Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Upcoming Holidays

Due to the upcoming holidays, I will not be actively working on the blog on a daily basis.  HOWEVER, if you have sent us a book to review, all reviews will be up on and on the site by the end of the year.

I will be checking and responding to all emails.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hot Buttons - Bullying Edition by Nicole O'Dell


Nicole O’Dell is a youth culture expert, who writes and speaks to preteens, teenagers, and parents about how to prepare for life’s tough choices. Over the years, Nicole has worked as a youth director, a Bible study leader for women and teens, and a counselor at a crisis pregnancy center. She is the founder of Choose NOW Ministries, which is dedicated to battling peer pressure and helping teens face the tough issues while encouraging their commitment to good decisions. Nicole and her husband, Wil, have six children, including toddler triplets, and reside in Illinois.

My Review:

First of all, when I read this Author's bio, I saw she is a Mother to six including toddler triplets!  Kudos to you!  Hope do you do it?

I was really excited to learn about this book tour.  As a parent, unfortunately I've already seen bullying at the elementary school level and as a former Pre-School teacher, I saw it at that level.  When I was a teen, I was bullied.  I even had a "friend" of mine shove a piece of pizza in my face because she thought it would was funny.  I have even been bullied as an adult and almost left a job due to it.

Unfortunately there seem to be more and more cases of bullying and suicide among young teens and it's really sad.  I don't get it.  In the years since I was a teen, it seems the bullying just gets worse and both children and adults bully others. 

This book is very informative and is a must read for parents.  If we can educate ourselves and react when we first see the signs, hopefully we can help our children before it's too late.

One part of her book, that I found interesting, is the reasons why people bully.  Especially cliques.  We all know what cliques are and some of us have been desperately wanting to fit into certain cliques.  What's really sad though is when you see adults doing whatever it takes to fit into certain cliques.   As adults, should we care about what others think about us? 

Here are the reasons cliques bully:

1.  To get attention - they are power-hungry.
2.  Get what they want - often bullied kids become the bullies
3.  Be respected - if other kids seem them as in charge they are revered
4.  Climb the popularity ladder
5.  Improve self-esteem
6.  Get back at others - bullied kids usually bully kids
7  Get pleasure from inflicting pain on others
8.  Follow the leader

All of those bother me but the one that bothers me the most is #7.  Why would anyone get pleasure from inflicting pain on others? 

Other poignant points she lists on what we should teach our kids, honestly apply to anyone.

Teach your kids:

1.  You are beautiful in God's sight because he created you just the way you are.
2.  Sacrificing self-respect for the approval of others is NOT worth it.
3.  There's no winner in the battle for perfect appearance - it's better to rise above it by not competing in it.
4.  Bullies are weak and feel insecure about themselves - don't submit yourself for their approval.

"Popularity is a state of mind, and it's up to each individual to decide not to grant that kind of power to others, whether as a result of intentional peer pressure and bullying or not.  Why let someone else decide one's worth?  Why submit to someone else's arbitrary standards?"

And something I've learned in life is to be careful who you are willing to kick aside so you can fit into the "clique" that you desperately want to be a part of.  There is a saying that "birds of a feather flock together".  Do you want to be known as a person who hangs with bullies?  People may assume then that you are a bully yourself.

What ever happened to people (adults) having a backbone and teaching our children to having a backbone?  If you see someone being bullied and tormented, stand up for them.  Don't be a wannabe.  Stand up and defend them.

This book is perfect!  It's a must read.  I suggest giving this book to anyone you know who have children!

Thank you to Kregel Publishing for providing me with the complimentary copy for my review.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Wacky World of Wendy White - A Whopper of a Tale by Barbara Ann Bonilla


A fun and tasty read for eaters of all ages! With over a hundred unexpected food references hidden in the rhyming prose, this FAST-paced FOOD adventure will have you coming back for seconds. When precocious Wendy turns twelve years old, she summons up the courage to venture out from her lonely white castle, and begins an adventure that will change many lives forever. All she wanted was a little fast food, a bit of excitement and a visit with her old friend, Denny. Instead, she embarks on a journey, frightening at times, with unexpected turns, new friendships and the chance for the family she always dreamed of. Things go from bad to better in this captivating trilogy that spans many exciting years, and proves patience, persistence and optimism can pay off big time. This heartwarming story will keep you laughing and second guessing your intuition from start to finish. Grab some milk and cookies. You might get hungry in the wacky world of Wendy White.

My Review:

This was one of the most original thought out book I have ever read!  I actually read it more than once.  I can honestly say I was starved when I finished reading it!

The author did a terrific job keeping your attention throughout from the beginning to the end.  As I read the story to my oldest, there were a few times we had to stop and think, "now what restaurant was that?". 

You could make this book a game by reading aloud and seeing who can identify the restaurant.

This would definitely make a great gift for your favorite little one!

Thank you to the author for providing me with a complimentary copy for my honest review.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Author Interview with Vincent Eke

What age did you start writing/have an interest in writing?

I have been writing since the last 10 years. However I have always loved books, reading. The idea of been an Author has always appealed to me. It was one of my goals/dream growing up from the day I came across some cockroach and rat eaten books - textbooks and novels - owned by my older siblings.

Does your inspiration come from your childhood in Africa?


I have always found the stories I heard growing up in Nigeria, Africa about the Animal, Plants, the Spirit World and Humans very fascinating. The story in my book ‘Mama’s Tales of Kanji - The Turtle’s Shell’ is similar and is about almost everybody’s favourite wisest animal – the Turtle – called Tobi and the troubles he got himself and family into. 

How much time goes into writing a book, including research and publishing?

Now that is an interesting question.

A book could take one a lifetime or a day to write. This book took has taken me several years to write on & off. It has gone through hundreds of re-writes and re-reads by me. Then it spend a couple more years sitting idle in the side burner while the rest of my life too precedence. My other forth coming book has taken me only a few months to write. But I did not do much with this current book until now. I had put it on the back-burner to go back to college in UCC. After completing my degree, I decided that it is time to follow and pursue my dream. The sting of refusal letters from some traditional publishers forced me to look at other options for publishing my work. After much thought and research I decided to establish and form my own publishing company – Lionpen Publishing - to publish my books. I am glad I did because I have learnt a lot of things from the moment I made that decision.

Do you have any say on the cover of your books and the illustrations?

I gave the illustrator the exact description of the images and how I want the cover of my book to look like.

However, I did get some help picking the final cover illustration. The primary school students in my local Educate Together NS in Carrigaline made my manuscript into a school project. They Read it, Commented on the best bits of three cover samples which I then put together to come up with the final Book Cover. I want to say a big ‘Thank You’ to all of them including the Principal and Teachers too.



