September 21, 2013

Cain’s Blood by Geoffrey Girard

Cain’s Blood by Geoffrey Girard is the author’s debut novel that weaves together science, serial killers, government conspiracies, and the nature of good vs. evil and how or why people become the monsters that hunt people for pleasure.

Book Description
The DNA of the world’s most notorious serial killers has been cloned by the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a new breed of bioweapon. Now in Phase Three, the program includes dozens of young men who have no clue as to their evil heritage. Playing a twisted game of nature vs. nurture, scientists raise some of the clones with loving families and others in abusive circumstances. But everything changes when the most dangerous boys are set free by their creator. A man with demons of his own, former black ops soldier Shawn Castillo is hot on their trail. But Castillo didn’t count on the quiet young man he finds hiding in an abandoned house—a boy who has just learned he is the clone of Jeffrey Dahmer. As Jeffrey and Castillo race across the country on the trail of the rampaging teens, Castillo must protect the boy who is the embodiment of his biggest fears—and who may also be his last hope. Melding all-too-plausible science and ripped from- the-headlines horror, Cain’s Blood is a stunning debut about the potential for good and evil in us all.” – Cain’s Blood

My Thoughts
Cain’s Blood is such an interesting novel. I really liked the idea of melding science, government type conspiracies, good vs. evil, and of course, nature vs. nurture together in a story about serial killers.

I’ve been interested in serial killers since I took a college course at UCF about serial killers (I have a Criminal Justice B.S.). The statistics and unknown statistics about this group of people will probably surprise you, and quite honestly, scare you like you never thought it would. There are more active serial killers in the United States than you probably think (I won’t give the number, you can look it up), and you have probably been to an area (if you don’t live there already) where serial killers like to frequent. It is scary stuff. The exact type of scary stuff that makes for an excellent novel, too.

Girard does a brilliant job with this debut novel. The characters were developed very well, and as a reader who knows a little bit about some of the characters already, I think he did a very good job with the research of them, too. He created a story that blends science, fiction, and reality which makes for a very suspenseful and often scary read.

This is the type of book that people intrigued with serial killers would of course enjoy, but also anyone who appreciates a suspenseful story that is based on real science that could be used by the government in real life. I definitely recommend this book.

* Thank you to the publisher of Cain’s Blood, Touchstone, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Sensory Child Gets Organized by Carolyn Dalgliesh

The Sensory Child Gets Organized by Carolyn Dalgliesh is a well written and researched guide for parents with sensory children to help them flourish in their environment at home. Read this book and find out how to reorganize the surroundings and use new strategies to help your sensory kids succeed.

Book Description
Every year, tens of thousands of young children are diagnosed with disorders that make it difficult for them to absorb the external world. Parents of sensory kids—like those with sensory processing disorder, anxiety disorder, AD/HD, autism, bipolar disorder, and OCD—often feel frustrated and overwhelmed, creating stress in everyday life for the whole family. Now, with The Sensory Child Gets Organized, there’s help and hope.

As a professional organizer and parent of a sensory child, Carolyn Dalgliesh knows firsthand the struggles parents face in trying to bring out the best in their rigid, anxious, or distracted children. She provides simple, effective solutions that help these kids thrive at home and in their day-to-day activities, and in this book you’ll learn how to:

¦ Understand what makes your sensory child tick
¦ Create harmonious spaces through sensory organizing
¦ Use structure and routines to connect with your child
¦ Prepare your child for social and school experiences
¦ Make travel a successful and fun-filled journey

With The Sensory Child Gets Organized, parents get an easy-to-follow road map to success that makes life easier—and more fun—for your entire family.” – The Sensory Child Gets Organized

My Thoughts
The Sensory Child Gets Organized is a really fantastic resource for parents of children who have “sensory” kids. However, it is also a great tool for adults who may have sensory issues as well. Adults wouldn’t need all of the sections included for kids, but the general ideas in the book could definitely help.

As someone who tries to be organized, and has some sensory issues as an adult, I can see how I have done some of the suggestions and tips that Carolyn has outlined in this book. For instance, I need things organized and in their places, or I am stressed out and my anxiety level rises. I like structure and things around me to be where they belong. Sometimes living with people who don’t understand how clutter and disorganization leads to higher levels of stress is difficult, and if my parents had this book when I was a kid, I would have been so much further ahead of those issues I had.

