Thursday, March 24, 2016

Chicken Soup for the Soul: For Mom, With Love By Amy Newmark 3 winner GIVEAWAY




Enjoy the best 101 stories from Chicken Soup’s library on the celebration of mothers and motherhood. With heartwarming stories by mothers and their children of gratefulness, love, inspiration and even amusement, this book does what we so often fail to do – say “I Love You, Mom”, making it a great gift not just for Mother’s Day, but always.

You can purchase this book on Amazon.

I recevied a complimentary copy.



Amy Newmark
Amy Newmark is Chicken Soup for the Soul's publisher and editor-in-chief, after a 30-year career as a writer, speaker, financial analyst, and business executive in the worlds of finance and telecommunications. Amy is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College, where she majored in Portuguese, minored in French, and traveled extensively. She and her husband have four grown children.

After a long career writing books on telecommunications, voluminous financial reports, business plans, and corporate press releases, Chicken Soup for the Soul is a breath of fresh air for Amy. She has fallen in love with Chicken Soup for the Soul and its life-changing books, and really enjoys putting these books together for Chicken Soup's wonderful readers. She has co-authored more than four dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul books and has edited another three dozen.

You can reach Amy with any questions or comments through webmaster@chickensoupforthesoul.com and you can follow her on Twitter @amynewmark.

Cassandra's review-  I am a huge fan of all of the Chicken Soup books.  This book is perfect for upcoming mother's day and I am always so blessed by each story.   Each story is only a page or two long but they are all so loving and filled with a range of every feeling. So armed with a box of tissues and a cup of tea, I shared the stories out loud to my family.  While most people would not get through this book in a few sittings, I was able to laugh and cry my way through it all.

Man With Child: Confessions Of A Full-Time Daddy In A Mommy's World by Marc Kuritz Review


We’re told that less than one percent of American fathers are full-time dads. Every good dad is a full-time dad. But it does make a difference what shift you take.

I happened to take the day shift…

Hel-lo Mommies, hel-lo Mommies, hel-lo Mommies, we’re glad you’re here today.

Hel-lo Grandmas, hel-lo Grandmas, hel-lo Grandmas, we’re glad you’re here today.

Hel-lo Nannies, hel-lo Nannies, hel-lo Nannies, we’re glad you’re here today.

And hel-lo Daddy, hel-lo Daddy, hel-lo Daddy, we’re glad you’re here today.

That’s Ms. Jennifer’s music class greeting song. That last line is her and the preschoolers singing to me. After grandmas. And nannies.

On preparing for parenthood

”…Sure, paint the baby’s room and register at Babies“R”Us. Read some parenting books and fiddle with the car seat. It will keep you busy, but it will be about as relevant to parenting as the rhythm method is to contraception…”

On crashing the party

”…what are the rules for a full-time daddy in a mommy’s world? There are none. Just by being there, you are defying the expectations, Daddy-O. By all means break the mold. Just tread with patience, courtesy, and a healthy indifference to social discomfort…”

Man With Child is the travelogue of a full-time daddy in a mommy’s world.

For daddies and daddies-to-be, here are some observations, warnings, and minor revelations. For mommies who stare at daddies as if to say “What were you thinking?” here is one dad’s answer. Both mommies and daddies will find insights about each other’s perspectives—with plenty of laughs along the way!

About the Author

Marc Kuritz is the cheese. Daughter Dessa often pulls Mom Kathy and Dad together for a group hug, declaring herself The Cheese. Sometimes the dogs go along, nosing in, Sammi the big American bulldog and Ajax the elderly, pleading Lab mix.

But the poorly kept family secret is that Marc is the cheese. Before the cheese, there was an early career in politics and public policy. Marc might say that his values continue to be served by helping collective human energy achieve constructive common purpose. He might not say that fifteen years in politics equipped him to deal with temper tantrums, sharing issues, and refusal to play well with others-in other words, to be a parent. Consulting to nonprofit entities followed.

Marc specialized in needs assessments, program planning, design, evaluation, and resource development. In other words, helping well-intentioned people focus ever-scarce time, energy, and dollars in order to do better at doing good. Marc might admit that consulting was not like parenting only because the clients could fire you and they usually didn't cry when they peed their pants.

Today Marc is a rare-book seller, with an established presence in the antiquarian book trade and a worldwide clientele. Unlike children, good books stay where you put them, cultivate humility without humiliating you in public, and are patient while you try to figure them out. In time not allotted to working, parenting, and volunteering, Marc is a competitive fencer. Marc aspires to be a warrior poet, but he is just the cheese.

You can purchase this book on Amazon.

I recevied a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's review-  The book is funny with good intentions and humor that will bring smiles to the dads of the world.  it was refreshing to hear what one dad feels like and his outlook on the subject.

