A Christmas Journey Home: Miracle In The Manger is a Christian Fiction.
Isabella Alcantara and her husband Francisco are newly wed and expecting their...moreA Christmas Journey Home: Miracle In The Manger is a Christian Fiction.
Isabella Alcantara and her husband Francisco are newly wed and expecting their first child when Isabella's family are killed by banditos and they are encouraged to sneak across the Mexican border to escape the indecencies happening to the Mexican people by her own kind. Her Abeulo, has given his life savings to them in order to hire a "coyote" to take them across into America where he believes they can have a chance at a better life for their baby.
Carolyn Sinclair, her daughter Miriam and grandson Davey are in mourning over the loss of Miriam's husband, David, a border patrol officer who was killed in the line of duty. Miriam hates illegal aliens and believes them to all be thieves and murderers. Carolyn and Davey hold onto faith that everything has a reason even though Davey is young, his understanding of God and humanity is remarkable.
Isabella and Francisco have been left in the Arizona desert to die, their "coyote" stole all of their money and left them to wander aimlessly. They happen upon a group of people whom they believe to be their salvation and find themselves in a worse situation. Believing God will see them through, they wait for their chance to escape their newly found prison. When the miracle arrives on Thanksgiving morning, the two set off into the unknown to find a safe haven in which to have their baby and begin their new life.
The members of both families have their own agendas with God and each person must find their faith in order to survive the insurmontable lessons that life is dealing in order to heal their broken hearts.
I was enthralled with the plot of this story, the evils that humanity can do to another is heart-wrenching. If you have a weak disposition, some of the scenes described may upset you, they are written with much depth of emotion that you cannot help but cry from the injustice in the world.
I found that each of the characters were strongly written and well described. Each one had their own persona and you will have no problems following any dialogue that may occur. The dialogue was a bit cliched in areas, but it works for the believability of human nature, we don't always speak in well structured sentences and most of our lingo or common speak is full of cliches.
I loved the back story characters, especially Isabella's grandfather, his emotions brings you closer to the world around us. Through his eyes we see the decay of his neighbourhood and watches the joy slip from his neighbours eyes. Everyone walks while looking over their shoulders wondering when the next senseless acts of barbaristic attacks to the innocent will occur. I found the book to fray your emotions on many levels.
I would give A Christmas Journey Home a four and a half stars out of five, I did find the story to be a bit predictable but the read is still entertaining and the characters ingraining. You feel for everyone in the story, as everyone is reaching for the same ideals, without even realizing it.
The ending was superb and author, Kathi Macais, leaves you with enough to let your imagination finish the tale without having to do it for you.(less)
Kathryn Thorson Gruhn has 35 years of child development experience. She is certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA), holding bo...moreKathryn Thorson Gruhn has 35 years of child development experience. She is certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA), holding both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Speech and Language Pathology. She gained her clinical expertise by working with children as well as adults with a full spectrum of communication disorders.
One of Kathryn’s most rewarding experiences was working for United Cerebral Palsy in an inclusive child development center which was composed equally of children with normal development and those with delayed development. She provided therapy in the classroom and facilitated educational, nurturing relationships between parents and their children, which inspired her ideas for My Baby Compass.
Her down-to-earth, approachable style makes this program accessible for all parents and caregivers.
The My Baby Compass checklists are specifically formulated to enable you to quickly and easily detect any delays as your child grows.
The checklists are designed to identify milestones, which are skills, behaviors and physical developments that commonly occur in certain age ranges.
The book is full of simple, practical information and activities that will complement your own intuition.
The milestones on the checklists are based on statistics, and while 90% of children will fall into this range, your child may be only a few days away from meeting a particular milestone.
There is a separate checklists for each age group, which identifies the following milestones.
My Baby Compass also includes recommended Toys and Playtime activities for each age group. Toys and activities will keep your child moving forward and lead him to the next level of development.
I think these milestone books are truly fabulous~!! They are very well put together and very practical! The wording is clear and concise and each of the activities are easy to understand and adhere.
