep Maven Subscription - first box free

Julep Beauty's Maven subscription box is more than just first access to the latest in beauty innovation delivered to your doorstep every month. Take a look at all the beautiful benefits you get when you become a Maven:
  • Get your Maven starter box for FREE (regularly $19.99) with the code FREEBOX
  • Get $40 of our 4-free nail polish and beauty products for just $20 and customized to your style
  • Get 20% off all regular priced items and free shipping
  • Early access to the newest Julep collection on the 20th of each month
  • Exclusive access to the Secret Store and first dibs on Mystery Boxes
So, what are you waiting for? Take the Style Quiz and get your first Maven box for FREE! Don't forget to use FREEBOX at checkout. (Note, you will have to pay shipping on the intro box and you can cancel at any time!)

Pogo Pass Giveaway

 Welcome to the Pogo Pass Giveaway
 Sponsored by Pogo Pass Thank you for entering at Cassandra M's Place

Pogo Pass is really some thing special.  When you buy your Pogo Pass you get free admission to many different venues in the Phoenix area.  All venues you actually want to go to!  Each venue has a limit on how many times you can go but many of them allow you  to go multiple times a month!  Activities for summer anyone? Yes, Please.

Buy your pass today and see how great this pass really is!

Make sure to check out Pogo Pass on Facebook and Twitter.

Enter Below to WIN 2 Pogo Passes!!!

Jenn, Mom Of Two Munchkins and Cassandra M's Place  are not responsible for shipping of prize.  Pogo Pass has the sole responsibility for shipping of prize. Prize value is $199.90.  

Puritan's Pride Review and Giveaway Enter Here

Puritan’s Pride® began over 40 years ago, with the mission of making the finest quality nutritional supplements available at the best value to their customers. Today, the company remains true to its original commitment and serves millions of loyal customers.Puritan’s Pride manufactures thousands of vitamins, minerals, herbs and other nutritional supplements in their state-of-the art facilities located throughout the U.S. As part of the company’s commitment to quality, Puritan’s Pride only uses ingredients from suppliers worldwide that meet their Quality Assurance Standards, as well as Good Manufacturing Practices food quality standards.

Product Information

What is Co Q-10?

Made with a natural, highly bioavailable form of Co Q 10 — Q-Sorb™. Co Q-10 contributes to your heart and cardiovascular wellness.* It also helps support healthy blood pressure levels already within a normal range.* Promotes energy production within your heart, brain and muscles and provides powerful antioxidant support**

Good oral health is linked to cardiovascular health; Coenzyme Q10 supports both!*

Important for Statin drug users++ — taking Q-Sorb™ Co Q 10 can help replenish what Statin drugs can deplete◊

++Note: Coenzyme Q10 is not intended to serve as a replacement for Statin therapy, nor should you discontinue taking any prescribed medications while supplementing with Coenzyme Q10.

What is is Phytosterol Complex?

Phytosterol Complex promotes cardiovascular and circulatory wellness* and may reduce the risk of heart disease. ◊Scientific evidence demonstrates that diets that include phytosterols may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. ◊ Puritan Pride’s specialized formula exceeds strict quality standards for levels of phytosterols (beta sitosterol, stigmasterol, and campesterol) - the active ingredients that help maintain cholesterol levels already within a normal range.*

◊Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 2 g per day of plant sterols eaten with meals or snacks may reduce the risk of heart disease. A serving of Phytosterol Complex supplies 0.5 g of plant sterols.

What are some uses for Omega-3 Fish Oil?

Fish oil supports heart health.* A daily fish oil supplement contains heart healthy nutrients including Omega-3 fatty acids – the ‘good fats’ that help balance the ‘bad fats’ in your diet.*

Puritan’s Pride Ester-Omega® Fish Oil provides 300mg of total omega-3 fatty acids, comprising of EPA, DHA and other fatty acids. EPA and DHA fatty acids support heart health, and provide an energy source for your body. * Purified to eliminate mercury.

What is Natural Flax Oil?

Flaxseed is one of the most concentrated vegetarian source of Omega-3 fatty acids found in nature — it contributes to heart, while providing an energy source for the body.*

What is Flush Free Niacin?

