Friday, June 10, 2011

The Shifters of 2040 Review



I was given the opportunity to review the book The Shifters of 2040 by Ami Rebecca Blackwelder. I was completely blown away. The book was so much more than I expected.

The story is a PNR (Paranormal Romance) and the first book from this author that I have read. The book is aimed for the young adult reader, but the author's mature content enables even the veteran reader to enjoy. Ami Rebecca Blackwelder shows a passion for the characters as well as details to the story that are lost on many "fantasy" stories.

The Shifters of 2040 is not an easy read, but one that will leave you satisfied It is part of a series, but definitely a stand alone as well. I give this book 5 stars.


I was given the opportunity to ask Miss Blackwelder some questions and she was kind enough to respond.

1. When did you begin to write?
I have always written stories in my head and then once I learned how to write, on paper. Elementary teachers would read my stories in class.
2. Who or what inspires your writing?
My imagination, and also painting, and other authors.
3. Which comes first for you...The story or the title?
Usually the story and from that I quickly have a title and cover. Then characters fall into place and the plot lines develop.
4. Do you see yourself writing any other genre of books?
Paranormal, scifi, historical --all with romantic elements
5. From where do you draw your biggest support in your writing?
Other writers and readers. From my own aspirations and will. My passion.
6. What is your favorite book?
So many. Shiver, Pride and Prejudice, Star Wars, so many different genres too.
7. What is your next project?
The Mers, a paranormal romance about a world 100 years from now. What lies beneath the water? Come to my website and find out:amiblackwelder.blogspot.com



Next stop on the tour is Secrets of A Book Lover.

Purchase your copy at Amazon.com.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Save My Soul Book Tour



Author Bio: Zoe Winters writes quirky and sometimes dark paranormal romance. She lives with her husband and two cats. Her favorite colors are rainbow and clear. For more information please visit Zoe Winters or Zoe Winters' Blog

Here is an excerpt from her new book. Enjoy!


Anna stood in the downstairs bathroom, wrapped in a towel, exhausted from spending all day decorating candles. Her hand swiped out to clean the steam from the mirror. She stopped herself in time. A single word was smeared in the moist fog.
Leave.
Anna felt a tightness curl in her chest. She gripped the pedestal sink, taking a few deep breaths, knowing the ghost was watching and waiting for her reaction. If she were sane, she’d flee the house, do not pass go. But she’d left sane about three exits back when she’d bought the house to begin with. She wasn’t giving it up to a ghost.
Anna wrote her own response on the mirror with her finger, just underneath the first message.
No.
It had taken all her concentration to keep her hand steady, but she’d accomplished the feat. She opened the mirrored cabinet and took out a comb to untangle her hair. When she closed it again, another word had been inscribed.
OK.
Anna didn’t like the sound of that. Somehow it didn’t seem like Beatrice was agreeing to be her roommate. The fear wrapped more tightly around her. She took another, slow breath. After about a minute of being a spaz, she became both angry at herself and exasperated with the ghost.
“Oh good lord! Do you go to a special drama school after you die? I mean, really. Could you possibly whine more? Oh whaaa, I’m a ghost. My life is so hard. This house is plenty big enough for both of us. It’s not like I had plans to put down tacky avocado linoleum. What exactly is your problem?”
A hot breath puffed out over her neck. Her knees buckled, and she gripped the edge of the sink to keep from landing on the floor. She’d spent all her courage on sarcasm and now couldn’t bring herself to look in the mirror again, afraid if she did she’d see the fuzzy outline of Beatrice reflected back to her.
“Scarlett, Rhett, come on,” she said as she left the bathroom. Two furry little heads poked out of the towel rack.
Anna turned on every light on the way up the stairs. Now wasn’t the time to prove she wasn’t afraid of the dark. The score was: Beatrice: 1, Anna: 0. She was freaked, and she had no trouble admitting it.
The cats followed her to the bedroom weaving in and out of her legs the entire way, clearly as bent on her destruction as Beatrice. As soon as she was settled under the covers, Scarlett shoved her head up underneath Anna’s chin while Rhett curled around the back of the pillow, his paws resting on her head. Normally, Anna would toss them off the bed, but tonight she didn’t want to sleep alone.
She spent an hour staring at the back of her eyelids, occasionally opening her eyes to see the green LED numbers mocking her as the time dragged on. Once when Anna looked, the clock had miraculously sped up ten minutes. She must have drifted off.
Now she was awake again. Soft, female cries drifted up the staircase. Then the moaning started. What the hell did Beatrice have to moan about? And could she come up with a bigger cliché? Would chain rattling be next? She closed her eyes, trying to shut out the muffled groans and fell into a fitful sleep.


