Jul 272014
 

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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Every Wednesday for Books That Caught Our Eye, Serena, Leslie and I will each share 2 books that grabbed our attention from today’s Mailbox Monday post. We hope you’ll join us by posting a comment letting us know the books that caught your eye.

 

Only one book in my mailbox this week:

From TLC Book Tours :

19144598The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar From the critically beloved, bestselling author of The World We Found and The Space Between Us, whom the New York Times Book Review calls a “perceptive and . . . piercing writer,” comes a profound, heartbreakingly honest novel about friendship, family, secrets, forgiveness, and second chances An experienced psychologist, Maggie carefully maintains emotional distance from her patients. But when she meets a young Indian woman who tried to kill herself, her professional detachment disintegrates. Cut off from her family in India, Lakshmi is desperately lonely and trapped in a loveless marriage to a domineering man who limits her world to their small restaurant and grocery store. Moved by her plight, Maggie treats Lakshmi in her home office for free, quickly realizing that the despondent woman doesn’t need a shrink; she needs a friend. Determined to empower Lakshmi as a woman who feels valued in her own right, Maggie abandons protocol, and soon doctor and patient have become close friends. But while their relationship is deeply affectionate, it is also warped by conflicting expectations. When Maggie and Lakshmi open up and share long-buried secrets, the revelations will jeopardize their close bond, shake their faith in each other, and force them to confront painful choices.

Jul 262014
 

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Frozen

Animated
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: March 18, 2014
Run Time: 102 minutes

Featuring the voices of Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, “Frozen” is the coolest comedy-adventure ever to hit the big screen. When a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, Anna, a fearless optimist, teams up with extreme mountain man Kristoff and his sidekick reindeer Sven on an epic journey to find Anna’s sister Elsa, the Snow Queen, and put an end to her icy spell. Encountering mystical trolls, a funny snowman named Olaf, Everest-like extremes and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction.

Thoughts
This movie is probably the best Disney film I’ve ever seen, and since I’m an animated movie lover, I’ve seen a lot. The animation is amazing, the songs are wonderful (and stick in your head), and the story is heartwarming.

I watched this movie with my grandkids Harley and Alecia. They both loved it. In fact, it’s the first time I’ve ever known Harley to sit still through a whole movie. That kid is full of enough energy for 10 kids, so he’s always moving and talking. But he was quiet, and his eyes were glued to the screen during the whole movie. I was amazed!!

This is a movie that I think everyone would enjoy. Moms, dads, kids, grandparents…everyone!

The animation was beautiful. The movie was funny, it has a few sad parts, and it showed how much love and loyalty family members can have toward each other. It also had some bad guys and a cute, hilarious snowman. And a snow monster. A BIG snow monster.

The only negative I saw in this movie was the way Elsa’s  “special powers” affected most of her and Anna’s lives.  I don’t want to say anymore about this in case you haven’t seen the movie, but if you do watch it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, buy a copy or rent it. I rented it but now want to buy a copy so we can watch it again and again. It’s that good!!

Here is a link to the book @ Amazon

 

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 Kid Konnection is a regular weekend feature about anything related to children’s books. If you’d like to share a post related to children’s books(picture, middle grade, or young adult)from the past week, visit Booking Mama.

 

Jul 252014
 

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The Write On Review-A-Thon is a monthly event created and hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen. It’s 2 days dedicated to getting reviews done, whether you have one review to write or 30+. This edition of the review-a-thon takes place all day Saturday, July 26th and Sunday, July 27th. Let’s get those reviews done!

Review-a-Thon Details:
Reviews can be of the written variety or in video format.
This event is not limited to book reviews. If you write/vlog reviews for movies, super cool gadgets, or anything else, you are welcome to participate.
To participate, create a post on your blog with a list of reviews you need to complete. Don’t forget to grab the official blurb (above) and event button (grab code below). If you don’t have a blog, you can announce your intent to participate via social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.) with a link back to this sign up post so others can join in as well.

Add the DIRECT LINK to your sign up post to the linky found at the end of this post. The sign up linky will be open until 11:55 pm PDT on July 26th.

There will be a wrap-up post linky at The Book Vixen on July 28th.

The books I need to write a review and schedule to post are:
The Body In The Library by Agatha Christie ~ July 28th
What’s So Funny by Tim Conway ~ July 30
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender ~ July 31
The Round House by Louise Erdrich ~ scheduled for August 3

Movie Reviews:
Frozen ~ July 26

Yikes, and this was the year I wasn’t going to get behind on reviews!!

Jul 252014
 

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the adorable picture book “Have You Seen My Tail?” by Kathryn Harper.

Have You Seen My Tail? by Kathryn Harper

About the Book

Title: Have You Seen My Tail? (Katie-Jane, Book #2) | Author & Illustrator: Kathryn Harper | Publication Date: July, 2014 | Publisher: Green Cup Publishing | Pages: 36 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 8

Summary: Anyone who has ever struggled to accept – or longed to experience – change of any kind will be able to relate to Katie-Jane’s second story, “Have You Seen My Tail?” Using rhyming verse, and laugh-out-loud moments, Katie-Jane begins this story feeling bored. She is surprised and shocked as she meets a butterfly, a frog and a snake; who are all struggling to accept the recent big changes in their lives. Different perspectives help all four characters to accept their own situations, and embrace change in the way life offers it to them. “Have You Seen My Tail?” is the second book in the six-part Katie-Jane series, designed to encourage the reader to ‘be the very best version of you.’

 

Sneak Peek

Have You Seen My Tail? by Kathrn Harper - Inside Page

 

Purchase

Amazon | Book Website

You can also purchase the first book in the Katie-Jane Series, “Am I a Chameleon?” by clicking the book cover below:

Am I a Chameleon by Kathrn Harper

 

Early Buzz About the Book

“Author Kathryn Harper offers insightful questions and answers at the end of the book explaining how she feels about change. I love how these insightful thoughts give the reader a chance to verbalize their own feelings. Like her other books, the illustrations are beautiful and vivid. Each of the animals has a wonderfully rich texture, color, and personality. The Katie-Jane books continue to not disappoint, I look forward to seeing the next books in the series.” ~ 5 Star Review, Katherine R., Amazon

“Katie-Jane is a very sweet character in “Have You Seen My Tail?” She helps to explain change in a gentle and unsuspecting way. This is the second book in the series for Author, Kathryn Harper. She writes a relatable story that children all over the world can grasp and understand. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Mary Jo P., Amazon

 

About the Author: Kathryn Harper

Kathryn HarperI have always loved to write, draw and create, but my books are inspired by more than my love for their medium.

As a child I was selective mute. Both my struggles and my breakthroughs are a source of inspiration toward creating Katie-Jane and her stories.

I grew up in the UK, after living in Johannesburg between the ages of two and five. Today I live in Wanaka, New Zealand, with my two gorgeous children and partner, Simon. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to call this place home, where an adventure can begin every time we step outside.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: August 21, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Kathryn Harper and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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MDBR Book Promotion Services

Jul 242014
 

I am really excited to tell you about an innovative new contest platform for both readers and writers. Laura Fabiani of iRead Book Tours is now a proud sponsor for World’s Best Story!

