Monday, April 24, 2017

A Bicycle Built For Two Billion by Jamie Bianchini


Jamie Bianchini needed a lift. A big one. After a series of spectacular business flops drove him into bankruptcy and the love of his life kissed him goodbye, Jamie knew he needed a world of help. But instead of seeking assistance from a counselor or support group, Jamie sought comfort where he’d always found it…on his bicycle.

As his world hit rock bottom, Jamie hatched a crazy plan that just might make everything right. His life lacked purpose, passion, and connection with his fellow man. So Jamie decided to go for a bicycle ride…around the world…on a tandem…solo…inviting everyone he met to join him for a spin.

A Bicycle Built for Two Billion is the moving story of an audacious optimist who tried to change the world – while hoping the world would change him – one rider at a time. A heartfelt, hilarious, adrenaline-fueled journey through 81 countries, A Bicycle Built for Two Billion will allow you to see the planet in a way never experienced before.

Come join Jamie and his unforgettable cast of co-pedalers – from inspiring villagers to conniving thieves, romantic paramours to unlikely gurus, excited school kids to seniors who have never set foot on a pedal. Come join them all for the ride of your life.

Includes nearly 200 spectacular photos and videos captured around the world, bringing this rich story to life.

My Thoughts

This book made me want to jump on a bicycle and take off on a little trip of my own!  However, I am definitely not in shape to do so!  I don't think I would make it a mile down the road!

I enjoyed this book immensely.  I especially enjoyed the honesty and vulnerability of the author.  Many people may find things about Jamie to be fairly unlikeable at times but, like I said, his honesty and openness draws you in.

His story was so much more than I ever expected.  I was intrigued from the beginning and it held my attention to the very end.  I could close my eyes and picture every location, every adventure, every individual.  Such great storytelling that at times you forget that it's about his real life.  Pick it up!  You won't be disappointed.

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sock Fancy - An Awesome Sock Subscription Company!

First, let me say that this is not a book review.  However, this is really cool!

I received an email a few weeks ago from a company called Sock Fancy.  They asked if I would like for them to send a sample and, if I liked what I received, if I would be willing to tell my readers about their company.  I agreed and just about a week later a box was in my mailbox!

Sock Fancy is a sock subscription company.  Basically, choose to give the socks as a gift or subscribe for yourself, pick your sock size, choose your subscription length, and then checkout!  Awesome, random socks will be sent to you every month according to what subscription package you chose.

When I received the sample I was very pleasantly surprised!  I was expecting one, maybe two, pairs of socks.  They sent a box of six!  And they are such great quality!

I definitely recommend Sock Fancy!  What a great idea!  Check out their website and see for yourself!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Girl Who Could Read Hearts by Sherry Maysonave

Goodreads Summary

Intuitive as a child, Sherry Maysonave has had mystical experiences throughout her life. At the mere age of five, she had a direct experience of her soul existing separately from her physical body, which forever changed her perception of God, life on earth, and life in heaven.

Inspired by a vivid dream with Sherry’s deceased sister shouting from a mountaintop, this story—The Girl Who Could Read Hearts—was born. 

An inspirational novel, this moving story teems with intrigue while exploring the mysteries of intuition, angels, death, the afterlife, prejudice, and miracles. 

Born gifted with a rare seventh sense—the ability to read human hearts coupled with keen intuition—Kate Kindrick struggles to understand her capabilities. She is often bewildered by her unique perceptions, combined with seeing symbols and colors in people’s hearts. 

Kate’s parents fear that their young daughter suffers from delusional psychosis. Their concerns are intensified by her claims that she has conversations with an angel. Only her grandmother, who is gravely ill, and her uncle, a famous writer, encourage Kate to develop her gifts. 

Yet it’s her naiveté of the intuitive signs that augur trouble. When she doesn’t heed an inner warning, her world spins into a dangerous spiral that spells hazard for her and those she loves. Her antics land her cherished uncle in the hospital. His life hangs in the balance.

Just when she believes things couldn’t get worse, her life cascades down a doubly treacherous path. She is forced to spend extended time with her teenage cousin, Marilla Marzy, and the girl’s sinister father—Vaynem Moxsin. Tormented by both of them, she prays for rescue. Shocking events transpire.

This captivating novel explores issues relevant to many of today’s societal woes: prejudice, abuse, eating disorders, and limiting belief systems. It delves into the mysteries of death and of angels, plus intuition, finding God in all, and true love. 
Full of spirit, this poignant story brims with inspiration, daring, and hope.

My Thoughts

Although this book may have started out a bit slow for me, I almost put it down a few times, when it did pick up it basically flew!  The Girl Who Could Read Hearts gave me so many emotions throughout the story, a literal emotional journey.  Trust me, get past the first few chapters and you will be glad you stuck with it.

