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Life, Books, Happiness & Random Nothings. Just Wonderful


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The Blue Baboon In The BIG Balloon by Sarah and Steven Mostyn *Children’s Book Review**

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I was so excited to read this with my 4-year-old daughter, who absolutely loved this children’s book about a blue baboon and his brothers adventure to the moon. Along the way they meet new characters that add to the adventure. To read the synopsis and add this to your Goodreads, click here.

My thoughts on The Blue Baboon In The BIG Ballon, this is a darling book that I am so glad to have in our collection. I love children’s book that are educational and super fun. This children’s book teaches children rhyming as you can tell from the title. I read this with my 4-year-old daughter she was laughing the entire book at this funny story. As we read this book my daughter picked up all the rhyming words stopping me to say, “that rhymes, ohhhhhh!” She was entertained by the story plus the pictures where wonderfully illustrated. However I think that towards the back of the book the pages were a little dark, that has nothing to do with the writing or quality of the story I just think the printing could be a little lighter in a few spots to see the characters better. Overall this is a really cute book.

If you are a mom teaching your little one to rhyme or want a fun bedtime story for your child. This is a book that I highly recommend. To purchase your copy Click Here

Rating 4.5 out of 5 Stars – A great addition to your children’s at-home library. As a home-educating family I am always looking for books that are fun and educational!

 


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Shadow Fire by Kimber Leigh Wheaton **Blog Tour and $50 GiftCard Giveaway**

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Ashlyn – a free-spirited teenager whose peaceful life is shattered when the village elders honor her with a perilous quest to recover a stolen relic.

Zane – a jaded mercenary, torn by his undeniable desire for Ashlyn and the dark secret that could make her hate him forever.

Delistaire – a malevolent sorcerer driven by an insatiable lust for power.

All three are bound together by an ancient relic supposedly infused with the power of a Goddess.

Shadow Fire – adventure, passion, secrets, and betrayal

As Ashlyn and Zane race to stay one step ahead of the evil lurking in the shadows, their passions are ignited and their bond strengthens. But will they find the relic before Delistaire? Or has their entire quest been orchestrated from the very beginning by a madman in pursuit of ultimate power?

Each installment of The Light Chronicles is a standalone story.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo * Smashwords

Praise for Shadow Fire

“This book contains monsters, magic, majestic creatures, and a evil guy that wants to destroy the world. If you love hot guys…..Zane is all that plus a few tricks up his sleeve. Just read it!” Venture ~Amazon Reviewer

“Adventure, magical creatures, fun characters, and romance make this book a perfect read for all ages.” James ~Amazon Reviewer

“I thought the writing was strong; it had me turning the pages quickly to see what would happen next. The characters were engaging and the dialogue well-written.” Lisa Temple ~ Goodreads

“Oh, I truly loved this one! Shadow Fire, by Kimber Leigh Wheaton, is a snappy, sassy, sweet, all-that-kind-of-awesome-and-then-some YA read. I couldn’t put it down.” ~Sasha Hibbs ~ Amazon Reviewer

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Excerpt

When we reach the deck, everyone stops to stare at me. Trying to ignore the blatant curiosity, I follow Hanna down the aft stairs to the brig. Zane and Taranis occupy cells across from each other. They’re both sitting on the floor glaring daggers at each other. Hanna hands the key to me and slips away. Inching closer, I’m careful to remain out of reach of the two prisoners. As soon as they see me, both men jump up and start talking over each other.

“Ashlyn! How are you feeling, Love?” Zane asks.

“Ashlyn, my fiery angel, you are a ray of sunshine in this dank prison!” Taranis says.

“I’m gonna let you both out, if, and only if, you promise to behave,” I threaten. Both men nod their agreement. “That means no fighting. It also means we never, and I mean never, speak of what happened last night.” When I get no argument, I free Zane first and then Taranis.

“Do you even know what happened last night?” Zane asks, taking me into his arms. I stand rigid in his embrace, not sure if I’m ready to forgive him quite yet.

