Sunday, August 30, 2015

Drake's Baptism Video

Drake's Testimonial:


Drake's Baptism: 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Drake's Baptism Video

My 8 year old son, Drake, is going to get Baptized this Sunday to declare his love for the Lord  publicly to his family, friends and church congregation. There are no words to describe the joy I feel knowing that the Lord has grabbed a hold of his heart and that Drake wants to make a proclamation declaring his allegiance and love to God.

There are so many people who have poured love, time and energy into my son that makes this day possible. It took a village to bring Proverbs 22:6 to life "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it," and I am eternally grateful to all those that touched my sons life. To those that showed him Christs love, forgiveness and redemptive qualities. To those that helped plant the seeds and those that helped sow them.

This is his baptism video that will be shown on Sunday right before he is baptized. I will add to this post after Sunday.

(Pre)Baptism Video

To be continued....

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Cowboy Firefighter for Christmas (Smokin’ Hot Cowboys #1

Warm up this Christmas with a sexy cowboy firefighter who knows how to ignite flames as well as put them out...

Trey Duvall is a rancher, proud as can be of his Wildcat Ranch. He's also the top volunteer firefighter of Wildcat Bluff, the town that pulls out all the stops for its Christmas festivities. Misty Reynolds pulls into town just in time to help Trey put out a suspicious fire, leading him to dub her his "Christmas angel". Unfortunately, Misty's past has left her with terrible memories of fire, and of Christmas time. As the two are unwittingly thrown together again and again, can Trey win Misty's trust -- and her heart? 

My Impressions: 

This is the first book I have read by author Kim Redford and I adored this book. It has spunk, romance, mystery, and intrigue all rolled up into one great package! The character development is amazing. You literally feel yourself walking through the story with Trey and Misty right from their first meeting all the way to the end. This book made me laugh, and long for a great cowboy at the same time. The passion between Trey and Misty is smoking. I love that Trey is a no holds bar type of guy. He is not your  typical alpha male. He has a soft, gentle, sensitive side and a deep love for his ranch and community as well. He also sees what he wants and chases after it without excuse's.
Misty is a spunky city girl that hates Christmas due to a family tragedy that she experienced. She also has a terrifying fear of fires. Despite this she faces her fears head on and jumps into action when life and property are on the line. 

This book has more to offer though than just romance and mystery though. It also is a book about the importance of coming together as a community for the greater good of all. It's about over coming adversity and facing your fears head on. 

I cannot wait to read more by this author personally. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Gaining By Losing

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (July 28, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310515246
People are leaving the church J.D. Greear pastors. Big givers. Key volunteers. Some of his best leaders and friends. And that’s exactly how he wants it to be.

When Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission, he revealed that the key for reaching the world with the gospel is found in sending, not gathering. Though many churches focus time and energy on attracting people and counting numbers, the real mission of the church isn’t how many people you can gather. It’s about training up disciples and then sending them out. The true measure of success for a church should be its sending capacity, not its seating capacity.

But there is a cost to this. To see ministry multiply, we must release the seeds God has placed in our hands. And to do that, we must ask ourselves whether we are concerned more with building our kingdom or God’s.

In Gaining By Losing, J.D. Greear unpacks ten plumb lines that you can use to reorient your church’s priorities around God’s mission to reach a lost world. The good news is that you don’t need to choose between gathering or sending. Effective churches can, and must, do both.

My Impressions:
I have read several books on  ecclesiolog, but few that actually discuss the heart of the matter as Greear does. The size of the church, although helpful, does not necessarily mean the church is being the hands and feet for Gods kingdom. Too many churches focus on numbers,and  finances and not equipping missionaries. Which we all are suppose to be. We are the called out, the separated, those set apart from the world to spread the word of God. Yet, too often we are silent, and so is the church. We all have our own gifts and talents that the Lord can use for mission work. Heck we see in time and again in the Bible how ill-equipped those called out by God felt, yet they went. In the same way our church should be teaching, preaching, and setting the example of being a church that sends. 

