Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fallen: Out of the Sex Industry and Into the Arms of the Savior, by Annie Lobert



Title: Fallen: Out of the Sex Industry and Into the Arms of the Savior

Author: Annie Lobert

Publisher: Worthy Publishing 

Date: February 17, 2015

Paperback: 224 pages








About the Book
When Annie grabbed at what looked like an opportunity to escape her tumultuous, abuse-filled home, she had never heard the term "sex trafficking.: Needing money, wanting to be loved, and desperately seeking control of her life, she stumbled into the ever-darkening world of the sex industry as a glamorous high class escort in Las Vegas. All that glittered was not gold. She embarked on a dangerous path toward self-destruction. She lost everything she envisioned her new life would bring her, even her own identity. Beatings, abandonment, and death threats became routine-she often wondered if dying would be the best way out.

In Fallen, Annie tells her remarkable story of surviving sixteen years in the sex industry, breaking free, finding healing, and then reaching back to help others find freedom as well. This riveting memoir opens a window into a sordid, shadowy world - and shows just how bright God's light can truly shine.

My Take
I know a lot of us think our life is really hard. We think every day that life could be easier or we would want it to be easier. But there are people out there that have actually had hard lives compared to some of us. I know a lot of times I think my life is hard (being a single mom, working almost full time and homeschooling), but I have to tell myself that there are other people out there who are having a harder time with life than I am and would give anything to be in my position than what they are in.

Annie Lobert had a tough life, but like most determined people, she found a way out. Life didn't start out well for her at all. She was sexually abused at a young age and then turned to prostitution or more or less a high class call girl. During her life as a high class call girl, she met a couple of men who didn't treat her the way she should have been and had to enduring beatings and abandonment. On top of that, she developed cancer and became addicted to cocaine.

The only thing that could happen to Annie Lobert was to either die or turn her life around. She decided to rely on God and turn her life around. Relying on him heavily helped her see that there were others that could benefit from her story. She decided to let others know that there is hope by participating in speakings and ministries. And as luck would have it, through it all, she found her prince charming.

Towards the end of the book, there is a section on sex trafficking. It gives you a deeper understanding of what it is and how it is done. There is also a section of testimonies from girls who have attended the Destiny House Ministry. You will be amazed at some of these stories that you read.

I have read a couple of "sex trafficking" stories, but this one was different. It was written in a way that you could truly feel for Annie Lobert. I practically read the book in one sitting. I think if you were to get this book, you would enjoy it and realize that no matter where your life is and how hard it may be/feel, that God can pull you through and push you to the top, just like he did for Annie Lobert.

About the Author
Annie Lobert is an internationally recognized expert and advocate of ministry to men and women in the commercial sex industry. She and her husband, Stryper lead guitarist Oz Fox, live in Las Vegas, where Annie runs Hookers for Jesus, a ministry to prostitutes and sex trafficking victims. She has been featured in major television shows, print and online publications, and also an I Am Second film.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lift the Flap Bible, by Karen Williamson

Title: Lift the Flap Bible

Series: Candle Tiny Tots

Author: Karen Williamson

Illustrator: Louise Anglicas

Publisher: Candle Books (October 1, 2014)

Board Book: 16 pages

Age Range: 2 - 4 years old



About the Book
What's under the flaps? Find out in this collection of eight very simple Bible stories in a large cased board book format. Each story is told across a double-page spread and there are flaps on every page. Bright, quirky illustrations full of wit and color from Louise Anglicas are perfect for this engaging introduction to Bible stories.

Stories are: Noah and the Ark, Moses and the Bulrushes, Daniel and the Lions, Jonah and the Great Fish, Born in a Stable, Boy with Loaves and Fishes, The Lost Sheep, and Man Lowered Through the Roof.

My Take
Do you know any young kids that love to play and learn in the process? If so, this is the perfect book for them if you want them to get a head start on learning the stories in the Bible. The stories are the ones that most kids love to hear about. The ones we remember learning about when we were young. Each story is only two pages and there is no more than two sentences per story. So all the little kids with short attention spans will be able to sit through each story because it won't last long. Each story also has about three to four flaps for them to pull down. The pictures are very colourful, so your child will want to go through this book over and over again. It is very simple and to the point and worth including in your child's library collection.