Tell us a little bit about "The Turtles Shell"

Book Title:      The Turtle's Shell (Mama's Tales of Kanji)

Available in all formats and in most online and offline book stores


Book Description:

The Turtle's Shell tells the story of Tobi, a smart turtle who thinks he can get away with deceiving his friends. He ends up learning a few shell cracking lessons. This friendly easy-to-read book shows children how our everyday actions and decisions always consequences. This story also draws attention to the nuggets of wisdom embedded in African cultural stories which can be emulated by any child whatever their racial background.


ISBN numbers:
ISBN 978-1-909688-01-8 (Kindle eBook)
ISBN 978-1-909688-02-5 (ePub eBook)
ISBN 978-1-909688-00-1 (Paperback)


Paperback:                   $15.99

Kindle Edition:           $2.99 USD

ePub Edition:              $2.99 USD




For more Information about the Book and Author go to:

To Buy or Download instantly your copy of the book go to and Search for 'Book Title' and/or 'Author Name' or 'ISBN' in these online eBook stores below: Author Page:
ISBN 978-1-909688-01-8 Author Page::

ISBN 978-1-909688-01-8 Author Page:

ISBN: 9781909688025


The Turtle's Shell (Mama's Tales of Kanji) by Vincent Eke


The Turtle's Shell tells the story of Tobi, a smart turtle who thinks he can get away with deceiving his friends. He ends up learning a few shell cracking lessons. This friendly easy-to-read book shows children how our everyday actions and decisions always consequences. This story also draws attention to the nuggets of wisdom embedded in African cultural stories which can be emulated by any child whatever their racial background.

My Review:

First, this is my review from F, my oldest:

I liked this book.  The book teaches a lesson.  I think this book would be a good bed-time story.

Now, for my review:

At the beginning of the story, the author introduces you to Mama, a wise old woman from the Kanji Village.  He describes her in such detail that it makes it easy to picture her.

Each night, all of the children would gather around the Iroko tree to hear her stories.  She would sit on her special hand carved stool that allowed whoever sat on it to be able to understand the language of the animals.

You are also introduced to Tobi, a lovely little turtle and you will learn about his many adventures.

And at the end of the each story, Mama would ask the children from they learned from the story.  The story of Tobi, the turtle, helped teach the children that they should honor any agreement they make.  They also learned the valuable lesson that being selfish and greedy is not good.

Vincent Eke did a great job with this story.  The illustrations are great and the book flows nicely.

This would be a great addition to any child's library, your child's classroom, or as a gift to your favorite little one.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of the book for my honest review. 

The Sad Tree and Pronuba by Christina Steiner


A Lonely Tree and a Special Friend... The desert is a lonely place for Joshua, a tree who has never seen another tree like him. He asks everyone in his environment to help him find a companion...but although the desert loves him, nobody can help. Things change for Joshua one beautiful spring night when a tiny moth comes to visit. This exquisite story about the life-cycle relationship between the Joshua Tree and the Pronuba Moth will delight readers of all ages.

My Review:

First, is the review from F, my oldest:

I LOVED the book!  I think this book would be good for kids learning to read.  It teaches kids about the life cycle.  I really like the story.

Now, my review:

In this book, you will get the opportunity to meet Joshua, who is a tree.  He is lonely and looks to find a companion.  None of his desert friends can help him.  One night, his whole world changes when he meets a tiny Moth, named Pronuba.

This book tells a simple version of the life cycle that children can understand.  The book is very nicely illustrated.

The book would be a great addition to your children's library, a school library, or your child's classroom library.  I highly recommend this book.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of the book for my honest review.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Walk One Winter Night by Al Andrews


What started as a simple, late night stroll to clear his head from the hassles of the season turned into something that can only be described as...real.

My review:

All of us know how hectic the holiday season can be.  This year I've even started working on my holiday planning now so hopefully I can spend more time enjoying the season and not being stressed out.  I want to show my children the true reason why we celebrate Christmas and what is really means.  And to start some new family traditions.

That is why I really loved this book.  It is very simple and to the point.  How many times have YOU walked past a manager scene at Christmas and not thought much of it?  You expect to see that scene.  But have you really THOUGHT about those people in the scene. How many times during the holiday season are you rushing around trying to get things finished, making a quick trip to the store, realizing you forgot a host gift?

This is a perfect gift for someone you love.  This is one of those books that stops you in your tracks while reading. 

Thank you to "First Look" blog tour by Worthy Publishing for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bible and Prayers for Teddy and Me by Christina Goodings

My Review: The book we received to review is for little boys, however, this is a pink edition coming out in April 2014. However, this one would work for boys or for girls! With the upcoming holiday season, this would be the perfect gift for your favorite little one. This book contains very well known Bible stories such as Noah's Ark, David and Goliath, Jonah and the Whale, and Jesus's birth, just to name a few. Each story is very colorfully illustrated and there is a prayer to read at the end of each story. Our youngest frugal has really enjoyed story time and sometimes, in lieu of actually reading the words, we point out objects from the book and say what they are. This is a must for a Sunday School, church nursery, baby shower gift, birthday gift, Christmas gift or just to purchase for your little one's library. This is a very nice quality book. Thank you to Kregel Publications for providing me with a complimentary copy for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Under the Rainbow by Catherine Campbell


"Gut-wrenchingly honest, crammed with hope, warm and never preachy, this book is quite wonderful. Grace seeps through every page. Catherine offers vital help for all who navigate their way through pain - that means all of us. If you buy just one book this year, choose this one." -- Jeff Lucas, Author, Speaker, Broadcaster "Catherine Campbell is a living example of the old idea of an Irish 'saint and scholar'. Her words drip like honey from the comb. This book won't just encourage you, it will nurture you and sweeten your spirit. Don't just read the words, eat them and let them change your heart." -- Malcolm Duncan
Catherine is a former nurse, and has written for the Nursing Standard as well as Women Alive, Parentwise and (currently) Rejoice Always. She is author of God Knows Your Name.
My Review:
WOW!  This book brought out so many emotions.  What this Mother and her family has went through is simply heartbreaking.  Most of us do not know what it is like to lose a child.  But to find out two of your children have disabilities and to then lose both of them is unfathomable.
Ms. Campbell opens her heart and soul in this book.  If you know someone who has went through infant loss, this would really be the perfect book for them.
This is an incredible story of God's plans for us as well as the lessons he has laid out for us to learn.  And to know he is with us, even when we are doubting him the most, is simply amazing.
Thank you to Kregel Publications for allowing me to review this book.  I received a complimentary copy of this book for my review.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Highfall by Ani Alexander


What if early on your life changed drastically several times? What if you were betrayed more than once? Would you have the courage to fall in love again? How do you choose if you love two men at the same time? Will you be able to leave the past behind? These are the questions Annika asks herself in the novel Highfall. Annika falls down many times but never gives up and always gets back on her feet. Her life is one long roller-coaster with the unexpected at every turn. As a result she turns from unassuming teenager into a strong woman. The book includes different facets of life, such as love, drugs, loss, despair and hope. Although it reads more like fiction than biography, it is in fact based on a true story.

