The Last Panther by Todd Mitchell – Book Review & Author Interview

A few weeks ago I read The Last Panther by Todd Mitchell. I was lucky to also  get an interview with the author to share with everyone. You can see my review of the book and the author interview below. I do hope you enjoy!

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The Last Panther

by Todd Mitchell

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The Last Panther

Blurb: For fans of “The One and Only Ivan” and “Hoot, ” this is the uplifting story of a girl who discovers a family of panthers that were thought to be extinct, and her journey to save the species.

Eleven-year-old Kiri has a secret: wild things call to her. More than anyone else, she’s always had a special connection to animals.

But when Kiri has an encounter with the last known Florida panther, her life is quickly turned on end. Caught between her conservationist father, who wants to send the panther to a zoo, and the village poachers, who want to sell it to feed their families, Kiri must embark on a journey that will take her deep into the wilderness.

There has to be some way to save the panther, and for her da and the villagers to understand each other. If Kiri can’t figure out what it is, she’ll lose far more than the panthers she’ll lose the only home she s ever known, and the only family she has left.

My Review:

Kiri lives with her father, who is a conservationist, in the ghost forest near a dangerous swamp. He’s considered a waller (city dweller) and not far from their home are the fugees, the original habitants of the forest. Wallers are considered the wealthy ones and have what they need to survive while tending to preserve the environment and the species that are still living, while fugees consistently need to search for food so they won’t die of starvation or sickness. Fugees will do whatever it takes to feed their community and that includes killing whatever they can catch, including animals that are endangered, if need be. They don’t have much of a choice as the damaged ecosystem they live in has left them with little resources.

Kiri’s mother, who has previously passed away, was once a fugee and Kiri is now caught between two worlds having a waller for a father. The fugees detest the wallers and they simply don’t agree on anything. For this reason, Kiri doesn’t want to be considered a waller and would rather keep the peace between both groups. She doesn’t necessarily agree that the fugees should be hunting these ‘once-were’ creatures, but she understands them concurrently. When Kiri surprisingly discovers a panther she’s never seen before–a beautiful creature she connects with and knows she must protect–not only does she need to protect the panther, but she has to find a way to keep her cubs safe too. From this point, Kiri goes into survivor mode and does all that she can to stop the hunters and trappers from killing the panther, even it means she must go against her father’s wishes. What will Kiri do? She’s a courageous and spirited young girl, always standing up for what she believes in, but will she alone be enough to protect the last panther and its cubs?

After seeing the beautiful cover and reading the blurb, I took a chance and bought a copy for our home library. I’m always in search of stories that I can read with my children, especially those I can enjoy myself. I particularly relished the sweet parts in the story from Kiri’s companionship with Snowflake, her pet rat, to her friendship with Paulo. I found it compelling and full of action and adventure. The mystical world and rich plot that Todd Mitchell has created draws you in and makes you feel like you’re part of Kiri’s journey. It’s un-predictable and written well. I also appreciated that the story provokes questions about climate change and brings attention to the importance of caring for our environment now, as animals are experiencing high levels of endangerment as our world is ever-changing.

This is one I’m pleased to have for my family and I’m overjoyed that it turned out to be such an awesome read. This is a perfect middle-grade read for classrooms and libraries, but essentially, it’s great for all ages. I honestly can’t wait to see what other books Todd Mitchell writes in the future.

My rating: 5*****

Find this book on Amazon and Goodreads:

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (August 22, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399555587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399555589

Continue reading “The Last Panther by Todd Mitchell – Book Review & Author Interview”

Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson – Book Review – #UltimateReadingChallenge – February

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Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas

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Summary:

Beautifully captures the joys of a new family as it builds to an overwhelmingly moving climax. This is an unforgettable love story, at once heartbreaking and full of hope.

James Patterson has written a love story!–a powerfully moving and suspenseful novel about families, loss, new love, and hope.

Katie Wilkinson has found her perfect man at last. He’s a writer, a house painter, an original thinker–everything she’s imagined she wanted in a partner. But one day, without explanation, he disappears from her life, leaving behind only a diary for her to read.

This diary is a love letter written by a new mother named Suzanne for her baby son, Nicholas. In it she pours out her heart about how she and the boy’s father met, about her hopes for marriage and family, and about the unparalleled joy that having a baby has brought into her life. As Katie reads this touching document, it becomes clear that the lover who has just left her is the husband and father in this young family. She reads on, filled with terror and hope, as she struggles to understand what has happened–and whether her new love has a prayer of surviving.

Written with James Patterson’s perfect pitch for emotion and suspense, Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas captures beautifully the joys of a new family as it builds to an overwhelmingly moving climax. This is an unforgettable love story, at once heartbreaking and full of hope.

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My Thoughts:

Katie and Matt had the perfect relationship. They had much in common and a completeness, but when Matt suddenly leaves the relationship, Katie is left with many questions and wonders what went wrong. Matt is someone Katie could’ve shared the rest of her life with. How could she have been so wrong about their relationship?Not long after Matt’s departure, she receives a package in the mail. She recognizes Matt’s handwriting on the package instantly, and when she opens it, she finds a book titled Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas. As Katie reads the diary, she’s shocked. All at once she learns about a woman named Suzanne and her son Nicholas. In the diary, Suzanne writes about her life before Nicholas, her journey through relationships, and the joyous times she had with Nicholas from his birth up through the first year of his life. She writes directly to Nicholas and shares memories with him about his father. She wants him to understand how much she loves him and his father, and just how special their life was together.

I first read this book in 2006 when I was pregnant with my second child. In hindsight, there’s no doubt that hormones played a part in my reaction because I bawled and bawled over the book which is why I decided to read this one for my February #UltimateReadingChallenge–tear jerker. I can still remember gushing over it to everyone and influenced all my friends to read it. I honestly couldn’t say enough about it. I think the majority of my emotions stem from the fact that it’s a mother writing to her  baby son about old memories and how her life was complete once he came into the world. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do (write to my children about our time together so they can read about it later in life). Another reason I was moved was because I personally went through similar health experiences, just like Suzanne, and her story felt real to me. I know some might say the writing isn’t spectacular, but I thought the narrative was, particularly Suzanne’s writings. Just when you think you know what’s happening, a surprising twist is thrown in–even at the end.

I was thoroughly involved in this story for the second time and flew through it, however, I don’t think I was as emotional when reading it this time around. Don’t get me wrong, I teared up for a bit, but I didn’t feel as affected by it this time. There were parts that I forgot and the story felt quite fresh to me, but I prepared myself ahead of time for the end because I remembered how emotional I was after the first reading. There was one part in the book that felt a little confusing and maybe a little unrealistic to me, but it was easily overlooked. Regardless, it still gets five stars from me.

5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
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Continue reading “Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson – Book Review – #UltimateReadingChallenge – February”

Shabby Sunday: Cinderella (Matthew Hope #6) by Ed McBain – 1986

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Shabby Sunday

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s Shabby Share is:

Cinderella (Matthew Hope #6)

 

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Summary: 

Private detective Otto Samalson sees the tail—a black Toronado he can’t shake. One dark window rolls down, exposing the barrel of a gun, and the detective is dead.

Otto had already known his days were numbered and said as much to his friend, attorney Matthew Hope. Having hired Otto to watch a cheating husband for a client, Matthew is now left with only Otto’s tape recorder, filled with proof of an affair. But could the evidence lead to something larger, something that would drive a man to kill?

Meanwhile, a mysterious woman is on the run, her face and name unknown to all except two stepsisters who couldn’t care less if a violent pair of Cubans got their hands on her. If Matthew can decipher the clues in Otto’s evidence, there’s a chance he could reach the girl first and save her life.

A chilling addition to the Matthew Hope series from Ed McBain, Cinderella is the tale of a woman known by many names and the men who will do anything to find her. – Goodreads

My Thoughts:

I went to this amazing book sale last year and picked up a beautiful large stack of vintage hardcover books for right around .50 cents a piece–all of them mysteries that I’d never read. This one is the 6th novel in the Matthew Hope series.

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I went on Goodreads to add them all to my reading list and a few of my friends left some positive comments on the series. I haven’t read any of them yet, and the list is long, but I’m hoping to get into some of these this year. I’m not sure if these need to be read in order or not, but I don’t have all of them anyway. I’m missing three in the series. I figure I can find them at my library if I need to fit a few in.

Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Cinderella (Matthew Hope #6) by Ed McBain – 1986”

Throwback Thursday: The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui – February 8th

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

The Best We Could Do

 

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An intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam from debut author Thi Bui.

This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.

At the heart of Bui’s story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent—the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home.

In what Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls “a book to break your heart and heal it,” The Best We Could Do brings to life Thi Bui’s journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past. –Goodreads

My Thoughts: 

I picked this up from Netgalley as soon as I learned about it. I love reading graphic novels and this one piqued my interest after reading the blurb. I had already read A Different Pond with my kids and loved that one, so I had a good feeling about The Best We Could Do. 

This is an extremely moving graphic novel about a family’s immigration from Vietnam and how they do the best they can to make a living in a new country. Thi Bui is learning to understand her parents past as she has now become a mother herself in America.

“Má leaves me but I’m not alone, and a terrifying thought creeps into my head. Family is now something I have created and not just something I was born into.”

She wants to understand her families history and she eventually discovers her parents past along with her own childhood. I found it so powerful, eye-opening, thought-provoking, and couldn’t help getting emotional during the reading. I enjoyed it immensely and the artwork is amazing. I would recommend it to anyone.

Find this on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Illustrated edition edition (March 7, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419718770
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419718779

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui – February 8th”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book: Chocolate Avocado Shake – Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas – Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday! I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the week. Today I have a special shake/smoothie recipe for you that is unbelievably good and also two books that I’m reading this week.

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The smoothie I have to share with you today came as a complete surprise to me. I learned about it from Mimi Kirk (one of my favorite raw foodists) and I’ve made it at least twenty times since! I’ve never been a fan of avocados and I have to admit, I was leery about making this. The results were amazing.

Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book: Chocolate Avocado Shake – Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas – Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words”

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage – Book Review #NGEW2018

Baby Teeth

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Blurb: Sweetness can be deceptive. 

Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

My Thoughts:

May contain mild spoilers…

Suzette, mother to Hanna, deals with illness on a daily basis. She has an autoimmune disease that makes her sick and causes pain. On top of this, she’s trying to be a good wife to Alex, Hanna’s dad, and all she wants is to have a normal family–a normal daughter. The problem is that Hanna is a complete psycho, doesn’t talk, and behaves so badly, she’s continuously kicked out of school and Suzette has no choice but to home school her. At home, there are even more problems. Hanna want’s to kill her mother, but has a deep love for her father and because of that, nobody believes Suzette when she tries to tell them that something is wrong with Hanna.

“Daddy was the most handsome man in the world. He dressed nicely, in crisp shirts and colorful ties, and his favorites were the ones she picked our for him. When she grew up she’d marry him, and then Mommy wouldn’t be competition anymore.”

The main points of view alternate between Suzette and Hanna throughout the book. As I mentioned, Alex, Hanna’s dad, never sees the disturbing behaviors. The person who deals with Hanna on a daily basis is Suzette and this is what made me so uncomfortable throughout the book. Alex refers to Hanna as his ‘squirrely girl’ or ‘lilla gumman’ and it seems like no matter how much he loves Suzette, he just doesn’t believe that his daughter is a psychopath and consistently makes excuses for her. Hanna exhibits aggressive and violent behaviors that almost go too far for me. It made me very uncomfortable and the constant instigating between Hanna and Suzette made me want to scream. This family is extremely dysfunctional and I kept wondering throughout the book what the real reasons for Hanna’s behaviors were. Surely something had to have happened in the past with Suzette or Alex, right?

“Sshh, lilla gumman…Daddy’s squirrely girl…”He cooed so softly Suzette couldn’t hear everything he said. But Hanna quieted. She looked so tiny in his arms, a rag doll.

I thought the book was written really well and it’s certainly a quick and smooth read. People who like thrillers will more than likely be pleased. Personally, I was on edge and completely thrilled all the way to the ‘not so’ surprising end. I was expecting some major twists toward the end which never really came and made me feel like something was missing, however, the book for the most part kept my interest and I found it dark and very disturbing, so for that, I’ll give this book 4****. I’m looking forward to reading more books by this author.

Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (July 17, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250170753
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250170750

Continue reading “Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage – Book Review #NGEW2018”

Shabby Sunday: The Call of the Wild Illustrated Classics by Jack London (Mitsu Yamamoto) 1989

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Shabby Sunday

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

The Call of the Wild (Great Illustrated Classics)

by Mitsu Yamamoto (Adapter)Jack LondonPablo Marcos Studio(Illustrator)
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Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: The Call of the Wild Illustrated Classics by Jack London (Mitsu Yamamoto) 1989”

A Bear’s Life by Ian McAllister and Nicholas Read – Children’s Book Review – #NGEW2018

A Bear’s Life

by Ian McAllister (Photographs)Nicholas Read (Contributor)
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Blurb: Black bears, grizzly bears, and spirit bears all make their home in the Great Bear Rainforest. A Bear’s Life uses Ian McAllister’s stunning photographs to follow these beautiful animals through a year in the British Columbia wilderness–catching fish, eating berries, climbing trees and taking long naps.

 

My Review:

A Bear’s Life had my children and me captivated from the very first pages. The book is an adventure from start to finish, containing photographs from the Great Bear Rainforest including black bears, grizzlies, spirit bears, wolves, and other wildlife.

This is a simple read for elementary students and easy enough for three to four year olds to understand when reading aloud. Along with each photograph, facts are shared and readers will learn what the bears eat, how they socialize, what other animals live there, how they hibernate, and much more beginning with spring and following through to winter again. Our most favorite parts in the book included facts about spirit bears (black bears with cream-colored fur) and how special they are with roughly a 1 to 10 ratio compared with black bears.

I appreciated that even the location of the rainforest was shared in the beginning of the book so young ones can get an idea where it is on the map. I think the map would’ve been better located on an actual page versus the front inside cover because it’s easy to miss.

Overall, we loved A Bear’s Life and can’t wait to read other books in the My Great Bear Rainforest series.

5*****

Continue reading “A Bear’s Life by Ian McAllister and Nicholas Read – Children’s Book Review – #NGEW2018”

Throwback Thursday: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire – February 1st

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2)

 

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Blurb: Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

My Thoughts:

My very first Throwback Thursday featured the first book in the ‘Beautiful’ series titled Beautiful Disaster. I thought I’d share the second book in the series which is told from Travis’s point of view.

This book reveals Travis’s story and begins back when he was just three years old with the passing of his mother. As Travis grows older he endures many stuggles including an alcoholic father. As a college student he dates plenty of women, but never falls in love, until the moment he meets Abby. His world turns upside down as he tries to figure her out and win her heart at the same time.

“Maybe it was just me. Maybe it was just me and her. Maybe together we were this volatile entity that would either implode or meld together. Either way, it seemed the moment I met her, my life had been turned upside down. And I didn’t want it any other way.”

I honestly didn’t know what to expect with this one because of the fact that it’s basically the same story told in the first book, but it turned out to be much more than that. There were new scenes included and readers will obtain a deep understanding into what’s made Travis the the way that he is and just how much he truly loves Abby.

This is a page turner that’s written well and easy to read. The characters are so full of depth and emotion, you become part of them. Jamie McGuire remains one of my favorites and I want to read everything she writes.

My rating on this one is 5*****


 

Find this on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Series: Beautiful Disaster Series
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Original ed. edition (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476712980
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476712987

About the Author:

Jamie McGuire

4464118.jpgJamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She attended Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.

Jamie paved the way for the New Adult genre with the international bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Her follow-up novel, Walking Disaster, debuted at #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists in all four categories. Beautiful Oblivion, book one of the Maddox Brothers series, also topped the New York Times bestseller list, debuting at #1. In 2015, books two and three of the Maddox Brothers series, Beautiful Redemption and Beautiful Sacrifice, respectively, also topped the New York Times, as well as a Beautiful series novella, Something Beautiful. In 2016, Beautiful Burn made an appearance on the New York Times and USA Today, and was also named iBooks’ Romance Book of the Year. The same year, A Beautiful Funeral also topped the New York Times bestseller list. Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire – February 1st”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Apple Porridge with Cinnamon and Raisins- Star Anise and Cinnamon Tea – Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Happy Wednesday, friends! How’s everyone doing this week? Are you all reading anything interesting? I totally went off my reading schedule to fit a new ARC in. I’ll be sharing that today and also a new recipe from the Thyroid Healing book by Anthony Williams that I talked about a few weeks ago. I hope you enjoy!