I am very thankful that my church practice this from the youngest to the eldest. We make sure opportunities are there for our Sunday school classes to mission to those who are hurting straight through the eldest members of our body. We are not a church that prepares people to sit in the pews each week, as if that is the end of their worth, but we equip them and give them avenues to put what they have learned into practice.  We mentor, walk along beside and when they feel they are ready, release them to train others. I have been lucky this is the only church I have attended and that we have this focus. It has made me step outside my comfort zone and rely on God to give me the words, wisdom, and safety net to speak boldly of his love, forgiveness and sacrifice. Greear does a marvelous job speaking on the importance and relevance of belonging to a church that sends and more importantly how to go about transforming your church into one that sends!

The second half of  this book really focuses on how to become a church that sends. The only thing I disliked about this was he uses what some would call a "mega-church", over 8,000 members, as the premise for how to make the transition from being a church that focuses on number to being a church that focuses on sending.  Our church has roughly 150-175 members so alot of what he calls easy and practical advise does not apply to smaller church's since they do not have the same resources a larger church has. Although a  church may want to focuses on sending, they still might run into the pitfalls of meeting basic financial or volunteer needs that other, larger churches would not.  

Overall this was a good read and had helpful advise to at least guide a church in the right direction to become a church that sends! I think it can be a valuable tool for leaders looking to fulfill the Great Commission and be encouraged by others who have made radical changes to get their church on this path.

About the Author:
J.D. Greear is pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. The Summit Church has been ranked by Outreach Magazine as one of the fastest-growing churches in the United States. J.D. has a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved and Gospel: Recovering the Power That Made Christianity Revolutionary. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his wife, Veronica, and their four children.

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book from the author via Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Overcoming Anxiety: Self-Help Anxiety Relief

About the Book:

Title: Overcoming Anxiety
Author: David Berndt, Ph.D.
Publisher: David Berndt, Ph.D.
Pages: 110
Genre: Nonfiction/Self-Help
Format: Kindle
The good news is that anxiety can be overcome without relying on medication. Psychologist David Berndt, Ph.D., in Overcoming Anxiety outlines several self-help methods for management of anxiety and worry. In clear simple language and a conversational style, Dr. Berndt shares with the reader powerful step by step proven techniques for anxiety management. 

You will learn:

·         A Self-hypnosis grounding technique in the Ericksonian tradition.
·         Box Breathing, Seven Eleven and similar breathing techniques for anxiety relief.
·         How to stop or interrupt toxic thoughts that keep you locked in anxiety.
·         How to harness and utilize your worries, so they work for you.
·         Relief from anxiety through desensitization and exposure therapy.
The book was designed to be used alone as self-help or in conjunction with professional treatment Dr. Berndt draws upon his experience as a clinician and academic researcher to give accessible help to the reader who wants to understand and manage their anxiety.

My Impressions:
As a social worker in training, I find it very valuable to know what's resources are available to my clients and how useful other techniques have proven to be. Although I personally do not suffer from anxiety,  I come from a long line of female relatives that do suffer from anxiety related issues. Because of my job and siblings, I like to stay apprised of new information available for treating a variety of issues, including anxiety.

I am also a huge supporter of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). CBT basically states that our thoughts cause our feelings, our feelings lead to our behaviors/actions, not the external things we blame-shift to. So to change a unwanted behavior, such as anxiety, stress or depression, the client learns to think differently, so they can act differently. 

The 54321 relaxation technique has been around for a while and can be very helpful to help re-center yourself and relax.  The basics of the technique goes something like this:
  • Begin by trying to find a comfortable stance. It is recommend that you keep your eyes open for this specific technique, but not an absolute.
  • Then name aloud or silent if you prefer (although I have heard clients say that repeating them aloud  has been more helpful) 5 sights, sounds, and physical sensations you are aware of. 
  • After you have named 5, then move onto  4 sights, sounds, and physical sensations. If you lose count, simply begin again where you think you were... then 3 things, then 2 things... continue counting down and naming until you reach 1 of each category.
  •  When you finally get to 1, you can repeat the exercise again if your anxiety is still present, or you can finish by taking 5 deep, relaxing breathes.
 I appreciated how simplified and easy this book was to understand. It was organized in an easy to follow format. The author discusses several notable individuals: Albert Ellis, Dr. Aaron Beck, Walter Cannon, David Burns, and Martin Seligman and their theories and techniques. 
This is a great resource  for those seeking a self-help book that goes into great detail breaking things down for you in an easy to understand format.