I do not personally have kids, so I can’t say that I put this book to the test with kids. However, as I said, I have struggled with some of these issues, and I can attest to the fact that the suggestions will help. Depending on the type of child you have, they need different kinds of organization and goals, luckily, the author understands this and included a lot of different types of methods on helping sensory kids. This is a great reference book to outline a plan for your home.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone with a child who has any of the sensory issues detailed in this book. I also think that the basic organization suggestions and other tips could help adults with these issues as well. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Sensory Child Gets Organized, Touchstone, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Yes Frequency by Gary Quinn

The Yes Frequency by Gary Quinn is a powerful guide to help you become more positive and on the right path to achieve what you want in life. Read this book to learn helpful strategies, tips, and more to help you manifest your desires.

Book Description
Filled with practical and deeply insightful strategies, this concise guide offers methods for breaking old habits, becoming more successful, and giving life a greater purpose. Focusing on recurring problems existent in today’s hectic world, readers will be encouraged step into a positive vibration frequency to access inner power, creativity, and intuition. Recognizing the ways in which fear creates chronic anxieties and alienation, new approaches are explored for healing limiting wounds — opening a path for an optimistic life approach geared towards discovering and manifesting one’s desires.” – The Yes Frequency

My Thoughts
The Yes Frequency is a very helpful book that reminded me of why it is so important to stay positive, even if it is hard sometimes. Gary Quinn is a successful life coach, and in this book, it is like he is your own positive cheerleader affirming that you can have the life you want, you just have to be willing to work towards it, too!

Fear is a big blocker to everyone’s success, and this book is such a great tool to help you break down that big wall of fear. I won’t say that it will happen overnight, but if you continue to work on it, your fears can be replaced with positivity and set you on the way to what you do want.

I really enjoyed doing the exercises in this book to help me knock down some of my own fears and doubts with myself, and I look forward to doing more. This is the type of book that I think everyone could benefit from reading and putting to the test in their own life. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Yes Frequency, FindHorn Press, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Hard Times Require Furious Dancing by Alice Walker

Hard Times Require Furious Dancing by Alice Walker is a remarkable writer, her best known work of course being, The Color Purple. This new book includes poems that as a reader you can read over and over again, finding new meanings and cherishing them each and every time.

Book Description
“Though we have encountered our share of grief and troubles on this earth, we can still hold the line of beauty, form, and beat. No small accomplishment in a world as challenging as this one.” — from the preface

“I was born to grow, / alongside my garden of plants, / poems / like / this one”

So writes Alice Walker in this new book of poems, poems composed over the course of one year in response to joy and sorrow both personal and global: the death of loved ones, war, the deliciousness of love, environmental devastation, the sorrow of rejection, greed, poverty, and the sweetness of home. The poems embrace our connections while celebrating the joy of individuality, the power we each share to express our truest, deepest selves. Beloved for her ability to speak her own truth in ways that speak for and about countless others, she demonstrates that we are stronger than our circumstances. As she confronts personal and collective challenges, her words dance, sing, and heal.”Hard Times Require Furious Dancing

My Thoughts
Hard Times Require Furious Dancing truly reminded me of why I loved poetry so much as a high school student. I’m glad that this book gave me the opportunity to read beautifully written poetry again and remind me of my appreciation for it.

These poems were written during struggles and sadness, but the honesty and depth to them give them much more meaning than simply words on a page that are read together. When you read them, you can feel the emotion put into them and perhaps relate them to times in your life, too.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book of poems, and think that anyone who appreciates good poetry will love this book, too. I highly recommend it!

* Thank you to the publisher of Hard Times Require Furious Dancing, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

September 19, 2013

Hello Kitty Jet Plane – For Real!

I saw this on the news today and it is something that  I just had to share with everyone. I love Hello Kitty and although I don’t fly often, if I did… I would totally want to take a trip on this Hello Kitty airplane!

 Even the flight attendants are all Kittified serving Hello Kitty themed food! 

Although this dance party probably doesn't happen every time, it is pretty darn cute.

For more fun pictures, check out the EVA Air Hello Kitty cuteness here.

So... what do you think? Would you want to fly on a Hello Kitty airplane like this one? I know I would… and I probably wouldn’t even mind one of those really long flights on it, either. 

Hopelifter by Kathe Wunnenberg

Hopelifter by Kathe Wunnenberg is the perfect book for someone to read that wants to help people, but isn’t always sure about how to go about doing it. This book truly gives you creative ways to spread hope to people in your life.

Book Description
How often do women see a friend in distress or crisis, but feel helpless to really make a difference? Hopelifter: Creative Ways to Spread Hope When Life Hurts takes the mystery out of how to be the hands and feet of Jesus to anyone in need of hope, comfort and care. Kathe Wunnenberg, whose hope-lifting ministry has impacted the lives of thousands, demonstrates simple, practical ways that acts of creative compassion can transform lives.

