Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Big Brass Band Book Blast and $25 giveaway

Disclosure: I earned an entry into a separate giveaway for blog blast participants in exchange for this post. I also got the chance to have new readers come visit my blog (welcome new readers! please feel free to stay and browse a while!). None of the links in this post are affiliate links for me. If you are a blogger and would like the opportunity to participate in future blog tours and blog blasts sign up at Mother, Daughter, & Son Book Reviews.

The Big Brass Band by Pam Bonsper

Title: The Big Brass Band
Author: Pam Bonsper
Illustrator: Jessica Ziegler
Publication Date: August 18, 2014
Publisher: AroSage Publishing
Pages: 32
Recommended Ages: 3 to 8 
Book Summary: A parade! Watch from the sidelines, as a little fellow follows the magnificent marching band go by. He is overcome by the sounds of the big brass band, and every instrument is his favorite. How can he decide which instrument he will play? Will it be a bassoon, a drum, a tuba? In this delightful rhyming tale about a parade, a band, and a boy, Pam Bonsper and illustrator Jessica Ziegler take us on a very loud, decision-making journey while we learn the names of the instruments in a marching band. But be aware...your children may want an instrument after reading this book! Which instrument will they choose?

Now available both in print and as an e-book!

Amazon (Print) * Amazon (eBook)* AroSage * StoryTots * Goodreads

 

The Buzz About the Book

"The poetry in the book is lyrical and when read out loud you feel the music of the band. This will draw a child's attention and introduce vocabulary that is sure to stimulate. Really like the colors and emotion in each page. Well done! " ~ 5 Star Review, kmhorgan, Amazon
"Poems help improve a child’s reading skills and also their ability to remember passages. The author has cleverly used these techniques to enhance her tale and mesmerize her readers." ~ 5 Star Review, Susan D., Amazon
"'Watch out. The Big Brass Band is about to march straight into your heart! " ~ 5 Star Review, S.J. Teer, Amazon
"My grandson made me promise to read it to him every night. Could anything be better than that - encouraging children to read and give them knowledge about instruments in a band?" ~ 5 Star Review, Juliet A., Amazon
"The best part of this book was reading with my son and seeing his excitement for music and all the possible instruments he could play. We have been talking about them all morning." ~ 5 Star Review, Joshua C., Amazon
 

About the Author: Pam Bonsper

Pam Bonsper, AuthorPam Bonsper has been a free-lance writer for many years. Her articles have appeared in numerous periodicals and professional publications. She is currently a feature writer for Coastal Canine magazine. Pam also enjoys writing children's poems and stories and has been published in The Bee Hive, Mexican World, Happy Times and Classmate and Bumples.com. She has now published her first children's rhyming book and will launch her new Friends and Feelings Series in December. She lives with her husband in Carmel Valley, California and is inspired daily by her two young grandchildren.

Amazon Author Page | Twitter | Facebook

Pinterest | Google+ | Goodreads

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: December 19, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author Pam Bonsper and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
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Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool Book Blast and $25 giveaway

Disclosure: I earned an entry into a separate giveaway for blog blast participants in exchange for this post. I also got the chance to have new readers come visit my blog (welcome new readers! please feel free to stay and browse a while!). None of the links in this post are affiliate links for me. If you are a blogger and would like the opportunity to participate in future blog tours and blog blasts sign up at Mother, Daughter, & Son Book Reviews.

Girls Powers-front cover for Amazon

Title: The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool
Author: PJ LaRue
Illustrator: Aristides Rodriguez
Publication Date: June 28, 2014
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 63
Recommended Ages: 5 to 10 
Book Description: Join Exciting Princess Adventures and Learn Life Lessons Along the Way Have you ever wanted to ride a dolphin or dreamed of playing on a rainbow as if it were a waterslide? How would you feel if someone tried to kidnap you, and you were forced to move to Hawai'i to hide and live with people you don't know? That happened to Harmonie. Come meet Harmonie, her new Mystic Princess friends, and find out what happens when her enemies, the Children of Ares, find her again.

