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Wednesday, August 14, 2019


The Little Book of Drawing Dragons & Fantasy Characters Review @QuartoKnows

The Little Book of Drawing Dragons & Fantasy Characters
More than 50 tips and techniques for drawing fantastical fairies, dragons, mythological beasts, and more
Author: Michael Dobrzycki
Author: Kythera of Anevern
Author: Bob Berry
Author: Cynthia Knox
Author: Meredith Dillman
The Little Book of Drawing Dragons & Fantasy Characters
Description
Featuring drawing lessons, step-by-step projects, and open practice pages, The Little Book of Drawing Dragons & Fantasy Characters teaches beginning artists how to draw dragons, fairies, mythological beasts, and more.

Step-by-step projects, creative exercises, interactive prompts, and helpful tips and techniques bring this popular drawing subject to life and invite creativity and personalization. Drawing techniques, such as value, shading, and creating texture and perspective, are included to help artists of all skill levels learn to draw accurately. Learn to draw fur, scales, wings, tails, and how to put them all together to create your own unique fantasy characters and artwork.

More than 15 step-by-step projects include:
Western Dragon
Eastern Dragon
Water Dragon
Hydra
Centaur
Fairy
Minotaur
Griffin
Unicorn
And more!

In the popular, established The Little Book of... series from Walter Foster Publishing, artists and art hobbyists alike delight in learning a variety of fun, approachable, relevant, and interesting art topics in a portable format boasting a fresh, contemporary, and interactive design. Open practice pages, creative exercises, and art prompts encourage interactivity for immediate results while teaching beginners the fundamentals of the featured medium in a fun, engaging way.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review-  Any age will enjoy this book filled with really cool easier instructions as well as mythical creatures.  Plus what kid doesn't love dragons? It also has really neat tips and tricks to make the effects.


Back To School Kids Reads @Zonderkidz

Arcade and the Golden Travel Guide 9780310767435; Hardcover Juvenile Fiction
Arcade and the Golden Travel Guide

Arcade and the Golden Travel Guide is the second book in the Coin Slot Chronicles series by New York Times bestselling author, former NFL running back, and Dancing with the Stars champion Rashad Jennings. This humorous and imaginative series encourages readers to value the power of friendship and imagination, and to never underestimate an underdog.

Cassandra's Review -  An adventure sure to keep your child interested. I really enjoy how the book shares more than just a story.   You follow on a quest with fun and friendship.


The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Tryouts 9780310767831; Softcover Juvenile Non-Fiction
The Berenstain Bears The Trouble with Tryouts

Sister Bear is a super soccer player. She’s fast on her feet. She kicks the ball with the power of a cub twice her size. She should be a shoo-in at soccer tryouts, but there is one little problem. Sister Bear is too small. Read along to find out if Sister makes the team, or has to stay stuck on the sidelines.

Cassandra's Review- You do not have to be the biggest or strongest to do big things and Sister Bear gives great inspiration  and a real message of faith to young readers.

The One and Only Wolfgang 9780310768234; Hardcover Picture Book
The One and Only Wolfgang

From Instagram sensation Steve Greig and New York Times bestselling author Mary Rand Hess comes The One and Only Wolfgang. This humorous, heartwarming story about Greig’s real-life menagerie of senior rescue animals affirms that, in a family, everyone belongs.

Cassandra's Review- So fun and filled with amazing pets that share a message of love and family in a cute and humorous way.

Bible Gems to Remember Illustrated Bible 9780310746881; Hardcover Storybook Bible

Bible Gems to Remember Illustrated Bible
Bible Gems to Remember Illustrated Bible, written by Robin Schmitt and illustrated by Kris Aro McCleod, takes children through 52 stories from the Bible. Each story will include a powerful gem from Scripture of five words or less for children to memorize and hold close to their hearts.

Cassandra's Review-   A book about the greatest faith based stories of all time with really good illustrations sure to capture your little ones imagination.  It is a wonderful discussion starter and way to spend time together.

Bible Gems to Remember Devotions for Kids

Bible Gems to Remember Devotional 9780310746256; Hardcover
Bible Gems to Remember Devotions for Kids will give kids a devotion per week to read through, meditate and reflect upon, and put into practice. Each of the 52 devotions will include a Bible gem to memorize. Scripture is sparkling with “gemstones”––concise statements of 5 words or less that hold great value, meaning, and power.

