About my blog

When I was a little girl, I struggled to read. Reading did not come naturally to me; however, over the last 30 years I have become an avid reader, I love books. I love LDS (Latter Day Saint) Historical fiction, I love romance, I love biographies, I love stories of hope, and ways to help. I will post books that I have read, ones that have warmed my heart and given me hope!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Pedal Forward: The 10 Life and Business Lessons I Have Learned On My Bike

About the Book:
Trey Hall's 10 lessons are rooted in a gruesome 75 MPH bike/car head-on collision along a country road outside of Wichita, Kansas. The injuries resulting from the accident was devastating-bones were shattered, joints ripped apart and blood was spilt on the asphalt pavement. With the heroic efforts of first responders, emergency room doctors, physical therapists and after literally dozens of surgeries, I got back on the bike. The lessons learned from this accident and related bike adventures provide a backdrop for a common sense formula for positive long term life and business performance. The 10 lessons are told in a unique story telling style and provide important reminders about what is critical in making life-both personal and business-a success.

About the Author:

Trey Hall is a twenty-eight-year business veteran who has worked at world-class organizations PepsiCo, Boston Market, Quiznos, Smashburger, Consumer Capital Partners, and TGI Friday’s. Trey is currently president of Denver-based Consumer Concept Group, a restaurant-centric direct development firm that creates, opens, and operates modern signature restaurants. He has also helped nonprofit organizations Millennium Promise (dedicated to ending extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa) and America’s Road Home (dedicated to ending family homelessness in the United States) build their consumer infrastructure.
After earning his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University, Trey went on for a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where he was recently inducted into the Hall of Achievement.
The author has shared his bike stories and the lessons he has learned from them in university, business, and church settings. Trey lives with his wife of thirty years in Denver, Colorado. He is dedicated to his family, his friends, and his bike.
Pedal Forward is a deeply personal book written by Trey Hall; although, this book is personal it has lessons within that anyone would be able to learn and grow from. Sharing his personal experience from a serious bicycle accident to the lessons he has learned throughout the years in his personal life and his business life, Trey shares messages on how this successful business man lives his life and finds ways to learn from hard lessons and challenges. This book is a quick and easy read, I would recommend this for anyone, including teens who should learn these lessons early in life. This book is an inspiration, it will empower you, it will help you plan and motivate you to do so!

One message that became a reflection for me was realizing that in life and family having a focus and a plan will keep life not only organized, but headed in a direction that has an outcome that one might find joy and happiness.  So many times in life people give up with life becomes hard, in this book you learn how not to give up but to learn from those lessons and move forward a better person. Excellent book!

I was not paid for this review, I purchased the book and this is my honest opinion.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Pet Peeves: A Love Story

 About the Author: John Williams John Paul Williams is actually not an author. John did write a poem about zits in high school and a Speech to Entertain about PMS (psychological mutilation from skinniness) in college but otherwise, he only writes if he has to. For instance, John had to write a dissertation for his Doctor of Education degree which he received from the University of Wyoming. He never would have done that unless he felt compelled to do so by higher powers. So no, John is not a writer.
John is also not a runner, but he ran a half-marathon once. He would really like to fight in the octagon, but settles for watching UFC on TV. He jumped out of a plane for his 40th birthday but would never do it again. He’s pretty good at ping pong and racquet ball but is lousy at basketball. He loves hiking at Vedauwoo and has hiked the Subway and Arches National Park but he detests camping. He likes amusement parks but gets sick on the spinning rides. Loves Church, hates meetings.
About the only thing for which there are no buts is his family—John loves his family, no buts about it. He currently resides with his beautiful wife, Ruth and their six children in Laramie, Wyoming. John loves the Laramie summers…but hates the winters. About the only thing to do during a Laramie winter is, well, write. Hence, John is, but not by choice, a writer
About the Book: When I first met Ruth, a British bombshell with a borderline-psychotic penchant for pets, I could not imagine the beautiful disaster that would follow. My wife has subjected me to more ridiculous pet palaver than any man should have to endure. Ruth rescues feeder mice from pet stores, spends 500 dollars on tadpoles and believes the best way to honor a dead pet is to bring home a live one. From Hedgehogs to horses, or polliwogs to parakeets, or even ducks to demon dogs, we’ve had nearly every kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species of “pet” imaginable. 

Watch me struggle mightily to control the chaos as I juggle my love for Ruth, my disdain for 
pets and the responsibilities of fatherhood in this bizarre story that is my life. Along the way I’ll make up songs, poems and folktales; “Stella the one-eyed hamster” is a personal favorite, though I’m particularly fond of the nursery rhymes surrounding the gerbil genocide. My co-author, William Shakespeare, helps introduce each chapter and his words are often used to summarize my angst. In the end, there's a lesson for all--probably one you will never guess

My Review:
I read this book with an open mind, because I LOVE pets, although with all seven of my children, I have never had as many as John and Ruth have had. This book was hilarious, one of the funniest books I've read with animals involved. If you love or hate pets, you'll love this book. It opens the world of those that enjoy pets "less" than the rest of the family. I laughed so hard with John and Ruth's story, each child, and pet. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to have a fun read that will make you laugh!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Biblical Names of Christ Ornament Set