Niacin is a B vitamin that performs many beneficial functions in the body, including promoting a healthy heart and circulatory system.* Niacin aids in maintaining proper metabolic functioning, supporting energy metabolism as well as carbohydrate and protein metabolism.* Niacin capsules also contribute to nervous system health, while helping to maintain healthy skin.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Cassandra's Review- Puritan’s Pride products are made of the highest quality ingredients and are easy to use. As with all vitamins it is extremely important not to intake more then recommended and to follow the instructions.  The different vitamins that I reviewed each had a different effect on me (nothing horrible) . I was not a big fan of the Niacin but it has nothing to do with the brand just the ingredient itself.  Everyone will have their own results, also check the ingredients of each product to make sure your not allergic to them.  I would recommend the products that I have tried and the brand as a whole. 

I received one or more the products mentioned above for free to review. All opinions are my own.

The Marriage You've Always Wanted Book Review and GIVEAWAY enter Here ends 2/13/2014 US and Canada only

You can picture the perfect marriage in your mind, but re-creating it in reality doesn’t come easy. Trusted counselor and relationship expert Dr. Gary Chapman reasons that the most sought-after ingredient in any marriage is true oneness. In The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, he presents expert wisdom and common sense methods to establishing that true unity on emotional and practical levels. Discover the wit and insight that makes his worldwide presentations and marriage conferences so popular. Are you trying to change your spouse? Do you know what it means to really love someone? Do you feel ignored or even alone in your effort to improve your marriage? Dr. Chapman has answers and action steps on topics from expressing your emotions to managing your money, all in a format that will have you and your spouse talking and learning with every page.

As anyone who has attended one of his marriage conferences knows, Dr. Gary Chapman’s expertise in marriage begins with the success and failures he and his wife Karolyn have experienced in their marriage for more than 45 years. He is just the man to turn to for help on improving or healing our most important relationships. His own life experiences, plus over thirty-five years of pastoring and marriage counseling, led him to publish his first book in the Love Language series, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Many of the millions of readers credit this continual New York Times bestseller with saving their marriages by showing them simple and practical ways to communicate love.

Since the success of his first book, Dr. Chapman has expanded his Five Love Languages series with special editions that reach out specifically to singles, men, and parents of teens and young children.
He is the author of numerous other books published by Moody Publishers/Northfield Publishing, including Anger, The Family You’ve Always Wanted, The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, Desperate Marriages, God Speaks Your Love Language, How to Really Love Your Adult Child, and Hope for the Separated. With Dr. Jennifer Thomas, he co-authored The Five Languages of Apology.

Dr. Chapman speaks to thousands of couples nationwide through his weekend marriage conferences. He hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, A Love Language Minute, and a Saturday morning program, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, both airing on more than 400 stations. Dr. Chapman and his wife have two grown children and currently live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he serves as senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church.

Dr. Chapman holds BA and MA degrees in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University, respectively, MRE and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University.

Cassandra's Review-  Couples can sometimes benefit from certain knowledge that can be gained only by reading this book. Nothing in the book is fool proof and iron clad but it can guide you a bit towards your goal. If you intend to pick up a copy of this book just to read it then its not a perfect fit for you because this book is for people who want to live it and benefit from it.  Dr. Gary Chapman is writing truth and wisdom in between the pages so be prepared for that.  I would recommend this book to adults and anyone who feels they are at the right stage of life to get married, as well as those who have already dived in and are just learning how to swim through it all.  

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Name A Star (Personalized Gift) Review + Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Name A Star (Personalized Gift)

This product is a name a star service. You will receive a certificate with the persons name you have named the star after with it's co-ordinates. You will also receive instructions how to view the star with google earth, where the recipient of the gift will see a personalized message left by you. A great gift ideal for so many occasions including Birthdays, Xmas, Thanksgiving, Anniversaries, Valentines, Births, Christenings.