About the Author/Illustrator
Karen Williamson worked as a London primary school teacher and publisher s editor before launching a successful career as a full-time writer. With three children of her own, she specializes in Bible stories for young readers.

Louise Anglicas holds a degree in Ceramics and Surface Design from Staffordshire University. Working as a designer, she was instrumental in securing the Harry Potter license for a local ceramic manufacturer! She applies her love of pattern and design to the world of children s illustration.

This complimentary book was given to me by Kregel Publications for my honest review.
                                                            



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography, by Neil Patrick Harris



Title: Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

Author: Neil Patrick Harris

Publisher: Crown Archetype

Date: October 14, 2014

Hardcover: 304 pages








About the Book
Sick of deeply personal accounts written in the first person? Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts in "u" back in "aUtobiography"? Then look no further than Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography! In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based-life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life.

Choose correctly and you'll find fame, fortune, and true love. Choose incorrectly and you'll find misery, heartbreak, and hideous death by piranhas. All this, plus magic tricks, cocktail recipes, embarrassing pictures from your time as a child actor, and even a closing song.


My Take
I really really enjoyed this book. I thought it was a very cleaver idea. I don't think I have read a book that gave me choices on a person's life that I "know". It was a lot of fun to be able to choose which direction to take. To be able to see if the choices you make had their life turn out the way that you see it going or if your decisions put them on a different track.

I found the book to be very well written. It is not just in story from but also has dialogue to keep you interested. There are also some "drawn" pictures that go along with parts of the story. In the middle of the boom are coloured pictures of his life from childhood to now. You will come across a recipe, crossword puzzle and more. There are also a couple of sections that have inserts from people he knows.

Whether you are a fan of Neil Patrick Harris or just want to see where you can take his life, this would be a book to add to your read. There is also an awesome trick that he plays on the readers on the back cover of the book. It will have you amazed.

About the Author
Neil Patrick Harris is a Tony and Emmy award-winning stage and screen performer, famous for his roles as Barney Stinson in the popular CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother and as the iconic and beloved Doogie Howser, M.D. He's been in many movies, hosted both the Tony and the Emmy Awards multiple times, performed in several Broadway shows, and enjoys the Twitter (follow him at @actuallyNPH). Oh, and he is an accomplished amateur magician on the side. And the father of twins. And he's Dr. Horrible. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life, by Rick Warren, Daniel Amen, and Mark Hyman


 Title: The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life

Series: The Daniel Plan

Author: Rick Warren D.MIN., Daniel Amen M.D., and Mark Hyman M.D.

Publisher: Zondervan

Date: December 3, 2013

Paperback: 352 pages






About the Book
Revolutionize Your Health … Once and for All
During an afternoon of baptizing over 800 people, Pastor Rick Warren realized it was time for change. He told his congregation he needed to lose weight and asked if anyone wanted to join him. He thought maybe 200 people would sign up, instead he witnessed a movement unfold as 15,000 people lost over 260,000 pounds in the first year. With assistance from medical and fitness experts, Pastor Rick and thousands of people began a journey to transform their lives.

Welcome to The Daniel Plan.

Here’s the secret sauce: The Daniel Plan is designed to be done in a supportive community relying on God’s instruction for living.

When it comes to getting healthy, two are always better than one. Our research has revealed that people getting healthy together lose twice as much weight as those who do it alone. God never meant for you to go through life alone and that includes the journey to health.

Unlike the thousands of other books on the market, this book is not about a new diet, guilt-driven gym sessions, or shame-driven fasts. The Daniel Plan shows you how the powerful combination of faith, fitness, food, focus, and friends will change your health forever, transforming you in the most head-turning way imaginably---from the inside out.

My Take
I  was really excited to get this book. I thought it was going to take us back to Bible times and show us how they ate back then. I wanted to change the way that I had been eating. Get rid of a lot of processed foods and start eating a more healthy balanced way. Not what the book was like at all. One thing it is, is like a lot of other "health weight loss books" except for the part about relying on God to get you through.