Cassandra's Review-  When you give your child knowledge and add faith, it can do so much for them. I feel like this book would be excellent for any age.  

One Big Heart
A Celebration of Being More Alike than Different
by Linsey Davis
One Big Heart
What do you get when you combine ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis’ lyrical rhymes with Lucy Fleming’s whimsical art? A culture-rich picture book that proudly showcases the beauty of diversity while celebrating all the wonderful things we have in common.

From skin, hair, and eyes in a multitude of colors to different personalities and interests, God gave us all special traits and characteristics that make us uniquely ourselves. And we all have things in common too: like sharing fun and laughter on the playground, a sense of curiosity, big feelings, and so many other things that show how we are all more alike than we are different.

Ready to celebrate all our likes and differences? So are we! And this diverse picture book—drenched in color and full of laughter and fun—will show you how.

One Big Heart is:

Written by Emmy-winning ABC News correspondent and The World Is Awake author Linsey Davis
A multiethnic, multicultural, multiracial children’s picture book that recognizes our unique differences while celebrating how alike we are as well
An inspiring story of inclusion and connection
The perfect read-aloud for kids ages 4–8  

Cassandra's Review-   Unity and family are included in the shorter story that shares faith and positivity  with your kids. I like that is just a few short pages a big message impacts us all.  


I received complimentary copies. 



College Prep Science Class GIVEAWAY

Back to School with College Prep Science #CollegePrepScience #Homeschool #Science #BTS
ENTER TO WIN!
Two Winners!
Runner Up will Receive 2-Day Biology or Chemistry Lab Intensive ($280 value)
Grand Prize Winner will Receive: Full School Year Online Science Class ($680 value)
The giveaway is open US Only, 18+
The giveaway ends 8/24 at 1159 pm est
Be sure to come back daily for more chances to win.

Mommy’s Playbook Giveaway Rules: This giveaway is Sponsored by College Prep Science and hosted by Mommy’s Playbook. Victoria and/or Mommy’s Playbook, Participating bloggers, are not responsible for prize fulfillment. By entering this giveaway you are giving the giveaway host and/or event sponsor permission to retain your email address for future communication, you may choose to opt-out of such communications at any time. This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by any social media outlet including, but not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. 

Superior Source Vitamins GIVEAWAY

#WIN a $60 pack of #GMOFree, #SugarFree vitamins that instantly dissolve with our @SuperiorSource #backtoschool #giveaway! #nopills2swallow
ENTER TO WIN!
One Winner Will Receive a
Superior Source Vitamins 6-Pack: ($60 Value)
The giveaway is open US Only, 18+
The giveaway ends 8/27 at 1159 pm est
Be sure to come back daily for more chances to win.
Mommy’s Playbook Giveaway Rules: This giveaway is Sponsored by Superior Source Vitamins and hosted by Mommy’s Playbook. Victoria and/or Mommy’s Playbook, Participating bloggers, are not responsible for prize fulfillment. By entering this giveaway you are giving the giveaway host and/or event sponsor permission to retain your email address for future communication, you may choose to opt-out of such communications at any time. This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by any social media outlet including, but not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Please contact Victoria (at) MommysPlaybook dot com regarding any questions you have pertaining to this giveaway.

SMILE! SOX™ GIVEAWAY


With @SMILESOX you can mix and match SOX by wearing two expressions at the same time! Get 15% OFF and FREE shipping ($25 or more) on the entire collection on SmileSox.com with discount code: smilesox15
ENTER TO WIN!
One Winner Will Receive a SMILE! SOX™ 6-Expressions Assortment!
The giveaway is open US Only, 18+
The giveaway ends 8/27 at 1159 pm est
Be sure to come back daily for more chances to win.

Mommy’s Playbook Giveaway Rules: This giveaway is Sponsored by SMILE! SOX™ and hosted by Mommy’s Playbook. Victoria and/or Mommy’s Playbook, Participating bloggers, are not responsible for prize fulfillment. By entering this giveaway you are giving the giveaway host and/or event sponsor permission to retain your email address for future communication, you may choose to opt-out of such communications at any time. This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by any social media outlet including, but not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Please contact Victoria (at) MommysPlaybook dot com regarding any questions you have pertaining to this giveaway.

