Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review: How To Survive Middle School and Monster Bots by:Ron Bates

 How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots
About the Book:
Sometimes, being smart just isn t enough

It s been a rough semester for Howard Boward, science genius. Not only is he having to dodge winter s most feared weapon (snowballs), his close friend, Winnie McKinney, is barely speaking to him. If that weren t enough, he s the favorite target of some bullies who seem determined to make life at Dolley Madison Middle School as miserable as possible. But then Howard learns about an upcoming robot-building contest finally a chance to show off his science skills and beat archrival Gerald G-Force Forster! Unfortunately, the only way to win is by using his secret monster goo, a formula that has terrifying side effects. Can Howard resist the temptation? Or will he unleash a robot rampage that could destroy the town and ruin the school dance?"

About the Author:
Ron Bates is a novelist and humor columnist who writes about secret laboratories, monsters, bullies, robots, cafeteria food, and other perils of middle school. A former newspaper reporter, he is the author of How to Make Friends and Monsters, How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots, the comic book series Brawn, and numerous poems and plays for kids who like to laugh. He lives in Texas.

My Review:
 Howard Boward has a problem, he's smart, but apparently not smart enough to have known about a science club at his school. When he finds out about the club from his academic rival, he decides to talk to his favorite teacher about getting into the club. Soon the club is abuzz about this contest that they all want to enter---a contest dedicated to robot building. Howard really wants to enter this contest but he has very little time to prepare. So Howard goes to his secret lab to begin working on his creation. After several failed attempts, he decides to bring out the big guns and use monster goo. In spite of the warnings from his friend, he decides to use the monster goo anyway, even though that it could spell trouble to mankind.

 Soon there are several things to worry about after his so-called invention. There are prombies that are fascinated with the school dance that is upon the school. There is some bullying happening that Howard is ready to take action against but he finds out quickly that going to his older brother for help is a big mistake. If you would like to learn more about this book, you can do so here.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the Z Blog Squad.

Review: Adventure Bible for Toddlers by:Catherine DeVries

 Adventure Bible for Toddlers
About the Book:
The Adventure Bible for Toddlers starts children ages 2-5 on the journey of a lifetime, teaching them about the Bible s great stories and themes. It helps young children grow in their relationship with God using stories and art from the wildly popular Adventure Bible Storybook. With ten beautifully illustrated and beloved Bible stories from the Old and New Testament, this sturdy padded board book will stimulate toddlers minds and fill their hearts with love for their heavenly Father."

About the Author:
 Catherine DeVries is a writer and editor. She has been influential in the development of many bestselling children’s Bibles and Bible storybooks including The Adventure Bible, The Beginner’s Bible and the Jesus Storybook Bible. She is also the author of My Time with God and many articles that have been published in professional magazines and journals. Catherine lives with her husband and three children in Colorado.

My Review:
 Perfect for those little fingers to turn the page this board book was created just for those little toddlers in our lives that want to emulate Mom and Dad, with their very own Bible. Written in simple enough language and with colored illustrations this Bible is geared towards the 4-8 year range and only has 39 pages. It is short and sweet and straight to the point. Your toddler won't have a chance to get bored because the Bible stories therein are no more than four pages in length.

 It is never too late to start reading the Bible to your child and this is the perfect one to start with. If you would like to learn more, you can at this link. My youngest was able to understand the stories and it created a good dialogue between the two of us.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the Z Blog Squad.

Litfuse Review: The Brickmaker's Bride by:Judith Miller

 The Brickmaker's Bride (Refined by Love, #1)
About the Book:
Yearning for a fresh start, Ewan McKay travels with his aunt and uncle from northern Scotland to West Virginia, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial assistance from his uncle Hugh. Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, but it's Ewan who gets the business up and running again. Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Besides, Ewan has resolved he'll focus on making the brickmaking operation enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business
and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Scotland.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work may come to naught. As his plans begin to crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. She and her mother may have a way to save the brickworks, and in turn Ewan may have another shot at winning Laura's heart.

About the Author:
Judith Miller is an award-winning writer whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. She is the author of the popular Daughters of Amana and Home to Amana series, which explore the closed communities of Iowa's Amana Colonies. Judy makes her home in Topeka,Kansas.