Kate was such a sweet character and you just want to wrap her up and protect her.  She was by far the best in the book.  There were definite "good guys" and "bad guys" portrayed in this book and they were made very clear.  No confusion or gray areas about who they were or what their motives were.

The Girl Who Could Read Hearts is well written and the concept of 'reading hearts' is creative and extremely interesting.  I'm so pleased to have been given the opportunity to read and review this book.

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Szen Zone by Gary Szenderski

Goodreads Summary

Szen Zone: Reaching a State of Positive Change, by Gary Szenderski, is a compilation of stand-alone short stories and observations that celebrate the power in each of us to create positive change in our lives, to be what we want to be. 

Where ZEN is of the moment and what is, SZEN celebrates what could be. 

Szen Zone contains lighthearted and positive narrative on life and its possibilities, with stories that cover the gamut from interesting to profound. 

The general overarching theme of the book is change and all of the aspects of it - creating, surviving, and managing change with the goal to recognize the power we have to create positive change in our lives and be what we want to be. 

If you are a fan of short inspirational stories like those in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, then this is a book you would certainly enjoy. Wherever you may find yourself in life, you will discover an insight or example in this book to help you change course and take charge of your life.

My Thoughts

When I was contacted about reading this book I was pretty excited, to say the least.  Reading other reviews and simply reading about the book itself had me checking the PO Box daily looking for this gem in the mail.  I wasn't disappointed.

This was exactly what I was looking for.  Something to read nightly, just before bed, that was uplifting and didn't consume a lot of my time.  One, or sometimes two, short stories a night.  I just loved it!  And the Szenippets were my favorite parts!

Thank you, Book Publicity Services, for sending this gem of a book to me!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review.

The Other Side Of Courage

Goodreads Summary

Elizabeth Blackwell was a brave and persistent pioneer who overcame all adversities to earn a degree in medicine, becoming the first woman doctor in the world. Her path was not without suffering the constant throes of anger and antipathy from the all-male medical profession. However, despite this bitter and harsh treatment, Elizabeth was determined to prevail through stubborn courage and an iron-clad will and triumphed for the good of all society.

My Thoughts

Although I am sure that I have heard her name before, I can't remember learning much about Elizabeth Blackwell.  That is, at least, not until now.  The Other Side of Courage didn't really feel much like a fiction novel, but more like I was reading a biography of her life.  Those words may turn people away from reading this book if you're not really into reading biographies but, let me tell you, don't let it scare you.  While there were a few times when it felt a bit slow, it would soon turn and peak my interest again.  It is very well written and I really do recommend it.

Thank you, CyPress Publications, for sending it my way!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Kena the Good Hyena: Left Out by Gabriela Arellano and Gustavo Mazali

Goodreads Summary

Kena's birthday is coming. The cub invites all his classmates to his party, except one: Bako. Kena's mom intervenes to have Bako invited as well.
At the end, Kena realizes that a single act of friendship can lead to a beautiful outcome.

My Thoughts

This was a cute little book with a great message.  As an elementary teacher, I am always trying to get the children to be kind and be friends with each other.  This book was a great tool in helping them to understand a little better why excluding each other can hurt feelings. I read it to my class and they didn't see it as a "lesson" but instead just a fun time of classroom reading.

Thank you, Gabriela Arellano, for sending this book to me!  I love having new books to read to my class!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Ravenstone: The Secret of Ninham Mountain by Diane Solomon and Mark Carey

Goodreads Summary

"You were born to this path! This quest is your fate."

Imagine a raven appearing out of thin air and guiding you to an exquisitely carved icon that glows with ancient light and pulses with shamanic power.

This is how the adventure begins for Nadia and Aidan Shaw, thirteen-year-old twins, who live in idyllic Cold Spring, New York, on the banks of the Hudson River.  Armed with the power of the Ravenstone and their own special gifts, they embark on a harrowing quest across centuries, at the bidding of a mysterious old shaman. They must depend on their courage, their faith in their friends, and luck. Or is it destiny?

If they succeed, what they bring back could change the course of human existence.

My Thoughts

The Ravenstone: The Secret of Ninham Mountain may have been written for children/middle grade readers but I loved it!  When asked to read and review this book I figured it would be a cute little book and that if I wasn't able to get into it (since it is a children's/middle grade book) I would consider having my daughter read and review it for me.  Well, that clearly wasn't an issue at all!  I will tell her that she should read it, but only because it was so good!

I don't recall reading many, if any, books about twins so that was interesting in itself.  There were honestly so many interesting things in this book!  It kept me wanting to read and I found myself trying to sneak in extra times to read a chapter or two.  As a matter of fact, I "went to bed" early so that I could finish it last night!

I will certainly be recommending this book!  Not just to children or middle graders, but to anyone who enjoys reading science fiction, fantasy, action, magical type genres.  Thank you, Mark Carey, for sending this book to me!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.