There could not be a better time for me to be reading this book. Six years ago our first child was diagnosed with special needs, a year later her brotThere could not be a better time for me to be reading this book. Six years ago our first child was diagnosed with special needs, a year later her brother was diagnosed with Asperger's, and this year our youngest child was diagnosed with autism. As a mother with experience in sensory processing, mood disorders, speech delays and ADD... I applaud both of the authors! They know what they are talking about. Their words are heart felt and well researched; their methods have been tried in the home and in the classroom.
(dis)Abilities and the Gospel is a must read for leaders, teachers and parents. Our experience would have been much different had this book been around years ago as our children had their first experiences outside the home and in the classroom. (dis)Abilities and the Gospel insightfully weaves every day techniques such as chunking, PEC's and rewarding positive behaviors into a language all can understand and apply. It will quite frankly be a life saver for each person who picks it up looking for answers.
About the Authors: I had the pleasure of meeting both Danyelle and Lynn at the Storymakers conference a couple of months ago. They each took time out on more than one occasion to help me through some of my own questions about individualized education plans and resources in my state. I can guarantee that 20 minutes spent with Danyelle if you win the giveaway would be well worth it! Fire and Ice gives five stars and a huge thank you to the authors for writing such an inspired book.
This one's a page turner! I picked up Double Deceit on vacation and couldn't put it down until I found out how it all ended. You hear stories all the time about creepy stalker situations, but to become immersed in one as a reader was so fascinating.
Elaina has lost everything she loves in life except one younger sister. As a 19 year old she eloped and left home never to return. Then in a tragic turn of events, she loses her husband and infant daughter in a car accident. Alone and jobless, Elaina decides to return to her hometown to look for a fresh start. Her childhood home should be a welcoming place to heal and become a new person, but soon after her arrival things turn scary. She receives weird letters as well as phone calls warning her she needs to be alone. Elaina has isolated herself in the past and trusted no one. So opening up to her best friend Peter and a new man in town Ryan, to tell them what is unfolding proves difficult. Meanwhile things are heating up fast between her younger sister and her new boyfriend Chad giving Elaina bad flashbacks of her own mistakes.
Can Elaina, her sister and the two men get to the bottom of the mystery behind her strange follower before time runs out and they are all in danger?
I loved that the two main characters of Double Deceit meet and work at a book store.
Main love interest Ryan! He is the perfect gentleman and so supportive despite the fact that Elaina's world is falling apart around her. With mysterious prank calls, hearing voices and disappearing evidence he could have easily chalked her up as crazy.
That Elaina comes into who she is as a person and uses therapy and a journal as well as a support system to help her grieve and change. So often in life and literature counseling is not discussed as an open and valuable tool.
I had a hard time with the last three chapters...talk about intense!
With suspension of disbelief about who her stalker was. I can't give anything away but you'll be kept guessing.
Content: domestic violence, kidnapping, no swearing or sexual content. Recommended for readers 17 and up.
In a sentence: Double Deceit was a well crafted suspenseful romance that will keep you on the edge of your seat and checking your locks.
You might also like: Rebound by Heather Justesen, Meg's Melody by Kaylee Baldwin or Chocolate Roses by Joan Sowards....more
Watched is one part suspense, one part action and lots of building first time romance. Main protagonist Christy has never really considered herself a part of the "in " crowd at school. Back home she's young for her grade, overly intellectual and socially awkward. But on a summer trip to Washington DC as part of a scholarship for future politicians her life makes an unexpected U-turn. Witnesses to a violent crime she and her group are forced to stick together when they find they are being followed and their lives are in danger. There is a feeling of danger lurking at every corner for Christy. She's also bombarded with the new and conflicting emotions of being noticed by two guys at the same time...Alex, the cute popular rich boy she's been eyeing since day one, and Rick who is everything she could ever hope for with both manners and honesty. Sometimes it's hard to choose, and Christy needs to decide what she stands for.
It felt like there was a lot of self-doubt wrapped up in Christy's mind. In the wake of all that's going on, she doesn't always make the smartest moves. I would have liked the author to explore resolving conflict and taking personal responsibility instead of running away. The only other glitch I struggled with was that the book ending was abrupt-completely open ended, mid scene. I am very curious to see how book two takes shape and I will be picking it up! My recommendation would be a little more editing to smooth out the rough edges. Overall, I enjoyed Watched enough that I stayed up all night to finish it and I'm very glad Cindy asked Fire and Ice to be a part of her blog tour. She's done a great job getting her book out there.