More and more authors and writers are discovering the power of readers. Books are written for the reader audience, so why not have a say in telling others we think a writer’s story has blockbuster potential? That’s what World’s Best Story allows you to do.

In view of this, I hope you will join me in helping to spread the word and to sign up as a member of World’s Best Story to find talented storytellers and get great prizes.
But first let me tell you more about World’s Best Story.

World’s Best Story was launched at BookExpo America on May 28. It’s the first social contest to reward readers and writers with exclusive partner prizes. So what does this mean for you?

If you are a writer:

1. Submit your story. Entering is free and the entry period ends Aug 12.
2. Prizes include publishing contracts, celebrity master classes, trademark and IP protection, book tours, big box retail distribution, PR and marketing support and more!
3. Top ten finalists and grand prize winner will be announced at the Toronto International Book Fair on November 15, 2014.

If you are a reader:

1. You get the chance to be the judge, discover new stories and win great prizes.
2. When you sign up to become a member, you automatically get $10 to spend at Beyond the Rack. Signing up is easy, requiring only your name and email.
3. When you rate and vote you’ll get a chance to win cool prizes, and the grand prize package includes a $2000 shopping spree at Beyond the Rack!

So how can you help us spread the word? There are several ways:

  • Write a post about it and you can enter in a giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card and one of 6 $25 Beyond the Rack Gift Cards
  • Add the World’s Best Story logo on your blog with a link back to their site.
  • If you are an iRead tour host, your post will count toward your incentive program if you do the above.
  • If you are not yet an iRead tour host, join and you will qualify for the incentive program
  • Tell all your readers about WBS through social media networking.

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Words Best Story Logo

 

THANK YOU!

Jul 232014
 

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Bitter Chocolate by Dawn Greenfield Ireland

File Size: 2171 KB
Print Length: 405 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Artistic Origins Inc (June 2, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

The characters you loved in Hot Chocolate are back with more escapades of life in Houston’s wealthy River Oaks.

Lila Mae is in a tizzy over the Chocolate Ball – a huge event that she and her sisters, Dorothea and Madge, host every year. But due to unusual circumstances, Dorothea and Madge dump everything in Lila Mae’s lap. If it weren’t for Julian Gillespie of Event Is King, the Chocolate Ball would have melted.

Bernie, the Alcott sisters’ 92-year old father, decides he wants his Bentley back. The sisters and Bambi are horrified. They hire Joseph’s cousin Chewie as Bernie’s new chauffeur.

Wolfram, Lila Mae’s new astrologer, gives clues of things to come. This leaves Lila Mae and her sidekick Amelia with brows furrowed.

On her day off, Amelia decides to bake a chocolate blueberry pie. She discovers she needs to make a grocery run. When she returns home, she discovers her kitchen door is slightly ajar. Arms loaded with groceries, she toes the door open.

Three things catch her attention: a vase of flowers on the kitchen island that was not there when she left the house, her marble rolling pin covered with blood… and a dead body on her kitchen floor.

Amelia’s eyes drift toward the dining room and beyond – is the house empty, or is there a murderer in the house? She backs up, turns and hurries outside. After setting the bags on the ground, she slips back into the kitchen and snaps a picture of the dead guy. Then she calls Detective Chance Walker, Lila Mae and finally… 9-1-1.

 

Thoughts
I loved the first book in this series, Hot Chocolate, so I’m not surprised that I loved this book too. The sisters are hilarious, and I love that they’re still so close at their ages. I love their individual personalities, and how they interact with each other.

The book is written extremely well. There is just enough going on so you don’t get bored, but not enough to overwhelm you. The secondary characters are as interesting as the Alcott family and together they keep the book going at a nice flow.

Like the first book, I had no idea who dunnit. I was very surprised when I found out who it was. For me, that’s what makes books like this so good. It’s no fun reading a murder mystery if you’ve figured out who the murderer is.

I loved that Dorothea is expecting at her age! She’s 55 and has two kids in college! Plus she’s expecting twins! Better her than me LOL!

I hear there’s going to be a third book in the Alcott Family Adventures series, and that makes me very happy. I can’t wait to read it too!

 

About Dawn Greenfield Ireland:

Dawn Ireland is the CEO of Artistic Origins Inc, a 100% woman-owned publishing and technical writing service company that has been doing business since 1995. She’s an award winning independent publisher and author of  The Puppy Baby Book, Mastering Your Money, and Amazon Best Seller Hot Chocolate (the first in the series, and her fifth novel). The Hot Chocolate audio book was awarded the AudioFile Earphones Award on Valentine’s Day 2014.

Her family feature film screenplay A Girl and Her Dog was awarded a Kids First! Endorsement by the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media in October 2012 and optioned by Shadow Cave Productions in February 2013.

Originally from Feeding Hills, MA, Dawn migrated to San Antonio in 1968, then when her first son was one years old, her family moved to Houston where work was more plentiful. After 40+ years of heat and humidity, she has her sights on the Pacific NW.

Dawn is the co-author of the animated screenplay Memoirs of a Dog which won the Spirit Award of the Moondance Film Festival (children’s category) September 2011. Her dark comedy Plan B was a finalist in the Table Read My Screenplay script competition in 2010 and years before that, Standing Dead won the Women in Film and Television (Houston Chapter) screenplay award.

Stay tuned for The Last Dog (futuristic/sci-fi 2015), and Spicy Chocolate (2016).

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Google+

 

Giveaway
Thanks to the author/publisher and Teddy Rose @ Virtual Author Book Tours, I have one ebook of this book for giveaway.

To enter:
Let me know in a comment below if you’ve read the first book in this series, Hot Chocolate. Don’t worry if you haven’t, this can be read as a stand-a-lone.
Don’t forget to let me know what your email is so I can contact you if you win.

Ends July 31st

 

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Jul 222014
 

Flight of the Mite

Title: Flight of the Mite | Author: Grayson Smith | Illustrator: Alana Kyle | Publication Date: 2013 | Publisher: Peppermint Toast Publishing: Independent | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 8 | Reviewed by: Renee and Dominic (Mother and Son)

Information About The Book: A tale of wonder and imagination, Flight of the Mite is a children’s read-aloud picture book, written by Grayson Smith and illustrated by Alana Kyle. As a tiny mite stares in wonder at the nighttime stars, she becomes certain that if she were only able to travel to them, she would meet a world of wondrous creatures. She determines to build a flying contraption, and through persistence, ingenuity, and wise counsel, journeys to the nearest star. There she encounters the Others of her dreams and finds herself on an adventure where she learns that her imagination is her most important tool! This story of imagination, courage, and determination is perfect for the little mite in your life! Flight of the Mite is the first book published by the independent small press, Peppermint Toast Publishing, out of New Westminster, British Columbia. Peppermint Toast Publishing strives to work with emerging authors and artists towards the high-quality and environmentally-friendly publication of children’s picture books and literature, in profit-sharing partnership with local charitable organizations.