Purchase * Goodreads

 

The Buzz About the Book

"The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool has a delightful plot. P. J. LaRue uses mythological characters to tell a lively story of bravery and friendship. The book teaches important lessons on strengths and weaknesses, conservation and safety. This is the first book in the Mystic Princesses series, and I cannot wait for the next princesses' adventure to come. Young girls will love The Mystic Princesses adventure on their bedside table." ~ Kelly Santana, Readers' Favorite Book Reviews
"A lovely book for children with colourful pictures and any child who reads it will be looking for a sequel." ~ 5 Star Review, Diane, Amazon
"'The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool' is a confidence boosting book for children, giving them important information. It is the first in a series and I look forward to reading more about Harmonie and her friends." ~ 5 Star Review, Mary C., Goodreads
"This early chapter book is perfect for children ages six through ten. It does not portray wimpy princesses, but strong, respectful and independent female role models involved in many adventures in which they learn to overcome their weaknesses, act against bullying, and cooperate with friends and family to promote human welfare and peace. Short chapters interspersed with illustrations will maintain interest if the book is read aloud for younger children. Introduce your little princess to this one." ~ 5 Star Review, Barbara M., Amazon
"The short chapters would make this ideal for younger girls who are newer to reading Chapter Books. The colourful illustrations are excellent, and compliment this warm story nicely. A new series for girls, offering a fun way to learn valuable life lessons." ~ 5 Star Review, M.J. Kinsmen, Amazon
 

About the Author: PJ LaRue

PJ LaRuePJ LaRue wrote poetry in high school, but she discovered writing children’s books and short stories later in life. Her writing inspirations are hiking, photography and environmental consciousness, but she links these interests to much larger social issues. A person very close to PJ was molested as a child, making PJ passionate about providing child safety tips. And, PJ was bullied in the third grade by girls much larger than she, who demanded that PJ give them her lunch money. As a result, PJ is committed to spreading the word that bullying must be stopped.
One of PJ’s goals is to help educate children, parents and caregivers, in a fun way, using her children’s book series, The Mystic Princesses. Because PJ loves to travel, the princesses will visit many locales, learning about environmental concerns along the way.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Pinterest | Google+ | Goodreads

 

About the Illustrator: Aristides Rodriguez

Aristides Rodriguez has worked with clients to create websites, social media graphics, print graphics, and logos. His print media projects include cards, posters and magazine ads. He is comfortable working with a team, but has also designed client projects independently. While in school, Aristides participated in job shadows to Central Florida design community members including Disney Event Group, Orlando, SeaWorld, Orlando, and large offset and digital printing companies. Currently, Aristides is a Winter Park Tech Advisory Board member.

Website

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: December 17, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author PJ LaRue and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hotline to God Story Stix: Review of a great Children's Toy #sponspred

I received the products in this review for free in exchange for writing a review. All opinions are 100% my own. The products were supplied by Hotline to God. I signed up for the review through Buzz Plant's BuzzBlogger program.


When I received the package from Hotline to God we were having a crazy day getting ready for Little Man 2's first birthday party. I didn't have time to deal with it so I put it up on a shelf and forgot about it. I remembered it the other day when it was raining all day and I needed something to occupy the little men so I wouldn't go crazy. When I pulled them out and let the kids play with them I wished I wouldn't have waited so long.

The kids loved them! Little Man 2 was the first one who got to explore them because he woke up from his nap earlier than Little Man 1. He couldn't figure out how to push the buttons so I pushed them for him. You should have seen the huge smile when it was talking to him. Then he put it up to his ear like a phone (he has seen Little Man 1 talk on various objects like a phone). He gestured and smiled just like he was listening to someone on the phone. Whenever it stopped talking to him he handed it back to me and I started it again. I wish I could post the pictures I got of him listening and smiling, they are super cute. But Mr. Random and I agreed when I started this blog that I would not post pictures of any of our faces. You can see a few pictures below of my kids cute arms etc and their new favorite toys.




When Little Man 1 woke up he loved them too. He pushed the buttons over and over. He also loved the Serenity Prayer key chain. He really loves key chains right now. He will loop them around his fingers and carry them around. This key chain recites the serenity prayer when you push a button. SO now I hear the serenity prayer a lot :)



Hotline to God sent us 4 Story Stixs, 1 Key Chain, and 1 Phone to God. I haven't gotten batteries into the phone yet, but I have no doubt the boys will love that too. They both love pretending to talk on the phone. The story sticks are interesting. Each of them tells 1 bible story: Jesus, Noah, David & Goliath, and Adam & Eve. The stories are broken down into 6 parts, each button tells a sentence or two of the story. If you press each of the buttons in order you will hear the entire story. But they also set it up so each button makes sense on its own. They were well designed. The only thing I would change is the option to turn down the volume. The website says they are recommended for ages 3 and over, but my 2 (almost 3) year old  and 1 year old love them.



