Thursday, January 22, 2015

Yell Less, Love More by Sheila McCraith - Review

Yell Less, Love More
by Sheila McCraith 

How the Orange Rhino Mom Stopped Yelling at Her Kids - and How You Can Too!: A 30-Day Guide That Includes: - 100 Alternatives to Yelling - Simple, Daily Steps to Follow - Honest Stories to Inspire

The Rhino: A naturally calm animal that charges when provoked.

The Orange Rhino: A person that parents with warmth and determination and who doesn't charge with words when angry, impatient, or simply in a bad mood.

Do you often find yourself losing your cool and yelling at your kids? It happens to us all, but it doesn't have to. With Yell Less, Love More you'll learn practical, simple solutions to keep you focused on loving more and yelling less, no matter what the circumstance. It is possible to change and enjoy a calmer life because of it! Take the Orange Rhino 30-day challenge to yell less. In this guidebook to happier parenting, author Sheila McCraith shares daily thoughts, tips, and motivational personal stories to help you toss out the screams and welcome in the peace. Whether you have one child or twenty (or one you still yell at who is twenty), strengthen your relationships and maybe even laugh a little more--by taking the challenge today.

Goodreads * Amazon

My review:

I absolutely love this book. It is broken down into a 30 day guide. Each day includes a personal story from the author about her own journey and challenges to stop yelling, tips to help you stop yelling, actions to take to help you on your own journey, "Orange Rhino Revelations," plus inspirational quotes. This book is totally written as if the author, Sheila McCraith, is writing directly to the reader and is right there trying to help you. At the end of the book, there is "Beyond Day 30" and a summary of key points, including some of the most common triggers along with good suggestions for solutions. There is even an "Orange Rhino" sign on the back flap that you can cut out to put up in a high yelling area.

Can you stop yelling without reading this book? Of course. You can even do the Orange Rhino Challenge without this book. The author's blog, Facebook page, and Orange Rhino community are great resources. However, having this book would definitely be a plus, and I highly recommend purchasing it to help you on your way to yelling less and loving more.

I won an autographed copy from MomCaveTV. I was not required to write a review.

About the author:

Sheila McCraith, also known as The Orange Rhino®, is a mom to four boys, all under the age of 7. In January 2012, after her handyman caught her screaming at her boys, she made a promise that she would go 365 days straight without yelling at her kids. To chronicle her progress, keep herself accountable, and find support, Sheila launched her blog, The Orange Rhino Challenge®, shortly after her promise was made. She successfully met her goal in 2013 and continues to work everyday at yelling less and loving more.

Sheila has been featured in Parents magazine, where she was the 2013 winner of “Blog Most Likely to Help You Achieve a Goal” and her article “10 Things I Learned When I Stopped Yelling at My Kids” instantly became a viral hit on The Huffington Post. She has also been featured on Babycenter.com, Mothering.com, Everydayfamily.com, Allparenting.com, Families.com, and more.

Find out more at TheOrangeRhino.com

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Gluten-Free on a Budget by Chandice Probst & Tana Besendorfer - Review




Gluten-Free on a Budget
by Chandice Probst & Tana Besendorfer
Published: January 13, 2015
by Front Table Books (Cedar Fort)

Amazon

Eat Gluten-Free Without Going Broke!

Keep those pennies in your pockets - your gluten-free lifestyle doesn't have to cost a fortune. Now you can enjoy all your family's favorite foods while cutting the gluten and the cost!

Try all the delicious recipes, like...
- Crepes with Sweet Cream and Strawberries
- Chicken Pot Pies
- Mini Banana Breads
- Chocolate Caramel Toffee Cake

From breakfast to dinner and dessert, this is a full-course cookbook on a one-course budget. And with food that's so delicious, and so good for you and your bank account,this is one cookbook you'll want to use for every meal!

My review:
This is a great gluten-free cookbook for those new to eating gluten-free or ones who have been at it for awhile who would like ideas to cut the costs or who want new recipes. The beginning section includes basics of eating gluten-free, ways to do so on a budget, and suggestions for stocking a gluten-free pantry. Then there are tons of recipes with mouth-watering pictures and little notes from the authors. With recipes like Sweet & Spicy Pork Roast, Easy Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Pot Pie (including a way to make with leftovers), Cheeseburger Soup, Bomb Breakfast Burritos, and Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread), you are sure to find many you enjoy. Plus, there are many scrumptious desserts like Granny Smith Apple Crisp, Blueberry Turnovers, Chocolate Caramel Toffee Cake, and "Whatever Cake." Then there is a section of traditional holiday recipes made gluten-free, such as Green Bean Casserole with Homemade Fried Onions.

