Books For Boys {Giveaway}

boy books

(Disclosure: I received a set of books to review but all thoughts are my own.)

If you have a little boy that is fascinated by all things that rumble, crumble and crash, a new series by Capstone Book for Young Readers is a SMASH-ingly great gift for this holiday season! The aptly named DESTRUCTION series features four very sturdy board books where readers can follow along as a building is imploded, a car goes into the crusher, a wrecking ball destroys a wall and tires are shredded to bits. Crush It!Knock It Down!Blow It Up!; and Shred It! all feature big, bright images and movable parts that allow the reader to blow it up, knock it down, crush and shred it — perfect for little ones mesmerized by destruction!

Lucas, who is always on the go, is not a fan of typical books. He doesn’t enjoy looking at picture books but he loved these books because he could do things while he was looking at the pictures. He can move the wrecking ball back and forth, make a building crumble to the ground, crush old cars and more.

I also liked that these books were very sturdy. Having multiple kids, it is great when I know items will last for more than one child. The colors of these books were nice as well and the bright colors grabbed Luke’s attention along with my own.

For more information about the series and purchasing information please visit: http://www.capstoneyoungreaders.com/products/crush-it-/.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win all 4 books in the series and a yellow construction hat

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any 0r all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me who you want to win this set for

2)  Share this giveaway on a social network

Giveaway ends January 5, 2014 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 or older and a US resident to enter.

Top 10 Books For Preschoolers

books for preschoolers

I’m  excited to be joining in with a great group of bloggers for a special Top Ten Holiday Gift Ideas series over the next 6 weeks. Please join us as we share our favorite books, games, building toys, pretend play toys, crafting supplies or kits, and stocking stuffers! Each participating blog will create their own unique list each week for each of the categories so be sure to stop by each of the links at the bottom of this post.

This week we are talking books. Having taught preschool I have hundreds of preschool books and I’m sharing my favorites with you all! These are good for the older 4s.

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Here are favorite book lists from other bloggers:

Thaleia Maher from Something 2 Offer: Books for all Ages

 Nicolette Roux from Powerful Mothering: Books for under 3 year olds

Sarah McClelland from Little Bins for Little Hands: Picture Books

Emma Craig from P is for Preschooler: Books for Preschoolers

Samantha Soper-Caetano from Stir the Wonder: Books for Toddler Boys

 Natalie Figge from Afterschool for Smarty Pants: Books for Advanced Bookworms

Alisha Carlson from Makeovers & Motherhood: Holiday Books

Varya Sanina-Garmroud from Creative World of Varya: Books for Non-English Speakers

What are your favorite books for children? I’d love to check them out!

The Sensory Child Gets Organized

sensory child

As a mom of a child on the Autism spectrum and another with un-diagnosed but suspected SPD/ADHD, life is sometimes completely chaotic at home. I know this is because my kids “hold it together” all day at school and then can finally be themselves at home but it is still extremely stressful at times. Since October is ADHD Awareness Month I was offered a book to review called “The Sensory Child Gets Organized” that promised to share “proven systems for rigid, anxious, or distracted kids” and was skeptical at first but so far I’m learning a lot from it.

In the book the author, Carolyn Dalgliesh, provides simple, effective solutions that help kids thrive at home and in their day-to-day activities and helps parents:

  • Understand what makes their sensory child tick
  • Create harmonious spaces through sensory organizing
  • Use structure and routines to connect with their child
  • Prepare their 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. I like how the book includes picture examples of schedules and spaces along with writing space for parents working through the book. There are also some great resources in the back of the book.

Here are a few tips that I’ve learned so far and plan on implementing with my kids:

1) Arrive at birthday parties (or any event where there will be a lot of people) early so the kids can have some time to get comfortable with the location in a small group before there is a large crowd

2) When thinking about the upcoming holiday events make a “must do” list for your sensory child. Consider letting them skip events so they can have a little downtime and enjoy the events you really want them to go to.

3) Organize feelings by having the child rate where they are on a scale of 1 to 10 (with words or pictures). Jacob seems to get just as upset about tiny things as he does about big things so I want to start having him rate his feelings so he can start to realize when he is “just a little” mad vs. “really” mad and learn to react accordingly.

4) Build flexibility one small step at a time. One example was to create a “choices when there is a change” jar that can be used when something in their schedule changes. If something gets cancelled and they are very upset they can pick an alternative activity that they love doing that will make the activity getting cancelled a little easier for them.

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the book. If you have a child with some sensory processing difficulties I thing this book will be beneficial in helping you create the best home environment for your kiddo as possible.

(Disclosure: I received this book for free but all thoughts are my own.)

 

Animals Everywhere: A Pop-Up Adventure

animals everywhere 1

My kids love pop-up books so as soon as we got Animals Everywhere: A Pop-Up Adventure to review they insisted on sitting down to read it.

This hardcover book features animals from the depths of the ocean to the heart of the jungle and kids can take a close-up look at more than 100 animals as they swim, slink, fly, run, and roam! Jonathan Woodward’s gorgeous cut-paper art, with four exploding pop-ups, thrillingly depicts the world’s most intriguing creatures, while Yvonne Deutch’s fun, poetic story takes young readers on an unforgettable journey.

The boys loved the shark pop-out the most because the shark’s jaw opened as the pages opened and you could see the fish in the shark’s mouth. The boys enjoyed asking me what each animal was if they didn’t know. This book is a great introduction to animals for preschoolers.

The book can be purchased here.

(Disclosure: As stated above I received a copy of this book for review but all thoughts are my own.)

50 Ways To Say You’re Awesome {Giveaway}

awesome 5

(Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book but all thoughts are my own.) 

Recent studies have shown that just saying “thank you” is proven to boost health and happiness —promoting a stronger immune system, lowering blood pressure, even helping you sleep. And besides being good for you, saying thanks just got easier with 50 Ways to Say You’re Awesome, a creative and fun way to tell the people in your life that you care.

The book is filled with cheeky mad-libs style notecards you can full in, pull out and give to your loved one, parent, BFF or friendly barista. It also includes 50 ways to put your thanks into action. How about:

·         Tucking a note into your sweetheart’s coat pocket as a romantic surprise?

·         Framing your favorite note and placing it in your workspace for everyday inspiration?

·         Rolling the note into miniature cones and filling them with candy for a favorite friend?

I love this book because it gives people a quick way to show their appreciation by using old-school communication methods: written and face-to-face! Too often those methods are forgotten and messages come via text message, Facebook and email. I found a variety of messages in there for many people in my life and loved how colorful the pages were. I also liked that the book contained pages with writing prompts.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a copy of the book 50 Ways to Say You’re Awesome

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me who in your life you think is awesome

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

Giveaway ends October 15, 2013 at 11:59pm Central Time. Must be 21 or over and a US resident to enter.

(Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book but all thoughts are my own.)

