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Saturday, April 18, 2015

True Sobriety Info Done with "Brightness"

Title: Sober is the New Black
Author: Rachel Black
Web site: www.soberisthenewrachelblack.blogspot.co.uk
Category: Self help, Addiction, Alcohol, Memoir
ASIN: B00HZIGNLU
Buy the e-book here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00HZIGNLU


 

Reviewed by Anna Buttimore B.A.Hons Administrator, originally for the spring 2015 issue of Law Care News



 
Sober is the New Black by Rachel Black shows very effectively how alcohol can insidiously, destructively and completely take over a life. Throughout it powerfully juxtaposes events in the author's life--business conferences, family holidays, book club meetings--when she was drinking, and after she stopped. There's always a risk with this sort of personal memoir that it can become egocentric and dull, but this one avoids that on two counts. First, because Rachel will resonate with so many readers as a typical working mother, someone they can relate to. Second, because it doesn't go too deeply into aspects of her life (we never learn the names of her children or her Other Half, or what job she does) and stays firmly focussed on the subject of alcohol.




I particularly liked the metaphor where the author compares lifelong abstinence with her mortgage. Both are burdens which look huge and terrifying when viewed as a whole, but are manageable and life-affirming on a day-to-day basis. The book well written, interesting and not overlong, but for me its best feature is the overriding optimism and delight on every page. If it has one message, it's that the sober life is wonderful. Rachel was evidently taken by surprise to find how much better everything, from social events to Christmas, is when you're not focusing solely on wine and how to drink as much of it as possible without anyone noticing. That brightness and assurance shines throughout the book and lifts it above other "sobriety memoirs”.

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
Rachel Black is also the author of‘Fashionable and Fabulous’. Read her blog here.

Join her on Twitter @SoberRachel.



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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Ask People Who Know About Today's Education

 

Title: Lifting the Curtain: The Disgrace We Call Urban High School Education
By D. A. Russell
Second Edition
Paperback: 276 pages
Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2nd edition (January 5, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1506015980
ISBN-13: 978-1506015989
Blog tour by WOW (Women on Writing) WOW!
Buy the book at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lifting-Curtain-2nd-disgrace-education/dp/1506015980

Review by Renee Roberson

In the first edition of Lifting the Curtain, Russell outlined the issues that are plaguing today's high school educational system, and offered solutions necessary to incite change. After releasing the book, he heard feedback from so many teachers that he decided to put together a 2nd edition so their voices could be heard. It also includes additional topics that weren’t in the 1st edition, such as the loss of electives in today’s schools.

The author is a retired math teacher who felt an overwhelming need to document the very real problems with education that are affecting the children both inside and outside the classroom, by spending three years surveying 760 teachers and students in 19 urban high schools in 15 cities in Massachusetts.

I learned a lot personally from reading this book. I truly had no idea how difficult the teaching profession has become to navigate. If you are a teacher, you can’t just expect a love and passion for teaching children will carry you through the obstacles he outlines in this book. You’ll be stonewalled by PDPs, standardized testing mandates, the pressure to pass children, bullying by school administrators, and much more.

But rest assured. This book is not just one teacher ranting about the problems within the public school system. The responses from the students and teachers he surveyed as part of the book’s research speak volumes, as does the following quote:

We seem to have asked everyone outside of the school building what is wrong with education, but ignored the views of everyone inside the building.

The final chapter of the book provides a clear and set of solutions to all the problems Russell outlines in the earlier chapters of the book. But to learn what they are . . . you'll have to check out Lifting the Curtain for yourself!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D. A. Russell has spent the last ten years as a math teacher in one of the urban high schools that is the subject of Lifting the Curtain. He is an honors graduate of Dartmouth College, and has his master’s degree from Simon School, where he was valedictorian of his class. Russell is a decorated Vietnam veteran. He has two children that he treasures, and four grandchildren. His son is a police officer who served in the US Army in Afghanistan, earning a Bronze Star for valor. His daughter is a lawyer and his most passionate fan and honorary literary agent. Russell has a passion for children that dominates his life. He has taught and coached children for decades. Few things are more important in Russell’s view than to cherish the children who are our real treasures in this world. He is a contributor for education matters to the Huffington Post, and runs a personal blog at: LiftingTheCurtainOnEducation.wordpress.com dedicated to letting teacher voices be heard in the real problems with education.