Whether it’s encouraging a jobless friend, lifting the spirits of someone trapped in depression, leaving an anonymous gift for a grieving mother, hosting a starting-over shower for a divorced friend, or playing one small part in long-term support for a family in deep crisis, daily opportunities to make a difference in hurting lives are limitless for a Hopelifter.

The perfect book for women who want to spread hope in their friendships, workplace, neighborhoods, and homes, and ideal for those in caring roles in churches and ministries.” – Hopelifter

My Thoughts
Hopelifter is a book that can actually do what it says, if you use it. Most days we can probably think of someone who we know, or come across that can use a little bit of hope and encouragement, but maybe are unsure how to do it. Kathe Wunnenberg explains how to do it, and gives examples, which I find to be unique and uplifting to the people who need it.

There are ideas of hope for a large amount of topics, and if you can’t find one for the person you need to cheer up, I think that by reading the “recipes” for hope, you can come up with a fun and creative one on your own, too. These aren’t meant to be taken word for word, they are meant to be used and made your own, and to share with others.

I really like this book and the message it gives. Bringing hope into someone’s life could mean more than you could imagine to them, and it will very likely make you feel good for doing it, too. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

* Thank you to the publisher of Hopelifter, Zondervan, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Swimming in the Moon by Pamela Schoenewaldt

Swimming in the Moon by Pamela Schoenewaldt is a story about immigration from Italy to America in the 1900s. The two main characters, Teresa and Lucia are mother and daughter who fled to America after things in Italy didn’t work out like they had planned. However, a fresh start isn’t as easy as it sounds, and when Teresa’s old demons return, it causes her daughter to choose between her and her future.

Book Description
Italy, 1905. Fourteen-year-old Lucia and her young mother, Teresa, are servants in a magnificent villa on the Bay of Naples, where Teresa soothes their unhappy mistress with song. But volatile tempers force them to flee, exchanging their warm, gilded cage for the cold winds off Lake Erie and Cleveland's restless immigrant quarters.

With a voice as soaring and varied as her moods, Teresa transforms herself into the Naples Nightingale on the vaudeville circuit. Clever and hardworking, Lucia blossoms in school until her mother's demons return, fracturing Lucia's dreams.

Yet Lucia is not alone in her struggle for a better life. All around her, friends and neighbors, new Americans, are demanding decent wages and working conditions. Lucia joins their battle, confronting risks and opportunities that will transform her and her world in ways she never imagined.” – Swimming in the Moon

My Thoughts
Swimming in the Moon is a beautifully written historical novel. It features detailed characters, scenes, and a rich storyline that makes me as a reader feel involved in the story. I came to care about Teresa and Lucia like I knew them, and wanted the best for them, regardless of what they may have done.

Teresa is obviously a damaged character, but she still tries to do her best for her daughter, even though her personal struggles are beyond hard for her to live with sometimes. Lucia’s goal to finish high school and going to college is changed with she receives news about her mother’s mental breakdown. Giving up one dream is hard, but Lucia’s real strength shows through so much when she helps her mother. This courage is seen even more when she is part of the garment strike of 1911 and becomes someone I think everyone could be proud of.

I really enjoyed reading this novel. It showcases so many subjects that are important to our history as a whole, while still providing a very readable and enjoyable storyline. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Swimming in the Moon, William Morrow, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

September 7, 2013

Publix Breakfast Savings

Eating breakfast at home is always a great value, and it's an even better value at Publix during the week of September 5th through 11th where select General Mills kid cereals are BOGO! 
Offer valid on Trix 14.8oz, Cinnamon Toast Crunch 16.2oz, Cocoa Puffs 16.5oz, Kix 12oz, Honey Kix 12oz, Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Crème 10.9oz. Offer available in Publix stores from 9/5-9/11.

Saving money on breakfast is something I do daily. I’m not usually a huge fan of breakfast, but cereal (gluten free, of course) is something I enjoy in the morning before heading out the door to nursing school. Additionally, on hectic days, it is also a good dinner, or snack while studying before a big exam.

If you like to save money on food, and honestly, who doesn’t? You should stop by Publix this weekend (September 5-11, 2013) to save on some yummy cereals. Some that you can save on is: Trix 14.8oz, Cinnamon Toast Crunch 16.2oz, Cocoa Puffs 16.5oz, Kix 12oz, Honey Kix 12oz, Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Crème 10.9oz. Offer available in Publix stores from 9/5-9/11.

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by Publix® through MyBlogSpark