My Review:

I read this book, start to finish, in three hours one evening when I couldn't sleep.  That was a bad idea!  I couldn't get to sleep then!  The book left me wanting more!  I couldn't get enough! 

In this novel, which is based on a true story, you will first meet Annika.  Other characters you will get to know is Stefan, Flame, Vasko, and Monica.  The book starts out in third person, as Annika is speaking.  Throughout the book, many of the characters will be speaking third person.   The book isn't hard to follow at all. 

I agree with other reviewers about the cover!  That is so Stefan!  That is what I pictured him to look like.

I'm hoping there is a sequel!  There are SO many questions!!

Thank you to the author for providing me with a complimentary copy for an honest review.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Cow-Pie Chronicles by James Butler


Ten-year-old Tim Slinger and his nine-year-old sister Dana face danger, excitement, and heartbreak in this story of life on a modern family farm. Though Tim (aka Poop Slinger) and "Devil" Dana engage in intense sibling rivalry that gets them both into hilarious situations with barns, ropes, farm animals, city-kid cousins, and each other, they are soon forced to confront unwanted changes when the farm is lost. As they face an alien world in town, Dana readily adapts to a new way of life while Tim resists, sending the siblings down separate but intersecting paths. Although an unexpected encounter puts Tim back into familiar surroundings, will life ever be the same? This fresh and humorous account of modern rural living brings a unique approach to the time-tested theme of families and communities coming together under challenging circumstances.

My review:

My oldest frugal isn't feeling well so this book arrived at the perfect time as they have been spending a lot of time laying around this weekend.

Here is the review:

My mom gave me the book, "The Cow-Pie Chronicles" and let me just say that the book was fantabulous!!  40 pages in and someone needed stitches!  LOL!  That's not good!

I like how at the ending it shows Tim 47 years later!

I thought it was funny as the author referred "cow chips" to "cow poop"!   I noticed the author used a lot of figurative language so that kept me interested or else I wouldn't have finished the book.

The author did a great job with the book and I would love to read more of his books!  I would recommend this book to children between the ages of 8 - 12!  This would be a great gift for someone too! It flowed really well and was easy to read!

My oldest read this book in a relatively short time.  We would hear laughter burst out and our discussion at dinner tonight was this book.  Before they read this book, they didn't even know what a cow pie was.

This would be a great book for school libraries, children's own library, and make a perfect stocking stuffer.

Thank you to the author to providing us a complimentary copy for our review and making our oldest frugal's bummer of a weekend turn into a better weekend!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Radical Practice of Loving Everyone by Michael J. Chase


Is “loving everyone” really possible, as the title of Michael J. Chase’s new book suggests? The answer may surprise you, as he chronicles his journey toward enlightenment, gaining insight from a very unlikely source – a four-legged guru named Mollie, who happens to be the most lovable yet mischievous dog in the world. In his attempt to understand her ability to unconditionally love all, Chase begins to see the world through his best friend’s eyes, especially during their morning walks. Mollie’s hilarious antics and maddening behavior ultimately lead to profound insights learned at the other end of the leash.
Written with heart and sidesplitting humor, this one-of-a-kind true story of friendship and a divine albeit outrageous dog delivers on its promise to reveal a pathway toward enlightenment . . . and brings each of us one step closer to loving everyone.

My Review:

I am a huge animal lover and I especially love dogs!  This book honestly brought tears to my eyes when I started reading the book and saw that the name of the main guru of this book is Mollie!  When I was younger, my Dad had a dog named Molly.  She was like another daughter to him and like a member of our family.  When she broke her back, I helped him nurse her back to health.  When she died at the age of 14 due to old age, we mourned like she was a member of the family.  In addition to our human family members, my Dad's dog taught us how much you could love something besides another human.

This is a book that is family friendly and a must have for all dog lovers!! 

I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more of the author's books!  This book is a quick read that will have you laughing out loud! 

I learned a lot from Mollie and Michael in this book.  Sometimes all it takes it looking at things through the eyes of another.

Thank you to Hay House for sending me a complimentary copy for my review.

Where Have All The Pop Stars Gone? Vol 2 by Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March


"Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? -- Volume 2" tells the true life stories of 21 singers and musicians who achieved fame in the 1960s as soloists or members of hit-making bands -- the Buckinghams, Bobby Goldsboro, the Moody Blues, Donnie Brooks, Sam & Dave, Ray Stevens, and the Grass Roots. Authors Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March obtained information about all artists from conversations with the performers themselves, and with family members and close friends of some of the deceased performers. The musical artists and others took part in refining the content to ensure accuracy. The book preserves conversations with three performers who have died since Childs and March spoke with them. These musical performers collectively recorded a total of 118 singles that reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including 19 that made the top 10, four that hit No. 1, and eight that earned gold-record certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Their recordings encompassed 17 singles on the R&B chart, including eight that reached the top 10 and two that hit No. 1; and 58 singles on the country chart, including five that peaked in the top 10, and one that hit No. 1. "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? -- Volume 2" contains 56 photos, 32 of which are rare or never previously published.

My Review:

Ray that is a name that takes me back to my childhood!  My Dad was a huge Ray Stevens fan.  I know many of his songs by heart!  I can remember listening to Bobby Goldsboro's "Honey" on the radio in my younger days too.  Who hasn't listened to The Moody Blues, The Buckinghams, Sam & Dave, The Grass Roots, and Donnie Brooks!  All of those names take me back as my parents loved listening to all types of music!

When I told my Mom I was reviewing this book she was excited to learn what had happened to these Pop Stars as that was her "Journey, REO Speedwagon, and Chicago" of her time.

This really is a must for those who enjoyed this music!  The authors do a fantastic job with this book.  This book is about the formation and beginning of each of the musician's careers and conversations with their friends and families. 

After reading the book, you will agree that the authors took the time to research.  They did an amazing job with this book!

I highly recommend this book!

Thank you to the authors for providing me with a complimentary copy for my review!

Monday, September 23, 2013

New Email Address!!

We have a new email address!  Please go to our "Contact Me" page for more information.

If You Were Me and Lived in ...Norway by Carole P. Roman


Join Carole P. Roman on a trip to the Northern Hemisphere and learn about Norway- The Land Of the Midnight Sun. In this exciting series, children are able to read about the many things we share in this great, big world of ours. If You Were Me and Lived in...Norway describes many things that make that country unique and fun. Readers will be able to learn about the capital, common names, a beloved holiday, as well as favorite food and other fun facts. This book is an excellent introduction for those beginners who want to learn about the many thrilling places and great people who share our planet.

My Review:

This is the second book that I have been privileged to review by Ms. Roman. 

I really like how fun and exciting that she has made learning about other countries!  My oldest enjoys reading books like these and we always spend time talking about the country, trying to pronounce the words that are included in the book, and we always do more research about each country.

This book is perfect for libraries, a child's own library, and a Social Studies teacher's library.