I absolutely loved the sign language charts that are included in each book! My husband and I are practicing ourselves, so many words to be shared and the babies seemed to love seeing the fingers flicking in their faces. The stimulation happening while their sub-conscious is recognizing it, is pleasant and encouraging!
I gave a couple of these books out to the ladies in my neighbourhood and asked for their opinion. BOTH of them agreed that the sign language charts were GREAT and they also enjoyed the songs and such that they experienced with their wee folks. One mother thought the vocabulary charts were neat, she had know idea there were certain words a youngling should hear more than others and is still practicing this with her daughter.
Located at the back of each book are handy pull out reference check lists which are broken down into smaller age periods! You won't be disappointed if you invested in these books...they are like a bible of achievements for your babies/toddlers.
There is truly a lot of knowledge within these pages that any parent would want to know! Information such as Screening and Support in which it relates all that there is to know just in case you feel as if your baby isn't developing as it should. There are speech screening; hearing screening; emotional screening just to name a few of the topics that have in-depth material shared.
This is a remarkable compendium to have in your possession.(less)
Velwythe: Resurrection of the Mind is Volume One and is a fantasy novel.
The story sets off with a conversation between a man and someone who believes...moreVelwythe: Resurrection of the Mind is Volume One and is a fantasy novel.
The story sets off with a conversation between a man and someone who believes themselves to be a great "artist". The man is pleading with the "artist" not to destroy his city and its inhabitants but the artist thinks this will be a living piece of art that has never been seen before and before the man can warn the people of their upcoming disaster, the man is banished to the dungeon so that he cannot share the information with the people.
Vaan is a young scholarly man with a haunted past. His mother disappeared, his father died in agony and Vaan has been haunted by terrible nightmares every year during the Festival, which also corresponds with his birthing day.
Vaan has a terrible nightmare in which he hurts his hand, at the behest of his good friend, Jonas, he is convinced to visit the Priest in order to get his hand mended. However, Vaan does not trust the clergy, for they refused to bring his father back from the dead.
Vaan is lonely and depressed and he decides to sell everything he owns and become a wandering scholar. Along his journey he meets many interesting people and learns the truth about his past and yet there is this throbbing in his head, a darkness that hovers there that Vann is unable to explain. What does the future hold for him and will he be able to keep his demons at bay long enough to figure his life out?
I thought this book was very slow to start, I enjoyed the prologue and was eager to peruse the pages. I almost gave up reading this novel however, as the tedium of the first half of the book was almost enough to make me walk away. I am glad I continued for the pace and the characters pick up and the reader isn't left with a hodgepodge of thoughts from Vaan and other diverse characters come to help blend with the overall nature of the book.
I thought the meandering thoughts of Vaan to be dull and pointless and was pleased when we moved beyond his thoughts, I just feel that we could've learned about Vaan and his plight by tightening the prose and removing a lot of detail that just isn't required, I found the extra descriptives bogged the story down.
I would give this book a three out of five stars, which is a step up from where I was originally planning and its only because the books does pick up about half way through! I loved the cover art and thought it brought justice to the story contained within. I loved the deep and philosophical undercurrent that hovered in the background of the story and the overall mysterious feeling that the book contains.
The prologue is great and you feel the need to continue reading in order to find out what the mad, crazy artist is musing about. I equally enjoyed the world building that author, Bonn Turkington has created. Creating new worlds, races and creatures isn't an easy feat and Bonn does exceptionally well with this aspect.
If you enjoy fantasy novels with world building themes, then you will enjoy this Velwythe: Resurrection of the Mind, however, don't give up reading, because the book does pick up and delivers a nicely blended world according to Vaan.(less)
The Accidental Activist is a Literary Legal/Political Fiction based on the McDonald's libel case of the 1990's.
Matthew is a computer programmer workin...moreThe Accidental Activist is a Literary Legal/Political Fiction based on the McDonald's libel case of the 1990's.
Matthew is a computer programmer working on a program deal with an Oil conglomerate that could make or break his career. His friends and colleagues are a tight knit group and the five of them always have each others backs.