About the Product:
Create a Christ-focused holiday tradition as you review the sacred names of the Savior. Display these antique pewter-finish ornaments on the tree, as gift tags, or adorning a wreath on the front door. A list of scripture references is included, perfect for a "Twelve Days of Christmas" countdown. 12-piece set. Ornament size: 3¼" x 3¼". *Hooks & twine NOT included.
About the Author:
Zions Mercantile is a gathering of gifts and d├ęcor inspired by our unique Latter-day Saint heritage — whether it be from Palmyra, Nauvoo, Salt Lake City or anywhere in the world. Offering quality products in a variety of price points, Zions Mercantile is a place you can find meaningful items that enhance your home and reflect your values.
Zions Mercantile – available at Deseret Book stores and at DeseretBook.com
My Review: 
I waited until after Thanksgiving to add these ornaments to our tree, I waited until my whole family was gathered around. We talked about Christ and I told each of the grandchildren that these were names for Christ, as I handed each one an ornament to add to the tree I told them what the name was, it was a very special moment for us and these children realized how many names that Christ is know as. 
These ornaments are the perfect addition to any Christmas tree, they are made well, and easy to attach to the tree. We used a wire ornament hanger but one could easily use a ribbon to hang them. I love that these ornaments are biblical, this is just one more reminder of why we should keep Christ in Christmas. 
Thank you to Deseret Book and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the opportunity to review this product and hang them on my tree. 

Christmas From Heaven

 About the Book:

Christmas from Heaven is the story of the humble beginnings of what became a beacon of hope to a war-torn land, the story of Gail Halvorsen, a young pilot in the US Army Air Corps who was assigned as a cargo pilot to the Berlin Airlift, in which US forces flew much-needed supplies into a Soviet-blockaded Berlin.
As he performed his duties, Lt. Halvorsen began to notice the German children gathered by the fences of Tempelhof Air Base. Knowing that they had very little, he one day offered them some chewing gum. From that small act, an idea sprang: He would "bomb" Berlin with candy. Fashioning small parachutes, he and his crew sent them floating down as they approached the Berlin airport, wiggling the wings of their C-54 as a signal to the children that their anticipated cargo would soon arrive.
Lt. Halvorsen became known by hundreds, if not thousands, of children in Berlin as "Uncle Wiggly Wings" or "The Candy Bomber." Word soon spread, and donations of candy and other supplies poured in from sympathetic Americans. Lt. Halvorsen's small idea became a great symbol of hope not only to German children in a bombed-out city but to all those who yearned for freedom.
Famed broadcast journalist and author Tom Brokaw brings this remarkable true story to life in a stunning live performance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, captured on the accompanying DVD. Also included in the book is a template and directions for creating your own “Candy Bomber” parachutes.

About the Authors:

Robert T. Barrett is a professor of illustration at Brigham Young University, received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degrees in painting and completed postgraduate work in Germany. An accomplished painter, muralist, and illustrator, his work has been featured in many national magazines and in art exhibits across the country and in Germany. He and his wife, Vicki, have ten children and one grandchild and reside in Provo, Utah.
Tom Brokaw is one of the giants of television journalism. Anchor and managing editor of NBCNightly News from 1982 to 2004, he also holds the honor of being the only person to host each ofNBC News’s major news programs: The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and Meet the Press. He has won several awards, including a Peabody Award and seven Emmys. He is the author of The Greatest Generation and The Greatest Generation Speaks, among other books. He and his wife, Meredith, have three daughters and five grandchildren

My Review:
The day after Thanksgiving when I had my family and grandchildren all around, I opened this book and read them the story. My grandchildren ranging from 12-3 years of age were all seated and intently listening. My adult children were all seated around as well, it was a beautiful story, that my family enjoyed. The illustrations mixed with real photos make the story something that each of the children could appreciate and understand. My older grandchildren and children understood the magnitude of this story much more than the younger ones. 
This is a story that shows gratitude, and teaches the importance of what soldiers and airmen did to give back to those without. The story is heartwarming, happy and a Christmas story to read every year. I'm so thankful that I was able to read this story to my children and grandchildren. I am so excited to add this book to our annual Christmas reading! Just a reminder of what we have to be grateful for. 
Thank you Deseret Book and Shadow Mountain publishing for allowing me to review this book. I was given a free copy for my honest review. I was  not paid. 

Christmas From Heaven - Tom Brokaw

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Rent Collector

About the Book:

Survival for Ki Lim and Sang Ly is a daily battle at Stung Mean Chey, the largest municipal waste dump in all of Cambodia. They make their living scavenging recyclables from the trash. Life would be hard enough without the worry for their chronically ill child, Nisay, and the added expense of medicines that are not working.
Just when things seem worst, Sang Ly learns a secret about the ill-tempered rent collector who comes demanding money — a secret that sets in motion a tide that will change the life of everyone it sweeps past. The Rent Collector is a story of hope, of one woman's journey to save her son and another woman's chance at redemption. It demonstrates that even in a dump in Cambodia — perhaps especially in a dump in Cambodia — everyone deserves a second chance.
“A beautifully told story about the perseverance of the human spirit.” — Booklist
“An amazing piece of literature, a must read for every book club!” — Sean Covey, New York Times bestselling author
“A rich and rewarding tale of hope!” — Jenny Lyons, The King’s English Bookshop
“. . . Compelling, insightful, and engaging.” — Wendy Ulrich, New York Times bestselling author
“Stunning! A passionately poignant work.” — A. Todd Smith, Emmy-winning director
  • 2012 Book of the Year Gold Winner — Foreword Magazine
  • 2012 Best Novel of the Year — Whitney Awards
  • 2012 Honorable Mention — Great Southwest Book Festival
  • 2013 One Read Selection — California Chapter, Delta Kappa Gamma Society of Outstanding Women Educators
About the Author:

Camron Wright was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a master’s degree in Writing and Public Relations from Westminster College.
He has owned several successful retail stores, in addition to working with his wife in the fashion industry, designing for the McCall Pattern Company in New York.
He currently works in public relations, marketing and design.
Camron began writing to get out of attending MBA School at the time and it proved the better decision. Letters for Emily was a “Readers Choice” award winner, as well as a selection of the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild. In addition to North America, Letters for Emily was published in several foreign countries.
Camron lives with his wife, Alicyn, in Utah, just south of Salt Lake City, at the base of the Wasatch mountains. He is the proud father of four children.