Of course, I cannot try every recipe before I review a cookbook, but we have enjoyed all the ones we had a chance to make, and I am excited about making many more of these. I know this book is going to get a lot of use at our house, and I would highly recommend it if you eat gluten-free or as a gift for someone you love who does.

A copy was provided for an honest review. 

About the authors:
Chandice Probst is the Founder of popular website, www.glutenfreefrenzy.com, which is known as the #1 gluten free giveaway site and provides individuals with recipes, reviews, giveaways and much more. She is Co-Founder and CEO of Gluten Free Calendar, which hosts Celebrate Celiac™ events and Celiac Awareness Nights with professional athletic teams nationwide to promote celiac awareness, raise proceeds for non-profit research facilities and achieve the companies slogan of Unity in the Gluten Free Community™.

Chandice founded the Celiac Disease Foundation Arizona East Valley Chapter in 2009 and enjoyed serving as the President for four years. She has a Bachelors of Science in exercise and health wellness from Arizona State University and graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors. Recently she joined the Delight Gluten Free Magazine team as a regular contributing writer and is also an Expert Among Us writer for SheKnows.com. Chandice has been featured on ABC 15 Sonoran Living, Channel 12 Arizona Midday and in print publications, Women’s World, The Arcadian Journal and Total Kid Magazine. She was a regular contributor on Channel 3 Your Life A to Z in Arizona for over a year as their gluten-free guru before her family made the move to St. George, UT. In her spare time, she also teaches gluten-free cooking classes and seminars and enjoys being a guest speaker nationwide at different gluten-free expos and events. In addition to her above professions, Chandice considers her role as a wife, mother and everyday cook to her family to be of greatest value.

Tana Besendorfer has been a passionate cook since the age of 11. She got her first job at her hometown restaurant, Mom’s Café, making pies. Tana is known by all who associate with her as one of the greatest cooks. She is a foodie with focus on health and nutrition to heal the body. Tana is currently a buyer for Real Foods Market where she seeks out the best products to be featured in these one of a kind stores. Her greatest passion is still cooking with and for her family. She especially loves making the holidays more enjoyable for everyone with themed, nutritious food that would put a smile on anyone’s face. Friends of the family often congregate at her home just to enjoy her “famous” cooking.
 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Unforgettable by Shannon Richard - Excerpt


Excerpt:


She looked up at him, her heart in her throat. She couldn’t give him what he wanted. Couldn’t tell him the truth. She wasn’t ready. Telling him the truth, all of the truth, would rip her wide open, and she couldn’t handle that pain yet.

She wasn’t sure if she’d ever be able to handle that pain.

“Fine. I’ll go first.” He somehow moved closer to her. “Me kissing you is never a mistake. There are a lot of things in my life that I’d take back, but my lips on yours? That’s not one of them. I know that fact without a doubt.”


He reached up and pulled her glasses from her face, setting them on the counter behind her before he lowered his mouth to hers. He nipped at her bottom lip, pulling it gently before his tongue darted out. He didn’t even get it past her bottom lip before her mouth was covering his, her tongue sliding along his.

He let go of her hands, letting them drop to her sides before he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her entirely against his body.

He had her backed up against the kitchen counter again, their hot and hungry mouths eating at the others. 

Every notion about fighting this thing with him flew out of her head, and she let herself go over to it. To all of it. All of him.

“Does this feel like a mistake, Hannah?” He pulled back, resting his forehead against hers as he looked down into her eyes. “Right now,in this moment.Does it?”

Her voice didn’t want to work, and it took her a second to form a response. “No.” She shook her head. “No, it doesn’t.”

“What about this? My hands on you?” he asked, his eyes not leaving hers as he moved his palms under her shirt, running them up and down her bareback before he moved them to her sides.

“No.” She couldn’t stop the shiver that ran through her body, and his mouth turned up in that predatory grin of his. 

