Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Jonah In My Stomach And I Think I'm Going To Throw Up!
by Troy Schmidt
Per new FTC guidelines I am warning you at the *top* of my post that this is a sponsored review. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I thought it was pretty cool that someone decided to write a story from the whale's perspective (anyone remember that book about the three little pigs, but from the wolf's end of things? Loved that book) We've all heard the story of Jonah, 50 million times, but coming at it from a different angle makes us look at it again, in a new light! Unfortunately, as the adult in the family, I didn't think it was nearly as witty as it could have been. And the title is way to long for me LOL But, don't throw this book under the bus yet: the boys downright LOVED this book. Noah giggled through quite a few pages. and I did appreciate that the author included a few great lessons like, following God even when you don't want to and God's forgiving nature. There are a couple more books in this series and I think it would make a cute gift for young children.
"Oh sure, we'll all heard the story of Jonah and the Whale a hundred times. But have we heard it from the perspective of the whale who experienced that history-making event?
Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I'm Gonna Throw Up! imagines how that great sea creature from the incident might tell his side of the story, helping kids ages 4 to 8 discover a creative way of learning about that guy who was supposed to go to Ninevah.
The "Parent Connection" feature will help moms and dads take the story further with scripture references and tips on how to talk with their children about what really happened. There's even a free online app to make this bright retelling even more animated and interactive."
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
The Tutor's Daughter
by Julia Klassen
Julie Klassen is one of my favorite authors and I tend to hoard her novels when I buy or receive one to review. The thrill of holding a brand new, never-before-read novel of Ms. Klassen's in my hand often makes me late on my reviews: I just can't bring myself to begin the story, knowing what will inevitably come (and sooner than I want it to): the end!
When I finally cracked the pages of the Tutor's Daughter I was whisked away to England, 1812 and was thoroughly ensconced in Miss Emma Smallwood's world. Which was fascinating and exciting and full of mysteries my brain was trying to solve before she did! Ms. Klassen has, once again, written a fantastic novel that will leave you wishing that it did not come to end! Very rarely will you hear me say that a book is worth it's full, brand-new, bookstore price - but every single one of Julie Klassens books have so far been worth it and The Tutor's Daughter is no different!
"Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father when his boarding school fails, accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the two younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte at night, only to find the music room empty? And who begins sneaking into her bedchamber, leaving behind strange mementos?
The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry Weston, wrestle with problems - and secrets - of their own. They both remember the studious Miss Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her...
When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame and which to trust with her heart?
Filled with page-turning suspense, The Tutor's Daughter takes readers to the windswept Cornwall coast - a place infamous for shipwrecks and superstitions - where danger lurks, faith is tested, and romance awaits."
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review-thank you!
Friday, April 12, 2013
Waiting in Wonder
by Catherine Claire Larson
I am one of those moms (probably the only mom) that cannot remember the time her kids were born, how much they weighed or when they took their first step. I was just busy enjoying life with my babies. During my pregnancies? I was half enjoying and half enduring LOL It didn't even occur to me that I might want to record how I was feeling or the crazy foods I ate or the amazing moments I experienced. I would have absolutely loved to have this journal!
"In this beautiful journal, Waiting in Wonder, each day, you will find a devotional reading and Scripture passage designed just for you and for this special season of your life. You will also find helpful prompts which lead you to record your emotions, those significant milestones like finding out you were pregnant, sharing the news, or feeling the first flutters of life, as well as prayers, and love notes to your baby. What a precious gift to be able to give to your son or daughter one day—the gift of knowing you and the love you had for him or her even before you cradled life in your arms."
What I thought was so unique about this journal was that this was not just a log of pregnancy symptoms and first kicks. You can greet each day with a devotion that challenges you spiritually, while speaking to the amazing wonders you are experiencing as your body grows and changes with the life that is forming within. You have writing prompts as well - that speak to your spiritual life as well as your pregnancy experiences. I don't know about you, but I'm not so great at sitting down cold turkey and creating some beautiful passage that I'll be able to return to years later. I need help coming up with things to write :) Waiting in Wonder is a hard-bound beautiful journal and I think it's the perfect gift to give any Mama - it would be amazing to have one of these journals for each pregnancie and be able to return at a later time and see how each experience differed from each other. This is a journal I would have loved to have for EACH of my boys!
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review - thank you!
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
by David Tognoni
I'm unsure what I think about this book.