 

Purchase

Peppermint Toast Publishing is happy to be contributing $3 from the sales for each copy of Flight of the Mite sold, going to help sick kids get better at BC Children’s Hospital. Visit their Online Store to purchase your copy!

Peppermint Toast Publishing | Amazon (Canada)

 

The Buzz About the Book

Mother and Son Review by MDBR: “Flight of the Mite is a delightful, rhyming picture book featuring an adorable little mite who dreams big as the main character; a magical story underscoring the importance of imagination in children’s development; and absolutely gorgeous and whimsical illustrations. I highly recommend this book to children ages 3 to 8 and I think it would be a great choice for reading aloud to children in a classroom or library setting.”

“This is our new favourite story to read and will be a book that we will be keeping to pass down to future member of our family.” ~ Raincity Parent

“This wonderful piece of children’s literature is well crafted and appropriate for children and adults, the message is clear, embrace diversity, ones weakness may actually be strength. The most interesting and entertaining part is that there is a consistent rhythm and rhyme to the story, keeping the powerful message light and playful.” ~ Active Lee Dadding

” I have read the sweetest story!…The combination of these two talents [i.e., the author and illustrator] working together has left us with a sweet rhyming story about a little mites big imagination.” ~ Moments in Mommyland

“I recently received a new children’s book to review called Flight of the Mite. So of course I went to the best critic in the house – my 4 year old son[...]. We sat down to read the story together and discovered a delightful tale about imagination and discovery… The illustrations are delightful and [my son] insisted that we stop to discuss some of them along the way. There was more than one “wow!” over a picture of the mite climbing a dandelion.” ~ Prenatal to Parenting

 

About the Author: Grayson Smith

Grayson SmithGrayson Smith was born in Alberta, but attended a boarding school in Germany for 11 years. After high school, he attended SFU, where he obtained a degree in Criminology and met his beautiful wife, Linda. Throughout university, Grayson wrote stories when he should have been paying attention in class. After completing his degree, he became a police officer, and still enjoys that job thoroughly. As of 2012, Grayson gets to re-envision the world through the eyes of his baby son, Josiah. Writing is a wonderful way for Grayson to express the silliness and vagary that simmers beneath his well-practiced outer layer of respectability and professionalism.

 

 

About the Illustrator: Alana Kyle

Alana Kyle, IllustratorAlana Kyle was born and raised in the Lower Mainland. As a small child, she was sweet, quiet, and frequently lost inside her own head. Ever since she was young, she was motivated by her love of artistic creativity and attention to detail, and remains captivated by storybooks and imagination. Alana attended and graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and also obtained a three-year diploma of Illustration and Design from Capilano University. She works as an illustrator and graphic designer, and lives in Coquitlam.

 

Links to More Information

Peppermint Toast Publishing | Twitter | Goodreads

Facebook (Peppermint Toast Publishing) | Facebook (Flight of the Mite)

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: August 19, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Grayson Smith and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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MDBR Book Promotion Services

Jul 202014
 

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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy,
toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Also, every Wednesday, Serena, Leslie, and I will share the 
Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

 I had two books in my mailbox:

For Review:

20426383Eat Now; Talk Later by James Vescovi

Prepare yourself for a feast consumed in delicious bites. Stories in this collection can be read before bed, on a lunch hour, or waiting in line. They can even be shared with friends who complain they have enough to read. Together they ask the question, “How do you make modern life run smoothly for parents or grandparents who grew up when oxen were used for plowing, children left school after third grade to tend chickens, and meat was eaten only on religious holidays?

When Tony and Desolina Vescovi arrived in America,they collided with the 20th century. Born around 1900, they were stumped by telephones, banks, fast food, TV wrestling, and supermarkets. It was up to their only child, a son, to serve as their shepherd, and it wasn’t easy For example, how to explain that his job was taking him and his family 700 miles away when, in their day, sons stayed put to work the family farm? Or that it wasn’t wise to hide $10,000 in the bedroom? Or that the ice cream they just tried and enjoyed is called ‘Chubby Hubby’?

This collection of 52 bite-size stories offers a twist on the American immigrant tale and is a testament to love, loyalty, and frequent half-truths. For those who not only like to eat, but love to cook, the book includes recipes. Topping it all off is a collection of family photos.

Wins: 

18693837The Never List by Koethi Zan

I won this from Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews

For years, Sarah Farber and her best friend, Jennifer, kept what they called the Never List: a list of actions to be avoided at all costs, for safety’s sake. But one night, against their best instincts, they accept a cab ride—one with grave, everlasting consequences. For the next three years, they are held captive with two other girls in a dungeon-like cellar by a connoisseur of sadism. Ten years later, Sarah’s abductor is up for parole and she can no longer ignore the twisted letters he sends to her from prison. But when Sarah decides to confront her phobias and reconnect with the other survivors she begins unraveling a mystery more horrifying than even she could have imagined.

A blazingly fast read with eerie similarities to the recent kidnapping case in Cleveland, The Never List is a smart, riveting, and bold page turner that will leave readers awake all night with the lights on.

 

Jul 192014
 

What if...? by Jessica Barondes

 

Title: What if…? | Author: Jessica Barondes | Publication Date: January 7, 2014 | Publisher: Sense and Sensability Press | Pages: 145 | Recommended Ages: 10+ | Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)

Summary: Life is complicated for the average tween, but try being the smallest girl in 7th grade and navigating the choppy waters of middle school without a mom. Such is the plight of Penelope “P” Ziegler, until she decides to take matters into her own hands and find a wife for her hopelessly quirky dad. Despite Dad’s objections, P is sure—with all her heart—that there’s a woman out there who will make them both very happy!

 

* FREE BOOK *

You can grab your FREE COPY (electronic) of What if…? by Jessica Barondes from July 18 to 22, 2014 from Amazon. Just click on the book cover below.

What if...? by Jessica Barondes

The Buzz About the Book

What if…? is a bittersweet and sometimes comical tale of a tween girl, P, who must come to terms with the loss of her mother as she navigates the world of dating, puberty, school, and friendships. P will absolutely warm your heart and the ending is guaranteed to leave you teary-eyed. While I sometimes felt that the themes were more appropriate for teens, I also came to realize that tween girls will also really enjoy reading about the world that they are just on the cusp of entering. *shudder* Ages 10+.” ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

“What a treat to fall in love with a character from the first second you begin to read her story. P has wit, charm, pluck, charisma–and a lot of things to learn. I totally loved her voice, world, friends and the many ways in which she drove her father Georgy insane. Full of laughs and love this charming book is a wonderful read–no matter what your age.” ~ 5 Star Review, Blue, Amazon

“This is a charming and delightful read from start to finish, filled with characters you really care about, especially the unique girl “P” at the center. You don’t have to be in this age group or life situation to relate to the sweet and heartfelt story about wanting the best for those you love. It’s timeless and inspiring and may bring a tear to your eye!” ~ 5 Star Review, Susan A., Amazon

“Witty, intelligent and edgy coming-of-age book for girls (and parents!). This little book is a real gem. I bought it for my nieces too in hopes that they will appreciate their moms more! (and give their dads a chance to be a true hero, like the dad in this book!) I would bet that school libraries, teachers, parents and girls will rate this book a favorite for years to come.” ~ 5 Star Review, Louann B., Amazon

