Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Blog Tour: Betty's Child by Donald Dempsey

Image compliments of WOW

In the tradition of Frank McCourt and Angela's Ashes, Don Dempsey uses Betty's Child to tell the story of life with a cruel and neglectful mother, his mother's abusive boyfriends, a dangerous local thug who wants twelve-year-old Donny to burglarize homes and deal drugs, and hypocritical church leaders who want to save young Donny's soul but ignore threats to his physical well-being. In a world where it’s "fight or flight" at every turn, Donny uses his street smarts and sense of humor to guide him. He usually makes the right choice, but whenever he makes a wrong move, he pays the price. Some of his experiences will make you recoil in horror, but you'll want to keep reading because Dempsey manages to maintain a sense of humor while sharing the gritty details of his story. In the end, Donny does everything he can to take care of himself and his younger brothers, but with each new development, the present becomes more fraught with peril—and the future more uncertain. "Heartrending and humorous. In scene after vivid scene, Dempsey presents his inspiring true story with accomplished style. Dempsey's discipline as a writer lends the real-life tale the feel of a fictional page-turner." Kirkus Reviews

Paperback: 438 pages

Publisher: Dream of Things  (March 26, 2013)


Twitter hashtag: #BCDempsey

Donald Dempsey with son Gavin.jpg

About the Author:

Don Dempsey experienced childhood abuse and neglect first hand, but went on to have a fulfilling family life as an adult and to own his own business. "If you're lucky, you make it to adulthood in one piece," says Don. "But there's no guarantee the rest of your life is going to be any better. Abused kids are often plagued by fear and insecurity. They battle depression and have trouble with relationships. In the worst cases, abused children perpetuate the cycle." But Don is living proof that you can overcome a childhood of abuse and neglect. "You start by letting go of as much of the guilt (yes, abused kids feel guilty) and as many of the bad memories as possible. At the same time, you hold on to the things that helped you survive. For me, it was the belief that you can make life better by working at it and earning it. It helps to have a sense of humor, too."

Find out more about the author by visiting him online:

Betty’s Child website:

Donald Dempsey Facebook: 

Q.  What inspires your writing?

A. This book was inspired by my childhood experiences.  I’ve always wanted to tell my story.  I just wanted to put something out there that might help others see that there are ways to overcome a troubled past. 
Q. What is your favorite thing about being an author?

A. I don’t really consider myself an author.  I like to say I just told a story.  But the most pleasant aspect of the author experience has been getting to know some wonderful people.  I’ve made a real friend in my publisher, Mike O’Mary, and gotten to know some wonderful authors, as well as some of my readers.

Q. What is the toughest part of being an author?

A. I’ve received some truly heartbreaking messages from some readers.  I wish I had a secret formula to help every one of them.  But I don’t.  I’m hesitant to give advice when the subject matter is so serious.  

Q. If you could not be an author, what would you do/be?

A. I wish I had the time to draw and paint.  I always wanted to be an artist.

Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?

A. “To be or Not to be”.  As corny as it might sound, I always felt that line really summed me up.  I had to decide whether I would Be something, or Not be something at an early age.  

Q. What is your favorite book of all time?

A. “Angela’s Ashes”, by Frank McCourt.

Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A. Eeyore from “Winnie the Pooh”.  I am always fearing the worst and prone to being grumpy.  

Q. Which character from all of your book are you most like?

A.   I guess I better go with myself, or I might lose a lot of credibility.

Q. Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?

A. The Bible.  I have a ton of questions I’d love to get some answers to.

Q. What is you favorite season?

A. Fall.  Cool weather.  Football.  By far my favorite time of year.

Q. What inspired your book cover?

A. My publisher knew the artist personally.  Elizabeth “Beth” Maltbie Uyehara who had worked for the Los Angeles Times.  She passed away in 2010 and Mike wanted to use some of her work for the cover.  I’m honored that her husband gave us permission to do so.

Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book?