My Review:

The Rent Collector was a book I had wanted to review a long time. I anticipated its arrival, and was excited when it finally came in the mail. 

Camron Wright, did a great job in this book with creating meaningful characters. I loved to read the thoughts of Sang Ly, as a mother, I could picture this clearly. I also loved her drive for a better tomorrow and a brighter future for her son. 

I got caught up in this book, and because of all the pictures in the back, started to think this was a real story, I guess that was where my feelings changed. Although a great story, this is just a fictional story. It is great, and it was hard to put down. I had a difficult time finding the time to finish it, but so glad I finally did.

I would give this book a 3 star rating. Great read. My dad served in the military in Cambodia/Viet Nam. The story is heart breaking to realize the struggles that this family endured. I would recommend it to anyone.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Janitors: Curse of the Broomstaff

The 3 in the sequal to the Janitor series and Aubrey will continue to be the guest blogger!
 About the Book:
The secret society of Janitors with wizard-like powers continue their battle, but now, the stakes are even higher. The Bureau of Educational Maintenance is after Alan Zumbro and this time they mean business—deadly business.
About the Author:
Tyler Whitesides worked as a janitor at an Elementary school to put himself through college. He graduated from Utah State University with a degree in music. In addition to writing YA novels, Tyler is an avid composer and arranger of instrumental music. He and his wife, Connie (who teaches third grade) live in Logan, Utah.

My Review:

The setting of this book was set in a totally different place, which confused me at first. I was trying to figure out how it would all come together; however, this storyline was so exciting and even in this book that I could not put the book down.

This book had a surprising character totally changed the outcome of the story, you will have to read all three books to piece that together, and learn of this exciting adventure. I would recommend this book to everyone who loves adventure. This series will not disappoint you. GREAT read, GREAT fun, and GREAT adventure.

Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.

Janitors: Secrets of the New Forest Academy

This book in the series is also reviewed by my guest blogger Aubrey!
 About the Book:
No one takes Spencer Zumbro seriously when he tries to warn his classmates about the mysterious things prowling the halls and classrooms of Welcher Elementary School. But when he sees Marv, the janitor, going after one of the creatures with a vacuum, he knows he's not the only one who can see them. With the help of his new friend, Daisy, Spencer has to find out what the janitors know. The children's search uncovers the magic taking place behind the scenes of their seemingly ordinary school, where a battle is being waged for the minds of the students. Who can be trusted – and can Spencer and Daisy protect their school and possibly the world?
About the Author:

Tyler Whitesides worked as a janitor at an Elementary school to put himself through college. He graduated from Utah State University with a degree in music. In addition to writing YA novels, Tyler is an avid composer and arranger of instrumental music. He and his wife, Connie (who teaches third grade) live in Logan, Utah.

My Review:

This sequel in the Janitor series (Part 2) had so many twists. It developed more characters that I did not think would be in this book. Many of the characters from book 1 came back. The author Mr. Whitesides developed characters so well, they felt real to me. The  more the author described the characters the more I felt I was apart of the story.  In this story there were more janitor tools to be used as magic, that was very good! It also made me think I could go on a broom and fly. Although I will say, I am always looking around to see if there are toxins in my school. This book was so fun to read, again I could not put the book down, to the point that my parents were always asking me to turn off my light or put the book down for dinner.

I loved this adventure. I recommend it to all teens and older children who love children's fantasy.

Thank you Shadow Mountain Publishing for the being able to read this fun book.


Janitor -Guest Blogger Aubrey

 About the Book:

No one takes Spencer Zumbro seriously when he tried to warn his classmates about the mysterious things prowling the halls and classrooms of Welcher Elementary School. But when he sees Marv, the janitor, going after one of the creatures with a vacuum, he knows he's not the only one who can see them.

With the help of his new friends, Daisy, Spencer has to find out what the janitors know. The children's search uncovers the magic taking place behind the scenes of their seemingly ordinary school, where a battle is being waged for the minds of the students. Who can be trusted – and can Spencer and Daisy protect their school and possibly the world?
About the Author:
Tyler Whitesides worked as a janitor at an Elementary school to put himself through college. He graduated from Utah State University with a degree in music. In addition to writing YA novels, Tyler is an avid composer and arranger of instrumental music. He and his wife, Connie (who teaches third grade) live in Logan, Utah.

My Review:

The book Janitor starts out with two normal kids who don't know each other. The setting starts in a classroom. These kids get to know each other and adventures happen.

The author Mr. Whitesides wrote the book in an exciting way, he wrote the book with enthusiasm and adventure. I read this book in a short amount of time because it was so good I did not want to put the book down.

I would recommend this story to anyone who loves books and children's fantasy. This book is awesome for teens and older children who are are older readers. The storyline was clean, easy to follow, and unpredictable, I loved that about the book. This book left me wanting more good thing I had two more to read!

Thank you Shadow Mountain Publishing for providing this book to read and review.


Friday, September 27, 2013


About the Novel:
Kate Worthington knows her heart and she knows she will never marry. Her plan is to travel to India instead—if only to find peace for her restless spirit and to escape the family she abhors. But Kate’s meddlesome mother has other plans. She makes a bargain with Kate: India, yes, but only after Kate has secured—and rejected—three marriage proposals. Kate journeys to the stately manor of Blackmoore determined to fulfill her end of the bargain sooner rather than later and enlists the help of her dearest childhood friend, Henry Delafield. But when it comes to matters of love, bargains are meaningless and plans are changeable. There on the wild lands of Blackmoore, Kate must face the truth that has kept her heart captive. Will the proposal she is determined to reject actually be the one thing that will set her heart free? Set in Northern England in 1820, Blackmoore is a regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn how to follow her heart.