The book does have a recipe section. I don't really approve of some of the choices of foods to eat. I went on the Internet that goes along with the book and saw recipes including pork and sea food. This shocked me. Daniel would have never eaten these types of foods. So I personally think that they used the word "Daniel" to help sell the book or attract more people to buy the book.

This book does give you the option of a 10 day and a 40 day plan to choose from. There is also online support if you need it.

Unfortunately, I wasn't too happy with the book and that is a rare thing for me.

About the Author
Dr. Rick Warren is pastor, author, global strategist, theologian, and philanthropist.  His book The Purpose driven Life has been called the bestselling non-fiction hardback in publishing history by Publishers Weekly, having sold more than 32 million copies.  Warren founded Saddleback Church in 1980 with his wife, Kay.  In addition to a 120-acre campus in Lake Forest, CA, the church has ten satellite campuses in Southern California and three international campuses.


Dr. Daniel G. Amen is a physician, double-board certified psychiatrist, teacher and eight-time New York Times bestselling author. Widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on applying brain imaging science to everyday clinical practice, Amen is the founder of Amen Clinics in Newport Beach and San Francisco, Calif.; Bellevue, Wash.; Reston, Va.; Atlanta, Ga.; and New York City. His work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including “The Dr. Oz Show,” “ABC World News,” “20/20,” Newsweek, TIME, The Huffington Post, BBC, London Telegraph, Parade Magazine, New York Times and Cosmopolitan. Additional information is available at http://www.danielplan.com.


Dr. Mark Hyman is a practicing family physician, a six-time No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator and advocate in his field of Functional Medicine. He is also the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine, a medical editor of The Huffington Post and a regular medical contributor on Katie Couric’s TV show, “Katie.” For more information, visit http://www.danielplan.com/.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

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



Title: If You Were Me and Lived in...Greece

Series: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World

Author: Carole P. Roman

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Date: September 23, 2014

Paperback: 32 pages





About the Book
It’s never too early to start teaching children about the world around them. In If You Were Me and Lived in…Greece, early learners get a taste of what their life would be like if they lived in Greece while being introduced to the birthplace of democracy.

This book is the latest installment of the educational series about the cultures of the world that speaks to young children about the topics that interest them, such as the foods people eat, the names of boys and girls, and the activities that children their age living in a foreign land are likely to engage in. This exciting visit to Greece also introduces the important concept of democracy to children and highlights some of the other cultural contributions that Greece has made to Western civilization. Basic information is offered in a playful way that won’t overwhelm children.

My Take 
Like all the other books in this particular series, my daughter and I enjoyed this one just the same. It is so nice to be able to sit down with my child and have a book that she can understand and learn about another country. She is learning so much since we have been reading these books. 

All the books are set up the same. It is the pictures and information that are different. The fact that they do keep the same format is great, because you know what to expect. Like, you know at the beginning of the book you are going to see where Greece is on the globe and you are also going to see what the capital is and learn more about it. You will learn different names that children in Greece are given and what you would call your parents and grandparents. What I really love is how you learn about the important history through story and pictures. You also learn about the kinds of foods that they eat and special holidays. But let's not forget the most important of them all, you learn about the Olympics!

At the end of the book, you find a huge pronunciation guide, so that you can say the words correctly. The pictures are very colourful and give you an idea of what people and things look like in Greece.

Like I stated before, this is a really awesome series and if you collect all the books, your child will have a full knowledge of a lot of countries around the world.

About the Author






Carole P. Roman is an award-winning children's book author whose book, Strangers on the High Seas: A Captain No Beard Story, was named Best Children's Book of the Year by Reader Views in 2013. She is continuing to expand her children's world culture series to new and exciting countries. The author lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children and grandchildren.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Yankee Broadcast Network, by John F. Buckley and Mark Ott




Title: Yankee Broadcast Network

Authors: John F. Buckley & Martin Ott

Publisher: Brooklyn Arts Press

Date: October 1, 2014

Paperback: 72 pages







My Take
I am a lover of poems. I actually have written a ton through my life. Mine are the typical rhyming kind. Though I must say I have always enjoyed reading poems where people can turn anything into poetry without always rhyming and that is where this book come into play.