“I was absolutely enchanted from the first page. This book made me cry! It was delightful. The story so sweet and the characters endearing and so real. By the time I got to the end, I just wanted to burst out in applause. This book is a joy to read at any age but perfect for the “tween” reader.” ~ 5 Star Review, Jen W., Amazon

“Both my 11-year old daughter and I loved this wonderfully written book. Charming and exciting from beginning to end, this book is a real treasure.” ~ 5 Star Review, Susan L., Amazon

 

About the Author

Jessica BarondesJessica Barondes grew up in La Jolla, California and now makes her home in Los Angeles with her husband Ben and their teenagers Jonah and Ellie. Jessica is also a screenwriter whose credits include Little Secrets, Lucky Seven, and Wish Upon a Star, a Disney Channel classic, which was a winner at the Heartland Film Festival. Jessica is currently working on several new movie projects and is an associate producer of the new family film Cowgirls n’ Angeles: Dakota’s Summer.

Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

 

 

* $100 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: August 16, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Jessica Barondes and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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MDBR Book Promotion Services

Jul 172014
 

Maria Loggia’s kitchen door is always open. Her home and garden are a gathering place for friends and family, who come to share her easygoing enthusiasm and generosity – and her inspired Italian cuisine. In this, her second book, Loggia celebrates the seasons with 16 sumptuous menus – from a spontaneous al fresco garden party to a slow-simmered midwinter feast and a traditional Sunday family lunch.

Everyday Celebrations with Maria Loggia is on a spotlight tour from July 14 to 18.

Author & Chef: Maria Loggia
Category: Non-fiction
Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine, 176 pages
Publisher: Cardinal Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 2012

Amazon.ca * Cardinal Publishing * Amazon.com

 

Try One of the Recipes!

Petto di Pollo Farcito con Uva e Noci

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Grapes and Walnuts

Ingredienti
For filling:
1 tbsp (15 ml) unsalted butter
2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
¾ cup (180 ml) walnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup (125 ml) red seedless grapes, quartered
2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp (30 ml) bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
7 oz (200 g) soft goat cheese, cut in 6 slices

For chicken:
6 tbsp (90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
6 bone-in chicken breasts, skin on
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tbsp (45 ml) unsalted butter, softened
1 orange, cut into wedges
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, each cut in half
5 bay leaves

To serve:
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange

Preparazione
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
To prepare filling: Heat butter and oil in a large skillet and sauté shallots until soft, 1 to 2 minutes, and remove from heat. Stir in walnuts, grapes, chives and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool slightly. Leave goat cheese aside for now.

To prepare chicken: Oil a 14-inch (35 cm) round earthenware tiella or roasting pan with 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the olive oil and set aside. On a baking sheet, season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Make a lengthwise slit in each chicken breast, being careful not to cut all the way through. (This will form the pocket for the stuffing.) Rub remaining 4 tbsp (60 ml) olive oil into the chicken (including in the pockets). Divide stuffing equally among chicken breasts, stuffing it into the slit in each breast, and top with a slice of goat cheese. Pull the chicken skin over the filling and secure with toothpicks. Smear butter over the skin and season again to taste with salt and pepper.

Gently transfer chicken to prepared tiella. Scatter orange wedges, rosemary and bay leaves around chicken. Roast 35 to 40 minutes, or until juices run clear when the thickest part of the breast is pierced. Then broil 2 to 3 minutes, or until skin is crisp and golden. Drizzle with orange juice and serve warm with pan juices.

Serves 6

Tips from Maria:

Consigli di cucina (kitchen tips)

The chicken breasts can be assembled the day before, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. When ready to serve, bring chicken to room temperature and cook as instructed. Doing it this way allows the flavours time to meld together beautifully.

Che cos’è? (what is it?)

I’m convinced food tastes better when cooked in a shallow, glazed earthenware dish known in Italian as a tiella. I find earthenware dishes distribute heat slowly and evenly as the food cooks. Aromas and flavours are intensified and casseroles never stick or dry out.

To season a tiella: Before using your tiella the first time, immerse the dish in cold water to soak overnight. The next day, empty the tiella and wipe it dry. Rub the inside with olive oil and place in a preheated 300°F (150°C) oven for 1½ hours. Remove seasoned tiella from oven and place on a wooden board or thick tablecloth to cool. (If placed on a surface like granite or a cold stovetop, it will crack.) To clean a tiella, soak it in warm, soapy water, then scrub with a soft sponge.

 

Meet the Author

Maria Loggia is one of Montreal’s best-loved Italian cooking teachers. Her Tavola Mia cooking school in the village of Hudson is a warm, inviting place to learn about Italian cuisine. She also appears regularly on television, is featured in newspapers and magazines, and leads culinary tours in Italy.

Maria finds inspiration in her Italian heritage and draws on family recipes that go back generations. She founded Tavola Mia, her at-home cooking school in 1999. Through her study of Italy’s regional cuisines, which has included numerous sojourns back to her native country, she has acquired great expertise in the art of Italian cooking. Her passion, humor and dedication to excellence have made her an inspiring teacher. Using fresh local ingredients, Tavola Mia celebrates the seasons in authentic, irrepressible Italian style.

 

An Interview with Maria Loggia

Maria Loggia from Pierre Blais on Vimeo.

 

 

Thank you for supporting our authors!

 

Jul 162014
 

18249344

Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester

Paperback: 355 pages
Publisher: Story Plant, The (May 13, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1611881358
ISBN-13: 978-1611881356
 

Rick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige’s father nearly destroyed Abby’s spirit.

Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers, and they’re hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She’s very protective of the life she’s made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn’t know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her. What happens when the life you’ve dreamed of remains just inches from your grasp?

PRESSED PENNIES is a nuanced, intensely romantic, deeply heartfelt story of love it its many incarnations, relationships in their many guises, and family in its many meanings. It is the most accomplished and moving novel yet from a truly great storyteller of the heart

Thoughts
This is a book so many people can relate to. A divorced mom trying to start over, and a daughter having to adjust not only to a new school and friends, but also to the absence of her father.

This is a very touching story about the best and worst of relationships. It’s about the sorrow of growing apart and out of love with someone you thought you’d be spending your life with. And it’s about second chances and being happy again.

The writing is excellent. It flows smoothly and will hold your attention from beginning to end. You may recognize some of your friends in the characters. They love, hurt, make mistakes, and try to make the best of even the worst situations.

I loved the relationships between Abby and Paige, and Abby and Rick. I felt so sad that Paige first felt abandoned by her father, and then threatened by Rick. The book definitely will tug at your heart strings.

The overall message is very uplifting, there is life after divorce. You will make it through it, whether you’re the adult or the child.

This is the second Steven Manchester book I’ve read and both were 5 stars!
I’d definitely recommend this book and plan on reading other books by this author. from Steven Manchester.

Jul 152014
 

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for “Jack the Boogey is My Real Name” by Davon Washington & Chase Washington, a delightful bedtime picture book for children who are afraid of the dark.

