Friday, July 31, 2015

“What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management” by Leslie Josel and Order out of Chaos to start the new school year



As seen on site.

“What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management” takes parents step-by-step through the basics of teaching their teens the time management skills they need to succeed—at school, at work and in life!
In a readable, breezy and witty fashion, Josel opens the door to the world of time management, what it really means, why it’s important and why your teen probably doesn’t “get it.”  And throughout the book, Josel offers up the “Triple Ts” – her tried and true Tips, Tools and Techniques – to provide support and guidance for parents looking to help their teens understand, develop and implement time management skills.

In this book, you’ll learn:

The FIVE mindsets parents need to start their teen on the journey of time management awareness.
How to create a “Personal Homework Profile” to better understand how your teen tackles homework.
How to help your teen create a time sense and develop “future awareness”.
How to pick an appropriate paper or electronic academic planner and how to properly plan their time.
How to create a peaceful and calm morning routine to get your teen out the door.
Case studies, useful resources, Leslie’s straight talk and much, much more!








Order Out of Chaos  was  created in 2004 to provide professional organizing, time management and coaching services; family education and ADHD resources, as well as educational products to individuals, families and their students.

http://orderoochaos.com/academicplanner/




I received a complimentary copy of the planner and book. 

Cassandra's Review- Easy to understand and great for back to school, this combo of planner and book really help and be a great gift to start the year!

Limited Edition EccoBella Boat tote #eccobellaboattote


Product Description

~~Made of organic cotton, our super roomy and durable tote is just your style for shopping, the beach, boat or overnight.

This classic tote is branded with our iconic flower and has a convenient front pocket for your Ecco Bella Makeup or mobile phone and also comes with a zippered inside pocket for your valuables. The reinforced handles are sewn to the base for extra strength.

Dimensions:
22" wide x 16" tall, 6" gussets & 24" handles
Imprint Size 8" wide x 6" tall


I received a complimentary product.

A normal very nice tote, with a beautiful design. 

M9B Friday Reveal: Author Spotlight - Charles Curtis with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

M9B Friday Reveal: Author Spotlight - Charles Curtis with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals
M9B-Friday-Reveal Banner
Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
This week, we are spotlighting
Charles Curtis
author of
Strange Country Days
a Middle Grade title from Tantrum Books, coming August 2015!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Charles Curtis
Twitter or Facebook?
I use both, but I'm plugged into Twitter every day for eight hours (I swear, it's for my job as a sportswriter! - http://connect.nj.com/staff/CharlesCurtis/posts.html).

Favorite Superhero?

I was hooked on Wolverine as a kid. Who doesn't love a sarcastic hero with a murky origin tale, claws and all the best one-liners?

Favorite TV show?

Current: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. All-Time: Seinfeld. Guilty Pleasure: Food Network Star

Sweet or Salty?

I will eat something sweet like a peanut butter cup and follow it up with a salty snack. It's a yin/yang thing I started doing as a teenager.

Coke or Pepsi?

Coke and it's not even close.

Any Phobias?

Three words: Big hairy spiders.

Song you can’t get enough of right now?

I just discovered an artist named Jacob Collier who does these incredible, mostly a cappella arrangements of songs and I'm hooked on his take on the jazz standard "Fascinating Rhythm." Amazing! [link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K28H04Y2IdE]

What are you reading right now or what's on your TBR?

I just started "The Maze Runner" and plan on reading Andy Weir's "The Martian" next.

Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to?

I've watched the Star Wars trailers about 80 times each and geek out. Every. Single. Time.
Charles Curtis is a writer and journalist based in New York City. He has reported and written for publications including NJ.com (where he is currently the site’s sports buzz reporter), The Daily, ESPN.com, ESPN the Magazine, Bleacher Report, TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. Charles has covered the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, golf, tennis and NASCAR. He has also written about television, film and pop culture.
In addition, Curtis has also written, produced and was featured in videos for ESPN.com and The Daily. He has made radio appearances on stations including 92.9 The Ticket in Bangor, Maine, WLIE 540 AM in Long Island and on morning shows across Canada via the CBC.
He can be reached on Twitter: @charlescurtis82.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Strange-Country-Day-Cover
Alexander Graham Ptuiac, the son of an inventor, wants to play for the school’s football team. During tryouts, and under the watchful eye of the team’s coach, he suddenly manifests mysterious superhuman powers. Alexander makes the team, but not before the some ill-intended adults take notice, putting his life in danger.
Alex struggles to suppress and control his strange new abilities, worried about exposing his secret and being kicked off the football team. Then he befriends Dex, a diminutive classmate who can somehow jump as high as ten feet in the air. Seems Alex isn’t the only one at school with a secret.
As the school year unfolds, Alex will find himself the target of bullies, holding hands with his first crush and discovering the shocking truth about himself and his parents.
add to goodreads
Giveaway
Button

