Monday, March 30, 2015

Words of the Savior, My Review of this Perfect Gift Book for Easter

Words of the Savior is a beautiful gift book perfect for this Easter time of year, or any time of the year. I'm happy I got the chance to review this book. I love these simple books that remind you of Jesus Christ. He is my Savior and I'm grateful for His words. This book focuses on Jesus's words from the Bible--so many poignant passages coupled with beautiful photos.

About the book:
Jesus Christ is the Master Teacher. What better way to learn eternal truths than by studying His words? This beautiful book pairs the timeless and poignant teachings and parables of the Lord Jesus Christ with stunning images that bring the Savior's words to life.
Distilled from the writing of the New Testament, Words of the Savior highlights selections from the Messiah's mortal ministry as He walked, taught, and healed among the people.
Some of His teachings were delivered as softly spoken invitations to "arise, and be not afraid" (Matthew 17:7), while others were presented in parables and discourses to devoted disciples and travel-weary followers as they walked the roads of Jerusalem and Galilee. Through seemingly simple appeals, thoughtful parables, and words of warning, the Savior taught essential lessons that are as applicable in our lives today s they were in the meridian of time. Each page of this inspirational book presents an opportunity for pondering and reflection on how better to pattern our lives after the words of the Savior.
With full-color, artfully-designed pages, this exquisite, inspirational book is the perfect gift for every occasion and makes an excellent addition to every gospel library.

Rachelle's Thoughts: I love gift books like these. The kind that you can pick up and flip through at any time for a sweet feeling of the Spirit. The beautiful photo illustrations beg contemplation as you read the words of the Savior from the Bible.This book is perfect for any age, young to old. I saw several members of my young family flipping through the book. I shared the book with my little boys who can't read yet, just showing a few pages and explaining what the pictures were about.
Anything that helps us think more of our Savior, Jesus Christ is a welcome addition in my home.
Link to Deseret Book:
I was provided a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

My Not So Impressed Review of The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

I had the opportunity to read and review a book that's been around for a while. Many of you might have heard of The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. 
 This book has a lot of great info. Ferriss has basically tapped into many of the masters and compiled a plan that utilizes their smarts. He's successful and a lot of his ideas are life-changing and motivating. I marked up several chapters of the book and highlighted quotes, etc. I found a lot of value in the reminder to guard my time, not check email more than 2-3 times a day, and work more efficiently.
Here's the reason I can only give this book 2 stars. I just don't think Tim Ferriss has it all figured out the way he thinks and says he does. Most of the book emphasizes taking mini-retirements and being able to live like the new rich. He teaches about out-sourcing and traveling the world for six months at a time, a year at a time, etc. I think that Ferriss has missed the boat on life because there's some fundamental problems that he doesn't have the answer to.
I DON'T want to travel the world for six months at a time and I don't want to hire a personal chef (well some days :)). I have a beautiful family and I love spending time with my husband and 5 kids. I love planting a garden and harvesting the most divine peaches you've ever tasted off my backyard fruit trees. I love watching my chickens and eating their fresh eggs.
I do enjoy traveling, but not at the expense (and this is not in dollars) of my family's ability to grow and make connections in a community, with their family, in our church, schools, and neighborhood. Trading all of that for the ability to go live in a rain forest or Hawaii or some other tropical beach location is not worth it. And Tim Ferriss doesn't get that.
If there was a joy meter and you could measure happiness, I guarantee you that my happiness levels would be higher than Tim Ferriss. How, you might ask? How could I think that when I just changed a dirty diaper, did laundry, swept the floor... How could my happiness be higher than someone who can hire a personal chef and jet set anywhere? The simple things in life bring about the most beauty. Watching my children run around the back yard. Hugging my husband for making breakfast this morning and taking the kids to school. Visiting my parents and taking a BIG suitcase that is heavy and full of all kinds of baby and kid stuff, craft projects, and just what we need to enjoy our stay. Having a HOME that we live in to raise our children to responsible, caring, kind, and loving adults who will hopefully be able to raise their own families with great values.
Yes, there are lots of people without families or couples who can't have children, that isn't what this is about because those people aren't writing books and teaching the world to leave everything behind to live like the New Rich out of one suitcase for weeks on end.
Now, before you think I'm knocking the guy too hard...
Add to that when I visited his blog, the headliner article was something about micro-dosing and drugs in other countries and my opinion of Ferriss just went right down the drain. It's a shame because the guy has potential but he's too busy globe-trotting and thrill-seeking to find out the secret he's still searching for.
You can read this book if you want, but I think your time would be better spent researching some of the masters that Ferriss quotes, unless of course you also want to search the world over trying to find something to make you happy and then write a book about how you did it while staying in hostels, cheap apartments, and living out of one suitcase.
This book was provided to me by in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