Jack the Boogey is my Name by Davon Washington

About the Book

Title: Jack the Boogey is my Real Name: The Truth about “The Boogeyman” | Authors: Davon Washington & Chase Washington | Illustrator: Ana-Gabriela Stroe | Publication Date: January 1, 2014 | Publisher: Bedford House Books | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 8

Summary: Have a child that’s afraid of the dark? Are you a little curious about what happens when the lights go out? This delightful children’s picture book will not only enhance the night time reading experience but bedtime in itself will never be the same. Jack The Boogey encourages kids to push through their fears, persevere and always do the right thing. One of the world’s most feared creatures may have just become the most loved.

 

Sneak Peek

Jack the Boogey - Inside Page - Davon Washington

 

Purchase

Amazon | Book Website | Goodreads

Receive a FREE “Monster Repellent” Sticker with the purchase of “Jack the Boogey is my Real Name”. Just click the image below for more information.

Monster Repellent Sticker Davon Washington

The Buzz

“I highly recommend this adorable tale to children who don’t want to go to sleep at night because they are afraid the Boogeyman will get them! They just might discover that this isn’t true. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Amy G., Amazon

“My little one and I thoroughly enjoyed the story (he made me read it twice as soon as I took it out of the package and I had to distract him with Monsters University to get away to write a review), but the real treat to me was stashed in the cover blurb hidden away in the back of the book. It’s written by Davon Washington and his son, Chase. Davon wanted to help young Chase understand how much work and effort went into providing the nice things he had, so he let Chase make this a project in which they could collaborate and Chase could get an idea of the value of hard work. To me, that’s the best part of the story! ” ~ 5 Star Review, Breeni B., Amazon

“I loved this book! The illustrations were such a big pull for me. It almost felt like watching a tv show in the sense that you are brought into the world of Jack the Boogey instead of trying to imagine the scariest non-monster possible. I do think that this is a great read for Young Readers because of the conflict and resolution. I enjoyed that Jack showed vulnerability (being upset over the children’s misunderstanding that he was actually a helpful GOOD monster) and that it was OK to show emotion. This is a great lesson for all young readers. Sometimes when they see life lessons happening via forms of entertainment (books, movies, tv, et al) vs. just hearing about it from their parents, it sinks in a bit more.” ~ 5 Star Review, LaToya, Amazon

 

About the Authors: Davon & Chase Washington

Davon WashingtonDavon Washington is an entertainment executive who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Davon has made a career out of helping people bring their artistic dreams to fruition. The same people who more often than not do very little to enhance the tender minds of the culture that supports them. Creative thinking isn’t a skill that you learn as an adult. It starts with that same imagination that we let run wild after we’ve mastered harder tasks like walking, talking and using the bathroom ourselves. It’s Davon’s mission to build a nation of creative thinkers one book at a time.

Davon and his six-year old son, Chase collaborated to bring Jack the Boogey is My Real Name to life. This is their first book.

 

Book Website | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

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Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: August 12, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Davon Washington and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Jul 142014
 

18316841

No Longer and Not Yet by Joanna Clapps Herman

Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Excelsior Editions (March 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1438450346
ISBN-13: 978-1438450346

The stories in “No Longer and Not Yet” look at the ways our lives are lived in the split seconds between what is no longer but is still not yet. Most take place on Manhattan’s iconic Upper West Side, in the shops, hallways, and parks that reveal this well-known big city neighborhood for the tiny, even backwater village it more often resembles. An Upper West Sider herself, Joanna Clapps Herman draws her characters honestly yet tenderly, revealing them as much through how they move the slope of a shoulder, a vocal inflection, the weight of a football as by what they do, as though their bodies speak the truths they can’t express.

Here, Hannah Arendt s ghost haunts the building where she once lived, a hawk carries the apparition of a lost loved one, a homeless woman becomes Demeter. Small moments and intimacies of life weave together to form a bigger picture: the squeak of the hotel bed, a leaf on a saucer, the quality of light in the therapist s office, the doorman s familiar jokes, the open cupboards, the unspoken words. These stories show that, although we may think of ourselves in larger mythic narratives, our days are set in the terrain that is the opposite of the vast.

Thoughts
I’ve recently become a huge fan of short story collections, and this book is a great example of how good they can be.

This book is full of characters whose stories will transport you to the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and into their lives as if you were actually there. The author made sure of that with a writing style that brings the characters to life.

The stories are about friends and neighbors, mothers and sons, brothers and sisters. It’s about the people closest to us, people that you don’t really know, but who are a part of your everyday life. It’s about the hum drum of everyday. The little things that happen daily and the people in our lives that make us who we are. The stories are happy, sad, funny, and even a bit on the scary side.

If you want to read a book that will give you a wide range of emotions, this book will do that. It’s a quick read, just over 200 pages, but is a book you won’t soon forget.

Meet The Author
Joanna-Clapps-Herman-e1398200688896Joanna Clapps Herman teaches creative writing in the MFA Graduate Program at Manhattanville College and at the Center for Worker Education, a division of City College of New York, CUNY. She is the author of The Anarchist Bastard: Growing Up Italian in America, also published by SUNY Press; coeditor (with Carol Bonomo Albright) of Wild Dreams: The Best of Italian Americana; and coeditor (with Lee Gutkind) of Our Roots Are Deep with Passion: Creative Nonfiction Collects New Essays by Italian-American Writers. She lives in New York City.

 

Here are some links:

 

Thanks to the author/publisher and TLC Book Tours, I can offer one of my readers a copy of this book.
Sorry, but this giveaway is for those living in the U.S. only
To enter, leave a comment with your email address.
Giveaway ends July 21st.
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Jul 132014
 

 
ss   SundayPost
Family…
I’ve been going every Wednesday to the Zephyrhills Cinema 10 “Kiddy Show 2014″ with my daughter and two youngest grandkids. So far we’ve seen Lego Movie, Nut Job, Free Birds and Turbo. This week is Epic. It’s only $1 for the movie, $1 for popcorn and $1 for a drink. I tried to figure out which movie I like the most so far, but they’ve all been really good.

Yesterday my daughter, my son in law’s mom and aunt and I saw Tammy with Melissa McCarthy. It had a few crude sentences that I could have done without, but otherwise it was hilarious!

On The Blog Recently…
Today’s Post Is Brought To You By The Letter “P”

Review: The Sense Of Touch by Ron Parsons 

$25 GC Book Blast Giveaway: A Different Kind Of Safari by Helen Hipp

$25 GC Book Blast Giveaway: Maisy And The Missing Mice by Elizabeth Woodrum

$25 GC Book Blast: Billy And The Monster Who Loved To Fart by David Chuka

Book Arrivals…
Eat Now Talk Later by James Vescovi

I’m Reading…
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

Listening To… 
Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman

Watching…
Last week I saw a new show, Leah Rimini~ It’s All Relative and decided to watch it. Let me tell you, it is one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen. Those people are nuts!!! Many LOL moments!! Needless to say, I’m dvr’g the series.