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I was a little late this morning and needed a quick breakfast. I’ve been thinking about this recipe since I first saw it and thought I’d give it a try. There’s no cooking involved and this was super fast!  Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Apple Porridge with Cinnamon and Raisins- Star Anise and Cinnamon Tea – Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage”

Tag: Amazon’s “100 Books to Read in a Lifetime” Tag

Hello, everyone! Hope you’re all doing well this week. I was recently tagged for the “Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime” Tag by my sweet friend, Noriko@Diary of a Bookfiend. I’d like to say thank you for tagging me for this. Please be sure to check out her blog if you haven’t already for awesome bookish posts and amazing book reviews!

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This is certainly a fun tag to see what you have and haven’t read. I’ve seen a lot of these lists online including Goodreads and there are so many I have to catch up on!

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Rules:

  1. Include the link to Amazon’s List
  2. Tag the creator of the meme (Perfectly Tolerable)
  3. Tag and thank the Person that tagged you
  4. Copy the list below and indicate which ones you have read
  5. Tally up your total
  6. Comment on the post you were tagged in and let them know how many you read
  7. Tag 5 new people! (And comment on one of their posts to let them know you tagged them)

Continue reading “Tag: Amazon’s “100 Books to Read in a Lifetime” Tag”

Shabby Sunday: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and John Schoenherr – 1987

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Shabby Sunday

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

Owl Moon 

by Jane YolenJohn Schoenherr (Illustrator) 

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Blurb: Late one winter night a little girl and her father go owling. The trees stand still as statues and the world is silent as a dream. Whoo-whoo-whoo, the father calls to the mysterious nighttime bird.

But there is no answer.

Wordlessly the two companions walk along, for when you go owling you don’t need words. You don’t need anything but hope. Sometimes there isn’t an owl, but sometimes there is.

Distinguished author Jane Yolen has created a gentle, poetic story that lovingly depicts the special companionship of a young child and her father as well as humankind’s close relationship to the natural world. Wonderfully complemented by award-winning John Schoenherr’s soft, exquisite watercolor illustrations, this is a verbal and visual treasure, perfect for reading aloud and sharing at bedtime.

My Thoughts:

I chose this book because it’s one of my personal favorites from when I was a child and now its cherished by my children as well.

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Owl Moon is a striking story that takes you on a journey through the winter woods in search of owls. The little child has been waiting to go owling with Pa for a very long time. The story rather reads like poetry.

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Our feet crunched over the crisp snow and little gray footprints followed us. Pa made a long shadow, but mine was short and round. I had to run after him every now and then to keep up, and my short, round, shadow bumped after me.”

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John Schoenherr’s illustrated imagery paints the perfect winter impression and this is a ideal book for bedtime that highlights the companionship between parent and child.

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Our copy is an old Scholastic paperback edition from 1988. It’s in fairly good shape with clean pages.

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This is surely one we’ll keep…

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Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and John Schoenherr – 1987”

Saturday’s Kitchen: Tots! : A Cookbook by Dan Whalen – Book Review with Recipe Results – January 27th

Hello lovely friends! Welcome back to another Saturday’s Kitchen, where I share with you some recipes from our Saturday cooking adventures. Today I’m going to  talk about a cookbook I ended up requesting from NetGalley. We’ve made a few delicious recipes from this book and you can read my review of the book and see our recipe results below.

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Today I’ll be sharing my review of:

Tots!: A Cookbook

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Blurb: It’s a fact: Americans love tots, and last year consumed 3.5 billion of them. And not just at home. From fast-food joints to high-end restaurants, chefs are joining the tot trend, serving exotically spiced tots or fun mash-ups like Totchos, with tots replacing the corn chips in nachos. But now, prepare for TOT-al domination! Created by mad-genius food blogger Dan Whalen, Tots! elevates the friendly little tater to its place in the culinary spotlight.
This irresistible cookbook with a nubby tot-texture on the cover offers 50 delicious, playful, and surprising recipes for snacks, appetizers, inspired main dishes, and inspired sides, even desserts. (Yes, you could create an entire tot-centric dinner.) Here are party dishes like Buffalo Tots and Tot Poutine. A Tot Caesar for an elegant starter. Tots for breakfast, like Tots Benedict and a Tot Shakshuka, and tots for dinner—Moules Tots, Chicken Tot Pie, Tater Tot Pizza, and Bibimtot. Side dishes—next Thanksgiving, try Sausage and Tot Stuffing. And for sweets lovers, Tot Churros (deep-fried and dipped in chocolate ganache), Apple Tot Crumble (that crispy salty tot topping really plays off the warm sweet apples), and Tot S’mores—a heavenly melt of a dish.
Every recipe uses frozen commercial tots—but Dan Whalen also shows die-hard tot lovers how to make tots from scratch and then alter their creations with different spices (think Tots Vindaloo) and sauces. It’s TOT-ally awesome. – Amazon

My Thoughts:

My husband is what I call a ‘tot aficionado’ because he’s one of those people willing to stand every single tater tot straight up, perfectly spaced, to get nice crispy tots every time right out of the oven. So, when I saw Tots!: A Cookbook, I had to grab it. I’m always hopeful to impress my family with some new and fresh recipes, and these would include one of their favorite foods.
The book begins describing the different types of tots you can buy and how to cook them. I was already fascinated with just the simple tricks for getting the crispiest tots in the oven. No more standing them up! The author shares a simple little addition that gets your tots super crispy and it truly works! I was able to impress my husband and had a huge smile on my face when he said, “Wow, these are perfect.”
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Sections of the book include some basics, seasonings, sauces, dips, appetizers, breakfast recipes, main dishes, and desserts. There’s also a nifty ‘Timeline of the Tater Tot’ including some history which was fun to read. There’s even a recipe for making your tots from scratch.
I decided to start with the Chipotle Mayo for a dip. I ended up serving this with the super crispy tots I mention above. It was a huge hit! The dip turned out sensational and it was a nice change from ketchup or barbecue sauce.

Chipotle Mayo:

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It’s basically a mix of mayo, sour cream, and seasonings.
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Continue reading “Saturday’s Kitchen: Tots! : A Cookbook by Dan Whalen – Book Review with Recipe Results – January 27th”

The Super Bowl: Chasing Football Mortality by Matt Doeden – Book Review – #NGEW2018

The Super Bowl: Chasing Football Immortality

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Blurb: The Super Bowl is the most popular US sporting event. This book features the greatest plays and most incredible moments, as well as the pomp and spectacle associated with the biggest game of the year.

My Thoughts:

It’s that time again. The Super Bowl is rolling in soon and will mark the end of the football season. It’s one of my favorite times of the year, but it’s also bittersweet as the season comes to a close.

When I first saw this book, I requested it right away because I wanted to share it with my children. They have an interest and I thought it would be a good book for them to learn more about football. I really liked the cover when I first saw it and I was pleasantly surprised with the content once we got into it. I learned many new facts about some of my favorite teams like the Chicago Bears, and the New England Patriots.

The book begins with how football got its start and continues on to explain the NFL, AFL, and how they formed–including the merge of the two. Children will learn about how the Super Bowl was born and even how it got its name. We particularly enjoyed the pages that highlighted special and memorable events like Super Bowl LI where the Patriots had the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. There’s a ton of history here and many historical photographs to enjoy.

I think this is a wonderful book for children on up to adults who enjoy football. It may be a little overwhelming for younger kids due to all the facts, history, and reading level, so it’s probably best for ages 10 and up as it’s listed. Overall, we found it interesting, informative, and entertaining. This is definitely one for any football fan to have on the shelf.

5*****

Find this on Goodreads and Amazon.

  • Age Range: 10 – 18 years
  • Grade Level: 4 – 12
  • Series: Spectacular Sports
  • Library Binding: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Millbrook Press (August 1, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1512427543
  • ISBN-13: 978-1512427547

Continue reading “The Super Bowl: Chasing Football Mortality by Matt Doeden – Book Review – #NGEW2018”

Throwback Thursday: Something Blue by Emily Giffin – January 25th

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

BeFunky Design

This Week’s Pick:

Something Blue (Darcy & Rachel #2)

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Blurb: Following the smash-hit Something Borrowed comes story of betrayal, redemption, and forgiveness.