On the night that Matthew and Paul attend a party, Matthew doesn't realize how much his life is about to change. A woman approaches Matt and asks him to whisk her away from the boredom and from that day forward, their fates are intertwined.
Suzy is an activist who uses her education, tenacity and her willpower to bring light to degrading situations around the world. Her newest pet project is saving the people in the Amazon jungle from an oil company who wishes to drill there. The tribesfolk have stated they will all jump to their deaths if this is allowed.
As the two draw closer together, Suzy is arrested for handing out flyers that make the oil company look bad and she is charged with libel. Matthew rallies his friends and colleagues together to fight back at the injustice of the British legal system and the big business that wishes to control the situation. The group of friends create a web site to bring awareness to the plight and from there the site goes viral as more people are being informed.
For years Suzy, Matthew and their friends and family fight the charges in court, bringing in eye witnesses, scientists, experts and more to prove that some things are just worth fighting for.
I loved that this book was based on a true story, it always give the book an extra added appeal. I thought that the characters were likeable and interesting to read. I liked the dry humour that Matthew displays and the mysterious of Suzy as the story progresses was a nice touch.
I enjoyed reading about the British legal system and how it works, as well, the details shared in the courtroom were surprisingly easy to understand and follow. The author writes with a layman's feel and you are drawn into the intrigue of courtroom drama.
I would give The Accidental Activist a four out of five stars. While I enjoyed the read, I thought the book could have been expanded, giving us some more depth to the characters and their back stories. I sometimes felt rushed in their introductions to the story and would have liked to have savoured their nuances. However, this is a wonderful read and it has a feel good ending that I am sure most will appreciate.(less)
On the night that Tessa's parents died in a horrific car crash, her life became a puzzle of thoughts and em...moreThe Manicurist is a Literary Fiction novel.
On the night that Tessa's parents died in a horrific car crash, her life became a puzzle of thoughts and emotions. There are many unanswered questions surrounding her parents death, like whatever happened to the body of her mother, Ursula.
As Tessa ages, her life is filled with longing, indecision and soul-searching. She chants mantras to push herself foward, a trait taught to her by her mother as well, she reads palms. Her job as a manicurist gives her plenty of time to interpret the lives of those she meets on a daily basis.
On the day that Fran enters her shop, demanding a manicure while plying her with kindness and homemade soup, Tessa's life is about to irrevocably change forever. Who is Fran and what answers does she have and will they be the answers that Fran seeks?
I would give this book a three out of five stars. It had potential but felt it had serious editorial issues, there were mention of things that didn't correlate with anything I read, I know, I searched for the piece in the book that had confused me. The setting described was mentioned in such a way that we, the reader, already knew of it's happenstance, however, we are left in the dark. As well, the numerous typos were too frequent not to bring mention, it is very distracting to some readers. I also found the print to be abnormally small and it hindered my read somewhat (it has been brought to my attention that the font is small due to it being an ARC copy, if that is true, then my apologies.)
I thought Tessa was a believable character, with her own mental illness issues, such as her distant relationship with her daughter, Regina, her infidelities and her lack of concern in her relationship with her husband. I enjoyed the intrigue surrounding her mother but didn't find the depiction of her mental illness to be understandable, perhaps a bit more research into the actual condition would have been beneficial to share with the reader.
I enjoyed Fran and thought her place in the story was a great tie-in to the events that were occurring. I liked the back story she shared and she helped give definition to Tessa's plight. When she was first introduced I thought the story has such promising attributes but it just went downhill from there. The middle section of the story was written in a very uninteresting light and the ending was a flop, it seemed just when I wanted something dramatic occur, I was let down with a fizzle.
This story does have some positive aspects about it and with some serious editorial tightening and mental illness research, I think The Manicurist could be a great story.(less)
The Snowman's Revenge is a Children's Picture Book.
Yea~!! It's a snow day and the children don't have to go to school!! They all rush outside to play...moreThe Snowman's Revenge is a Children's Picture Book.
Yea~!! It's a snow day and the children don't have to go to school!! They all rush outside to play and have fun in the snow and decide to build themselves a Snowman.