Follow the Save My Soul Book Tour for great giveaways!


Next stop on this tour is vvb32 Reads


To purchase, visit Amazon.com

I Wore The Ocean In The Shape Of A Girl Review

I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl - A Memoir by Kelle Groom is a heartbreaking true story. Miss Groom conveys her thoughts and emotions remarkably well. Her story is difficult to read. The bravery to write about it is astonishing.

Kelle Groom has not lived an easy life. She has made some bad decisions and has had to live through the results. But this book isn't about a loser. It is about a woman coming to terms with the decisions and hurts in the past to make a better future for herself. She isn't asking for anyone to feel sorry for her. She is just telling her story, as honestly as she is able.

I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl Official Book Trailer from Ben Rock on Vimeo.


This book is not for everyone. It isn't light reading. But it is an inspiring book. I give this book 4 stars.

I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. The opinions for this review are my own.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Wonder Girl Review

Wonder Girl by Don Van Natta Jr. is the biography of Babe Didrikson Zaharias, an extraordinary female athlete.

Van Natta shows us the life of this wonderful woman. She was a strong and accomplished woman in the athletic world as well as in her personal life.

This book isn't only for the sports enthusiast. She was more than an athlete. She was also a crusader for cancer awareness. Babe's story is truly inspirational. I give this book 4 stars.


Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (June 2, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316056995
ISBN-13: 978-0316056991
Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.5 x 9.8 inches

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Review of Children's Educational Books

I have been fortunate enough to review a series of educational books for children by Sylvan Dell Publishing. These books are appropriate for ages 5-10. All of the following books have vivid illustrations and fun learning activities to enhance the learning experience for your child.

Habitat Spy - Written by Cynthia Kieber-King and Illustrated by Christina Wald
This book is a fun spin on the eye spy game. This book takes you from the backyard to the mountain tops to the ocean. It teaches the child to identify 4 differnet living things in eachhabitat.







Meet The Planets - Written by John McGranaghan and Illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein
This book presents the planets in a mock popularity competition. The unique attributes of each planet are displayed in a fun way that helps kids want to learn more.







The Glaciers Are Melting - Written by Donna Love and Illustrated by Sherman Bersani
This book is told in a Chicken Little style. Peter Pika is concerned and goes to all the animals on his way to the Mountain Monarch, looking for help to stop the glaciers from melting. The story has fear, trickery and faith. This story introduces kids to environmental responsibility.






Deep In The Desert - Written by Rhonda Lucas Donald and Illustrated by Sherry Neidigh
This book is unique in that the stories are set to song. Old faves such as Pop Goes The Weasel tells the story of the gila monster. There are over 10 rewritten songs to tell the tale of life in the desert.







Big Cat, Little Kitty - Written by Scotti Cohn and Illustrated by Susan Detwiler
This book was my favorite. It follows the daily activities of many large cats through a week and compares these activities to a small house cat. The story show the differences between the large and small cats, and the similarities. I found this to be an educational book on the animal kingdom, but also a good book on diversity.





I reccomend the books to anyone who is involved with young children. My grand daughter is 4 and loves these stories. I give all of these Sylvan Dell Publishing books 5 stars.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Gray Zone Review

The Gray Zone by Daphna Edwards Ziman is an exciting mystery/thriller novel. The action is smooth and the story line riveting. The characters are developed so well that you become a part of their story. I was captivated by chapter 2 and couldn't put it down.

Daphna Edwards Ziman's passion for correcting the atrocities in the foster care system are evident with The Gray Zone. She has been active in legislation for changing the system and her book portrays the worst side of our foster care system.

The Gray Zone is a well written book that will keep you on your seat. It portrays the basic human condition of survival. I recommend this book for any mystery/thriller lover. I give this book 5 stars. I enjoyed reading this book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press (June 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 160832110X
ISBN-13: 978-1608321100
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.2 inches

Stilettos and Scoundrels Book Tour



Stilettos and Scoundrels by Laina Turner Molaski is a fun chick themed who dun it. It is a pleasant break from those intense murder mysteries we all enjoy. This book allows you to have fun with the story without thinking too hard about the plot.

The heroine of the story is a complete girly girl who heads back to her home town after living in a big city. When she is thrown into a high tense situation, she almost always makes some fashion commentary. Her character is what makes the story fun.

Stilettos and Scoundrels is an easy read. It will be a disappointment for those who enjoy complicated plots and story twists. But for a fun diversion, this book is a great choice. I give this book 3 1/2 stars.


Visit the secret Nurturz Tour Book Special page to get your paperback copy of Stilettos & Scoundrels for $5.00 or your Kindle copy for $1.90.

Don’t miss out on these fantastic savings!