The writing is done in a way that children from ages Pre-K and up can understand. 

Ms. Roman does a terrific job in making learning about other cultures and countries fun!

Thank you to the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of the book for my honest review.

Slag by Joyce V. Harrison



In 1970, Anna Sorenson must make a decision that could drastically change her life as she journeys to the mining town in Northern Canada that she left fifteen years before, vowing never to return. She hopes to find answers in her past for the dilemma she now faces by revisiting events from her last year in high school. In that winter of 1955, Anna struggles to free herself from the tyranny of her mother and to resolve her conflicted feelings about a boy whose Cree Indian blood makes him off limits in her circle. As her dysfunctional family heads into crisis, so does the town: a union conflict turns ugly, the hockey team battles for the championship, and bitter cold weather delivers an unforeseen disaster. “Slag” paints a gritty portrait of life in the Far North and offers a glimpse into the Fifties generation when rock and roll arrived and the strict social fabric began to unravel.

My review:

I really enjoyed this book.  From beginning to end, I was able to read it straight through in under three hours!  It read that easily!

In Slag, you will go back to the 1950s.  The 1950's was, I think, one of the most defining times in our country.  Our country was still young and new artists like Elvis Presley were becoming well known.  Crisis's that are more common place now, were not then and sometimes changed your life in ways you never expected.

In this novel, you will meet Anna who is going through one of the toughest times as a young adult, their Senior year in high school.  Combine into that the problems in the town, the school hockey team, the unbelievable disaster that happens, her family problems, and her relationship with a young man who is part Cree Indian and you will be able to see what set in place a pivotal change in Anna's life. 

Unlike many novels, this book doesn't focus totally on Anna.  You will learn about other characters in the book and you will see how all of them are a very important part of her life.

Then you will travel forward 15 years, to another defining moment in Anna's life.  One that by going back and revisiting the town she grew up in, helped her decide on a new path.

This book was very well written, flowed very well and I enjoyed reading it.

Thank you to the author for providing me a copy for my review.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Bumper Wipe Clean Activities, by Juliet David


Wipe clean and start again! Seventy-two pages of wipe clean fun activities with a short Bible story at the top of each page and the related activity below.
Help children learn while discovering their favorite Bible stories through mazes, dot to dots, spot the mistake, and many more. The laminated pages can be wiped clean for use again and again and includes a felt-tip pen so children can get started right away.
My Review:
This is a great activity book for children of all ages!  A terrific present for Christmas or birthdays!  Your little ones can have hours of fun then just wipe off the pages and start again!  It's a wonderful way to help children look more about the Bible!
Thank you to Kregel Publications for providing me with the complimentary copy for my honest review.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wounded Women of the Bible: Finding Hope When Life Hurts, by Dena Dyer and Tina Samples


Imploding relationships, incapacitating losses, injurious personal mistakes, or spiritual failures--whatever the issue, the wounds are the same. Whether it's a lapse in judgment by Bathsheba or the moral failure of the women's ministry leader in your local church; the spiritual insensitivity of Martha or the compulsive obsessions of your church's care circle chairwoman; the terror of an abandoned single mother like Hagar or the struggling single mother in your prayer group--the time and circumstances are different, but the wounds are equally deep and spiritually devastating. Dena Dyer and Tina Samples get it. They have their own stories of pain before healing--along with similar experiences of their families and friends. Offering more than pat affirmations or vicarious shoulders to cry on, Dena and Tina delve deep into the shared emotions and injuries that women of all ages have in common--and move readers toward the recovery and healing that only God can provide. No matter what hurts you've experienced, Wounded Women of the Bible proves that God understands and that healing is not only His intention but His delight! This is a book not to be missed!

My Review:

LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!  Reading this book is like having a conversation with two of your friends.  The book is very simple to read and it flows quickly.  Once I started, I couldn't put it down.  I cried and laughed more than once while reading the book and to me that means it's a great book. 

Some time ago, I had a friend, well someone I thought was my friend, and it turned out they were not.  They choose to let our friendship go so they could fit in with another group.  I was hurt, bitter, and didn't understand.  But reading this book helped me to look at things in a different light.  I am no longer bitter towards them at all. 

In this book, you will also learn more in-depth about wounded women of the Bible and how they were able to overcome what life had in store for them.

There are questions at the end of the book that will be great for a small study group.

I plan to keep this book on my shelf as a go to book.  This would also make a great gift for someone that you know is struggling with different issues in their lives. 

There are very few books I give a 5 ***** rating to but this is one of those!  Simply wonderful!

Thank you to Kregel Publications for the complimentary copy for my review and thank you to Dena and Tina for writing such a well written, easy to read book!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

within my grasp..a double amputee's true story by mike penketh


Trauma surgeons were forced to amputate the hands of American Airlines Captain Mike Penketh following a horrific accident that nearly killed him. Although the course of his life was unalterably changed, he was determined against all odds to fly airplanes again. He fought for two years to regain his pilot’s license and, while he never flew Boeing 737s again, he went on to fly aerobatics shows to prove to himself and the naysayers that he could do it. Within My Grasp is an inspirational autobiography about the challenges of coping with a disability, and learning how to focus on what you can do, rather than what you cannot do.

My Review:

We all have days where we think we are having a bad day and joking say I want to start the day over or that we want to go to bed early.  Then the next day wake up and think "oh yesterday wasn't too bad".

Well imagine waking up and coming to grips over time that you have been critically injured in an accident and you are now a double amputee!  That is something my friends that can not be changed by just going to bed early and waking up the next morning.

This is an awesome inspirational book!  It's one of those books that when you read it you realize the problems you were complaining out are not so big at all!

Mike Penketh does an excellent job telling his story and helping the reader learn what it is like to learn how to cope with just a disability and most importantly to focus on what YOU CAN DO! And he does it in a way that is inspirational NOT wanting the reader to feel sorry for him.

This is a definite must read!

Thank you to the author for sending me a complimentary copy for my review.

With Unwashed Hands by Joanie Bolton


Joanie Bolton is married, with two married sons and four grandchildren.

When her husband Darrell retired from the U. S. Air Force, he directed his energies into short-term mission trips to several countries, many of them third-world countries. Because Joanie has joined him on several trips, she was present when a doctor’s mistreatment of her husband almost took his life. As they finally began to tell the graphic details and almost unbelievable experiences of their 2011 mission trip, nearly all who heard have insisted, “Please, please write a book!” The details of what they experienced show how God powerfully spared Darrell's life, and at the same time tenderly carried them through some perilous and heartbreaking times. Book includes 26 pictures from their incredible journey. A portion of the proceeds of the book "With Unwashed Hands" will go to help fund future missions trips for MVP Missions.

My Review:

Regardless of whom you believe in, this story will touch your heart as a true testament to divine intervention.

 Imagine if you will, you are in a foreign country. And while you are there, you become critically ill. What would you do? How would you pay for the bills? And if that isn't enough to be dealing with, you receive devastating news from back home?