For More Information

  • Overcoming Anxiety is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:
In its simplest form this 54321 skill can be quite helpful, but by changing the technique and making it yours, you will more confidently rely on it for managing severe anxiety and for relief during other peak moments of stress. Combined with other tools in the later chapters, you will get more apt at developing an emotionally intelligent skill set, from which you can pick and choose your best option for handling an emotional problem.  
How and When the 54321 Technique Works

Before we start, I want to explain a bit about how the method works.  This technique is a good way to learn to harness most emotions, like anxiety, anger, panic or fear, when they become unmanageable.  Once mastered, the skill has the potential to work well and simply when these emotions are creating havoc in your life. 

This method will not completely rid you of your anxiety or fear, and it does not – and should not- entirely stop all worrying and fretting. It cannot solve all of your emotional problems.  What it can do is shrink your troubling and often overwhelming feelings, so they can become smaller, more manageable, and less compelling.

About the Author
David J. Berndt, Ph.D. was an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago where he published or presented over 80 papers and articles before establishing a private practice. Dr. Berndt currently lives in Charleston, S.C. where he also teaches in an adjunct capacity at the College of Charleston. He is best known for his psychological tests The Multiscore Depression Inventory, and the Multiscore Depression Inventory for Children, both from Western Psychological Services.His latest book is the nonfiction self-help, Overcoming Anxiety.

For More Information

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

If the Shoe Fits A Contemporary Fairy Tale

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: River North; New Edition edition (June 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802406289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802406286

Julianne used to believe in fairy tales; she's been watching for Prince Charming to come charging in on his white steed ever since the day her mother read her Cinderella for the first time. But she's never come close to finding the perfect man-instead she's always tripping over her childhood best friend, Will. And who finds their Prince Charming on a 10-speed bicycle on the other side of the cul de sac? Well... Julianne does. Only she doesn't have a clue.

She and Will are attorneys now, and they've joined up in private practice in a beautiful Cincinnati office building that overlooks the Ohio River. And then one day Julianne is on her way to court, and runs right smack dab into Prince Charming. But when she looks again, all she finds is a metaphoric sign she is certain came straight from Heaven: The Prince's toolbox has fallen off the back of his truck, and a work boot along with it. What better way for God to grab the attention of a Cinderella-in-training than to show her a glass slipper...errrr, work boot?...waiting to be reunited with its owner?

So she sets out to track down the mysterious Prince Charming. He's the most gorgeous guy she's ever seen...and a caring animal rescuer, too. Surely he must be the soul mate God has prepared her for.

But, Julianne's prince is starting to look less and less charming all the time. No matter how she tries to romanticize him, he just keeps tumbling down off that dumb pedestal. And with the Bar Association dinner coming up that will honor her for her outstanding charity work over the year, Julianne wants so much for her friends and colleagues to see her with someone besides her best friend Will. To make matters worse, Prince Charming has no designs on wearing a penguin suit and attending a stuffy old dinner. With her pride pressing in on her like sticks from a cactus, Julianne sinks to the bottom of the proverbial barrel and actually offers to pay Paul to be her date.
Julianne is on a collision course with God's perfect plan for her life...if only she could open her eyes and see it before it's too late.

My Impressions:
This was a hysterically funny book. One that girls around the world can relate to. We sometimes miss what is right in front of us, while we chase after what is obviously meant to be, at least in our minds!  I could relate so easily to Julianne's issue. Family and friends mean well, but sometime are the driving fore behind our insanity and irrational actions. Julianne has a deep desire to be seen as someone that can snag a guy that stands up to everyone's ideal man, including her own. In doing so though she overlooks what God intended for her life. She builds on fantasy, instead of being grounded in reality. She conjures up these fitfully funny ideas in her head about her Prince Charming that you cannot help but laugh, roll your eyes and relate to it all at the same time.