Darcy Rhone has always been able to rely on a few things: Her beauty and charm. Her fiance, Dex. Her lifelong best friend, Rachel. She never needed anything else. Or so she thinks until Dex calls off their dream wedding and she uncovers the ultimate betrayal. Blaming everyone but herself, Darcy flees to London and attempts to re-create her glamorous life on a new continent. But to her dismay, she discovers that her tried-and-true tricks no longer apply—and that her luck has finally expired. It is only then that she can begin her journey toward redemption, forgiveness, and true love.

My Thoughts:

I’m finally getting to this book! I read Something Borrowed around 2006 and absolutely loved it. I was talking with my friend Noriko about Something Blue and she highly recommended it. I actually own the eBook and hope to start this one in the next few weeks.
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Find it on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press; First Edition edition (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312323859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312323851

 

More Throwback Thursday Picks Around the Blogosphere…

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Cathy at What Cathy Read Next

Lynne at Fictionophile

Annie at The Misstery

Cathy at Between the Lines

Amy at Novel Gossip

Diana at A Haven for Booklovers

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Ann Marie at LItWitWineDine

Laura at Snazzy Books

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Something Blue by Emily Giffin – January 25th”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – The Last Panther by Todd Mitchell – Raw Cookies & Homemade Almond Milk

Hello everyone! How’s your week going? Are you reading anything good? I’m back today with a book I’ve started this week and a recipe I’ve been wanting to share since last year! Hope you enjoy 🙂

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I decided yesterday that I wanted to have raw cookies for breakfast this morning. It’s been some time since I made these because my dehydrator was in the process of being fixed. I have a love hate relationship with my Sedona dehydrator because it functions very well, but it’s required repair three times since I got it five years ago! When I say fixed, I mean they send me the part and I fix it, haha. So, my warranty is up now and I’m hoping that I’ll at least get another good year out of it.

This particular raw cookie is my own creation. I’ve made so many different recipes and finally just decided to make them the way I want, with the ingredients I enjoy. Here’s what I did.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Almonds
  • 5 Dates (Pitted)
  • 2 TB Raw Honey
  • Half cup soaked raisins (soaked overnight in water – save the water)
  • 2 TB Coconut Oil
  • Half tsp. cinnamon
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Cacao nibs (roughly 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • Chopped dark chocolate (roughly 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

The first thing you do is put your almonds into a processor and give a few pulses until you get a course meal.

Now add in your coconut oil, honey, a few tablespoons of your raisin water, and the dates. Blend this up until it gets nice and sticky.

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Dump this into a bowl and add in everything else until well blended. I use a microplane to grind up fresh nutmeg. Also, Bob’s Red Mill has a nice shredded coconut that doesn’t contain sulfites.

Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – The Last Panther by Todd Mitchell – Raw Cookies & Homemade Almond Milk”

One For Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn: Book Review #NGEW2018 #3

One for Sorrow

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Blurb: Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie’s friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.

My Thoughts:

One For Sorrow is a middle grade, chilling ghost story. It takes place around 1918 during the deadliest influenza pandemic that killed millions of people.

Annie Browne has just moved to a new town with her mother and father. She’s a bit timid and she’s nervous about making friends at her new school, the Pearce Academy for Girls. The first girl she meets is Elsie, and Elsie doesn’t waste any time filling her in on how horrible the girls at Pearce are. None of the girls like Elsie and she convinces Annie that they won’t like her either. Every day, Annie can’t seem to get away from Elsie as she’s consistently holding her hand and inviting herself over to her house. She tells everyone that Annie is her best friend and because of this, nobody else wants anything to do with Annie. They begin making fun of her too and Annie becomes miserable. Elsie is bossy, pushy, and just not fun to be around. Annie can’t even seem to convince her parents that there’s something not right about Elsie. She has to find away to get away from her.

One day, Elsie doesn’t show up for school and Annie finally gets a chance to gain the friendship of some of the other girls, especially Rosie, the most popular. She becomes friends with the very group of girls that hate Elsie, including Rosie. A few more days pass and Annie wonders how Elsie will take the news when she returns. Will she be mad at Annie or will they stay friends? Will Annie take on the same bullying behaviors her classmates have bestowed on Elsie?

I just have to say–I couldn’t put this book down. From start to finish, the narrative had me completely enthralled. I had to know how this story would end and what would come of Annie. The characters are well developed and the book is written well with perfect pacing. There’s just enough to keep you turning page after page. I also loved the mention of multiple classic books by Charles Dickens and Lucy Maud Montgomery to name a few.

With that said, I was disturbed and uncomfortable at times.  I found this middle grade book a bit scary and Elsie pretty much drove me crazy from the start. It’s known that Elsie has demons from her past, some that she hasn’t been able to exterminate, which makes her very unstable and evil at times. It was almost more than I could bear. Rosie was also difficult to deal with. She’s very cruel and tends to cause problems by calling names and bullying others by chasing them. She’s pretty wound up, yet interesting. Some of the girls realize that what Rosie’s doing is wrong, but many of them keep their mouths shut because they don’t want to deal with the repercussions from her and they want her to remain their friend. They feel pressured to join in and all the while, the teacher doesn’t seem to be on top of things and doesn’t do anything to put a stop to the behaviors besides making simple commands like, “I won’t tolerate this behavior.” It’s really annoying. While all of this is happening, the flu of 1918 is making rounds. People are dying left and right. Everyone fears that they’ll be taken next, but who will it be?

Overall, I think this is a 5-star read that I highly recommend. It kept me interested from start to finish and I was really pleased with the ending. The Afterword was such a nice addition because the author explains where she got some of the ideas for the story which are inspired by true events. I’m excited to check out some other books by Mary Downing Hahn as this was my first.

Thanks to Netgalley for sharing a copy of One For Sorrow in exchange for a review.

5*****


  • Age Range: 10 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 – 7
  • Lexile Measure: 660 (What’s this?)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (July 18, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0544818091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544818095

Find it on Goodreads and Amazon


Continue reading “One For Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn: Book Review #NGEW2018 #3”

Animals at Night by Anne Jankeliowitch and Delphine Chedru: Children’s Book Review #NGEW2018 #2

Animals at Night

by Anne JankeliowitchDelphine Chedru (illustrator)Eve Bodeux (translator)
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BlurbWhat do animals do at night?

For humans, the setting sun marks the end of the day and signals to us that it’s time to go to sleep. But while people are quietly dreaming in their beds, there’s a whole world of animals that’s just waking up! Who are they, what do they do until morning, and how do they move, see, and hunt in the dark?

Features glow-in-the-dark content on all 32 pages!

 My Thoughts:

Animals At Night is a glow-in-the-dark book about nocturnal animals and their activities at night. It covers nocturnal animals in the forest, rivers, beaches, ponds, mountains, fields and orchards, and even animals you might find in your local neighborhood, on country roads, or on a farm.

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This is a perfect bedtime book due to the glow-in-the-dark pages. It’s also jam-packed with facts about animals with short descriptions for each. Kids will learn about the mysteries of some of these animals like why birds sing when they do, why these animals like the night in the first place, how they see in the dark, and why owls are such good hunters.

The book has an interactive feel as each section asks a question about something in that section and the answers to those questions can be found in the back of the book.

The age level for this book is listed at grades 3-7 which seems about right. The text is pretty easy to read, but might be more difficult for preschool through first graders to read all by themselves depending on their reading level. We loved the illustrations and using the book in the dark. Because I’m reviewing this one late, we were able to get a hardcover version to enjoy.

Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author’s for a review copy in exchange for a review.

4****

Continue reading “Animals at Night by Anne Jankeliowitch and Delphine Chedru: Children’s Book Review #NGEW2018 #2”

The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult: Book Review – #UltimateReadingChallenge #1

The Tenth Circle

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Blurb: Fourteen-year-old Trixie Stone is in love for the first time. She’s also the light of her father, Daniel’s life — a straight-A student; a pretty, popular freshman in high school; a girl who’s always seen her father as a hero. That is, until her world is turned upside down with a single act of violence. Suddenly everything Trixie has believed about her family — and herself — seems to be a lie. Could the boyfriend who once made Trixie wild with happiness have been the one to end her childhood forever? She says that he is, and that is all it takes to make Daniel, a seemingly mild-mannered comic book artist with a secret tumultuous past he has hidden even from his family, venture to hell and back to protect his daughter.