Cassandra's Review- As this product is shipped via email and everything is done online, you will get your product fast and that is a great benefit especially for last minute gifts or holidays.  I received my e-copy and was able to do whatever I wanted with it. You can use the Name a Star site to find your star with Google Earth. I had to install Google Earth first though and then I could download my star file either on my PC or to my drop box. It is fun to watch Google Earth find your star and the kids loved to see the little message that was registered. The whole process is super simple and fun. You can enter below to win you own Name a Star ARV: 12.99

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mark of Evil The End Series Volume: 4 Review

Mark of Evil The End Series Volume: 4
By Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall
Published by Zondervan

Economies have fallen, freedom has been suppressed, and peace is a distant memory. The world is falling apart. Joshua Jordan’s protégé Ethan March, along with Jimmy Louder and Rivka Reuban have been left behind in a world that is rapidly coming under the complete influence of the Antichrist.

Technology is growing by leaps and bounds, with BID-Tag implants, robotic police units, and drone-bots flying overhead . . . all designed to control and dominate those who resist the Antichrist’s reign of evil. As Biblical prophecy is fulfilled each new day, Ethan and the others in the Remnant struggle to eat, to procure necessary goods, and to avoid the Global Alliance---in short, to survive.

But when the forces of evil attempt to pervert the world’s most powerful information system to their own sinister ends, eliminating everyone who gets in their way, it’s up to Ethan and the Remnant to subvert their dark ambitions. From New York Times best-selling author Tim LaHaye, creator and co-author of the world-renowned Left Behind books, and Craig Parshall, Mark of Evil is the final thrilling chapter in The End series.

With high-tech thrills against a background of prophetic events that seem to leap from today’s news, this is the story of global tribulations bringing the world one step closer to the reign of the Antichrist and the return of Jesus Christ in glory.

Image of Tim LaHaye

Dr. Tim LaHaye (, who conceived the idea of fictionalizing an account of the Rapture and the Tribulation, is a noted author, minister, and nationally recognized speaker on Bible prophecy. He is the founder of both Tim LaHaye Ministries and The PreTrib Research Center. He also recently cofounded the Tim LaHaye School of Prophecy at Liberty University. Presently Dr. LaHaye speaks at many Bible prophecy conferences in the U.S. and Canada, where his current prophecy books are very popular.

Dr. LaHaye holds a doctor of ministry degree from Western Theological Seminary and a doctor of literature degree from Liberty University. For 25 years he pastored one of the nation's outstanding churches in San Diego, which grew to three locations. It was during that time that he founded two accredited Christian high schools, a Christian school system of ten schools, and San Diego Christian College (formerly known as Christian Heritage College).

Dr. LaHaye has written over 50 non-fiction books and co-authored 25 fiction books, many of which have been translated into 34 languages. He has written books on a wide variety of subjects, such as family life, temperaments, and Bible prophecy. His most popular fiction works, the Left Behind series, written with Jerry B. Jenkins, continue to appear on the best-seller lists of the Christian Booksellers Association, "Publishers Weekly," the "Wall Street Journal," "USA Today," and the "New York Times."

Another popular series by LaHaye and Jenkins is The Jesus Chronicles. This four-book fiction series gives readers a rich first century experience as John, Mark, Luke, and Matthew recount thrilling accounts of the life of Jesus. Dr. LaHaye is co-author of another fiction series, Babylon Rising. Each of the four titles in this series have debuted in the top 10 on the New York Times best seller list. These are suspense thrillers with thought-provoking messages.

Cassandra's Review- In today's world you would not think twice about some of the stuff mentioned in this book. You might not ever give the vast filled knowledge a second thought. Some might even turn their head and look the other way instead of indulge in the vast concepts within these pages. To know of a possible truth and to feel it in your soul is not always easy. It will keep you wondering and thinking which is what a great book should always do in my opinion. 

I have received a complimentary copy of this book from Book Sneeze.

Perfect Ending Book Review

by Robert Jeffress
Why Christ's Imminent Return Matters To You

Over the past year, Robert Jeffress has received more national media exposure than any other pastor with multiple appearances on O'Reilly, Bill Maher, Fox News and CNN shows. Jeffress is considered by the media as the go-to person for evangelical views, assuring television coverage of his book.