This Is Jesus, Art by J. Kirk Richards

Here's another gift book just in time for Easter. This book contains the scriptural account of Jesus Christ's life and teaching, his crucifixion and resurrection. The passages of scripture accompany J. Kirk Richards inspiring and unique paintings. If you're looking for the perfect something to give, you might check out this book. It's an excellent display piece and great for families, grandparents, parents, etc.
About the book: The life of the Savior is portrayed in stunning fine art pieces by award-winning artist J. Kirk Richards. These striking new images were created by the artist exclusively for this book. Accompanied by a harmonized account of the Saviors ministry, Atonement, and Resurrection, these exquisite paintings reflect a deep reverence for Christs mission and sacrifice. Each page is beautifully designed to complement the unique style of the artist. A perfect reminder of the true reason we celebrate the Easter season, this handsome volume will be treasured by the entire family for years to come.

Rachelle's Thoughts: This is a beautiful book of art of the Savior. The paintings are rendered in an impressionistic style and I like how it invites contemplation over the account of Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection. Richards style is different than a lot of the gift books I have with paintings of the Savior. Richards' style is unique and I'm happy to have this book as part of my collection.

About the Artist:Figurative artist J. Kirk Richards is known for his accomplishments as a painter of Judeo-Christian subject matter. While not all of his work is overtly religious, the majority of his themes stem from spiritual ideas and narratives. His paintings exhibit a love for the human figure, use of symbolism, and an emphasis on lyric composition. His original paintings can be found in private and public collections across the country.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Heather Moore's Secret to Becoming a USA Today Bestselling Author

There are so many great books available and I have been quite the bookworm lately thanks to my cute little baby who I get to snuggle and nurse during the day (and read at the same time.) I enjoy reading books on my Kindle because it only takes one hand. I read this latest book by Heather Moore and Tracy Daley and wanted to share it with you.

A bit about the Book:
E-Book Marketing 101: Promotion Sites for E-Books
Congratulations on writing and publishing your book! Now the nitty-gritty marketing starts. With a lot of excellent marketing tools and books available, why did we write this one? To share a journey of how it’s possible to indie publish a book and hit a bestsellers list. In 2014, Heather Moore hit the USA Today list with a self-published box set. A few months later, she put together the Triple Treat Romance Box Set series, and brought in Tracy Daley to market the series. 12 box sets and 36 authors later, and hitting multiple Top 5 & Top 10 lists consistently, we are ready to pass on our research and recommendations. The promotion sites included in this book are organized in an easy to find manner
to target your specific marketing needs.

Rachelle's Thoughts: This book is a must-read for all self-pubbers out there and authors in general who want to learn how to promote their book. I liked it because it is short and filled with detailed information on everywhere you need to look to help promote your books and increase sales. This isn't a how-to book necessarily, more of a list of promotion services with very detailed information on the results Heather has enjoyed with her own self-published books. You could read this book in less than an hour and then you'll want to go through and visit several of the sites.
E-book Marketing 101 shows different case studies of books and how they succeeded and what worked and what didn't work. It also shows the step-by-step process that Heather utilized to become a USA Today Bestselling author. Heather is one of my favorite writers and she is incredibly talented, along with that she is also very business savvy. Definitely someone to listen to when she offers advice, so pick this book up and share with others who are thinking of ways to promote their books.

 Get your copy today on Amazon:
I was provided a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Review of Forgotten Skills of Backyard Herbal Healing and Family Health

Today's book review is brought to you by a great new book titled Forgotten Skills of Backyard Herbal Healing and Family Health by Caleb Warnock and Kristin Skirvin. I was given a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
  I was thrilled to have the chance to read this book because I own Caleb Warnock's other books and have loved reading and learning from them. Here are links to them because you'll want to check them out as well.

A little about the book Forgotten Skills of Backyard Herbal Healing and Family Health:
Modern medicine can work wonders, but most of it has roots in the healing powers you can find in your own backyard. This informative book teaches you to harvest, dry, and store herbs that will keep you healthy. Discover how to use natural remedies safely, so you can nurture your family's wellness without leaving home.