John F. Buckley and Martin Ott have taken life and turned it into poetry. The focus of their poems are on broadcasting, hence the title of the book, Yankee Broadcast Network. You will find that nothing is off limits, which makes it a perfect read because everything you can possibly imagine gets covered. The titles are just as awesome as the poems themselves. For example: TV Dinner Theater, Better Living Through Television and Our Favorite Programs We Can't Watch.

So whether you have a strong love for poetry or just love things that are "outside the box", this would be the perfect book for you to pick up and read.

About the Authors
















MARTIN OTT lives in Los Angeles, where he writes often about his misunderstood  city. He is the author of three books of poetry and a novel, The Interrogator’s  Notebook (Story Merchant Books). He blogs at writeliving.wordpress.com.

A recent graduate of the Helen Sell Writers’ Program at the University of  Michigan, JOHN F. BUCKLEY has been writing poetry since an attempt at writing a  self-help book went somewhat awry. After a twenty-year stint on and near the West  Coast, he now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife. His website is www.johnfbuckley.net.






Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Christmas Cats Encounter Bats, by Constance Corcoran Wilson



Title: The Christmas Cats Encounter Bats

Author: Constance Corcoran Wilson

Publisher: Quad Cities Press

Date: September 13, 2014

Paperback: 24 pages








About the Book
The third book in the Christmas Cats adventure teaches us to honor life in all its forms. Love and accept all God's creatures. Some animals--(puppies and kitties come to mind)--are popular with nearly everyone. Others (spiders, lizards, bats, etc.) may not seem as worthy,  but all are small cogs in the universe. Bats serve a very useful purpose in God's grand scheme. All life should be valued. The bats of story three are just as deserving of respect and have as much right to life as any other creature on the planet.

My Take
This book happens to be just as cute as the other one I reviewed, The Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats. Just like the other book, this one has a lesson that one can learn. We all have issues with certain animals and some of us take drastic measures to make sure those types of animals are not to be seen in our dwellings. For instance, like the bats in this story. The cats must go on a journey to help figure out what is making a certain sound. They find out it is a bat. Of course they don't hurt the bat and explain that it can be helpful to have them around and so we should enjoy them.

I like the fact that the author doesn't drag the story out to make a point. I know the younger a child is, they don't tend to want to sit as long and hear a story. Another good thing is that it rhymes. This is also helpful for the younger ones. It can come across more or less like a song and so they tend to enjoy it more. The bright colours in the book will also attract a lot of readers. They make the pages stand out. Lastly, but not least, there is a colouring page at the end that has the reader or child interact with the story by colouring a page and adding to the "story". Once you are done, you can email them in and see it posted on the website.

Like I stated before. This book is cute and the lesson is just as good.

About the Author
Connie graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in English and Journalism, but she began writing for her hometown (Independence, Iowa) newspaper at the age of 10 and was Editor-in-Chief of her high school newspaper. She continued her education, including a Ferner/Hearst Journalism Scholarship and a Freshman Merit Scholarship at Iowa, and then at Berkeley, WIU, NIU and the University of Chicago. Connie holds a Masters (+30) in English, Journalism and Education. Her career path led to teaching 7th and 8th grade language arts (Silvis, Illinois) and teaching writing at 6 IA/IL colleges or universities, including a class teaching film at Black Hawk Junior College. She then established the second Sylvan Learning Center in the state of Iowa and a Prometric Testing site, in conjunction with ETS of Princeton, NJ. She has taught writing and literature classes at all 6 IA/IL Quad City colleges.

Connie lives in East Moline, Illinois with husband Craig and in Chicago, Illinois, where her son, Scott and daughter-in-law Jessica and their newborn twins Elise and Ava reside. Her daughter, Stacey, a graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, has been living and working in Australia since February of 2012.

This complimentary book was given to me by the author for my honest review.