“Only what Hanna told me,” I snap at him.

“I saved your virtue from this raving lunatic,” Taranis says, pointing at Zane.

“Then you decided to take it for yourself!” Zane yells back at him.

“Did you not hear me?” I shout. Pulling myself from Zane’s embrace, I back up and glare at both men. “No speaking of last night. Period. End of discussion.”

“Yes, Love,” Zane replies.

“Yes, virtuous virgin,” Taranis replies.

“Taranis!” I release a menacing growl, and wince when my right eye starts to tic. “Yes?” he asks, eyes full of mock innocence.

“Run,” Zane says.

Taranis listens to Zane’s advice and takes off up the stairs to the deck with me hot on his heels.

 

 

KimberAuthor Kimber Leigh Wheaton

Kimber Leigh Wheaton is a YA/NA author with a soft spot for sweet romance and is a member of Romance Writers of America.

She is married to her soul mate, has a teenage son, and shares her home with three dogs and four cats. No, she doesn’t live on a farm, she just loves animals. Her house is filled with dragons, though she does lament that they are the porcelain, non-flying variety.

Kimber Leigh is addicted to romance, videogames, superheroes, villains, and chocolate—not necessarily in that order. (If she has to choose, she’ll take a chocolate covered superhero!)

Her debut novel, Shadow Fire, is the first book in The Light Chronicles series. Watch for book two, Stolen Moon, a standalone sequel, coming soon.

 

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Blog

 

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Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 5/15/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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The Hanging Tree by Michael Phillip Cash

 

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The Hanging Tree is a novella, a quick read at 74 pages. Although it is a quick read it is a very interesting read. The Hanging Tree inter-twines lives of the past with lives from the present. Going back in and forth in time period to share each individual’s story however all the characters are linked together by a curse. If you would like to add this book to your goodreads and read the synopsis click here.

What I liked about this novella, my favorite was the writing. I would like to read more from this author. My husband has just recently read a different book from him and really liked it. Although I would not rate this novella a 5 star read. I really enjoyed author Cash’s writing style. I was interested in the story line, Cash’s keeps you going through the book. My favorite character is Goody Bennett she is a witch, well at least played out to be one in the 1600′s and the setting is perfect. Anyone that does anything un-orthodox back then must be a witch. LOL I like how her character is caring yet she tries not to show it. Her poor grand-daughter I feel for, the granddaughter is taken advantage of. Goody Bennett calls out the perpetrator in this event. I also feel for some of the other characters in this novella. Author Cash gives you just enough of the characters to have a feel for their life, what trials they were going through.

The Hanging Tree gives you mystery you never know what is going to happen until the end. It also gives you a bit of a lesson on the choices one makes in their life. I really enjoyed the read even though it was fast.

What I did not like about this novella, too quick of a read. Without spoiling it for you the ending bothered me. Really, was the curse so easily broken after hundreds of years. Seemed a bit mundane or simple to me. I think that author Cash could make this story a little longer without such a simple ending. Another BIG problem and I cannot get past this so I must write it, the character Arielle. Arielle is the character set in the present day (well 2013) she is alone by The Hanging Tree with her boyfriend. However the situation, however the “lead on” she gave her boyfriend. He basically attempts to force her to have sex, which in my book is rape. Yes, he does not go all the way, actually raping her. If it was not for things that happened. I found it so disturbing that after that scene (the attempted rape), Arielle hangs around. Then what really angered me is she apologized for “leading him on”! WHAT? That was a HUGE problem with me how that entire scene was written angered me. Attempted rape is not a light thing. Moving on…

Julia Stiles, as Kat, glare look gif

I did not enjoy the language in this novella, I thought the swearing just seemed forced in. I am not a prude with language but it was not needed in this novella. Let the writing take it, no need to lessen with swearing just thrown in. I personally stop a book if there is swearing in the first chapter, this was a novella and the swearing is not until the ending. I really like the story so I kept going. Also this is an adult novella not young adult. Even that said, I didn’t understand the need for it.