Spooky & Bright Halloween Ideas

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School has just started but, based on the posts being read recently on my site, I know many of you are already thinking about Halloween! I’m really excited to share about a book I received called Spooky & Bright: 101 Halloween Ideas from Country Living magazine.

There are 125 great Halloween ideas in this little book. I’m already planning which ones I am going to do in the next couple of months. Here are some of my favorite ideas from the book:

Enchanting Tree

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Miniature graveyard

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Mama and baby bird

Need ideas for pumpkin displays, Fall home decor, or tasty treats for your Halloween party? The Spooky & Bright book is perfect! You can purchase it online here.

(Disclosure: I received the book for review but all thoughts are my own.)

Dessert Designer Book & Baking Giveaway

cupcakes

(Disclosure: I received a copy of the book and a baking set but all thoughts are my own.)

One thing the boys and I love to do together is bake delicious treats {and then eat them of course}. A book came out in February called Dessert Designer that is perfect for families like ours. The Author, Dana Meachen Rau, shows children and parents how to go beyond just baking and focus on the really fun part- the decorating! I loved flipping through the book and seeing all of the creative designs and the best part is that most of them looked fairly easy to put together.

Look at this cute design from the book:

 Aren’t those so creative? I am so in love with how many cute ideas are in this book and I think the boys are going to love decorating cupcakes to actually look like something {as opposed to just dumping half a bottle of sprinkles on a frosted cupcake}!

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a copy of the book, a set of nesting bowls, and a spatula.

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do.}

1) Tell me what animal you’d like to decorate on a cupcake

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Like Capstone Young Readers on Facebook

4) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5) Subscribe to this blog via email (look in upper right corner)

Giveaway ends April 14, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents ages 18 and older only. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook in any way.

It’s All About Relationships In Business

ROR Book Cover

You may have heard the term “ROI” or “Return On Investment” which has been used a lot in business over the years but today I’m going to talk about another return- “ROR” and the new book out about it called Return on Relationship.

Here’s a little more about the book from the back cover:

Social Media drives engagement, engagement drives loyalty, and loyalty correlates directly to increased sales. Is your company currently focused on gaining brand advocates and building its social media credibility? Do you question whether or not using Facebook, Twitter, or blogs is a worthwhile investment of your time and resources? In Return on Relationship, Ted Rubin and Kathryn Rose present real world, practical ideas that will help businesses maximize their potential through using community-focused tools on the Internet. You’ll discover why ‘That’s the way it’s always been done’ will leave you without any customers. In this book you will also discover:

  • How to Maximize your potential by using the right  community- focused tools on the Internet
  • The importance of moving from convince and convert to converse and convert
  • What main problems will keep you from seeing dramatic results
  • How building engaged and responsive communities around your brand will significantly impact your bottom line

Whether your business is just starting out or if you’ve been a leader in your field for years, in Return on Relationship, Ted Rubin and Kathryn Rose give you a guided tour to taking your company to the next level.

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The book is available for sale on Amazon {find it here}. I am excited to read the book because Ted, one of the authors, is one of my bosses at Collective Bias. I’m so blessed to learn from him and watch him develop relationships using Social Media. It’s amazing to me that he has 100,000+ followers and has built relationships with so many of them. He truly practices ROR in his daily life and knows what he is talking about when it comes to marketing and social media.

About the Authors:

Ted Rubin knows what he’s talking about when it comes to Marketing and Social Media. He has been the Chief Marketing Officer of ELF cosmetics and Open Sky and is currently the Chief Social Marketing Officer of Collective Bias. Collective Bias is a content marketing company that weaves organic social content into real-life stories for brands and retailers. Ted is the #1 followed Chief Marketing Officer on Twitter. Follow him at @TedRubin and follow his hashtag #RonR.

Kathryn Rose is an award-winning, best-selling author, speaker and social media strategist and trainer with clients ranging from multi-million dollar corporations, to small business owners and entrepreneurs. Kathryn has a 20+ year career in sales and marketing that includes successful track record of using a collaborative mindset to increase sales. Follow Kathryn on Twitter at @katkrose.

(Disclosure: I am receiving a copy of Return on Relationship but all thoughts in this post are my own.)

Happy’s Christmas Gift {Bilingual Children’s Book Review & Giveaway}

happys

 

“Happy’s Christmas Gift” is a beautifully written and illustrated storybook of an adorable and brave little Yorkie who, having gone out to post a letter to Santa, suddenly finds himself on an unexpected journey to magical lands where dreams really do come true.

Can Happy save the day? Will he get home in time for Christmas? Well you have to read the book to find out!

Available in Hardcover English or in the Soft Cover bilingual version of English/Spanish. This bilingual version appears to be unique as the two languages are next to each other and highlighted words help the reader to learn words of the second language. The book is landscape 8″x 10″ and 40 pages of good life lessons, goodwill, hope and fun. Just what is needed at Christmas time.

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I love that the softcover version has both English and Spanish stories because I think it’s great for bilingual families. Sinisa is bilingual and I wish we had something like this for our children so they could have some stories in both English and Croatian. I like that some words are bold in both English and Spanish so that children can learn new vocabulary words. The story is kind of long for my 3 and 4 year old since their attention spans are pretty short but if your child will sit for a longer story I think they will love this book and be so into the adventure that it won’t seem so long.

Illustration-wise I think this book was done nicely. The pictures are cute and very detailed, down to the little girls freckles. The characters are easy to love, especially the little puppy, Happy, who is based on a real Yorkie.

This softcover bilingual book also comes with a free poster which is a nice bonus. The book is one in a series. The next book is ‘Happy As A Fox’. The books can be found here.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a copy of the softcover bilingual book, Happy’s Christmas Gift

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me who you want to win this book for

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Subscribe to this blog via email (look in upper right hand corner)

Giveaway ends December 30, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US 18+ only.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review but all thoughts are my own.)

 

Zoo 3D Awesome Animal Kingdom Book Review

zoo 3d

Have an animal lover in your life? I think I have the perfect gift idea for them! The editors of TIME For Kids magazine have put together a fun book called Zoo 3D Awesome Animal Kingdom. This book is full of 3D photos of animals. The book comes with 2 pairs of 3D glasses so kids can look at the animals as the creatures seem to leap, crawl, fly, slither, swim, and stampede off the pages. The book is packed with close to 100 large-scale, state-of-the art photos taken by master 3D photographer, David Klutho.

I put some glasses on and checked out the book myself. The animals and insects all look so real! The tarantula was all hairy and it looked like if I touched it I would feel the little hairs prickling my fingers. I also liked that the book had information about the different workers that the children might find at the Zoo working with the animals.

After I was done looking at it I gave it to Jacob. It was funny watching him try to reach out and touch the animals. He normally doesn’t like anything on his face or head due to his sensory issues but he left the glasses on the whole time he was looking at the pictures.

You can find more details about the book here.

This book can be bought from Amazon among other stores. If you are an Amazon Prime member you can get it for $13.57 which is a great deal for this book. With free two day shipping it should be at your doorstep before Christmas!