Sandra writes with such deep character development that you instantly become attached to all members. She breathes life into them. The whole time I am reading, I feel like I was transported into the pages as a shocked on-watcher knowing tragedy is about to strike but to consumed to move. I was seriously afraid of the guy next door/BFF love story, but this works. Sandra writes in such a way that although its cliche', it does not feel it. As the story unfolds you find yourself yelling at Julianne for not seeing what is right in front of her and continuing to chase after boot man. This is the first book I have read by Sandra, but if this is what I can expect from her, it will not be my last. I feel a trip to the bookstore is in my future.


Raised as a Cincinnati Kid, Sandie Bricker spent her formative years dreaming about the movies and television shows she would someday write. It came as no surprise to anyone when she packed up her Ford Fiesta and migrated to Los Angeles to study screenwriting.

"But life is what happens while we're busy making other plans," she jokes. While searching for a way to earn a living and pay her tuition, Sandie says she "stumled into" her own business working as a personal assistant and publicist to some of daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill on the other side of the country, however, Sandie put soap opera clients, film dreams--and Los Angeles--in her rearview mirror to take on a new role: Caregiver.

In the summer of 2014, Sandie entered into a conversation with Eddie Jones, founder of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, about creating and operating a new imprint for LPC. In August of the same year, BLING! was announced to the world with Sandie named as the Managing Editor for the line. "BLING! is a contemporary imprint of romantic fiction," she says, "but with a little something extra. We're now accepting submissions from novice and established writers alike, and I'm really eager to put my storytelling passion to work in bringing new and different stories to readers looking for a PG-rated source of contemporary content."
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book via MP Newsroom in exchange for my honest review. 

Monday, August 17, 2015


by D.L. Lewis



Kitten, an American tabby residing in England, is a frustrated cat. He knows his place in the world: he was born to kill. Killing, after all, is what felines are supposed to do. Confined within his Lady's house, however, the young fellow is deprived of the opportunity to hunt live prey. The mansion is a sterile playground for a predator; offering nothing more than furniture which allows itself to be brutalized far too easily. The ambitious cat is bored and hungry for a challenge.

Kitten learns of a passage hidden in his Lady's library: the Door, which leads to an unknown world. The cat has been told that the source of all evil dwells openly in this place. The feline is eager to fight the sinister personage and goes through the Door with no hesitation.

The tabby finds himself in what appears to be a forest like any other in England. It doesn't take long for him to learn that this is a very different place.

Written in the basic style of classic stories like THE LORD OF THE RINGS, WATERSHIP DOWN, and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, this novel can be appreciated on different levels. To some readers, it's an allegorical tale: thought-provoking and filled with symbolism. To others, it's an adventure-filled page-turner.


D.L. Lewis is awarding one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter a $10 Amazon/BN GC.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The little silver tiger tabby had everything, it seemed. The fortunate fellow had been blessed with a fabulous home in the country northeast of London; this grand mansion provided by his Lady, with over a hundred fascinating rooms to explore, and countless flights of stairs for dashing up and racing down. Along with the palatial digs came the exquisite sustenance the cooking staff lavished on the feline with loving care. Surely few cats were lucky enough to dine on food fit for royalty; delicacies such as sweet fresh salmon flown in via helicopter from a remote Scottish loch and poached into pink perfection by the household’s Swiss chef. This entrée was customarily followed by an antique plate of Sèvres porcelain bearing hunks of blue-veined Stilton. As Kitten licked the creamy cheese from his French dish’s illustrated surface, he could enjoy a painted scene depicting Hercules in  the act of capturing Cerberus; the vicious three-headed canine of Greek myth. Snatched from his guard post at the entrance to the underworld, the hideous dog snarled and struggled in enameled vain under the sandpaper friction of the tabby’s rosy tongue.

Such an existence was the most pleasant and thoroughly civilized one a house cat could hope for; that much was certain. This particular house cat, however, spent a great deal of time at the mansion’s windows; his glowing amber eyes staring with relentless longing at the wildlife that moved about through his Lady’s forested garden. Yes; the wildlife: the Wild Life.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:
D. L. Lewis lives in northern California with a cello, four cats, and a crow named Harold. Where Wolves Talk is her first published novel; followed by Something in the House—California Gothic, Doppelgänger, and Fighting Back.