About the Author:
Debut novelist Julianne Donaldson is a hopeless romantic. Her degree in English has only fueled her passion to write. She and her husband live in Salt Lake City, Utah, with their four children, but she takes every opportunity she can to travel the English countryside.

My Review:

This page turning romance novel, was filled with the ebb and flow of love, romance and adventure. Never have I had a novel open up as these characters did on the page. This novel changed from present day to past experiences that happened. The reader was never left to wonder, the details were so clear and concise. My mind could visualize these characters. Mrs. Donaldson depicted her characters so well, it was easy as a reader to feel for these people.

Last night, I finished reading this amazing story, which kept me wanting more; I hope there is more. I could not put this novel down, when I went to bed, I did not want to disturb my husband, and so I turned on a flashlight and read until two in the morning.

I would recommend this clean read to anyone who is a romantic at heart. I have never felt as gripped by a story as this one. I love reading, and I love many novels, but this one was different, it had suspense, love and mystery. This novel is set in an era where families arranged marriages based on social status. In this case Henry Delafield was to marry Ms. St. Claire. The lead character Kate Worthington grew up with Henry; however, Kate had seen such horrible examples of love in her life, or should I say a loveless family, which she vowed she would never marry Henry or any other person. Kate was easy to like and to see how she struggled. It wasn't until she was at her beloved Blackmoore the place she dreamed of going for years. The one place she had never been able to go, and yet the stories that her bestfriends Sylvia and Henry would tell her of Blackmoore, this made Kate dream of going to this beautiful place. It wasn't until she was at Blackmoore that many of her struggles became apparent. It wasn't until she was at Blackmoore that Kate and Henry faced real truth.

Your heart will soar, your heart will swell, and your heart will break. This is a wonderful must read story. This is a clean, beautiful romance. A proper romance!!

I was given a free reviewers copy of this novel to read and write my honest review. I was not paid. Thank you Shadow Mountain Publishing for allowing me to review this novel. Thank you Julianne Donaldson for writing such a worthy novel.

I give this book a full five star review.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Longing for Home

 About the book:
Though she was only a child during the darkest days of Ireland’s Great Famine, Katie Macauley feels responsible for the loss of her family’s land and the death of her sister. Now a woman grown, Katie has left Ireland for America and the promise of earning money enough to return home again and plead for her family’s forgiveness. She arrives in Hope Springs, Wyoming Territory, a town sharply divided between the Americans who have settled there, with their deep hatred of the Irish, and the Irish immigrants who have come searching for a place to call home. Her arrival tips the precarious balance, and the feud erupts anew. Even in the midst of hatred and violence, however, Katie finds reason to hope. Two men, as different as they are intriguing, vie for her heart, turning her thoughts for the first time toward a future away from Ireland. Katie must now make the hardest decision of her life: stay and give her heart a chance at love, or return home and give her soul the possibility of peace.

About the Author:
Sarah M. Eden read her first Jane Austen novel in elementary school and has been an Austen addict ever since. Fascinated by the English Regency era, Eden became a regular in that section of the reference department at her local library, where she painstakingly researched this extraordinary chapter in history. Eden is an award-winning author of short stories and was a Whitney Award finalist for her novels Seeking Persephone and Courting Miss Lancaster.

Visit her at www.sarahmeden.com.

My Review:

While reading this novel one can only realize what a wonderful job that Ms. Eden did developing characters, history, and the storyline. I enjoyed getting to know these characters in this novel, the descriptions were exactly what I would picture in my minds eye these characters to be. I could envision, the accents, the surroundings, and the wind in Wyoming, because I have traveled Wyoming for the last eight and a half years, the wind if brutal. I could picture Katie and Tavish, I could feel the hurt that they each had suffered.

This is a story of, Katie, a young lady who travels to Wyoming to earn the money to return to her family in Ireland. She has had hardship after hardship, yet she keeps trying so she can return home. Katie, is stubborn, she has scares on her heart. Yet, in this small town of Hope Springs, she finds a sense of belonging.

This novel is for all those who love a good, clean romance. This novel is one that those who read will not likely want to put down, I found that I was easily lost in the storyline. My heart broke for Katie, and all she had endured, but I also cheered at all her triumphs and cried with her during challenges.

I give this novel a full five stars, it was one of the best love story I have read in a very long time. I would recommend this novel for anyone young and old since this is such a good clean read.

Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing for the opportunity to review this novel. I was given a free reviewers copy of the novel for my honest review. I was not paid for this review. I can not wait to read the sequel in the Spring of 2014.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Drawing Out The Dragons: A Meditation on Art, Destiny, and the Power of Choice

 About the Book:
In an autobiographical meditation brimming with exuberance and hope, StarChild comic book creator James A. Owen seeks to show how we can all harness our potential and become luminaries in the world—and he has the experience to back it up.

Owen’s story contains no shortage of potentially catastrophic incidents. To his credit, and to the reader’s delight, he relates these with both tranquility and humor. He first recalls the event that nearly ended his budding career, when an errant young driver turned into his car and crushed his drawing hand. For a man whose work revolved around illustrations, the injury had potential for ruination. Yet Owen heads this prologue with the curious reflection, “the real tragedy was that I’d finally figured out [how to tune] the radio.” Cue audience devotion.

This is not just another story of incredible perseverance in the face of immense challenges, although it contains those elements. Owen, on his probable death bed at age eleven, reads a reimagined Superman tale and resolves that he is going to live to contribute meaningfully to the world. He does.