Content: Recommended for older teen readers due to very graphic and traumatic violence, decisions which involve teen drinking, making out and one reference to the "b" word....more
What a fun summer read! Countdown to Love is one of the few books this year that I can definitely say I would pick up and read again. Fans of the moviWhat a fun summer read! Countdown to Love is one of the few books this year that I can definitely say I would pick up and read again. Fans of the movie Sweet Home Alabama and the T.V. series the Bachelor will eat this one up. Countdown to Love opens with Kelly Pickens, a sweet Southern singer on the rise abandoned at the alter. Left with no where to live and no idea where her fiance has gone, Kelly's not quite sure what to do with her life. In sweeps Kelly's cousin, the producer of a popular reality show who is also left in a lurch as she's down one female contestant. While Kelly certainly isn't looking for love herself, she has bills to pay from a wedding that never happened so she accepts a spot on the show.
There a million laugh out loud and toe curling romantic moments in Countdown to Love. Kelly must overcome her past to be able to trust again and find out who she really is, but Dillon is just the man to help her out! Readers will enjoy all the settings and vivid descriptions of American terrain the author weaves into her storyline. I'd call Countdown to Love a must have for fans of chick lit/ Christian romance. I can't wait to read more from this author! My fingers are crossed for a follow up novel.
Content: The main man smokes and drinks. There are a few mentions of cleavage and past sexual relationships. No violence or swearing. Overall a clean read recommended for adults.
You might also like: Austenland by Shannon Hale or Previously Engaged by Elodia Strain
I've had the opportunity to sample three different varieties of Wendy's cake bites fresh from her own making and let me tell you they are a little bitI've had the opportunity to sample three different varieties of Wendy's cake bites fresh from her own making and let me tell you they are a little bit of heaven. They look like a truffle but inside lies a surprise mix of cupcake and icing. When I got her newest cookbook int he mail the first thing I feel in love with was the spiral binding which makes it easy to keep the book on the page you need to reference while cooking. The other thing I LOVE are the photos! The photographer, Marielle Hayes has done an amazing job capturing the cupcakey creations with colorful backgrounds and sharp images. I get a lot of books that come through my mailbox, but when this one arrived it was an instant favorite. My children usually have no interest in much that they see but with visually stimulating and yummy looking treats they are begging me to bake. We can't wait to try the Spring Flowers cake bite pops.
Wendy's broken the cookbook into four sections: fruity and fabulous, the sweetness of chocolate, holiday treats,and the icing in the little bites. With recipes for delicacies like Key Lime Pie, dark chocolate truffle, southern red velvet and root beer float bites you can't help but feel your mouth water. If you're a fan of cupcakes you simply must try Wendy's bites!...more
Hang 'Em High is my favorite in the Secret Sisters series so far. It's an easy clean read with a refreshing moral and plenty of laugh out loud moments as Ida Mae Babbitt and her geriatric crew are out to solve another mystery. Set in Billings, Montana, this cozy focuses on the estranged relationship between Ida Mae and her adult son Keith. It explores the family dynamics of alcoholism and teenage pregnancy as well as forgiveness and giving up control as a "smother".
I absolutely ate this book up. I only wish I knew all the of side characters a little better and am oh so curious as to how things are going to end up between Eden, Ren and Kevin. Guess I'll have to read the rest of the series to find out!
I would definitely recommend Hang 'Em High to all readers as a good, clean book that will bring a smile to your face. Thanks to Tristi Pinkston and Walnut Springs Press for the chance to be on the blog tour! ...more
Hope's Journey is a book that will leave a lasting impression in your mind and heart long after you are done reading. For me it was sad in the beginning because it was easily what could and does happen to so many youth. As the story progressed I could literally feel the heart wrenching experiences and feelings both Alex and Sydney were going through. This is not an easy read because it tackles the issue of teenage pregnancy, the road through repentance the social shunning that comes as a result of other people's judgements and the anger of dreams lost. It is beautifully written and heart wrenching, so very real. I would recommend this to all teens, male and female, youth leaders and parents. I admire that the author does not skirt around the issues but meets them head on. She teaches that self-worth and confidence are at the core of the problem. I also love that she teaches there is a merciful Father in Heaven who knows us each individually and answers our prayers. Sydney took the road less traveled and she does it bravely because she knows it is right. An absolutely moving debut that I will keep and pass on.
