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.