 

With The Tenth Circle, Jodi Picoult offers her most powerful chronicle yet as she explores the unbreakable bond between parent and child, and questions whether you can reinvent yourself in the course of a lifetime — or if your mistakes are carried forever.

 

My Thoughts:

Jodi Picoult has been a favorite author of mine since I was in high school. The very first book I read by her was Picture Perfect and I couldn’t wait to read more of her novels. Very few of Jodi Picoult’s stories haven’t captured me in some way. The Tenth Circle is probably one of the most poignant that I’ve read. As a parent, the book really made me question my morals and how far I’d be willing to go to protect my own children.

*May contain mild spoilers*

Trixie is the fourteen-year-old daughter of Daniel and Laura Stone. Laura is a college professor and Daniel writes comics for a living. He’s basically a stay-at-home dad and has a strong bond with Trixie. Daniel’s dealing with the fact that she’s getting older and pulling away from him more and more and he yearns for the bond they once had. This is something many parents fear, including me, as our children get older. Trixie’s boyfriend Jason has just broken up with her and she’s not taking it so well. Already, she’s cut herself and attempted suicide while her parents deal with their own issues and they don’t see it happening. Her friend Zephyr is having a party with a lot of other students invited, including Jason, and she’ll do whatever it takes to make him jealous to get him to pay attention to her. She wants him back and because of this, she lies to her father, telling him it’s just a sleepover, and puts herself into a dangerous situation. This isn’t a typical party, it’s basically a sex game party and Trixie is extremely vulnerable. This part of the book made me really cringe because she acted like an idiot and did things no fourteen-year-old should be doing. At this point you can really tell how mixed up she is. She heads home in the wee hours of the night and Daniel finds her in the bathroom. She’s on the floor, disheveled with makeup all over her face, and tells Daniel, “Daddy, he raped me.”

While Trixie is dealing with the social repercussions at school after accusing Jason of raping her, Daniel and Laura have their own problems to deal with. What took Laura so long to get to the hospital that night? Why didn’t she answer the phone at the office? Daniel is beside himself with what’s happened to Trixie and has his own secrets from the past. Not only that, many questions arise. Is Trixie telling the truth and was she really raped that night? Is Jason really the evil kid everyone is making him out to be? As with most of Jodi Picoult’s books, there are twists and turns throughout the narrative that leave you guessing the truth until the end.

A few of the aspects I loved in this book was that Dante’s Inferno is referenced throughout and the comics add a nice touch because all the characters go through hell in this story until the final end. I did enjoy this one as much as the first time I read it, but I believe I overlooked a few things when I read this over a decade ago. While Daniel and Trixie’s characters are very well developed, especially with visiting back to Daniel’s childhood including the Alaskan culture he was raised in, Laura and Seth’s characters aren’t very developed and the ending was so abrupt and sort of left uncertain. A few parts of the narrative are a little far fetched as well, but for the most part, it’s believable. Regardless, I’m so glad that I reread this because I couldn’t remember a lot of what happened and it felt really fresh to me. Up until now, I haven’t reread a lot of my books, but leave it to Jodi Picoult to inspire me to do just that!

5*****

Find it on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press (October 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074349671X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743496711

Continue reading “The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult: Book Review – #UltimateReadingChallenge #1”

Enter to Win a copy of N.N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration – Ends tonight!

This is your last chance to enter to win a free eBook copy of N.N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration which ends in 6 hours! Just a click away from an entire year of inspiration!

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Enter to win by clicking on the image to be redirected!

Continue reading “Enter to Win a copy of N.N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration – Ends tonight!”

Throwback Thursday: Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan – January 18th

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

throwback-thursday

This Week’s Pick:

Archer’s Voice

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Blurb: When Bree Prescott arrives in the sleepy, lakeside town of Pelion, Maine, she hopes against hope that this is the place where she will finally find the peace she so desperately seeks. On her first day there, her life collides with Archer Hale, an isolated man who holds a secret agony of his own. A man no one else sees.

Archer’s Voice is the story of a woman chained to the memory of one horrifying night and the man whose love is the key to her freedom. It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice. It is the story of suffering, fate, and the transformative power of love.

My Thoughts:

I found Archer’s Voice floating around on Goodreads sometime in 2016 and went right to Amazon to grab a copy. The story grabbed my attention from the very first words.

Bree has moved to a little town in Maine. She’s looking for a new start and finds herself a little cabin to move into. After finding a job at a diner and meeting some new people in town, she runs into a man named Archer. Archer looks fairly disheveled and at first she can’t figure out what it is, but she sees something in him. Why on Earth won’t he talk to her? She’s persistent and reaches out to Archer in hope for a breakthrough, but Arthur has been damaged. He’s been shown unkindness far too many times and Bree has her work cut out for her. The angst is almost unbearable.

“I’m afraid to love you. I’m afraid that you’ll leave and that I’ll go back to being alone again. Only it will be a hundred times worse because I’ll know what I’m missing. I can’t…” He sucked in a shaky breath. “I want to be able to love you more than I fear losing you, and I don’t know how. Teach me, Bree. Please teach me. Don’t let me destroy this.”Archer

I just loved Bree and Archer’s characters. Bree is so kind-hearted and she’s willing to go the extra mile to break through to Archer and help him heal. She’s battling her own demons and both of them need to overcome the pain they’ve experienced in the past. Archer is equally kind, but he needs help materializing everything–someone patient, caring, and willing to give him a chance. He has to learn to trust again.

This was a favorite in 2016 and I hope more people who enjoy reading romance will pick this one up. It’s wonderful. I’m thinking this will be a reread in 2018 for me. I rated this one 5*****.

I’ve since learned that the book will be adapted into a movie! I was so excited. It’s in the works, but here’s a book trailer for you to enjoy.

 

Get in on Amazon or find it on Goodreads.
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (February 13, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1538727358
  • ISBN-13: 978-1538727355

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan – January 18th”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Baked Oatmeal – One For Sorrow – The Tenth Circle

Howdy everyone! I hope you’re all doing well and having a great week so far. I’m doing pretty good and getting caught up on reading. I’ve added a few books to my challenge and seem to be on track for the most part so far.

Today I wanted to share a recipe I found online for baked oatmeal. I’ve been aiming to try baked oatmeal for some time after chatting with my friend Jennifer about it. Can you believe I’ve never made it? Well, here’s the recipe that I found, but I ran into some problems.

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Baked Oatmeal II

Recipe Credit: BLANCHL from allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Beat in milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Stir in dried cranberries. Spread into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.

—–

So the issue I had with this recipe is that I can’t use dairy, eggs, or butter because I’m working on sticking to the protocol in the Thyroid Healing book I discussed last week. So, I got online and found a link at sheknows.com for egg substitutes. Here’s what I found out!

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I decided to substitute the eggs with applesauce. Then I went over to Dr. Axe’s site ❤ to find some good butter substitutions. I decided to sub the butter with coconut oil and I used almond milk in place of cow’s milk. If you don’t have issues with dairy, eggs, and butter, just make it the way it appears above! I just know this is going to be delicious either way.

Here’s what I did:

I put all my dry ingredients in a bowl and mixed it up a bit.

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Then I added in the wet ingredients and mixed it well. This includes the vanilla which isn’t pictured.

 

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I mixed in the raisins last. The recipe calls for cranberries, but I’m not a huge fan of cranberries when it comes to oatmeal, though I do use them occasionally.

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I put the mix into a 13×9 glass pan and baked at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. I set the timer for 40 minutes, but it needed extra time to crisp up at the top.

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It pretty much came out looking the same way it went in.

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I cut it into pieces and served with a drizzle of honey and fresh almond milk.

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This was pretty good even with the substitutions, but looking back, I think an hour in the oven would’ve been better. It had a crisp top and was quite soft on the bottom. It sort of reminded me of a soft, warm granola bar.

Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Baked Oatmeal – One For Sorrow – The Tenth Circle”

White Fur by Jardine Libaire: Book Review – #NGEW2018

White Fur

 

Left: Wolverine Camper, 1979. Right: Ann Magnuson, Avenue A, 1984.

