Why Choose Extended Stay America?

When searching for family friendly, pet friendly, affordable accommodations for a trip or vacation it seems like it can be a lot to ask for. We’re a family of 6. Most hotels can’t accommodate all 6 of us so we’d have to book 2 rooms at least. I feel like often time we have to give up amenities just to keep the cost down. In the end it really doesn’t help anyway because most hotel rooms don’t have a way to cook in the room other than a microwave if you’re lucky. Which runs into money eating out for all the meals with a family of 6. If you can find a room with decent amenities to accomodate a family then asking if you can take Fido or mittens along too, you may as well forget it. Then you have to look at hiring a pet sitter or boarding your pet which…again…runs into more money.

There is one place though that will save you all the hassles while being surprisingly affordable. Extended Stay America.

With Extended Stay America you can enjoy the benefits that you’d expect to find in a hotel like housekeeping services, clean rooms, convenient locations, and wifi, mixed with things you’d expect to see more in a condo or vacation rental like: a kitchen with a refrigerator, microwave, and stove top, on-site guest laundry.

Think of the money you’d save not having to eat all your meals out. Oh speaking of which, many Extended Stay America locations also offer FREE grab-and-go breakfast so there’s one of your meals taken care of already!

There are flat screen tv’s in all rooms so after a long day of having fun and exploring you can relax with your favorite show before bed or catch the news to plan your next day’s adventures.

While you’re relaxing you’ll notice the upgraded bedding with extra pillows to help ensure a good night sleep. So comfortable you might forget you’re not at home especially when Fido is whining to be taken outside. Which brings me to another point.

Extended Stay America knows a vacation just isn’t a vacation if you fur babies aren’t with you. Or if your staying temporarily until your new home is ready. That’s why Extended Stay America allows up to 2 pets per room at just $25 extra per pet to stay for cleaning service. Even at that, still a lot cheaper than boarding your pet.

With so many locations you can find one close to your destination. I saw there is one in Wilmington, NC. We keep thinking about visiting Wilmington again to check out the beaches. I’d love to go back to the plantation house in Wilmington again. They offer blacksmithing classes that my husband is interested in.

Rooms start at just $65 per night! Honestly I just did a search for June for the Wilmington area and was surprised to see there are still several room choices available and the most expensive one I saw was $114/night but that will all the bells and whistles of daily full service housekeeping and a sleeper sofa in addition to the 2 beds in the room.

Check out Extended Stay America for your upcoming vacation or business trip and book here:

This post does contain affiliate links. I will get a small commission from sales made through my links. Any opinions expressed are my own.


KiwiCo Box Review: Tinker Crate for Ages 9 – 16+

KiwiCo has been around for a while. I remember subscribing to Kiwicrate when my oldest boys were pretty young. They were great to do on rainy or cold days. It was also a nice option to have when we had unplug time. I am not the mom that comes up with all these creative ideas. I’m the mom that searches Pinterest for ideas with materials I have.

KiwiCo subscription boxes come with the instructions and materials you need for each project. KiwiCo has grown quite a bit and has so much to offer now. When I got it for my older boys it was just craft. Craft boxes are still available but so are: Atlas Crates for Geography and Culture, Eureka Crates for Engineering and Design, Koala Crates for Play and Learn, Tinker Crates for Science and Engineering and more.

I let my youngest son (10 yrs old) handle this review. He chose the Tinker Crate for ages 9 – 16+. He was so excited when it came in, he couldn’t wait to get cracking on it. This particular box gave him the opportunity to build a moving robot!

He started taking everything out of his KiwiCo Tinkercrate methodically. Once he found the directions he started there (I knew he was smart). He sorted through and found each pack of pieces and spread them out on the table. Once he was sure everything was there he begun his project.

He worked so diligently putting his robot together. He carefully punched out pieces, connected wires, realized when he made a mistake and fixed it. It was enjoyable watching him work.

What I liked about it is it seemed to take just the right amount of time. It was challenging enough that he had to figure out how the parts went. But it was not above his level that he was getting frustrated. I waited for him to ask me for help but he didn’t. There was one part where he wasn’t sure about something. Instead of telling him how to fix it I asked him a question “Do you think you have that facing the right direction?” It was then that he realized he didn’t and was able to correct it.