Rating 3.5 Stars out of 5 Stars - I really enjoyed the writing, author Cash pulls you in and gives a good story. Could it have gone in a better direction at the ending, YES. However I still found a lot of the characters/ characters stories that I liked!


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Do you have to know books to work in a BOOK STORE? BOOK SNOB 101

So as everyone knows I am a book snob,

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that is obvious as I have a book site where 99 percent of what I write about is books the other 1 percent, in some way book related because it is about my life. So in my town where I live there are 2 books stores and 1 library. YES we are small. However my complaint is this I went to a local used book store recently I was looking for a book for my son in a series. I have been in this book store once before to sell some books but never to buy any. I did not find the book I was looking for, I found others YES I am a book snob/junkee so leaving a book store  empty-handed is not going to happen. However what did happen!

Me: (Excuse me to the man working there) Do you have any books by Sylvia Plath?

Bookstore Worker: Who is that?

(me thinking ok let’s try another)

Me: Do you have any books by Jane Austen?

Bookstore Worker: I am not familiar with that author.

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(then my 10-year-old daughter asks him)

Daughter: How about Louisa May Alcott?

guess what! nope he did not know that author either so we gave up.

This is a used book store any bookie knows that you shop at a used book store not for the new books that you can pop on over and get online you shop to find the rare gem that you have been looking for! I thought this was an isolated incident. I was told by the bookstore worker to come back and ask when the owner was there. I can say that owner knows nothing about books in this store. It was frustrating how I had to explain what books Judith Riley  wrote however she knew about the Hunger Games, I didn’t dare ask her who wrote it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I understand you cannot know every author or book but know something. Even the history she tried to give me about C.S. Lewis was hilarious. So this is me being a BOOK SNOB!

Our library here is not much better ask for suggestions on books and they stare off into space like, you have a book growing out of the top of your head. Maybe they think I am crazy for bringing 5 children to the library in the first place. my children love the library and I am often asked how I get them to behave in there. My response they love to read so its easy. I am unsettled that my 11 year old knows more about books than the book store owners/workers/library in our area.

Should you  have knowledge of  books  to work at a bookstore, or own a book store? Or am I being a complete book snob? I would think that if one worked in a place as wonderful as a book store or library, that they would love everything. If they didn’t read or want to read why work there in the first place. In my honest opinion if you don’t have knowledge of books you have no business working in or owning anything that has to do with books! Respect the book…

 


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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath ** Review**

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Last month I read a book from one of my favorite authors Stephanie Hemphill, Your Own Sylvia:A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath. Reading this book made me want to read a book by Sylvia Plath. I’ve fallen in love with her poetry but never read any of her literature. So I started with The Bell Jar,  although a work of fiction this book is based on her own life experiences (semi-autobiographical ). If you would like to read the synopsis from goodreads or to get your own copy just click on the picture of the book in this post.

My Review of The Bell Jar in 3 parts (Beginning, Middle and End) No Spoilers

I know the life of Sylvia Plath so reading this book was a doorway into her thoughts and feelings. I have so many emotions after the last word on the last page of this book. The characters were written so dramatically I could relate to so many and that does not happen to me often. Esther Greenwood the main character in this book I started out just despising in so many ways. It was like Esther had this air about her that she thought she was better than everyone else. Esther in the beginning of the book, I thought treated others unkindly judging them on the spot also picking apart men or people who cared about her. I could relate to this as a kid, don’t kids or younger adults often act like this as though they own the world. I just in plain words “hated” Esther but maybe I did not like her because she was so much like me. I related to some of the other girls that Esther met while she was in New York as an Intern. Betsy was a girl that just wanted everyone to like her. I think as girls and women we have all struggled to want acceptance from others. I related to Esther’s “boyfriend” as he struggled for Esther’s affections.