There were several things that left me wanting as I finished...so here is my fair warning of a *spoiler alert*
*I wanted Alex to mature a little more than he did in the 40 weeks he had to think about his future and I was disappointed in the way he handled the news he was going to be a father. He seemed pretty self-centered and immature in comparison to all the progress and growth Sydney made. I also really wanted to see some closure in the confrontation between Alex's mother and Sydney. Did he even knew that conversation took place? How did the mother handle the way things ended up? I have to admit that deep down I sad she didn't pick Damon. Could a guy be more perfect? He was an amazing friend and so much more. As well, I think the author left the issue of Sydney's brother deicing not to go on a mission open ended. Why did he decide not to go and where did he end up? As far as the ending... WOW ...so not what I was expecting. A few more chapters may have been good to win me over. I want to see how the road new parents and teen newlyweds was a hard road. I am sure the couple faced many more challenges in their immediate future. Teens need to realize that marriage is hard work and not the end, but just the beginning. * (end of spoliers)
When I read the epilogue and realized Hope's Journey was a story based on the author's own experience I was amazed. I admire that she is brave enough and felt compelled to tell her own story within a fictional framework. I would recommend reading the author's end notes, interviews and the post on the inspiration behind the story on her blog. What a gift Stephanie Worlton has left for each of us. Well done!
Claudia Emerson keeps having strange dreams which pull her to a place she's seen before and faces that are familiar yet foreign. Then she's awakened by a phone call form her best friends asking if she's still alive. Quickly her life is turned upside down as dream meets reality and she's introduced to a class of half human/half angels called Alkin. Pulled into an age old battle between good and evil Claudia has a new guardian angel named Michael and it's all she can do to stay away from the attraction she feels. Their love is forbidden and Michael 's role becomes blurred as he starts to fall for Claudia. Can the two of them fight off the fallen who are after her and can they satisfy eh Royal Council who want some answers about who Claudia really is?
Crossroads will appeal to readers who like books full of angel lore and YA romance. While I was intrigued there were a few things I struggled with like connecting to Claudia's character and voice. With references to Guess jeans and Honda's being cool the teen scene seemed to be trapped back in the 90's. And why can't Claudia ever fight for herself? Michael I really enjoyed but his change from brash and rude to automatically in love doting boyfriend was quite abrupt. I'm thinking the bad guy Aden was far too easily defeated and he'll be back. I am also hoping we learn more about Austin in book two. He is up to no good I tell ya!
My favorite character was Davin- he's much more down to earth and real and kept the story going for me. I'd love to see him in an even more central role. With poetic writing and beautiful scenery you'll get wrapped up in Crossroads. I think Mary has a wonderful idea and am curious to see where she goes with it for the rest of the series.
Content: There was quite a lot of heavy handed romance and kissing scenes so I'd recommend this one for only older teens. (It was a little too much for my taste) There is also moderate violence as angels fight the fallen.
Thanks so much to Late Bloomer Online and Mary Ting for letting us be a part of the tour!
Megan and her family are holding things together after the death of their father until one day they get a visit from the Tuscon Police and receive newMegan and her family are holding things together after the death of their father until one day they get a visit from the Tuscon Police and receive news that mom will not be home for dinner. Killed in a car accident, mom leaves her own mother as the primary caregiver to Megan and her two younger sisters. But Grandma hasn't worked in years and turns to Megan to help support the small family. In a snowball of hard events she must put the pieces back together as to why insurance is refusing to pay out their claim, what their grandmother is hiding from them all and just how they are supposed to make ends meet.
With an awesome cast of supporting character including her best friend Adam and his father, Megan just may be able to survive the challenges that lie ahead. There were a lot of things I really loved about Bitter Blessings. It's a short read that pulled me in and I finished it in one sitting. It addresses adolescent substance abuse, grief, financial hardship, codependency and religious bigotry in an artful, hopeful manner. I appreciate that so many hard things were covered and often found myself wondering if life could get any worse for Megan. But in the end, the author proves that sometimes things fall into place just they way they are meant to, even if it takes some time and effort. A clean LDS fiction title with an endearing example of friendship and faith.