Perfect Ending is designed to help Christians understand the intriguing, but often confusing subject of Bible prophecy and apply the truth of Christ's return to everyday life. Written in an easy-to-understand way, the book explains and applies the realities of the rapture, the tribulation, heaven and hell and relates those future events to our world today. Wouldn't the knowledge of your future be a comfort to you in the present trials of life?

Robert Jeffress (DMin, Southwestern Theological Seminary; ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) is an author and the senior pastor of the 11,000-member First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. His bold, biblical and practical approach to ministry has made him one of the country’s most respected evangelical leaders and earned him a Daniel Award from Vision America. He regularly appears on major mainstream media outlets such as Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, The O’Reilly Factor, Cavuto on Business, ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS’s The Early Show. He also hosts a television program, Pathway to Victory, and teaches a daily sermon series that airs on 1,200 television stations and cable systems throughout the nation and in 28 countries around the world.

Cassandra's Review-  To understand complex and interesting facts are not always the easiest thing. This book will help you to break down the information so that you can really benefit from it and not have to refer to many other books to translate what is being said. I was thrilled to experience the knowledge and fact that was inserted in the pages of Perfect Ending. I would recommend this book to both adult and young adult as they would get the most out of it.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Worthy Publishing.

Samadhi Promotional Book Tours

Samadhi – Book Three in the Love and Light Series is available NOW
Wolf and Loti are learning the hard way that karma will not be denied. In their quest for the truth, they've been forced into a blood bond with a powerful witch who isn't so sure she wants to be tied down. But there's one thing they can agree on: it’s time to eliminate the ancient vampire who set off this deadly chain of events--Modore.
Using any means necessary--torture, murder, and even death magic--Modore lures the triumvirate into the show down of their lives. And the consequences will far exceed even Modore's imagination.
In this final installment of the Love and Light Series, the boundaries of love, lust, and even life itself will be tested and the universe as they know it will never be the same.

Join the Facebook Party. Starts at 8pm EST

About the Author
Melissa Lummis considers herself a truth seeker, a peaceful warrior, a paranormal and fantasy writer, an avid reader, a thru-hiker GAàME ’98, a Penn Stater, a wife, a mother, and a free thinker. She believes the universe conspires to help an adventurer. And if we live our lives as if it is a daring adventure (and it is!), then everything we need will find its way to us.
Her books have been described as new age suspense in a fantasy setting, but they are also straight up, steamy Paranormal Romance. The Love and Light Series is currently available at most ebook retailers and soon to come is the Little Flame Series, a spin off focusing on the character Fiamette from the Love and Light world.
Melissa lives in rural Virginia with her husband, two children, an Alaskan Malamute, and a myriad of forest creatures. The nature of her mind dictates that she write to stay sane. Otherwise, her fertile imagination takes off on tangents of its own accord, creating scenarios and worlds that confuse the space-time continuum.
Namaste, dear friends.
Melissa’s Social Links:
Check out for more about her and her books.
Follow @melissalummis on Twitter.
Tumble with Melissa on tumblr.
And watch her and co-host Buddy Gott on the Sunday Night Fiction Club on YouTube.
Get unique content, early access to publications, and exclusive giveaways by subscribing to her newsletter.

Piczzle - Your special puzzle with your own photo. Review + Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Piczzle Photo Puzzles service is an Internet-based retailing and manufacturing service of Custom Jigsaw Photo Puzzles.

Piczzle Jigsaw Picture Puzzles are made of the highest material and print quality standards. The photos are digitally adjusted to the correct picture puzzle size and are then designed by graphic designers who follow the specifications each order. After careful design, the personalized picture puzzle is printed on high quality photo paper.

Their picture puzzle printing technique is not the commonly used heat-press. Piczzle uses the high-quality SSPT (Superior Sublimation Printing Technology) method which is the "Cadillac" of the photo puzzle printing process that will last forever. This hi-tech printing method produces photo puzzles of high quality sharpness and color. Coupled with our Photographic Quality Ink (7 colors), we make your personalized picture puzzle appear truer to life than ever. Our wooden jigsaw photo puzzles are computerize laser-cut for maximum accuracy, while our standard picture puzzles are machine press-cut. In both cases the cuts are sharp and clean and the end result is a Personalized Jigsaw Picture Puzzle made exactly to your specification. Our Standard Picture Puzzles have a glossy lamination finish and the Finest Wooden Photo Puzzles are treated with a high quality gloss finish for protection of the product.