The journey of Esther when she returns home from her internship in New York her mental state starts to break. That is where we get into the ‘touchy” subject mental illness. I find that mental illness today is just as touchy to talk about as it was in the year the book was placed in the 1950′s of course I hear others say it is not. But people must admit the minute that someone mentions something about mental illness in their own life, the crazy looks come out. I traveled with Esther on her journey. I loved how raw Sylvia wrote, so many times I was in the “I Know” moment. Sylvia writes with an authentic touch. Esther filled my mind at night even when I stopped reading. The subject of suicide is HUGE in this book as Esther longs for her life to end, but why? Maybe it is that not knowing why that makes her want it so bad. Sylvia wrote Esther so well you wanted to shout for someone to sit down and help her. Her mother’s character ripped me apart I could never relate to this woman as a mother. The mother acted as though Esther should just snap out of it, what mother cannot see the downward spiral of a daughter. I am close with my daughter so seeing the signs of depression would be easy for me. It’s also not as though Esther hid the fact she had something wrong! I never had a close relationship with my mother, but still could not understand the lack of concern that Esther’s mother had!

I found the lack of compassion from the mental health system so depressing in itself. Heck maybe the crazy doctors can make you just that more crazy. Esther speaks her frustration, I hear it and understand. I was wrapped in the book. Sylvia showed me a piece of myself in the words she wrote.

Towards the ending I was ready for more. I did not want this book to end. I was disappointed when I found my self at the last page. Although it was not the last page for me as I know the tragic fate of author Sylvia Plath. She is a beautiful writer, the sense of raw emotion that comes from the heart. As the story progressed I grew to love Esther the main character although I did not understand everything she did I felt her journey in my heart in my soul. I needed to read this book, Sylvia Plath has become one of my favorite authors as well as poets.

If you are going to read The Bell Jar I want you to know it touches on mental illness, suicide, self mutilation. This book is Sylvia’s work and although those subjects are hard for some, to read about them helps others! I will share a private thought with you, I am no stranger to suicide in my life. In one way or another it has been there, The Bell Jar is a book that will never leave me.

Rating 5 out of 5 Stars

 “If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

 

Side Note: I am looking for the book with the cover above to purchase if you know a site that I can get The Bell Jar with the cover above I would love to have it! As I check this one out from the library. Please just message me on the contact form. Thank you so much


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Children’s Books Galore **Tearful Reads**

In light of International Children’s Book Day on April 2nd I wanted to post some awesome children’s book reviews for our readers. These 2 are so dear to my heart! As both seem to speak to my family so I thought why not share them with you.

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My little 4 year old picked this up at the library I had no time to thumb through like I usually do we were on our way out. So I hurried and placed it on the counter for her to check out. Sometimes you pick a book and sometimes a book picks you. This one picked our family. I have never read a book written by Dolly Parton I do like her music but when I saw the writer I was in a oh no mode another singer or celebrity trying to write a book that is, what honestly went through my mind.

After I read this book to my children I was so glad I did. It’s about a little girl “Dolly” growing up without a lot of money but although she didn’t have money she was rich. Her mom made her a coat out of rags. Without spoiling it for you this is a heart-felt story that everyone needs to hear to be reminded what is love and why with love we are never poor. I loved this book! The illustrations are wonderful, colorful, keeping my children’s attention.

Why did this book speak to us, well we are a family on a budget a tight budget like a lot of Americans, the love I get everyday from my family is beautiful and never can be measured by material things. I love our simple life, my children are no strangers to hand me downs or handmade items because we cannot purchase the store-bought new items. But just as in the story the little girl knows that the love she is given is worth more!

Rating 5 out of 5 Stars-  I want to have this book on my shelf at home!

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A few months back we lost someone very dear in my children’s life. Their grandmother died after a battle with cancer, my children range in age but my 2 little ones only understood that grandma went to live with Heavenly Father. So I was so excited to read this book to my 2 little ones!