Rachelle's thoughts: I love reading books like this that teach concepts that our ancestors used to survive and thrive in life. I believe that this beautiful earth has so much to offer us but we are slowly losing the knowledge of how to eat, live, and be healthy from the ground up. This book is packed with tons of information on herbs used as medicines to heal and add health and vitality to life without turning to prescription drugs. For someone who exhausted the traditional medical doctor's care without discovering a solution to my health problems, this book resonates deeply with me.
I have marked up this book and plan to re-read it again because there is just so much information, so much to learn!
The first thing I tried was to have my husband read the page about onions when I got a bad cold and was congested. He followed the directions, cooking the onion and putting a towel over his head above the steam and within ten minutes his sinuses were completely clear. He couldn't believe how well it worked. He repeated the process over the next two days and felt so much better. This is important because my husband doesn't like to take over the counter decongestants because they make his blood pressure rise and make him feel uncomfortable. How wonderful to have a remedy that is age-old, safe, and effective!
I love the format of this book, beautiful photo illustrations in bold colors, easy to read instructions and information. The narrative provided by Caleb and Kristin felt engaging and as if I was in a class with them in my home.
If you desire to break free from the helplessness many of us feel concerning the medical industry's limits, you should buy this book and Caleb's other books and get ready to change your life!

Order your copy today if you want to get in on this great learning curve

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I Hope They Call Me On A Mission by Benjamin Hyrum White, Review

Today I get to share a little about a new book that just came out titled, I Hope They Call Me on a Mission.

  This book is directed towards members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I belong to this church and missionary work is very important to us. We love sharing the gospel, especially the concept of eternal families which is so vital to my purpose here on earth--keeps me going when I'm getting lost under dirty diapers and dishes!

Here's the book blurb:
It’s never too young to prepare! This charmingly illustrated picture book teaches children what it’s like to be a missionary, from riding a bike to studying the gospel to having a companion, and everything they can do now to be ready so that when the time comes, they’ll be the best missionaries they can be. Colorful and cute, it’s a perfect gift for baptisms and birthdays.

Rachelle's Thoughts: This is a darling book and excellent conversation starter. There is a ton of information included in I Hope They Call Me On A Mission! It covers basic gospel principles and also what a missionary does to share the gospel, work, and serve on their mission. It does get a little lengthy and wordy for the young (6 and under) reader/listener. My kids are my test audience and I could read to them all day, but my 6yo got a little tired just before the end of the book. I recommend reading this book in two sittings if you have young readers. I think it is ideal for 7 and up which is likely the target market because that age group can grasp more of the concepts discussed. My almost 10 year old picked it up. She loves to read and still indulges in picture books and she enjoyed it. This would be an excellent Family Home Evening lesson, gift, and teaching opportunity.

A little about the author:
Benjamin Hyrum White was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He labored in the Colorado Denver North Mission and was employed at the MTC during college. Ben met his wife, Keenan, while they both were dancing with the International Folk Dance Ensemble at Brigham Young University. They each graduated from BYU with a degree in Family Science. Brother White is a seminary teacher and recently received his master's degree in religious education from BYU, where he wrote the history of Preach My Gospel. Ben and Keenan reside in Utah with their five children.
Pick up a copy today for your little missionaries! I was provided a review copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Silence by Deborah Lytton, Excellent YA Novel

 Today my book review is on the incredible new novel, SILENCE by Deborah Lytton.
This is a young adult contemporary novel with a story about life, learning, tragedy, romance, and rediscovering yourself. I highly recommend this book as a clean teen read. Read the description and then I'll tell you what I thought.

Silence Book Description: Stella was born to sing. Someday Broadway. Even though she is only a sophomore at a new high school, her voice has given her the status as a cool kid. But then a tragic accident renders her deaf. She cannot hear herself sing not to mention speak. She cannot hear anything. Silence. What happens when everything you have dreamed of and hoped for is shattered in a single moment? Enter Hayden, the boy with blonde curls who stutters. He is treated like an outcast because he is not normal. And, yet, Stella feels an attraction to him that she cannot explain. As Hayden reaches out to help Stella discover a world without sound his own tragic past warns him to keep a distance. But their connection is undeniable. Can the boy who stutters and the girl whose deaf find a happily-ever-after? SILENCE is a story of friendship and hope with a lesson that sometimes it takes a tragedy to help us find beauty and love in unexpected places.

Rachelle's Thoughts: I loved this book. I wasn't sure how I would feel about it at first--it is written in first person, present tense, which is tricky to do and keep everything straight. Lytton did a great job with the voice and point of view as well as the present tense. Silence struck a chord with me because I love music and enjoy singing, so I kept imagining myself in Stella's place and how I would handle things. Envisioning her struggle through a teen's eyes, she handled things extremely well. It was neat to read about all the possibilities there are for hearing loss and also be reminded of just how difficult it is to live without sound or impaired hearing.
I enjoyed experiencing the push and pull of Stella's relationship with Hayden as they both rediscover themselves and found a way to heal.
Lytton's writing is lyrical, full of music itself and the story carries itself forward in a realistic way that makes you feel as if you really know Stella and Hayden and their families.
I have an almost twelve-year-old who gets excited about reading romance but there's not much that is safe for her young age. I'm very pleased that I can pass this book on to her next, knowing that she will not only love the story but learn something from it too. Thank you to Deborah Lytton for crafting a tale that can be enjoyed in the wide age-range of teen readers (and their moms too!)