I know I talked a lot about my thoughts here so I want to share some of my son’s thoughts. He told me he really liked the Tinker Crate and said “I wouldn’t mind subscribing to that”. I asked him “So you must have liked it then huh?” He said “yep!” He was so proud of his creation that he made by himself.

There are KiwiCo crates available for all ages and interests. There’s a box for 0 – 24 months called Panda Crate all about Explore and Discover. They go all the way up to Eureka Crate for Engineering and Design and Maker Crate for Art & Design for ages 14 – 104 so yea mom and dad, you could even get one. I love the variety and the quality of the projects. Choosing an age appropriate crate is the key. Some age levels have multiple interests to choose from.

Order your KiwiCo Crate HERE

I received a promotional sample to complete this review. Any opinions expressed are my own. This post does contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission from transactions are completed through my links.


The Warring Heart Trilogy Book Tour & Giveaway

Bedeviled The Warring Hearts Trilogy Book 1 by J. Ashburn Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance

Their love may tear both Heaven and Hell asunder. Can a fallen angel find true love? Caleb wants nothing more than to repent for all the horrible crimes against humanity he’s committed in purgatory. After many guilt-ridden centuries, he escapes the pit and joins the human race, to live among them, to right the wrongs and find forgiveness. He never expected to find love among them. He never expected to meet a man like Micah—a man pure of heart, a servant of the people and the one person that can bring Caleb peace. Not everyone is happy about Caleb’s journey to Earth or his newfound love. Danger is lurking, dark forces are gathering and there will be Hell to pay. **Only 99 cents!!**Add to GoodreadsAmazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo

Infernal The Warring Hearts Trilogy Book 2

Book 2 of The Warring Hearts Trilogy! Infernal picks up a few months after the events of Bedeviled. Micah and Caleb believe they have finally found the happiness each has been searching for. Caleb continues to help mankind and repent for the centuries he spent in Hell serving Lucifer. Little do they know that Heaven has sent its best angel warrior to Earth to destroy Caleb. He has been marked “Infernal,” something outside of both Heaven and Hell that can upset the balance between good and evil. Micah and Caleb will once again have to go on the run or face oblivion. Meanwhile, Micah is totally unaware that Nicki, his best friend in the entire world, is in grave danger and only he and Caleb can save her and her immortal soul. Will they be able to stay alive long enough to do so? Join the adventure, romance, magic and mystery of the second installment of J. Ashburn’s gay paranormal romance series–The Warring Hearts Trilogy. Add to GoodreadsAmazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo

Scorched The Warring Hearts Trilogy Book 3

The final book of the Warring Hearts Trilogy! The story of Caleb and Micah comes to an explosive conclusion in this gay-themed Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. A rift has opened between the worlds and the inhabitants of Hell are flooding onto the Earth. Led by Lilith, demon of the night, they plan to overrun the world and find a mate for their new leader so she may populate the world with her brood. It’s a race against time for the fallen angel Caleb and his human lover Micah as they are joined by their friends and the heavenly angel Nehemiah to find a way to stop Lilith and close the rift before it destroys the universe. Don’t miss the exciting finale of the Warring Hearts— filled with action and adventure, passionate love and blossoming romance, Scorched brings the entire series full circle. Add to GoodreadsAmazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo

J. Ashburn is your source for exciting, sensual gay paranormal fiction featuring unique stories, magical characters and wild settings. Werewolves, witches, polymorphs, psychic warriors, phantoms, creatures of the night and more dominate the worlds of J. Ashburn. Follow the paths of romance and the supernatural entwined with hearts and minds of men who love men. You won’t want to miss a single moment of the secret lives of handsome, smoldering characters and the writer who weaves their tales. Pull back the veil and gaze upon the men of J. Ashburn! Website/Blog * Facebook * Instagram * Pinterest * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

$50 Amazon Gift Card Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway! a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Light Beyond The Storm Chronicles Book Tour & Giveaway

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles: Book 1 by A.L. Butcher Genre: Dark Fantasy Romance

A beautiful young elven sorceress flees for her life in a dark world where magic is forbidden and elves are enslaved. A world in which her very existence is illegal. Watching her are the Order of Witch-Hunters; the corrupt organisation that rule Erana by fear and ignorance. An iron fist which itself is watched. As the slavers roll across the lands stealing elves from what remains of their ancestral home the Witch-Hunters turn a blind eye to the tragedy, and a story of power, love and a terrible revenge unfolds. 3rd Edition – revised and expanded. *18+* age limit – this contains adult themes, including scenes of a sexual nature, violence, slavery and some profanity. Add to GoodreadsAmazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo * Website/Blog