 

Blurb: When Elise Perez meets Jamey Hyde on a desolate winter afternoon, fate implodes, and neither of their lives will ever be the same. Although they are next-door neighbors in New Haven, they come from different worlds. Elise grew up in a housing project without a father and didn’t graduate from high school. Jamey is a junior at Yale, heir to a private investment bank fortune and beholden to high family expectations. The attraction is instant, and what starts out as sexual obsession turns into something greater, stranger, and impossible to ignore.

The unlikely couple moves to Manhattan in hopes of forging an adult life together, but Jamey’s family intervenes in desperation, and the consequences of staying together are suddenly severe. And when a night out with old friends takes a shocking turn, Jamey and Elise find themselves fighting not just for their love but also for their lives.

My Thoughts:

I read some reviews for White Fur last year and after reading the blurb, it sounded like a book I would enjoy. Books like The Notebook and movies like “Pretty in Pink” are faves, and this story is about a rich boy who falls for a low class girl and they do fall in love, but it certainly isn’t that simple and not really what I expected.

*May contain mild spoilers*

Jamie is a Yale boy who comes from a wealthy family. They have high expectations of him and there’s no question about the direction of his future, until Jamey meets his neighbor Elise, and discovers he’s both fascinated by her and repulsed at the same time. He develops a hot and heavy sexual relationship with her, but fears intimacy. Elise is like a polar opposite. She’s low class, comes from a multi-racial background, never graduated high school, doesn’t know her dad, and learned about sex, violence, and drugs at a young age. She wonders about Jamey and why he’s distant from her outside of their sexual encounters. She wants a normal relationship with him and wants him to see her–the real her. She wants him to be interested in her. The truth is, Jamey knows he shouldn’t want Elise. She smokes, curses, and he has issues with her behavior. Not only that, he’s reminded by his best friend and family repeatedly that this simply can’t happen, but he can’t seem to shake the feelings he has for her.

Time moves forward and Jamey invites Elise to live with him in New York where there are less distractions. The hope is that they can continue their relationship without drama, but unfortunately, Jamey’s gang of a family won’t leave it alone.

The story is gritty and definitely cringeworthy. I felt that the writing was beautiful and detailed, but for me, it was way too wordy for this type of story. I found the multiple breaks in the narrative confusing and didn’t like the characters. Jamey and Elise’s relationship is pretty much all sex with zero romance for the majority of the book and I can’t understand how this book is described as a modern ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ To me, in a Romeo and Juliet like story, couples don’t have sex with other people, nor do people in love for that matter, but that’s just my personal opinion. I didn’t have any emotion until the last 30-40 pages or so as things started to pick up, and it was more or less over the dog. There just wasn’t enough going on to keep my interest. It had an unexpected ending, but not one that I was really pleased with because I felt like the future was still so uncertain for them. I’m wondering if there might be another book?

This is obviously just not my favorite kind of book, but I know others will like it. Don’t skip the book because of my review if this sounds like one you’d enjoy!

3***

I’d like to thank Netgalley, the publisher, and author for an ARC of White Fur in exchange for a review.

Continue reading “White Fur by Jardine Libaire: Book Review – #NGEW2018”

Shabby Sunday: Favorite Stories Old and New by Sidonie Matsner Gruenberg – 1955

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Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

Favorite Stories Old and New

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Blurb: This revised edition is enlarged by twenty-six stories. The divisions are as follows: Real children and real things, Stories about animals, Stories of make-believe, Fairy tales, Folk tales, Myths and fables, Bible stories and Tales of laughter.
*I apologize for the cramming of content. WordPress is not cooperating today.*

My Thoughts:

This book is a really special one! It belonged to my grandfather and is one of the only books I have left from him. This one sat on the shelf in our living room the whole time I was growing up and now it sits on mine.
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It’s a book of short stories that were compiled for children to read. Some are about real people and events, animals, make-believe, folk tales, and even some Bible stories. There are also a few fables included. Many are stories that are well known, like Cinderella, The Three Bears, David and Goliath, Davy Crockett, and Pandora’s Box. They’re short enough that young readers won’t lose interest.
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Some of my favorites include: The Middle Bear, Indians in the House, The Coyote and the Fox, Black Face, The Lion-Hearted Kitten, Snow White, Cinderella, The Snow Maiden, and The Wind and the Sun. This isn’t just a book for children and can be enjoyed by all ages.
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My version is a hardcover Doubleday edition from 1955. It lacks the dust jacket and has very bad wear to the fabric cover. The pages are still fairly clean and crisp to read with only minor smudging.
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There really aren’t a lot of illustrations in the book, but the sketches that are included are whimsical and interesting.
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Without the dust jacket, the cover is very plain with only a few black illustrations on the front cover and binding.
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I’m very happy to have this book and won’t ever part with it. It’s not just limited to children! Even with it’s age, my children and I are still interested in these classic stories that boost their imagination. It’s a real gem of a book to have.

Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Favorite Stories Old and New by Sidonie Matsner Gruenberg – 1955”

Think Forward to Thrive: How to Use the Mind’s Power of Anticipation to Transcend Your Past and Transform Your Life by Jennice Vilhauer *Book review*

Think Forward to Thrive: How to Use the Mind’s Power of Anticipation to Transcend Your Past and Transform Your Life

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by Jennice Vilhauer

 

Blurb: Anticipating a positive future is the key to well-being and mental health. Yet when many people think of the future they experience anxiety, depression, fear, self-doubt, and feelings of being overwhelmed. Most people, unaware of how to change the future, are trapped in a cycle of recreating their past over and over again. However, your past does not have to define who you are or where you are going. You can break free, but only if you know how and have the necessary skills to do something different. Future Directed Therapy (FDT) is a new psychological intervention developed to teach people to create their future with awareness and choice. Unlike other books about creating a better future, the skills in Think Forward to Thrive, are based on cutting edge cognitive science. Think Forward to Thrive will teach you step-by-step the psychological skills that can transform your life. Think Forward to Thrive is filled with information and exercises that will help you: Overcome negative emotions Identify what you want in life Transform limiting beliefs Take action Live ready for success Stop talking about your past and start creating your future!

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My Thoughts:

I purchased Think forward to Thrive after reading an article online about how people can learn with Future Directed Therapy to let go of unwanted thoughts and redirect their way of thinking to help them meet their goals and anticipate a positive future. I’d never heard about Future Directed Therapy and was intrigued.

Forward_thinkingI was pleasantly surprised with the book. It includes stories concerning multiple people and their experiences, discloses what they can do to help themselves, and offers worksheets where you can assess yourself. In these, they help train you to change your thought patterns. Whether you’re in a bad relationship, sick with a disease, just plain stuck because of your past, or simply want to work on changing your thoughts, this book might help you. We are in charge of our thoughts, we don’t have to limit ourselves, and we have the control to change.

I like that each chapter has a famous quote in addition to the quotes throughout the book. One of my favorites is a powerful one…

“Past experiences do not define who you are unless you allow them too. You are free to change at any time.”

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On the other hand, there are a few sections I felt unsure about. In one section, the book discusses people and how you can work toward getting them to admire you. Let’s face it, it’s possible that some people just aren’t going to like you and there are some things that we just aren’t in control of. Bad people exist and bad things do happen, however, I think the book can help us to keep our minds on track and thinking positively in these cases.

I like the layout and structure. The worksheets help personalize the experience because, we’re all different and we all think differently. We all have different pasts and have had different experiences in life. The worksheets allow you to personally narrow in on what you want to change. I feel that’s it’s written well and easy to understand. In my opinion, this isn’t a book you can read once and be on your way. It’s full of information. I think its a work in progress over time. Overall, it’s an uplifting book that can help you redirect your future.

4****

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Continue reading “Think Forward to Thrive: How to Use the Mind’s Power of Anticipation to Transcend Your Past and Transform Your Life by Jennice Vilhauer *Book review*”

My Story + Book Review : Thyroid Healing by Anthony William

In 2006 I was stricken with a horrible autoimmune condition my endocrinologist would diagnose as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I was first diagnosed with an under active thyroid during my second pregnancy and then went on to develop the worst symptoms I’ve had in my life around the time my newborn daughter was about 6 months old. I was tired, cold, in complete brain fog, had tons of heart palpitations, cramped up, weak, and the most debilitating symptom was anxiety–anxiety that would send me to the emergency room on Thanksgiving Eve, 2006. I had no idea at the time that my body was in a complete state of panic.