Golden Girls meets Indiana Jones is this cozy mystery set among the ruins of Mexico. As the fourth installment of the Secret Sisters series, it is byGolden Girls meets Indiana Jones is this cozy mystery set among the ruins of Mexico. As the fourth installment of the Secret Sisters series, it is by far my favorite. I think it was extra fun for me to read because I just returned form a trip of my own to South America to visit my old mission stomping grounds. So, to read about Ren finishing his final days as a full-time missionary in a Spanish speaking land added an extra element of fondness for me. Ida Mae and her crew have headed down to pick him up and bring him home to the U.S. , but of course they meet up with some danger of their own as two age old enemies and antiquity thieves are using the old ladies as pawns in their plot to recover an old stash of precious amber. There is historical Mayan myth, local tradition and fun sleuth elements packed into a clean fun read I would recommend to all. If you enjoy Ally Carter's Heist Society or Josi Kilpack's culinary mysteries this one will be your kind of book. And if you haven't read number one in the series yet, now's the time to start. Well done Tristi!!
Content: clean, very minor threat of harm at gunpoint ...more
Emerald City is one young woman's journey from the harrowing feeling of hopelessness to beginning to heal. 20 year old Olivia has suffered3.5 stars-
Emerald City is one young woman's journey from the harrowing feeling of hopelessness to beginning to heal. 20 year old Olivia has suffered far more than most 20 year olds and feels alone in the world, her mother having committed suicide and her father abandoning the family after living a lie. One particularly hard night Olivia reaches her breaking point and in an effort to end the pain ends up in a hospital bed with no knowledge of how she could have possibly been saved. Her front door was locked, she has no real friends or neighbors in her apartment building that would check up on her, yet a mysterious man name Jude is said to have found and rescued her. Soon Jude has taken Olivia under his wing and shows her what it means to be cared for and looked after, but feelings are growing on both sides and there are so many unanswered questions about Jude's past and who he is.
As a reader I found myself wondering who and what Jude is through out most of the book until we get his back story over 20 chapters in. I really enjoyed learning more and wish we would have been filled in a bit sooner. From there this romance with a twist of Urban fantasy takes off. It's a darker read until then as Olivia is treading through the absolute hopelessness of clinical depression and suicidal ideation. I like that she addresses her issues through seeing a psychiatrist and going on medication when she so clearly needs it. But I think this is an older read for 17- adults because of the sad tone and traumatic life events Olivia faces. I am curious if there will be more in the series! If you are a fan of the Heavenly series by Jennifer Laurens this has similar character elements. I love love the cover and the chapter headings which highlight Seattle where the book was set, and I am pleased the author shows how one person can change the life course of another.
Content: no swearing or sex, some violence, suicidal and traumatic life events, some kissing and sleep overs.
From the Inside Flap: Look, right over there—oh say can you see? It’s a Yankee Doodle mouse named Liberty Lee! On the 4th of July, Liberty Lee proudly tells how he and his friends helped the 13 American colonies win their freedom. For years the king of England had unfairly taxed them—he taxed their sugar, molasses, and teas. What would be next? Macaroni and cheese? Finally Liberty Lee and the other fearless colonists said enough is enough.
From the Boston Tea Party to the “shot heard ’round the world” at Lexington and Concord, Liberty Lee describes how he took part in the brave acts that won America’s independence. He lends Jefferson a hand (and a tail!) in writing the Declaration of Independence. And he is there for the final American victory at Yorktown. Follow Liberty Lee and his patriot friends as they fight for the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—for people and mice everywhere!Look, right over there—oh say can you see? It’s a Yankee Doodle mouse named Liberty Lee!
Heather's Review: This is one of the first non--fiction picture books my children have been exposed to. With its rhyming verse and rich illustrations it drew in my nine year old who loved finding the hidden eagle on each page and said she loved all the small details. Each page sets up a historical event and scene with a "Where's Waldo" like game of finding both Liberty Lee, a small mouse, and an eagle on each page for older children. American history is taught in a fun fashion,covering our journey to independence from England...taxation, the Boston Tea Party, and the signing of hte Declaration of Independence.