 
ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer who also blogs at www.reneespages.blogspot.com. When she’s not writing, researching, or reviewing books, she assists authors as a blog tour manager with WOW! Women on Writing, which provides authors with excellent service and out-of-the-box book promotions.

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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Children's Book Helps Them Understand They Are Not Alone

Title:  Busy Dizzy
Author: Dr. Orly Katz
http://
www.SimplyMeModel.com  Category:  children's book
ASIN: B00HALMR6C
Amazon link


Reviewed by
  Busy Dizzy is a lovely educational book for children in the 4-8 range. It will help them to recognize those negative feelings that rise up inside of them that tell them they aren’t good enough, or that they will be laughed at, or not to try because they will lose, or any other negative thing that we sometimes tell ourselves. Dr. Katz helps children understand that they are not alone. Every child, and every adult too, has feelings like these and through this lovely rhyming story gives the child and parent a strategy for dealing with these feelings to deal with them and overcome them.

Busy Dizzy is written in delightful rhyming style, perfect for holding the attention of young children. The pages are brightly coloured, with interesting, colourful pictures.

The text is simple enough that as children begin to read, they will be able to read some of the text on their own with help from mom or dad. There is a song to sing to the Busy Dizzies to send them on their way which will help for practicing reading and as a pleasant way to divert the child’s mind from the negative thoughts troubling the child.

Included in the back of the book are some pages for the child to draw and name their Busy Dizzies as well as a couple of pages for parents with a few reminders of how to help your children deal with those negative thoughts.

I thought this book was an exceptional teaching aid for helping young children deal with those negative thoughts that get in the way of the child engaging in an activity he/she would like to participate in. I liked particularly that it empowers the child to do something about the situation such as naming the Busy Dizzy and then saying good bye to it and sending it away. Recognizing that all people have these kinds of fears/emotions is helpful because then the child doesn’t think that he/she is the only one. This would be an excellent book to use in a classroom or at home.

As a parent, I would recommend this book to all parents of young children and as a teacher myself, I would also recommend this book to schools. I gave this book 5 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the author, Dr. Orly Katz for providing a copy of Busy Dizzy in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author

Best seller author, Dr. Orly Katz (SimplyMeModel.com) is an expert on children and youth empowerment and the founder of the Simply Me Center for Leadership, Empowerment and Self Esteem. She is the author of numerous books on Amazon under the "Simply Me" series: (Surviving Junior High, Surviving Primary School and Busy Dizzy for ages 4-8).

Orly is also the creator and developer of the Simply Me- Digital Programs:
For teachers, parents and workshops facilitators:
"Empowering Adults to Empower Children".
Orly lives in Haifa, with her Husband and three children.
To get the "Supper Quiz" for Parents and find how well you know your children, go to:
http://simplymemodel.com/MevdakEN.asp 

You can watch Orly's TEDx talk- "Raising a star- not a celebrity" at:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=2yiWB-JDQus  
 
 
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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Maria Mar Gives Spirtual Nonfiction Book a Great Big Ten

Title: "Love and the Mystery of Betrayal: Recovering Your Faith and Trust after Trauma, Deception, and Loss of Love"
By Sandra Lee Dennis   
ISBN-13: 978-0986068423
Purchase at Amazon: http://bitly.com/1xRKgC5
Author website:  www.sandraleedennis.com
Genre: Nonfiction Narrative/ Relationships/Psychology/ Spirituality
Awards: Finalist USA Book News 2014

Reviewed by Maria Mar, blogger and author of “A Place for Roses” originally  for her blog  

“From all the books I’ve reviewed in 2014, this moving story and compelling journey is the uncontested winner!” Maria Mar, the Dream Alchemist

 
“If you are reading this book, it is likely that you or someone important to you is responding to an urgent call to open up a pained past or dive into the swirling seas of a currently upended life.” 
 