Blooming into Mindfulness: How the Universe Used a Garden, Cancer, and Carpools to Teach Me that Calm Is the New Happy by Martha Brettschneider Review


In a world that pushes us to always look for the next best thing, BLOOMING INTO MINDFULNESS shows you how to break the cycle of discontent and take control of your own happiness. Narrated with humor and raw honesty, Martha Brettschneider shares her transformation from ego-centered screaming mommy to a meditation-touting creative, finally at peace with the world.
Inspirational, motivational, and sprinkled with practical tips to silence our internal bully (the first step: recognizing that not all of our thoughts are to be trusted!), BLOOMING INTO MINDFULNESS is a must-read for anyone in search of an extra dose of internal peace.

If you're looking for strategies to reduce suffering in yourself and others, boost positive energy in your life, and not only unveil but also embrace your purpose, this book is for you.

You can purchase this book on Amazon.

I recevied a complimentary copy.
Martha Brettschneider
Martha Brettschneider is a writer, blogger, and award-winning photographer with a passion for inspiring mindfulness, the practice of finding beauty in the present moment. She stumbled upon mindfulness teachings in 2010 after breast cancer forced a reorientation of every aspect of her life--body, mind, and spirit. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband, two sons, and a rascally golden retriever puppy who takes great pleasure in eating her garden. Visit her at www.marthabrettschneider.com.

Cassandra's review-  This author has power behind her words and chapters of strength, build this book.  There is a huge mix of emotions filling the pages and I really enjoyed being a part of the author's world.  As I have dealt personally with cancer more than once and felt some of the same moments, I felt more connected with diffrent parts of the book.  In the end this is a great read for anyone who needs a little pick me up and a lot of faith boosting because of the truth and wholesome sharing involved.

Make a Break for It: Unleashing the Power of Personal and Spiritual Growth by Bill Purvis Review


Bill Purvis had to be left for dead before he discovered that everything he was searching for could be found in Jesus Christ. As a teen, Purvis nearly died when stabbed three times by a pimp during an encounter with a prostitute. With his pericardium sac pierced, liver punctured and his jugular vein completely severed, he cried out to Jesus, who miraculously saved his life. In the more than thirty years since that day, he's built a large church and become a leader and mentor to many.

Make a Break for It is a transformational road map meant to guide you by helping you pinpoint where you need to start and then providing detailed step-by-step guidance on how to successfully and continuously cultivate the transformation God has in mind for you. Your life will truly be transformed as you discover the importance of alone time with God, the secret to keeping your own excuses from holding you back, the significant role mentors play in your success, how to handle betrayal, and how to cultivate traits like integrity and humility. You have all of the tools you need to break out of the mold and begin living the life God called you to!

You can purchase this book on Amazon.

I recevied a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's review- The book brings truth, hardship and encouragement in despair.  All of my emotion levels came forth during each chapter and I was beside myself with a sense of grief and loss, however in the midst of all of my low points, the book brought a ray of hope, a strength that came from behind me and wrapped me in a light of glowing freedom and a deeper connection in my faith.  The author is truly blessed and his work shines through the pages.



A Year of Living Mindfully: Seasonal Practices to Nourish Body, Mind and Spirit by Randi Ragan Review


Everyone wants to live a long, productive life and be as vibrant and healthy in the process as possible. Yet sometimes, it's hard to know how to construct a wellbeing plan that provides for these goals on a day-to-day basis.

This elegant guidebook for awakened holistic living distills the basics and offers up practical solutions for busy people who yearn for lasting results. Stories, first person memoir, journaling, meditation and ritual take readers on a journey around the Wheel of the Year and through four inspiring seasonal themes: Renew(Spring), Energize (Summer),Balance (Autumn) and Contemplate (Winter).

This book shows you- step by step - how simple yoga and breathing exercises, herbal healing, aromatherapy, delicious plant-based food recipes, and soothing beauty rituals can be essential components for creating deep transformation.

Author Randi Ragan makes connections between everyday habits and a life filled with vitality, fearlessness, wise purpose, compassionate relationships, and spiritual sustenance for any age or stage of life.

You can purchase on Amazon.

Randi Ragan

Holistic wellbeing expert Randi Ragan is the founder of GreenBliss EcoSpa, celebrating ten years (2016) as Los Angeles' only award-winning mobile spa and wellness service. For over twenty years, Ragan has led yoga and spiritual retreats, created experiences for healing and wellbeing and guided groups and individuals with rituals and ceremonies to mark life milestones. Her book is a compendium of these journeys and experiences. Her blog, The Mindful Living Almanac (www.randiragan.com) has been providing readers inspiration for mindful, seasonal living since 2008.

I recevied a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review- When a beautiful person both on the inside and out, creates a book that is made to share faith, love and hope in a real very raw form this is what you get.  I was so appreciative of all of the goodness that each chapter holds and the overall sense of peace, joy and nourishment.



Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City by Katie Parla Review


A love letter from two Americans to their adopted city, showcasing modern dishes influenced by tradition, as well as the rich culture of their surroundings.

Even 150 years after unification, Italy is still a divided nation where individual regions are defined by their local cuisine-- mirrors of their culture, history, and geography. But the cucina romana is the country’s greatest standout. In Tasting Rome, journalist Katie Parla and photographer Kristina Gill capture Rome's unique character and truly evolved food culture-- a culimation of two thousand years of history.