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dial® Rewards program with a chance to win huge prizes




Dial Rewards is a new, easy and fun way to interact with the Dial brand, with a chance to win huge prizes. As a member you win & gain points for participating in various monthly activities. These points can be used for chances to win exciting prizes like a $10,000 cash sweepstakes, gift cards, Dial products and more! 

As a member of the program, points are accumulated by purchasing product, playing games, watching videos, participating in surveys and logging into the website each day. Each month the activities, point values and prizes can change. How fun, right?

Just Use this  code: ZB04M and go to www.dialrewards.com to sign up and join in on the fun!


M9B Two for Thursday Book Blitz – Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman and Endless by Amanda Gray with Giveaway #T4T

M9B Two for Thursday Book Blitz – Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman and Endless by Amanda Gray with Giveaway #T4T
T4T-Banner
Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!
Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!
You just might find your next read!
This week, #T4T presents to you:
Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman and
Endless by Amanda Gray
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Boneseeker
Arabella Holmes was born different and raised different. After it became apparent she wouldn’t fit the role of a proper 1900′s lady, her father, Sherlock, called in some lingering favors, and landed her a position at the Mutter Museum. The museum was Arabella’s dream; she was to become a purveyor of abnormal science. What her father called a BoneSeeker.
Henry Watson arrives at the Mutter Museum with a double assignment–to become a finder of abnormal antiquities and to watch over and keep Arabella Holmes. An easy task, if he could only get her to speak to him instead of throwing knives in his general direction.
But this is no time for child’s play. The two teens are assigned to a most secret exploration, when the hand of a Nephilim is unearthed in upstate New York. Soon, Arabella and Henry are caught in a fight for their lives as scientific debate swirls around them. Are the bones from a Neanderthal … or are they living proof of fallen angels, who supposedly mated with humans according to ancient scrolls?
Sent to recover the skeleton, they discover they are the second team to have been deployed and the entire first team is dead. And now they must trust their instincts and rely on one another in order to survive and uncover the truth.
add to goodreads

WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:

For the love of all things Sherlock! I loved this book to bits. I felt like I was seeing old friends.” – Kristie, Lost in Ever After

“Boneseeker is one that fans of historical mysteries and a little bit romance along the way will enjoy.”Jenea, Reviewer

a fab idea to take Holmes and Watson to the next generation and to have them on a kind of steampunk/ science adventure” – Nicky Peacock, Author


about-the-author
Brynn Chapman
Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. She also writes non-fiction and lectures on the subjects of autism and sensory integration and is a medical contributor to online journal The Age of Autism.
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest


IN A RACE AGAINST TIME, HOW DO YOU KEEP THOSE YOU LOVE SAFE?
Jenny Kramer knows she isn’t normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them. When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumbles on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought.

Like a past life.

Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren’t alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has traveled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock -- and the Order -- the trio discovers a link that joins them in life -- and beyond death.
add to goodreads

WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:

“I thought this book was pretty amazing – the characters, the setting and the adventure all came together to create this romantic yet ultimately dangerous story with a perfect time travel twist!”Hannah – Lemonade Library

“I started reading this not knowing completely what the story was about but there's an amazing love story as well as a bit of history thrown into the mix along with some time travel and a soul mate and reincarnation!” – Anna – Bound in Ink Books

“This book is a very interesting twist on time travel, history and romance, something I would love to see adapted on the big screen in the future.” Lyn - Reading Tsinoy

about-the-author
Amanda Gray believes in magic and fantasy and possibilities. She is a team of two bestselling authors who live only miles apart but have never met in person. They talk on the phone and are the best of friends and between them have written more than a dozen novels and novellas and have had their work appear on television.
Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter for your chance to win!