If you are looking for a good toy or present for a children these would be great!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Diaper Wars 8 the New! Huggies Little Snugglers #MC #sponsored

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Huggies and Target. I received samples and a promotional item to facilitate my review.

Let me apologize in advance, my shift button is not working well so capitalizing is twice as hard as usual. So if there are any words incorrectly capitalized I am sorry. This is what happens when little hands pry off your keyboard keys and putting them back on just doesn't fix it right.

I reviewed Huggies Little Snugglers diapers before and I was impressed with them, so when I was offered the opportunity to review the New! Huggies Little Snugglers diapers I jumped at the chance. These are some of my favorite diapers and if i could afford to I would use them all the time. As it is, I do use them when i have a newborn because I feel they are gentler on newborn skin.

Part of the review was that I had to go in store to Target and buy the diapers there (with a gift card provided by the sponsors). This was no hardship for me because I love Target! I buy all my diapers there anyways so this was nothing new. Target is always easy to navigate and find what I am looking for, and the staff is always friendly and accommodating. I also love their selection!

Target also has an excellent baby registry. I have registered there with both my boys. You can register online or in store (if you register online make sure you go in store to get the free gift bag, there are some really good coupons and freebies in there!). And right now if you create a Target baby registry and register for Huggies Little Snugglers diapers and Natural Care Wipes you can enter to win a year supply of free diapers! You can sign up for the sweepstakes on the Huggies Register Your Wish website.



Huggies Little Snugglers
Positives

Softness
The New! Huggies Little Snugglers are incredibly soft! I think these may be the softest of all the diapers I have tried. If you have read my previous reviews then you know that softness is very important to me. I don't like putting something on my child that I would never put against my skin. And hard scratchy diapers are not something I am willing to use. The softer the better in my opinion (as long as it doesn't reduce the use-ability). So this is a huge positive for me with Little Snugglers. I have no compunctions against using these on my son and i would have no problem using them on a newborn (I use store brand diapers most of the time, but i do go for the higher quality, softer diapers for my newborns). These diapers really feel like they would be a soft hug for newborns.

Absorbancy
The Huggies Little Snugglers are absorbant. They have a new GentleAbsorb* Liner  with hundreds of tiny absorbant pillows to help draw the mess away from the skin and keep them dry. Little Man 2 has not had any hugely wet diapers yet, but so far we have had no leaks. Even when he sleeps in them all night. And they seem to be helping with his rash a little (he has had a really bad rash for several days and using these in addition to diaper rash cream seems to be helping). So they are great skin care for your little one.

Wetness Indicator
Huggies Little Snugglers does have a very nice wetness indicator. The way that it works is that there is a yellow line on the outside of the diaper extending from the front to the back. When the diaper is wet the line will turn blue. It is easy to read and shows up even if there is only a little wetness. That is pretty important in the first few weeks when you don't really know what you are doing and have a hard time telling if your baby has peed and you are supposed to be recording how many times they have peed every day. I definitely recommend these diapers for the first month or so with your first child.

Rewards Program
Huggies has a rewards program. You earn points by entering codes from diapers and wipes, and other Huggies products, and inviting friends (by the way send me your email address if you want an invitation, you get 10 points for signing up through an invitation). Apparently you can also get points for reading articles and writing reviews but I'm not sure how that works because I haven't done it. As far as the rewards go you can get shutterfly products like photo books and photo prints, magazine subscriptions, and things for your children.

Deals
I see coupons for Huggies all the time. Usually for $1-3 off. On amazon right now there is a coupon for $2 and $4 off Little Snugglers. 

Fit
These diaper are very stretchy! They have a unique SnugFit* waistband in the back that stretches to provide a gentle secure fit. They have a flexible pocketed back waistband to help keep in the mess. They also have an umbilical cord cut out for newborns. I didn't need this feature, but I know it is great when you have a newborn. The stretchiness works well to make the diapers fit. The only area I'm not sure about is around the legs. I got size 2 because that is the size that my son wears in other diapers. But Little Snugglers runs a little bit smaller than the other diapers so it is possible a size 3 would have fit better in the leg. One problem with diapers running smaller is that your child grows out of each size a little faster, and the smaller sizes are slightly cheaper so staying in the smaller size saves you a little money. But this is not a deal breaker for me.


The stretchy back waistband

The pocket in the back waistband. It really does work to keep in the mess!

The stretchy sides.


Availability
You can find New! Huggies Little Snugglers in most grocery stores and mass retailers.