The Boltons went through all of that while they were on a missionary trip overseas. This book is definitely a must read that details the heart wrenching, faith testing, and courage filled journey they went through.

You can find out more about the Boltons and this book at

Thank you to the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of the book for my review.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Click: An Online Love Story by Lisa Becker


Fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, Renee Greene, the heroine of Click: An Online Love Story, reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds through a series of emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical “B” celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.

My Review:

Are you a Sex in the City fan?  If so, then this book is for you!!!  In this book, you will meet Renee, a soon to be 30 yr old and her best friends Mark and Shelley.

The interesting thing about this book is the concept on how it was written.  It's all in email format.

If you are looking for a fun read then this is the book for you.  So go grab your favorite adult beverage, kick off your designer shoes, find a comfy chair and read this book!  Then when you are done, make sure you email and tell all of your friends on your social media sites all about Click: An Online Love Story!

Thank you to the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of the book for my honest review.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Planet Willie by Josh Shoemake


Willie Lee is a highly unusual angel. Irreverent, hilarious, and politically incorrect, he tends to make the most of his time on Planet Earth whenever he gets sent down as a detective in the Paradise Police Department, Lost Souls Division.

Now Willie's on the trail of a beautiful art dealer named Fernanda Shore who may have stolen her father's prized painting and who's wandered far off the straight and narrow. And Willie's looking for any excuse to extend his time away from the boring clouds. Which partially explains the belly dancers, the fine Western apparel, the Albanian terrorists, the cape, the bourbon, the nuns, and the cliffs of Acapulco.

Et cetera.

Because for Willie it's the et cetera that makes life worth living, as long and as hard as they’ll let him.

"Fasten your seat belts and prepare for loop-de-loops. Willie is one hell of a ride." - Book Monthly

My Review:

The author's vision is very original.  I can honestly say I've never read anything quite like it before!

The main character is Willie Lee, who is an Angel in heaven awaiting change.  He receives his wish and he is assigned as a detective from the Paradise Police Department to incarnate and return to earth to investigate an Art theft.

I really enjoyed the author's writing and wit.  I look forward to reading more of his books.  The book was cleverly written and I have to say anything, nothing like I have ever read before.

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a complimentary copy for my review.

Blueberry Bubble Gum by Mahamad Ali Elfakir


Get ready for adventure! School's out, and Max is gearing up for a summer of baseball with his friends. He's expecting fun in the sun and long, lazy days. But to his surprise, he finds himself transported to a strange and wonderful world after chewing magical blueberry bubble gum-bubble gum his parents warned him not to chew! Join Max in his adventures through Blueberry Bubble Gum World and meet the fascinating creatures who live there-the Blueberry Boy, King Erudition, and the lumpy, moldy green evil Waywards. Will Max learn his lesson and find his way home? Find out in this thrilling journey!

My Review:

I always read the books I receive to review first before I give them to my children to read.

I hate to admit it but I was surprised as to what happened to Young Max when he didn't listen to his parents!  And I even laughed out loud when I realized what happened!  Not just laughed, I mean giggled like a teenager.  And that my readers takes a lot now that I'm older! :0)

This book definitely went a different way then I thought it would. 

I'm not going into very much detail on this book and to tell you what happened to Max. That my friends is for your children to find out.  Let's just say you will have a new outlook on bubble gum after reading this book. 

I recommend this book for children ages 7 and up.  My tween thought this book was funny and still talks about it to this day.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

An Ordinary Toad's Extraordinary Night by Joanne McGonagle


One of the requirements of the  master of zoology program was to write a plan about how we thought we could  make a difference in the world.  My master's journey began with the inspiration from an article by Peter Slovic: "If I look at the mass, I will never act": Psychic numbing and genocide." This article discusses how the phenomenon of psychic numbing paralyzes humans and prevents them from taking action to help others in need. I thought if this was true for humans suffering, wouldn't it be true for the big cats tooI wondered if we could deliver a message of hope instead of desperation, of success instead of failure, through compelling storytelling could we lure others into caring about the world around them?  If I could get people to care about one tiger, could I get them to begin to care about all tigers and motivate them to save the entire species?
My master plan focused on big cats and they are considered charismatic megafauna. The term charismatic megafauna refers to large well-known animal species that garner a disproportionate share of the public's attention. The tiger is the world's most popular animal according to a survey conducted by Animal Planet. The big cat even beat out the dog for the number one position. These species have the "wow factor" that grabs the public's attention to try to save them. The koala certainly is charming, but a small toad....perhaps not.
During the peer review process of our master plans one of my colleagues asked me a compelling question. Tim asked, "How would the results be different if you picked a less cute animal or a non-charismatic megafauna? There are many people that like tigers, but how about something that they do not make stuffed animals or commonly occur in Winnie the Pooh cartoons?  Frogs and Toads need help too."
This is an important question. What about all the living beings that aren't cute and cuddly or fierce and admired?
Driving one day, I thought about toads.  Then I wondered why frogs seem to be the preferred amphibian.  I imagined a young toad named Andrew. I wish I could tell you why his name is Andrew but I honestly don't know. But I began to tell Gracey, she was a great listener, the story of a Andrew the young toad that wondered if his life might have been better had be been hatched a frog.  And that is how An Ordinary Toad's Extraordinary Night came to be.
Thank you for caring for all animals, big and small. Charismatic or non-charismatic, we need them all and they need our help and protection.

My Review:

In this book, you get to meet Andrew, a young toad who is going to visit his Grandpa.  Your child will learn the differences between toads and frogs.

This book is especially great if your child loves amphibians.

I recommend this book for teachers, children's libraries, and a child's own library.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a complimentary copy for my honest review.

If You Were Me and Lived in South Korea by Carole Roman


Carole P. Roman takes you on a journey this time to Asia, landing in South Korea. Once again, children can learn how life is like for young people on the other side of the globe. From food to famous landmarks, they will learn that's it's easy to find something in common with people in different countries.

My Review:

I personally love books like this!

I think it's important that our children learn about all of the various cultures that make up our wonderful world!

This book was written so that children can easily comprehend what the author is trying to say.

This would be a great book teachers, libraries, or a child's own book collection!

My oldest really looked forward to reading this book.  We talked about the book after she read it and she told me everything she had learned about the South Korean culture and thought some of their traditions were pretty cool.

The author did a fantastic job and we look forward to reading more of her books!

Thank you to the author for providing us with a complimentary copy for our honest review.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob by Brooks Olbrys


Despite his idyllic island life, young Bob yearns for a greater sense of fulfillment. With his guardian, Xena the hummingbird, at his side, Bob sets out to seek guidance from the wise and happy creatures of the sea.