Exercise…
Walking, strength training, stretching & Qigong

I’m Looking Forward To:
Two things this week: We’re building a new porch and ramp for our front door. The porch will be bigger and the ramp not as steep, so I’m a happy camper right now! I’m going to the beach with my daughter and 2 youngest grandkids. I’m looking forward to a long walk on the beach. I’ll also be sitting with a good book to read in between watching the kids build sand castles and romp around in the water. The beach is my happy place!!

In the kitchen…
Yesterday we bought a grill (finally) so tonight we’ll be grilling. Yum!!

A favorite quote… this one makes me think of my baby dog Patches~
Spongebob: “What do you usually do when i’m gone?”

Patrick: “Wait for you to come back.”

Have a great week everyone!!

Jul 122014
 

Billy and the Monster Who Loved to Fart by David Chuka

About the Book

Title: Billy and The Monster Who Loved to Fart | Author: David Chuka | Publication Date: January 31, 2013 | Publisher: Pen-n-a-Pad Publishing | Pages: 34 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 8

Summary: In the first book in this epic tale, we discover that Billy loves Monster and Monster loves Billy. They play together. They have a bath together.They even go to school together. There’s just one thing that threatens to spoil their friendship.

Monster loves to Fart!…and everyone blames Billy for it!

Will Monster make Billy the uncoolest kid at school? Will Monster cause an irreparable hole in the Ozone layer? Will Monster and Billy both learn how to behave properly in a social environment?

Get your copy today and enjoy this funny book for kids (and also adults), that’s not just big on laughs but also teaches a valuable lesson for social situations.

 

* Get Your Copy for ~ FREE ~ *

* You can download an electronic copy of “Billy and the Monster Who Loved to Fart”for FREE on the following platforms! *

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords | Kobo | Scribd

 

The Buzz About the Book

“One of the aspects that makes the little children’s books by David Chuka so endearing is that he enters territory and vocabulary that in other circumstances would be either verboten or at least judged inappropriate. But instead of writing a story of questionable taste, Chuka creates some hilarious situations and then makes a point of allowing learning from them…Chuka’s drawings match the joy of his story and once again he has written a brave little book that will greatly appeal to kids – and to their parents! Very high quality work from David Chuka.” ~ 5 Star Review, Grady Harp, Top 100 Reviewer, Amazon

“Yes dear readers kids now have a new friend called the Fart Monster. A buddy that lets them off the hook big time. In this imaginative story by David Chuka your child’s imagination will leap to new bounds in giving kids cover for what comes so naturally. The great thing about this is you don’t have to hold your nose to enjoy a fun story that is sure to have you and child laughing out loud.” ~ 5 Star Review, StevieV, Amazon

“I laughed all the way through this story. I know that boys think farting is funny and I’m sure my grands will love this picture book. Of course us adults have to use some animation, so we can join in the fun. The pictures rock with this simple story, and there are some problem solving discussed and shared with another character. However, the overall problem is, ‘Billy is getting blamed for something you didn’t do’. In the end the problem is solved and the relationship is forever. Job well done. I’m still laughing. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Amazon Customer, Amazon

“This is a not too serious book for kids who love to LAUGH OUT LOUD. I bought it for my nephew and he laughed and laughed and I had to ask him twice to get my IPAD back. But anyway, The book is funny with lots of illustrations that kids love. The illustrations are really good and captivating for a young audience. Not only that the book also gives a moral story at the end of the book. It teaches kids discipline and manners, which is something very valuable in today’s society. Overall good book.” ~ 5 Star Review, Jomy K., Amazon

“THIS BOOK IS HILARIOUS! My 8 year old son stated. He highly recommends it, and also poses the age old question: “Why does Monster keep farting?” ” ~ 5 Star Review, Bkustom, Amazon

 

About the Author: David Chuka

David ChukaDavid Chuka lives in London with his lovely wife and two adorable children. His family are usually the first people to hear his funny and quirky tales. He was inspired to write his first book, ‘If You See a Doctor‘ after he struggled to find a book for his daughter who was a beginner reader.

He’s gone on to write more books including the popular ‘Billy and Monster‘ series, a funny set of books about a little boy and his Monster who get into all sorts of funny situations and learn about moderation, friendship, self control, bravery etc. Young children can relate to Billy and you’ll love sharing his adventures with your children, grandchildren and loved ones.

As a father himself, he has parents at heart when he writes. He recognizes that bedtime has to be one of the best parts of the day for parents and grandparents as it gives them the opportunity to bond with their little ones. He believes you’ll enjoy sharing his stories with your loved ones at bedtime.

In David Chuka’s books, you can stay rest assured that quality and captivating images will always complement the story to ensure your loved ones are spell-bound as you read to them. Beginner readers will also enjoy discovering new words as they read his books.

He would like to keep you updated on what he’s working on and any giveaways he currenty has on offer. Please subscribe to his newsletter at www.davidchuka.com and you’ll get a FREE Coloring and Activity book for your loved ones.

Make sure to watch the video trailers for his most popular books on this Amazon Page and you’ll get a little taste of why his books have garnered more than 300 glowing reviews.

He has so many stories to tell and can’t wait to share them with you and your loved ones.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Google+ | Pinterest | Amazon Author Page

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

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Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: August 9, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, David Chuka and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Jul 112014
 

 

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the first book in The Maisy Files mystery chapter book series by Elizabeth Woodrum, “Maisy and the Missing Mice”. Book 2 in the series, “Maisy and the Money Marauder” is coming August, 2014. If you haven’t checked out Book 1, you can grab a copy for only 99 cents from Amazon!

 

About the Book

Maisy and the Missing MiceTitle: Maisy and the Missing Mice (The Maisy Files) | Author: Elizabeth Woodrum | Publication Date: September 24, 2013 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 75 | Recommended Ages: 6 to 10

Summary: Maisy Sawyer is not your average fourth grade student. She is a detective with a special skill for solving mysteries. She loves black and white mystery movies, cherry lollipops, and her dog, Reesie. When a thief known as The Black Boot steals the school’s mascots and her lollipops, Maisy sets out to solve the case. Can she help return the mice to their home in the science lab? Will she ever see her beloved lollipops again? Find out in the first book in The Maisy Files series.