Where Wolves Talk is on sale at 99 cents (for a limited time) at Kindle and iBooks.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Meet Me in Abeline: A Cupid's Bow Short Story

  • File Size: 3818 KB
  • Print Length: 20 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Partridge & Pear Press (July 1, 2015)
  • Publication Date: July 1, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

James Morgan never really believed in love. That is, until he laid eyes on Deborah Walker at the local soda fountain. He surprises himself by inviting her out for an impromptu night on the town, and she shocks him even more by agreeing. As the night progresses, the two share their past histories and secret dreams, and James realizes that she is the perfect woman for him. The only problem is that he ships off to Korea the next morning. Fulfilling his duty is non-negotiable to James, even if fighting for his country will ultimately break both of their hearts.

Deborah promises to wait for him, but two years is a long time to put her life on hold, especially for a man she only knew for one day. When Rip Rockwell returns from the war and James does not, Rip proposes marriage to Deborah. She agrees and they build a beautiful life together until his death fifty years later. Through it all, though, she can never quite forget her first love. She retires to Abeline, expecting to live out the rest of her days in peace. So imagine her surprise when James Morgan moves in next door…

Is it ever too late to give love a second chance? James and Deborah are about to find out.

My Impressions: 

First off, I love the vintage look of the cover that captures the era and backdrop for this wonderful story.  The author's name in the license plate was a great touch.  For a sort story this book packed a powerful punch. It was a quick read of an amazing love story between Deborah and James.  It's one of those stories you hope to live. James and Deborah meet and fall in love right before he heads off the Korean war. Shortly after he is MIA and never heard from again. That is until one fateful day years later when chance brings them back together.

I have to say the author does a brilliant job of sinking her hooks into her readers to have us itching to read the first book in t her Cupid's Bow series. I for one can not wait.

About the Author: 

Melissa Storm is a mother first, and everything else second. She used to write under a pseudonym, but finally had the confidence to come out as herself to the world. Her fiction is highly personal and often based on true stories. Writing is Melissa's way of showing her daughter just how beautiful life can be, when you pay attention to the everyday wonders that surround us.

Melissa loves books so much, she married fellow author Falcon Storm. Between the two of them, there are always plenty of imaginative, awe-inspiring stories to share. Melissa and Falcon also run the business Novel Publicity together, where she works as publisher, marketer, editor, and all-around business mogul. When she's not reading, writing, or child-rearing, Melissa spends time relaxing at home in the company of her three dogs and five parrots. She never misses an episode of The Bachelor or her nightly lavender-infused soak in the tub. Ahh, the simple luxuries that make life worth living.

Learn more at 

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book from the author via Storm Super Reader in exchange for my honest review and opinion, which I have given.

The Remingtons: A Texas Kind of Love

  • File Size: 551 KB
  • Print Length: 86 pages
  • Publisher: Kindle Worlds (May 21, 2015)
  • Publication Date: May 21, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

Louise Stark left her small Texas home town during high school and vowed never to look back. Unfortunately, she has no choice when she is called in to settle the estate of a great aunt she hardly knew. With her best friend Siena Remington in tow, she reluctantly takes a trip across the country and back into her past—planning to return to her fast-paced Manhattan life as quickly as possible.

Brady Williams leads a life filled with adventure, danger, and fame as the star bronco rider in a traveling rodeo. Proud of his reputation as the sexiest bad boy in Texas, he knows he can have any woman he wants. So why can’t he get his mind off straight-laced Louise, the girl he shared his first kiss with back in elementary school? And, more importantly, how can he convince her to stay in Jefferson long enough to give him a chance?

Louise and Brady are about to find out that no amount of distance can stand in the way of two hearts that fit perfectly together. So saddle up and get ready to fall in love with this sweet Western romance inspired by Melissa Foster’s Remington series.

My Impressions: 

First off let me say that I love this cover. It's warm, romantic, inviting and sexy all rolled into one. I hate to admit this, but if I hate the cover of a book it leaves this distaste in my mouth before I even open up the book and read the first page. So props to the illustrator for making an amazing book cover that captures the essence of this beautiful story. 