From the joyful secrets of Al the dolphin to the insightful advice of Doc the turtle, Earl the clam, and Wallace the walrus, Bob uncovers great wisdom. But to complete his journey, he'll need to overcome his fears - and Xena's doubts - and prove himself to Mary Marine, the Island of Roses's leading marine biologist.
The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob: A Journey Begins is the first episode of a colorful, early chapter book series that provides children with an introduction to timeless principles of achievement derived from the teachings of Bob Proctor, Earl Nightingale, Napoleon Hill, Wallace D. Wattles, and others.

My Review:

"Set a goal from your vision"

"Persistence pays off"

This book is a really well written childrens book.  I love the inspiration and encouragement for the children.

The story about Blue Ocean Bob takes your child on a whimsical journey.  They will learn about Bob his guardian, Xena, and the other animals Doc, Earl, and Wallace.

This would be a great chapter book for older children to read and a good chapter book for parents to read to their little ones each day for story time.

I recommend this book for teachers, childrens libraries, and a child's own library.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a complimentary copy for me to review.

We are BACK!!!

Sorry for the unintentional break in book reviews!

Between summer vacation for my children, our family vacation, gardening, canning, Back to School chaos, yard work, normal life, a thumb injury, and lots and lots of books to read, we are back!!!

Starting the 24th, you will see a new review each day!  I still have several more books to finish but I will be finishing all of the reviews!

If you have sent me a request for a review and I have not responded, please give me a few more weeks and I will respond.  It's my honor to be asked to review so many books! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Candle Classic Bible

I was given the opportunity to preview a Children's Bible through Kregel Publications.  We have been looking for a children's bible that was like our devotionals, that our children could understand and WANT to read! 

Here is the overview of the book from the Publisher:


A Bible story for every day—365 of the best-loved Bible stories fully illustrated in a classic style will become favorites for children and parents alike, with each story divided into easy-to-read sections with the day, heading, and Scripture reference. Children are encouraged to spend family time together reading a new story each day.
Old Testament: From the Story of Creation to Isaac, from Joseph to Ruth, from Job to David, from Elisha to the Prophets.
New Testament: From John the Baptist to the story of Jesus, to the story of the Apostles, to John’s Vision of Heaven.
Unique Selling Points
• Strong traditional art style
• Ideal gift for the older child
• Encourages Bible reading every day


First of all, the quality of this book is wonderful!  The book is bond very nicely and would make the perfect gift for your children, grandchildren or other young family members.

Reading this book with our oldest brings back memories of my childhood and my favorite stories.

The stories are written so the children can understand them. 

The Candle Classic Bible is now a permanent fixture on our end table so it is readily available each day.

Thank you to Kregel Publications Blog Tours for sending us a copy of this book for our review.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

diva Pearl the Pekingese by Miss Pearl and Vicki Gattuso


Life After Showbiz is an intimate portrayal of the World's most beautiful Pekingese, a divine white bombshell so pretty, even Mr. Winkle declared his love for her! After many years of retirement, Miss Pearl steps out of her pink carriage to pMiss Parroclaim "It's time for a lady dog star". Make room for little Diva Pearl! Within the pages of this book are not only stunning pictures of one of the World's most glamorous dogs, but also her unique story. Pearl reveals various aspects of her life from her lineage, her career, her near death experience, her favorite activities and the special people in her life from her Nanny to her Fashion designer and an opportunity to see the world through her eyes. A famous musician was so inspired by Pearl's beauty, he composed a ballad for her, so she has her own song "Miss Pearl's Song". This might be a first! Best in Show (Westminster 2012) Grand Champion Malachy endorses Diva Pearl the Pekingese book and wrote the forward, plus he included a bonus picture of himself, from his private collection. Pearl keeps making history as she was Miss January 2012 Cover girl for a dog magazine, years after retirement, another first! Pearl is not just another Pekingese, she is a sleeve Pekingese weighing just over 6 pounds. In ancient China, sleeve Pekingese were considered very rare and Imperial rulers would stick them up their sleeves. Temples were built for worshipping them! Commoners were not allowed to look at Pekingese, let alone look at a white Sleeve. Pearl welcomes you to look at her. Thank Goodness times have changed! Diva Pearl is a an affable, imaginative princess who loves and is loved by many. Yes, she has had her share of struggles but she's had many comebacks to prove it. Diva Pearl is for kids of all ages and dog lovers who appreciate beauty and want to be inspired by a little fluffy dog. Diva Pearl's story is about comebacks..guaranteed to lift spirit and touch your heart!

My Review

My little Frugals LOVE this book!  I also really enjoyed reading about Miss Pearl!  The story is all about Miss Pearl who is a retired show dog.  You will learn about Miss Pearl, her life, the history of the Pekingese breed, and about Miss Pearl's family.

This is a feel good book that all members of your family will enjoy reading. 

I also like "Pearls of Wisdom".  Those are gentle reminders for all of us!

I highly recommend this book!  This is a great book for your childrens library!

I give this book 5 *****.

Thank you to the author for providing me a review copy of this book as well as a cd of Miss Pearl's song!

Can't and Able - An Inspirational Story by Cynthia Fabian


What does it feel like when you just can't do what the other kids, I mean stars, do? Can't kept trying, but he never seemed to shine as brightly as the other stars, and was always teased and bullied by others. Can't feels that he is less than the other stars and just cannot shine. It wasn't until Can't realized he Can, that everything changed for him. Find out how Can't became a hero and ultimately became Can. Able is the star who had it all. Able helps Can't to realize that he can really shine. Connect with Can't, Able, and all the stars that live in their neighborhood and beyond in the star-studded children's book Can't and Able: An Inspirational Story. The colorful artwork by Daniel Stevens creates beauty and fun throughout the universe. And as we all know, the star is the limit! Originally from New York City, Cynthia Fabian now enjoys meditation and the quiet life in Somerset, New Jersey. "I grew up with a disorder. I always felt like I could not shine, just like Can't. When I became a teacher, I saw many children that were experiencing the same difficulties. They were teased and often felt smaller. This book is for all of you, struggling and not knowing how to change your circumstances. If you simply believe, you can change your own circumstances. Believe in yourself and you will see the wonders of change are in your power."

My Review:

My oldest Frugal really loved the book.  We talked about the message that they gathered from the book.

The characters in this book are stars.  Can't and Able are both stars.  Can't feels he is not as good as the other stars.  This book touches on bullying as Can't is picked on by the other stars. 

For younger children, I would suggest reading the book over a few days.  Even though it's only around 25 pages long, it still can be long for a little one who has an attention span of a few minutes.

I highly recommend this book.  It would be a great addition to any child's library.  And it will be a great tool for discussion about "Can't, Can, and Able".