WompleMail Subscription GIVEAWAY


ENTER TO WIN!
One Winner Will Receive a
3-Month WompleMail Subscription!
The giveaway is open US Only, 18+
The giveaway ends 9/2 at 1159 pm est
Be sure to come back daily for more chances to win.

Mommy’s Playbook Giveaway Rules: This giveaway is Sponsored by Womple Studios and hosted by Mommy’s Playbook. Victoria and/or Mommy’s Playbook, Participating bloggers, are not responsible for prize fulfillment. By entering this giveaway you are giving the giveaway host and/or event sponsor permission to retain your email address for future communication, you may choose to opt-out of such communications at any time. This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by any social media outlet including, but not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Please contact Victoria (at) MommysPlaybook.com regarding any questions you have pertaining to this giveaway.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019


Power Necklace SHE KNEW SHE COULD @OneToughB

Getting back to school after a long, hot summer can always be a challenge, no matter how old you are. This year, enter the doors on your first day with an accessory to remind you that you can get through anything. 

Power Necklace- SHE KNEW SHE COULD-Silver tone

 This powerful necklace serves as a constant reminder of her inner power.
Charm comes on an 18 inch chain that will not tarnish.
Gift Card Message Choices:
BLUE: She Knew She Could SO SHE DID.
ROSE: BE KIND. BE BRAVE. BE YOU.

Wear the charm with our triangle logo facing up, keeping the words She Knew She Could against your neck. Or turn it the other way, whichever way feels right for you. Our necklace is gorgeous alone or layered with pieces from your own collection. An 18 inch necklace available in stainless steel that will not tarnish.

Why the Triangle Logo:

The triangle, the most powerful shape represents a mountain.

The mountain: One step at a time we can climb anything!

The heart symbolizes our connection to ourselves and those we love.  Even when apart, we are together.

Putting those elements together makes a symbol representing inner–power and strength.

The logo is our constant reminder: She knew she could.

I received complimentary product.

Cassandra's' Review- I love everything about this necklace and the story behind it.  I am also a cancer survivor and was able to connect with the charm immediately.  It is a huge sign of positivity in a little way.  This would make a great gift for back to school and to help encourage.  It is a well thought out design and a message that can stand true for most moments in life.


Books to Inspire you this School Year @QuartoKnows

Mindfulness for Students
Embracing Now, Looking to the Future
Mindfulness for Students

Life can be tough. With so many decisions to make at such a critical time, it’s easy to feel weighed down. What’s more, there is the pressure to gain good grades, to find a good job, to be a good person. Your mind may feel clogged up with no way to filter your circulating thoughts and pressures. From a young age we are taught the significance of a solid education and a fruitful career, yet with such an emphasis on academic and monetary success we often fail to prioritise a healthy mind and body. It is essential to know how to deal with life’s many challenges; Mindfulness for Students will help you.

Through insightful ideas and personal anecdotes, this book will introduce you to the many benefits and applications of mindfulness - from mindful breathing, eating, exercising, sleeping, studying and communicating. There will be opportunities within each chapter to have a go at mindful meditations ranging from three to twenty minutes. There is no right or wrong approach, just what works for you. Mindfulness is a way of being, and this book will help you lay the foundations for a mindful future. Choose to be mindful and live your life in the moment, living fully and wholeheartedly, aware of self and others.

Cassandra's Review- A great amount of mindful exercises that encourager the reader to work on themselves in a positive way.  It also has great tidbits of information like what cortisol is and other facts that can be very useful.

So Here I Am
Speeches by great women to empower and inspire
So Here I Am
Discover the inspiring voices that have changed our world, and started a new conversation.

The first dedicated collection of seminal speeches by women from around the world, So Here I Am is about women at the forefront of change – within politics, science, human rights and media; discussing everything from free love, anti-war, scientific discoveries, race, gender and women's rights.

From Emmeline Pankhurst's 'Freedom or Death' speech and Marie Curie's trailblazing Nobel lecture, to Michelle Obama speaking on parenthood in politics and Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza's stirring ode to black women, the words collected here are empowering, engaging and inspiring.