Owen, at sixteen, decides that he’s going to start a printing press to actualize his dreams of comic book greatness despite outside resistance. He does. Owen, in his early twenties, sells everything to pursue a job in Ireland. Down to a dollar in his pocket, he pushes connected aspirations into reality here, as well.
How Owen manages to relate these triumphs without making his audience feel comparatively meek is a wonder, but he does this, too. And all of his experiences are shared to push one persistent encouragement: “if you really want to do something, no one can stop you.”

Owen is convinced, and seeks to infect his audience with the conviction, that life is, indeed, composed of a series of choices. If one resolves—really resolves—to achieve some daunting goal, it can be achieved, without exception or condition. Owen counts the times he was told “no” or “impossible,” notes that he never accepted such repudiations as absolute, and relates how he wrangled incredible personal success—all on the steam of personal resolution.

So, too, can we all forge our personal success stories, Owen insists. We can reject the temptations of regret and fear, without which “there’s nothing left but possibility and joy.” We can actualize our grandest dreams, and bring them to bear for the good of humanity. These are lofty propositions, but Owen delivers them with such charm and conviction that readers will find it difficult to escape his enchantment. This work is an astounding manifesto for creativity, sure to alternately move and inspire its readers.
About the Author:
James A. Owens is the founder and executive director of Coppervale International, an art and design studio that published the periodicals International Studio and Argosy, develops television and film projects, and is redesigning an entire town, among other ventures. James has written and illustrated two dozen StarChild comics, the MythWorld series of novels, the bestselling Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series, and more. He lives in Arizona with his family.

My Review: 
The Author Mr. Owens does a good job discussing choice and the power of decision making. As a Choice/Reality therapist, I know how important the power of choice can become in the lives of those who need guidance and encouragement. This book is filled with examples of how the power of choice and positive thinking in one's self can change the course of one's life.

Mr. Owens story about his own personal life is inspiriting and motivating. Throughout the book, Mr. Owens story continues from one choice to another, he set the path of his own destiny by not allowing anyone to make decisions for him, and by not taking no for an answer. Throughout the book Mr. Owen repeats the quote over and over "If you really, really want to do something, no one can stop you. But if you really don't want to do something, then no one can help you" this is a powerful statement.  Making decisions that will improve your life, and take chances are sometimes the one way to accomplish dreams.

Overall this was a delightful book, an inspiring book. There was a time during the book that the story felt redundant to me, because it was the same story over and over, albeit different circumstances. I would read this book again, and I would recommend it to anyone who is willing to put in the effort to improve one's life. This book is positive, inspiring, and will help those who are searching for positive choices and decisions, it will encourage those who read it to want to strive harder to accomplish those dreams. This book is a good motivational read!

Thank you Shadow Mountain Publishing for allowing me to review this book. I was given a free review copy of this book for my honest review. I was not paid for this review; the opinion expressed is my own.


Friday, April 5, 2013

The Inventor's Secret

 About the book:
Imagine a school in the year 2074 where students don't read history, but watch it happen around them; where running in gym class isn't around a track, but up a virtual mountain; and where learning about animals means becoming one through an avatar. Welcome to Cragbridge Hall, the most advanced and prestigious school in the world.

Twins Abby and Derick Cragbridge are excited as new students to use their famed grandfather's inventions that make Cragbridge Hall so incredible. But when their grandfather and parents go missing, the twins must follow a mysterious trail of clues left by their grandfather. They must find out where their family is, learn who they can trust, and discover what secrets are hidden within Cragbridge Hall.

Abby and Derick soon realize they are caught in a race with a fierce adversary to discover their grandfather's greatest secret — a dangerous discovery that could alter both history and reality.

About the Author:
Chad Morris grew up wanting to become a professional basketball player or a rock star. (Inspired by Animal from the Muppets, he’s been banging on drums since he was eight years old.) After high school, he wrote and performed sketch comedy while going to college, and eventually he became a teacher and a curriculum writer. He lives in Utah with his wife and five kids.

Chad would love to teach at Cragbridge Hall. Unlike Oscar Cragbridge, however, he hasn’t really invented anything, though his son once sketched out blueprints for a machine that would turn celery into cookies.

My Review:
I'm extremely late with this review, and I apologize to Chad Morris and Shadow Mountain.

Oscar Cragbridge grandfather extraordinaire created and invented technology that we in 2013 could only dream of having. This fun read was so exciting, ever changing. Just when I thought I had figured things out, the book had more twists, and keep me reading for more.

I especially felt drawn to the two main characters twins Derick and Abby and their dedication to their parents and grandfather. I saw such love and determination from these two teenagers, it made my heart happy to think how wonderful is it that kids respect their parents and grandfather so much that they would do anything, and risk anything to save them.

I would say that this is one of the most exciting fun books I have read in a long time. I can not wait to pass it off to my 10 and 11 year old to read, they will love it. Which just shows me that this book is meant for all ages, I so enjoyed it, and yet my kids will love it too. I enjoy reading books that my whole family can enjoy.

I give this book four stars on a scale of 1-4. I would recommend this book to anyone of all ages. The read was clean, fun, adventurous and heartwarming.

Thank you to Shadow Mountain for the opportunity to read this book, I was not paid for my review, I was provided a reviewers copy of the book for my honest review.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Six Sister' STUFF: Family Recipes, Fun, Crafts, and so much more!

 About the Challenge:

Join us for the 4x4 Family Dinner Challenge!

During the month of March, we encourage you to have dinner with your family four nights per week, for four weeks. It’s really easier than you think…and we’ll provide tips and recipes to help you throughout the month. We all know that family dinners are important – they’re often the glue that binds families together, that provides us valuable time to discuss the day’s events, and even gives us moments to laugh and enjoy each other’s company.
Please join with us to build families, one meal at a time.