Be sure to use secret access/key code: 134438

For the most recent updates in the book tour schedule, please visit the author’s book tour page at: http://nurtureyourbooks.com/vbtblog/?p=317

Sunday, May 22, 2011

In Leah's Wake Review

In Leah's Wake, a novel by Terri Giuliano Long, is a moving story about how that perfect picture family next door has their own issues. They too struggle with the day to day issues of finances, family, and parenting. Things aren't always what they seem.

Terri Giuliano Long's story reflects every parents nightmare. We do everything we believe is right for our kids and push them because we want them to succeed. But what happens when our children make their own choices that are clearly not for their benefit. This story is every parents nightmare. How far do we go to protect our family? And how do we balance our involvement with each and every person?

As a parent, I could relate to the parents of the story. At some point, I had to let my kids make their own decisions. But I never had to face what the parent's In Leah's Wake had to face. The story shows how one decision can spiral out of control and become a series of bad decisions. It shows how each and every person affects the family unit.

The story is full of compassion and fear. The story also makes you take a look at your own family. I give this story 5 stars and recommend reading to anyone with tweens. Although it is fiction, this book can be a great reference for parenting teenagers.


Tour Notes:

Please vote for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll for this tour. The blogger with the most votes wins a free promotional twitterview and a special winner’s badge. I want that to be me! You can vote in the poll by visiting the official In Leah’s Wake blog tour page and scrolling all the way to the bottom.

The next word for the book give-away is (YOUR WORD IN ALL CAPS AND BOLD). Learn more about the give-away and enter to win 1 of 3 copies on the official King Whisperers blog tour page. The other 2 copies are being given-away courtesy of the GoodReads author program, go here to enter. And don’t forget to stop by the Q&A with Terri Giuliano Long Group to discuss In Leah’s Wake (including questions from the official book club guide), the author, her writing process, and advice.

Book Trailer for In Leah’s Wake:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Long Drive Home Review

Long Drive Home by Will Allison is a haunting novel about moral choices and the future effects of said choices.

Will Allison's story is set in a quaint New Jersey suburb. His hero makes a conscience decision that has fatal repercussions. The story is written as an explanation of one man's guilt, to explain the course of his family's life to his daughter, after a fatal accident. Throughout the story, we see this man struggle with his own guilt. To make excuses and fall deeper into a moral conflict.

The Long Drive Home was a gripping story that made me question what I would do in the same situation. I was unable to put the book down. I was so drawn into the characters as well as the story. The haunting truth is that any one of us could be that man. To what ends would we go to protect ourselves and our family? And what price is too high? I give this book 5 stars.

A complimentary copy of Long Drive Home was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are mine alone.

Will Allison Interview

Print Length: 224 pages
Publisher: Free Press; Original edition (May 17, 2011)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Language: English
ASIN: B003V1WSP0

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Fearless Baker Review

The Fearless Baker by Emily Luchetti is a wonderful cookbook for the beginning baker. This book is full of appealing recipes sure to impress your friends and family.

I literally have more cookbooks than I can possibly use, but this one is really incredible. Emily Luchetti has a unique approach to her book. There is a section on techniques you need to know, stuff you need, and Ingredients! I loved this section the most. It give you a list of both supplies and ingredients that you should have on hand for future baking projects. I wish I owned all of the suggested tools of the trade.

Baking has always intimidated me as well as many others out there who weren't brought up baking with their moms. With the help of this book, you will be armed with the confidence to prepare any one of the yummy recipes in The Fearless Baker. I give this book 5 stars!

Publication Date: 05/04/2011
Pages: 288
Trim Size: 7-1/2" x 9-1/2"
ISBN: 9780316074285
List Price: $29.99

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The One Day Way Review

The One Day Way by Chantel Hobbs is yet another diet book claiming to have all the answers. But this one is different.

Chantel Hobbs has an approach to dieting that will appeal to a larger population. Attack your weight loss plan one day at a time. I already agree with the concept that she has embraced...Eat less and Move more. This is the only successful way to lose weight. And I totally agree with her that dieting is definitely a mind set.

Approaching a weight loss plan 1 day at a time gives instant gratification. You are allowed to feel real good on a daily basis when you are able to complete your goals. And the self loathing that always accompanies failing is short lived as tomorrow you get to make it right again.

I give this book 4 stars as it is a powerfully inspirational book for those of us with weight loss issues.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press; 1 edition (April 5, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780307458957
ISBN-13: 978-0307458957
ASIN: 0307458954
Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.3 inches

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Noah Barleywater Runs Away Review


Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne is an imaginative story of how a wonderful adventure changes a young boy's life. I wanted to read this book because I so enjoyed The Boy In The Striped Pajamas, also by John Boyne.