Suffocated is not the story of a child being suffocated by a mother with Munchhausen by Proxy Syndrome (maybe, we will discuss this in a bit). It is a list of facts and court transcripts completely from Mr. Tognoni's (dad's) point of view and what his life was like, mostly, after divorcing his wife. He is, as all divorced parents are, very generous with his criticisms of his wife and rarely mentions any faults or mistakes of his own. I find that to be a major fault of this book. It's a very one-sided story of a very messy divorce.
There IS indeed the mention of Munchhausen by Proxy, and some of the stories that Mr. Tognoni shares of his wife do point to that being an issue for mom, however, there is no definite on this. There is not a diagnosis by a doctor or psychologist so this "diagnosis" that seems so definite when you read the description of the book comes down to what Mr. Tognoni believes his wife suffers from. And based on the behaviors of BOTH mom and dad, I can not say either way what the truth is.
Because this is a very one-sided story, I have a hard time deciding what I think about the parties involved. Mom seems to be very selfish and vengeful, but I honestly would like to see a book written by her, because then - and only then - do I think we'd even get close to actual facts. Dad is not the brightest star in my opinion either, even though he's trying to cast himself in a good light. I can understand why he did some of the things that he did, but I definitely don't approve. We spend a lot of time in the last half of the book reading court transcript after court transcript, all dealing with dad in the court system because he owes $50,000 in back child support. I find this to be a major fault of Mr. Tognoni. Even if his wife is a piece of shit, I always think we should abide by the laws of the land to the best of our ability. And, with all of Mr. Tognoni's accusations of his wife and her non-care of the children, in ten years he only attempted twice to get custody of his children. I did not see him fighting very hard (in court) to gain more time with his children, or honestly, to care for them. When they were with him he was a GREAT dad. But when they weren't, I don't see him going above and beyond. And he does not admit any of the mistakes he made (besides marrying his wife, of course), which is a major flaw in this book for me and a major reason why I question the author's opinion of his wife.
With all of that said, I did still find this book interesting. I seem to be obsessed with our justice system lately and oddly enough, I wanted to read all of the court transcripts because it gave me a look into how the court operates. If you want to read a real-life story about child abuse and the court who took the abuser down, this is not the book for you. However, if you'd like to read a one-sided book about how the justice system is out to screw dad's, this book IS for you! (and can I just say that I don't necessarily disagree with that opinion, but I would widen that comment to say the justice system does not pay enough attention to their cases. They screw EVERYONE because of their opinions the labels they put on people. It's the one major fault I find with our system, oftentimes there is not really true justice).
Also, the only reason this review is so long is because it seems that Mr. Tognoni's entire goal for this book was to spur a discussion of what the truth is in this situation. So it was hard for me to just write a paragraph and leave you to it.
"'Your son Wes has been suffocated,' they were the most terrifying words for a father to hear. Frantically, Dave Tognoni, drives five hours to the hospital, horrified with a torment of thoughts, saying, “Hang on Wes, hang on.” There in intensive care he finds his intelligent, active toddler son now naked, sedated, and unconscious. When the accident happened, his wife, a trained paramedic, revived him through CPR, but it was too late. After heart-wrenching weeks of inconsolable tears, rocking Wes, gathering his family for support, the verdict was in: massive brain damage. Wes would live out his life with severe/profound Cerebral Palsy in a wheel chair functioning at the level of an infant. Dave and his wife divorce and his ex-wife is bitterly unrelenting in her attacks through the divorce courts using his two older children as monetary pawns leaving him financially ruined, separated, and estranged from his children.
Later, as Dave is trying to make sense of it all, he finds out that all might not be, as it seems. Dave watches a horrific documentary on TV about Munchhausen by Proxy Syndrome now called Factitious Disorder by Proxy where mothers use suffocation, poison etc. on their own children, to gain attention. His ex-wife's profile eerily seems to fit.
This is the true story of a divorced father, demonized by the liberal "justice" system, ensnared in a web of puzzling deception, relentlessly attacked and intentionally jailed in "debtor's prison" by his ex-wife. Dave survives the devastation of Wes’ suffocation, the destruction of his family, to boldly present the facts of the manipulative facade. You decide the truth."
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review - thank you!