After my visit to the ER roughly a week later, I sat in my endocrinologist’s office for 45 minutes asking him question after question about why I was going through Hell with this condition. I was told to take my medication every morning and that’s that because in no way would he treat my symtpoms. His main goal was to get my TSH back down where it needed to be because it was so high, apparently higher than he’d ever seen. I was sent to at least 3 different psychologists for the anxiety and not one could help me. All they could do was prescribe me a benzodiazepine–a medication I never wanted to take and one that I refused to take in the ER, the night before Thanksgiving. I had just graduated college with a degree in the health field and had clear knowledge of many medications. I also went through cardiac testing to find out what was causing the palpitations. No answers– even after visiting Chicago University and undergoing more extensive cardiac testing.

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Time went on, a year to be exact, and I was prescribed Lexapro which did nothing. I was also finally prescribed Klonopin, another benzodiazepine that I didn’t want to take, but felt that I had no choice. I had to do something to stop the panic attacks. I had a family to raise! I knew that all of these symptoms were physiological and everything these psychiatrists were trying to tell me was malarkey. After being prescribed a normal dose, I would cut the dose in half and take it as I needed it, and deal with the anxiety on a daily basis. I also underwent cognitive behavioral therapy to help stop the panic, which did help, but the anxiety, including a constant feeling of being on edge, remained and for no apparent reason. I was told by multiple doctors that my symptoms had nothing to do with the condition I had just been diagnosed with.

By the end of 2007, the anxiety started to simmer down a bit and I wanted to have another child. I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of having the family I always wanted. I weaned myself off the medication and started to have anxiety again, but it gradually got better and my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone – which was originally the highest my doctor had every seen) had now returned to a normal safe level.

I continued to have symptoms throughout the rest of my pregnancies and after each child, would come the cruel punishment of going through this exact scenario again. After my 5th child in 2013, I was then diagnosed with another more serious autoimmune disorder and spent one horrible week in the hospital just after she was born. Again, no explanation, but my blood work was way off and I had to have a transfusion. I never once got an explanation as to what was happening inside my body, other than my immune system had become confused and was now attacking my own tissues and organs. I had an enlarged (unexplained) spleen and my blood cells were all over the place. I underwent a bone marrow aspiration for study. Still no answers.

Eventually, my symptoms gave me the title ‘hypochondriac’ by multiple people. I had one doctor tell me it was all in my head–even though I had plenty of abnormal tests to prove something was happening, including a dead thyroid. Another doctor blamed the anxiety on parts of my childhood, family genetics, and another asked me if I’d ever smoked weed. One doctor even told me it was my daughter’s heart condition that was wearing on me and I began to wonder where these people got their educations. There wasn’t a single doctor that was willing to admit that these symptoms were physiological and coming from some sort of condition in my body. All they wanted to do was blame me and tell me that ‘I’ was the reason for all of it. I was at my wit’s end. If the symptoms weren’t enough to make me go crazy, all of these wacko doctors were going to do the trick. One of the huge reasons I wanted to get off the benzodiazepine was because they don’t want to write prescriptions for those medicines anyhow! These medications are tranquilizers and I wanted no part of them. I knew that they could be habit forming and didn’t want them to become a crutch. I had to find a way to stay off these medications.

Fast forward to 2017 and I still have every symptom that I had in 2007, but I’ve learned to deal with it. Symptoms are better, and it’s no longer debilitating. I’m off all meds except my thyroid hormone pill (which I’m sure I’ll have to take the rest of my life) considering my thyroid has been killed by my immune system. I’ve become numb to most of the symptoms and do the best I can with diet and exercise. Truthfully, most times, I just ignore what’s happening. My heart rate can shoot up into the 100’s for no reason. I can be cooking at the stove in a relaxed state and place of happiness, when anxiety will suddenly strike me, bad enough that it makes me want to run out of the front door and out of my house as far away as I can possibly go.

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My body goes into a complete state of ‘fight or flight’ as if there is a serious impending danger for absolutely no reason. I’ve learned to not be afraid of it, but it still continues with zero answers.

My ‘other’ more serious autoimmune condition (luckily) I was able to combat. With all the changes I’ve made and some that I’ve just continued–juicing, smoothies, raw food diet, essential oils, stress reduction, systemic allergy testing, supplements, and elimination of everything that was irritating my system, I was able to get my labs back to normal and I’ve been told that I beat Lupus. When visiting my rheumatologist one last time this year,  I was still questioning my high ANA test. He does believe it’s possible that the Hashimoto’s is responsible for the ‘left overs.’ He looked at me and said, “Everyone has thyroid problems.” Surely not everyone does, I thought, but it’s true that thyroid disorders are out of control and at an all time high. More and more people I talk to say they have one thyroid condition or another. Some have mystery illnesses that they can’t figure out. All of this floats around in my head and I still wonder why people (including myself) aren’t living their best lives? Why are so many people sick? Why are so many people fighting cancer? Does it all boil down to how we live and the choices we make, or is it something else?

After all the books I’ve read, I’ve learned about genetics, epigenetics,  food triggers, and even virus infections that can lead to autoimmune disorders. I also had the virus testing to prove that I had already been infected (at some point) with Cytomegalovirus and Epstein Barr, and I’d recently had a transfusion after my 5th child which might explain some of that, even the enlarged spleen. Regardless, I have never gotten answers for any of my symptoms and until now, I’ve considered all of this speculation. Could a virus really be responsible for what has caused all of my autoimmune issues?

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I came across this book called Thyroid Healing by Anthony William. I almost didn’t grab it because I’ve read pretty much every book there is on thyroid conditions and they all seem to have the same things to say. I brought it home, and I could barely put it down once I started.

Everything that Mr. William is saying in this book made complete sense to me. I had many aha moments and couldn’t believe my eyes. In a nutshell, it’s all about this ‘Thyroid Virus’ he says is Epstein Barr (EBV). *Light bulb goes on* I already know I’ve been infected with this virus. Could this be the reason for all my symptoms all this time?

Of course, Anthony William is saying that most of the symptoms will come from the virus and it’s four stages. Some of the symptoms that ring a bell for me are the anxiety, headaches, coldness, heart palpitations, insomnia, aches and pains, as well as a few others which have never left, but mainly sort of waxed and waned over time. Symptoms come and go, but emotional stress, introducing foods that my body can’t handle, pregnancy, hormone fluctuations in general, or any disruption in my body like using antibiotics always sets me back to the start. Basically, I’m the person he’s explaining in this book. Any one of these triggers above happen, it fuels the fire (EBV), and starts the symptoms all over again. Could this be the answer?

He goes on to explain every one of these symptoms and why thyroid condition sufferers have them. He also talks about supplements and foods to help, what to avoid, gives a series of action plans, and includes recipes. I’ve already started one of the plans and want to see how this pans out. Even though I’ve remained fairly healthy and kept up with what I know to stay in what I call ‘homeostasis mode’ – the symptoms almost always break through at some point and I’m left to question what is going on inside my body.

Throughout reading the book, I began to ask myself, “Who is Anthony William?” I flipped to the back of the book and read about how Anthony William is not a doctor, he’s a medical medium– a person who was born with the special ability to converse with a higher spiritual being, which is the basis for all of the healing information in this book. I found that compelling, although I still remain skeptical. What I find most compelling about the book is that it makes complete sense. This is the first book that has addressed many of my personal symptoms that have gone unanswered to this point.

So, here I am on the first protocol which involves the removal of certain foods (many I have already been avoiding) and the addition to a few simple things like lemon water and celery juice. I’m going to do everything outlined in the book and I’ll update my results every 2-3 weeks. The whole process should take roughly 90 days, but I know that the work doesn’t stop there. I plan to continue on with the healthy choices I’ve made up to this point as well.

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Celery Juice
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Thyroid Healing Smoothie
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Thyroid Healing Broth

Once I got to the end of the book, I did question why there weren’t more stories regarding people that Anthony William’s has helped heal. The case study mentioned in the book involves Sally, a woman with many of the same symptoms I have. I started to do a little more research and found a video with Anthony Williams and Sally on YouTube. You can watch it below.