Piczzle offers a vast range of jigsaw picture puzzle designs from which you can make your personalized picture puzzle. Custom puzzles are all about creativity and originality. Piczzle enables customers to create original picture puzzles by offering unique varieties of picture puzzle shapes (rectangular puzzles, round puzzles and heart-shaped puzzles), a range of sizes (small puzzles to XX-Giant), and a varying number of jigsaw puzzle pieces (12 to 2,000). Likewise, customers have access to our exclusive picture puzzle graphic designs and our matchless finish for building their own personal photo puzzles.

What's your skill level? Do you want an easy jigsaw puzzle with larger pieces or maybe a challenging one with hundreds or thousands of pieces cut for jigsaw puzzle experts? Either way, you choose the jigsaw picture puzzle that is right for you. 

Piczzle developed a fun, quick and friendly onlineordering system that allows customers to easily create their own high quality personalized jigsaw picture puzzles: 

1. Choose your personalized jigsaw puzzle size, number of pieces and free graphic design.
2. Optional: enter your "MyWords" text or choose a quote (free).
3. Specify your preferable picture puzzle packing option and delivery plan.
4. Upload your photo.
5. Confirm your personalized puzzle order.

Cassandra's review- My Puzzle was shipped fast and came in a good quality package that kept it safe from harm. I opened my package and was immediately smiling because of the quality and color of my puzzle. It was realistic to my actual picture to a T. I loved it and will cherish it as a part of my family heirloom for many years to come. Anyone who takes time to customize to their perfect style will not be upset with the result (as my opinion is put in).   So this is the part I love the most the gracious company Piczzle is giving away a Small Cardboard Puzzle to a lucky  reader of mine. Just enter on the form below. (wait for it to load if it does not come right up).  

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Curious Critters Volume I and II review

Cover of Curious Critters Volume One by David FitzSimmons

Text and Photography by David FitzSimmons

Amazing animals – from a beautiful butterfly to a crabby crayfish – posed for portraits. Good thing photographer and writer David FitzSimmons jotted down what the pink katydid, jabbering jay, poetic opossum, and other Curious Critters had to say!  (Juvenile/Nonfiction: Animals/Science & Nature • Ages 2 to 8 • ISBN 978-1-936607-69-3 • 32 pages • 11 x 9.5 • $19.95)

Five National Book Awards:

2012 IBPA Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book (Children's/Young Adult)

2012 Nautilus Silver Book Award (Children’s Nonfiction, Grades 1-6)
2011 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, Silver (Non-Fiction - Picture Book)
2012 Skipping Stones Honor Award (Nature and Ecology Books)
2012 Publishers West Book Design Awards, Bronze (Children's/YA Illustrated)


Award-winning author and photographer David FitzSimmons has a unique

approach to animal portraiture, and he loves sharing it with kids. Instead of
seeking rare animals in exotic locations, David photographs common animals
—many found in your own backyard—against plain, white backgrounds,
producing detailed close-up images that are simply striking. These images
are the visual foundation of his “Curious Critters” children’s picture books.
Volume one won five national book awards. Volume Two will be released in

FitzSimmons’ unconventional approach allows animals’ colors, textures, 
shapes, and “personalities” to shine through. “Kids focus on the animals. 
That’s when the learning begins,” David explains. “They focus on and notice 
clues about animals’ behaviors, diets, life cycles, and habitats.”