The Shining Citadel The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book 2

In a dark world where magic is illegal and elves live as slaves, a desperate elf and her human companion seek aid from the mysterious sorcerer, Archos and his lady, the sorceress Dii’Athella. Hoping to unearth the secrets of the Shining Citadel, lost for centuries in the mists of magic and time, they begin a dangerous and arduous journey. Could these secrets change the lives of an oppressed people or will such information bring about a worse fate? Yet all is not as it first appears for the corrupt Order of Witch-Hunters watch from afar and one man’s obsession leads to a deadly trap. Avarice and betrayal are everywhere; who can be trusted? Creatures long thought dead rise in the darkness, and forgotten magic burns with a bitter flame. Who makes the rules in this game of intrigue and lies? Shattered beliefs and unwelcome truths abound in an adventure filled with magic, passion, greed and revenge. 18+ rating – contains scenes of both sex and violence. Extra warning – contains elves! Add to GoodreadsAmazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo The Stolen Tower The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book 3

What stalks the land cannot be, but is. Where magic is outlawed a troll Shaman calls from her deathbed to her heiress, Mirandra Var, daughter of the storm. Mirandra vows to find her missing kin, sort friend from foe, and claim the dangerous secrets guarded by unthinkable creatures. If she succeeds, she will become the leader of her tribe. If she fails there, will be no tribe to lead. Please note 18+ rated. This contains scenes of violence and sexual situations. Add to GoodreadsAmazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo

British-born A. L. Butcher is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as ‘evocative’. She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be. Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror, including the Legacy of the Mask series. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life. She also curates for a number of speculative fiction themed book bundles on BundleRabbit. Her short novella Outside the Walls, co-written with Diana L. Wicker received a Chill with a Book Reader’s Award in 2017 and The Kitchen Imps won best fantasy for 2018 on NN Light Book Heaven. Alex is also proud to be a writer for Perseid Press where her work features in Heroika: Dragon Eaters; and Lovers in Hell – part of the acclaimed Heroes in Hell series. http://www.theperseidpress.com/Website/Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Excerpt 1 – The Stolen Tower – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book III
© A. L. Butcher
“So, you are the Heart of the Mountain. What can you show me, I wonder?” Kherak
muttered, pulling her thoughts back to the task in hand. She settled back in her armchair with
the crimson embroidered and beaded Shamanic Shawl across her shoulders. The item was
old, far older than the Shaman herself, and imbued with magic, for it had passed down from
Shaman to Shaman, and each woman had added to it. To all appearances it was simply the
shawl of an old woman, but there was nothing simple about the garment. It was a symbol of
status, an heirloom with much Power and, of course, it kept her warm.
A pearlescent glow rose in the Opal, which hovered above the Circle adorning the table.
Colours shifted and, as she placed the Heart of the Mountain over the large stone, the red and
black pattern began to move, swirling like a whirlpool. “I am Kherak Var, Shaman, as my kin
have been before me. Show me your secrets; guide me in seeking my kin.”
This was strong and wild magic, flowing in a torrent which was close to sweeping the
ailing woman away with its force. Suddenly a voice rumbled around, timbre low like thunder,
drawing her in and making the old Shaman tingle in ways she had not experienced for many
years. The language was strange, ancient and arcane, the very language of the earth. Such
words Kherak had seldom heard; the sound held Power, the very essence of magic and rose
like a song. She had not expected this, even with all her foretelling. Peering into the depths of
the Opal, the images swirled like mist on the mountain and the shifting vision would not yield
further. “You will reveal, my eyesight fades but my Sight is clear. You will reveal to me, as is
my right and my Power.”
The humming Opal whined with a painful shrill, and tired Kherak fought the errant vision
to do her bidding. The Shaman’s Focus shifted— partly in the Realm of Dreams and partly
remaining in the mundane world. In Astral Sight the Opal loomed large and bright, a globe of
dancing images woven in mist; before her rose a peak of reddish stone, run through with
black veins arising from a lake of greenish water, and high in the peak an arch looked out
across the lake, weathered but dark and foreboding. As she watched, the lake filled with
blood, and screams echoed in her head. As quickly as it had appeared Kherak saw the half-
dream flicker away to be replaced by a high-roofed chamber of rock, lit with crystal, and in
the centre a red and black stone statue, circled by molten rock, runes glowing like fire about
it. The strange words roared as the rolling of waves against stone, echoing in the Realm of
Dreams as it did in her parlour, rattling the shelves from which items tumbled. Then the
vision was gone.

