Friday, September 26, 2014

Paws in the Piazza, by Jerilyn Mcntyre

Title: Paws in the Piazza: Harley's Venetian Adventure

Author: Jerilyn McIntyre

Illustrator: Ken Shuey

Publisher: Bristlecone Books

Date: December 11, 2013 (1st ed.)

Paperback: 96 pages

Ages: 10 - 14 years old

About the Book
“Back home, I was content to be just an ordinary house cat. I didn’t get out much. But it’s different here in Venice.” How different? Harley quickly finds out after his family arrives in Italy. He takes up with a group of local cats who roam wild in the alleys and neighborhoods of Venice, and meets the mysterious Angela, a beautiful white Angora who steals his heart. Then he becomes embroiled in a fierce and ongoing war between his friends and a rival band of cats, and discovers the magical order that underlies life in the enchanting and historic city that is his new home.

My Take
I thought this was a cute book. It made it seems like the cat was experiencing life like we would. It takes you on the journey of a cat that goes on a trip with his owners. We learn about how life in another country is for a cat. This cat gets to experience the ups and downs of meeting new cats. Some are good and some are bad. He gets in fights and for his safety joins a group. He also finds another cat that he falls for.

The story is not a hard read. Most children can get through it pretty fast. My daughter is 11 and she didn't have a problem reading it at all. There aren't that many pages, so they won't get too discouraged about it lasting forever. I did feel as though the story was more of something an adult would enjoy over children, but who is to say they won't like it also. After all it is a story about a cat. Also, the illustrator has a couple of hand drawn pictures to give you an idea of what the place looks like and the different cats in the town. What I would have loved to see, would have been a picture or two when the cats were underground having their meeting. That would have been cool.

All in all, it is a book that I am sure young readers would really enjoy.

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

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fearless, by Eric Blehm

Title: Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown

Author: Eric Blehm

Publisher: WaterBrook Press

Date: May 21, 2013

Paperback: 228 pages

 About the Author
Eric Blehm is the best-selling author of The Only Thing Worth Dying For, which recounts the harrowing story of the first Special Forces A-team to infiltrate Taliban-held southern Afghanistan weeks after 9/11. It was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. The Last Season, winner of the National Outdoor Book Award, was named by Outside magazine as one of the ten :greatest adventure biographies ever written." Blehm lives in California with his wife and children.

About the Book
When Navy SEAL Adam Brown woke up on March 17, 2010, he didn’t know he would die that night in the Hind Kush Mountains of Afghanistan—but he was ready. In a letter to his children, not meant to be seen unless the worst happened, he wrote, “I’m not afraid of anything that might happen to me on this earth, because I know no matter what, nothing can take my spirit from me.”

Fearless is the story of a man of extremes, whose courage and determination were fueled by faith, family, and the love of a woman. It’s about a man who waged a war against his own worst impulses, including drug addiction, and persevered to reach the top tier of the U.S. military. In a deeply personal and absorbing chronicle, Fearless reveals a glimpse inside the SEAL Team SIX brotherhood, and presents an indelible portrait of a highly trained warrior whose final act of bravery led to the ultimate sacrifice.

Adam Brown was a devoted man who was an unlikely hero but a true warrior, described by all who knew him as…fearless. 

My take
First and foremost, everyone should read this book. It is very inspiring. When I first received this book, I assumed it was going to be just about his mission in Afghanistan (no, I don't always read the back to see what the book is truly about). As I started to read it, I realized it was much more than that. It was about courage, strength, loyalty, faith, but most of all "fearlessness".

The author does a great job showing us who Adam Brown truly was. By taking us on a journey from his humble beginnings, we get to see the real person he was. The demons that he had to conquer and how his faith in God helped him through. He was a person whose book everyone should take a chapter from. It takes a lot to become a SEAL and he had everything that was needed.

The book also includes pictures from Adam Brown's life that shows him as a child through him becoming a SEAL. It also includes an epilogue that will tug at your heart as much as the book itself. You will also find an In Memoriam at the back of the book that lists West and East Coast U.S. Naval Special Warfare, U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, and U.S. Army General Support Aviation Battalion men that gave their life for their country. Then you will find a section called Adam's Legacy which shows different emails or letters that people sent author Eric Blehm to show him how much Adam has inspired them.

Like I stated before, this is a really good story that everyone should read. 

This complementary book was given to me for my honest review.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Confession or Miracles Happen, by Marina Polukhina

Title: Confession or Miracles Happen

Author: Marina Polukhina

Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.