Chapter-by-Chapter-blog-tour-button

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What makes you happy? Minions? Freebies? Well, how about Minion Freebies?

What makes you happy? Minions? Freebies? Well, how about Minion Freebies? Minion Freebie - Educents 3 These free math activities on Educents offers 22 printable pages of math activities for Minion fans. It covers addition, subtraction, measurement, money, and more!

Minion Math Centers Freebie

  • Minion Addition (to 12)
  • Minion Subtraction (to 12)
  • Minions Making Ten
  • Minion Measurement
  • Minion Money Match
  • Missing Minion Numbers
  • Minion Number Cards
Minion Freebie - Educents 2 If you're looking for more ways to make math learning fun, check this out:

Early Math Musical DVDs

4dde_c6ab3b8_Early_Math_Collection copy This DVD set from Rock 'N' Learn is a fun way to boost math skills for the early grades. Like the Minions, these DVDs have fun characters your little ones will love to get to know! Math facts are easy to learn with fun music and exciting animation. Learn all about counting coins and bills and practice making change. Kids will learn to tell time to the hour, half hour, and minute using traditional analog clocks. Includes Addition & Subtraction Rap DVD, Money & Making Change DVD, and the Telling Time DVD. I hope this math freebie made by Amy of Teaching in Blue Jeans makes you happy. Download the Free Minion Math Centers, then go ahead and do a little dance! :)

Ergo Chef Christmas In July Giveaway

Ergo Chef Christmas In July Giveaway
Hosted By: Holiday Contest and Sweeps Co-Host: Life in a House of Testosterone  Simply Sherryl Michigan Savings and More Here We Go Again,Ready? Everyday Southwest Deliciously Savvy Java John Z's Libby's Library  My Devotional Thoughts Mashed Potato Sandwiches   Presents: Ergo Chef Christmas In July Giveaway 1 - Winner Holiday Contest and Sweeps is honored to team up with one of my great sponsors Ergo Chef to bring you a terrific giveaway called the"Christmas In July" Giveaway.The winner will  receive a 15 Piece Prodigy and Pro Series Set of Cutlery that is second to none when it comes to quality and craftsmanship.
This 15pc. knife Kit includes the following highly rated Pro-Series Forged Knives - 8" Chef knife with hollow grounds and a 5.5" Medium Flex Boning knife. The stamped knives include the PRODIGY Series 8" Offset Bread knife, & 4" Paring knife both with TPR non-slip grip handles and full tang inside handle for a professional balanced feel & durability. All knives are ground to 18 degree edges and heat treated for long edge life. Kit also includes 10" Diamond Sharpener, 9" Duo Tongs great for a flat top or stove top grill. Melon Baller, Peeler & Zester, a 1" Dial Meat Thermometer, edge guards for the knives and a 13 pocket hard panel bag & shoulder strap, with inside zipper cover to safely contain all the knives while in transit. 
This amazing collection of knives, knife guards, kitchen tools, knife sharpener and a large 13 pocket panel bag. ($410.00) Click here to read review. Ergo Chef has many different styles and designs to select from. The Crimson G10 Series, Pro Series , Prodigy Series , Michael Symon Series , Tony Luke and much much more.
   Click Here ToVisit The Ergo Chef Website Today ! Make sure to Follow Them On Social Media As Well! Facebook , Twitter , Pinterest This giveaway is in no way associated, endorsed, or affiliated with Facebook,Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway is valid in the Continental United States only. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway will end at 12:00 AM (EST) 8/18/15. Holiday Contest and Sweeps did not received any form of compensation for this giveaway. Ergo Chef will be responsible for awarding and shipping the prize directly to the winner. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

THE APOLOGETICS STUDY BIBLE FOR STUDENTS HCSB Review and GIVEAWAY



A Few Features of The Apologetics Study Bible for Students HCSB:

- Book Introductions for each of the sixty-six books of the Bible.
- Study Notes provide evidence of the reliability and truthfulness of Scripture.
- 120 Articles written by today's leading Christian thinkers dealing with life's ultimate questions.
- 60 Twisted Scriptures address ways that various religious movements distort Scripture to support doctrine contrary to historic Christian teaching.