 

 

 

Book Preview

 

PURCHASE FOR 99 CENTS

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The Buzz About the Book

Maisy and the Missing Mice is a fun chapter book featuring a smart and sassy tween girl as the title character; a solid and interesting plot featuring age-appropriate intrigue and suspense; and some terrific writing that carries the reader on a journey as a detective uncovering clues and solving the mystery of who stole the missing mice. I highly recommend this book as a read aloud book for children between the ages of 6 and 10 or for independent readers between the ages of 7 and 12 who love to read mysteries.” ~ Renee, Mother Daughter Book Reviews

“Woodrum certainly knows her target audience and does a very nice job with the character development of Maisy. This is an incredibly kid-friendly story that makes a great introduction to the genre of mystery for newly independent readers. It’s a quick page turning read that encourages kids to think outside of the box.” ~ The Children’s Book Review

“The delights from this book start with the cover art and continue with a fun story that is well-written.” ~ 5 Star Review, R. Johnson, Amazon

“My name is Kat. I am 9 years old. I would rate this a five because I like everything about it, the mystery the most. It was fun to read. My favorite part was the mystery and the end. I love this book so much. I think other kids would love it too because it has mystery and most kids would like mystery books. Most mystery books have a good mystery. I would love to read the whole series.” ~ 5 Star Review, Heather A., Amazon

“What an Amazing book. I totally love it. I admire the author dedication for writing an incredible book. While reading this book, it was very clear that author understand kids. I’ve always been an avid reader and this book is one of the best books I have read in 2014. This book grabs my attention from the very start of the book and couldn’t put it aside till I finish it.” ~ 5 Star Review, KristinT, Amazon

“I knew I would love this book simply because I knew it would remind me of the mystery books I read in my childhood. I really love how much trust the teachers and community as a whole put in Maisy. She is well deserving of their admiration as the way she finds clues and finds the mascot for the school is well thought out. This is a story any child would love to read. I hope Maisy continues to solve mysteries…” ~ 5 Star Review, Josh, Amazon

 

About the Author: Elizabeth Woodrum

Elizabeth Woodrum

Elizabeth Woodrum

Elizabeth Woodrum is an elementary teacher in Ohio. She came to love writing when she was in elementary school, but more recently began writing material for use in her classroom. From that writing, grew the desire to write books for the general population of children and adults alike. The Maisy Files, a children’s series, is the first series that she has published.

As a reader, Elizabeth prefers the fantasy genre, but she enjoys realistic fiction as well. Some of her favorite authors include JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Rick Riordan, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins, and Nicholas Sparks. Originally from Indiana, Elizabeth currently resides near Dayton, Ohio with her two pets: a cat named Butterscotch and a dog named Reese Cup.

 

Book Website | Author Blog | Twitter

Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: August 7, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Elizabeth Woodrum and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Jul 092014
 

I’m pleased to be contributing this review to the Small Fry Safari Readers Challenge 2014, hosted by The Bookshelf Gargoyle, specifically under the category “A book with something related to safari in the title”. Click HERE for more information.

 

A Different Kind of Safari Helen Hipp

About the Book

Title: A Different Kind of Safari | Author: Helen C. Hipp | Publication Date: March 19, 2013 | Publisher: A Different Kind of Safari LLC | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 10

Summary: What do you need to feel happy about being different? Based loosely on real life experiences, this heartwarming and powerful book illustrates how self-awareness, and courage help a young boy named Raymond learn the difference between seeing things as they appear to be and seeing things as they are. Feeling “different and lonely” Raymond befriends a hippo while on Safari in Africa. Unlike other grey hippos, this hippo is pink. Ray is soon carried into a world beyond labels and challenging assumptions. You will never guess what happens next!

 

The Inspiration Behind the Story by Helen Hipp

A Different Kind of Safari inside page

Inspired by real-life adventure, the story behind the story unfolded when I went on an African safari back in 2001. The trip was lead by my father whose dream was to share the safari experience with his family. Little did I know that this trip was going to incite me to write a children’s adventure book but it did.

The storyline made it appearance when my family spotted a pod of hippos and one was pink! My son Ray fourteen at the time immediately named her “Rosie”. Curious and wanting to learn more about this hippo we asked the guide many questions about hippos and hippo behavior. Specifically I wanted to know why the pink hippo stood so far outside of her pod. The familiarity of the guides answer took me by surprise, he explained that “Rosie” was tolerated but not necessarily accepted by the herd because of her differences. As a parent of a child with special needs I immediately felt a strong affiliation with Rosie’s situation as did my son Ray who has experienced his own challenges with acceptance. Inspired, I decided to share the story with the world by weaving them into a children’s adventure book that celebrates differences. The book is entitled “A Different Kind of Safari”. Find out what you can learn from Rosie the pink hippo, and how you can share those lessons with the children in your life.

 

Book Preview

 

The Buzz About the Book

“A timeless book, that will speak to everyone. To be enjoyed over and over again! A fun, yet very thought provoking story for all ages. If books had a satisfaction guarantee, this one would be on the top of the list. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Adden B. Chrystie, Amazon

“A Different Kind of Safari is truly a different kind of children’s book! The beautiful artwork bring a very special story to life and I am excited the book is now available in audio format for an added bonus while driving kids around town! I particularly love the message of the book, which teaches us to celebrate our unique differences through Rosie the Pink Hippo rather than allow them to keep us from exploring our potentials. I highly recommend this book to all parents and special needs educators in particular. Thank you for writing this wonderful story!” ~ 5 Star Review, missladyjane, Barnes and Noble

“I really enjoyed this book. The illustrations were beautiful. I found this book to be very interesting and it was written from real life experiences. A Different Kind of Safari draws you in along with Ray on his journey to find his happiness and the answers to his questions. I recommend this book to children that are of grade school age but yet many younger children may enjoy the illustrations.” ~ 5 Star Review, Whittle House, Goodreads

“The book has a great story. The illustrations are amazing!!!!! Get this book! All children from the young to the old will love this book. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Mel, Amazon

“A Different Kind of Safari is not only a good book, but a great story! It is not only for caregivers, teachers and parents, but for anyone who has ever felt out of place. A pink hippo named “Rosie” and her friend “Ray” take a journey and explore their similarities and differences on the river of life. Self- acceptance and the acceptance of others is exquisitely conveyed in a fresh, FUN way through this sweet tail. It is a prize for all libraries!” ~ 5 Star Review, Anna Wood, Barnes and Noble

 

Purchase

Amazon (Hardcover) | Audible (Audiobook) | Barnes and Noble

 

About the Author: Helen C. Hipp

Helen C. Hipp, AuthorHelen Hipp’s experience raising a special needs child led her to an M.A. in clinical psychology and certification as a life coach. She began her career as a psychotherapist to help people find answers for their life problems. Her work eventually evolved into a coaching practice, WithinU Life Coaching, focusing on individuals with special needs and their families. Helen uses her 13+ years of counseling experience and 20+ years’ experience as a successful advocate for individuals with special needs by helping them reveal their innate ability to solve difficult situations. Her debut book ” A Different Kind of Safari” puts into words the essence of Helen’s teachings addressing the many questions life asks by offering up lighthearted, ever-changing perspectives that transform personal challenges into opportunities.

For more information, visit the books official website and to see a picture of the real Rosie the real life pink hippo that inspired this story, go to www.adifferentkindofsafari.com

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Contest ends: August 6, 11:59 pm, 2014

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Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Helen Hipp and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Jul 082014
 

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Paperback: 252 pages
Publisher: Aqueous Books; 1ST edition (April 30, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0988383772
ISBN-13: 978-0988383777

Old friends uncomfortably reunited and lovers who cling to their distance from one another; disappearing fathers, fiercely loving grandfathers, and strangers who pass through and radically change lives…These are among the characters who populate the rugged Midwestern landscapes of the mesmerizing fiction world of Ron Parsons. In his debut collection, THE SENSE OF TOUCH (Aqueous Books; May 1, 2013), Parsons captures people of various ages in the act of searching for meaning and connection and themselves. Firmly set in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Michigan, the lush but often brutally cold heartland of America, the eight stories explore universal themes–loneliness, betrayal, transformation, hope–in fresh, sometimes fanciful, sometimes comical, sometimes jarring, and always moving and memorable ways.