My Review:
 When her father died, Laura Woodfield, was beyond upset.  She had always enjoyed going with her father to the brick yard, even though it wasn't the best place for a young girl. Now with her fathers death among them, she and her mother must decide what to do with the brick yard. When Laura's present boyfriend convinces them to sell the brick yard, along come some Irish immigrants interested in buying it but not happy with the price.

 Ewan McKay, an Irish immigrant came to West Virginia with his aunt and uncle. Trying to take care of his sisters, he agrees to a business partnership with his uncle. The brickyard that they find to buy is the only one available in West Virginia, its set in a beautiful area. Not to mention how pretty Laura is, his uncle would be crazy not to buy it.

 Ewan's uncle finally purchases the brickyard. He puts Ewan in charge of getting it up and running, but Ewan sees that he is definitely going to need some help on this one. So he enlists the help of Laura, he soon realizes that his feelings for this beautiful girl keep growing---he finds it hard to concentrate on the business. Laura reveals a major secret to this Irish stranger, a secret that convinces him that he may just be able to win her heart.

 Judith Miller has a very unique way of bringing you into the story, so much so that you feel like one of the characters. Laura was my favorite character in the story! I felt bad for her because of the situation she found herself in.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from Litfuse Publicity.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Organic Stevia Giveaway Sponsored by Kiva Hosted by Deals of Sweetness

Organic Stevia Giveaway Sponsored by Kiva

Hosted by Deals of Sweetness

Co-Hosted by Pea of Sweetness

Organic Stevia Giveaway
Kiva Organic Stevia is a multi-purpose tabletop sweetener made from Non-GMO stevia plants grown in the USA and is a perfect substitute for sugar and artificial sweeteners. Their organic stevia has zero-calories, no bitter aftertaste, and a low glycemic index, making it ideal for those managing calories and blood sugar.
They blend their high purity stevia extract with erythritol, a naturally-occurring sugar alcohol found in fruits and vegetables to create a delicious blend that’s easy to serve. So you can just sit back and enjoy!
Emilee from Deals of Sweetness often shares the risks of artificial sweeteners and is always glad to find an alternative! No calories and no chemicals! See what she thought of Kiva Organic Stevia. Kiva Organic Stevia can be purchased on Amazon.
Would you like to win some Kiva Organic Stevia? This giveaway begins on 10/20 and ends on 11/3 at 10:00pm Central Time and is open to US residents ages 18+. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Winner will be notified via email (consider adding to your "Safe List" as winning email notification will be sent from this email.) and will have 48 hours to confirm before a new winner will be drawn. Please refer to the full terms and conditions in the Giveaway Tools.
  Disclosure: Emilee at Deals of Sweetness received complimentary product(s) or service(s) to facilitate her honest review. I received no compensation for this post. Participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Review: Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door by:Denette Fretz

 Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door
About the Book:
I hear that becoming a cowboy can be dangerous. Especially if you don't know the rules.

I don t know the rules.

It s a good thing Conrad brought his Mega Ultimate Extreme First Aid Kit to Uncle Clint s ranch because learning how to be a cowboy turns out to be a lot harder and more painful than he thought. Conrad has a lot to learn including don t squat with spurs on and never wave your red sweatshirt at a bull. But the biggest challenge of all is dealing with Imogene Louise Lathrup, the know-it-all-cowgirl next door. When Imogene shows up, she is all too happy to point out Conrad s shortcomings. In this follow-up to their debut hit Pirates on the Farm, author Denette Fretz and illustrator Gene Barretta team up once again to tell a humorous tale about what it means to love your neighbor."

About the Author:
Denette Fretz is a first grade teacher whose passion is crafting inventive, engaging stories that encourage life-application of biblical principles. Fretz resides in Oregon with her husband, two teenage children, a sassy cat, and a spastic Jack-A-Bee.