Also, this summer, the gift of Confident Faith is being celebrated with 16 brand new, but energetic and brief videos featuring Sean McDowell, free resources like Bible studies and articles as well as wonderful specials on apps and Bibles. There are new resources every week - a full 16 weeks of resources when it is all done. AND, if that weren't enough, a Confident Faith Sweepstakes is being offered to give away Bibles, free mini libraries of B&H's best apologetics resources and even a trip for two to the National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA) being held October 16-17, 2015 in Charlotte, NC where some of the world's leading thinkers will offer insights and teaching.

Official Website: www.apologeticsbible.com



Cassandra's Review- So here is the thing, this is great for families to share and express with their children, I have a problem with only teaching my children one side of a religious belief because to me there is just so much out there and they need to be totally aware of everything both good and bad.  Sadly I do not stand with some of the information or ideas being presented and the way that they are done.  I know that it covers many topics that are hard to otherwise bring to a child's attention, but I feel that it should be done in a way that is not one sided.   Now if you are super spiritual and into this type of faith 100% then I would strongly encourage you to take on this book and the videos, because it will make you so happy. 


ApoSB_WebSide_C
Sweepstakes: app.promo.eprize.com/confidentfaith/

Official Website to Purchase: http://www.lifeway.com/Keyword/The+apologetics+study+bible+for+students

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Please do not enter this if you intend to fraudulently claim this prize, my sponsor keeps great records and it takes from others who have the chance to win, it is very disheartening to see so many of my entrants doing this.  

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win OR If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen by R.T. Lowe


Reeling from a terrible accident that claimed the lives of his parents, Felix arrives at Portland College hoping only to survive the experience. In time, however, his reality star roommate shows him there is more to higher education than just classes, shared bathrooms and bad dorm food, and Felix gradually dares to believe he can put his past behind him. But a fateful storm looms on the horizon: In the nearby woods, two hikers become the latest victims in a series of gruesome murders; a disfigured giant embarks on a vicious cross-country rampage, killing teenagers who fail his 'test'; and an ancient society of assassins tasked with eradicating the wielders of a mysterious source of power awakens after a long silence. Only one man--the school's groundskeeper--knows that the seemingly unrelated events are connected, and that an eighteen-year-old boy stands in the center of the storm.

Cassandra's Review- The only downside to this book is its very large 494 pages and can not be read in one sitting.  Even though I speed read, I needed to take a break.  It is just filled with everything fantasy has to offer.  Yet with the help of a very creative imagination and a quiet room, this book is really good.  The author has such a way of molding scenes and bringing this book to life, that older kids and adults will really enjoy it, however I would not be comfortable with my younger kids taking part. 

R.T. Lowe

R.T. Lowe grew up in a small town in central Oregon where he frittered away his days on a cattle farm reading, writing and daydreaming about escaping to the big city. R.T. holds bachelors degrees in History and Psychology from Willamette University and a Law degree from Columbia University. He now lives in Newtown, Connecticut with his wife and three kids.

Buy at Amazon

I received a complimentary copy.



Generation Stressed: Play-Based Tools to Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety by Michele Kambolis




Five Ways to Help Your Child Unwind and Recharge this Summer Break
By Michele Kambolis, Child and Family Therapist & Author of Generation Stressed

With school doors closed for summer, parents are left wondering just how to make the most of this precious time. While some pack in sports camps and even summer tutoring, others question whether there should be any plan at all. You’ll easily find experts on both sides of the debate. There simply are no hard and fast rules when it comes to finding that summer balance, but finding ways to unwind and recharge top everyone’s list.