Date: May 30, 2014

Paperback: 72 pages

About the Author
Marina Polukhina (maiden name Granova) was born on March 26, 1966 in Leningrad, USSR (Saint Petersburg, Russia). She finished High School with extensive learning of English in 1983. In 1985 she graduated technical college. In 1986, completed "State Course" of British English. In 1987, Marina got married; and in 1988 her daughter Arina was born. When Arina was 5 1/2 years old her parents got a divorce. Marina worked in Medical Genetic Center of St. Petersburg till March 1, 2003. On March 21st, Marina together with her 15 years old daughter Arina moved to the USA. Marina got married on May 16, 2003. She lives with her husband in Maryland.

About the book
Do you believe in miracles? Most of us do not. I did not believe in miracles either until one late afternoon I realized that despite what I did, I was still alive. I discoverd myself after 25 years of struggling and suffering. I have just turned 48, but I can assure you that my life has started a year ago. Yes, first 47 years of my life I spent in the deepest and terrigying darkness.

My take
This book doesn't have a lot of pages, so it can be finished pretty fast. I did enjoy the storyline of it. Being written in first person and having to read "I" in every sentence made it hard to get through. I had a really hard time with her writing style. Putting that aside, I made it to the end and found the story interesting. This story makes you realize that not everyone has the greatest life, but if you truly want to live and survive, you will do whatever it takes to make it. I also learned that depression can be a very troubling disease and if you don't have anyone to help you or if you don't get any help, it can end tragically.

I feel as though the author is very brave to tell her story. She struggled through some very trying moments and still felt that she could put it on some pages and put it out there for the whole world to see. May be her hope is for other women in her situation to realize that there is light at the end of the tunnel and you can survive no matter how hard you struggle. Pull yourself up by your boot straps and have a little faith in God and you can make it through.

This complimentary book was given to me through Bostick Communications for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil, by Apothecary Extracts

Product: 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil

Grade: Pharmaceutical

Amount: 4 oz.

A lot of people have been trying to go the natural approach vs. receiving medication from doctors to heal themselves. I know I happen to be one of them. I have a child that has problems with paying attention or gets overly hyper at times. Instead of going to the doctor and putting her on medication, I use oils to rub on her or put on a necklace that I made so that she can smell it and stay calm. When she uses her skateboard and falls, instead of reaching for a store bought product, I use a natural remedy to heal her cuts. Another problem is all the toxic chemicals in the products that we use to clean our house. I know this is another reason for me trying to go natural. I am left choking while cleaning.

I have been given the opportunity to review 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil. I was very excited, as I stated before, I am an user of oils. First of all, the amount of oil that comes in this jar is amazing. I was not expecting to see this much. Also, when using oils, you tend to mix them with other types, so it will last for a long time. Another thing is the many uses of this type of oil, it is a lot. Here is a few of them:

Skin Care 
1. Cleansing Mask
2. Facial Toner
3. Oil Scrub

Hair Treatment
1. Shampoo
2. Oil Treatment

Home Care & First Aid
1. Soothing Balm
2. Sore Muscles
3. Mouth Wash

1. Toilet Cleaner
2. Dryer Sheets
3. Oven Cleaner

As you can see, there are many different ways to use this product. Another good thing when you purchase this product, they send you an eBook to go along with it so that you can create all these different recipes and more. The eBook also goes into major detail explaining the origin of the oil and how it was originally used.

I think this is a great product and should be used in every home. Most people believe that the different products that the stores carry are what we need. If you think about it, we didn't have those years ago so they aren't needed now. So, go out and purchase yourself some 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil and let me know what you think.

I received this complementary product through in exchange for my honest review.


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, September 15, 2014

If You Were Me and Lived in...Kenya: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World, by Carole P. Roman

Title: If You Were Me and Lived in...Kenya: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World

Series: If You Were Me and Lived in...

Author: Carole P. Roman

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Date: October 24, 2013

Paperback: 30 pages

About the author: 
 Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of the If You Were Me and Lived in... series, which won the NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award in 2012. She collaborated on this installment in the series with her five year old grandson, Alexander. Roman also writes the Captain No Beard series, the first of which was named a Kirkus Best of 2012, received a Star of Remarkable Merit, and won The Pinnacle Award in 2012.

About the book:
If You Were Me and Lived in...Kenya: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World is back with a brand new expedition. This amazing children's series by Carole P. Roman is heading to Africa! Focusing on what life could be like for children in another land, this series continues to show the customs and cultures that inhabit our great globe.

