Category: book review

Mickey on the Move Book Review

iRead Book Tours

In Mickey on the Move, a young boy with deafness in his ears is aided by his mother and teachers in navigating new school experiences. 

About Mickey on the Move

In this bighearted book, the real story of a young boy with deafness in his ears is aided by his mother and teachers in navigating new school experiences. Mickey is just like everyone else, except he wears cochlear implants and has to do things just a little differently than most. This charming tale reminds us that we can all find happiness if we lean on and support each other.

Our Thoughts

The start of the school year brings challenges for all students – the unknown, new classmates, new classrooms, new teachers and so much more. While this can be tough for anyone, Mickey faces a different challenge. Mickey looks like any other child in this story but when he was born, he could not hear and he had bilateral cochlear implant surgery to help him. He is supported at school with a few modifications to ensure that he can succeed and enjoy school like his classmates.

In this book, we explore Mickey’s world at school and the small changes that are made that help Mickey thrive at school. I loved learning about the ways that the school and teachers adjusted to help Mickey (small microphone worn by the teacher and moving to a quieter classroom for some times for focused learning). While it may have been easier to identify the supports he would need before he entered the school, it was something that was hard to plan for that caused Mickey to not be spending time with his friends in the cafeteria. I loved seeing how quickly they managed to come up and implement a new solution to support Mickey.

This was a wonderful story about a young boy who is deaf as he navigates the educational system. It is a beautiful story of friendship and support – he is supported by his Mother, his friends and his teachers as they look at ways to support his learning and social engagement. I loved how his team of supporters came together to brainstorm a solution for Mickey. This is a great book for young readers to educate, and to inspire other children just like Mickey. It was easy to read and the illustrations were lovely.

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

About the Author

Born and raised in Chicago, Michelle Wagner was always a very positive and outgoing woman. Her energetic love for children and zest for life was admired by everyone who knew her. Michelle is a realtor whose career background involved restaurants and always helping other people. She has dedicated time and support to charities and events to help other children with hearing loss and assist families as they work through the different approaches to raising a special needs child in a typical environment.

You can connect with her on her website and Instagram.

The Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Continue Reading

To Ride a White Horse

iRead Book Tours

Award-winning author Pamela Ford captures the anguish of a devastating period in Irish history and delivers a historical saga of hope, loyalty, the strength of the human spirit, and the power of love in To Ride a White Horse. 

About To Ride a White Horse

Ireland 1846. With Ireland ravaged by famine and England unsympathetic to its plight, Kathleen Deacey faces a devastating choice – leave her country to find work or risk dying there. Despising the English for refusing to help Ireland, she crosses the ocean to support her family and search for her missing fiancé.

But when her voyage goes awry, she must accept help from an English whaling captain, Jack Montgomery, who represents everything she despises – and with whom she is reluctantly falling in love. As Kathleen fights to save her family back in Ireland, she finds herself facing yet another devastating choice – remain loyal to her country or follow her heart.

Award-winning author Pamela Ford captures the anguish of a devastating period in Irish history and delivers a historical saga of hope, loyalty, the strength of the human spirit, and the power of love. With more than a half million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is known for creating stories that are emotional and moving.

My Thoughts

To Ride a White Horse made me cry, made me smile, made me angry and also gave me hope.

The story is set in Ireland during the second year of the potato famine. We watch in horror as families are torn apart hoping to keep their families alive, we watch as people die and others turn a blind eye and even worse blame them for their own misfortune.

Kathleen faces a choice that no person should ever have to make – stay in Ireland, another mouth to feed with no food in their home, or make her way to North America to find a job that will save her family. While her first answer is a firm no, when her betrothed doesn’t return to Ireland, she decides to take the trip to Canada to not only save her family but reunite with her loved one.

What happens on the voyage is a both a disaster and a blessing in disguise. She almost loses her life when she is saved by an Englishman – the same people who are killing her people. Can she learn to trust him? Through a series of events that will make you giggle, they begin to form a fragile bond. But both are scared to love and trust again, especially when it means loving the enemy.

This is a powerful story that you will not want to put down, I read this in one sitting as I had to know what happened to Kathleen and her family. A definite must read!