… And I am the living proof!
To say that it is an excellent book seems trivial. It is a sacred experience of healing through a deep dive into the transformation that betrayal brings into our life so that it can be cleared, healed and transmuted into a higher frequency of love.
That this book fell in my hands is simply part of Divine Design. This book is such a miracle. If it has found you, receive the blessing. For me this book is sacred. It has the qualities of a sacrament, of an anointment and ceremony that acknowledges both our human frailty and our superpowers.
Sandra Lee Dennis has achieved a rare marriage of soul, body, emotions, mind and spirit in her language, in the journey through which her book takes us, and in the knowledge she shares with us.
If you have gone through a betrayal—romantic or otherwise—it may have left pieces of poisonous thorns embedded in your soul and you may have left pieces of soul embedded in the time-space continuum of the trauma. A shaman would tell you that you need to do a soul retrieval. This book has the qualities of such a sacred ceremony.
You may not realize it but years—even decades after the trauma of betrayal—these unresolved pieces can result in health issues, relationship failures, or blind spots that grow into toxic fields and flood your life. These are psychic lakes of amnesia where your memory and awareness goes to sleep. You can close off entire aspects of your sacred self, your emotions and even your trust and faith in life.
The good news is that it is never too late, and if this topic resonates with you, then this book is your alchemical codex to free yourself from the limiting and traumatic impact of betrayal. If you have gone through the trauma of betrayal, no matter how long ago it was—get this book immediately and clear time not just for reading; but for healing.
The journey through this book is a healing experience that helps us to understand what we’ve gone through, to name the invisible, hidden cracks this trauma inflicted on our psyche, to validate our soulful intuition, and, finally, to help us emerge into an ecstatic experience of self-love and higher love.
If you are going through the trauma of betrayal now—get many copies of the book. One is for you. The other is for your closest friends and relatives; your support system, and one or two are for the healers or therapists of your choice. This book is your blueprint through the dark stormy seas of betrayal into the harbor of radiant health.
If someone you love has gone or is going through a betrayal—get two copies. One for you and one for that person. Read yours carefully so that you know how to talk to this person in ways that truly support her and how NOT to talk to her so that you don’t join the many insensitive voices that add salt to injury.
One of the things that appalls me about our modern world is the insensitivity to grieving. Sandra Lee Dennis does an amazing job of addressing our cultural blindness to the grief and trauma of betrayal; so that you can maneuver through it without shame, guilt or alienation from your sacred self.
Another Important topic that she introduces is our secret tendency to measure trauma based on how long, how tragic or how dramatic a trauma is; so that betrayal seems trivial in the face of death, serious car accidents, murder, rape or physical violence. This book is vital in our society because so many of us have been deeply traumatized by seemingly “minor” betrayals that have stolen essential parts of our self, limiting our lives and haunting us for years; perhaps for all our lives.
As the author points out, because betrayal often comes accompanied by personal shame, social embarrassment and relationship awkwardness, its devastation is swept under the rug and the person is expected to “get on with her life.” This leads to a social gag that compounds the problem, making the person feel that they are alone and that there is something wrong with them that they cannot “move on.”
Sandra Lee Dennis has broken the silence behind the trauma of betrayal by sharing her own excruciatingly painful and gloriously sacred journey from betrayal to the deepening and expansion of her capacity to love. She is blowing the whistle in a society that minimizes emotional trauma because it is afraid of things it cannot control, like emotions.
This author, who is also a doctor in psychology, writes this book in the voice of the sacred warrior who walks through fear into freedom, through pain into power. She also becomes a priestess of the sacred darkness who guides you through a journey into the dark night of the soul, revealing ancestral wisdom from the very womb of the holy mystery that has been held by priestesses in sacred feminine schools of wisdom.
Trust your heart to this author-healer-warrior. Walk inside this book to walk inside yourself and find your way back to your heart.
I give this book 5 STARS because my rating does not allow me to give it ten!