My take:
It has been another great adventure for my daughter and me, as we take a trip to Kenya through the If You Were Me and Lived in...Kenya book.

Just like the other books in the If You Were Me and Lived in... series, there is enough information to let us know a lot about the particular country. The book starts out with the shape of the country of Kenya with a location of the capital, Nairobi. Then it shows on a globe where it is located in Africa. Through the different cartoon drawings, we are shown what Kenya looks like, from the city parts to the country parts. We learn about the different foods they eat, like chapati and samosa and how they like to play cricket and celebrate Mombasa Carnival.

I don't know if this was in the other books, but I did like how one of the colors of Africa was used on the pages and then how there was a tiny little giraffe at the bottom of the pages. There is also a pronunciation guide in the back of the book to help out with words that one might not know how to say.

This is a really cute book and like I said before, they are great learning tools and I feel like every school and home library would benefit from having this series in them.

This complementary book was given to me for my honest review.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Desire, by Dan Walsh & Gary Smalley

Title: The Desire (book 3)

Series: The Restoration Series

Author: Dan Walsh & Gary Smalley

Publisher: Revell

Date: September 2, 2014

Paperback: 336

About the author:
Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of many books, including The Dance and The Promise with Gary Smalley, The Discovery, and What Follows After. He has won three Carol Awards, and three of his novels were finalists for RT Book Reviews Inspirational Book of the Year. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for 25 years. He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel.

Gary Smalley is one of the country's best-known authors and speakers on family relationships and has appeared on national television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, and TODAY, as well as numerous national radio programs. He is the bestselling and award-winning author or coauthor of many books, including the Baxter Family Redemption series with Karen Kingsbury and The Dance and The Promise with Dan Walsh. Gary and his wife, Norma, have been married for 50 years and live in Missouri.

About the book:
For two years, Allan and Michele have been trying to have a baby. The emotional ride has been taking a toll on their hearts--and their relationship. Michele is obsessed with researching fertility treatments while Allan seems content to spend his time--and their money--on supporting displaced children in Africa. Something's got to give. But they both hope it's not their marriage.

Still, God has a plan for Allan and Michele that they could never have imagined. And all it takes to set it in motion is a change of heart . . .

My take:
"...God sometimes has to put people in tough places to get their attention, make them aware of how much they need him." (pg. 53) 

That quote alone from the book meant so much to me. Not only summing up the whole idea of the book for me, but also holding a lot of meaning in my life.

When I first picked up The Desire, I wasn't sure how much I was going to like it. I thought it was going to be just another book to read.  A lot of times when there are multiply books in a series and you read them out of order, you can get lost. But not with this story. I picked the book up and was drawn in by the main character (Michele) and held there until the end. The experiences that she goes through and those around her that let her know she is not alone, kept me enthralled in the story. We not only get to see how she is affected by what is going on, but we get to see how those around her are affected by it too. Not only just her husband and family members, but also their friends. We also get to see how much relying on God in times of trouble and putting all our faith in him can turn a dark time into a bright a beautiful one.

The authors not only did a great job at writing a story, but did it in a way to where I felt like I was right there with every single character in the book. I felt like I was going from place to place with them and experiencing everything that they did. It was to the point to where I could see/imagine what all the characters looked like and everything around them. I think this is why so many people will and do enjoy reading this story. The characters are every day type of people, so you feel like you can sympathize or even empathize with them.

I cannot express how great this story is and how much I think everyone should pick it up and read it. After reading and liking this one so much, I know I will be reading the other two books in this series (The Dance and The Promise).

I received this complementary book from Revell for my honest review.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Nowhere to Turn, by Lynette Eason

Title: Nowhere to Turn (book 2)

Series: Hidden Identity

Author: Lynette Eason

Publisher: Revel

Date: September 2, 2014

Paperback: 320 pages

About the author:
Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series and the deadly Reunions series, as well as No One to Trust. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and lives in South Carolina. Learn more at

About the book:
The day Danielle Harding takes her eleven-year-old son and flees from her abusive husband is the same day Kurt Harding dies. A relieved Dani believes she and her son are finally safe-but in reality, things are just heating up. When Kurt was alive, he took something important from a mysterious individual-who wants the item back and believes Dani now has it. As she and her son run from their lives, they have nowhere to turn, until she hires Adam Buchanan of Operation Refuge and goes into hiding. Unfortunately, she won't be able to hide for long...

My take:
I felt like this book was a decent read. I didn't fall in love with it like I thought I would. It did wonder how the outcome was going to be, but to the point to where I just wanted to get to the end. I guess you could say, I didn't really want to go on the journey with the characters to find the ending. With that said, I am still glad that I read the book. I guess I had higher expectations of it.