Besides the extraordinary photography, each of the twenty animals in 
“Curious Critters Volume Two” gets a chance to tell its story. Take, for 
example, the proud papa Northern cardinal, who explains how he and his 
“crested cutie” built their nest:

As I flew in with twigs, then leaves, then grapevine bark, and, finally, 
grass and pine needles, my singing sweetie put our cup-shaped nest 

Then, after laying three eggs, my orange-beaked beauty began sitting 
on our eggs while I brought her seeds to eat. A dozen days later, our 
hatchlings pecked their way out. They looked so cute!
The second volume of Curious Critters also includes the airline pilot monarch 

Air traffic control, this is Monarch Flight 1 preparing for takeoff, flying 
from Milkweed, Minnesota, to Oyamel Fir Forest, Mexico. The estimated
flight time for our two-thousand mile journey is just over two months.
Then there’s the buccaneer bluegill, who’s the pirate of the pond:

Ahoy! Call me Cap’n Bluegill. I ply these waters looking for good eatin’.
Me tall, flat body and me ruthless rigging—you know, me fearsome fins
—allow me to sail smartly and steer sharply. If a snail, a worm, or a 
dragonfly larva dares to dally in me waters, I chase ’em down, then 
suck ’em in. Gulp!
Other characters include the muscle-bound green frog with an East-coast 
accent, the American Kestrel with his high dive circus act, the sidewinder 
magician, and the leucistic gray squirrel, who grows weary of people thinking
that her white color means she’s an albino. 
Of all the characters, however, children may delight most in the four Eastern 
As cute as the bunnies are, their childlike conversation about coprophagy—
yes, rabbits eat their own poop!—is sure to have children and parents 
groaning with delight.
You mean we eat our own . . . feces?!
Feces? What are feces?
You know . . . poop.
Who said that?
I did. That’s what I heard.
Yep. By eating grasses twice, we get more nutrients the second time 
through. All rabbits do it. What’s wrong with that?
That’s disgusting!
“Curious Critters Volume Two” is filled with other fascinating fauna, including
a beautiful butterfly, a Spanish-speaking armadillo, a mathematical moth, a 
bellowing alligator, a back flipping beetle, and other amazing animals.
The second book in the series is not only entertaining but also educational. 
Before David began composing the short vignettes accompanying each 
photo, he reviewed national science education standards. “Curious Critters 
Volume Two” meets all the National Research Council’s life science 
standards for grades K-4.

The picture book also features additional natural history information for each
Critter and a two-page spread of life-size silhouettes, where readers are 
asked to identify the animals, find one whose shape has changed, test 
geometry skills in looking for reversed silhouettes, and figure out what the 
various colors represent. The book also includes a glossary

New! Curious Critters Audiobooks
Audiences, thrilled with author David FitzSimmons dramatically reading 
Curious Critter character voices at book events and school visits, have been 
calling for recordings of the book’s voices. So, simultaneous with the release 
of “Curious Critters Volume Two,” Wild Iris Publishing will be releasing 
audiobooks for “Curious Critters Volume One” and “Curious Critters Volume 
Two.” In writing the “Curious Critters” books, David imagined that each critter 
talked to him during its portrait session and that he was just writing down 
what was said. Both audiobooks capture the sometimes calm, other times 
excited, and occasionally irascible personalities David envisioned. Calling 
upon a stable of diverse and animated voiceover talent, the two audiobooks 
bring forty-one animals to life. 
Highlights include the Richard Simmons wannabe gold green sweat bee, who
likes sweat...but only when she gets to lick your sweat; the bench pressing 
green frog who just came out of a Boston gym and sits by the edge of the 
pond to sing to the “froggie girls;” and the eyed elater, who, amidst constant
castanet-like clicking, explains how he rights himself if upside down: 

My name is eyed elater
No beetle’s jump is greater.
Click. Click. Click.
If on my back I’ve landed,
and upside down seem stranded,
Click. Click. Click.
I bend my back way under,
then click as loud as thunder.
Click. Click. Click

These and many other delightful sound effects provide fun, natural sounds 
that contextualize the animals: water swishes when the Eastern spiny 
softshell turtle climbs onto a log; the sidewinder rattles his tail before and 
after his disappearing magic act; and a wood block provides the acoustic 
punch line to the knock, knock joke of the baby Eastern bluebird, ready to 
emerge from her beautiful blue egg.