A. I would have to say the constant remarks and jokes from people who know me.  They seem to have a lot of trouble believing I have the mental capacity to actually write a book.

Q. Are you working on something new?

A. I started a sequel memoir, but haven’t been able to work on it for some time now.  I’m fairly sure it will remain gathering dust like so many of my other intended projects.  “Betty’s Child” will most likely be the only book I’ll ever manage to finish.

Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A. Just thank you for any interest in my book.  I wish I could express my gratitude to everyone personally, and I try to respond to every review on Amazon.  This has been a very humbling experience.  And if any of you are still struggling with the demons of a troubled childhood, I wish you all the best in conquering your own past.



Monday, July 8 (today!) @ The Muffin
Stop by for an interview and book giveaway!

Tuesday, July 9 @ Books I Think You Should Read
What Liz has to say in her review of Donald Dempsey's touching tale, Betty's Child, #BCDempsey. This is your chance to read her review and sign up to WIN your very own copy!

Wednesday, July 10 @ The New Book Review
Don't miss this review and give-away for Donald Dempsey's book Betty's Child (#BCDempsey)!

Friday, July 12 @ CMash Reads
Donald Dempsey's book Betty's Child (#BCDempsey) makes a stop at CMash Reads with a guest post and give-away. You won't want to miss this post about overcoming a difficult childhood.

Monday, July 15 @ The World of My Imagination
Stop by today - don't miss out on your chance to read Donald's moving guest post titled: "Self-publishing vs Publishing with an Indie Press" and participate in the give-away for Betty's Child (#BCDempsey) by Donald Dempsey.
Wednesday, July 17 @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Join fellow memoir writer Kathleen as she review Betty's Child and offers a great give-away for Betty's Child!

Friday, July 19 @ All Things Audry
Win a copy of Betty's Child by Donald Dempsey (#BCDempsey) and hear what Donald has to say on the topic of: Advice for people thinking about writing about a difficult childhood
Monday, July 22 @ Found Between the Covers
Win a copy of Betty's Child by Donald Dempsey and read what Sherrey has to say in her honest review of this touching memoir.http://foundbetweenthecovers.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, July 24 @ Choices
Madeline Sharples takes a closer look at Betty’s Child by Donald Dempsey, and offers you a great giveaway!

Friday, July 26      @ Margo L. Dill
Today is your chance to win Betty's Child (#BCDempsey) and Join author Donald Dempsey as he discusses: Advice for kids who are being abused/neglected, advice for adults who were abused/neglected as kids, and advice for adults who suspect a child may be abused/neglected.
Monday, July 29 @ Gutsy Living
Hear from Donald Dempsey, author of Betty's Child as he shares his gutsy story with Sonia and readers/authors of Gutsy Living.http://soniamarsh.com/
Wednesday, July 3@ Mrs. Mommy Booknerd's
Find out what Donald Dempsey shares with Emily as she interviews this author about his touching memoir Betty’s Child (#BCDempsey).http://mrsmommybooknerd.blogspot.com/
Friday, August 2 @ Words, Crazy Words
Today is a great opportunity to sit down with Donald Dempsey as he explains his experience with "Self-Publishing vs. Indie Press" and sign up to win your own copy of Don's inspirational and moving memoir Betty's Child.http://wordscrazywords.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 5 @ A Book Lover’s Diary
Hurry for your chance to win a copy of Betty's Child by Donald Dempsey (#BCDempsey) and hear what Stephanie has to say in her review!
Tuesday, August 6 @ Eleanor Vincent
Donald Dempsey gives us insight into resilience and writing. Don’t miss this great guest post and opportunity to win a copy of Donald’s memoir Betty’s Child.
Wednesday, August 7 @ White Elephants

Today is your day to win Betty's Child and hear Chynna's thoughts on this moving memoir by Donald Dempsey.