Nothing beats a great cowboy book. I personally enjoys books with strong male characters that know what they want and are not afraid to do what they need to to get the girl and results they want. That was Brady all the way. He's strong, confident, loyal and not afraid to put himself out there for the sake of love. Which brings us to Louise, who is a Texas native, gone big New Yorker, only to find herself back in the heart of Texas once again. I enjoyed the back and forth between these two characters and not really knowing which way the author is going to take you till the end. It was also refreshing to read a book that was romantic,with the focus on building emotional bonds and not sexually based bonds. I cannot wait to read more by this amazing up and comer.

About the Author:
Melissa Storm is a mother first, and everything else second. She used to write under a pseudonym, but finally had the confidence to come out as herself to the world. Her fiction is highly personal and often based on true stories. Writing is Melissa's way of showing her daughter just how beautiful life can be, when you pay attention to the everyday wonders that surround us.

Melissa loves books so much, she married fellow author Falcon Storm. Between the two of them, there are always plenty of imaginative, awe-inspiring stories to share. Melissa and Falcon also run the business Novel Publicity together, where she works as publisher, marketer, editor, and all-around business mogul. When she's not reading, writing, or child-rearing, Melissa spends time relaxing at home in the company of her three dogs and five parrots. She never misses an episode of The Bachelor or her nightly lavender-infused soak in the tub. Ahh, the simple luxuries that make life worth living.

Learn more at 

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book from the author via Storm Super Reader in exchange for my honest review and opinion, which I have given. 

Sammy Steals the Show: A Bird Brain Book (Book#10)

About the Book

Title: Sammy Steals the Show (a Bird Brain Book, #10) | Author: Emlyn Chand | Illustrator: Noelle Giffin | Publication Date: May 28, 2014 | Publisher: Evolved Publishing | Pages: 56 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 8
Sammy is a talented young cockatiel who loves to sing out of his open apartment window for all of Australia to hear. One day, he watches a reality singing competition with his human friend, Lisa, and knows that if he could just audition, he would surely win.

What follows is a masterful escape, an eventful journey to the Sydney Opera House, and an audition the crew of "Sing Your Heart Out" will never forget. Will Sammy take home the title of Australia’s next rising star, or will he find something more important along the way?

There’s only one way to find out: join Sammy in his humorous adventure of fame, friendship, and fun.

My Impressions: 
This is the first book that I have read by author Emlyn Chand and I am glad that I stepped out to pick up a new author. Her writing style has this easy flow that invites you into her story.  The only negative thing I can say about this book is from the illustrations.  Although they are beautifully done, they lack  of bright colors that I have come to adore in children's books. Outside of that, I enjoyed reading Sammy Steals the Show by Emlyn Chand.

I think the story and the message the book delivers is fantastic. Cocktails and children alike, need to learn to think and weigh out consequences before they act. I really enjoyed the focus being on the character of Sammy and his friends. Being a  bird or person that is selfless, strong, loyal,and kind,  rubs off on those around you. Selecting friends that have your same character is vitally important.

I think this would make a great book to read with your children so you can discuss the different character traits you run across as you read and how they are being applied not only in the book, but the lives of our children.

Discover the Full Bird Brain Books Series

  • Honey the Hero
  • Davey the Detective
  • Poppy the Proud
  • Tommy Goes Trick-or-Treating
  • Courtney Saves Christmas
  • Vicky Finds a Valentine
  • Izzy the Inventor
  • Ricky the Runt
  • Larry the Lonely
  • Sammy Steals the Show
  • Polly Wants to be a Pirate

About the Author: Emlyn Chand was born with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Novel Publicity's mascot is a sun conure, thanks to her obsession with birds-and she gets to decide anyway since she is the company's founder and president. Her first novel, Farsighted, won the prestigious Writer's Digest Self-Published Novel of the Year award in 2012 for the YA category. She now writes most of her fiction under her real name, Melissa Storm. Learn more or connect with her (or her Sun Conure, Ducky!) on either of her author websites: or or via Tsu, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book from the author via Storm Super Reader Program in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Angels,Angels, Everywhere