New Yorker writer Anna Russell introduces each speech with a concise bio of the remarkable woman who delivered it. Paired with powerful illustrations from Camila Pinheiro, the unique personality of each woman is brought to vivid life. A pink ribbon keeps your place in the book.

This anthology of outspoken women throughout history is essential reading for anyone who believes that change is not only possible, it is necessary.

Cassandra's Review-  A book of empowerment and strength that will teach the reader to never give up and always be true to your beliefs.

Grit and Grace
Uncommon Wisdom for Inspiring Leaders Designed to Make You Think
Author: Quotabelle
Author: Pauline Weger
Author: Alicia Williamson
Grit and Grace

Grit & Grace is a collection of quotes, thoughts, and advice from female pioneers to inspire young girls and women who want to lead.

With powerful words from powerful female forerunners, Louisa May Alcott and Susan B. Anthony have inspired girls and women for generations, there are now more women leading the way in more industries than ever. From the authors of the breakout inspirational book Beautifully Said comes Grit & Grace, a showcase of the brilliant minds, sterling careers, and hard work of women in both well-known and less-visible roles in society.

Grit & Grace is here to inspire young girls and women to pursue their dreams with fearlessness and determination by featuring classic and modern female leaders like Jessica Alba, Courtney Banghart, and Tiffany Dufu. The perfect gift for sisters, daughters, nieces, friends, new graduates, and any other free-thinking young woman in your life, Grit & Grace uses the strengths and successes of today's women to drive a generation of future leaders to make their talents count.

Cassandra's Review-  Perfect for young girls and a look into the way some of the powerful female influencers think.   Each page has a bit about someone and then a positive quote from them.

I received complimentary copies.




Old Trapper Beef Jerky Review @old_trapper

bout Old Trapper

Old Trapper makes beef jerky the way it was meant to be. The ingredients behind the company’s 50 years of success are as short as its actual ingredient list: lean high-quality meat, quality seasonings, real wood-fired smoke and a hands-on manufacturing process. Couple that with an affordable price point and Old Trapper’s ability to outlast the competition becomes obvious.

Varieties include: Old Fashioned, Peppered, Hot & Spicy and Teriyaki.

Old Trapper products are available at grocery and convenience stores nationwide and online at www.OldTrapper.com.

I received complimentary product.

Cassandra's Review-  With a real smoky taste that has a bit of a kick of pepper blended in this tender chewy jerky is very tasty.  Good sized pieces and you get a fair amount per package.  Great for power outages and emergencies or with cheese.

Audible releases THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB series in audio

This August, Audible will release THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB series in audio for the first time ever,

Audible, the world’s largest producer and provider of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken-word entertainment today announced that it will release all 131 titles in Ann M. Martin’s blockbuster middle-grade series, The Baby-sitters Club. The first five stories in the collection are performed by Elle Fanning (Teen Spirit, Super 8, Maleficent) with the remaining volumes individually read by a cast of actresses including Brittany Pressley, Ali Ahn, Emily Bauer, Lauren Fortgang, Bahni Turpin, Erin Moon, Stephany Einstein, and Vanessa Johansson. For the first time ever, these important stories that celebrate friendship and young female entrepreneurship will be performed as Audible books, enabling fans to keep these delightfully fun and remarkably empowering adventures in their ears while going about their daily routines, and offering a fresh take on these beloved classics from a group of wonderful actresses. All 131 titles will be available exclusively from Audible on August 13th, and are available to preorder now at audible.com/bsc.
Kristy's Great Idea
    
    
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        Ann M. Martin
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Elle Fanning
    
    


    
    Length: Not Yet Known
    Not rated yet
    Overall 0.0


Elle Fanning commented: “The fierce friendships and babysitting adventures of The Baby-Sitters Club have been so much fun to perform! It has been such an exciting and new experience for me to bring this entrepreneurial squad to life as Audible books. People can now relive these coming of age stories in a whole new way or enjoy them for the very first time!”