Neutral

Blowout Rate
Little Man 2 has been pooping a Lot lately. So I got a chance to test this out. He had one blowout. It came out around the leg, so it could have been our fault. Mr. Random put the diaper on so I didn't see how it fit around the leg.  And I don't really blame Huggies because Little Man 2 has been going through a blowout phase, and is having blowouts in any diapers I put him in. What I did like about these diapers is the pocketed waistband in the back (see picture below) because it stopped the blowout from going all the way up his back.


Negatives

Price
You can get these diapers in premie to size 3. Prices are for size 1 diapers for equal comparison.
Walmart - Box of 216 diapers for $47.17 = $0.22/diaper
Amazon - Box of 148 diapers for $34.99 (with subscribe and save, free shipping) = $0.23/diaper
Target - Box of 216 diapers for $47.19 = $0.22/diaper

*Prices reflect the price at the time I checked, they will vary. I am not responsible for difference between these prices and current prices.


Conclusion
These diapers are great! The only downside is the price. But I am willing to pay the higher price for diapers for newborns. And of course when I find a great sale or coupon I would jump at the chance to get these diapers. They are great diapers and the changes are only for the better!


I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Huggies and Target. I received samples and a promotional item to facilitate my review.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Jack the Boogey is My Real Name Book Blast and $25 giveaway

Disclosure: I earned an entry into a separate giveaway for blog blast participants in exchange for this post. I also got the chance to have new readers come visit my blog (welcome new readers! please feel free to stay and browse a while!). None of the links in this post are affiliate links for me. If you are a blogger and would like the opportunity to participate in future blog tours and blog blasts sign up at Mother, Daughter, & Son Book Reviews.

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for "Jack the Boogey is My Real Name" by Davon Washington & Chase Washington, a delightful bedtime picture book for children who are afraid of the dark.

Jack the Boogey is my Name by Davon Washington

About the Book

Title: Jack the Boogey is my Real Name: The Truth about "The Boogeyman"
Authors: Davon Washington & Chase Washington
Illustrator: Ana-Gabriela Stroe
Publication Date: January 1, 2014
Publisher: Bedford House Books
Pages: 32
Recommended Ages: 3 to 8 
Summary: Have a child that's afraid of the dark? Are you a little curious about what happens when the lights go out? This delightful children's picture book will not only enhance the night time reading experience but bedtime in itself will never be the same. Jack The Boogey encourages kids to push through their fears, persevere and always do the right thing. One of the world's most feared creatures may have just become the most loved.  

Sneak Peek

Jack the Boogey - Inside Page - Davon Washington  

Purchase

Amazon | Book Website | Goodreads

Receive a FREE "Monster Repellent" Sticker with the purchase of "Jack the Boogey is my Real Name". Just click the image below for more information.

Monster Repellent Sticker Davon Washington

The Buzz

"I highly recommend this adorable tale to children who don't want to go to sleep at night because they are afraid the Boogeyman will get them! They just might discover that this isn't true. " ~ 5 Star Review, Amy G., Amazon
"My little one and I thoroughly enjoyed the story (he made me read it twice as soon as I took it out of the package and I had to distract him with Monsters University to get away to write a review), but the real treat to me was stashed in the cover blurb hidden away in the back of the book. It's written by Davon Washington and his son, Chase. Davon wanted to help young Chase understand how much work and effort went into providing the nice things he had, so he let Chase make this a project in which they could collaborate and Chase could get an idea of the value of hard work. To me, that's the best part of the story! " ~ 5 Star Review, Breeni B., Amazon
"I loved this book! The illustrations were such a big pull for me. It almost felt like watching a tv show in the sense that you are brought into the world of Jack the Boogey instead of trying to imagine the scariest non-monster possible. I do think that this is a great read for Young Readers because of the conflict and resolution. I enjoyed that Jack showed vulnerability (being upset over the children's misunderstanding that he was actually a helpful GOOD monster) and that it was OK to show emotion. This is a great lesson for all young readers. Sometimes when they see life lessons happening via forms of entertainment (books, movies, tv, et al) vs. just hearing about it from their parents, it sinks in a bit more." ~ 5 Star Review, LaToya, Amazon
 

About the Authors: Davon & Chase Washington

Davon WashingtonDavon Washington is an entertainment executive who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Davon has made a career out of helping people bring their artistic dreams to fruition. The same people who more often than not do very little to enhance the tender minds of the culture that supports them. Creative thinking isn't a skill that you learn as an adult. It starts with that same imagination that we let run wild after we've mastered harder tasks like walking, talking and using the bathroom ourselves. It's Davon's mission to build a nation of creative thinkers one book at a time. Davon and his six-year old son, Chase collaborated to bring Jack the Boogey is My Real Name to life. This is their first book.  