Continue reading “My Story + Book Review : Thyroid Healing by Anthony William”

Throwback Thursday: The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult – January 11th 2018

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

The Tenth Circle

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Blurb: Fourteen-year-old Trixie Stone is in love for the first time. She’s also the light of her father, Daniel’s life — a straight-A student; a pretty, popular freshman in high school; a girl who’s always seen her father as a hero. That is, until her world is turned upside down with a single act of violence. Suddenly everything Trixie has believed about her family — and herself — seems to be a lie. Could the boyfriend who once made Trixie wild with happiness have been the one to end her childhood forever? She says that he is, and that is all it takes to make Daniel, a seemingly mild-mannered comic book artist with a secret tumultuous past he has hidden even from his family, venture to hell and back to protect his daughter.

With The Tenth Circle, Jodi Picoult offers her most powerful chronicle yet as she explores the unbreakable bond between parent and child, and questions whether you can reinvent yourself in the course of a lifetime — or if your mistakes are carried forever.

My Thoughts:

I read this book just after it was published sometime around 2007 and really enjoyed it. Jodi Picoult has always been a favorite author, but this book really hit me and the ending was so shocking, I had to give it five stars. It does cover some difficult topics and it’s hard to say that I ‘enjoyed’ the book because of that, but I’ve always considered this one of my favorites, although it’s been some time since I read it.

I’m currently reading it all over again for the Ultimate Reading Challenge that I’m participating in with a few other friends. I hope I enjoy it as much as I did the first time around.

Find it on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press (October 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074349671X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743496711

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult – January 11th 2018”

N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration – Book Review and Author Interview + Giveaway!

I had the pleasure of reading N.N. Light’s new book N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration recently. You can read my thoughts on the book and see an interview with the authors below.

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N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration

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Blurb: “Spread the Light and inspire others to do the same.” — N. N. Light

In 2013, we wrote a mission statement and started the Princess of the Light (POTL) blog. We wanted to test a theory. Could one person (or in our case, one couple) use uplifting words to create change?

The answer is a resounding yes! People from all over the world responded to our short inspirational thoughts of the day, and our following grew. What started out as a few people promoting kindness and goodwill turned into a movement. In every city, there are Light-Bearers making a difference and we want you to join us.

Everyone needs inspiration. It doesn’t matter what spiritual belief you hold dear, you have the Light inside you. Kindness, compassion, empathy, encouragement are all attributes of the Light. In this book, you’ll find a ninety second inspirational thought for each day of the year. You’ll be inspiring people to spread the Light daily with our collection of inspirational thoughts. From giving of yourself to simply smiling, these are easy concepts for anyone to apply!

My Thoughts:

I already follow the authors’ blog Princess of the Light and enjoy the inspirational messages they have to share, so picking up this book to read was a no-brainer. I actually read this book along with another book I’m still reading titled, Think Forward to Thrive and it was a perfect combination. Both books are enlightening and have helped me realize that I have more work to do in my life. It’s far too easy to let the negative thoughts creep in and what I learned is that you are the one who’s in control of how things effect you. You don’t have to waste time with negative thoughts unless you choose to. You don’t have to accept what others say to you as truth. Choose to be happy and seek the truth. You can do anything you put your mind to! Also, why wait for Thanksgiving to have gratitude? Have it every single day! These are the positive messages I want to concentrate on in 2018.

This book essentially reminds me of an inspirational calendar I once had, but it’s so much more. Each daily quote is written along with an experience or story from the authors’ life journeys and I was astonished with how many of the stories applied to myself as if this was my own personal guide. Some of my favorite parts in the book referenced the author’s grandfather which prompted me to think of my own grandfather and the lessons he taught me in life. The inspirational quotes can be a tool to help all people live their best lives in 2018 and beyond. I plan to reread this throughout the year for daily inspiration myself.

Something I plan to do every morning when I wake up this year is to think of something I’m grateful for, whether it be the healthy food I have to eat or the hot shower I take for granite. There are so many things to be thankful for in life and I want to remind myself and my family of these everyday.

Overall, I loved it and I’d recommend it to anyone. Of course, we can all use a little inspiration!

5*****


Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Paperback: 546 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published (October 31, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1973171589
  • ISBN-13: 978-1973171584

Author Interview with N.N. Light

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Q: Can you tell readers something interesting about yourself?

A: We’re a husband-wife writing team and we’re huge sports fans. We’ve been big NFL fans since 1985 and we cheer for rival teams. Mr. N roots for the Chicago Bears and Mrs. N is a huge Minnesota Vikings fan. Our teams face each other twice a year and we can get quite competitive. We’ve been known to place a few fun side bets on the game. No money exchanges hands but there’s stakes on the line. *wink*

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Q: Did you enjoy reading as a child? What are some of your childhood favorites?

A: Yes, we were voracious readers as children. While Mr. N was all about adventure, horror and war battles, Mrs. N devoured any fantasy book she could get her hands on. Growing up in the 1970’s and 1980’s, we read a lot in school and lived at the library. Books were an escape and still are.

Here are some of Mrs. N’s favorites:

George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater and Florence Atwater

 

Q: Do you enjoy reading now? Who are some of your favorite authors?

A: Yes, books are a huge part of our lives and the focus of our business. We’re literary matchmaker; we couple up readers with outstanding books. We read a variety of genres and have a hard time picking our favorite authors.

 

Q: What have you written so far?

A: N.N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration is our fifth published work. We’ve written contemporary romance, young adult paranormal, paranormal romance and love poetry. We don’t write in just one genre but write stories that are meant to inspire and uplift.

 

Q: Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer?

A: Mr. N is a retired chef and is a numismatist for one of the largest coin dealers in Canada. His primary duties include appraising and grading historical coins from around the world.

Mrs. N, after being in the book business for more than twenty years, switched careers and is a social media marketer by trade.

Together, we own and operate a very successful family-run PR firm specializing in books and authors.

 

Q: What do you love most about writing?download.jpg

A: We love the freedom in expressing our thoughts and our characters’ personal stories in book form for anyone to read.

 

Q: How do you publish and market your books?

A: We self-publish and are proud to do so. It allows us to have complete artistic control, which is stressful sometimes, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We hire professionals for editing, formatting and book cover design but we get the final say on what the end product becomes.

As for marketing, we do the same things we do for our clients. We create buzz and get our name out there. We have a solid reach and our followers love what we write.

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Q: Do you have any advice for others on publishing and marketing?

A: It’s tough being an author and publishing books. It takes a lot of hard work and patience. Yes, patience. Success doesn’t happen overnight, contrary to popular belief. It’s a marathon not a sprint.

Publishing Tip – Make sure the book you publish is as perfect as you can make it. It’s your one chance to grab a reader and if it’s riddled with mistakes and/or has a cheap-looking cover, they’ll never come back. Stake your reputation on everything you publish, and you’ll be fine.

Marketing Tip – Be consistent. Whether it’s on social media or your blog, keep at it. Studies show that a customer needs to see an advertisement eight times before it registers in their brain they need to have it. Why do you think there’s so many fast food commercials on television? They’ve embraced this idea and you should too. Remember, be creative in your advertisements and you’ll get noticed.

 

Q: How much research did you do for this book and how long did it take you to write it?

A: This book was four years in the making. Back in 2013, Mrs. N started writing inspirational thoughts. We never imagined how it would take off and last year, we decided to publish a year’s worth of motivation. So, we combed through all the thoughts and chose only the best ones for this book. The compiling itself took six months, the editing another three months and here it is.

 

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Q: If you could give your readers one piece of inspirational advice about life, what would it be?

A: Spread the Light. Each of us, no matter what we believe, have the Light inside us. We’re all bearers of the Light and have the potential to make a difference. Through kindness, love, understanding and exuding positivity, we can inspire others to do the same.

 

Q: How do you feel about e-books?

A: I used to hate them. I love the feel and even the smell of books, but I need e-books to run our business, so I’ve accepted them.

 

Q: Do you have a favorite quote?

…Writing is something that you can never do as well as it can be done. It is a perpetual challenge and it is more difficult than anything else that I have ever done—so I do it. And it makes me happy when I do it well.”
― Ernest Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway on Writing

Continue reading “N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration – Book Review and Author Interview + Giveaway!”