This is a coming of age story told in as whimsicle fairytale. The book is written with the same sensativty as The Boy In The Striped Pajamas, but the story is not as intense. I was completely mesmerized by John Boyne tale. It is sure to become a modern day classic. I give this book 5 stars.

A complimentary copy of Noah Barleywater Runs Away was provided to me. All opinions expressed in this review are mine alone.

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: David Fickling Books (May 10, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385752466
ISBN-13: 978-0385752466
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Butterfly's Daughter Review

The Butterfly's Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe is an amazing story of self discovery. This book has it all. Love, romance, mystery, violence, and discovery.

The story follows a young woman as she discovers her heritage and her own identity. Mary Alice Monroe compares the life of this young woman with the life of the monarch butterfly. The story has real characters to love, hate, and identify with. The story mimics life in such a genuine way. There are highs and lows in the story that bound me to the heroine of the story. Her story could easily be my story.

The Butterfly's Daughter is an easy read. Once you start, it is difficult to put down. You need to find out what happens next. The author has written a beautiful and heart warming story. I give this book 5 stars.

A complimentary copy of The Butterfly's Daughter was provided to me. All opinions expressed in this review are mine alone.

Product Details
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Gallery (May 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439170614
ISBN-13: 978-1439170618
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.4 inches

Thursday, May 5, 2011

yum yum Review


yum yum by Catherine Hnatov is a wonderful board book for your toddler. It is a short and sweet book that is sure to capture your little one's heart.

The story mixes animals, colors and food. The pages are brilliant colors. The illustrations are easy for a young child to identify. This book would make a great first reading book because of the simple language. I give this book 5 stars

Publication Date: 02/10/2011
Pages: 12
Trim Size: 5" x 5"
ISBN: 9781595722751
List Price: $5.95

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Buddy's Tail Review

Buddy's Tail by K. Anne Russell is a heart warming story of the world from a dog's point of view. The world of man's best friend is full of highs and lows as with their human counter parts.

This book is for an older child (9 or older). The story may be too intense for young children. The story, although told from a dog's perspective, deals with some very real human issues. It deals with loss, abuse, and the afterlife. Younger children may not understand the concept of the dog "haven", a dog's paradise or have the ability to deal with some of the sad parts of the story.

The book is smartly written. I think it is a great learning tool to share with your child. Although the book is for children, adults will find it enjoyable. The book shows kids about friendship and love. I think it is a must read for any child who owns a pet or thinking of getting a pet. I give this book 4 stars.

A complimentary copy of Buddy's Taill was provided to me. All opinions expressed in this review are mine alone.

The Immortality Virus Book Review

The Immortality Virus by Christine Amsden is a deep dark look at the 21st century. For some unknown reason, no one dies of old age or disease. Imagine what happens to society when there is no longer the ability to provide basic living requirements for it's residents. This world in in social chaos.

The book is an easy read. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. My first preference in reading material has never been science fiction, but this book has changed my mind. I really enjoyed the story. It flowed and kept my attention. It slowed a bit in the middle, but not enough to distract me from reading.

Christine Amsden writes with flair. Her action sequences are absorbing and believable. Her heroine, Grace Harper, is a character with whom I could embrace. She has a sarcastic wit that I enjoyed. All in all the story was very good and it makes you stop and question what is the price of eternal life? I would give this book 4 stars.

Check out this chapter excerpt from the book to be released June 15, 2011.

eBook available HERE!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The 17 Day Diet Review


Catchy name, but is it truth in advertising? The 17 Day Diet book by Dr. Mike Moreno should have been The 17 Day CYCLE Diet. The name has a huge selection of the population panting as they race to the book shelves believing that in 17 days they can transform the bodies it took years to develop.

The book does have some really good information if you are able to sit down and process it all let alone read. I feel that people with specific dietary needs will feel slighted with this program.

I set out to try the program. Several months ago, due to another diet book review, I chose to embrace a vegan diet. The 17 Day Diet book isn't very vegan friendly. Surviving the 17 days became a chore and became the classic diet failure. As a result I have also ended my vegan lifestyle approach.

It is not all bad. I have lost a total of 16 pounds and have kept off the average of 14 pounds lost. I have eaten more fruits and vegetables than I have in the past. I have a better frame of mind about dieting. And that is the number 1 reason why diets and their miracle books fail. Dieting is a mind set.

I recommend reading the book for the information alone. Knowledge is power. Don't expect it to be your weight struggle salvation. I stand firm that the only way to lose weight is Eat Less and Move More. Think of how many more calories you will burn walking around the block instead of sitting on your backside reading a book.

I give this book 3 stars as it will be a source of hope for someone.