(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review but all thoughts are my own.)

Gift Ideas From The ‘Chicken Soup For The Soul’ Book Series

chicken soup

The Chicken Soup For The Soul series of books has been around for a while. I remember listening to my mom read them to us when we were a child. I still enjoy reading them now as an adult. Chicken Soup For The Soul has almost 200 titles, with new ones being written often. Here are some of the newest books that someone you know may love to receive for Christmas:

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Finding My Faith Chicken Soup for the Soul: Finding My Faith, 101 Inspirational Stories about Life, Belief, and Spiritual Renewal

Everyone’s faith story is different. People of all faiths share their personal experiences in this inspiring collection of amazing stories about the number of ways people discover, or rediscover, their faith — whether it’s Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or any other religion. These inspirational and powerful stories will touch the hearts and souls of readers.

 

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Gift of Christmas Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Gift of Christmas, A Special Collection of Joyful Holiday Stories

Share the magic and joy of Christmas. You’ll love these heartwarming, inspirational, and fun stories of Christmas miracles, family reunions, charity, the wonder of children, the joy of giving, and family and religious traditions. Most of these stories originally appeared in a limited edition book called Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tales of Christmas that was sold exclusively by Barnes & Noble in 2010.

 

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey, 101 Stories about the Players Who Love the Game and the Families that Cheer Them On

Hockey fans and hockey families will love the 101 exciting and inspiring stories in this collection about playing, living, and loving hockey! This collection of stories from everyday hockey players and fans, as well as revealing personal stories from NHLers and hockey insiders will delight anyone who enjoys hockey, whether it’s in the backyard, in school, or at the professional level.

 

Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can't Believe My Cat Did That! Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can’t Believe My Cat Did That! 101 Stories about the Crazy Antics of Our Feline Friends

We all rejoice in the simple absurdities, funny habits, and crazy antics of our cats. They make us smile every day, but sometimes they really outdo themselves. You will love reading all the heartwarming, inspirational, and hysterical stories in this book. We know after reading the stories you’ll say, “I can’t believe a cat did that!”

 

Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can't Believe My Dog Did That! Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can’t Believe My Dog Did That! 101 Stories about the Crazy Antics of Our Canine Friends

We all rejoice in the simple absurdities, funny habits, and crazy antics of our dogs. They make us smile every day, but sometimes they really outdo themselves. You will love reading all the heartwarming, inspirational, and hysterical stories in this book. We know after reading the stories you’ll say, “I can’t believe a dog did that!”

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey, Surviving and Thriving During and After Your Diagnosis and Treatment

Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Julie Silver of Harvard Medical School. The stories in this book from women with breast cancer and their family members, along with the up-to-date medical information provided, will give you inspiration, strength and hope. This book will educate and comfort you and will serve as a support group from diagnosis through treatment to rehabilitation and recovery.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Great Health Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Great Health, Use Your Mind to Promote Your Own Healing and Wellness

Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Jeff Brown of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Brown unlocks the mysteries of the mind/body connection and shows you how you can feel better and really be better by using your mind and thinking positively. The great stories will show you how other people have used positive thinking to affect their physical and mental well-being.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life! 101 Inspirational Stories about Fun, Family and Wedded Bliss

Marriage is a wonderful institution, and in this fresh collection of stories, husbands and wives share their personal, funny, and quirky stories from the trenches. This book will inspire and delight readers with its entertaining and heartwarming stories about fun, family, and wedded bliss. Whether newly married or married for years and years, readers will find laughter and inspiration in these 101 stories of love, romance, fun, and making it work.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Boost Your Brain Power! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Boost Your Brain Power! Redesign & Energize Your Brain at Any Age

Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Marie Pasinski of Harvard Medical School. Many people would like to enhance their brainpower and are looking for help to do just that. Others are retraining their brains after traumatic injuries or strokes. Others are looking for ways to keep their brains young and dynamic. This book will fascinate you with stories and useful information on how to improve your own brain.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Back Pain! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Back Pain! How to Handle Flare-ups, Injuries, and Everyday Back Health

Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Julie Silver of Harvard Medical School. Many people suffer from back pain. The lucky ones have occasional flare-ups and the unlucky ones have chronic issues. This book is filled with great advice on how to care for your back, recover from injuries, improve your mobility, handle pain, manage chronic problems, and maintain a positive attitude.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Stress Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Stress, Manage Your Problems, Big and Small, Every Day

Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Jeff Brown of Harvard Medical School. We all have stress in our lives. What differentiates us is how we handle it. The combination of these stories, from people who have learned how to manage stress, and Dr. Brown’s practical advice, will have you wondering what you were worried about! Who knew there were so many easy ways to manage your stress?

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Hello to a Better Body! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Hello to a Better Body! Weight Loss and Fitness for Women Over 50

Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Suzanne Koven of Harvard Medical School. Women over 50 fight menopause, creaky joints, busy lives, and other factors that interfere with their quests for weight control and fitness. These advice-filled stories from women over 50 who have figured out how to get fit are combined with Dr. Koven’s practical advice and medical information. You won’t have any more excuses!

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride, 101 Stories of Love, Laughter and Family

The wedding day, and each day leading up to it, is a special and exciting time. In this collection of 101 heartwarming and hilarious stories, brides and grooms, families and friends share their memories of the big day. With stories about everything from the proposal, to the planning, to actual wedding day events, the honeymoon, and all the joys and frustrations in between, this book will delight and encourage any bride or newlywed. A great gift for bridal showers, engagements, and weddings!

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stay-at-Home Moms Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stay-at-Home Moms, 101 Inspirational Stories for Mothers about Hard Work and Happy Families

With stories by famous moms, including Jane Green, Melora Hardin, Liz Lange, Jodi Picoult, and Jill Kargman, and stories from other moms who elected to stay at home or work from home. Every stay-at-home and work-from-home mom will view this book as having been written just for her! A reissue of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms, this book contains 101 great stories from mothers who have made the choice to stay home or work from home while raising their families. These multi-tasking, high-performing women have become today’s power mom. This is perfect for book groups as it contains a reader guide.Originally issued as Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers, 101 Stories of Love, Sacrifice and Bonding

Do you have a family member who requires constant care? You are not alone. This collection offers support and encouragement in its 101 stories for family caregivers of all ages, including the “sandwich” generation caring for a family member while raising their children. With stories by those on the receiving end of the care too. These stories of love, sacrifice, and lessons will inspire and uplift family members making sacrifices to make sure their loved ones are well cared for, whether in their own homes or elsewhere.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters, 101 Inspirational and Entertaining Stories about That Special Bond

Mothers and daughters. They are, at the same time, very similar and completely unique. This relationship — through birth, childhood, teen years, adulthood, grandchildren, aging, and every step in between — can be the best, the hardest, and the sweetest. Moms and daughters will laugh, cry, and find inspiration in this collection of entertaining, poignant, and heartwarming stories that remind them of their shared love, appreciation and special bond. A great gift for Mother’s Day.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven, 101 Stories Miraculous Stories of Signs from Beyond, Amazing Connections, and Love that Doesn’t Die

When our loved ones leave this world, our connection with them does not end. Death takes away their physical presence, but not their spirits, and we often sense them after they have gone. Sometimes when we see or hear from them, they give us signs and messages. Sometimes they speak to us in dreams or they appear in different forms. The stories in this book, both religious and secular, will amaze you, giving you new knowledge, insight and awareness about the connection and communication we have with those who have passed on or those who have experienced dying and coming back.