“I’m thrilled to see that the readership for The Baby-sitters Club continues to grow after all these years,” said Martin. “And I’m grateful and honored to hear from fans - young and old - who have supported the series with such affection, love and nostalgia for all things BSC. I’m excited that Audible will bring the books to life in a new format for the next generation.”



Diana Dapito, Audible SVP of Content, commented “Ann M. Martin’s iconic stories of enterprising young women bonded by friendship have entertained, inspired, and empowered generations. We’re delighted to bring this beloved series to life in a new way for listeners all over the world and introduce Kristy, Claudia, and the rest of the gang to audiences of all ages.”

I received complimentary copies.

Audible, Inc., an Amazon dot com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the leading provider of premium digital spoken audio content, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day.

Monday, August 12, 2019


The Ornery Gene by Warren C. Embree Review

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Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Amateur Sleuth
Published by: Down and Out Books
Publication Date: April 27, 2019
Number of Pages: 216
ISBN: 1643960121 (978-1643960128)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Down & Out Books
The Ornery Gene
by Warren C. Embree

When itinerant ranch hand Buck Ellison took a job with Sarah Watkins at her ranch in the Sandhills of Nebraska, he thought he had found the place where he could park his pickup, leave the past behind, and never move again.

On a rainy July night, a dead body at the south end of Sarah’s ranch forces him to become a reluctant detective, digging into the business of cattle breeding for rodeos and digging up events from his past that are linked to the circumstances surrounding the murder of Sam Danielson.

Working with his boss Sarah, her nephew Travis Martin, and the cook Diane Gibbons, Buck unmasks the murderer, but at the cost of learning the reality of past events that he chooses to keep to himself.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's review- A time that can be true to life and a story that has a good amount of suspense built up.  The characters are written to be interesting and have great personalities.   A great book for older ages and anyone who wants a peek at the rodeo ways or the farm.

The Experiment by Robin Lamont Review

The Experiment by Robin Lamont
Book Details:
Genre: Suspense
Published by: Grayling Press
Publication Date: May 15th 2019
Number of Pages: 288
ISBN: 0985848588 (ISBN13: 9780985848583)
Series: The Kinship Series
Purchase Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
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Synopsis:

Jude Brannock is a brash and single-minded female protagonist for today’s readers who believe that nature and animals deserve our respect and must be protected. In The Experiment, author Robin Lamont brings these forward-looking themes to her newest suspense novel.

Jude is an investigator for an animal protection organization. When the young man she has trained for an undercover job suddenly vanishes after a tantalizing text that he’s “on to something,” Jude rushes to the quiet, farming community of Half Moon, only to discover that her trainee might have perpetrated an elaborate con job on her. Determined to get to the truth, she unearths a biopharmaceutical company’s deadly secret, and in doing so, comes up against dark secrets of her own.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review- As a book 3, it could be a standalone, but I do think that I should have read book one and two just to connect  more with the series.  For the character creation and story this book is a really great read that can easily take up a good portion of your day.  It has chapters that do not drag and can easily creep you into the final moments.


Saturday, August 10, 2019


Work The Future! Today by Whitney Vosburgh Charlie Grantham Review @brandguru

Work The Future! Today: Bringing shared purpose to life: A book of hope and help for humanity (WTF! 1)
by Whitney Vosburgh,  Charlie Grantham

Work the Future! Today: Finding your path to purpose, passion and profit
ISBN-13: 978-0-9996346-0-8
8” x 8” 200 Pages     

Work the Future! Today 2019 Pocket Pal: A faster path to purpose, passion and profit
ISBN-13: 978-0-9996346-5-3
5” x 8” 50 Pages
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"Work The Future! Today is an amazing book--I'll watch for Charlie and Whitney on Good Morning America since this is going to catch on fire. This book offers the next chapter for aligning purpose and life goals in a new and visionary way. WTF! hits its stride for many of us searching for alignment of our core beliefs with the "what's next" discussion."
~ Sharon Klun, former Manager, Work/Life/Wellness Initiatives, Accenture