“Or this?” This time his eyes did leave hers as he dropped his head and put his mouth on her neck, his tongue flicking against her skin.

Her answer was a long, low moan that went all the way down to her toes.
“Do you want me to stop?” he asked right before he ran his tongue along her collarbone.

“No.” Her eyes closed of their own accord as her head fell back. “Please.”
“Please what?” Kisses across her shoulder.

“Please don’t stop.” 

“Well, aren’t those lovely words?” His lips were working back up her neck, and then he found her mouth again. He was consuming her with his kisses, inhaling her. And his hands. Holy hell they were still running wildly over her hips and back. And then he brought one between them, his fingers tracing around her belly button before it moved low on her belly.

He flicked the button on her jeans open and then went on to her zipper, pulling it down slowly. Maybe he was giving her another chance to protest.
There wasn’t a chance in hell she was going to stop it this time. 

Unforgettable
(Country Roads #4)
Shannon Richard
Expected publication: January 13, 2015
by Forever Yours (Hachette Book Group)

Goodreads * Amazon

One long, hot summer would never be enough . . .

Attorney Hannah Sterling lives a life she's worked hard for. So when she unexpectedly inherits an inn, Hannah decides to take that long overdue holiday and settle her eccentric grandmother's estate. She knew there would be challenges, but what's hardest about returning to Mirabelle, Florida, is facing the man who gave her the most passionate summer of her life-and then broke her heart.

Nathanial Shepherd never forgot the redheaded goddess who lit up his world and got away. Now that she's home, Shep vows to make up for their years apart-and if the fire in her kiss is any indication, they're well on their way. But when a devastating secret from their past threatens their future, Shep must fight to heal Hannah's heart. Because this time, their love will truly be unforgettable . . .

 
About the author:
 Shannon Richard grew up in the Florida Panhandle as the baby sister of two overly protective but loving brothers. She was raised by a more than somewhat eccentric mother, a self-proclaimed vocabularist who showed her how to get lost in a book and a father who passed on his love for coffee and really loud music. She graduated from Florida State University with a BA in English Literature and still lives in Tallahassee where she battles everyday life with writing, reading, and a rant every once in a while. Okay, so the rants might happen on a regular basis. She's still waiting for her Southern, scruffy, Mr. Darcy, and in the meantime writes love stories to indulge her overactive imagination. Oh, and she's a pretty big fan of the whimsy. 

Find out more at ShannonRichard.net



Monday, January 5, 2015

The Forgotten Girls (Louise Rick / Camilla Lind #7) by Sara Blaedel - Review

The Forgotten Girls
(Louise Rick/Camilla Lind #7)
by Sara Blaedel
Expected publication: February 3, 2015
by Grand Central Publishing

In a forest in Denmark, a ranger discovers the fresh corpse of an unidentified woman. A large scar on one side of her face should make the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. After four days, Louise Rick-the new commander of the Missing Persons Department-is still without answers. But when she releases a photo to the media, an older woman phones to say that she recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago. Lisemette, like the other children in the institution, was abandoned by her family and branded a "forgotten girl." But Louise soon discovers something more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates over 30 years ago. As the investigation brings Louise closer to her childhood home, she uncovers more crimes that were committed-and hidden-in the forest, and finds a terrible link to her own past that has been carefully concealed.


My review: 
When the body of an unidentified woman is found, the case is turned over to Louise Rick and her new partner, Eik. When they uncover the woman's identity, they are shocked to find out a death certificate had been issued for her 30 years ago. They also discover another death certificate for her twin, and there are reasons to believe that if one death certificate was a fake, the other is as well. So now Louise is looking for the dead woman's twin and why there was a fake death certificate issued. The area surrounding where the body was found was where Louise grew up, so memories from her past come flashing back to her as she investigates. Along the way, she is forced to face many things she would rather forget. 