I give this book 5*****

Thank you to the author for providing me with a review c

From My Hands and Heart by Kate Mackinnon


Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a powerful hands-on treatment that supports the body’s own wisdom and innate ability to heal. Tens of thousands of practitioners around the world can attest to the effectiveness of this rapidly growing therapy. In From My Hands and Heart, Kate Mackinnon interweaves her personal journey of using CST with case studies and detailed, easy-to-understand explanations of the theory behind it. Whether you’ve never heard of CST before, thought it didn’t apply to you, or are currently undergoing treatments, this book has something for you.Mackinnon guides you through creating a team of practitioners focused on your well-being, and explains how to help yourself at home between sessions. You’ll learn simple, safe techniques that almost anyone can perform and receive. Most important, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the amazing powers of the human body and how, with individualized support through CST, it can find its own way to balance and health.

My Review:

I was looking forward to receiving this book.  I had a few hopes regarding this book.  One that it would be in a easy to understand format, it was based on someone's own experiences and it gave good advice.

This book accomplished all three things.   

Our bodies are such complex mechanisms and this book focuses on noninvasive healing techniques.  The author explains what a session with a Craniosacral therapist would be like. 

I enjoyed reading this book and I think you will too.

I give this book 4 ****.

Thank you to the  Hay House Book Nook program for providing me with the book to review.

God's Magnificent Beanfield by Don Bowlin


God's Magnificent Beanfield"

...fires the imagination, inspires the faithful, and celebrates the family. If you believe true miracles are a thing of the past, Mr. Bowlin will convince you otherwise.

My Review:

This book revolves around the Kelly Family through many generations.  The story is well written. 

There is a miracle that happens in the story.  The miracle is based on Christian beliefs, but even if you have different religious beliefs, keep an open mind as the message is about keeping true to your beliefs and the importance of family.

The members of the Kelly family are very easy to envision. The author does an excellent job describing them.

I personally really enjoyed reading the book.  I don't want to go into much detail about the book, however, you will come away with a renewed sense of self.

This is definitely a book to read. I give this book 4****.

Thank you to the author for sending me a review copy to review.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Gospel of Yes by Mike Glenn


What you believe about God affects the way you approach life—often in ways you don’t realize. Are you convinced that God limits you, or liberates you? Is he more interested in correcting you or connecting with you? And when you hit a rough spot and start looking for help, do you believe God is against you or on your side?

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book.  I appreciated the honesty the author, who is also a pastor, shares.  Too many times they say, "do what I say but not what I do".  This book is a must read for any one looking to grow in their walk with the Lord.

Here is a brief excerpt from the chapter, "A Marriage of Two Healthy People".  "Can you imagine what a marriage would look like if it was based on the kind of generous love that expects nothing in return?

Those are the types of thought provoking questions he asks and then shares the scripture so you can understand what we need to do to have a healthy marriage.

I highly recommend this book.  I give it 5*****.

Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing the review copy of this book.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gabriel's Tears by Nedra Kiper


Gabriel's Tears is about my life of extreme child abuse and the process of healing that abuse. Along the way you will learn why God allows children to suffer. You will also learn how Gods amazing angel's are right here with us and helping us heal. And you will also learn about my own angel, Angel Gabriel, and how he helped me and healed me in the most amazing ways. I will not spoil the learning process as you read my life's story. Be warned this book will shock you on many different levels.

My Review:

I can only imagine what the author went through.  Any child or adult that can overcome abuse of any type is an amazing and strong person.  And I commend her for being able to write this book regarding her past and bringing up all of those painful memories again.

As far as the actual book goes, there were a couple of issues.  First of all, there were a lot of typographical errors.  I'm really surprised that there were with the technology that we have, albeit though, there were.

Secondly, as far as the story goes, it was really hard to follow.  I was confused trying to figure out the correlation between Lucifer, the Angel Gabriel, and the author.  I realize who those people are, but to keep track of who was talking in the book was hard for me.

As far as stars go, I give this 2**.  No stars for the book but 2 for her story.

I pray that the author continues to grow and heal as time continues on.

Thank you to the author, Nedra Kiper, for providing me a copy of this book for my review.

A GOD For All Seasons by Patti Tingen


As nature's seasons change, so too do the seasons of our soul. But God's love never changes. He is with us through every season of our lives. Join author Patti Tingen in a year of exploration as she reflects on her own spiritual journey, and provides hope and encouragement for yours - month by month, season by season. Find reassurance and pause for reflection in the inspirational readings for each month of the year.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book!  I love inspirational books that I can relate too.  And with being able to look at different inspirations during specific times during each season is wonderful!

Ms. Tingen does a terrific job with this book.  Below is part of an excerpt for the month of July.

"Fireworks, picnics, parties and fun-July is here and it's time to celebrate!  So run barefoot through the grass, take a splash in a swimming pool, set off a firecracker and let the watermelon juice run down your chin.  Return to the joys of your childhood, if only for an afternoon." 

Take a moment if you will and think about the paragraph above.  Can you picture eating a piece of watermelon and letting the juice drip down your chin?  Sounds relaxing and fun doesn't it?

I highly recommend this book for everyone!  It would go along great with your daily devotional.  This would also make the perfect gift for anyone on your gift list!

I give this book 5 *****.

Thank you to the Author, Patti Tingen, for providing me a copy of this book for my review.

The Night Horses by Anaka Jones

My oldest Frugal just finished reading this book and she loved it!  As a parent I loved the story.


Children's book. Author Anaka Jones imagines the life of a herd of horses as they work, chow, play and turn a farm into their own three-ring circus in “The Night Horses”. In “The Night Horses” (ISBN 1452882789), Anaka Jones creates a playful children’s book that imagines the secret lives of barn horses who chatter, chow, play and work all while their owners are away. Though she is only in sixth grade, Jones has produced a lively book that mixes reality and fantasy to showcase the playful and humorous side of rural life. She invites readers to accompany her to a secret barn party where these animals will play as hard as they work. “The Night Horses” follows the animals’ daily lives. Each morning, the horse herd takes their breakfast at the hay feeder. Mulling around, they exchange gossip and share their plans for the day. There’s May, an old mare whose giddy-up spirit fuels her energetic personality. She wants to challenge Cloud to a race even though she is three times his age. Frisco and Bella are an inseparable married couple, and plenty of young foals timidly hide behind their mothers’ legs amongst the group. After a long day of work, the horses clean up, head to their stalls for dinner, and wait in the barn until their owners head back to the house. With humans out of the picture, the horses get busy creating their own rural night life, effectively turning the farm into their own little three-ring circus. The whimsical nature of Jones’ children’s book allows young readers to tap into their imagination and picture what goes on inside the heads of the animals around them. A perfect story for children who love animals, “The Night Horses” depicts the world of love and companionship to be found among horses and

My Review

What really inspired us is the Author!  I only wished I could have accomplished something like this at her age!

If you have a young horse over, this book is for them!  I would recommend this to really any age! Even for the little ones.

Have you ever wanted to be invited to a party at the barn when it's dark?  Or wondered what the horses and other animals do after it gets dark?  Well now you get to find out!