The story shows how determined a person can be to get from under a cruel and hard life to make it better for themselves and those that they care about. Plenty of women are caught in the situation that Dani (the lead character) found herself in, but with the strength and determination she is able to at least make the journey.

The author's writing style is very descriptive. This is what I liked most about the story. I feel like if you can picture everything in the story, down to lets say the way someone is dressed, then you know you are reading a book by someone who "knows" how to write. I was able to visualize what I perceived as what was going on and what all the character's looked like. Like I stated before, it is not a bad book. I think a lot of people would enjoy reading it. It just didn't hold my attention the way that I thought it would.

This complimentary book was given to me by Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

New International College Devotional Bible, by Zondervan

Title: NIV College Devotional Bible

Publisher: Zondervan

Date: February 23, 2013

Hardcover: 1408 pages

About the book:
Your college years are different from any other time in your life. You get a demanding new schedule – and it’s yours to manage 100% on your own. You make new, lifelong friendships as you spend time with other people on a similar path in the journey. You face unique challenges as you begin to see the world differently, including what your impact on the world might be.
This special time in your life is also an opportunity for you to deepen your relationship with Jesus. The NIV College Devotional Bible will help you strengthen your walk with God as you find your own way in life. It’s filled with stories that connect Scripture with the struggles, questions, and decisions every college student faces. In fact, it’s the same approach that Jesus used in his parables---taking stories from everyday life to illustrate eternal truths.

  • 222 school-year devotions with daily insights and applications on relevant topics
  • Devotions use a unique storytelling approach to connect God’s Word with your real-life questions, struggles, and decisions as a student
  • A practical reading plan that helps you stay connected to God during the 9 months of school each year
  • Quick-start guide shows you how to get the most out of reading the Bible
  • Subject index for looking up topics of interest
  • Complete text of the clear, accessible NIV Bible
My take:
I was extremely excited when I received this devotional Bible. I did think it would be set up a little different than it is. As you go through the Bible, you will find little devotional sections that you can engage in here and there. I personally thought that they would have geared it a little more toward the college life, than just regular devotions that one can study. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just felt like seeing how it is suppose to be geared toward college age, it should have college themes throughout. I do like how they have the story description at the top of ever section vs just at the top of the page. Another thing I felt like it was lacking were the red words to symbolize what Jesus is saying. I thought that would have been a nice touch.

In the back of the book is a page on weights and measures. After that is where all thy typical study guides are found. It has the one year through the Bible, 60-day, 20-day, and multiple 30 day study guides. Along with each of them, there is a section where it lets you mark off where you are so that you can keep track. You will also find a subject index section and a journal section.

I think this Bible can be used by anyone, even though it is stated for college age. Like stated before, there doesn't seem to be anything in here that makes it a straightforward college one.

This complementary book was given to me by BookLook Bloggers for my honest opinion.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Stuck in the Doldrums: A Lesson in Sharing - A Captain No Beard Story, by Carole P. Roman

Title: Stuck in the Doldrums: A Lesson in Sharing

Series: A Captain No Beard Story

Author: Carole P. Roman

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Date: March 20, 2013

Paperback: 36 pages

About the author:
Award winning author Carole P. Roman is a former teacher who now works in her family's business and publishes works in the Captain No Beard series. The first Captain No Beard- "An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life" was named to the Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012 and received the star of remarkable merit.

About the book:
When the wind stops blowing, Captain No Beard and his crew, including First Mate Hallie, Linus the Lion, Fribbet the Frog, Mongo the Monkey and Polly the Parrot, are stuck on a desert island. Maroon with nothing to do, they begin to play and enjoy themselves. However, Captain No Beard has other ideas, bossing his crew around and making playtime cheerless for everyone. Soon, Captain No Beard decides he has had enough and storms off. When his ship is attacked by a giant squid, he realizes he needs his crew more than ever. Captain No Beard and his crew show young readers that's it's important to cooperate and share your belongings. The crew teaches us that if you want to have friends, then you must be a friend too.

My take:
I really like this series. Any book that has a learning lesson for a child is good. This particular one is based on learning how to cooperate and not be bossy. This is a lesson that a lot of children need to learn (adults alike). The story shows what will happen if you try to boss your friends around and how to show forgiveness and help someone in need.