According to Goodreads, this was first published in 2011 in another language. As another reviewer mentioned, I too wonder if something got lost in translation. The main underlying mystery was an intriguing plot. I also appreciate Louise's past connections with the suspects; however, I felt that too much of Louise's current and past life was included for very little reason. As this is part of a series, it may make more sense if all of the books were read, but a lot of it seemed to be unnecessary when just reading this book alone. I also thought the intimate relationship between Louise and Eik seemed to be thrown in as an afterthought. I think it is fine that it is there, and it does add something interesting to the plot, but it needed to be a bit more developed. The mystery itself, though, was fascinating, and I needed to keep reading to unravel the story concerning the twins. So, while I do think the story is good, I think it didn't really flow very well and parts of it either needed to be more developed or incorporated more smoothly. If you enjoy mysteries, you may enjoy this book. However, if you like a faster-paced story, you may find yourself frustrated with this one.

About the author:
Sara Blaedel (aka Sarah Blædel) is one of Denmark's most successful crime writers, the author of the bestselling series of novels featuring police detective Louise Rick.

Sara has come full circle from her childhood days of hearing her mother read Agatha Christie aloud. "It brings me peace to know that it all began with crime fiction as a child, and that it is there, after a thousand detours, that I have landed again. As a child I found peace in crime novels, and it is with them that I find peace today. There has been some turbulence along the way, but I wouldn't have avoided any of it. I wouldn't have reached the place I have without all of it happening." And that place Sara has reached includes seven published novels with an eighth on the way. Her novels are published in seventeen countries and appear in fifteen languages, and the film rights have been optioned. Her hard work and determination have branded her the "Queen of Crime" in Denmark.

Today, Sara lives north of Copenhagen with her family. She has always loved animals; she still enjoys horse riding and shares her home with her cat and golden retriever. When she isn't busy committing brutal murders on the page, she is an ambassador with Save the Children and serves on the jury of a documentary film competition.
  

Find out more at SaraBlaedel.com.   

Friday, January 2, 2015

I've Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm by Kelly Bowen - Review

I've Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm
(The Lords of Worth #1)
by Kelly Bowen
Published: December 16, 2014
by Forever

Where Secrets Smolder...

Calm. Cool. Collected. Gisele Whitby has perfected the art of illusion—her survival, after all, has depended upon it. Years ago, to escape an abusive husband, Gisele "disappeared." Now she must risk revealing her new identity to save another innocent girl from the same fate. But she needs a daring man for her scheme, and the rogue in question shows a remarkable talent . . . for shattering Gisele's carefully constructed façade and igniting her deepest desires.

...Passion Ignites.

This isn't the first time Jamie Montcrief has awakened naked and confused from a night of drinking. It is, however, the first time a stunningly beautiful woman offers him payment afterward. Gisele has a business proposition for him, a mission involving cunning thievery and a brazen rescue. How can he say no to a plot this dangerous . . . and a woman this delectable?



My review:
This is no weeping-willow, damsel-in-distress historical romance. Gisele is an amazing take-charge kind of heroine. Gisele was being abused by her husband, so she took matters into her own hands and faked her step-daughter's and her own death to get them away from him. Gisele then took this further and started helping other abused women fake their deaths to get a new start at life. But now Gisele's husband, the Marquees of Valence, is remarrying for money, and Gisele can't just stand by and let another woman experience the pain she did. However, she needs someone who can slip into the social scene of the royalty of London to help her stop the marriage. In comes Jamie Montcrief. And he is even better than Gisele originally imagined, because he grew up in a royal family. 

Kelly Bowen did a great job with her debut historical romance. Gisele is an amazing heroine; probably one of my favorites from an historical romance. In addition to Gisele and Jamie's love story, we get an awesome story of a kick-ass heroine who is trying to save someone else, and I was interested in following along to find out what would happen just as much as I enjoyed the romance. The main characters were well developed as were the secondary characters, especially Eleanor, the Duchess of Worth, and the writing style was engaging and easy to follow. I really enjoyed this novel, and I would gladly read another one by Kelly Bowen. I would recommend this author and this book to anyone who enjoys historical romance. 

About the author:
Kelly Bowen grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She worked her way through her teenage years as a back country trail guide and ranch hand. She attended the University of Manitoba and earned a Master of Science degree in veterinary physiology and endocrinology.

But it was Kelly's infatuation with history and a weakness for a good love story that led her down the path of historical romance. When she is not writing, she seizes every opportunity to explore ruins and battlefields.

Currently, Kelly lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two boys, all of whom are wonderfully patient with the writing process. Except, that is, when they need a goalie for street hockey.
 

Find out more at KellyBowen.net.    

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