Title: Angels, Angels, Everywhere
Author: Michelle Beber
Publisher: Balboa Press (Hay House)
Pages: 30
Genre: Juvenile Fiction/Children’s Picture Book
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Nook 

 Angels have one job …
To love and care for all of us on Earth, especially children.
Angels are always here for us.
All we need to do is ask them for help.
Angels want us to be happy and to know we are loved
Angels, Angels, Everywhere is a non-denominational, multiracial book written in delightful rhythm and rhyme and accompanied by charming illustrations.  The themes of constant support and unconditional love are designed to help children deal with everyday experiences in life.
By developing children’s faith in knowing that they are not alone and building their trust that they are consistently watched over, cared for, and loved, children will become empowered to deal with life’s challenges.  The book also lets children know that angels are there in good times as well, sharing in their joy.
My Impressions: 

This was a beautiful story that reminded us that we are cared for and though of by our maker and savior. The book is filled with wonderful illustrations that capture the heart of the story and draw the readers attention. I really enjoyed the message throughout the story; angels are there for us when we call on them and need them, even when we cannot see it.

This is  a short, with easy to read rhyming book. The words are simple enough that are great for helping a young child build up their vocabulary and love of the Lord at the same time.

I received a copy of this book from the author via Pump Up Your Books in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author:
Michelle Beber has certifications as an Angel Intuitive and Angel Oracle Card Reader from renowned “angel lady,” Doreen Virtue, as well as certifications as a Spiritual Teacher and Archangel Life Coach from Doreen’s son, Charles Virtue.
In 2008, Michelle’s life changed when she attended a spiritual retreat and learned about angels and how they communicate through repetitive number sequences known as “angel numbers.” Little did she know that this insight would lead her on an amazing spiritual journey that would directly connect her with angels and result in the discovery of her life purpose.
Always grateful for the spiritual guidance she has received, Michelle looks forward to sharing the knowledge she has gained to inspire others, especially children. Michelle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Ark


About the Book:
Title: The Ark
Author: Laura Liddell Nolen
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 239
Genre: YA Scifi
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Nook
There’s a meteor headed for Earth, and there is only one way to survive.
It’s the final days of earth, and sixteen-year-old Char is right where she belongs: in prison. With her criminal record, she doesn’t qualify for a place on an Ark, one of the five massive bioships designed to protect earth’s survivors during the meteor strike that looks set to destroy the planet. Only a select few will be saved – like her mom, dad, and brother – all of whom have long since turned their backs on Char.
If she ever wants to redeem herself, Char must use all the tricks of the trade to swindle her way into outer space, where she hopes to reunite with her family, regardless of whether they actually ever want to see her again, or not . . .

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 My Impressions: 

OH My Gosh!! This book was amazing! One I picked it up I did not want to put it down. I can see this story playing out in real life  one day in the future. The story packed a great punch with characters that you can relate to, bond with and feel for with conviction. Char has had a rough life, part thrust upon her and part due to choices she made and those consequences. I honestly cannot wait for the next book already and wish the author would write a little faster (hint, hint). 