1. LEARN ABOUT MINDFULNESS
A life practice of mindful attention and reflection is hands-down the most powerful tool we have to cultivate a family ecosystem of well-being. It also helps kids relax. When we connect through active, open attention on the present and live mindfully, as a non-judgmental observer, we can access the separation, patience and expansive state of being that supports heart-centered parenting. It is the antidote to anxiety. All it requires is sitting and quieting the mind (which is much easier said than done!). Persuading children to sit in contemplation for any period of time can be a challenge. Here is one trick that might help. Invite kids to sit on an imaginary train. Tell them to close their eyes and turn their internal spotlight on the scenery going by. Notice that the scenery is full of images and thoughts about caring for others. Ask them to do a body scan and notice where in their body they sense feelings of love and kindness.


2. GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY: PLAY
With overscheduling and over-focusing on technology, many children have lost the essential, brain-supporting work of play – and play is indeed their work. They are calling on us to show up from a playful, non-anxious and conscious state of being. There is joy in play; where there is joy, anxiety cannot exist. So get down and speak their native language, where toys are your words and play is your palette. If that’s too hard to authentically pull off, try de-stressing together with animal yoga, building a worry wall with sticky notes, or playing a board game.


3. MOVE TO RELAX
Getting busy with our bodies is one of the most powerful buffers from the harmful impact of stress. Summer is a natural time to get a move on. The surge in feel-good neurochemicals not only boosts our immune system, it helps us to feel less stressed overall. Add the great outdoors to the mix and you will have doubled down on the benefits. Studies show we’re happier and more relaxed when we’re in natural environments than when we are indoors.


4. FIND A FURRY FRIEND
This is summer happiness homework most children will easily buy into: spend some time with a pet. One study by Dognition, an organization founded by Duke University researcher and cognitive scientist Brian Hare, found pet ownership to be strongly connected to increased well-being. Researchers found that the act of petting a dog decreases blood pressure and increases dopamine, prolactin and oxytocin, all hormones associated with happiness and bonding, as well as beta-endorphins, which are associated with relaxation and pain relief. Snuggling a furry friend causes a pleasure surge on a par with finding money, eating chocolate and looking at pictures of smiling babies.


5. DISCOVER DOWN TIME
Unstructured downtime is one of the greatest gifts (and challenges) we can offer our kids over the summer. It’s when they discover new passions, talents and learn to structure and regulate themselves. Their imagination flourishes and relaxation comes naturally as they find their authentic voice, un-imposed by adult expectations and agendas. It’s a time when children can be in control, relax and maybe even uncover their dreams.
Summer can and should be a time of meaningful, mindful activity, and of repose and reflection. Finding that balance is the key to a summer that is not only restorative for both kids and parents, but provides long-lasting benefits into the new school year and beyond.

Michele Kambolis (MA) is a registered Child and Family Therapist and Parent Educator and a Registered Clinical Counselor dedicated to raising awareness about mental health issues. Kambolis writes a popular weekly parenting advice column, “Parent Traps” for The Vancouver Sun and Postmedia Network chain of newspapers. She is also the author of Generation Stressed: Play-Based Tools to Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety.

Coming in September: A parent and child webinar covering all kinds of play-based activities designed to increase connection and decrease stress.

Generation Stressed can be purchased from www.michelekambolis.com, www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and through all major booksellers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. 

Cassandra's Review- If you have ever had a child in public school, or really out in public these days it is super easy to see the anxiety they go through.  The book is more informative and  has an easy to understand approach to helping with it. 



Dancing Through Life By Candace Cameron Bure Review and GIVEAWAY




Candace Cameron Bure has grown up before our eyes and we've watched as she's balanced life in Hollywood with her faith for many years. Being on Dancing With the Stars was one of her dreams come true; and with that dream came the opportunity to display her Christian faith in front of millions of people, through an intense season of stretching beyond her limits, and to run the race God gave her with joy and perseverance. Go behind the scenes and experience the highs and lows, the roadblocks, and the personal victories. Through God’s strength, and with the help of endless support from her family and friends, see how Candace stayed true to herself and publicly lived out her faith in Christ all the way to the finale.

Buy at Amazon

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review- Having a strong faith and being beautiful on the inside and out, this author has strength, courage and the fierceness to take it public.  She is not in the shadows of her brother and even shines so much brighter.  It is not often that I can thank an author for years of commitment and entertainment for not only me, but now my children. So Candace (high five.)




