Incandescent Visions Spotlight Tour

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Through five short yet powerful, thought-provoking chapters of contemporary poems—and a dash of elegant, evocative haiku—Hudspeth takes his readers on a journey across the inner landscape of struggle, triumph, self-realization and imagination.

About Incandescent Visions

Having written numerous works of nonfiction, this is Lee Hudspeth’s debut book of poetry. Incandescent Visions explores the meaning of the human experience, as the author encourages his readers to ponder the universe and their place within it, and to catalyze their own creative potential. From the sublime shores of the Mediterranean to the majestic expansiveness of deep space, this book contemplates nostalgia, perspective and the gift of love. Through five short yet powerful, thought-provoking chapters of contemporary poems—and a dash of elegant, evocative haiku—Hudspeth takes his readers on a journey across the inner landscape of struggle, triumph, self-realization and imagination.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBook and Kobo.

About the Author

Lee Hudspeth is a poet, writer, musician and fellow human being. Incandescent Visions is his first book of poetry. He is the co-author of ten nonfiction books in the field of Information Technology. He has written articles for professional journals like PC Computing and Office Computing. He is the author of over one hundred articles in the online magazine The Naked PC, which he co-founded and co-published. He lives in Southern California with his wife, two sons and their cat. Find out more about Lee, his books and his music at LeeHudspeth.com.

You can connect with him on his website, Twitter and Instagram.

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Disclosure: This is a spotlight tour, I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

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The Science of Goo! Book Review

The glorious world of goop and gunk this book has it all – from pus, snot, and mucus to mud, snail slime, and sticky plants!

About The Science of Goo!

If you’ve ever wondered how much snot you make, or how spider silk is made, this is the book for you. Full of strange but true science, The Science of Goo! explores all manner of gunge, sludge, ooze, and goo!

Awesome CGI illustrations and stunning photography will show goo in all its glory, while fun trivia and scientific explanations will make you an expert in all things sludgy. For example, did you know that sea cucumbers can vomit their sticky insides when threatened, yet still survive?

The Science of Goo! is here to give you a new appreciation of the weird and wonderful world of gooey matter, in all its many kinds and wherever it shows up.

Our Thoughts

Science is fun, exciting and gross all at the same time. It is so important to get children interested in it at a young age by making science fun, interesting and something that they can relate to. We want to encourage young children to love science so that they don’t give up on it as they move into their pre-teen and teen years.

Kids love gooey, gross, slimy things and this book is full of it! This book teaches us all about fungus, slime, snot, eyeballs, saliva, snails, mucus, pimples and so much more. Each topic in this sixty page, soft cover book has two pages dedicated to it. We learn fast facts, the science behind the goo and even cool facts (I loved this one: In one week, a person makes enough saliva to fill 30 soda cans – gross!). While each page is full of information, it is also engaging with bold photos and colours that will engage your child and want them to learn more. The imagery and colours work well to help guide you through the information so that you don’t become overwhelmed.

We loved The Science of Goo! – it is full of great facts on things we never thought we wanted to know and even encouraged us to learn more. This will make a great gift for that budding scientist in your home.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Indigo.

Disclosure: We received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Stone Wall Book Review

Will Anna find true love and the truth about her grandmother’s past in Lancaster County? Or will she find only heartbreak?

About The Stone Wall

Anna is eager to begin a new chapter as a Lancaster County tour guide in the area where her Plain grandmother once stayed. Anna wishes she could talk with her grandmother about those days, but the elderly woman suffers from Alzheimer’s, and beyond a vague hint about an old stone wall, much about that time is a mystery. Thankfully, Martin Nolt, a handsome Mennonite, takes the young Beachy Amish woman under his wing for her training, familiarizing her with the many local highlights, including Peaceful Meadows Horse Retreat, which serves children with special needs. The retreat’s mission inspires Anna that she returns to volunteer, and she quickly strikes up a friendship with Gabe Allgyer, the young Amish widower who manages it.

As Anna grows closer to both Martin and Gabe, she finds herself faced with a difficult choice. Will Anna find true love and the truth about her grandmother’s past in Lancaster County? Or will she find heartbreak? 

My Thoughts

The Stone Wall is a beautiful blend of past and present, where we see love come full circle.

Anna is feeling a calling, she is not quite sure what it is but she trusts in God and in her heart. She feels that she is being called to the gorgeous Lancaster County as she tries out a not so new role as a tour guide. She has heard bits and pieces about her grandmother’s time there but as she now suffers from Alzheimer’s, it is hard to speak to her about this new journey (something that hurts her as the two were so close). But this trip sparks something in her grandmother’s mind and she shares small pieces from her past – a stone wall and waiting for someone. Anna is not quite sure what it means but would love to understand the connection, as her Grandmother means everything to her.

Anna finds adjusting to the different lifestyle easily, she is welcomed into the community and is viewed as a blessing by those she meets and stays with. Her heart though is torn in two when she meets two young men – one whom she knows her parents would want her to pursue and the second, one she feels a deep connection with but she knows her parents would not approve.

Anna is an amazing character, full of strength, compassion and determination. She has a gentle, kind soul and you can see this in her interactions. It takes her a while to see what her heart already knew and my heart was sore for her with this decision she must make. It is her faith in God that brought me so much joy, she has a deep connection to her faith and trusts in herself and the decisions she makes are what has been chosen for her. I loved how we saw love come full circle and how the story ended, it made me cry! This is a beautiful story from start to finish.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

Beverly Lewis penned her first story at age nine while living near Lancaster County Amish farmland, where she grew up. She welcomes her many reader-friends each day on Facebook and personally replies to fan mail. Lewis lives with her husband in Colorado near their family. Visit her website at www.beverlylewis.com.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

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Something Worth Doing Book Review

Based on a true story of a pioneer for women’s rights from award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick will inspire you to believe that some things are worth doing, even when the cost is great.