Yogi Berra once said, "The future ain't what it used to be." We live in a time of unparalleled chaos, confusion, and complexity, leaving us in search of our North Star and a sense of shared purpose that transcends partisan politics, "alternative facts", and double speak. We are responding with this book to:  Address the need to re/discover your Purpose.  Provide you with a pathway to bring your purpose to life, particularly in the workplace.  Identify how leaders and visionaries like you can create common purpose--a shared North Star--for all stakeholders.  "With their call to action for a better future, Whitney and Charlie articulate a critical need in these chaotic times, and offer a clear path to achieving it--they draw on what's clearly a wealth of experience. The result is a map to the future: a way to ensure we all know what we need to do to thrive."
~ Ceil Tilney, former General Manager, Imperative

Our book is short enough to read it flying from coast to coast with enough time left for a nap. It was designed so you can experience it on various levels with its simple graphics, powerful quotes, a detailed Table of Contents, and succinct chapter summaries. And the book is filled with tools that you can use.

What Is Purpose? Purpose is the Why of our Whys. All humans are in and on a purpose quest, whether they know it or not. The sole purpose of human existence is ultimately our soul purpose, which raises the questions:

* Why are we here?
* What are we to do?

The American Dream Into Nightmare
The Old Story of the American Dream was built on top of a number of other myths such as Westward Ho!, the Rugged Frontiersman, and the Lone Cowboy. From 1950 to 1975 this dream became a reality for many as the postwar boom, based on American global supremacy, provided a rising tide that lifted many boats.

By 1980, the 1950s myths of Infinite Growth, Everybody Can Become Middle Class, and The Business of America is Business turned into the American Nightmare on Main Street. These myths have not been replaced, so we are operating in a vacuum without a compass.

Purpose: Find Your Why?--Your Guiding North Star
Shared purpose is the glue that binds humans together. It includes a commonly held belief system, which informs our attitudes and ultimately our behavior. Why is purpose important now? Purpose is important because humankind has reached a point in its evolution where it can consciously choose its guiding principle: creation or destruction.

We need to give birth to a new approach constructed upon shared positive purpose and values; rethinking the Profit, People, Planet paradigm; and creating a new pathway to creating a new socially forward story--Planet, People, Profit--that puts the planet first, because without our planet, there would be no people and profits.

About the Authors

Whitney Vosburgh is co-founder of 'Work The Future! Today,' a social venture that offers vision, leadership and solutions for maximizing personal, organizational and societal potential, and co-founder of Brand New Purpose, a brand transformation consultancy that creates purpose-built, value-driven opportunities. He is also a consulting Chief Marketing Officer and change agent for Fortune 20 companies and Silicon Valley startups, guiding over $20+ billion worth of M&A, IPOs, sales, pivots and launches. He graduated with an M.A. in Religious Leadership for Social Change from Graduate Theological Union, and with a B.F.A. from Parsons School of Design in New York City.

Dr. Charles Grantham is co-founder of 'Work The Future! Today,' has a rich multi-disciplinary background, and pursues his passion for helping leaders, organizations, and communities realize their true potential for effective performance, governance, and sustainability. Charlie served in the Special Forces, and enjoyed a career in academia and as Executive Director of R&D for several multinational technology companies. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Maryland and is the author of nine books and several dozen technical papers. Most recently, he published ForeSight 2025, a practical guide on how to navigate the change process to prosper in the coming decade.

For more information about the team, their books and solutions, visit: http://www.workthefuture.today

I received complimentary copies.

Cassandra's Review-  Both the book and pocket pal are filled with so much great knowledge, information and tips that you will not get the full benefit if you skim them.  I would recommend them both to older ages who want to get serious with the topics included. With a workbook feel that will have you passing time trying to contain all the greatness they offer.  Get ready to learn and make notes because this is a real mind workout.

Confessions From Your Fat Friend By Paige Fieldsted Review @paigefieldsted

"Confessions From Your Fat Friend" By Paige Fieldsted
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The fat friend, the chubby sister, the funny-one, the curvy one.

Whatever you want to call it, every group of friends has one. Unless you’re the mean girls, then fat and friend don’t belong in the same sentence. I’ve been that friend my whole life. Tall and chubby as a child morphed into tall and extra curvy as an adult. My weight has fluctuated up and down throughout the years, but one thing never changes. I’ve always been the fat one in the group. The token “curvy” girl who can’t share clothes with everyone else and doesn’t even enjoy shopping trips because we need specialty stores to find our size.