Book Website | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: August 12, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Davon Washington and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Busy Day Recipes: Roasted Veggies

This is my easiest side dish. I make it when I need a quick and easy vegetable to serve with a meal. My husband loves it and my kids go back and forth on eating it (as is normal for a 2.5 yr old and 10 mo old). 



Roasted veggies

Ingredients:
Frozen veggies (I use broccoli, or mixed veggies, or green beans  because that is what I can find at our stores. This recipe also works for fresh veggies, but that will require some cutting, peeling, etc so that depends on your time
Oil of choice (I use olive oil)

Directions:
Spread frozen veggies on a cookie sheet with sides.
Drizzle with oil of choice. 
Sprinkle on salt. 
Put on top rack of oven with oven set to high broil. 
Cook until veggies are crisp around edges and browned/blackened to your liking. 

Notes:
I sometimes make 2 pans of these veggies or make these veggies with a meat (such as 2 Ingredient Coconut Chicken or Cheesy Swai Fish). To do that simply put all of the pans in the oven  with the meat on the lowest rack and rotate the pans until everything is cooked.



This recipe is paleo, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, legume free, soy free, egg free, fish free, shellfish free, nut free, peanut free, sugar free, and delicious!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Maisy and the Missing Mice Book Blast and $25 giveaway

Disclosure: I earned an entry into a separate giveaway for blog blast participants in exchange for this post. I also got the chance to have new readers come visit my blog (welcome new readers! please feel free to stay and browse a while!). None of the links in this post are affiliate links for me. If you are a blogger and would like the opportunity to participate in future blog tours and blog blasts sign up at Mother, Daughter, & Son Book Reviews.

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the first book in The Maisy Files mystery chapter book series by Elizabeth Woodrum, "Maisy and the Missing Mice". Book 2 in the series, "Maisy and the Money Marauder" is coming August, 2014. If you haven't checked out Book 1, you can grab a copy for only 99 cents from Amazon!

 

About the Book

Maisy and the Missing MiceTitle: Maisy and the Missing Mice (The Maisy Files)
Author: Elizabeth Woodrum
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 75
Recommended Ages: 6 to 10 
Summary: Maisy Sawyer is not your average fourth grade student. She is a detective with a special skill for solving mysteries. She loves black and white mystery movies, cherry lollipops, and her dog, Reesie. When a thief known as The Black Boot steals the school's mascots and her lollipops, Maisy sets out to solve the case. Can she help return the mice to their home in the science lab? Will she ever see her beloved lollipops again? Find out in the first book in The Maisy Files series.      

Book Movie

 

PURCHASE FOR 99 CENTS

amazon buy button  

The Buzz About the Book

"Maisy and the Missing Mice is a fun chapter book featuring a smart and sassy tween girl as the title character; a solid and interesting plot featuring age-appropriate intrigue and suspense; and some terrific writing that carries the reader on a journey as a detective uncovering clues and solving the mystery of who stole the missing mice. I highly recommend this book as a read aloud book for children between the ages of 6 and 10 or for independent readers between the ages of 7 and 12 who love to read mysteries." ~ Renee, Mother Daughter Book Reviews
"Woodrum certainly knows her target audience and does a very nice job with the character development of Maisy. This is an incredibly kid-friendly story that makes a great introduction to the genre of mystery for newly independent readers. It's a quick page turning read that encourages kids to think outside of the box." ~ The Children's Book Review
"The delights from this book start with the cover art and continue with a fun story that is well-written." ~ 5 Star Review, R. Johnson, Amazon
"My name is Kat. I am 9 years old. I would rate this a five because I like everything about it, the mystery the most. It was fun to read. My favorite part was the mystery and the end. I love this book so much. I think other kids would love it too because it has mystery and most kids would like mystery books. Most mystery books have a good mystery. I would love to read the whole series." ~ 5 Star Review, Heather A., Amazon
"What an Amazing book. I totally love it. I admire the author dedication for writing an incredible book. While reading this book, it was very clear that author understand kids. I’ve always been an avid reader and this book is one of the best books I have read in 2014. This book grabs my attention from the very start of the book and couldn't put it aside till I finish it." ~ 5 Star Review, KristinT, Amazon
"I knew I would love this book simply because I knew it would remind me of the mystery books I read in my childhood. I really love how much trust the teachers and community as a whole put in Maisy. She is well deserving of their admiration as the way she finds clues and finds the mascot for the school is well thought out. This is a story any child would love to read. I hope Maisy continues to solve mysteries..." ~ 5 Star Review, Josh, Amazon
 

