Showing posts from May, 2016

Book Review: The Alfaeren Legacy

The Álfaerën Legacy by Marc Jacobs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kali and Kilyn were thrilled to finally be chosen to go buy herbs in the far off community of Deben to bring back to their treehouse orphanage. They had no idea that their journey would lead them to their destiny, in the form of a strange cave in a mountain they stumbled across by accident. Their discovery would open a portal to a strange world and connect them with another teenager who was destined to save them from the Spirit lurking inside the mountain, patiently waiting for his revenge. Can three teenage girls save a world?

The Alfaeren Legacy is a fun YA fantasy novel that centers around three strong female protagonists, and their combined efforts to save a world from a spirit demon. While I liked the plot and the pace of the story, I found the dialogue and the characters a little shallow. However I loved the modern use of the internet to trace one’s roots, and the intersecting of Finnish history, as honestly I don’t k…

Book Review: The Bone Keepers

The Bone Keepers by James LePore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Catholic Church has many secrets, and this one has been kept for hundreds of years. Will it stay protected with the family who has been charged with its safety since the time of Christ? Or will it be sold to the Nazis by any one of several enterprising individuals? Follow John Tolkein and Ian Fleming before they were household names, and perhaps discover some of their inspirations behind their famous characters, as their WW2 espionage exploits take them on their fated journey.

Although this is the third in the Mythmakers trilogy it was actually the first one I read, and it works well as a stand alone book. It is styled as a historical thriller, weaving fictional characters into real events, and probably fictionalized real characters, which was my impressions of Tolkein and Fleming. The author wove (not particularly subtle) allusions to Tolkein and Fleming’s famous characters and plots throughout the story, which I admit mad…

Book Review: Rhythms, Routines and Schedules

Do you have a new baby at home and you are totally working on mombie mode? (mom +zombie = mombie. It’s a real thing, I promise.) Or are you struggling to get your no longer toddler child to adjust to a preschool routine and expectations. Even better, do you have small children and have a new one to integrate into the chaos? 
Click here to view more details I’m going to go on record as being a schedule hater. My husband, an orderly Type A person who once had the job title “Scheduler” knew this before marrying me. But everything about being a slave to the clock made my skin crawl. That being said, I’ve been around kids, and I know that they need some level of predictability in their life in order to feel safe, so when I had my first I embraced the concept of routine vs. schedule. If you are a schedule lover this may sound the same, and this book will still serve you well as it lists out soothing sample schedules complete with suggested time frames and activities. There are even printables…

Book Review: All People's Lives Matter

All People Lives Matter by Billy McCoy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Holly is a 20 year old liberal student who joins the All People Lives Matter Movement as a matter of course - she’s destined to change the world after all. Unfortunately, the world she was destined to change was completely foreign and unintelligible to her, and she did not realize that until it was far too late…

I picked up this with interest, as the title was certainly an allusion to the Black Lives Matter movement, and I wanted to know the author’s take on it. I lived roughly 10 - 15 minutes away from Ferguson, MO, during the Michael Brown shooting, and watched both local and national media (and the stark difference between the two) unfold during that time. I am a Missouri girl, and the state of race relations here really saddens me, especially as they have probably devolved since that incident rather than improved. I really enjoyed how the vignettes in this book explored some of the ways racism is structural in the syst…

FREE Ecourse to Teach Kids Knife Skills!

I found author Katie Kimball through the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2016, and I will be reviewing her book Kids Cook Real Food Recipe Book soon, but I had to tell you about this FREE teach kids knife skills!  

It's only available for the next two weeks, then it gets locked away in the vault. This is something that terrifies me as a mother but I know it has to be done. I'm looking forward to seeing how my kids take to it, and then forcing them to help me cook :) Check out the video below for the description of the course, text is below if you can't play the video.  Feel free to comment with how you liked the course!
Imagine your kids eating vegetables, helping prep for dinner, and making breakfast for you while you sip your coffee. Working with food encourages kids to try new things, but fruits and vegetables almost always require knives... Does the idea of letting your kids use knives make you squeamish? Let a trained teacher bring knife skills and safety t…

Book Review: High Hopes

High Hopes by Sue Lilley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Grace had always been unlucky in love, although successful in many other areas of her life. When her ex-husband moved to New York for a year she took solace at Penrowan, the home of her two best college friends. The problem is she also brings with her a secret that could tear Sam and Dixie’s marriage apart. Will she be able to tell them about the baby she placed for adoption all those years ago?