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

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Pamela Ford is the award-winning author of historical and contemporary romance. She grew up watching old movies, blissfully sighing over the romance; and reading sci-fi and adventure novels, vicariously living the action. The combination probably explains why the books she writes are romantic, happily-ever-afters with plenty of plot. After graduating from college with a degree in Advertising, Pam spent many years as a copywriter and freelance writer before inserting a plot twist in her career path and writing her first book. Pam has won numerous awards including the Booksellers Best, the Laurel Wreath, and a gold medal IPPY in the Independent Book Publisher Awards. She is a National Readers’ Choice Awards finalist, a Kindle Book Awards finalist, a Maggie Awards for Excellence finalist, and a two-time Golden Heart Finalist.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Continue Reading

The Princess and the Rogue

A princess in disguise is forced to live with a rogue in order to protect her from danger in this romance from Kate Bateman.

About The Princess and the Rogue

In The Princess and the Rogue, Bow Street agent Sebastien Wolff, Earl of Mowbray, doesn’t believe in love—until a passionate kiss with a beautiful stranger in a brothel forces him to reconsider. When the mysterious woman is linked to an intrigue involving a missing Russian princess, however, Seb realizes her air of innocence was too good to be true.

Princess Anastasia Denisova has been hiding in London as plain ‘Anna Brown’. With a dangerous traitor hot on her trail, her best option is to accept Wolff’s offer of protection—and accommodation—at his gambling hell. But living in such close quarters, and aiding Wolff in his Bow Street cases, fans the flames of their mutual attraction. If Anya’s true identity is revealed, does their romance stand a chance? Could a princess ever marry a rogue?

My Thoughts

A princess in hiding who has lost everything in order to keep her life. A sexy, mysterious man who comes to protect her. This story has adventure, romance and more.

Anya is a Russian princess living in London, but you would never know from meeting her. She lost so much when her brother died, and in order to protect herself she had to go in to hiding (an awful and very rich and powerful man has been trying to marry her for her title and money for quite a while and saw the death of her brother as a great opportunity). She takes on the role of companion to a wealthy woman and this is how she meets Seb.

Seb is a man who doesn’t believe in love nor marriage. He is a war hero with a lot of scars. He stands his ground against marriage and love, even when his own friends have found so much happiness. But will his chance meeting with Anya change everything?

Anya is an incredible character, and you can tell so right from the opening scene. She is no damsel in distress, she is determined to protect herself and her secrets at all cost. She is also kind and compassionate, caring about others even in the face of her own hardship. You want to see her finally happy, she deserves it after all that she has faced but will fate allow her happiness or just a glimpse of it?

This book made me laugh and kept me on the edge of my seat. It was a steamy romance but one full of pain and hope. I loved every moment of this story.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

Kate Bateman, (also writing as K. C. Bateman), is the #1 bestselling author of Regency, Victorian, and Renaissance historical romances, including the Secrets & Spies series: To Steal a Heart, A Raven’s Heart and A Counterfeit Heart. All her books feature her favorite feisty, intelligent heroines (badasses in bodices!), wickedly inappropriate banter, and sexy, snarky heroes you want to both strangle and kiss.

Kate wrote her first historical romance in response to a $1 bet with her husband who rashly claimed she’d ‘never finish the thing.’ She gleefully proved him wrong. When not traveling to exotic locations ‘for research’, she leads a not-so-secret double life as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several TV shows in the UK, each of which has up to 2.5 million viewers. She splits her time between Illinois and her native England, and writes despite three inexhaustible children and that number-loving husband who still owes her that dollar.

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

Continue Reading

A Rush of White Wings

iRead Book Tours

Award-winning author Pamela Ford explores the bonds of family as she takes readers on an uplifting emotional journey through grief, sacrifice, and the power of forgiveness.

About A Rush of White Wings

The best journey brings you home. Boston, 1849. Shattered by the devastating loss of his wife and children during the Irish famine, Sean Deacey has given up on love and happiness. So when he rescues an infant from an immigrant shipwreck, he gives the orphaned babe to his sister Kathleen and her husband. They raise the boy as their own – until Ailish Sullivan arrives two years later claiming the child is her last living relative and demanding his return. A legal fight ensues, and Sean befriends Ailish, determined to change her mind and keep her from destroying his sister’s family. But when friendship leads to understanding, he is torn between the desires of both families. And as his feelings grow for a woman he knows he should not want and can never have, he faces an agonizing choice – stand with his sister or follow his heart. Award-winning author Pamela Ford explores the bonds of family as she takes readers on an uplifting emotional journey through grief, sacrifice, and the power of forgiveness.

My Thoughts

Wow – a Rush of White Wings was a powerful, moving, touching story that made me cry, made me smile and gave me hope.