Highlight: The Zapp Imbroglio by Jos Van Brussel

Blurb: Zack Zapp and Milton Burdass-Nuttall, two unemployed young poops, are tricked into signing up as priests by a fast-talking church recruiter, who forgot to mention priests don't date. Enjoying a night out on the town, they are secretly filmed kissing the same lemon-haired girl, the footage posted on her website. When Zack next falls in love with a British spy and Milton with a CIA operative, the two reluctant clerics set out on a mission to destroy the incriminating footage before they are revealed not only as men of the cloth but also libertines of the worst kind. Before long they are up to their clerical collars burgling bishops, blackmailing cardinals and even taking a crack at the papal safe.

The Zapp Imbroglio is a rollicking, frolicking screwball comedy and spy adventure caper introducing two delightful young chumps who have managed to turn landing themselves in the soup into an art form. In the great tradition of comedy duos like Laurel & Hardy, Jay & Silent Bob, Frost & Pegg and Lester Patel & Jeff Barnes now come Zack Zapp and Milton Burdass-Nuttall, the ultimate boobs.

Bio: Ever since I was a kid I was bitten by the writing bug: at age 10 I decided--in a moment of either divine inspiration or extreme hubris--to become the next Agatha Christie--the male version, obviously. I got to the second page of my magnum opus when I realized: this stuff is pretty damn hard. And whodunit anyway?

It was the start of a long relationship with the muse: over the years I wrote articles for the school newspaper, a national newspaper, dabbled in poetry, launched a couple of websites, blogs, penned a couple of novels, a few short stories and labored over many a screenplay.

I started writing in earnest in 2004 and, after thumbing through about a hundred books on How to Write the Perfect Romance, How to Write the Perfect Thriller, How to Write the Perfect Mystery...  finally decided to have some fun and wrote the first Zapp book, a humorous novel.
By education I'm a political scientist and as you probably guessed from the name I was born and raised in Belgium, land of Tintin, JCVD, beer & chocolate, Bruges and the one and only Manneken Pis. I live in Ghent with my wife Anzhela and our chubby red cat Tommy.

Blog: www.josvanbrussel.com
FB: www.facebook.com/vanbrusseljos
Twitter: www.twitter.com/josvanbrussel
Link to book on Amazon

Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison

The Banks of Certain Rivers

"Confident, clearsighted and poignant." — Kirkus Reviews

Neil Kazenzakis is barely holding his life together: ever since an accident left his wife profoundly disabled, he's been doing his best as a single dad and popular high school teacher. He's also been dealing with Lauren Downey, his sort-of girlfriend of the past two years who's pushing for a commitment—and for Neil to finally tell his son Christopher about their secret relationship.

Neil's carefully balanced world begins to fall apart when some questionable footage of him is anonymously posted to YouTube...just as Chris learns about Lauren in the worst possible way. Doubting his own recollection of the events in the online video and threatened with the loss of his job and the ability to care for his wife, Neil must find a way to prove the truth to his family, his community, and himself as he struggles to regain the splintered trust of his son.

Heartbreaking, poignant, and written with devastating humor and warmth, The Banks of Certain Rivers is a shattering story of memory, loss, and just how far a man will go to show the people closest to him the meaning of love.

"Urgent, real, and often very funny." — James Frey, New York Times bestselling author of Bright Shiny Morning and A Million Little Pieces

"Jon Harrison's debut The Banks of Certain Rivers is a jewel-box of a novel. Tracing the limits of one man's love (and self-knowledge) with humor and drama, Harrison breathes life into Neil Kazenzakis and his struggles with such grace that the reader feels like she knows him. Elegant, poignant, and page-turning." — Katherine Howe, New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane.