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My mom also reviewed ‘Chicken Soup For The Soul: Food and Love’ in the Spring. You can find the review here.

All of these books can be purchased at Amazon.com.

(Disclosure: I received copies of most of these books. All info about books and images of books are courtesy of Chicken Soup For The Soul.)

Autographed ‘The Boxcar Children’ Holiday Gift Set {Giveaway}

boxcar

There are few presents that will bring a youngster a lifetime full of pleasure than giving the gift reading. With over 100 titles and 50 million copies in print,  The Boxcar Children®  series by Gertrude Chandler has raised generations of readers — many of whom credit their love for reading to this modern classic.  Perfect to read out loud or for the independent reader, the adventures of 4 siblings surviving brilliantly on their wits and skills has proven to be timeless.

The first book in the series, originally published in 1942, introduces the reader to four children who have lost their parents at a young age and, rather than going to live with their unsavory grandfather, decide to strike out on their own.  In their travels they come across an abandoned boxcar and decide to make this their home.  Short, simple chapters and illustrated throughout, The Boxcar Children encounter adventures and unravel mysteries — all the while demonstrating practical wisdom, resourcefulness and an enduring commitment to one another.  Charming, exciting and heartwarming, this is a series that stands the test of time.  In fact, this Fall marks the 70th anniversary of The Boxcar Children and the publisher is celebrating in a big way by publishing a PREQUEL to the series by Newbery award-winning author Patricia MacLaughlan!  
GIVEAWAY:
One reader will win a gift box set of the first four books in the Boxcar Children’s series including The Boxcar Children, Surprise Island ,The Yellow House Mystery and Mystery Ranch AND a hardcover copy of the series prequel The Boxcar Children® Beginning: The Aldens of Fair Meadow Farm SIGNED by the author, Newbery award-winning author Patricia MacLachlan. The ARV for this giveaway is $48.98.  
HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do.)

1) Tell me who you want to win this gift set for

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Like the Boxcar Children on Facebook

4) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

5) Follow the Boxcar Children on Twitter

6) Follow me on Twitter

Giveaway ends December 1, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US and Canada only.


(Disclosure:  I am receiving a set of these books for my family but no other compensation was received.)

Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child {Review & Giveaway}

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Today would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday and in honor of that I wanted to share my review of a new illustrated biography, Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life Of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland.

Follow Julia Child—chef, author, and television personality—from her childhood in Pasadena, California, to her life as a spy in WWII, to the cooking classes she took in Paris, to the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, to the funny moments of being a chef on TV. This is a comprehensive and enchanting picture book biography, told in many panels and jam-packed with lively, humorous, and child-friendly details. Young chefs and Julia Child fans will exclaim, “ooooh la la,” about this book, which is as energetic and eccentric as the chef herself.

I love that this book is illustrated because I think it’s perfect for children who show an interest in cooking. The book shows them that through hard work and determination they can achieve their dreams just like Julia did. This is also a quick synopsis of Julia’s life for those {like me} who don’t know much more about her than the fact that she was a woman who had a cooking show.

This book is nicely illustrated and the colors in the photos go nicely together. I learned facts throughout the book about Julia, her cooking, and the time period that she lived in and enjoyed that they were told in story form. For instance, her first manuscript was 800 pages and just poultry and sauces. I learned this tidbit through an illustration that had a group of her editors sitting around the table talking about the book. It was much more interesting than if I was just reading her biography in words.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and found myself laughing throughout it. The book retails for $18. You can find more reviews of the book here.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a copy of the book

HOW TO ENTER:
Leave a comment telling me your thoughts on cooking {love it, hate it, etc…}

For an extra entry:

Share this giveaway on a social network

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Giveaway ends August 31, 2012 at 1:59pm Central time. US Only.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of the book to review but all thoughts are my own.)

Spark & Hustle Book Review

spark & hustle book

As a small business owner, I was happy to receive a copy of Spark & Hustle: Launch and Grow Your Small Business Now. This book that came out in June was written by New York Times bestselling author, Tory Johnson, a well-known entrepreneur who helps women turn their passions into profits. I have not read her two previous books but so far I am loving this one.

The book is split into eleven chapters and covers everything from overcoming obstacles {including your own negative thoughts!} to creating a budget to marketing. I like that she features women-owned businesses throughout the book. The stories are encouraging because they show real women succeeding and provide examples of Tory’s advice in action.

I am still working through this book but as I am reading through it I am discovering a renewed passion for my business. I’m also asking myself questions that I never thought about before. This is definitely not a sit down and read it all in a day type book. Throughout the book Tory gives mini-assignments and then each chapter ends with an “act now” list that goes over key points of the chapter and how you can expand upon what you have just read.

I’ll end with a quote from Tory: “If there is a common trait among the women I meet who make it, it’s this: they believe in themselves and what they are doing. That’s the most potent fuel for an entrepreneur. Follow their lead and believe unflinchingly in yourself.”

Want to learn more? Check out Tory’s Spark & Hustle events or purchase the book on Amazon.

(Disclosure: I received a book to review but all thoughts are my own.)

Puzzle Books {Giveaway}

SAMSUNG

I’m one of those people that doesn’t like to just sit still and do nothing. Even when I’m watching TV I like to keep my mind busy. I love doing Sudoku puzzles because there is a box for every number and I know which steps I need to take to solve it.

I had a chance to review three puzzle books. The first was Puzzle Baron’s Sudoku. There are over 400 puzzles in this book so I know it will keep me busy for a long time. I easily figured out the first puzzles in the book and am looking forward to working my way through the rest.

Next, I moved on to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Picture Puzzles {Volume 2} where I had to look for differences between two similar pictures. I did the first puzzle which was marked “easy”. I liked that it had check boxes on the side of the page so I could mark the differences as I found them. I still pulled out my pen and circled the errors I found on one of the pictures. Some of the differences were easy to spot but a couple of them had me stumped. I eventually found the differences but it wasn’t as easy as I had originally thought it was going to be.

The last book I opened up was the Puzzle Baron’s Logic Puzzles {Volume 2} book. As soon as I read the first puzzle my head hurt but I really liked that it had a little spreadsheet at the bottom of the page so that I could keep track of everything. I waited until I had some quiet time and then pulled it out and set to work on solving the puzzle. I found myself taking longer to solve the puzzle than the time the book suggested it would take but once I figured it out I was proud of myself and wanted to try another one.