In THE SENSE OF TOUCH, readers will meet:
* Naseem Sayem, the brilliant, troubled, and mystifying young man at the center of “Hezekiah Number Three.” A native of Bangladesh abruptly transplanted to the stark white suburbs of Rapid City at age nine, Naseem never fit in and eventually moved on to study physics at MIT–where, shortly before graduation and after shocking news of his father’s infidelity and abandonment, he apparently unraveled and vanished. Three months later, he reappeared out of the blue on his stepmom’s doorstep, holding a three-legged cat. Naseem’s long search for belonging reaches its apex in a hot air balloon floating over the Crazy Horse Monument.

* Waylon Baker, wheat farmer from birth, and Evie Lund, his wife of twenty-four years and counting, even though she had chosen to live far away–in the alien world of the Twin Cities–for eight years. The odd couple at the heart of “Beginning with Minneapolis,” Waylon and Evie can’t bear to live together or to divorce because they still love each other with a passion, reignited when they find themselves deep in the dirt, in a hole Waylon dug in his wheat field to serve as Evie’s grave.

* The nameless narrator of “The Sense of Touch,” a serious, young freshman at the University of Minnesota, fleeing yet still attached to his youth in Texas, haunted both by its predatory demons and its romantic dreams. His liberation comes through an alluring muse: his fiction-writing teacher. A ravishing, wild-haired, Memphis-born African-American graduate student, Vonda speaks directly to him when she makes her dramatic pronouncements. Like, “Our masks are not worn, people. They’re grown, day by day.” And “Never trust anything, not until you can touch it. With touch, you know you know.”

The old friends in “The Black Hills,” long separated by distance and tragedy, who unexpectedly compete for the affections of a lovely, vulnerable, and married Lakota woman…the young woman who, in the midst of a Halloween blizzard, stumbles into saving an elderly piano teacher’s life and faces hard facts about her own snow-bound relationships and emotions in “As Her Heart Is Navigated”…the exceptional grandfather in “Big Blue” and the playboy reformed by someone else’s grandson in “Moonlight Bowling”…and the professor of dead languages facing the mysteries of mortality in “Be Not Afraid of the Universe”… Through Ron Parsons, they all come to life, vividly and with emotional resonance, and work their way into the minds and hearts of readers.

Book Excerpt:
They were relaxing at the top of a waterfall, in a small, still pool where the mountain waters hit an upward slope of folded granite. It was sort of a rounded bathtub, carved out of the rock throughout the centuries by the rushing river, a river so hidden that it was without a name. Just below were the falls, about a 30-foot drop into another, much larger pool of clearest water that was gathered for a respite, a compromise in the river’s relentless schedule downward, between split-level decks of flat rock. Further on, the river reanimated and released into a sharp ravine, pulling westward, down through the rugged mountains and faceless forest–the Black Hills National Forest–gaining force until it joined with the rush of the Castle River, near the old Custer Trail, and was swallowed into the Deerfield Reservoir to collect and prepare for the touch of man.

 

Thoughts
I’ve always loved short story collections, and this book is one of the best I’ve read so far. Ron Parsons is a great story teller. There are eight stories, they are all different, and they all gave me a wide range of emotions. The stories are about friendship, being the outcast in school, loss, betrayal and love. I felt a lot of emotions while reading this book. Some stores are sad, some are funny and some left me wanting to know more.

This is the debut for this author, and I plan on reading anything else he publishes. I love his writing style and the way he makes you “feel” for the characters.

 

Purchase your copy: AMAZON

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

 

About The Author:
unnamedRON PARSONS is a writer living in Sioux Falls. Born in Michigan and raised in South Dakota, he was inspired to begin writing fiction in Minneapolis while attending the University of Minnesota. His short stories have appeared in many literary magazines and venues, including The Gettysburg Review, Indiana Review, Storyville App, The Briar Cliff Review, Flyway, and The Onion. His debut collection of stories, THE SENSE OF TOUCH, was released by Aqueous Books in 2013.

You can visit his website at http://ronparsonswriter.com/ or  http://www.aqueousbooks.com/author_pages/24_parsons.htm.

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Jul 072014
 

Trish @ Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity posted this fun meme as her Sunday Salon. I loved seeing what her answers to the letter “I” were and since she said she’d assigned letters to anyone who wanted to play, I decided to give it a try. She gave me the letter “P”, so here goes…

Favorite book with the letter P:
Most people who know me know that I love Stepehen King, so it’s not surprising that my favorite “P” book is by SK. I read Pet Sematary when it was published in ’83. It was a scary, scary, scary. So scary that I still remember it vividly after all these years.

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Favorite author with the Letter P:
Since I haven’t read many books by authors whose last name starts with “P”, this was easy. I think my choice would still have been this author if I had a bigger list to choose from. Tom Peroota writes books that hold your attention all the way through. Some of them have even been made into movies. One that’s on my tbr list is The Leftovers.

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Favorite song with the letter P:
I LOVE Proud Mary by Creedence Clearwater Revival

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Favorite film starting with the letter P:
Pulp Fiction!!! This was action packed and LOL funny! Love me some Johnny!

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Favorite object starting with the letter P:
My puppy Patches is my favorite P!!!
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Want to try this? Let me know in the comments, I’ll give you a letter

Jul 062014
 

 
ss   SundayPost
Family News…
We were going to go bike riding with our daughter Kilah, her husband Harley and his family but just as we were getting ready to pull out of the driveway it started thundering, so we decided to nix that :(  .  We did have a cookout at Harley’s parents with lots of yummy food, and then everyone went to Kilah & Harley’s to play games. We played two new games, Quelf which was hilarious!! It’s definitely going to be one we play a lot. We also played Catch Phrase which was lots of fun too, and it sure gave our brains a workout.

On The Blog Recently…
$100 Book Blast Giveaway: Mysteries of the Grand Canyon by Marie von Minden

A Moveable Feast: Life-Changing Food Encounters Around the World by Don George

$50 Amazon GC Book Blast: Destiny And Faith Go To Twincentric Academy by Teddy O’Malley

$25 Book Blast Giveaway: Starchild Book 1 & 2 by Vacen Taylor

Review & Giveaway: Lemonade Revealed by Will Chluho

Audiobook Review: Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

I’m Reading…
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Listening To…
What’s So Funny by Tim Conway

Watching…
Under The Dome, Big Brother, Rizzoli & Isles

Exercise…
Mostly walking & strength training

I’m Looking Forward To:
Going to see the movie Turbo with my daughter and 2 of my grandkids on Wednesday, and going to see Tammy with my daughter, her husband’s mom and aunt sometime in the next week or so. I love Melissa McCarthey, she’s hilarious.

In the kitchen…
BLT’s.  Yum!!

A favorite quote…
For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of HAPPINESS

 

I hope everyone has a great week!!