I love when Indie authors come out and blow my socks off!  It is so great that these authors are able to get their work out and we are able to enjoy it!!!  I love books that take place around where I live, it makes me feel so connected!  So with this book taking place in the Midwest, I knew it had my interest right way! This book is a page turner, heavy at times, with great characters and like I said before a great setting!  You need to pick up this book and read something very original and compelling!!  4 stars!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Showcase: Jeri Walker Bickett

Such is Life

About the book:  These realistic short stories feature characters down on their luck, yet stubborn enough to move on. A tryst between a carnival worker and a pretty high school student begs the question of who takes advantage of who. A young man’s encounter with a drug addict finds him striking out on his own in hopes of a better life. An English teacher publishes literature deemed inappropriate by a Mormon community. A mother goes on a quest to get rid of the family’s aggressive pet. Finally, New Orleans provides the backdrop for a stroll with a psychotic housewife. Such is life!

JeriWB 03 (180x180).jpg
Bio and Links
Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB) is an author, editor, and teacher. She primarily writes contemporary literary fiction and psychological suspense. Such is Life, her short story collection, is now available. Her forthcoming novel, Lost Girl Road, is a ghost story set in the woods of northwest Montana. She blogs about literature and writing on her twisted book blog: What do I know? Please connect with her at JeriWB.com.
Despite growing up in the rough Idaho mining town of Wallace, she earned multiple writing degrees, and became a devoted English teacher who has since left the classroom to pursue writing and editing full time. Food and travel continually inspire her creativity and love of photography. In addition, she dabbles in creative nonfiction, poetry, and educational video tutorials. She currently lives in North Carolina with her wonderful husband and their demanding pets.

Blog JeriWB: What do I know? http://jeriwb.com/


Q.  What inspires your writing?

A. My writing is inspired by authors known for writing literary realism, such as Tobias Wolff or Annie Proulx. I’m drawn to capturing life’s underbelly and the sometimes stupid choices people make. I’d rather write a story dark in tone versus a happy ending any day.   

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?

A. I suppose it’s quite alluring to know that someone else is taking the time to read what I’ve put my blood, sweat, and tears into creating. The transformative nature of fiction to be able to put a reader in a character’s shoes is quite addictive.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?

A. Writing! I am a painfully slow writer because I self-edit too much. I am working on that, and hope to participate in NaNoWrMo for the first time this coming November. Learning how to best market one’s books is also quite overwhelming at times. Like anything else in life, the more attempts an author makes at getting their work out there, the more successful they become at mastering the process.

Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?

A. I often wish that I had gone into video editing or graphic design. Web development is also an area I’m interested in. While I’m in love with words, I suppose I also have a fascination with how visual messages are conveyed.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A. If I ever write that memoir, it will definitely be titled When Your Mother is Crazy. Growing up with a bipolar mom has impacted all aspects of my life, for better or worse.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A. Just one book? Then I would have to pick John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. The story of the Joad family isn’t just about the breakdown of one family, it’s about the disintegration of American society as a whole after the stock market crashed and the Great Depression set in. The social commentary offered by Steinbeck absolutely floors me and give me something to aspire to!

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A. I’m probably most like Janie from Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. She only starts to discover who she is later in life, and I guess I feel like I’m always discovering who I am. The person I am is so not the person I was a decade or more ago. And yet, there will always be pieces of my former self in the person I am becoming. What good would life be if we never changed and allowed ourselves to be awoken to the experiences around us?

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?

A. The English teacher in my short story “Not Terribly Important” reflects, to a degree, the person I was two years ago before I made the decision to leave the classroom. While the controversy revolving around self-publishing “inappropriate” stories was completely made up, but I’d like to think it’s true of what would happen if a teacher in a conservative community (or most communities for that matter) was found to have published stories of a quote unquote questionable nature.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?

A. For a wild and crazy time I think I would go for Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. I’m sure I wouldn’t remember much of it after the fact, except that it was worth it!