Though the Sudoku puzzles are still my favorite I really enjoyed doing the logic puzzles as well. I think these books would be great on a road trip. Want to win a set of books for yourself? You can!

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win all three puzzle books!

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me which puzzle book you think you’d like the most

2) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

3) Like Complete Idiot’s Guides on Facebook

4) Share this giveaway on a social network

5) Enter another one of my giveaways {found here}

Giveaway ends on July 16, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US only.

(Disclosure: I received copies of these books to review but all thoughts are my own. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook in any way.)

Personalized Big Brother & Big Sister Books {Giveaway}

SAMSUNG

Jacob became a big brother in 2009 but I still jumped at the chance to review one of these big brother books from I See Me! {They also have a big sister book.} I thought it would be a cute book to read to the boys and they would really like hearing their names as I read it.

I liked having this dedication page so as he grows up he will remember who gave it to him. I put 2009 since that’s when Lucas was born.

The words on the pages are uplifting and encouraging to a child who may not know how they will fit in to the family when they aren’t the only child anymore.

I knew the book would be personalized but wasn’t expecting their names to be added in to an illustration. It was a nice touch.

Along with the book we were sent a “big brother” award that Jacob can wear. I think it would be perfect for a big brother or big sister to wear to the hospital when they are meeting their sibling for the first time.

GIVEAWAY:

One person will win a personalized big brother or big sister book

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me who you want to win this book for

2) Like I See Me! on Facebook

3) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

4) Follow I See Me! on Twitter

5) Follow me on Twitter

6) Follow I See Me! on Pinterest

7) Follow me on Pinterest

8) Share this giveaway on a social network

9) Enter another one of my giveaways {found here}

Giveaway ends July 17, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US only.

(Disclosure: I received a book from I See Me! but all thoughts are my own. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook in any way.)

Pinterest For Dummies {Book Review & Giveaway}

9781118353042.pdf

I am excited to share about one of the newest books in the For Dummies series. Pinterest For Dummies {written by Kelby Carr} covers everything one needs to know about Pinterest, an online pinboard that is used as a social bookmarking site. The book is written for both Pinterest newbies and those who have been on Pinterest since the beginning.

For those that have never used Pinterest before, Kelby goes over how to request an invite and how to setup a profile on the site. She then talks about how to create boards, from what to name them to what category to put them in on the site. She also talks about pinning and repinning. About 40 pages are spent on these basics. For those that have been on Pinterest a while, these pages are good to review since there are still nuggets of knowledge found in the pages.

Next, Kelby talks about how to use Pinterest to interact with others. She shows how people can find their friends on the site and how to share the things you pin. She also talks about the features of Pinterest and how to like pins and comment on pins. She then shows how to customize pins by putting price tags on product pins and how to use hashtags to make searching for items easy.

After this she goes into the many ways people are using Pinterest. Most people use Pinterest for DIY/crafts and recipes. Some use it to plan a vacation, create a wish list of products they want, or creating a board of motivational quotes. {Personally I use Pinterest the most to find recipes for my menu plan and have about 15 boards devoted to food alone.} There is really no right or wrong way to use the site and pins about any topic you can think of. I really like that Kelby also talks about using Pinterest to support causes since there are some charities and businesses offering to donate money just for pinning something and I love that!

The last chapters of the book cover more advanced topics like using Pinterest on a smartphone and controlling privacy settings. There is a whole chapter for website owners that helps them create pin-worthy content and other ways to use Pinterest to drive traffic to their sites. She also has a chapter on pin etiquette and shares her do’s and dont’s for using Pinterest.

The end of the book has a couple lists. Kelby shares a list of Pinterest users people can follow {listed by what types of things they frequently pin}. She also has a list of ten businesses that are using Pinterest effectively. As a marketer I was especially interested in reading this chapter so I could learn what is working for businesses on Pinterest.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I normally think of the “For Dummies” line of books as being for those that aren’t familiar with the topic but in this case I think it’s useful for everyone. I’ve been on Pinterest since before it was popular {as I am with many social networks} and I found a lot of great information in the pages. It’s also nicely organized so you can easily find the topics you want to read about.

GIVEAWAY

One person will win a copy of Pinterest For Dummies by Kelby Carr

HOW TO ENTER

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) What do you use (or want to use) Pinterest for?

2) Follow me on Pinterest

3) Share this giveaway on a social network

Giveaway ends on June 24, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. Giveaway open to US and Canada only.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of Pinterest For Dummies to review but all thoughts are my own.)

National Geographic Kids Travel Books {Prize Pack Giveaway}

national geographic

Summer is almost here and for many families that means vacations. Family vacations are full of fun but one thing that many children don’t enjoy are the long hours in the car that they often start with. To beat boredom, National Geographic Kids has created two books that are perfect for road trips.

The Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas contains maps, games, interesting facts and boredom busters to make your next journey an adventure to remember.  Every state is featured and includes a map of the state, 5 cool things to do there, fun facts about the state and the animals that live there and even quirky roadside attractions.  And, in case this comes in handy, helpful traffic laws you won’t believe.

If you’re trying to decide which of our country’s amazing national parks to visit, NG Kids, together with the National Park Trust, has created National Parks Guide U.S.A.  Broken down into regions of the country, this handy guide has all you need to make your visit to these treasured parks an experience your family will never forget.

My family doesn’t have any vacations planned but these books make me want to plan a very long road trip so I can visit all the cool places in these books. I thought about planning some short day trips or overnight trips in August when Lucas is out of school so I took a look at the information on the nearby states in the Road Trip Atlas. Indiana has some beach dunes that are fun, a town called Santa Claus that is full of Christmas-themed attractions, and an Amish country. Wisconsin has the Dells which I love but I also learned there is a cheese castle right by the Illinois border so I’ve added that to my fun places to visit list. Iowa has some living history farms that would be interesting to tour and take a look at where food comes from.

Overall, I think that children will love these books and they will find hours of entertainment in them as they travel.

BUY THEM:

The books can be purchased online at the following places:

The Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas

National Parks Guide U.S.A.

GIVEAWAY:

One person will win a Road Warrior prize package featuring a copy of The Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas, a copy of National Parks Guide U.S.A., a stuffed Buddy Bison and a Buddy Bison t-shirt.

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me where you’d like to go for a family vacation

2) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

3) Like National Geographic Kids on Facebook

4) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5) Follow @NGKidsBks on Twitter

6) Share this giveaway on a social network

Giveaway ends June 6, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. Open to US and Canada.

(Disclosure: I received copies of the books from National Geographic Kids to review but all thoughts are my own.)