That’s me. And I have a confession to make, well actually several confessions. All the thoughts and feelings I’ve had about being the fat friend for the past 30 years, all the things I’ve never told anyone before, all the things I wish people knew about life as the biggest friend in every group but have been too afraid to tell anyone before now. Some of them might make you laugh or cry or think I’m crazy; some of them are funny, some of them are painful, all of them are full of truth and real-life experiences.

I’m Paige and these are my stories, this is Confessions from Your Fat Friend.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review-  A beautiful person that shares real truths.  A time in life where everywhere in the world people are shaming others for everything especially body types.  A book of self awareness and preservation that most will connect to.   At first I thought that the title was a horrible negative and self hating statement and that the book would be body shaming thicker people.  I was so wrong as this author brings light, openness and heart in the pages.  Get ready to feel and think about this book long after you finish it.

Countertop Gardens By Shelley Levis Review @QuartoKnows

Countertop Gardens
Easily Grow Kitchen Edibles Indoors for Year-Round Enjoyment Author: Shelley Levis
Countertop Gardens Easily Grow Kitchen Edibles Indoors for Year-Round Enjoyment

Become an indoor gardening expert as horticulturist Shelley Levis walks you through the challenges, benefits, and how-tos of growing inside, including a review of the wide array of methods available.

Our indoor environments are ideal for human comfort, but they are not always hospitable to plants, especially vegetables and other edibles. In just the last few years, the technology for creating a better indoor plant environment has expanded. With the new, compact systems and tools available, it has become simple for anyone to grow an indoor kitchen garden and enjoy freshly picked edibles grown right on your own countertop.

Countertop Gardens shows you how to set up a cordial growing environment anywhere. In addition to going over the pros and cons of a wide range of ready-made hydroponic, aquaponic, and vertical gardening systems, Shelley shows you how to make your own DIY setups—from simple space-saving container designs to more creative and complex soil-free solutions. Beautiful photographs throughout illustrate methods, growing options, and creative projects. The chapters cover:
Countertop garden methods
Best edibles for countertop gardens
DIY countertop gardening
Growing basics
Countertop growing devices
Troubleshooting
No matter the size of your kitchen or your ambition, Countertop Gardens will help you make sure your favorite herbs, greens, fruits, and vegetables are within reach 365 days a year!

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review-  I enjoy taking time to garden and teach my family how fun or relaxing but most of all how rewarding it can be.  The book is perfect if you do not have cats inside that like to eat plants or you might do all the hard work for nothing.  The ideas are easy to understand and the added information like troubleshooting and types of soil are a really good learning tool.

Stumbling Blocks to Stepping Stones By Doug Zahn Review

Stumbling Blocks to Stepping Stones: A Guide to Successful Meetings and Working Relationships
by Doug Zahn
Stumbling Blocks to Stepping Stones: A Guide to Successful Meetings and Working Relationships

In both business and personal life, we engage in hundreds of conversations each day. Some are successful. Some are not. In Stumbling Blocks to Stepping Stones, you will learn from author Doug Zahn how to improve your conversations, thereby building more effective relationships, whether with friends or those you perceive as adversaries.

 This book offers a way to begin, continue, and end a successful conversation, helping assure participants are satisfied with the outcome. Zahn offers strategies to monitor and adjust your input during the interaction. To successfully use his approach, you must commit to self-observation and change. Successful relationships are the key to completing most jobs, whether at home or at work. Through the analysis of difficult conversations (those you often prefer to avoid) and the use of methodical building blocks, you will be able to have successful interactions wherever you go.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review-  A great way to learn better communication while working on yourself.  The book has so much to reflect on an added checklists that you can get lost thinking on.  I would recommend taking it in sections and putting away lots of time to work on the great ideas that are included.  The book would benefit adults as younger kids would get easily bored or not understand the topics yet.  

Love is Action By Rhonda Sciortino Review @rhondasciortino

Love is Action
How to Change the World with Love
Love is Action by Rhonda Sciortino
ABOUT LOVE IS ACTION
An inspirational book that shows the best way to love is with one’s actions.