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Journey of Dreams: Prairie
by Chautona Havig
Prairie is completely different than any of the other books I have read by Chautona Havig. Her other books tend to fall into the chic-lit/romance genre and Prairie...well, it's a whole book of it's own! I would probably set it comfortably between fantasy and historical fiction. I'm sorry, I'm rambling LOL Prairie reminded me of Janette Oke's "Love Comes Softly" series, but it definitely has it's own identity as well. Okay, so, anyway, I loved the book! It was so unique and different and had almost all of my favorite genres tastefully written inside that I wanted to just keep reading! Unfortunately, the book did come to an end *sigh* Journey of Dreams IS indeed a new series from Mrs. Havig and I'm excited to read the rest of the books and meet more people from this unique place! In addition to the fantastic story she's weaved here, I also found this book to be one that challenges my faith, which is always a good thing :) If you've never read Mrs. Havig's books before, I'm not sure what you're waiting for! Her books are fun, quick reads, there's not a single one I haven't enjoyed yet! She also, often, offers her e-books at very reduced rates AS WELL AS offering her books for free as well. You can sign up for her newsletter here!
"Jessa Davidson enjoyed a lifelong fascination and desire for life on the prairie. However, she never expected that fascination to become reality. A far cry from her apartment in Pittsburgh, the world of Prairie is more than just a change in geography–it’s a change of life. In Prairie, Jessa examines the innermost parts of her soul and discovers desires she never knew she had.
From the moment she awoke, transported from the cold Pennsylvania winter, on the sunbathed summer prairie, she knew her life would never be the same.
The people of Prairie welcomed her and accepted her–almost without question, but so much of her life changed in that moment–her hopes, dreams, values, and the absolutes of things like time–that she feared accepting her new life as reality.
Is Prairie the dreams of her life come true–or her worst nightmare> Is it real? Is it permanent? Or will she awake to discover that she’s lost her mind–or worse, her life?
And the biggest question on Jessa’s heart? Does she care?"
Thursday, March 14, 2013
by Edward Kent
Okay, I'll admit it. I am secretly in love with all things Zombie. I don't know why dead people wandering around, tearing people apart, intrigues me so; but it does! So, of course, I wanted to review Ed Undead when it was offered! I have to say, the only thing that disappointed me about this book was that the ending implies that this book is part of a series! And none of the other books are written yet?! What?! That was an evil move Mr. Kent. Evil. (it had better be a series, that's all I'm saying)
I completely enjoyed Ed Undead! You've got Ed, 16-years-old, soon-to-be-zombie being chased by other zombies (but not eaten)...for whatever reason, no one knows. He's on a list, someone wants him. The behavior of these zombies and the way the disease is affecting Ed is mystifying and made this book more than just another gory zombie book. I was drawn in by the interesting behavior of the undead and stayed to watch the relationships between the characters unfold. I really hope Mr. Kent gets busy, because I'm not a very patient fan ;) Go! Buy!
"I never believed that I would have to live through a zombie apocalypse. One day I was Ed Kirk, a normal sixteen-year-old boy with a loving family, a beautiful girlfriend, and a full life ahead of me. Now I'm on the run from zombies, being hunted by a dark force that threatens my very existence, all the while trying to escape this town and find help. Oh, yeah, one more thing: I'm a zombie too!"
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review - thank you!
Friday, March 8, 2013
by R.J. Larson
(Books of the Infinite, Book 2)
(Book 1, Prophet)
None of my feelings have changed about this fantastic series! I loved Prophet and I love Judge! R.J. Larson is an amazing writer, I'm completely sucked into this series and always challenged! If you have not picked up Prophet, do so! (you do need to read them in order) If you have read Prophet, but haven't gotten to Judge yet...what are you waiting for?!
"Kien Lantec, you will bear witness to my followers in ToronSea.
The last thing Kien Lantec expects on his first day of military leave is to receive marching orders from his Creator, the Infinite. Orders that don't involve destroyer-racing or courting the love of his life, Ela. Adding to Kien's frustration, his Infinite-ordained duties have little to do with his skills as military judge-in-training. His mission? To warn the people of ToronSea against turning their backs on the Infinite to worship a new goddess.
Tell them I see they are beguiled. Tell them I seek their hearts. The wise will hear me.
But why Kien? Isn't this the role of a true prophet, such as Ela of Parne? Seeking answers, Kien visits Ela and finds her stricken by a devastating vision of her own. Her birthplace, Parne, has forsaken their Creator and will soon suffer judgement. Pulled in separate ways, each must seek to follow the Infinite's leading...and hope He will reunite them again soon."
I received this book in exchange for my honest review - thank you!