A complimentary copy of The 17 Day Diet was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are mine alone.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Apple A Day Review

Have you ever stopped to think where Grandma got her little words of wisdom? An Apple A Day by Caroline Taggart answers that question. She points out many of the most common old fashioned proverbs and explains their origins.

The book is a quick read. But be aware, it really isn't for curling up with and getting lost in the story. The book is written as a references book, so it lacks the depth of a novel. I enjoy how Taggart sorts the proverbs alphabetically. It enables you to find the meaning of that saying that is special to you.

I have read several of Caroline Taggart's books. They are fun and whimsical and great sources of trivia. Her books make wonderful gifts for men and women alike. I give this book 4 stars.

*I received this book from FSB Media free of charge in exchange for an honest review*

Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Readers Digest (March 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781606521915
ISBN-13: 978-1606521915

Friday, April 22, 2011

Jolt: Get the Jump on a World That's Constantly Changing Review

Jolt: Get the Jump on a World That's Constantly Changing by Phil Cooke is a book that helps us take control of our ever changing lives. The book addresses both our personal and professional lives.

Phil Cooke breaks our lives into 5 basic sections: your direction, your priorities, your potential, your heart, and your future. Within each section, he provides the tools enabling us to embrace the changes that constantly appear in our paths, and make them positive rather than negative influences.

At times, his writing left me feeling like here is another successful guy with all the answers telling me how to do it better. I did gain appreciation for his book by the end although I didn't always agree with the interpretations of some of his senarios.

All in all, it was an enjoyable book and offered some powerful insight. Phil Cooke is a very charismatic individual. I would give this book 3 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255vf: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Product Details
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 19, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781595553249
ISBN-13: 978-1595553249
ASIN: 159555324X
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 12 ounces

Love Food & Live Well Review


Love Food and Live Well by Chantel Hobbss is an inspirational, if not original diet book. Hobbs has written 2 other books about losing weight (over 200 pounds) and keeping it off.

The key point to this book is Hobb's 80/20 rule. 80% of the food we choose should be based on providing our bodies with the maximum fuel needed to maintain good health. The other 20% of the time, we should allow ourselves to indulge in the foods we really enjoy.

The key to losing weight is not a new concept. It is to eat less and move more. Chantel Hobbs does a better job at delivering the message. Her sense of humor and down to earth attitude makes you appreciate and relate to the messenger with a better attitude. I give this book 4 stars.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press; 1 edition (December 14, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780307457844
ISBN-13: 978-0307457844
ASIN: 0307457842
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Final Summit Review

The Final Sumit by Andy Andrews was a book I couldn't put down. It was my first read by Andrews and now I am interested in reading more of his work. Although this is a sequel, The Final Summit is a stand alone book.

The story grips you and doesn't let go. Andrews makes you feel like you are living the story. He is a very inspiring and gifted writer. I enjoyed the reader's guide as well. When addressing the guide along with the story, one becomes keenly aware of how our decisions affect more than just yourself.

I give this book 5 stars. I highly recommend reading this story. You will not be disappointed.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Bamboo Girl Review

The Bamboo Girl by Hoa X Nguy is a book that I had a difficult time reading. I thought it would be a wonderful story about a princess to tell my grand daughter.

The story is very difficult to keep in perspective. It is a story for the young reader, but some of the phrases are more adult in content. And at other times, it's like the words are trying to hard to explain the story as if being told to a child. The inconsistencies made it very difficult to read. The layout of the book was difficult as well. The pages had so much going on in the way of background, that adding a half a page of words created a headache for the eyes.

All in all, I believe The Bamboo Girl to be a sweet story. It would be better if the target audience was decided. I would give this book 2 stars.
You can pick up a copy at the online bookstore:

I received a complimentary copy of The Bamboo Girl as a member of the
Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit http://dorrance.stores.yahoo.net/doborete.html
to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Foster Child Review

Foster Child - Finding the courage to succeed... by Dennis Harris is a hard hitting story about success despite beginnings in the foster system. This is Dennis Harris' life. He speaks about the foster system from personal experience.

When Dennis Harris was 5 years old, he was put into an orphanage in Washington D.C. by his mother. He was abandoned by his entire family. Harris lived with a foster family till he became of age and was forced to make it on his own because he was no longer a financial reward.

His story goes along all of the stereotypes that we envision from a boy in the system. He made his way to drugs and trouble. But this is an inspiring story of a man who succeeded despite his roots. He found a good woman who stood by him. I find his story inspirational because of his honesty. He is open about his fears and his failures as well as his successes.

Dennis Harris stands as a positive role model for anyone. Something he said really struck a nerve for me. "Foster care shaped who I am... It was the single biggest impact on my life." Too many people blame their parents or their past. Harris shows that we all have the ability to overcome our past.