The recipes here, each selected for the story it tells, acknowledge the foundations of the cuisine and demonstrate how it has transitioned to the variations found today: cacio e pepe is not only a peppery condiment for pasta, but also a filling for suppli, fried rice balls; pollo alla romana is served as a summer platter of peppers stewed with chicken, but also deboned and on hearty sandwiches. Parla and Gill focus, too, on cucina ebraica to highlight the role Rome's Jewish communities have had, bringing dishes such as hraimi con couscous, which incorporates spicy amberjack, and matzoh fritters, pizzarelle, with honey and pine nuts; celebrate the authentic quinto quarto ("the fifth quarter") offal, and luscious verdure, which grow all over; acknowledge the baked pizzas and breads that anchor everyday eating; and explore the ever-changing culture of sweets and cocktails.

With its forgotten recipes, beloved favorites, and street food innovations, the book transports all the flavors of Rome into your kitchen. Narrative features revealing bits of history and gorgeous photography that highlight both the food and its hidden city will immediately inspire you to start Tasting Rome.
Katie Parla
Katie Parla has written, edited and contributed to more than 20 food and travel books for National Geographic, Time Out, Rough Guides, Dorling Kindersley, Fodor's, and Insight Guides. She is a regular contributor to The New York Times, and is the author of a Saveur nominated food and travel blog (katieparla.com/blog) and the apps "Katie Parla's Rome" and "Katie Parla's Istanbul". Her forthcoming cookbook, "Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors & Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City", co-authored with Kristina Gill, is available for pre-order now and will be published by Clarkson Potter in March 2016.

You can connect with Katie via her blog (katieparla.com/blog), and on social networks: @katieparla on twitter and instagram. Her professional site is KatieParla.com.

I recevied a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's review- I was a bit overwhelmed by this book because of the different ways everything is condensed and I would never have the ingredients available in my home to create the recipes.  While when broken down in English and taken a lot of time to figure out, this book is a great learning tool and I think anyone who wants to get to know more about or try cooking in a flavor of Rome, will enjoy it.

That's Not Hay in My Hair By Juliette Turner review

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New York City life had crammed sidewalks, gasoline-filled puddles, and angry taxi drivers, but Juliette enjoyed the towering skyscrapers, the half-block walk to school, and the restaurant smells wafting into her bedroom. She had never cared for a horse, let alone a long-horn, when her mother announced their imminent move to a 300 acre ranch in Texas, where they would be caring for three horses, five dogs, twenty-five longhorns, and a cat … all by themselves.


Juliette couldn’t help feeling excited, even though she’d have to climb a hill to get a bar of cell-phone service. Soon she was running from bats and snakes, rescuing a calf from a twenty-foot ditch, medicating ponies, and having adventures so crazy it’s hard to believe they’re for real—but it all happened exactly how it’s written.


Get ready for side-splitting laughs, heart-wrenching tears, and surprising life lessons learned down on the farm and shared by fourteen-year-old Juliette Turner.

I recevied a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's review-  The book is like a memoir with a slight twist.  It must be great to have everything and enjoy life to the fullest and with only miniscule problems, but I guess for a little girl a move may bit a much.  There is a well written adventure for teens or younger to enjoy.

The Berenstain Bears Bear Country Fun Sticker and Activity Book By Jan and Mike Berenstain review

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The Berenstain Bears come to life in The Berenstain Bears Bear Country Fun Sticker and Activity Book that fans are sure to love! Join the whole Bear family in creative and interactive fun with 32 pages of age-appropriate activities such as word finds, mazes, puzzles, coloring pages, and colorful reusable stickers that are sure to please. Features Mama, Papa, Brother, Sister, Honey, and their friends from Bear Country.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review- The book is short but has a good amount of different activities for younger children. There are really neat stickers included and if you are a fan of the bears, this is a real treat. my kids were able to share the book by using their fingers to do most of the activities and coloring a little of each of the coloring pages. It provides at least a half hour of total fun.

Kids Relief Allergy Oral Liquid #feature



With the chilly air still looming it’s hard to believe that spring is right around the corner! Flowers will be blossoming, trees will be in full bloom -- and kids will be suffering from those pesky allergies. Itchy eyes, fatigue and sniffles will restrain little ones from going outside, unable to enjoy the warm weather. Don’t let your child be stuck indoors on a beautiful day this spring – try Kids Relief!


Kids Relief, a homeopathic line of children’s medicines, offers fast-acting, effective relief for any allergy problem your child may endure this season. Kids Relief Allergy Oral Liquid helps children to breathe easier while relieving nasal congestion, sneezing, and itchiness. The unique homeopathic formula lacks harsh ingredients other children’s medicines may include. The oral liquid offers children relief with no risk of side effects, drug interaction or overdose. And your little one will love the delicious banana flavor! Be sure to check out your local CVS location where it can be purchased for $6.99.

I recevied complimentary product.