Perhaps most endearing of all are the young talent who give voice to juvenile

Curious Critters in both volumes, such as the cute-as-a-button baby bluebird 
and the not-quite-ready-to-fly red-eyed vireo fledgling.
The character voices reach their pinnacle in the volume two audiobook when
four bunnies discuss mom leaving them all alone while she “goes out to eat,”
puzzle over running all “zig-zaggy weird,” and act dismayed over eating their
own “feces” to provide more nutrition the second time through: “Eeew! 
That’s disgusting!” Four young girls, ages 3 to 9, bring with their voices 
heartfelt charm!
Rounding out the soundscape of both audiobooks is the upbeat singing of 
nature-folk singer Foster Brown, who plays the part of the singing spotted 
salamander and the warbling diving beetle. And beginning and ending both 
audiobooks is Foster’s catchy “Curious Critters” theme song, rich with the 
bluegrass sounds of a guitar, banjo, mandolin, and upright bass:
Curious Critters all around,
in forests to farms and in our town.
With beaks, scales, wings, and paws,
feathers, fur and teeth and claws,
some hop and crawl or walk or swim,
fly or glide or slither in.
Curious Critters to be found.
Come listen in. Come gather ‘round.
The Curious Critter’s web site,, has additional 
resources, including puzzles, coloring pages, e-cards, teacher aids, and 
stories about the making of the books. 
David hopes that his “Curious Critters” books will inspire children and adults 
to conserve nature. “To protect our natural world, we first have to care about
it. I hope that my animal pictures allow people to see common animals—from
frogs and squirrels to caterpillars and katydids—in a whole new and 
meaningful way. I hope the photography captivates and inspires people.”
Curious Critters volume one, which has sold over 100,000 copies to-date, 
won five national book awards, including the IBPA’s coveted Bill Fisher award
for Best First Book (2012).
More amazing animals coming soon!

Cover of Curious Critters Marine by David FitzSimmons (Coming soon!)

In “Curious Critters: Marine,” meet fish, birds, crustaceans and other animals

from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as the Gulf of Mexico. Hear what
the black sea bass, candy stripe shrimp, pencil urchin, California sea slug, 
horseshoe crab, blue lobster, and other seaworthy Curious Critters had to 
say! Available Fall 2014.

CURIOUS CRITTERS Volume Two is now available! Following 100,000 copies sold of the CURIOUS CRITTERS Volume One, the sequel features a mathematical moth, buccaneer bluegill, bilingual armadillo, and many more amazing animals. Sample pages at
AUDIOBOOKS of Curious Critters Volumes One & Two are now available. Hear samples at www.wildirispublishing.comCheck out David's SIGMA Pro blog: tips, techniques, and more...David's blog

Image of David FitzSimmons

David FitzSimmons is a free-lance photographer and writer as well as a university professor. David photographs and writes for various magazines, including Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography, and Shutterbug, newspapers, and online publications. His 100+ calendar credits include numerous titles by BrownTrout and Barnes & Noble. Dave currently is at work on a handful of books. His most recent books include Animals of Ohio's Ponds and Vernal Pools (Kent State UP) and Curious Critters (Wild Iris, September 2011).

One of five Sigma Pro photographers in North America, David presents seminars and workshops to a wide variety of audiences, from public school groups and college classes to nature centers and civic organizations. His works have been exhibited at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute and the National Center for Nature Photography, and the Telluride Photo Festival, among other venues.

David, a former high school English teacher, has been teaching for 20 years. He is a professor at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio. He holds a Ph.D. in English from Ohio State University, with a specialty in narrative theory--investigating the components of storytelling--something that influences his photography and writing.

Dave was inspired to photograph and write about nature by his parents, Mick and Judy FitzSimmons, active environmentalists and life-long teachers, and he is assisted in his natural history endeavors by his wife, Olivia, a naturalist, and his two daughters, Sarah and Phoebe.

Cassandra's Review- A grand slam of a series that has hit its mark 100% . My whole family and friends enjoyed sharing the books and listening to the audio books.  The music is groovy and the information is jammed packed. My favorite part are the pictures because they are SO beautiful and make me feel like I am visiting with each image. I would recommend for teachers and parents to enjoy with the special kids in their lives!

I received one or more products mentioned above for free.