About the Author: Elizabeth Woodrum

Elizabeth WoodrumElizabeth Woodrum is an elementary teacher in Ohio. She came to love writing when she was in elementary school, but more recently began writing material for use in her classroom. From that writing, grew the desire to write books for the general population of children and adults alike. The Maisy Files, a children's series, is the first series that she has published. As a reader, Elizabeth prefers the fantasy genre, but she enjoys realistic fiction as well. Some of her favorite authors include JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Rick Riordan, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins, and Nicholas Sparks. Originally from Indiana, Elizabeth currently resides near Dayton, Ohio with her two pets: a cat named Butterscotch and a dog named Reese Cup.  

Book Website | Author Blog | Twitter

Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: August 7, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Elizabeth Woodrum and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Different Kind of Safari Book Blast and $25 giveaway

Disclosure: I earned an entry into a separate giveaway for blog blast participants in exchange for this post. I also got the chance to have new readers come visit my blog (welcome new readers! please feel free to stay and browse a while!). None of the links in this post are affiliate links for me. If you are a blogger and would like the opportunity to participate in future blog tours and blog blasts sign up at Mother, Daughter, & Son Book Reviews.


A Different Kind of Safari Helen HippI’m pleased to be contributing this review to the Small Fry Safari Readers Challenge 2014, hosted by The Bookshelf Gargoyle, specifically under the category “A book with something related to safari in the title”. Click HERE for more information.  

About the Book

Title: A Different Kind of Safari
Author: Helen C. Hipp
Publication Date: March 19, 2013
Publisher: A Different Kind of Safari LLC
Pages: 32
Recommended Ages: 5 to 10
Summary: What do you need to feel happy about being different? Based loosely on real life experiences, this heartwarming and powerful book illustrates how self-awareness, and courage help a young boy named Raymond learn the difference between seeing things as they appear to be and seeing things as they are. Feeling "different and lonely" Raymond befriends a hippo while on Safari in Africa. Unlike other grey hippos, this hippo is pink. Ray is soon carried into a world beyond labels and challenging assumptions. You will never guess what happens next!  

The Inspiration Behind the Story by Helen Hipp

A Different Kind of Safari inside page Inspired by real-life adventure, the story behind the story unfolded when I went on an African safari back in 2001. The trip was lead by my father whose dream was to share the safari experience with his family. Little did I know that this trip was going to incite me to write a children’s adventure book but it did. The storyline made it appearance when my family spotted a pod of hippos and one was pink! My son Ray fourteen at the time immediately named her “Rosie”. Curious and wanting to learn more about this hippo we asked the guide many questions about hippos and hippo behavior. Specifically I wanted to know why the pink hippo stood so far outside of her pod. The familiarity of the guides answer took me by surprise, he explained that “Rosie” was tolerated but not necessarily accepted by the herd because of her differences. As a parent of a child with special needs I immediately felt a strong affiliation with Rosie’s situation as did my son Ray who has experienced his own challenges with acceptance. Inspired, I decided to share the story with the world by weaving them into a children's adventure book that celebrates differences. The book is entitled “A Different Kind of Safari”. Find out what you can learn from Rosie the pink hippo, and how you can share those lessons with the children in your life.  

Book Movie

 

The Buzz About the Book

"A timeless book, that will speak to everyone. To be enjoyed over and over again! A fun, yet very thought provoking story for all ages. If books had a satisfaction guarantee, this one would be on the top of the list. " ~ 5 Star Review, Adden B. Chrystie, Amazon
"A Different Kind of Safari is truly a different kind of children's book! The beautiful artwork bring a very special story to life and I am excited the book is now available in audio format for an added bonus while driving kids around town! I particularly love the message of the book, which teaches us to celebrate our unique differences through Rosie the Pink Hippo rather than allow them to keep us from exploring our potentials. I highly recommend this book to all parents and special needs educators in particular. Thank you for writing this wonderful story!" ~ 5 Star Review, missladyjane, Barnes and Noble
"I really enjoyed this book. The illustrations were beautiful. I found this book to be very interesting and it was written from real life experiences. A Different Kind of Safari draws you in along with Ray on his journey to find his happiness and the answers to his questions. I recommend this book to children that are of grade school age but yet many younger children may enjoy the illustrations." ~ 5 Star Review, Whittle House, Goodreads
"The book has a great story. The illustrations are amazing!!!!! Get this book! All children from the young to the old will love this book. " ~ 5 Star Review, Mel, Amazon
"A Different Kind of Safari is not only a good book, but a great story! It is not only for caregivers, teachers and parents, but for anyone who has ever felt out of place. A pink hippo named “Rosie” and her friend “Ray” take a journey and explore their similarities and differences on the river of life. Self- acceptance and the acceptance of others is exquisitely conveyed in a fresh, FUN way through this sweet tail. It is a prize for all libraries!" ~ 5 Star Review, Anna Wood, Barnes and Noble
 