The imagination that this young lady has is amazing!  The illustrations are great!  It is so neat to see that ability that she already has as a writer!
You will learn about the adventures of May, Cloud, Frisco, and Bella and the other animals!
This is a great book for all ages! 
Thank you to Anaka and Jeff Jones for sending me a copy of this book for my review.
I give this book 5 stars *****


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hillari's Head by Tim Stutler



Paralegal Kristina Orris has moved to San Diego seeking a new life – a  normal life. She is burdened by the memory of Hillari, a sister with an oversized head and disfigured face. Home-schooled by a protective single father, Kristina herself had a vexing speech impediment and rarely left the house while growing up. But after her dad died, she knew she couldn’t stay. Kristina dreamed of being a lawyer. Pursuing such a goal might prove painful for any cloistered, mumbling orphan; but it would be impossible yoked to Hillari. At 18, Kristina abandoned her home, her past – and Hillari.

Now, eight years later, Kristina meets attorney Gideon “Duck” Ducker, “the single homeliest man she had ever laid eyes on.” But she instantly bonds with the warm, self-effacing lawyer. Kristina takes a paralegal job at Duck’s law firm, where the two are thrown into the most tumultuous and fascinating case of their lives. Everything is coming together nicely for Kristina. Only one thing prevents her from becoming the confident, fulfilled woman she longs to be: the swelling burden of guilt and shame over her past. But is it too late to redeem herself?

Alternately touching, humorous and heart wrenching, Hillari’s Head is about family, intimacy, resilience and, ultimately, acceptance. With its intriguing characters and elements of comedy and tragedy, Hillari's Head will appeal to fans of Nora Ephron (Heartburn) and John Irving (A Prayer For Owen Meany).

My review

I just finished this book today. 

I am a huge Law & Order junkie and I have been since the original L & O started in the 1990s!  So I was really looking forward to reading this book.  I love stories that have characters who overcome something in their life, that are easy to read, that cause a "say what" moment, and that have characters that make you both laugh and cry.  And to top it off, if I come across a book that has ALL of that PLUS has a Law & Order feel to it, then I'm hooked.

And that is what Hillari's Head did!  Tim Stutler did a great job writing this book!  Hillari's Head is easy to read, hard to put down, is funny and touches your heart!

There will be no spoilers in my review because you really need to read this book!  Instead I will talk about the characters.

The first character you are introduced to is Kristina.  What Kristina goes through as a young child and young adult is heart breaking.  After she moves to California, she becomes intrigued with one of her neighbors.  The author does a great job describing this neighbor!  As you read the story, you can easily picture Judge Monday!  You are then introduced to Gideon "Duck" Ducker, a friend of Judge Monday's.

As you read this story, you can easily picture the characters, and you will feel like you get to know them.  What I really appreciated about this book is that it was about lawyers, the practice of law, and WRITTEN by a lawyer. 

Hillari's Head is a great book that talks about acceptance, embracing your past, moving on with your life, and love.

This is definitely a 5 star ***** book that you must read!

Hillari's Head will be available to purchase August 1, 2013.

Thank you to Tim Stutler for providing me with an advance copy of the book for me to review.



Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Click here for the NEW giveaway for your VERY OWN FREE COPY OF "Let's Go Shopping" by Tia Shorts!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Interview with Author Steven Manchester

Recently I was able to read a new book entitled, "The Rockin Chair".  WOW!  It was the most captivating story I have read in a very long time! 

Here is an interview with Mr. Manchester so you can learn more about the writer of "The Rockin Chair".

1. Could you please tell us a little about your book?

The Rockin’ Chair is a heartfelt novel. Think Mitch Albom meets Nicholas Sparks…in heaven on earth. 

Synopsis: Memories are the ultimate contradiction. They can warm us on our coldest days – or they can freeze a loved one out of our lives forever. The McCarthy family has a trove of warm memories. Of innocent first kisses. Of sumptuous family meals. Of wondrous lessons learned at the foot of a rocking chair. But they also have had their share of icy ones. Of words that can never be unsaid. Of choices that can never be unmade. Of actions that can never be undone.

Following the death of his beloved wife, John McCarthy – Grandpa John – calls his family back home. It is time for them to face the memories they have made, both warm and cold. Only then can they move beyond them and into the future.

A rich portrait of a family at a crossroad, THE ROCKIN' CHAIR is Steven Manchester’s most heartfelt and emotionally engaging novel to date. If family matters to you, it is a story you must read.
2.  Who is your biggest supporter?

My wife and children
3.  Your biggest critic?

That’s easy—“me.”
4.  What cause are you most passionate about and why?

I have two: As a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, I am a strong advocate of veterans. I do whatever I can—whenever I can—to bring awareness to many of their difficult plights. My wife and I also host a comedy fundraiser for A Wish Come True, Inc. each March. AWCT is a nonprofit organization that grants wishes to children ages 3 through 18; children who have a life-threatening illness. “Dreams are only A WISH away” is their cherished slogan. And whatever the dream, A Wish Come True, Inc. does everything possible to ensure that a child’s wish becomes a reality and the experience is one that the family will remember and always cherish. The aim is to give these children hope and strength to continue fighting. After seven consecutive years of hosting the “Laughter & Wishes Comedy Benefit,” we’ve raised $97,000, or enough to make 24 wishes come true.
5.  Who has influenced you throughout your career as a writer?

Many people have influenced me—writers I’ve never met and folks who have encouraged and inspired me along the way. I’d like to share my first great influence: I’d just returned home from Operation Desert Storm, and was working as a prison investigator in Massachusetts. Needless to say, there was great negativity in my life at that time. I decided to return to college to finish my degree in Criminal Justice. During one of the classes, the professor—Barry McKee—talked about police work but nothing else. I finally raised my hand and asked, “The criminal justice system is vast. What about the courts, probation, parole – corrections?” Barry smiled and told me to see him after class. I thought I’d finally done it! In his office, he explained, “There’s no written material out there on corrections or prisons, except from the slanted perspective of inmates.” He smiled again and dropped the bomb. “If you’re so smart,” he said, “why don’t you write it?” Nine months later, I dropped the first draft of 6-5; A Different Shade of Blue on Barry’s desk. From then on, I was hooked. I was a writer.
6.  What is the most important thing in your life right now?

My family; wife and children. Everything I do is done with my children in mind, trying to teach them by the example I provide with my own life.

7.  Do you have any advice for writers or readers?

I work with a lot of aspiring writers. With an industry rejection rate of 96%+, this business can prove very harsh. I tell new writers:

Be true to yourself, always.

Write constantly.

Keep the faith!!!

Most people in this industry would agree that more than talent or skill or even luck, perseverance is the one trait that will always get the job done.

Knock on every door you can, and keep knocking. I promise that eventually someone will open and the warmth you feel on your face will more than validate every hour spent alone in the darkness.

8.  Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with Lou Aronica and Peter Miller at The Story Plant! I’ve learned more in the last year than I did in the 15 that came before it. I look forward to a long and successful relationship with The Story Plant!