About Something Worth Doing

In 1853, Abigail Scott was a 19-year-old school teacher in Oregon Territory when she married Ben Duniway. Marriage meant giving up on teaching, but Abigail always believed she was meant to be more than a good wife and mother. When financial mistakes and an injury force Ben to stop working, Abigail becomes the breadwinner for her growing family. What she sees as a working woman appalls her, and she devotes her life to fighting for women’s rights, including their right to vote.

Follow Abigail as she bears six children, runs a millinery and a private school, helps on the farm, writes novels, gives speeches, and eventually runs a newspaper supporting women’s suffrage, Something Worth Doing explores issues that will resonate strongly with modern women: the pull between career and family, finding one’s place in the public sphere, and dealing with the frustrations and prejudices women encounter when they compete in male-dominated spaces. Based on a true story of a pioneer for women’s rights from award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick will inspire you to believe that some things are worth doing, even when the cost is great.

My Thoughts

Something Worth Doing is a powerful book about standing up for what is right, the struggles and frustrations that women face as they balance work and family and the fight that women have faced to gain basic human rights.

Abigail is a fighter, she stands up for what she believes in and doesn’t back down. She also has a softer side to her, something that she doesn’t really let others see. She loves her family and husband, she just finds it unfair the position that she is constantly put in. That she must consistently put family and others before even herself. I loved that she had the courage to stand up for herself to the men in society (how could male friends of her husband come over and expect to be fed?!) and that her husband for the most part defends and supports her. Throughout the novel, Abigail re-invents herself to keep her family going. She was a teacher, than wife and mother, add in author, running a millinery, private school and then a newspaper! She does all of this to support her family and to show the world (and her own daughters) the real worth of a woman. That women can do anything a man can do and that we should never bend to society.

Abigail does pay a price for her determination and her never ending fight for equal rights. She is treated poorly by others in society, her brother is awful to her and she misses out on events and important moments with her family (I found at times, it felt like she was made to feel guilty for having to choose). This is the constant, impossible position that we as women are put through all the time. We must choose between family and work – choose your work and you are a bad Mom, choose your family and you are viewed as not working hard enough.

This is an excellent novel that highlights the struggles that women have faced, how hard they fought to get us where we are today and how hard we are still fighting today. A definite must read for all young adults and adults alike.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling and award-winning author of more than 30 books, including One More River to CrossEverything She Didn’t SayAll Together in One PlaceA Light in the WildernessThe Memory WeaverThis Road We Traveled, and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have won the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and the 2016 Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award. Jane divides her time between Central Oregon and California with her husband, Jerry, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Caesar. Learn more at www.jkbooks.com

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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A Haven for Her Heart Book Review

Can love prove stronger than prejudice and past mistakes? Or will Olivia’s secrets destroy any chance at a future together?

About A Haven for Her Heart

Homeless after being released from a women’s reformatory in 1939
Toronto, Olivia Rosetti is taken in by an angel of mercy, Ruth Bennington. The two discover they share a painful past and together decide to open a maternity home for troubled women.

Despite the success of the home, Olivia is haunted by her inhumane treatment at the reformatory and the way her newborn son was taken from her. She feels undeserving of love–until she meets businessman Darius Reed. Although his attention makes her heart soar, he can never learn of her past.

Greek widower Darius Reed is determined to protect his daughter from the prejudice that killed her mother. He’ll ensure her future by marrying a woman from a respected Toronto family. But when Darius meets Olivia, he’s immediately drawn to her beauty and compassion.  

My Thoughts

I had so many emotions as I read this incredible novel. I cried, I laughed, I felt pride and I also felt anger. I was angry that women were treated this way (and up until quite recently!) and the fact that we are never taught about this, it is almost as though they would prefer to sweep this part of our history under the covers.

Olivia is an incredible young woman, her strength, her compassion and perseverance is inspiring. Her fiancé is off fighting in the war and before he left, they had one special night together which resulted in a pregnancy. Her very religious and Italian family take advantage of a law that has Olivia imprisoned. During this time, her child is taken from her and unspeakable things are done to her. When she is let out of prison, she is left alone in the world as her parents have disowned her and erased her from their lives. Instead of giving up, she meets a woman with a similar past and together they envision a future where women are respected, treated with compassion regardless of the situation they find themselves in out of wedlock. They open a maternity home for women who are pregnant and they quickly become quite popular.

Olivia and Ruth face constant pressure from society to close their facility but together they bring compassion and hope to these young women. When Olivia meets a young man, my heart is so happy for her but can she forgive her past to allow her to have an incredible future full of the love she deserves? Can she balance the work she does, with her own traumatic past and the healing that her mind and body need?

I loved every moment of this book, I didn’t want it to end (to be honest I would love to read a second installment!). Olivia’s character is raw, honest and real. We feel her pain, her insecurity but also her fighting spirit, compassion and love. Not only is this a well told story but it encourages you to do your own digging into the way women were treated during this time period. You feel outrage and want to know more (and why is this never taught to us?). A Haven for Her Heart is a definite must read novel.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Susan Anne Mason’s historical novel Irish Meadows won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA as well as the Christian Retailer’s Choice Award for Debut Novel. A member of ACFW, Susan lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children. She can be found online at www.susanannemason.net

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

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