As I work for an adoption agency ( stories from the birth parent perspective, especially search and reunion stories, always intrigue me. Adoption in general is much more open than it used to be, often with children growing up knowing who their birth parents are and where they are, but that is recent enough that there are still lots of birth parents and adoptees who have not reconnected. What I liked about this story was the whole family coming together around the idea of being there for the adoptee, despite the dram…

Book Review: Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall

Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall by Aaron Safronoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Barra has always been a natural explorer, but finding her dead father’s secret journal may send her on a journey from which she can’t return. Will her fall help her save her tree and everyone in it? Or will the deadly rot that no one seems to understand destroy them all? Can she finish her father’s story, and avert the fate he warned the Elders about? Follow Barra and her two best friends on a journey through the floating treescape of Cerulean as they try to discover the way to fight the rot for good.

Sunborn Rising is a fantasy tale of a society that lives in a tree that, ironically, has forgotten its roots. The imagery and social engineering of the story felt like Fern Gully meets Avatar, and the writing draws you in much the same way. I also loved the illustrations, which really made the characters and setting come alive in a coherent way, and lended a context to the reader’s imagination as the plot unfold…

Book Review: The Great Pretender: Confessions of a Semi-Incorrigible Southern Catholic Boy

The Great Pretender: Confessions of a Semi-Incorrigible Southern Catholic Boy by Robert R. Randall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Johnny Malloy is just a typical Catholic kid growing up in the Deep South during the 40s and 50s, but he never quite feels like he fits in. While he struggles with typical kid/teenage things like girls, school and money, as well as some deeper issues like discovering his father is actually his step father and that he and his close friends all have a dark, common link, he can never quite shake the notion that he is not meant to stay in Meridian, MS. Will he decide to enlist or head to CA or NY to chase his musical dreams?

The Great Pretender works well as a memoir, more than a novel in my opinion, and there were some writing quirks that started to annoy me, such as the overuse of the adjectives “embryonic” and “incorrigible.” But I did love the description of the time, and some of the honesty about reality of the atmosphere in the Deep South during the 40s/50s. I w…

Free Comic Book Day 2016

Did you know the first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day? I love ebooks of course, but I'm all for any book in your arsenal that can get kids (or adults!) into reading. Free Comic Book Day events are held all over the country, so put in your zip code to find one near you! Don't believe me?

Well look, Alan Tudyk agrees with me. So there. 

Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Book Review: Tiago

Tiago by Reily Garrett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Brielle has just witnessed the brutal mother of her mother, and received cryptic instructions from her right before she died. Brielle and her mom have always loved traveling the Amazon together, but why is it so critical for her to go now? How is her destiny wrapped up in the jungle? And who is the strange, glowing protector she finds there?

I have read other Reily Garrett books before, and while those were YA this is definitely a more adult romance, including sex. Disclaimer aside, if you like supernatural/paranormal romance this book fits well with Garrett’s succinct but deliberate style that unfolds a story into an adventure. Like her other books, I actually thought the book could have used a little bit more leading and tension rather than such a quick resolution, but it was still a great quick read, perfect for a beach book or surviving the airport.

View all my reviews Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for re…

Last Call for UHB2016!

Today is the last day to buy the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2016, which includes my ebook, Adoption Options: For Prospective Adoptive Parents! Please do not miss out on this huge resource! (My book is pictured below - but this is only ONE category in this bundle, there are so many more resources on organizing, cooking, routines, self care, etc.!)

As a courtesy, I thought I’d remind you that your chance to buy The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle (2016 Edition) expires in a few hours.

Although over 40,000 people have already bought their bundle and said hello to stress-less homemaking, others are hesitating, wondering if this bundle is really for them.
Well, I guess that depends…
Do any of these situations describe you?
You’ve known for quite some time that you needed to make changes in your home or your family, but just don’t know how.You’ve been eyeing some of the eBooks and eCourses, but they’ve just been a bit too expensive to justify (or maybe you’ve been wondering if they’re any good…