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A. Fall is my favorite season, especially October, and not just because it’s the month I was born in. The light is different, the air is different, the colors are different. October is the last striking display of all that is beautiful in this world before the drabness of winter sets in.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A. I’ve made my own book covers thus far. I consider the attempts all a part of learning the ropes of self-publishing. I picked the battered mannequin heads for the cover of my short story collection, Such is Life, because I felt it reflected the nature of the relationships the characters experience throughout the book. It was originally in sepia tone, but I used Adobe Photo Elements to tinge it blue and bring a sadder feel. I do wish I knew how to work with 3D letters, but it’s only list to get better at.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A. I’ve only really just started to get serious about contacting book reviews and doing interviews, so I’m afraid I don’t have too much to share on that front. However, I am consistently surprised and delighted by how supportive the indie author and book blogger community is.

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A. My work in progress, Lost Girl Road, is a psychological suspense ghost story that takes place in the woods of northwest Montana.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  My short stories will appeal to you if you like realistic fiction which is rich in detail and really explores how people interact, both the good sides and the bad sides. I don’t do sunshine and rainbows. I also blog about bookish things on my twisted book blog What do I know? You can find me at JeriWB.com.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

5 star reviews by Mandy!!!

Big Girl Panties: A Novel

Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich

Mandy's thoughts: OMG !!!!!  This book rocks the house.  I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish this book.  Holly is a recently widowed and has a “slight” weight problem.  Logan is well known personal trainer for some major athletes.  They meet on a flight back home and he offers to help her get back in shape.  Holly turns out to be a natural for getting in shape and as she starts to shed the pounds the attraction begins to sizzle.  This is a story of stereotypes, proving them wrong and looking at what’s on the inside is what really matters.  Stephanie’s debut novel is well written, keeps the reader engrossed and gives you a happy ending.  I give this book 5 stars.

The Curiosity

The Curiosity by Stephen Kiernan

Mandy's thoughts: Dr. Kate Philo makes the most amazing discovery.  A man buried in the ice at the Arctic Circle is found and brought back to life.  The man’s name is Jeremiah.  Dr. Kate ends up falling for her reanimated man but his life is slowing coming to an end, only this time permanently.  Stephen’s debut novel is a masterfully created work that keeps the reader engrossed till the very end.  The tale is original and makes you think – what if this was too really happen – what would you do?  I give this book 5 stars.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Children's book showcase!

For the parents:

How to Be a Great Parent: Understanding Your Child's Wants and Needs

About the book:  Does your child's behavior confuse you? Do you find yourself wondering if there is a better way to respond to your screaming toddler or teenager? It is easy to be the kind of parent you want to be when your children are safely tucked into bed at night. But how do you become that parent when they are getting into everything and driving you crazy? How to Be A Great Parent offers practical strategies and techniques for coping with a wide variety of parenting issues. Dr. Nancy S. Buck will help you deal with issues such as eating, biting, lying, chores, swearing, homework, sexuality, and more. Stories of real-life families plus parenting tips, quizzes, and Q&As show you how to apply these new techniques right away. You'll learn to stop asking why: Why does my child act that way? Why doesn’t he listen to me? Why does she keep asking me permission when I’ve already told her no? And you'll discover the "magical question" you should be asking instead. You'll also find out how to -Make conscious parenting decisions instead of automatically doing what your parents did -Decide how much freedom is enough for your child -Harness your child's innate desire for fun -Cope with bedtime (and naptime) -Handle squabbling siblings -Talk with your teenager -Parent together after a divorce Once you understand your child's behavior, you will be able to respond in a kinder, more effective way. This will facilitate a stronger parent/child bond.

My Thoughts:
Who doesn't want to be a great parent?  But sometimes the job seems so daunting and hard...we feel like we get off track from time-to-time and need some guidance to get us back where we need to be, a happier, more effective parent.  This book acts as that...a guide back...I have just started reading and applying what I have read!  I can say without a doubt that if you read this book you will learn how to better deal with your children and to be kinder to yourself! 5 stars!  I am a work in progress ..because we need to practice, evaluate, adjust and practice! Smart yes!  Pick up a copy today!!!! 