Liberty Lee's Tail of Independence is a wonderful resource for parents and teachers to tell our nation;s story in an interactive way and at the end of the book there is "The Tail End" with even more information to use in instruction. Overall, it was well accepted at our house and my oldest asked if she could keep the book. Well done to the Barnes for giving us a great way to instruct our little ones!
Melanie Jacobson has won my heart with her clean, funny romance writing. Smart Move features a less than perfect main character which is something I appreciate. She's the daughter or a single mother who's been raised in a less than ideal environment shuffled from place to place and step-dad to step-dad. She's now found her place as a Stanford graduate working in D.C. for a major nonprofit organization. She has a job she believes in, her own space in the upper half of a house and yoga to keep her sane. But she just can't get her mind of of one night back in Seattle and the man she met who never returned her phone call. The sparks were definitely there, but she should be over it by now!
Luckily she has a huge project going right now to keep her mind off of dating--winning the zoning approval for a program helping women make their way into the work force. The only thing standing in her way is "El Diablo" the proud and stubborn attorney who's working hte other end of the case. The two cross paths in more than one unpleasant encounter and let the banter begin!
Sandy is spunky and unique in her spanx.( tummy trimming lycra.) She has some baggage from her past but is headstrong and flirty at the same time. Main antagonist, El Diablo never, ever gives up. It's so nice to see a persistent and confident man who knows how to keep the best interest of both his employer and other around him. I thoroughly enjoyed Smart Move and would recommend it to all readers as a clean read. You'll laugh out loud at Sandy's mother Margerita and her New Age goofiness as well as some of the hilarious situations Sandy finds herself in. I enjoyed the East Coast Ivy League D.C. setting as well.
If you haven't read any of Melanie's books yet...go, go, go! ...more
As a lifetime member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I confess I did not know much about Eliza R. Snow before picking up this book. I had heard her name and seen her portrait but the innermost thoughts of her heart were a mystery to me. After reading Eliza I feel I have grown to love her and revere her as an example of strength, fortitude and faith.
Eliza R. Snow was born to a New England family with strong revolutionary War roots. Her father was respected in his civic and business spheres and he often took Eliza with him to work alongside him in his duties. From a young age she was exposed to a world many women of her time never saw. Through the encouragement of her parents, she sought an education and developed a love of writing poetry which later flourished until she came to be known as "Zion's poetess." She left behind so much of what she loved in her childhood home of Mantua, Ohio to follow the prophet Joseph Smith- later to become his wife before the martyrdom. Then, once again she picked up her things and traveled West with the Saints making her way to Utah with Brigham Young as one of his wives. Eliza was instrumental is organizing and leading the women, youth and children of the church as well as devoting much of her time in the endowment house doing Temple work. She was stalwart, encouraging and uplifting-- often penning personal letters and verse to those she loved.
This book is a multi-media, gift quality collection of handwritten poems, antique cabinet card photos and historical documents. It gives the reader a taste of what it was like to step into each period of Eliza's long life. Many of the pages are filled with the hymns and poems that we have come to love including one of my favorites "Oh My Father." I even found one of my ancestors, German Ellsworth listed in a musical program copy tying my family roots to Eliza's story. I would whole heartedly recommend this book and it is a treasure I will keep on my shelves and share with my children.
Thanks so much to Deseret Book for allowing us to be a part of the blog tour...more
Elder M. Russell Ballard grew up on an orchard and as a boy remembers the hives of honeybees his father kept--over 60,000 bees to pollinate the trees.Elder M. Russell Ballard grew up on an orchard and as a boy remembers the hives of honeybees his father kept--over 60,000 bees to pollinate the trees. Each bee only lives a few short weeks to four months and its contribution is a mere one twelfth of a teaspoon. But think of the collective effort each bee makes to the good of the hive. Their life's work is vital and significant when taken as a collective effort. So many of us take for granted the beautiful harmony and system it takes to create each drop of honey.
This book is a visual and verse reminder that each of us has contribution to make, however small it may be. We better the world with daily acts of small service and as mothers. We nurture, we build, we work together. I was inspired by the pages and think One Drop At A Time is just the message we each need to remember. ...more