I give this book 4 stars. I received this book for the purpose of writing my honest review.

Product Details
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: iUniverse.com (December 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781450275705
ISBN-13: 978-1450275705
ASIN: 1450275702
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.2 inches

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Yoga for Emotional Balance


Yoga for Emotional Balance by Bo Forbes was an insightful book. I have never taken yoga.I have actually cast humor at yoga. This book actually changed my mind.

The author actually goes into the physiology of the human mind. The book is broken down into 2 parts. The first part is the path to emotional balance. It is broken down into 5 sections. Each section goes into the whys and why nots of anxiety and depression and how to transform that energy into healing energy. After the explanations and teachings in each section, the author includes both breathing and body exercises to make you fully aware of the previous content.

The second part goes into the actual healing part of the book. Now that you know how anxiety and depression effect your body, it is time to assess your emotional type. Each emotional type, and there are 4, each require different poses and practices to achieve success. In this part, the poses are explained in detail for maximum effectiveness. Pictures are included of the poses for those who are more visual.

I recommend this book for the first time yoga student. It changed my outlook and it could change yours. I give this book 4 stars.


Title: Yoga for Emotional Balance
SubTitle: Simple Practices to Help Relieve Anxiety and Depression
Publisher: Shambhala
Pub Date: 03/08/2011
ISBN: 9781590307601

An Atlas of Impossible Longing

An Atlas of Impossible Longing by Anuradha Roy was appropriately named. I was longing for something with this book.

Please do not get me wrong. This is not a bad book. I was unable to become absorbed with the story. Roy is an incredible writer. She has a wonderful way of drawing the scenery with her words. However, I found it difficult to relate to the characters in the book. The characters of Nirmal and Shanti were the ones I found most interesting, but their story was too short. The overall sadness to the book also made it difficult to keep my interest. With so much misery within these characters, I found it difficult for me to stay with the book for any real length of time. This could have influenced my lack of real understanding for the story plot.

I would give this book 3 1/2 stars. The book has wonderful attributes. It just wasn't to my liking.


A complimentary copy of An Atlas of Impossible Longing was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are mine alone.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Petals of Love


Petals of Love by Bernadette Callaghan-Joseph is a wonderful story from the mystical land of Judith. I hope there will be more to come.

Little girls will love the story because the characters are fairies. Younger boys will be enticed, but by the age of 6, there better be some action to keep their attention. The fairies are trying to show a token of love, but become insecure about their gift. The moral of this story is that love is the greatest gift.

I loved the book as did my grand daughters. My grandsons...well, refer back to the action comment. It teaches a valuable lesson of love, thoughtfulness, and caring. I give this book 5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of Petals of Love as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

REGGIE


REGGIE - You Can't Change Your Past, But You Can Change Your Future - by Reggie Dabbs with John Driver is an inspirational look at one man's life.

I don't have to know your name to know your pain...
I don't have to see your home to know your shame...
I have my own.
But somebody loved me just the way I am,
and somebody loves you just the way you are
.

This mantra is the focus of the book: God's undying love for us as individuals. Reggie Dabbs is a motivational speaker who shares his story. He discovers that he is adopted when he was in the second grade. His birth mother's actions were a difficult struggle for Reggie. This book is about how he learns to accept himself and overcome the obstacles that faced him throughout his life.

The book is very enjoyable to read. It is easy to identify with the author. It could have been you telling the story. The way he intertwines pop culture and God puts learning valuable lessons within reach for all of us, especially young people. His sense oh humor keeps you wanting to read more. The book seems to me to be a great resource for youth bible study groups. I give this book 4 stars.

I received REGGIE - You Can't Change Your Past, But You Can Change Your Futuree by Reggie Dabbs with John Driver by Booksneeze to review and give my honest opinion of this book.

The Blessing of Adversity


The Blessing of Adversity - Finding your God-given purpose in life's troubles by Barry C. Black is a truly inspiring masterpiece. In his book, Black discusses the trials and
tribulations of his lifetime and shares how he relied on Godly principles to deal with those situations.

The book is divided into three sections:

* Mastering the Basics
* Avoiding the Sources of Trouble
* Turning Your Adversity into Advantage

Each section is broke into relative chapters. And each chapter ends with an action plan. Black gives us strong techniques and scripture to support us through our difficult times.
The book is very easy to read. With today's busy lifestyle, we can pick the book up and read small sections at a time and not lose the momentum of the book's purpose. I find the book to be a useful handbook in dealing with everyday, not just the bad days. I give The Blessing of Adversity 5 stars.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I received no other compensation.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Ice Princess


The Ice Princess is the American debut crime novel by one of Sweden's best selling authors, Camilla Lackberg. She is on her way to conquer the American market as well if The Ice Princess is any indicator.