Chicken Soup For The Soul: Food and Love {Book Review}

GUEST POST- REVIEW WRITTEN BY MY MOM:

I recently had a chance to review a new favorite, from my old favorite, Chicken Soup for the Soul “Food and Love”.  First I want to say thank you to my daughter for the gift of this book and letting me be the first to read it.  I remember when they came out the first release of Chicken Soup for the Soul in 1993; I was hooked after the first one, and went on to buy seven more in the series.  I was a single mom at the time and my kids and I engaged in hours of reading the stories together.  In fact I still have the first book where I labeled each story with the child’s name that read the story.  They really looked forward to snuggling up before bed and reading together.

Reading this book brings these tender memories back, but also starting this new book in this series reminds me of how much I love reading Chicken Soup for the Soul. This one particularly, because it brings back memories of my growing up and reminds me how much food was a part of my childhood and family tradition.  So many stories I read evokes fond memories from my families past.  Whether it was Grandpas famous rum balls at Christmas, Grandmas always full cookie jar and the pies she made from scratch she would make and how she would never waste anything.  Even teaching me how to take all the excess pie crust scraps put it all together in a ball and then roll it out and spread butter on it sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar roll up,  then slice and bake in the oven until a crispy brown.  Her famous cast iron skillet that she made everything in from pork chops to pancakes. My Mom and step-mom were fabulous cooks too.  Unfortunately the only thing that rubbed off on me was my love of food, recipes and cookbooks. My parents would throw where we would have everything to fondue or the most recent thing my step dad caught after hunting, like Smelt, Venison, Wild Rabbit to frog’s legs. Yes I’m a country bumpkin.   Sunday dinner together was a given, typically at my grandparents house.

I’ve paced myself slowly, and as in the past, I will sit down and read about two or three stories at a time.  Sometimes I will just sit back and recall memories of my childhood or just read some of the touching or amusing stories and prized recipes people have shared in this book ,  and  make me think about starting my own traditions and memories that I would like to pass down to my daughter or start with my grandchildren.

(Disclosure: We received a book for review. All thoughts are my mom’s.)

That Works For Me E-Book Review & Giveaway

WFM 250x250 featured

For more than five years, the blog carnival, Works For Me Wednesday has been a hub of helpful tips for every area of a busy woman’s life. Hundreds of bloggers link up every week and thousands of tips have been shared over the past years.

I was really excited when I got an email a few months back asking if one of my tips could be included in a new e-book based on the concept of the popular blog carnival I had enjoyed linking up to in the past. I remember so many good tips that I learned from other bloggers who participated. The “That Works For Me” e-book has over 800 of the best tips and tricks that have been submitted over the years from parenting to cleaning to DIY crafts and everything in between.

I enjoyed looking through this e-book. The tips were all categorized so it was easy to find what I was looking for. I liked that I could click on links under each tip to be taken to the blogs they came from so that I could further explore all of the blogs. Some of my favorite tips included those on making freezer meals as gifts, organizing preschool activities, cutting onions {the secret to not crying is revealed!} and time saving tips.

BUY IT:

Purchase the e-book for $8 here

COUPON CODE:

Use code SAVE1 for $1 off!

WIN IT:

One lucky reader will win their own copy of the That Works For Me E-book.

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me your best “tip” to make some aspect of life easier

2) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

3) Like That Works For Me on Facebook

4) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5) Follow @works4mebook on Twitter

6) Follow Alicia on Pinterest

7) Follow That Works For Me on Pinterest

8) Share this giveaway on a social network

Giveaway ends on May 15, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time.

(Disclosure: I received a free copy of the e-book but all thoughts are my own. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook in any way.)


The God Box {Book Review & Giveaway}

god_box_book

I received a copy of The God Box by Mary Lou Quinlan to review. This book came out on Tuesday, just in time for Mother’s Day!

About The Book:

After her mother Mary Finlayson dies, her daughter uncovers 10 of her God boxes spanning over 20 years of her life.  The boxes are stuffed with tiny notes written by Mary, asking and praying for everything from the right flooring for her daughter’s new home to a cure for her own blood cancer. Mary’s petitions are presented with love and without expectation. Note by note, author Mary Lou Quinlan unearths insights into her mother’s compassion, faith, and perseverance, and revelations of her innermost thoughts—nostalgic, surprising, and even a bit shocking. And through the journey, the author discovers her own more empathetic, more engaged self—the woman her mother had believed in all along.

My Thoughts:

Though this book is based on a mom’s faith in God, I think that anyone, regardless of their beliefs, would benefit from reading this book. It was an easy read and was split into chapters that could be read in short periods of time. I loved that she tells the story of her mom’s life, and of her own life, using the notes that her mom had written throughout the years. I also enjoyed trying to decipher the handwriting on the assortment of notes that Mary Lou had included in the pages of the book and reading the mom’s heartfelt prayers about everything from small, seemingly “silly” things to life-threatening illnesses.

Reading this book has inspired me to make a God Box of my own. Writing down my day to day prayers would serve as not only a way for me to communicate with God throughout the day but would also help me let go of negative thoughts and worries. Too often I hold on to things without fully giving them over to God and I think that the simple act of putting my concerns into written prayers would let me move past them and not focus on them.

The book also made me think about the memories that I am leaving my children. I’m still in my 20′s but I already have a hard time remembering things that happened only months ago. Leaving bits and pieces of my life behind on scraps of paper would give them an insight into who I was other than “mom” and would share moments of my life that they otherwise might never know.

The God Box Online:

*****
GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win their own copy of The God Box by Mary Lou Quinlan

HOW TO ENTER:

Tell me why you want to read this book {or why you want to win it for a loved one if it’s going to be a gift}

OPTIONAL ENTRY:

For one extra entry you can share this review and giveaway post on the social network of your choosing

{Make sure you leave a separate comment telling me you did so.}

Giveaway ends May 10, 2012 at 11:59pm Central Time. US Only.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review but all thoughts are my own.)

Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A WriterJinky is Reading.

I am giving away a copy of Diary Of A Beverly Hills Matchmaker by Marla Martenson. I just started reading this book but have enjoyed the first couple of chapters. I will have a full review of it when I’m done reading it :)

Here’s some information about the book, taken from Amazon.com: “In Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker, Marla takes her readers for a hilarious romp through her days as an L.A. matchmaker and her daily struggles to keep her self-esteem from imploding in a town where looks are everything and money talks. From juggling the demands her out-of-touch clients to trying her best to meet the capricious demands of an insensitive boss to the ups and downs of her own marriage to a Latin husband who doesn’t think that she is ‘domestic’ enough, Marla writes with charm and self-effacement about the universal struggles that all women face in their lives. Readers will laugh, cringe, and cry as they journey with her through outrageous stories about the indignities of dating in Los Angeles, dealing with overblown egos, vicariously hobnobbing with celebrities, and navigating the wannabe-land of Beverly Hills. In a city where perfection is almost a prerequisite, even Marla can’t help but run for the Botox every once in a while.”

Want to win a copy for yourself?

Leave a comment telling me why you want to win this

Extra entries can be earned by doing any or all of the following and leaving a separate comment for the ones you do:

1) Share this giveaway on a social network

2) Follow Marla on Twitter

3) Follow me on Twitter

4) Subscribe to this blog via RSS or email {look in upper right hand corner}

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Giveaway ends March 5, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US only.