Purchase

Amazon (Hardcover) | Audible (Audiobook) | Barnes and Noble

 

About the Author: Helen C. Hipp

Helen C. Hipp, AuthorHelen Hipp’s experience raising a special needs child led her to an M.A. in clinical psychology and certification as a life coach. She began her career as a psychotherapist to help people find answers for their life problems. Her work eventually evolved into a coaching practice, WithinU Life Coaching, focusing on individuals with special needs and their families. Helen uses her 13+ years of counseling experience and 20+ years’ experience as a successful advocate for individuals with special needs by helping them reveal their innate ability to solve difficult situations. Her debut book " A Different Kind of Safari" puts into words the essence of Helen's teachings addressing the many questions life asks by offering up lighthearted, ever-changing perspectives that transform personal challenges into opportunities. For more information, visit the books official website and to see a picture of the real Rosie the real life pink hippo that inspired this story, go to www.adifferentkindofsafari.com

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

* Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card
Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: August 6, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Helen Hipp and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Busy Day Recipes: 2 ingredient Coconut Chicken

This is my most basic go-to meal. It has 2 main ingredients and then a few optional spices. How much easier can it get than that? I serve it with roasted veggies (recipe coming soon) and if we want baked potatoes or sweet potatoes. Both of which are super easy. In short if I stock the ingredients I can have a meal on the table in 30 minutes made from frozen ingredients and pantry staples!




2 Ingredient Coconut Chicken

Ingredients
Chicken (use enough for each person to have a serving and have some leftovers. I use boneless skinless chicken breasts, but any cut would probably work. Frozen chicken totally works for this, just needs a little longer to cook.)
Coconut oil (use a small dab (~ 1t) on each breast or cut)
Optional: any spices or flavoring you would like (my favorite is lavender and lemon juice)

Directions:
Place chicken in a pan with sides.
Dab coconut oil on top. 
Add any seasonings desired 
Bake until no pink is left in the middle (a higher temperature will make it done quicker, a lower done slower) 
Or if you are making the roasted veggies put in on the bottom rack and put the oven and it will cook while the veggies are broiling.


This recipe is paleo, AIP, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, legume free, soy free, egg free, fish free, shellfish free, nut free, peanut free, sugar free, and delicious!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Starchild Series Book Blast and $25 giveaway


Disclosure: I earned an entry into a separate giveaway for blog blast participants in exchange for this post. I also got the chance to have new readers come visit my blog (welcome new readers! please feel free to stay and browse a while!). None of the links in this post are affiliate links for me. If you are a blogger and would like the opportunity to participate in future blog tours and blog blasts sign up at Mother, Daughter, & Son Book Reviews.

About the Books

Book 1: The Age of Akra

Age of Akra (Starchild, Book 1)Title: Starchild: The Age of Akra (Book 1)
Author: Vacen Taylor
Publication Date: March 6, 2013
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Pages: 135
Recommended Ages: 10+
Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)
Summary: When Mai is chosen to take a pilgrimage to the Valley of a Thousand Thoughts to train with the oldest and wisest master of their people, an ancient prophecy is set in motion. The events to come have been predicted but are not unchangeable. When the Starchild returns to the planet of Sage, the foreknowledge of the prophecy begins to gain strength. Four children come together and become linked to the events that lie ahead. In The Age of Akra, the first stage of their journey has them facing the deadly spiderflax, only then to be confronted by a creature of the underworld, an evil Dementra called Amual. The struggle to bring peace to the world of powerful energies lies in the hands of these four children and a strange little lizard. And it will not come easy. This journey is only the beginning.  