I haven't been a huge fan of murder mysteries in the past. You want to make it at least through half the book before you can figure out the who's and why's of the story. Until now, Harlan Coben has been the only author I have read that has kept me guessing till the end. Camilla Lackberg was able to keep my interest because she was able to keep the mystery.

The story starts with a punch. Local girl is found dead in a tub of ice with her wrists slit. Suicide is the most plausible deduction in this quiet town where nothing happens. But forensics prove she was murdered.

The heroine of the story is Erica. She could be your best friend. She has all the insecurities we as women have. She is a successful biographer and aspiring author. She has the responsibilities of being a concerned older sister who has recently buried her own parents. She also happens to be the one to find the victim, who was once her childhood best friend.

The story begins to develop several characters, that I assume will be included in future books. The Ice Princess is the first of a three part series. These characters are the people you would meet on the street. You become knowledgeable of the fact that the bad guy isn't always the one you suspect and relationships aren't always as they appear. My favorite character relationship is budding romance of Erica and Patrik, the detective who is investigating the murder. Their romance is so believable.

Overall, the story is about childhood friendships, loyalty, and coming to terms with the demons of your past. And solving a murder or two along the way. The Ice Princess is an enjoyable murder mystery. I give it 5 stars. I enjoyed the book so much that I am actually going to try to meet the author on her upcoming book tour.

About This Book:
Product Details
Free Press, March 2011
Trade Paperback, 416 pages
ISBN-10: 1451621744
ISBN-13: 9781451621747
I received a free copy of The Ice Princess from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. No additional compensation was given.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Crazy for Books Blog Hop

Book Blogger Hop
This week's question comes from Mina who blogs at Mina Burrows:

"If you could physically put yourself into a book or series…which one would it be and why?"
My answer is the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben. He is my favorite author.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Raising


The Raising is a book by Laura Kasischke is a story about a middle America college campus under a cloud of mystery. The mystery centers around an automobile accident where a female student is thrown from a car. Conflicting stories between a witness and newspaper accounts of the accident begin the story.

The story centers around 5 key characters.
Nicole: The coed who dies in the car accident. She is portrayed as the sweet, innocent, and chaste girlfriend of Craig. But things aren't always as they appear.

Craig: Nicole's boyfriend and driver of the vehicle in the fateful crash. He is the spoiled, rich man on campus. He comes away from the accident with no recollection of what happened. Although cleared of all charges, he is taunted as a murderer on campus.

Perry: Craig's roommate. He also grew up with Nicole. He is one of the first people to discover that there is something amiss with Nicole's death. And what was his relationship with Nicole?

Shelley: An art professor at the college. She happens to be the first on the scene of the car accident.

Mira: A professor of Anthropology. She helps Perry explore the questions he has surrounding the death of Nicole.

There are other players in the story. I am not sure that they really add to the story. I believe the author should have used less energy in developing these characters as they really have nothing to do with the story. At the end of the book I questioned what was the point of detailing Mira's family life, Shelly's sex life, Perry's ex girlfriend, or the divorce of Craig's parents.

The plot of the story was very enjoyable. The writing was superb. Kasischke grabbed my interest right at the beginning and never let go till the end of the book. That is where the story fell flat for me. As with any mystery, the reader wants to try to figure out 'whodunit'. I got so wrapped up in the who and why of each character development, searching for their part in the story. In the end, I was left with questions. The ending disappointed me. It seemed thrown together. It didn't have the details that were flowing abundantly throughout the book.

I would recommend this book as Kasischke is truly a gifted writer. This is the first of her books that I have read. I want to read more. A warning: there are parts of the story that are quite raunchy. Otherwise, I give this book 4 stars.

Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition (March 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062004786
ISBN-13: 978-0062004789
Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 3.2 x 1.5 inches

Monday, March 21, 2011

Beautiful Blue Eyes Review

Eyes are the windows to the soul. Even to the young soul of a child. Beautiful Blue Eyes by Marianne Richmond is a beautiful story about the soul of a child growing.

This story is written especially for the parents of blue eyed children. Marianne Richmond shares the exploration of their child's emotions and personality from the perspective of a parent looking in their child's eyes.

The artwork is breath taking. Marianne Richmond shows her artistic talent not only lies with writing beautiful prose, but also with beautiful illustrations. Richmond is a truly talented artist. I give this book 5 stars. I can't wait to read it to my blue eyed grand daughters.