When Your Child Won't Eat Or Eats Too Much: A Parents' Guide for the Prevention and Treatment of Feeding Problems in Young Children

About the book:  Approximately 25 percent of otherwise normally developing young children experience feeding difficulties. These may not only be disruptive to the child's physical and emotional development, they also may affect the whole family. In When Your Child Won't Eat or Eats Too Much, author Dr. Irene Chatoor teaches parents how to navigate the challenges of early feeding development and help their children establish healthy eating habits. Based on clinical experiences and research studies, Chatoor helps you understand your child's specific feeding problems-whether your child has difficulty feeling hunger, has difficulty determining fullness, refuses to eat certain foods, or is just plain scared to eat. When Your Child Won't Eat or Eats Too Much presents specific suggestions and practical tips on how to understand and manage each of these feeding problems while promoting a healthy eating environment for the whole family. It also describes how feeding difficulties can be prevented and how discipline can be established without resorting to coercive measures. Chatoor, a pediatric psychiatrist who has made fundamental contributions in her field, helps parents better understand and deal with the challenges of early feeding development and the special feeding issues of their children.

My Thoughts:
An enlightening book about how to deal with almost any eating issue you face as a parent with your child. From ways to make eating a happy situation with preventive ideas to many ideas on how to address more serious eating issues.  If you are facing eating issues with your child, this book can help act as a resource. 3.5 stars 

For the kids:

Sports Illustrated Kids Big Book of Who: Football

5 and up Sports Illustrated Kids: Big Book of Who
About the book:  From the editors of Sports Illustrated Kids comes The Big Book of Who: Football, a 128-page collection of the brightest stars in America's favorite sport, past and present. Profiles, facts and stats will bring the best players in pro football history to life with all of the classic touches that Sports Illustrated Kids is famous for - terrific, age-appropriate writing and exciting sports photography. Gridiron greats such as, from Sammy Baugh to Cam Newton, Jim Brown to Emmitt Smith, Dick Butkus to Ray Lewis will be profiled.

The Big Book of Who: Football is a book young sports fans will return to again and again as a lively, exciting and encyclopedic resource.

My Thoughts:
If you are a fan of football this book is a must!  This book contains all the football facts that fans crave and great pictures to go with them!!!  The Contents include Champion, Personalities  Record Breakers and Super Scorers and Yardage Kings.  It was great to read the section about how Bart Starr (from my beloved Green Bay Packers) was the original Super Bowl hero.  He won the MVP honors in each of the first two Super Bowls!!! (p. 8).  Read more about Bart and so many more fun facts...book packed with everything football.  I am still reading and learning.  With football season coming, you must get this book!!!  I rate this book 5 stars  

Windy and Whirly

About the book:  Until one day when Windy wakes up and finds Whirly missing, she tries to come to the rescue, proving that best friends will always find a way to stay together! Vibrant characters and lots of humor make this book a charming and delightful introduction to a child’s meaning of friendship. The story almost comes to life in the hands of the child. Laundry day will never be the same!

My Thoughts:
An adorable tale about what it means to be a friend!  Cute pictures, great main characters... a washer and a dyer (original and fun).  A cute, quick read for you and the kids!  4 stars!

Discovery Channel Sharkopedia: The Complete Guide to Everything Shark

About the book: Meet the most incredible creatures in the sea! Sharkopedia takes you inside the exciting world of sharks. From Discovery Channel, the people who bring you Shark Week every summer, learn everything there is to know about these awesome predators. The book includes more than 400 photos of sharks and all 498 known species of sharks.

Which shark has been clocked swimming 55 miles per hour?
What feeding habits give tiger sharks their nickname "garbage guts"?
Which shark has 25 rows of super-sharp teeth in its mouth?
And more!

My Thoughts:
Best shark book EVER!  My kid is a shark nut and we checked out 15 or more books from the library about sharks, but nothing comes close to how awesome this book is!!!  The pictures are beyond amazing and the facts are so fun to read!  This book included all 498 known shark species!!!  My kids and I have spent hours paging through and reading about all the species of majestic sharks. We are shark fans so getting this book is like being a kid on Christmas!  5 stars.  A MUST read for those who love sharks!!  