We also invite you to share with us (and our readers) why you love family dinners and how they unite your family. You can do so on our Facebook page, via Twitter, or through a photo on Pinterest.
Join the challenge today
 About the Authors:
The Six Sisters—Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Stephanie, Lauren, and Kendra—grew up in Utah, but a few of them have lived all over the country since moving out of the house. Between them there are five nieces and two nephews, and all of the sisters love playing “aunt.” The sisters started the blog in February 2011 to keep in touch while they were apart, but it has since gained popularity, garnering more than 6 million viewers per month and more than 160,000 followers on Pinterest.

About the book:
Cook, craft, and create with recipes, projects, and ideas from the enormously popular blog SixSistersStuff.com. Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Stephanie, Lauren, and Kendra are six sisters who share their easy, affordable recipes and crafts in this collection of family favorites. These pages contain more than 90 tried-and-true recipes that use ingredients commonly found in your pantry, with easy-to-follow instructions and photographs of each dish. Charming do-it-yourself projects, such as stained Mason Jars and a Ruffles and Yarn Wreath, are fun to create and require little time or money. Suggestions for indoor activities for kids, healthy snack ideas, or an inexpensive night out are among the many lists included in the book. "We don't profess to be amazing chefs," the sisters claim. "We just know the importance of feeding our families a home-cooked meal and sitting down to eat it together. Even the busiest of people can make the food and project ideas we share, which will give you even more time to spend with your family and loved ones." Bookshelf eBook users: Because of the large amount of content in this eBook, we recommend viewing in scroll mode for optimal results.

My Review:

This book was such a fun book to review, I have three sisters and no brothers, so I could relate to these six sisters a great deal! I wish my sisters and I were as genius as these six sisters are to come up with a way to stay in touch with each other as lives start to separate them by miles.

First of all, this is WAY, WAY more than a cookbook. This book has recipes (that are extremely yummy), crafts, cleaning ideas, 50 fun dates, 100 snack ideas, 101 fun, easy and cheap indoor activities for kids (I need this for my kids), building a 72 hour kit in 52 weeks, 40 road trip ideas for kids (LOVE this, since I love road trips).

I tried several of the recipes and tonight, I'm doing my whole dinner from the book. Monday's a crazy night at my house. So I wanted to try something new to help my family want to be as busy as they are on a Monday night.

The recipes are easy to make, they are not complicated at all. I found them extremely user friendly, plus the pictures help if you are idea challenged like me. One thing I loved is that there are plenty of ideas, plus with snack ideas it links back to the blog for even more instructions.

For those readers who like to try new things, or want ideas on crafts, recipes, and many more, this book is certainly for you. It is so fun to go through. My kids have loved looking through the book and have found many things we have tried. You can not go wrong with this book, it is totally for everyone!

This is one of the best books I have read, looked at, cooked from, followed the blog in a long time. Its a must have! Thank you for Shadow Mountain for allowing me the opportunity to review this book. I was not paid, but instead recieved a copy of the book, for my honest review.

DO NOT forget the dinner challenge.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The 7 Principles of Fat Burning

 About the Book:

The 7 Principles of Fat Burning is the handbook to the sensational Berg Diet that has empowered thousands of people to get healthy, lose weight and keep it off. It shows how to activate your fat-burning hormones with a tailor-made eating and exercise plan for your body type.

The 7 Principles is a highly practical book that provides clear explanations-aided by dozens of charts and illustrations-of the principles of healthy weight loss. Easy-to-understand health and nutrition information and simple tests to determine your correct body type are the keys to its success. Knowledge is power and The 7 Principles of Fat Burning gives dieters the power to take command by eating the healthy diet that activates the fat-burning hormones for their body type.

For years people have been told to lose weight to be healthy. The truth is, you need to get healthy to lose weight. The Seven Principles of Fat Burning shows you how. Dr. Berg thoroughly educates readers and puts them right where they should be: in charge of their own weight.

·         Hardcover: 330 pages
·         Publisher: KB Publishing; 1 edition (March 15, 2010)
·         ISBN: 978-0982601600

About the Author:

Eric Berg, DC, 47 years of age is a chiropractor who specializes in weight loss through nutritional and natural methods. His private practice is located in Alexandria, Virginia. His clients include senior officials in the U.S. government and the Justice Department, ambassadors, medical doctors, high-level executives of prominent corporations, scientists, engineers, professors, and other clients from all walks of life.

He is the author of The 7 Principles of Fat Burning, published by Action KB Publishing in January 2010. In addition, Eric Berg is widely published in trade magazines, including Chiropractic Today and The American Chiropractor, and in consumer publications such as First for Women, Men’s Exercise, New Beauty, Upscale and Let’s Live. Dr. Berg trains chiropractors, physicians and allied healthcare practitioners in his methods, and to date he has trained over 2,000 healthcare professionals.

He has been an active member of the Endocrinology Society, on the advisory panel for the Health Science Institute, and has worked as a past part-time adjunct professor at Howard University. Eric Berg’s nonprofit foundation, Health Technology Foundation, is currently being approved nationally for the purpose of providing research to substantiate alternative healthcare technologies, giving cost-effective solutions and result-oriented healthcare. As a leader in natural health and food coaching, Eric Berg has appeared on many radio and television shows, including ABC, CBS, and as a monthly host on Channel 8’s Sports Talk. He has also had his own radio health show on WOL in 2005.

My Review:

A MUST READ! I have never read a book that spoke to me and answered many of the questions I have had over the last few years. Dr. Berg explains in detail exactly what causes a body to become overweight. The book offers a quiz that helps one to identify body type, because everyone is individual to his or her own body. Then he shows ways to help reverse long term issues that result in inability to lose weight and keep it off. The one thing I found to be most helpful is Dr. Berg goes step by step in showing the reader how to start with a liver enhancement, then what foods are specific to helping each individual body type.