The Possible Police By Wylde Scott


What happens when you remove all doubts, fears, and obstacles to a child’s imagination? Anything is possible. Unless of course, you let The Possible Police stop you. Wylde Scott believes that all children should live in a world of endless possibilities. Join him as he lights up your child’s imagination, and teaches them that with a little determination and belief, no one can stop them from doing what they dream.

 Wylde Scott was born on a mountain top, somewhere between the beginning of time and the clocks bell last night. His father was the stars and his mother the wind, they say he began with a mischievous grin. He was raised by a band of gypsies who taught him to sing and laugh and play and dance and walk and skip on the palm of his hands. He has lived and traveled all over all over the world, from Shanghai and Kalamazoo, to Bangkok and Timbuktu, and still has a house on the bright side of the moon. He is a Sultan and Matador, and Knight through and through, but mostly he loves telling stories to wide eyed, big dreaming, belly giggling children like you.

You can find this book or visit with Wylde
Amazon   or Website 


I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review- My kids were a little confused by the book, they actually felt the the character had too much of an ego and they did not understand going against the police. After a long discussion, I would say be prepared to both enjoy the illustrations (because they are amazing)  and answer 100 questions. 


This Old Van by Kim Norman


This old van,   
she passed one, 
shining in the rising sun.

With a click clack rattle rack,
ready for some fun,
This old van says,
“Goodbye, one!”


Take a rollicking ride in This Old Van, a joyful take on the classic children's counting song. As the colorfully painted vintage vehicle, driven by a really cool pair of grandparents, rolls down the highway, it passes one train, two bulldozers, three tractors, and four semis, right up to ten muddy motorbikes. And along the way, luggage flies off, horns honk, and the hurrying van zigs and zags—till it arrives at its destination JUST IN TIME! You won't be able to resist singing every fun verse out loud.

Cassandra's Review- The challenge for me was not to sing the book to my children, during the first read. I wanted them to catch on to it by themselves.  It is great fun, but the illustration for me are what make this book so good.  The kids were giggling and pointing, even my teens enjoy it. 

Kim Norman
Kim Norman's children's books have been published by Dial, Dutton, Sterling and Scholastic. Her books have been well-reviewed in publications such as the New York Times and Publishers Weekly, and have been distributed in Scholastic Book Fairs and take-home Club fliers. Kim has built a national reputation as a school presenter, having done author visits in more than a hundred schools around the country.

Kim is an actress and singer, and has been known to practice her time step in a grocery line. Her books often feature animals, which were a big part of her childhood. Family pets included unusual critters such as a squirrel, an iguana and a raccoon named Danny.

She lives in Smithfield, Virginia, with the REAL Crocodaddy (her husband of more than 25 years.) They're the parents of two grown sons and the grandparents of one very large, shaggy Newfoundland. www.kimnormanbooks.com


Advance Praise for This Old Van:

“This is a delightful choice for preschoolers who adore cars and trucks of any kind . . . A fun addition to picture book collections.”  –School Library Journal

“This intergenerational romp filled with sight gags and puns will keep readers humming as they pore over each detail-packed page.” –Kirkus Reviews

Goodnight Songs: A Celebration of the Seasons By Margaret Wise Brown



Some fine day, just run away
To a long unscheduled day
To where great clouds go sailing by
Above the birds and butterfly.

Fluffy clouds, butterflies, furry bunnies, and life from a bug's-eye view: This stunning sequel to the New York Times bestseller Goodnight Songs celebrates the beauty and wonder of nature all year long. Once again, a treasure trove of Margaret Wise Brown's newly uncovered verses receives loving treatment from 12 award-winning artists, including Floyd Cooper, Peter Brown, David Small, Molly Idle, and Bob Staake. From a little bear singing one morning in May to a soft snowfall, mysterious, deep, and glowing, each song is magical. 

An accompanying CD, with lilting songs beautifully composed and sung by Emily Gary and Tom Proutt, makes this the perfect gift for children.



It’s a little-known fact that Margaret Wise Brown, the legendary author behind Goodnight Moon, had contracts with three different record companies. It was her dream to do for children’s music what she had done for picture books; yet by the time of her untimely death at age 42, only a handful of her songs had been produced. The rest, hundreds of unpublished poems and manuscripts, were packed in a trunk in her sister’s barn where they sat for decades.