----- The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Monday, April 13, 2015

AND THE MUSIC PLAYS ON



----- The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Letter to the Author from Reviewer Ron English

Title:  One Night in Tehran: A Titus Ray Thriller
Author:  Luana Ehrlich
Website: http://www.luanaehrlich.com
Genre: Christian thriller
ISBN: 1500157236
ASIN: B00MKK5HEM
Amazon Purchase Link:

Reviewed by Ron English originally for Amazon
Amazon Reviewer: Ranking 330,190

 

Mrs. Ehrlich, I have just completed reading your novel, "One Night in Tehran". To say I was delighted with the storyline is an absolute understatement. You are a wonderful writer and storyteller. I don't know what I was expecting, but you exceeded by a country mile all of them. You set the stage for the next book. Your skill matches beautifully that of John Grisham and James Patterson. I have often said that authors and TV dramas could be just as interesting without profanity if they majored on the story. You have proven this to be true. The skillful and beautiful way you handled the Christian faith aspect was so well done that no one outside the faith should be concerned or have any hesitation in picking your book up and diving in. Christians on the other hand will marvel at the wonderful treatment you provided your faith and ours. Our Lord, I am sure, is happy with your book and will bless you abundantly as people discover this work. God bless you richly and thank you for this powerful story of intrigue and local setting. With best wishes for your next book and the next appearance of Titus Ray, Your Norman Fan, Ron English

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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spicy Reads Loves Contemporary Romance

Title: One to Save
Author: Tia Louise
Author's Web site link: http://www.AuthorTiaLouise.com
Genre or category: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 978-1508738503
Reviewer's rating: 5 Stars
BUY LINKS:
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/OTSA
iTunes: http://smarturl.it/OTSi
Google Play: http://smarturl.it/OTSG
Nook: http://smarturl.it/OTSN
Kobo: http://smarturl.it/OTSK
ARe: http://smarturl.it/OTSAR
Paperbacks on
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/OTSAp
CreateSpace: http://smarturl.it/OTSC    

Reviewed by  Shayna Renee originally for her Spicy Reads blog

ONE TO SAVE was a sizzling, suspenseful romance that took me to another place. I completely lost myself in this book! Derek and Melissa are characters that stuck with me from the beginning and embedded themselves in my heart. I felt the complete and undeniable love they they feel towards each other, and I felt the utter gut wrenching heartache that they went through in this book. I absolutely LOVE each installment of the ONE TO HOLD series, but this book, this incredible book, left me a blubbering mess and pulled emotions out of me left and right. Tia Louise is a genius at setting the scene, giving her readers a vivid, beautiful depiction of all that is going on, transporting us to this lovely world with ease. Tia Louise fans will fall in love with the latest ONE TO HOLD novel! 

And ladies...get ready to SWOON your panties off, because DEREK ALEXANDER is BACK!

Derek and Melissa have come so far. But secrets, lies, and deceptions prevent them from having the happily ever after they both deserve. Melissa knows what it's like to be in a relationship full of lies, and she WILL NOT go through that again. When Melissa pushes Derek away, he is devastated and broken. He knows he was in the wrong, protecting her but not communicating with her. He is determined to make things right. He will stop at nothing to see her smile once again. But what if it's too late? Fool me once and all that. 

ONE TO SAVE was one helluva page-turner. Steamy, action packed, and heartwarming, I can never get enough of this series. A story about finding your light in the darkness and never letting it go, Derek and Melissa's love story will be one to remember, one to cherish, and one to learn from. I know this was the happily ever after I always wanted for these two, but I hope that it isn't the last we hear from them. #DerekAndMelissaForever

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tia Louise is the author of sexy books with a twist.
* * *  One to Hold   * * *  One to Keep  * * *  One to Protect  * * * One to Love  * * *  One to Leave * * * One to Save

 




 
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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.