This book is by far the best resource for learning how to burn fat and become healthy properly and effectively. Everything about this book has made sense to me. This is a life style change it is not a diet. There can not be any reason to go back. This book is only a small portion that Dr. Berg offers,  he has a website that can help answer questions and one can watch video's as well.

If you are trying to change your way of life, looking for a healthy lifestyle, and want to learn about yourself and your body then this book is for you. This book is an easy read, it is user friendly. Inside you will find sample menu's and meal plans, there is not one area that is left to the imagination. One of the best reads, I recommend this book to everyone!

I was not paid for this review, I was given a  free copy of this book from Media Guests for my honest review. Thank you Media Guests for the opportunity. Thank you Dr. Berg for enlightening my mind and helping  me broaden my horizon. I give this book a 4 star EXCELLENT rating.


Don't Say I Do! Why Women Should Stay Single

 About the book:
Is Marriage Outdated for Today’s Women?
A rising tide of single women are forgoing traditional wedding vows and choosing the single life. In fact, 47 percent of young adults have never been married and the percentage includes more women than men. As women rise in the workforce, single parenthood becomes more accepted and life partners increase, fewer women than ever opt to tie the knot.         
Provocative, timely and relevant, DON’T SAY I DO! Why Woman Should Stay Single (New Horizon Press, July 2012) by Orna Gadish, MSc, reveals a new list of options for modern women, provides alternatives to traditional marriage and enables women to carve their own paths in their professional and private lives.
DON’T SAY I DO! reveals how the sexual revolution set the stage for new life choices, how times have changed and how women can lead in today’s world, unfettered by the marriage chain. Gadish looks at the options, pluses and problems of unmarried women in fulfilling relationships, unmarried and married women in unhappy relationships, divorced women and women contemplating marriage. DON’T SAY I DO! provides tools, strategies and tips to encourage sexual, psychological and financial independence. It will inspire women to think for themselves, weigh what they need in a relationship, seriously consider alternatives to marriage and claim their strength in a new world in which women are no longer subordinates but men’s equals.
About the Author:
Orna Gadish, MSc, is an award-winning writing professional, published author and translator based in Israel. In addition to her far-reaching research on the virtues of single life, she has written two books. Ms. Gadish has an MS degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

My Review:

I did not go into this review with a light heart. I find this subject something seriously personal to each and every person. I personally have been married for almost 33 years and have a good happy life. So, when I read this book, I thought I would hate it and yet wanted to see another view of marriage.

This book covers a wide variety of topics from marriage, to being unhappy in marriage. It covers being single, the pros and cons of marriage (which I personally thought was interesting).This book talks about choices, and women's roles in our society today. These topics are covered thoroughly and not so bias as I assumed would be, instead its an analysis of all the variety of role in which women today are part of, in this every changing society.

If you are someone looking to change your life, find your place after divorce or are a single lady who is interested in more variety and finding our ways to life a richer life then this book is for you. If you are someone who is happily married, it might not be something you'd like to read, although it is not a bad read.

The writing was clear, easy to read and well written. The subject matter seemed to be well researched and through out. I reviewed this book for Media Guests, I was not paid for this review, I this review is in my own words. I did receive a free copy of this book for review purposes.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Beau and the Beanstalk

 About the Book:

Beau and the Beanstalk is being released as a revolutionary Interactive App. Children will be able to read along with the text as Lee Baker narrates the story as well as hear the characters speak as they interact on their PC, Mac, ipad, iphone, Android pad, Android phone or Kindle Fire.

Author Lee Baker created a fun new book for children of all ages to enjoy. A reverse on the classic tale, Jack and the Beanstalk, Baker's Children's book Beau and the Beanstalk is about an adolescent giant who is ridiculed in a magical kingdom in the clouds and climbs down a beanstalk to meet Jack, a hack-magician with a love of fire tricks, who will do anything to be the star of the circus.

This book is an instant hit with parents and educators. The book teaches values like overcoming difficulties, taking care of mistakes, standing up to bullies and choosing the right friends. The illustrations will immediately draw the reader into the story.
About the Author:

Lee Baker is the President of Paralight Films, a film development company and Sandman Studios a visual effects and animation company. Lee has taught courses at UCLA Extension, Loyola Marymount University, the University of Utah and the Utah Education Network in the subjects of English, Writing, Educational Technology and Digital Video Editing. He is a producer of the upcoming film Lundon’s Bridge and the three Keys and is the author of the novel Speed of Light and the illustrated books Humbug, A Christmas Carol and Beau and the Beanstalk. Lee earned a degree in English at the University of Utah and currently lives in Utah with is wife and their five children.

My Review:

I received a copy of this book for my iPad, it was a fun interactive book that my children each took turns reading and playing with. The illustrations were clean and crips on the iPad. Each page has interactive characters that talk and then also an interactive reader. I didn't actually read the book I listend to it beign ready to me. I wanted to enjoy it as my children did. I believe that everyone should be read to at some point in their life.

The story a take on the old Jack and the beanstalk, but with a twist...a modern day twist. The story life was good and showed that everyone has choices in life.

My children loved this book and I would recommend this book for anyone who wishes to learn about others and how to handle life situations. Mr Baker found a purpose and reason for doing what he did. For allowing the reader to take a journy with Jack and Beau!