Buzz About Book 1

"The Age of Akra is a riveting, well-written, and imaginative story featuring an intricate plot and stellar cast of characters that is sure to be thoroughly enjoyed by tweens, teens, and even adults who love a great science fiction tale. This is a real page-turner and I highly recommend this book to children aged 10 and older. I just loved it and to think the author has seven books planned for the series ... I'm salivating." ~ Renee, Mother Daughter Book Reviews
"What an imagination!! Absolutely fabulous. What a great read. The characters came to life so easily. Their physical descriptions have me a visual idea but their personalities evolved and developed quickly so they were my friends and heroes before very long. I cried when Mia was selected and was on the edge of my seat when it looked like Long wouldn't make it. I couldn't put it down. A very clever story with wonderful likable characters in amazing places with fascinating skills and weird animals. I went through a range is emotions with these characters where I wanted to hug them, love them, give them a good slap, protect and spend time with. I cannot wait for book 2. Highly recommend this series of books and hope they make a movie from it would be a blockbuster!!!" ~ 5 Star Review, Dannielle S., Goodreads
"Masterfully told from different viewpoints, Starchild is neither a "boy" nor "girl" book, but rather an everyone book. Struggling readers will enjoy the simple truths of the characters, and more advanced readers will delight in the journey of Mai, Long, and Akra. A journey that introduces multifaceted characters, whom I hope will make an appearance in subsequent titles in The Starchild Series, because I'm already attached to them. Even the slightest of creatures was placed in Starchild with the greatest of skill, care, and thought. Outstanding job, Ms. Taylor, and I look forward to continuing my journey through the series." ~ 5 Star Review, C. Bullard, Amazon
 

Purchase Book 1

*Available as a 99 cent E-Book through Amazon *

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Ganxy | iTunes | The Book Depository

 

Book 2: The City of Souls

Starchild: The City of Souls by Vacen TaylorTitle: Starchild: The City of Souls (Book 2)
Author: Vacen Taylor
Publication Date:October 14, 2013
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Pages: 137
Recommended Ages: 10+
Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)
Summary: In The City of Souls, the pilgrimage to the Valley of a Thousand Thoughts continues. Having already triumphed against dangerous adversaries in The Age of Akra, the four children -- Mai, Long, Akra and Sahib -- now face the evil melkarie and must escape to the City of Souls. When they reach the safety of the land of Naroan, in a city hidden under a blanket of living green, the children are confronted with the challenge of locating the Singing Soul. But the underworld is searching for it too, and will do anything to stop the young pilgrims from finding it. The prophesy is at risk of being extinguished unless the children succeed in their quest.  

Buzz About Book 2

"The City of Souls is the second book in a science fiction fantasy featuring an intricate and engaging plot, well-developed characters who are faced with new challenges, a well-described setting reminiscent of Star Wars with a hint of Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones-style action and suspense. I’m in this series for the whole haul as I feel completely invested in what happens next as the prophecy continues to roll forward. I highly recommend this book as well as the series to science fiction aficionados ages 10 years and older looking for something a little different. ~ Renee, Mother Daughter Book Reviews
"The author graciously sent a signed copy of this 2nd book in her series to my daughter Emily. Emily read Vacen Taylor's first book in the Starchild series: The Age of Akra. She very much enjoyed the adventure and getting to know the characters. Emily eagerly anticipated the next book! Emily was thrilled when her copy of The City of Souls arrived and did what she could do to avoid her homework so that she could sneak and read The City of Souls. She read the book with much interest and said that she loved every bit of it. As a parent, it's a big comfort and joy to me when my kids find stories written for their enjoyment! The Starchild series captured the heart and imagination of my daughter. And she very much looks forward to book three." ~ 5 Star Review, Vonda N., Goodreads
"Ms Taylor provides masterful descriptions that don't bore the reader. Thank you. I think the writing is at its best in the action, but the character building, backstory and forewarning is all there and relevant to the overall building of good storytelling. I'm assuming the introductions to some of the other multifaceted characters will have relevance in future books. I do hope so. Overall, a great read for children who are looking for something refreshingly new and unique." ~ 5 Star Review, Kirt T., Amazon
 

Purchase Book 2

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | The Book Depository

 

About the Author: Vacen Taylor

Vacen Taylor AuthorVacen Taylor is an Australian author, writer, occasional artist and amateur photographer. She loves creating stories for children and reading to her young readers. She is a happy person with a zest for life and exploring the world at large. Vacen collects comics and loves superheroes. Her favourite superhero is Spider-Man. Vacen also believes in expressing the uniqueness of self. She has had several short stories published for adults online. Starchild is her first novel for children and is the first book in a series of seven.

Book Website | Author Website | Twitter

Facebook | Goodreads | Google+

 

* Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) 
Contest ends: August 1, 11:59 pm, 2014 
Open: Internationally 
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. 
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Vacen Taylor and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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