Kindness, mercy, love. We need these values more than ever and what’s most important is putting these into action. Love is Action takes this simple concept and puts it in a powerful and inspiration little book. Love is Action shows that unconditional love is more than words. Full of practical wisdom and tips, Love is Action provides everything one needs to live a life full of love with intention acts of kindness, generosity, and love. More than a book, Love is Action is an initiative for all of humanity.


Rhonda Sciortino is an author, speaker, business owner, and spokesperson for organizations including Safe Families for Children and the National Foster Parent Association. She is the founder and chairperson of Successful Survivors Foundation, and the national champion of the LOVE IS ACTION Community Initiative. For more information, visit rhonda.org and loveisactioncommunityinitiative.org.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review-  A message of heart and truth. The book is so powerful and shows what words can do.  Great quotes discussion starters and deep thinking sections are filling the pages.  Love is forgotten in most of the world today and it is so easy to get into negativity or hate rather then remembering how beautiful life could be for everyone if we had more real love in the world.  The pure virtue of love is endearing, sweet and pure and given in a expression or clear clean way it can be so amazing.

Leadership in the Age of Personalization By @Glenn Llopis Review

Leadership in the Age of Personalization

The Age of Personalization is About the Standardization of “Me.” Society is more diverse than ever. People are more informed than ever. Employees and consumers are prouder of their individuality and seek influence, a sense of contribution, and purpose like never before. Welcome to the age of personalization.

Most organizations and leaders say they want to empower people to contribute at their fullest capacity. They “know” individuality and inclusion make us stronger. And yet they remain stuck in standardization—their offices filled with frustrated and exhausted employees consumed by delivering transactional results in the present instead of sustainable and significant growth for the future. Everyone just playing it safe and doing what they’re told. Individuality? Inclusion? Nice ideas but who has the time? Let the business define the individual. No. That’s the standardization trap.

Glenn Llopis has been in this trap and he knows the way out. In Leadership in the Age of Personalization, he shows leaders and organizations how to break free from entrenched habits, escape the trap, and:

Turn diversity into inclusion.
Stop being tribal and start seeing each other as human.
Invigorate the shared mission by elevating individual identities and contribution.
Free people from the tyranny of outdated metrics and activate methods that lead to success and significance.

This is easier said than done. Because personalization spooks standardization and, when threatened, standardization fights back, hard. It’s time to free ourselves from the standardization traps of the past. And it all starts with two words: let go.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review-  The book yields a ton of information and it can be very long to read at one time.  The topics are clear and easy to understand so the flow is really there.  I like being able to interact with the small quizzes and found a lot of great discussion starters.   Perfect for older ages and college kids.

The Joy of Swimming by Jackie Corley Review @penguinrandom

The Joy of Swimming is a collection of over 200 fun and inspirational quotes on the greatness of swimming.
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 The Joy of Swimming: Inspiration for Those Who Enjoy All Things Aquatic - Includes Over 200 Quotations by Jackie Corley

The Joy of Swimming is a collection of over 200 fun and inspirational quotes on the greatness of swimming.

Swimming is one of the best exercises for all ages. The great sensation of the water on one's skin, the wonderfulness of floating and feeling weightlessness, the health and fitness benefits of the activity--all of this is captured inside The Joy of Swimming. Whether it was in a pool, a lazy river, or in the ocean, it's hard to forget the process of learning how to swim. And when you succeed, that thrill of accomplishment is undeniable. Savor the thrill of swimming for fun, for a race, or for exercise. The Joy of Swimming is the perfect gift for all swimmers.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review-  A perfect book for anyone who loves the water and gliding through it or swimming.  As a child I loved to swim and would do so just about everywhere I could.  The quotes and inspiration in the book will make you crave going for a dip.




The Adventures of Blitz and Uncle Drake The Campout By Pete Leriget .@BlitzUncleDrake

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Book three in "The Adventures of Blitz and Uncle Drake"

Hi I'm Blitz.  I'm a German Shorthair Pointer.  A bit of a working dog.  My job is to take care of things here on the farm where I live with my owner, Pete.  My duties include keeping the peace on the farm among the other critters that  live here, keeping the riffraff away and playing, but don't tell Pete about that last one.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review -  A really short and heartfelt children's chapter book that any age can enjoy.  It features a wonderful dog and an adventure that is sure to make little ones excited.

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