Tuke the Specialist Turtle

About the book:  Tuke the Specialist Turtle is the story of a young turtle struggling to find his place in one of the most extraordinary places on earth. Ridiculed by his fellow marine creatures for being too small for his shell, an adolescent green sea turtle named Tuke leaves his coral reef home in the waters off Little Cayman in search of a world he hopes will appreciate him. But it isn't until he's befriended by a group of researchers from the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) that Tuke begins to understand how important he is to his home - and vice versa. Created by Chowder, Inc. for young readers, Tuke the Specialist Turtle is a story about growth, responsibility and protecting those special places that need our help. A portion of the proceeds from this sale will go to support the Coral Reef Conservancy and the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI), Little Cayman Research Centre.

My Thoughts:
What a beautifully illustrated book about finding what makes us special.  Tuke is a lovable turtle who thinks there is nothing special about him until he learns what he is destine to do!!!  My kids and I LOVED this book and all the beautiful sea creature Tuke met along the way!  This is a book to be cherished with you and your children...5 stars!  

Zodiacts: Leo Limelight Lunacy: Dance of the Dueling Divas(5)

About the book:  Donna McGarry's Zodiacts: Leo Limelight Lunacy: Dance of the Dueling Divas introduces the five to eight year old crowd to the creative energy of the Leo Moon. The action begins when the irrepressible Starrkitty discovers her competitor, Lola Leo, headlining a solo show. Kit is fit to be tied and scrambles to produce a rival spectacle. When she discovers that some aspects of show biz, such as costuming and sound mixing, are best left to the experts, Kit goes Aquarian and assembles a stellar crew to help her shine. Which leading lady will steal the limelight under this attention craving Moon?

Merging celestial imagery with verbal whimsy, Zodiacts: Leo Limelight Lunacy humorously explores themes of egomania and self-absorption. The book is available on the author's website zodiacts.com, amazon, or createspace.

My Thoughts:
A fun quirky off beat book that created lots of fun dialogue with me and my boys...one must look to help others rather than being self centered...an important lesson for all!  3 stars

My Thoughts:
OK, so I kinda have been using this book myself!  I love to see all the tips and explanations for building a website!  As my boys get older they are going to love creating a website on their own.  They want to have a blog like Mommy, so this book will prove to be very valuable!  For kids 8 and older this book breaks down the know how into an easy to follow and easy to read format.  It helps how many pictures accompany the instructions because we know that we learn so much faster with visual cues!  I cannot wait to create a website with my boys!!! 4 stars!

More info HERE

About the books: Summer Fit Activity Books move summer learning beyond academics to also prepare children physically and socially for the grade ahead. Academic exercises are based on Common Core standards and include skills in math, reading, writing, language arts and science.

Fitness exercises are designed to jump start the recommended 60 minutes of active play a day that children need to grow up healthy. Role models from throughout the world including Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi and Harriet Tubman help reinforce core values such as honesty, respect and trustworthiness. Summer Fit extends the summer learning experience online with free reading and math digital downloads, book reports, health and wellness activities and fitness videos.

* Based on Common Core: math, reading, writing, language arts and science

* Exercises jump start the recommended 60 minutes of daily movement and play

* Role models reinforce core values, good character and social skills

* Integrated academics and physical activities reinforce the importance of the "body-brain" connection

* Free digital downloads

My Thoughts:
This is a must have for kids and parents over the summer!  The book is jam packed with great lessons, exercises, do-it-together activities and so much more!  It keeps your child sharp over the summer!  My son loves working on the book and seeing what is coming next! Everyday you do a small bit, but you feel like you accomplish something great!!!!  I love seeing my children's skill emerging and to watch their progress in the books!  I really love these books and rate them 4.5 stars!  

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