About the Author:
Deborah Lytton is an established writer who began her work life as an actress at the age of six. She graduated from UCLA and Pepperdine University with a degree in law before becoming a writer. She lives in California with her two daughters and is an active blogger and member of SCBWI.
I was given a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Wife Maker by Karey White, My Review & Giveaway

I was so excited to take part in this blog tour to read the final installment in Karey White's excellent contemporary romance series. The Wife Maker features the ending of Charlotte and Angus's story and it was a fun read just like the previous books in the series. If you haven't read The Husband Maker or The Match Maker check out my reviews here and here and get started!
The storyline continues with Charlotte's no nonsense attitude but with a dose of self-awareness that she had sort of been lacking before in the dating arena. This story is told from the first person POV of both Charlotte and Angus. I would have preferred Angus to be told from third person because even though each chapter delineates who is thinking, it was hard for me to shift sometimes. I really like the voice of the characters, though and read this book in just a couple of days. It's shorter than the other two I think, so it makes for a quick read,but could have been fleshed out just a bit more at the ending and I would have ate it up.
Karey White is skilled at writing clean, contemporary romances with characters that pull you into their life and make you want to help them solve their problems. I love the supporting cast of Charlotte's family that has been featured in each of the books in the series. Her brother Will is an awesome sounding board. It makes me want to meet all of the Emerson's and that's always a good sign that the author has succeeded in developing their cast of characters.
I highly recommend all of Karey's books, so if you haven't read them, now's your chance. 

You can read a short excerpt below and also enter to win a giveaway for $25!
I received an ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Wife MakerThe Wife Maker by Karey White Charlotte has spent years as the husband maker, sending every guy she dates off to enjoy marital bliss with the next girl he dates. But things have now changed, and she's determined to use her husband-maker abilities one last time--on herself. And she finally knows exactly who she wants. Angus has loved Charlotte since they were teenagers, but he's tired of waiting for her to realize how good they could be. She's broken his heart one too many times, and it's time to move on with his life. Maybe a position halfway across the country will be just what he needs to get over her. But when Charlotte won't let him go without a fight, Angus has to decide if he's willing to let her in again or if she's too late.
add to goodreads
Karey WhiteAuthor Karey White Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

Excerpt 1

We walked in silence to the elevator. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Only eight days until you leave.” I kept my eyes anchored on the changing numbers above the door, pretending I didn’t know he was leaving sooner than he’d told me.
“Actually, I’m leaving Monday.”
“You are?”
“I had to pay rent for the whole month of August, so I decided I might as well go a little earlier and get settled in before I get so busy.”
“Oh. That makes sense.”
The elevator doors opened and a man with a bundle of perfectly behaved balloons stepped off.
“You haven’t forgotten dinner, I hope.” I pushed the button for the lobby.
“Charlotte, I just—”
“No, Angus.” I hoped my voice didn’t sound as desperate as I felt. “Please don’t say you can’t.” He didn’t say anything. “Please.”
Angus sighed and shoved his hands in his pockets. “Tomorrow night?”
My heart broke a little at his response. He didn’t sound happy at all. He sounded like someone ready to plow through an unpleasant task to get it over with. My pride wanted to tell him to forget the whole thing, but I didn’t. How could I change his mind if I didn’t see him?
“Tomorrow’s great,” I said with enough enthusiasm for both of us.
“No way. Neither of us need therapy.” That was a lie. “Let’s go somewhere different. Since you’re leaving, let me surprise you. It’ll be fun.”
“I’ll drive. I don’t feel like contorting myself into your car.” Angus smiled. It was so lovely, I felt a clutch in my stomach.
We stepped out into the angled, evening sunshine and hesitated on the sidewalk. “Where’s your car?” Angus asked.
“It’s over there.”
“Do you want me to walk you?”
“That’s okay, it’s still light.” As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I wanted to take them back. I needed to take advantage of every minute I had with him.
“All right. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“See you.”
Angus didn’t move when I started walking away. I crossed the road and found my car in the visitor parking lot. I glanced back to see which way Angus had gone, but he was still standing there watching me. It wasn’t until I waved that he turned and walked away.

  25_Amazon_Paypal $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 3/22/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway


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