When the kids get cold, they go inside for some hot chocolate and leave the snowman outside to freeze. The Snowman is not impressed with being left behind and plots his revenge upon the unknowing children.
While they enjoy their cocoa, the snowman sneaks into their house and heads for the freezer when he begins to sweat. Sitting in the dark, he plots to scare them all while they sleep however, before that can happen he must wait and while he waits, he wonders why he continues to sweat.
I thought this was a delightful book for the Christmas season. I loved the rhyming flow of the narrative and how some of the lines of dialogue were shared with the reader. Sometimes the words would flow with the snow and sometimes they climbed the stairs. I really liked that extra bit of interaction and fun.
I thought the illustrations by Mike Motz were wonderful. They were nicely drawn and beautifully coloured. Each page had a story to share along with the prose. The characters were cartoonish in nature with big eyes and as the story progresses, the Snowman gets really sinister and creepy looking. If your child frightens easy, then this may not be the story for them however, most children will be able to handle the creations and enjoy the story in its completion.
I would give this a five out of five, I truly did like the sing-song rhyming sequence and my children sat enthralled listening to it until the very end.(less)
Bears With Us is mystery thriller from the Tempe Crabtree Mystery Series.
Tempe Crabtree has her hands full. The bears in Bear Creek are coming into to...moreBears With Us is mystery thriller from the Tempe Crabtree Mystery Series.
Tempe Crabtree has her hands full. The bears in Bear Creek are coming into town and wrecking havoc. Tempe has no idea why it is occurring and Nevretts from Fish & Game has plenty of theories but no true explanation other than land development is forcing them to move and food supplies are dwindling.
After Tempe is called out to the Hamptons to investigate a burglary, it soon becomes apparent that a bear is rampaging through the house. After Tempe removes the bear, she comes to realize that Mrs. Hampton is suffering from a form of Dementia and she calms the women down. Her son wants her to be put in a home while her husband and daughter do not.
Tempe is called to several incidents with bears and all is well until the day that Mrs. Hampton is found mauled to death by a bear. However, Tempe doesn't believe this to be true and her and Detective Morrison attempt to find the truth behind her death. After several brushes with death herself, Tempe realizes that someone knows she is on to them. Will Tempe figure out the truth or will she been killed in the line of duty for upholding justice?
I thought this was a enjoyable mystery even though I found the suspects to be predictable, I still found that the story had some merits and enjoyed the reading of Tempe. I absolutely loved the Native customs being shared throughout the pages. I equally enjoy how the author, Marilyn Meredith, was able to share fact with fiction, it made for an interesting read.
I thought that the pace of the story was a bit dragged on in areas, and the dialogue was a bit wooden. I thought that Tempe and her husband, Hutch, a pastor, didn't have a very believable relationship. Hutch seemed to follow Tempe's lead in just about everything and he came across as not having an opinion of his own.
I would give this three and a half stars out of five. It is an enjoyable read, however, the plot is average and the ending predictable. The writing style is decent and well read and the editorial issues are few. I would read another of the Tempe Crabtree series, the prose was quick and easy to understand and a fast reader could have this read in one afternoon. (less)
The storybook had bright, beautifully depicted graphics that were very interesting to look at. My children kept looking at the background of the pictu...moreThe storybook had bright, beautifully depicted graphics that were very interesting to look at. My children kept looking at the background of the pictures on the pages and seeing what else they could see. My daughter spotted a picture of Jen and Britt on Britt's nightstand. They love the eye candy in behind the scenes as much as the story itself.
I thought the message being shared was a very groovy message to incorporate into our children. The innocence in which the children behaved was also refreshing, the children worked TOGETHER to help solve Britt's problem. The children did not ridicule her or make her feel less than herself, they propped her up and told her that together they could find the solution. I also enjoyed how the parents handled the situation, with calm, cool heads and didn't admonish Britt, but explained why her actions were incorrect and how she should have acted in the situation she found herself in.