The author's writing style is very carefree and lively. Just enough dialogue mixed with the story keeps children interested. The wittiness of the interactions make the story very interesting. Also, the artwork is very cute. You can see the expressions come out in all the characters through the drawings and it helps you empathize with the just a little more. The book is very colorful, so it is appealing to the eyes.

If you haven't read one of these books in the series, you need to pick one up now. Not only will your child like it, so will you.

This complimentary book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Hanging Tree, by MIchael Phillip Cash

Title: The Hanging Tree

Author: Michael Phillip Cash

Publisher: CreateSpace Independant Publishing Platform

Date: October 15, 2013

Paperback: 90 pages

About the author: 
This is Cash's first novella and is loosely based on a tree with a haunted past on the North Shore of Long Island. Born and raised on Long Island, Michael has always had a fascination with ghosts and horror writing. Earning a degree in English and a MBA, he has worked various jobs before settling into being a full-time author. He currently resides on Long Island with his wife and children. His other novels, Brood X: A Firsthand Account of the Great Cicada Invasion and his bestselling novel, Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island are receiving rave reviews.

About the book:
Seventeen year old Arielle is at a crossroads in her life. Disenchanted with her father, she is testing the boundaries of his trust by dating someone he does not approve. Under the moonlit sky in Long Island, Arielle and her boyfriend meet under the infamous hanging tree. The couple's destiny is rooted to the five spirits in the tree whose lives and deaths are determined by an ancient curse. Will her future be determined by the past or will Arielle's choices alter the course of her life?

My take:
I am not one who likes to read books or watch movies that deal with ghosts and "things from the beyond". But being a book reviewer, sometimes you come across books that you might have originally passed up. This would be The Hanging Tree. I have to say that I was a little taken aback because I actually wound up really liking the story. Once I got past the whole "ghost" part, it turned out to be a really good read.

The story starts out in present time and then goes back in time to explain how the ghosts come to be in the tree. I like books that don't necessarily focus on one time frame, but bounce back and forth. Don't get me wrong, if it can't be done right (like Michael Phillip Cash does it) then it can make for a confusing read. But like I stated before, it makes for a good read in this book. I like how he takes us back to let us get a true understanding about the main characters. It really brings the story together.

The books is very short, 90 pages. So it can be read in one sitting. He actually takes a 300 page story and shrinks it to 90 pages and makes it work. His writing style lets you visualize every single thing that is going on, even down to the facial expressions. This is how you can tell he is a good writer. His writing style is easy to read and understand. I really enjoyed the book and was excitedly shocked with the twists and turns and the final outcome of the story.

This complementary book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

If You Were Me and Lived in Mexico...A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World, by Carole P. Roman

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

Series: If You Were Me and Lived in...

Author: Carole P. Roman

Paperback: 26 pages

Date: March 22, 2013

About the author: 
Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of the If You Were Me and Lived in... series, which won the NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award in 2012. She collaborated on this installment in the series with her five year old grandson, Alexander. Roman also writes the Captain No Beard series, the first of which was named a Kirkus Best of 2012, received a Star of Remarkable Merit, and won The Pinnacle Award in 2012.
About the book:
If You Were Me and Lived in...Mexico...A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World is the first entry in an informative  and exciting new children's series that focuses on learning and appreciating the many cultures that make up our small planet. Perfect for children from Pre-K to age eight, this book is a groundbreaking new experience in elementary level education. Interesting facts and colorful illustrations help children realize that although the world is large, people all over the globe are basically the same.

My take:
I am a big fan of this series. I wish they had books like this when I was young or even if they did, I wish my parents found them. I know my daughter has learned a lot from this series. Every time I hand her one of these books, she comes back with more knowledge than she had before.

Like all the other books, it starts out with a had drawn picture of Mexico and it shows right where Mexico City is located. Then as soon as you turn the page, you see where it is located on the globe. Children will also learn about Mexico City and one of the historic buildings, Palacio de Bellas Artes. You also will learn what some children's names are and how you would address your parents if you lived in Mexico. You also get to learn about the different foods that they eat and the name they use for money. Children will also learn the popular sport that is played and what you would call a doll, if that is something that one liked to play with. There is also information regarding going to school and a famous holiday that they celebrate.

The pictures are just as engaging as the story. The cartoon like colorful characters will no doubt draw your child's attention to the book and keep them engaged in the story. Also, the actual pictures are in cartoon form, not just the characters, which I know a lot of children will like.

Toward the back of the book is a pronunciation guide to help you out with the words that are in another language. So not only do you get to learn about a new country, you can pick up on some of the words and use them in your every day life.

This complementary book was given to me for my honest review.