(Disclosure: I received a copy for review but all thoughts are my own.)

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Find more book giveaways here.

{Giveaway} Romancing The Books Blog Hop

Romancing The Book Blog Hop

Welcome to the Romancing The Books Giveaway Hop with Delighted Reader and Livre D’ Amour! A bunch of bloggers have come together with a common goal– to offer lots of romance books to our readers! :)

When I think of romance novels my very favorite author is Nora Roberts. Nora has written close to 200 books and has been on the New York Times best seller list over 150 times. Those numbers amaze me! Each one of her books I have read is hard to put down and the characters in her books really come to life with her descriptions of them and the words she writes.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win the Nora Roberts paperback book of their choice

(from amazon.com)

HOW TO ENTER:

(Do any or all of the following, leave a comment for each)

1) Tell me which Nora Roberts book you would love to read

2) Follow me on Twitter

3) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

4) Follow me on Pinterest

5) Share this giveaway on a social network

6) Enter another one of my giveaways {found here}

Giveaway ends February 14, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US only.

(Disclosure: All thoughts are my own. This giveaway isn’t associated with Facebook in any way.)


Fantastic Flight {Children’s Picture Book Giveaway}

fantasticflight 2gabutton

Fantastic Flight

Written by Barbara Bockman

Illustrated by Jack Foster

{REVIEW BY PAMELA OF MOM DOES REVIEWS}

Let your imagination take you away!

Barbara Bockman, my writing mentor, friend and wonderfully creative author, has graciously allowed me to review and giveaway a signed copy of her new picture book. Fantastic Flight is just that, a fantastically, fun adventure with a homesick Jessica and her Grandpa. Jessica is visiting her grandparent’s beach house, but is really ready to go home. Grandpa takes her on an outing she will never forget. Their magical journey takes them to Cloud 9 , to a helpful pelican, a butterfly in need of directions and to the unfriendly birds who pops their balloon. Fantastic Flight is action packed; you never want to stop turning the colorful pages! It was so much fun, my 9 year old son loved reading it to me! His only question was when does Jessica come back for another fantastic flight with Grandma this time.

My son and I have read it at least three times. We are still trying to figure out which part is our favorite, since we loved the whole thing! Justin decided he loved the part where the unfriendly birds pop their balloon. Of course, boys like those parts. My favorite part is where Jessica helps the butterfly find her way to Mexico and get her tiny suitcase and map back after a crash with the Pelican’s banner.

I would recommend this book for children ages 4 to 8.

The artwork is fantastic, just like the flight! Jack Foster is very talented. I think he captured Barbara’s story just perfectly. I love the characters’ facial expressions, the action effects and the little details like the water squishing out of their shoes.

Mom Does Reviews gives Fantastic Flight 5 out of 5 Fantastic Stars! Don’t miss this one. Great picture book for your little one, loved one or grandchildren.

If you can’t wait to win this giveaway, you can buy Fantastic Flight right here.

The giveaway starts 1/21 and ends 1/29. Open to US only.

Enter via Rafflecopter over at Mom Does Reviews!

Fearless Young Adult Book Tour and Kindle Giveaway


Fearless Young Adult Book Fearless by Tawdra Kandle

Tasmyn Vaughn didn’t expect much when her dad’s job moved them to a small town in Florida; it was just another new school. But there is more to King than meets the eye, and soon Tasmyn’s ability to hear other’s thoughts is the least of her worries. Entangled in a web of first love, quirky and secretive townsfolk, magic and blood rituals, she discovers the town’s secrets aren’t just bizarre, they’re deadly.

Buy it HERE

What People are Saying about Fearless

“Tawdra’s debut novel enthralled me from the start. She captures the struggles and fears of the high school journey perfectly- with a paranormal twist. Tasmyn and Michael will have you adding them to your “favorite couples” list! I was sad to see this book end, and look forward to reading more by Tawdra soon!” Sarah M. Ross Young Adult Writer

“Fearless is a fantastic read. It is appropriate for both young adult and older readers with its charming storyline of a young lady learning to use her supernatural gift for the greater good. The characters are relatable, something that every reader can appreciate. I can’t wait to see where the rest of the series takes Tasmyn, Michael and their friends.” Marcie Bridges, reviewer

“Fearless is a great read for young and old alike. It perfectly intertwines the magic of first love with the twists and turns of a thrilling plot that pulls the reader in. When I finished the final chapter, I could not wait until my next “trip” to King to visit with Tasmyn and Michael!” –Devyn Prado, Reviewer Taking Time for Mommy

Not ONLY is Author Tawdra T. Kandle having a Giveaway for a KINDLE but everyone that signs up for her newsletter will get her 2nd book BREATHLESS as soon as it comes out in March & 25 entries for the Kindle Giveaway!

Now for the Kindle Giveaway!!

Head on over to Taking Time For Mommy and fill out the form!

Best Of 2011 Giveaway Hop

Since becoming a mom I haven’t really read a lot and when I do read it is normally the Bible or a book about Sensory Processing Disorder. I do occasionally get a chance to read other books and one of my favorites I have read this year has been One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. This is the most beautifully written book I have ever read {and I used to consume books like crazy}.

GIVEAWAY:

One person will win a copy of One Thousand Gifts

HOW TO ENTER:

(Do any or all of the following, leave a comment for each you do)

1) Leave a comment telling me why you want to win

2) “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

3) Share this giveaway on a social network

4) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5) Enter another one of my giveaways (found here)

6) Subscribe via email or RSS (look in the upper right corner)

Giveaway ends December 31, 2011 at 11:59pm EST. US Only.

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post or given a review copy. All thoughts are my own.)

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Enter more Best of 2011 hops here.

Mid-Winter’s Eve Giveaway Hop {‘Elephant Girl’ Book Giveaway}

This giveaway hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Oasis For YA and there are over 250 other blogs participating. You can find other blog giveaways to enter here.

***

The week of Thanksgiving I attended a wonderful, intimate dinner hosted by Chicagonista. We got together to enjoy each other’s company and share what we were thankful for while we enjoyed delicious food from Bella Luna. We also learned a little bit more about the book Elephant Girl and got to skype with the author of the book, Jane Devin. I had heard this was a “must read” and I’ve only started reading the book and am understanding why people are saying that. I was just going to give away a credit to Amazon for this hop but I really think everyone should  read this book so I am offering a copy of it instead.

Information from the back of the book:

Written in three distinct voices—child, teen and adult—Jane Devin takes readers on an intimate, imaginative and often harrowing life journey. Born unwanted and raised without love, the child-author invents a rich inner life to see her through years of trauma. Leaving home at 16, the teen-author struggles to find happiness and a sense of place in a world that feels confusing and unfamiliar. Then, years after stumbling into an adulthood mired in tragedy and broken dreams, the woman-author finds herself at a crossroads. The choice she ultimately makes is as stunning as it is brave.Told in unflinching and often lyrical prose, Elephant Girl goes beyond a singular life story to speak of powerful, universal truths and the ability of the human spirit to redeem itself.