My Review:
 Love your Enemies, is something Jesus tried to teach us to do well. But even after all these years we still have trouble getting it right. Even our children and those in later generations will always have this same problem. This is the most precious book to drive home that point to our children.  Geared towards the 4-8 age group, Conrad is a little boy that would like to learn how to be a cowboy but he always has the young next door neighbor, Imogene bugging him about it. Whether it's Imogene assisting him on how to ride a horse or on how to be a cowboy, this little girl doesn't realize how hurtful her words can be.

 As soon as Imogene falls from grace as she gets off her high horse. Conrad quickly comes to her aid, like any friend should do, even though Imogene treated him poorly. His Uncle Clint advises him that he has learned the most important rule about being a cowboy and it is Forgive Your Enemies, it messes up their heads. Full of life lessons and pure heart, this children's book is helpful in other ways as well. There is a poetic vocabulary section as well as a page in the back of the book that the author chooses to share something from her own personal experience related to the story.

 It is really hard as a child to be taught how to respond to unkind words and actions from others. But in Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door, Conrad is able to show Imogene as well as all the children that hear his story a thing or two about loving our enemies even when it hurts. If you would like to learn more about this book, you can do so at this link.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me for my honest review from the Z Blog Squad and Zondervan.

Review: The Littlest Christmas Kitten by:Leona Novy Jackson

 The Littlest Christmas Kitten
About the Book:
In this re-telling of the birth of Christ, a mother cat searches frantically for her little lost kitten. Before the night is over there is the crying of a baby and angels singing His praises. The night's events leave a lasting effect on all the animals, especially the cats.

My Review:
 A very precious story told about a missing kitten that laid on a bed of hay in the manger that would soon cradle the Saviour. The mama cat is frantically searching for her third baby kitten and as she watches Mary and Joseph enter the barn she really gets even more uneasy and at last she spots him sound asleep. The night that the Saviour was born it seemed the animals knew something amazing was about to take place. The very innocent, life changing event that took place that night has never lost the sight of Christians everywhere.

 This story states that this Christmas tale is told for many generations of cats and if they are purring it is a reminder of that night. The illustrations in the book look like abstract paintings and it really brings the story to life. In the back of the book there are several pages filled with Christmas symbols and their meanings. It is a great book for a read aloud and is perfect for 4-7 year olds. My 4 year old loved the story, he is really fascinated with kittens right now--so if you have a child that likes cats , he will love this book. If you would like to learn more, you can at this link.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from Book Crash.

Review: Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen by:Francine Bryson

 Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen
About the Book:
A pie champion and down-home Southern baker reveals her winning recipes for pies, cakes, cookies, and more in this proudly American baking book.

A mom, homemaker, and self-proclaimed redneck, Francine Bryson and her award-winning desserts were thrust into the national eye when she was chosen for The American Baking Competition and went on to become a finalist on the show. Now she shares her recipes and baking tips with everyone, always staying true to her Southern roots, which means pairing chocolate and peanut butter with bacon, turning an apple pie upside down, using cherry pop in a cake, and always making use of seasonal fresh fruit-and plenty of cream cheese.

About the Author:
FRANCINE BRYSON has won more than 200 local and national baking competitions and was the runner-up and crowd favorite on CBS’s The American Baking Competition. Her childhood home in Greenville, South Carolina, was located between those of her Nana and Granny, both keen bakers who started passing their secrets to Francine when she was barely tall enough to reach the countertop. A member of the American Pie Council, she lives with her husband in Pickens, South Carolina.

My Review:
 I live in Alabama, AKA the Deep South, these recipes are great for my family. Most importantly the type of recipes you would like to take to the church potluck. I love the whole setup of the cookbook. There are 8 different sections, each one more delicious than the next. All the recipes center around baking sweets, you find any casseroles in this one. I hope you have a sweet tooth, because these recipes will have your stomach grumbling after just a few seconds of thumbing through the book.

 Each recipe is easy and simple, no complicated ingredients to figure out. Her brilliant recipes aren't what you would usually suspect, she changes things to suit her tastes and she does it so well that it is even more scrumptious than before. She actually makes a chocolate peanut butter pie with bacon. How awesome is that? This book will be my go to book for Thanksgiving this year! If you would like to learn more about this book, you can do so here.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from Blogging For Books.