Book Excerpt:
On the last day of Earth, I couldn’t find my hairbrush. That probably seems like a silly thing to worry about, what with the imminent destruction of, well, everything, but my mom was always after me about my usual ratty ponytail. Normally, I’d ignore her. Or, if I were having a really bad day, I’d tell her what she could do with her hairbrush. But like I said, it was the last day of Earth. And I figured, since it was the last time she’d ever see me, I wanted it to go smoothly. I wanted her to remember me, if not fondly, then at least without anger.
A girl can dream.
I slipped out of my cell as soon as the door swung open. I’d done the same every day for the past month, and my family had yet to show up. Their OPT—Off-Planet Transport—took off in eighteen hours, so they still had time. Barely. I couldn’t blame them if they didn’t come. It wasn’t hard to imagine that they’d rather escape to the stars without so much as a backward glance at me, their big disappointment. Even my father’s influence couldn’t persuade the government to give me a spot on an OPT.
Turns out, when humankind is deciding which of its children to save, the last place it looks is in prison.
But I was pretty sure they’d come. West had said as much in his last transmission. The thought of my younger brother actually halted me mid-step, like one of those punches in the gut where you can’t breathe for a few seconds.
“Looking for something?” The lazy drawl floated out of the nearest cell.
Against my better instincts, I turned to see Cassa lying on her bunk, her arm draped across Kip. My Kip. Or at least, my ex-Kip. Whatever. In twenty-two hours, I wouldn’t have to think about him anymore.
See? Silver lining. And they called me a perpetual pessimist at my last psych workup.
They barely fit next to each other on the flimsy mattress, but that wasn’t the weird part. The guys’ ward was separated by a substantial metal wall. We were kept apart during evening hours, for obvious reasons. Not that anyone cared anymore. The med staff had been the first to go, followed by the cleaning crew, followed by the kitchen crew. To show you where girls like me fell on the government’s list of priorities, there was still a skeleton crew of guards lurking around, despite the fact that I hadn’t had a real meal for going on a week. The guards would be gone soon, too, and then there’d be no one in here but us chickens.
I figured either Kip had a key, or the guards had left already. A key could be useful. My curiosity got the best of me. “How’d he get in here before the first bell?”
He cocked an eyebrow. “I got some tricks you ain’t seen, babe. Why don’t you join us? End of the world and all.”
The guards were gone, then. I felt a small trill of anxiety deep in my chest. If the guards were gone, my family was even less likely to show. But it was never smart to show fear. “The Pinball could be headed straight for this building, and I still wouldn’t be desperate enough to touch you. Oh, wait. Guess you don’t have to take my word for it.”
I turned to leave, but he continued. “Now is that any way to treat your dear ole partners? Be nice or I won’t give you back your stuff.”
“Ugh, you were in my room?” I flexed my shoulder blades, making sure my gun was still tightly secured between them.
“Don’t worry, Char. I didn’t handle the merchandise. Didn’t want to wake you up. Just lifted me a few keepsakes.” He pronounced my name the way I like: Char, as in charred. Something that got burned.
I wasn’t sure what Kip and Cassa were planning, but I knew I wouldn’t like it. They were thieves and liars. I would know. I used to be one of them. That was before the last job, when Cassa had attacked an elderly man in the home we were robbing. She’d kicked him until he stopped fighting back. Kip had called her off after a few licks, but I just stood there, staring. The old man looked at me, like right at me, while we made our getaway, and my stomach twisted into a knot so tight that I tasted bile. That was the moment I knew I wanted out.
But by then, no one believed me. Or, if they did, no one cared. Except for Kip and Cassa, of course. They’d taken the news pretty hard, to put it lightly.
If I lunged for the box, I could probably grab my hairbrush and get out of there. I wouldn’t have time for more than that. Then again, I’d be doing exactly what they expected, and I didn’t have time for delays. My family could be in the commissary any second now.
“Ahem. Seeing as it’s your last day of life, I might let you have one thing back,” said Kip.
“In exchange for what?”
“I’m hurt. All our time together, and you still don’t believe in my inherent generosity. But now that you mention it, I’ve got a hankering for some peanut butter crackers.”
“Sorry, Kip. I’m fresh out of food. Kinda like everyone else.”
“Nice try, Charrr.” He drew my name out, as though tasting it. “I saw them yesterday. Figured you were hiding them under your pillow when I couldn’t find them last night.”
“You figured wrong.”
All I could think about was my brother’s face. And how I had this one last chance to apologize to my parents, for everything. I shrugged and turned to leave.

About the Author

Laura Liddell Nolen grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where she spent lots of time playing make-believe with her two younger brothers. They supplemented their own stories with a steady diet of space- and superhero-themed movies, books, and television. The daughter of a comic book collector, she learned how to handle old comics at an early age, a skill she’s inordinately proud of to this day.

Laura began work on her first novel, The Ark, in 2012, following the birth of her daughter Ava, a tiny rebel and a sweetheart on whom the novel’s main character is loosely based. Completion of The Ark was made possible in part due to an SCBWI Work-in-Progress Award.

Laura loves coffee, dogs, and making lists. She has a degree in French and a license to practice law, but both are frozen in carbonite at present. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two young children, and their dog Miley, who is a very good girl.
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