From the soul of a broken child and the heart of a resilient woman comes a story about turning imagination into possibility and scars into art. – Rosie O’Donnell, Talk Show Host

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a copy of Jane Devin’s Elephant Girl

HOW TO ENTER:

(Do any or all of the following, leave a comment for each you do)

1) Leave a comment telling me why you want to win this book

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Follow me on Twitter- @aliciamarie112

4) Subscribe to this blog via email or RSS (look in the upper right hand corner)

Giveaway ends December 27, 2011 at 11:59pm CST. US Only.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of the book and dinner but all thoughts are my own. Giveaway prize will come from Amazon.com.)

Truth In The Tinsel: An Advent Experience For Little Hands {E-Book}

truth in the tinsel

There are lots of Advent calendars and activities I’ve stumbled upon online but nothing else has been comparable to Truth In The Tinsel: An Advent Experience For Little Hands e-book. First of all, it’s made with toddlers and preschoolers in mind. The e-book was written by a mom who used to be a Children’s Pastor so she’s great at putting Bible stories into terms that young children can understand. Amanda realizes we are all busy and gives us optional schedules to follow if we don’t have time to do an activity every day.

Each day consists of 5 parts:

1) The Clue- A picture or word that the children find to give them a hint about the day’s topic. Amanda includes two different types of clues for download. Pictures can be put in an advent calendar or word clues that can be taped into a chain.

2) The Scripture- Amanda gives verses to read. She suggests using an actual Bible as opposed to an electronic version to get the kids familiar with the actual Bible (a very good idea!)

3) The Ornament- After listening to the Scripture children make a related ornament. I like that she includes templates for those (like me) who can’t draw. Most of these ornaments use supplies that can be found around the home but she also includes a supply list so you can purchase any items you need.

4) The Talk- Amanda gives ideas of what you can talk about and questions you can ask while you make the ornament to get them talking about what they learned.

5) Extras- Amanda includes extra ideas throughout the experience to take the lesson farther. It might be a song to download that goes along with the Bible verse, a DVD to watch, or a fun activity to do with the family.

The boys and I will be going through this e-book throughout December. Won’t you join us? You can purchase the e-book for $2.99 TODAY ONLY as a special Black Friday Deal. After today it is $4.99 but totally worth every penny! Make sure to check out the Facebook group, too.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of this e-book to review but all thoughts are my own.)

Nurture Your Books Giveaway Hop {Balloonatiks Book Giveaway}

NYBCelebration Blog Hop med size image

I am really excited to be participating in Nurture Your BOOKS blog hop to promote global literacy. Today’s giveaway is a perfect gift for boys in the 7-11 age range to get them excited about reading!

Book Summary: “If only they had listened to Nicole Gonzales…she was against the afterschool frog experiment in the first place. But now, in a high school science class, a chain of events has been set in motion and five ordinary teens- Nicole, Randy, Roosevelt, Sandy and Gary- have been transformed into Balloonatiks…rubbery, shape-stretching heroes, each of them with a special super power. In this first adventure, they must learn to set aside their differences and become a team. Because Hot Air City needs them! The book includes Professor Swellhead’s secret notebook! Get to know Flator, Squeeker, Sparky, Airbrian, Bouncer, and Leaky…the characters everyone is talking about!”

GIVEAWAY:

Balloonatiks book- The 1st Goopy, Goofy, Loopy Adventure by Erica Orloff

MANDATORY ENTRY:

Leave a comment telling me who you think would love to read this book.

FOR EXTRA ENTRIES:

1) Share this giveaway on a social network

2) Subscribe to my blog (look in the upper right hand corner)

3) Enter another one of my giveaways (they can be found here)

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To find more blogs participating you can go HERE, to the host’s blog.

Giveaway ends November 25, 2011 at 11:59 EST. US Only.

(Disclosure: I received this book for free but was not compensated for this post.)

November Giveaway Hop {For Book Lovers}

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Welcome to The November Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A WriterTristi Pinkston! 200 fabulous blogs are each hosting a giveaway for something a reader, author or blogger would enjoy so make sure to check out the list of blogs at the bottom of this post to see all of the giveaways being offered.

For my giveaway there will be 2 books given away, each with a different winner. These are the books I am giving away:

Book Choice #1: The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen

“No one takes readers to the dark side and back with more razor-sharp jolts and sheer suspense than the storytelling master behind Ice Cold and The Keepsake. When New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen has a tale to tell, put yourself in her expert hands—and prepare for the shocks and thrills that are certain to follow.

Every crime scene tells a story. Some keep you awake at night. Others haunt your dreams. The grisly display homicide cop Jane Rizzoli finds in Boston’s Chinatown will do both.

In the murky shadows of an alley lies a female’s severed hand. On the tenement rooftop above is the corpse belonging to that hand, a red-haired woman dressed all in black, her head nearly severed. Two strands of silver hair—not human—cling to her body. They are Rizzoli’s only clues, but they’re enough for her and medical examiner Maura Isles to make the startling discovery: that this violent death had a chilling prequel.

Nineteen years earlier, a horrifying murder-suicide in a Chinatown restaurant left five people dead. But one woman connected to that massacre is still alive: a mysterious martial arts master who knows a secret she dares not tell, a secret that lives and breathes in the shadows of Chinatown. A secret that may not even be human. Now she’s the target of someone, or something, deeply and relentlessly evil.

Cracking a crime resonating with bone-chilling echoes of an ancient Chinese legend, Rizzoli and Isles must outwit an unseen enemy with centuries of cunning—and a swift, avenging blade.

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Book Choice #2: The Portrait by Hazel Statham

“Severely injured at the battle of Salamanca, Edward Thurston, the new Earl of Sinclair, returns home to his beloved Fly Hall. Determined not to present his prospective bride with the wreck he believes himself to have become, he decides to end his betrothal, unaware that Lady Jennifer, for vastly differing reasons, has reached the selfsame decision.

Throughout the campaigns, Edward was often seen relying greatly on a miniature he carried, and it is to this token he clings upon his return. Will he eventually find happiness with the girl in the portrait, or will he remain firm in his resolve not to wed? Reason dictates one course, his heart another.”

GIVEAWAY

One reader will win The Silent Girl and one reader will win The Portrait.

Both books are hardcover.

HOW TO ENTER

Mandatory Entry:

1) Tell me which book you would like

Optional Entries:

Subscribe to my blog via email or RSS (look in upper right corner of site)

Enter another one of my giveaways (can be found here)

Giveaway ends on November 11, 2011 at 11:59pm EST. US Only.

(Disclosure: I received these books for free but was not compensated to share about them on my blog.)

Want more chances to win??

Check out the other participating blogs below!