I Don’t See Heaven by Jennifer Adan takes you into a child’s mind. When Isabella lost her grandpa after he was sick she knew he was going to heaven but she thought she could visit. When her parents said they were going on a plane ride to grandma’s, Isabella thought they would see grandpa along the way.

I loved how my daughter just loved the pictures they were as if a child had thought up each scene down to the pictures on the walls of the family home to the apples and butterflies. My daughter just loved this book and understood that her grandma too was in heaven. She related to Isabella. Then Isabella was sad because she realized that they were not going to see her grandfather along the way (high up on the plane ride).  This book answered a question for my daughter about our situation.

This book picked our family at the moment we received it! If you have little ones this is a good book to read that explains life in a way that is gentle to a child, understanding  with harmony. The length of the book is just right for smaller children as well. Kept my daughter interested plus right after I was done she wanted me to read it again!!! Win, love that in a children’s book! My son also enjoyed this book, he knew that you could not visit heaven. So I recommend this book for younger children who do not understand.

Rating 5 out of 5 Stars – At first I thought the pictures were a bit different but I changed my mind when my daughter related so well to them! Beautiful

 


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Light Up in Blue in the Month of April! Starting April 2nd

National Autism Awareness Month 2014 Badge Web Ready

My son has Autism and I am proud, proud to be his mom! If you have never been around someone with autism there is no time like the present to educate yourself and your children. This is a very personal post for me because it is about one of my children and my children are everything to me. My children are the reason that I home educate, my children are the reason I love this life! Autism for us is not something we just read about we live it everyday. We moved after my husband graduated from college to this town were we currently live and it has been hard, I left a place where I had friends that were fellow homeschoolers that supported me in this journey. I can say that I am a firm believer that home educating moms need other moms that are in the same boat! After we moved I found I became the home educating mom that was alone. In my area only 2 other mothers I know home educate their children. Out of those 2 both have no understanding of autism which is ok but they also have a lot of family here and playing with “outsider” kids just wasn’t something they showed interest in. Yes of course I tried but so many times you can call but when the phone is not ringing your way you give up.

Needless to say, my children have been great and adapted well to living here and I think in time we shall find friends that educate themselves with autism. So far that is not the case, my son had a little problem at church with the noise and instead of being understanding I was faced with upset women that told me he was not wanted. I tried to explain I tried to educate but felt that was not taken well, I am hurting inside for my son who is often talked about like he is not their by others, although he is standing right in front of them. Ignorance is a hard thing for a parent with an autistic child to face.

I then hear from others really your son is autistic? I can’t tell. So funny because that same person I don’t think has ever even spoken to my child in the first place. So when has anyone really tried to get to know him? When someone finally did get to know all my children, all of a sudden something was wrong he had a great friend his own age then my son asked if he wanted to play cops and robbers, I guess this was un-cool. So every time we see this child walk past our house he makes fun of my son, throws rocks at our window, calls him names and taunts him. Even worse the mother just stopped talking to me because I let her know her son was being mean!

Above is hard for me to write and getting this off my chest feels so good. I believe that non of this would happen if more adults educated themselves on Autism and then talked to their children. Children need to be educated so the bullying stops. What I believe is even worse is the bullying by adults. Please educate yourself!

Do I miss my friendships I had YES YES I miss some dear friends of mine, I miss their children playing with my children, I miss the book club we used to have every summer with our children in each age group. I miss my friend Tara so much for she and I found our journey of home education so wonderful together. But most of all I miss that people that got to know my son, got to know me his mom and loved him for the beautiful person inside that he is, not a kid that is afraid, not a kid that is quirky but a kid that is beautiful. I know the day is coming when we will have that connection again.

I love my son and I am so lucky Heavenly Father picked me to be his mom!

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest and thank you for supporting Autism Awareness Month!

#autism  My question is more like...how MANY Autistics do you love!! http://Right-Direction.OrgHis voice, my heart. #autism  ❤Want to work from home? Go here NOW : http://www.workfromhometoday.pw

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