Now, Sterling Children’s Books seeks to realize Brown’s dream with Goodnight Songs: A Celebration of the Seasons (August 2015), the follow up to the New York Times bestselling Goodnight Songs. As with the original, this collection brings together twelve of the poems that were discovered in Brown’s sister’s home—all but two of which have never before been published—and sets each to an original score by musicians Tom Proutt and Emily Gary.

Each of Brown’s songs is further brought to life through gorgeous illustrations by twelve award-winning artists. The roster of celebrated names includes Peter Brown, whose books have earned numerous honors, including a Caldecott Honor, a Horn Book Award, two E. B. White Awards, a Children’s Choice Award for Illustrator of the Year, and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award; David Small, whose many awards include the Caldecott Medal and two Caldecott Honors; and Coretta Scott King Award winner Floyd Cooper. 

Children will enjoy poring through the book’s illustrations over and over again as they listen to the accompanying CD of Brown’s sweet lullabies.

You can buy here 

The Twelve Award-Winning Illustrators are: 
Peter Brown * Floyd Cooper * Leo Espinosa * Molly Idle * Ellie Mackay * Dadu Shin * David Small * Bob Staake * Frank Viva * Mick Wiggins * Satoe Tone * Blanca Gomez

I received a complimentary copy. @SterlingBooks & @SterlingKids

Cassandra's Review- Some books are made to be classic and some are classics remade, this is a mix of both.  I really enjoy spending time with this and my family!


Sorry I'm Not Sorry An Honest Look at Bullying from the Bully By Nancy Rue

22578249
Book Description

Bullies aren't born mean-through the vicious cycle of mean, bullies are made.

According to the Ambassadors 4 Kids Club, one out of every four students is bullied-and 85% of these situations never receive intervention. Parents, students, and teachers have amped up solving the bullying problem for a networked generation of kids.

Written by bestselling author Nancy Rue, each book in the Mean Girl Makeover trilogy focuses on a different character's point of view: the bully, the victim, and the bystander. The books show solid biblical solutions to the bullying problem set in a story for tween girls.

Sorry I'm Not Sorry tells the story of Kylie Steppe, former queen bee of Gold Country Middle School. After bullying a fellow GCMS student, Kylie has been expelled-and she has to attend mandatory counseling. Without her posse to aid her and other peers to torment, Kylie focuses on the person who stole her GVMS popularity crown: Tori Taylor. As Kylie plots revenge on Tori, she attends therapy sessions, where she reveals a few details that might explain why she finds power in preying on her middle school peers. After a rough year with bullying backfire, will Kylie decide to become more empathetic with her peers?

It's hard for tweens to imagine why a bully acts the way she does. Sorry I'm Not Sorry shows girls that they hold the power to stop bullying through mutual understanding and acts of love.

Cassandra's Review- I really wish I had the whole trilogy because this is perfect for my older kids.  We are a homeschooling family now, but it wasn't always like this.   My kids endured the worst in the public school system and I felt that having this book in my house may make some of them feel a bit more intuned with why some people are so awful.  One of my children actually had someone stick a pen behind his head on the school bus so that my child could rock into it and it stuck into his head. The school did nothing. Anyway back to this book.  It is a great look into the thought of the bully.

Nancy Rue
About the Author

Nancy Rue has written over 100 books for girls, is the editor of the Faithgirlz Bible, and is a popular speaker and radio guest with her expertise in tween and teen issues. She and husband, Jim, have raised a daughter of their own and now live in Tennessee.

I received a complimentary copy.

The Last Con By Zachary Bartels Published by Thomas Nelson



Book Description

When a con man trying to redeem himself gets pulled back into his old ways, determining which version of himself is the real one may prove his most difficult job yet.

Former con man Fletcher Doyle is finally home after six years in prison. He's working hard to restore his relationship with his wife and twelve-year-old daughter, but it's slow going. He hopes that the upcoming mission trip into Detroit will allow him to demonstrate his newfound faith and honorable intentions-that is, if he can keep himself from murdering Brad, the uptight and condescending church leader who also happens to be his landlord.