$20 Amazon Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!a Rafflecopter giveaway


A Light In The Darkness Book Tour & Giveaway

A Light in the Darkness by Lisa A. Sniderman Genre: Inspirational Memoir

What can we do when we struggle with an illness that doesn’t go away? An inspirational story of the healing power of music, creativity, following your dreams and finding your true purpose. In 2008, singer-songwriter Lisa Sniderman was living the dream in California. As Aoede, the Muse of Song, her star as a gifted recording artist was rising fast. Lisa’s quirky folk-pop performance style electrified audiences up and down the West Coast, and the albums just kept flowing. But just when her career was rocketing skyward, a health crisis brought all of her dreams crashing to the ground. Diagnosed with a rare, debilitating immune disorder called dermatomyositis (DM), Lisa struggled to maintain a normal life with a body in revolt and, eventually, to accept a new normal. Living with a chronic illness challenged Lisa to see DM as a gift in disguise that has opened the door to new dreams, new songs, and new opportunities. Lisa’s story is for you if you seek strength, new inspiration, hope, joy, healing, and if you or someone you love struggle with a chronic illness, disability, or unexpected life events. Her insights and reflections on her journey inspire hope and the courage to keep dreaming and living to the fullest no matter what life hurls at you. Add to GoodreadsAmazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo

Lisa Sniderman, aka Aoede, is an award-winning, quirky, folk-pop artist, playwright, filmmaker, and author from San Francisco who creates to heal. She creates and records unique, original full-length fantasy musicals on audiobooks that she adapts to musical theater stage plays. She’s been honored with more than 80 awards for songwriting, audiobooks, films, stage plays and books since 2012 all while suffering from a rare autoimmune disease: dermatomyositis, a progressive muscle weakness disease. Lisa’s mission is to be a light and a muse by inspiring, engaging, empowering, connecting with, encouraging, and supporting young adults and kids at heart of all ages, challenges, and abilities through original art and music. She fosters healing by “giving your creative spirit wings and inspiring you to share your story.” Lisa’s new memoir, A Light in the Darkness: Transcending Chronic Illness through the Power of Art and Attitude, chronicles 10 years living with chronic illness while creating to heal. Through confessions and life lessons, Lisa offers support, compassion, strength, connection, encouragement, motivation, and hope-a light in the darkness-to those battling chronic illness, disability and unexpected life challenges. Lisa founded an online community of artists creating to heal and collaborated with more than 50 artists who are also creating to heal, culminating in an online video showcase and live multi-media performances in December 2018. Website * Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * YouTube

Chapter 6, p.63:
“Of all the ways I put myself out there, sharing my personal struggles is perhaps the most
daunting. At times, especially because I’m almost always home, I feel like I’m hiding from the
world, playing it safe indoors. Maybe that’s why I create light characters, focus on fantasy,
and want to connect with my inner child. As I’ve taken on Aoede the Muse’s identity,
inspiring others, I’m disinclined to share the scary, icky, fearful, sad, negative feelings—the
secret spaces where I’ve stuffed my skeletons. I tell myself I have to put on a smile and be
upbeat, not show weakness or have self-doubt. It’s much easier to tell the world that all is
beautiful than to admit that living with a chronic illness is harder than anything I’ve ever
faced; that some days it’s exhausting to get out of bed, despite my positive attitude and
optimism; that I get tired of thinking and talking about being sick, and just plain being sick;
that the endless therapies, drug cocktails, and unwanted side effects keep me on a roller
coaster; that I resent having precious moments of my life replaced with 156 doctors’
appointments; that I wish I had more stamina for being in the world; that I wonder where
David’s and my relationship would be had I never gotten
sick—if he didn’t have to do all the shopping, cleaning, cooking, and driving, and we had an
equal partnership instead of a caretaker-patient relationship. This is the stuff I used to keep to
myself, choosing instead to share the positive accomplishments, the milestones, and the
fulfillment of dreams I’ve decided others want to hear about.”

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway! a Rafflecopter giveaway