I would recommend this book with a 4 star. I was given a free copy of this book to review from Media Guests and was not paid in any way for my comments.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Summer of Anger, Summer of Peace

 About the Book:

Summer of Anger, Summer of Peace is an inspirational story that will make the reader laugh, cry, and examine just how precious life really is. Written by Rick Dean, Dennis’s brother, this true-life story comes alive with firsthand accounts of Dennis’s struggles and triumphs while living with Muscular Dystrophy. It is doubtful that you could read this story and not be changed and encouraged to make a difference. If you are looking for a story that has all of the elements of life, and one that will give you a new perspective on what you may be currently going through, do not miss this uplifting biography.

About the Author:

Rick Dean was born in Denver, Colorado and spent his youth exploring the adventures of life side by side with his brother, Dennis. Dennis, because of his disease, required someone to be with him at all times, from the time he was eight years old. Much of that responsibility fell to Rick who was grateful for the assignment to always tag along with his older brother.

Having spent a lifetime as a caregiver and as an observer of personal trial, he offers insight on daily life with loved ones afflicted with a devastating disease. Rick was much impressed with Dennis and his ability to overcome just by making the decision to better his life and then work at improving it on a daily basis. Rick learned that people can change. He learned that helping hands are needful and appreciated. Most of all, he learned that life can be a wonderful thing even in the most dire situations if we allow ourselves the blessing of enjoying the journey.

Rick Dean lives with his sweetheart on the Wasatch Front in Utah. He loves every opportunity to share the inspirational story of his brother, Dennis. Rick is currently working on other inspiring life stories.

My Review:

Summer of Anger, Summer of Peace is a true story of two brothers, the main character Dennis has Muscular Dystrophy. As the story evolves the brothers Rick who wrote the book and Dennis go through many of life's challenges by each others side.

Mr. Dean took great care to make sure that this story was authentic of his relationship with his brother Dennis. The story not only is about Dennis accepting his reality of Muscular Dystrophy, but the story is also about a brothers love, struggles, and all that two people can go through. As we the reader watches Rick take on the role of caretaker to his older brother, we are taking on a journey unlike any journey I have ever had the pleasure of taking. This story sometimes feels more than just a story of Dennis, it also feels like a story of Rick who is a devoted brother, who by no fault of his own has a myriad of feelings as well.

This story will pull on the heartstrings, and cause you to laugh, smile and break ones heart. I cried, I laughed, and I took in what this story had to offer. Once anyone reads this book they are a better person for having taken this journey with the author and his brother Dennis from childhood to adults. I highly recommend this story of great courage and brotherhood. I realized as I read about Dennis' change of heart in his summer of peace, all the ways that Dennis had chosen to do for others. This only made me rethink what I am doing in my life to be more helpful and accepting of others. I enjoyed this story so much, I will recommend it to my book club for next years reading.

I recommend this book for anyone. I give this story a 4 start. Thank you to Ballyhoo Publishing for allowing me the opportunity to read this book. I was not paid for my review. The comments are mine.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise

Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise

 What a fun time of year to review books, I am thankful to Media Guests for allowing me the opporutnity to review this book. The words are my own, I was not paid for the review, instead I was given a free copy of the book for an honest review.

About the Book:
You are meeting one of the greatest secrets in my toyshop: an Els Mere elf! His name is Kirby Puckernut, and he’s full of Christmas Magic…        – Santa

Kirby Puckernut is Santa’s cleverest little elf. While dreaming up marvelous toys for good girls and boys, Kirby has his best idea yet – a real elf in every home, all through the holidays, spreading Christmas Magic! Santa finds the perfect family and allows Kirby to serve as the test elf for the first momentous

From December 1st through Christmas Eve, Kirby travels each night to Els Mere to make toys and bring news to Santa, and returns to the family each morning with notes from Santa and other surprises.
Fun and adventure are at every turn, but not everything goes as planned…  Will Kirby’s idea be a success?
Bring the character and warmth of author Alicia Richardson’s holiday creation into your home this Christmas season. Kirby is a tradition the whole family will adore. Celebrate Christmas this year, and for many years to come, with Kirby Puckernut and the Els Mere elves!

About the Author:
Alicia Richardson has created a new Christmas classic with her children’s book, Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise.
Alicia Richardson resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and four children. She has always had a flair for storytelling, and has given life to a special little elf named Kirby Puckernut.
From Alicia:

This magical story came about when Santa sent one of his elves, Kirby Puckernut, to live in our home at Christmastime. Kirby was creative, very fun and persistent. It wasn’t enough for him to simply observe our family and help deliver my children’s gifts – he wanted to get to know them. Our family has enjoyed the magical days of Kirby’s visits year after year.
Come share in our tradition – invite Kirby and the Els Mere elves into your home this Christmas season!

My Review:

The story of Kirby is a heart warming tale about an Elf who spread Christmas magic. Going between Els Mere and the home of a family the Harborsen's who needed to be reminded of what Christmas is all about, especially their 13 year old daughter Izzie. The storyline is a fun creative way to bring magic into any home that reads this book. This book with the beautifully illustrated pictures, glossy pages is an wonderful book to add to any Christmas reading Collection. I read this to my children ages 11, 10 and 6, they thoroughly enjoyed this story.

I would highly recommend this book with 4 stars, because the story is that well done. I would recommend this book to any family young or old. Grandparents should also have this book in the home to read to their grandchildren. 

If you would like to know more, you can go to Kirby's website here. Or Like the Facebook page of Kirby here.

Additionally, Alicia Richardson, author of Kirby Puckernut, hopes that you will share in another of her family traditions. Support Kenya Keys as they build educational opportunities in rural Africa. For every book sold $1 will be donated to Kenya Keys.  Kenya Keys provides scholarships, builds schools and libraries, and creates leadership opportunities in an area where learning is as treasured as water. Kenya Keys has been helping African youth via educational outreach since 2005.