Beautiful Blue Eyes
ISBN: 9781402256394
By: Marianne Richmond
Published: March 2011
Dimensions
Length: 9.625 in
Width: 9.875 in
Weight: 0.00 oz
Page Count: 32 pages

Beautiful Blue Eyes can be purchased here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

15 Minutes Outside Review


15 Minutes Outside - 365 ways to get out of the house and connect with your kids by Rebecca P. Cohen is a must have for every parent regardless of the child's age.

"In this complex age of over scheduled kids and helicopter parents, the premise is simple: what if you got outside every day, and what if you could get your kids to come along?" Rebecca Cohen challenged herself to take her 2 children out of the house everyday. The result is this book 15 Minutes Outside.

The book is an easy to follow reference book. The activities are easy to accomplish on a moments notice. Rebecca has divided the content of her book by the month and by the day. The activities not only reflect the month, but the season as well. She also gives alternative activities to accommodate all climates, such as no snow. Of course there are no set rules and you can make up your own activities. At the end of the book is a complete list of all the activities.

The objective of this book is to spend quality time with your kids and not spend a fortune. In doing so, you are creating a strong family bond and making wonderful memories. The book is good for children up to 12 years of age, says the author. I believe it is good for all ages. I think it is important to do these outside activities with your young children, but equally important to maintain that 15 minutes of outside time as we get older.

I would give this book 5 stars. I received this book for free for the purpose of this review. I was not paid for this review.

Fifteen Minutes Outside
ISBN: 9781402254369
By: Rebecca Cohen
Published: February 2011
Format: Paperback
Dimensions
Length: 8 in
Width: 5 in
Weight: 9.00 oz
Page Count: 256 pages

Fab Friends Thursday Blog Hop

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sentimental Me


This is my review on Sentimental Me by Charles L. Fields. The author takes pride in the dual genre of the book - travel and mystery.

Sentimental Me is about Charles Stone, an insurance investigator, who is summoned to see why the beneficiary for a $500,000 life insurance policy for a slain border patrol agent has a known drug cartel connections.

The author creates a like able hero with Stone. Although like able, the character lacks depth. Stone is an autobiographical character so I am confident that there is more depth than meets the eye. I would enjoy knowing more about Charles Stone.

The story was good. It had all the elements for an intriguing travel, mystery, thriller. The author gets you interested and keeps you wanting to pick up the book and finish reading. However, valuable intricate story details were passed over for the travel details of roads traveled, hotels, and even food the hero chose to ate. I would have loved the author to spend more energy developing the story of the murder and investigation. To expand the drug cartel and the war in Afghanistan story would have added real interest to the book. At times it seemed that there was info thrown into the story just to make a word count. For example, there are a couple of "token" love scenes that leave the reader feeling like "what's the point".

I am looking forward to reading more from Fields. His writing is enjoyable and his life experiences show in his writing. He excels in the travel aspect of his book, but the mystery needs a bit more definition. I give this book 4 stars.I received this book free for the purpose of this review.

Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (September 9, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1432763474
ISBN-13: 978-1432763473
Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Art of Being There in Portugal

This is my review of The Art of Being There in Portugal by David F. Jennings. This book is published by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc. I wanted to read this book because of my own Portuguese heritage. I was hoping to gain some insight into the Portuguese culture.
In the first part of the book, the author tries to give a little background into his personal interest in traveling, which he accomplishes. But I don't feel that it added more to the book. I must admit that I almost stopped reading because this section seemed to bounce back and forth between subjects. It was a bit confusing to read, and honestly took longer to read this section than it did to read the rest of the book.
I am very happy that I continued to read. The rest of the book was filled with personal experiences. The author was forthcoming in preparing the reader that these were memories being shared as if you were sitting with a dear friend. These recollections came as freely as comfortable conversations. This made the book a very personal diary of sorts. My favorite stories were of the experiences where something didn't quite go right. You could smile and say, 'I've been there'.
I enjoyed the author's passion for travel. It came across very clearly. His title couldn't be more perfect. I find that I too share his passion for "being there" when you travel and not just a tourist.
The book has some very helpful information for the person who has an interest in traveling to Portugal. I would rather have this book as a travel guide than one of those Travel Guide books because it was written by someone who truly enjoys traveling Portugal. Not by someone paid to write a review.
http://www.dorrancebookstore.com/artofbethinp.html
I received a complimentary copy of The Art of Being There in Portugal as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day of Honey Book Review

I am setting up a new blog site specifically for my book reviews. The first few reviews will actually be linked from my original site until I get this one up and running. Thanks for your patience and support.

The first review her will be for Day of Honey by Annia Ciezaldo.
For the full review, see here.
http://giftsbyamotherstouch.blogspot.com/2011/02/day-of-honey-book-tour.html

I highly reccommend this book. You will not be disappointed.