I would give this book a five out of five on the children's picture book scale, it has an enjoyable story, great colours throughout and a satisfying ending. It can be found at Barnes & Noble! The books are recommended for children 10 and under and the dolls are great for any age!(less)
When Kimberly Saunders was born, her mother thought there was something wrong with her, she was positive that K...moreCinema Of Shadows is a Horror Thriller.
When Kimberly Saunders was born, her mother thought there was something wrong with her, she was positive that Kim could speak with ghosts. As Kim grows she has an event which occurs on a covered bridge that leaves her dreams filled with nightmares.
Present day, Kim is attending college and she and her roommate Tashima Ismail are attending a Parapsychology course. They, along with their classmates Kevin and Joss, are preparing a haunting for their class credit. They are at a house of a family who was murdered by the father, a little girl's spirit is trapped in the house and when they begin their experiment, they don't expect much. However, Kim can hear the spirits talking and before they can look at their footage, one of them hurts Kevin and the group rush off to the ER.
Professor Geoffrey Burke is fascinated by the group's results and has a bigger quest for them to tackle. Professor Burke wants the group of sensitives to explore the Woodfield Movie Palace that has a history of paranormal activity. The history behind the movie house is fraught with death and murder and it is believed by everyone, that the souls of those are trapped within the walls.
Professor Burke was attacked as a child by a "demon" and he has spent his whole life proving that an afterlife does exist while on the hunt for the one who scarred him. Kim is afraid of what she will find behind the doors of the theatre, but comes to the realization that maybe she can help the trapped souls escape from their earthly hell. Along the way, Kim meets Dr. Tyler Bachman and the two begin to fall in love but Tyler isn't sure if Kim is mentally stable and every fibre in his body tells him to run before its too late.
As the group comes together at the theatre, they must have their wits about them in order to survive the evil the permeates the theatre. Will Kim have the strength to free the souls or will the demon's feed of her life energy for the rest of eternity?
I thought this was a great book. I loved the creepy aspect that the story builds up to. I loved how the people interacted with each other and the ghostly back stories that each person shared was enjoyable to read. The characters each had their own persona's and one has no problem telling each of them apart as you read.
I read this alone and late at night, giving the read some extra nuances and I loved how the book made me feel. I was slightly scared as I continued to read, I have an over-active imagination and this book fed it nicely. I would love to see this in a movie, it would be a well worth the watch; I would love to see the special effects via the paranormal activity.
I would give Cinema Of Shadows a four stars out of five. I truly loved the read, but there were a few tidbits that weren't explained enough for me, like how the theatre became evil in the first place and how the "demon" is able to leave the theatre or what Robby's "other" story was that made him want to exorcise the demons from the place. None of these were properly explained and while none of these things hinder from the story, it still makes a reader wonder and I dislike when I have questions left unanswered from my reads.
If you love a good horror story then this will surely feed your need for the creep. This book is not for the faint of heart, it has moderate to heavy expletives and many aspects are graphic in nature. The artwork on the cover is commendable and truly works for the book.(less)
Author Chen Lizra takes travel guides to a new level. This very informative guide will take you wherever yo...moreMy Seductive Cuba is a unique travel guide.
Author Chen Lizra takes travel guides to a new level. This very informative guide will take you wherever you want to go in Cuba. She explains the people, the culture, the ambiance and the all that makes Cuba the country it is.
The reader is lead on a journey deep into the soul of Cuba and Cubans alike. You are shown the mystery of seduction and how to be prepared for it if you intend on traveling to Cuba. You are given detailed descriptions of the landscapes, the streets and how to prepare yourself for any emergency.
Everything one needs to know about traveling to Cuba is shared including customs, passports, visas, currency, and much more. You are shown what to pack for each season, opportunities to find the best dance clubs, tips on health care and water, toilets and their filth are explained and how you should always carry the basic essentials with you wherever you travel.
The author explains opportunists and what to stay focused on if accosted by such people. The different styles of dance are explained and what to expect on any dance floor. We are also given a glimpse into the history of Cuba, her politics, her heroes and her survival.