But within hours of arriving in the city, Fletcher can feel the pull of the life he thought he'd left behind. And when he runs into his old partner, he finds himself blackmailed into doing another job for a mysterious criminal who calls himself the Alchemist.

Between trying to hide his reawakened criminal life from his wife and the ever-present Brad, and trying to keep the Alchemist from bringing it all crashing down, Fletcher is in over his head. When the unthinkable happens, Fletcher will have to call on his years in the game and his fledgling faith to find an ancient treasure-and restore his family.

Cassandra's Review-  Two unbelievably believable characters take front and center place during  the book. I felt that the story as a whole was powerful, but it seems to be broken into a few different things and to really understand you are going to have to pick up a copy of this book! 

Zachary Bartels
About the Author

Zachary Bartels is the author of Playing Saint. An award-winning preacher and Bible teacher, he serves as pastor of Judson Baptist Church in Lansing, MI, where he lives with his wife Erin and their son. You can find him online at www.zacharybartels.com. Facebook: AuthorZacharyBartels Twitter: AuthorZBartels

I received a complimentary copy of this book. 

The Twinkies Cookbook, Twinkies 85th Anniversary Edition: A New Sweet and Savory Recipe Collection from America's Most Iconic Snack Cake Review



A comeback cookbook for the perennially popular snack cake, with unique sweet and savory recipes that highlight the whimsical nostalgia of America's favorite dessert.

In celebration of the 85th anniversary of Twinkies®, Hostess® has updated and expanded their beloved and quirky classic The Twinkies Cookbook. This new edition includes the very best recipes from the original, combined with twenty-five new and wonderfully wacky recipes submitted by Twinkies aficionados across the country. From a Twinkie-filled take on chicken and waffles to Twinkie pumpkin pie and beyond, these colorful concoctions will surprise and enchant the Twinkie fan in all of us.

About the Author
While the  HOSTESS story dates to 1919 with the Hostess® CupCake, the Twinkie forever reshaped the snack cake world and made the brand an enduring part of Americana. Today, Hostess Brands, LLC, delights fans with a variety of treats like Ding Dongs®, Ho Hos®, Donettes®, and Fruit Pies.


I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Cassandra's Review- Total let down. Ok maybe I was a bit dense for thinking that there would be excellent ways to make twinkies. What I found was a great group of ways to eat already made twinkies.  Just a small book of very simple recipes, I think a die hard twinkie fan may really enjoy this as a gift unless they also think they are getting the secret to this snack. 

Drawing Fire by Janice Cantore Review


List Price:
14.99 
ISBN:
978-1-4143-9668-2 
Trim Size:
5 1/2 X 8 1/4 
Binding:
Softcover 
Release:
June 2015 

One case from her past defines homicide detective Abby Hart.

With a possible serial killer stalking elderly women in Long Beach, California, Abby’s best lead is Luke Murphy, an irritating private investigator who saw a suspect flee the scene of the latest homicide. When Abby discovers that the most recent victim is related to the governor, she’s anxious to talk to him about a cold case that’s personal to her—one Luke is interested in as well.

As she learns more about the restaurant fire that took her parents’ lives years ago, Abby discovers why Luke is so invested in finding the ones responsible. The more they uncover, though, the more questions they have. Can Abby find peace without having all the answers?
Janice Cantore
Janice Cantore is a retired Long Beach police officer who now writes suspense novels to keep readers engrossed and leave them inspired. Her twenty-two years of experience on the force lend authenticity to her stories. She has penned six novels, the Pacific Coast Justice series, Visible Threat, and Critical Pursuit. Drawing Fire is the first book in the Cold Case Justice series.

Visit Janice's website at www.janicecantore.com and connect with her on Facebook.


Cassandra answers Q&A review:

What did you like about the book and why? This is definatly one of thse bvooks, that I could not put down. I was super interested in the whole story. 

- What did you not like about the book and why?  There was no down points for me. 

- What did you learn?  I learned that this author rocks!  Very well written and easy to follow characters. 

- To whom would you recommend this book and why?  Well I would not give this to my younger children.  I would think that adults may connect a little more, also a person that likes a little suspense with their day! 




Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book