The book gives examples through pictures and extra reading suggestions are given as well as, web sites to further investigate your trip to Cuba. The author has given lists of countries that are eligible to travel to her shores as well as which airlines and travel agencies are best suited for you. This in-depth guide will give you everything you need to know about traveling to Cuba and where to find more if it doesn't.
I would give this a five out of five stars, as a travel guide it is one of the best I have ever read. I loved the charm and direction the author wrote with and her explanations of Cuban society was interesting to comprehend. Chen Lizra created a romantic ambiance within these pages that the reader finds it hard to resist the urge to travel to Cuba and investigate for yourself what Chen is tantalizing you with.
I found the explanations about the culture and the people to be excellent, something you don't find in most travel guides. Her descriptions go beyond the "cut-and-dry" approach found within most guides. You are swept up in the prose and can almost feel yourself seductively swaying beside the author as you tour the history found within the boundaries of Cuba.
My mother has had the pleasure to travel to Cuba and is looking forward to her return; she loved the people and experience and I was able to see the correlation between her memories and the words shared by the author. However, I'm not so sure about the seduction aspect of the Cuban way, I am a Canadian with old-fashioned principles and I am quite shy when it comes to any kind of attention, so I'm sure I'd be blushing a mad storm if I were ever fortunate enough to travel there myself. Thank you for the tip on that Ms. Lizra, I thought my mother was exaggerating and now I see, she was not!
Even if you are not traveling to Cuba, this book will give you a different outlook on the Cuban people with an honest and invoking approach. The political myths are explained with clarity and gives the reader a different insight into the embargo between the United States and Cuba. Thoughtful, informative and witty, My Seductive Cuba is a travel guide you won't want to miss!!(less)
Mental Illness and Your Town: 37 Ways for Communities to Help and Heal.
This easy-to-read book has been written as a blueprint for community action fro...moreMental Illness and Your Town: 37 Ways for Communities to Help and Heal.
This easy-to-read book has been written as a blueprint for community action from award-winning journalist, Larry Hayes.
In this book you wil learn how each person can play a role to help those who suffer; you will hear stories of people who overcame their disabilities; discover how each of us can work together to create a "treatment revolution" that will help to save lives and it will open your heart and your mind in order to work towards a positive community goal.
There are six sections in the book with up to seven chapters to each section. Each section is backed by data, references, first-hand accounts as well as, ideas and solutions.
The Faces: This section describes the different type of people who may suffer from mental health, the problem areas and how to help reduce the numbers.
The Helpers: This section describes the different ways in which people can help. How one can gather the information they need to meet the community and in which ways it can be shared.
The Personal: This includes concepts to begin discussing the subject of mental health, how you can empower someone with a mental stigma and the pertinent information of each person's disclosure.
The Recruiters: How you can reach out to the community for help, for guidance and to share information. It encourages you not to be shy in your approach, enlist anyone who has the heart to listen and utilize your community events to help bring recognition to mental health issues.
The Innovations: Discusses ways in which you can launch new programs in your community.
The Reforms: There are programs already in place but some of them need some "tuning" in order to work with the individual within the community. With proper training and information, each person who reaches out for the attention they require, will have the proper response if everyone is on the same page.
You will also find reference books you can enlist in your research as well as internet resources.
I found this book to have some great merits about it, however, I didn't glean any information from it that would push me to go out and incorporate what I learned. It seemed that just as an idea was being formed, the author pushed off to another topic, leaving me wanting. I thought it was very easy-to-read and written with out pretense, talking to you and not at you as most of these self-help books do.
I liked the relaxed way in which the ideas are shared as well, some of the approaches suggested were easy to understand, written clearly and concisely. There were a few instances in which it seemed like the author was basing his information on one community only, as in the chapter about "observing celebrations", it is mentioned that you would not find a float in a parade concerning mental health and I have to disagree with that statement. My community is always involved with mental health awareness, we have 90% of the ideas shared within this book and still, it is quite a concern. My underlying thoughts believe it has to do with management and the lack thereof. I believe the chapter on The Reforms was the best chapter in the book and I would have liked to have seen more ideas given.(less)