The story is centered around an Irish family that came to America to escape the poverty and famine but found new heartbreak, poverty and mistrust. Sean, who works physically demanding jobs for low pay, witnesses a horrible shipwreck but out of the shipwreck he rescues a miracle – an Irish baby. His sister, Kathleen, takes the orphan in and raises him as her own son. The family finds happiness in a new home that hates them, and in one moment it is all thrown in the air with the appearance of Ailish.

Ailish is the aunt of the baby that Sean rescued. She wants and needs to have her nephew returned. What follows is a series of ups and downs, heartache, pain and loss. Ailish just wants the family that she has lost – she wants her nephew to know his family. Kathleen just wants the baby she has loved and cared for. Sean is stuck in the middle – his heart hurting for both women as he fully knows their pain but also wanting the best for his nephew.

This is a beautiful, powerful story of forgiveness, understanding, love and hope for the future. Ailish is full of anger at the world for taking her family, she seeks happiness in her nephew while not understanding that this cannot bring her happiness. She has the hope of new love but is scared to trust and have this taken away. Sean is scared of his feelings, he loves his sister Kathleen but is also falling for Ailish. How do you choose between those you love? Is family only blood – or is family those who we love?

A Rush of White Wings is a definite must read novel, you will not want to put this one down.

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

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Pamela Ford is the award-winning author of historical and contemporary romance. She grew up watching old movies, blissfully sighing over the romance; and reading sci-fi and adventure novels, vicariously living the action. The combination probably explains why the books she writes are romantic, happily-ever-afters with plenty of plot. After graduating from college with a degree in Advertising, Pam spent many years as a copywriter and freelance writer before inserting a plot twist in her career path and writing her first book. Pam has won numerous awards including the Booksellers Best, the Laurel Wreath, and a gold medal IPPY in the Independent Book Publisher Awards. She is a National Readers’ Choice Awards finalist, a Kindle Book Awards finalist, a Maggie Awards for Excellence finalist, and a two-time Golden Heart Finalist.

You can connect with the author on their website, Twitter and Facebook.

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Continue Reading

Flavorbomb: A Rogue Guide to Making Everything Taste Better

If you live for wildly addictive Sensations that knock you off your feet, but can’t figure out how to make them at home, you have just found your kindred cookbook spirit. Welcome to Flavorbomb.

About Flavorbomb: A Rogue Guide to Making Everything Taste Better

You keep a running list of restaurants you go to for your favorite flavorbombs–a vibrant, pungent Caesar salad, extra crispy garlic fries, or a spicy puttanesca pasta maybe. You might even be able to articulate exactly what it is about those dishes that you find so addictive. But when you try to reproduce the same flavors at home, you find yourself falling short. If any of the above sounds familiar, this book is for you.

For the past 25 years Bob Blumer has eaten his way around the globe, traveling millions of miles in search of culinary adventures and inspiring foods for three TV series and six cookbooks. Along the way, he’s broken eight food-related Guinness World Records, competed in some of the most outrageous food competitions on the planet, cooked alongside countless amazing chefs, and sampled every local street food imaginable at ramshackle carts, hawker stalls, and night markets from Italy to India. These collective experiences have formed the backbone of Bob’s cooking in ways that culinary school can’t begin to teach. In Flavorbomb he channels everything he has gleaned into recipes and practical tips to help you you create bold, stimulating flavors, that will leave those you cook for in a state of bliss. Prepare to become a rock star in your own kitchen.

The first half of the book is the real “money.” It’s full of tips, strategies, ingredients, techniques, and gear that will help you crack the code–and gain the confidence to take the leap on your own and turn any dish into a flavorbomb. We’re talking developing the courage to season with wild abandon, brown your food to within an inch of its life, double down on the ingredients that can increase the pleasure factor, and taste and adjust on the fly.

The second half consists of 75 step-by-step recipes that use all the tricks in your arsenal to deliver the addictive, life-affirming dishes we all crave. And because Bob gets more excited by tacos than truffles, his outsider approach to creating addictive flavors won’t require you to buy frivolous top-shelf ingredients or use super-sophisticated techniques. Instead, every recipe starts by building the foundation, and then adding layers of flavors and textures at every step of the way. If there’s a hack or a simple trick that can save you time or up the ante–it’s in here. Every recipe was thoroughly tested and had to earn its place in the book.

My Thoughts

I love to cook but can admit that I am not always the best cook. I will try to re-create some of my favourite dishes from my youth or from our favourite restaurants but they always fall up a bit short. I am always missing that little bit of something or maybe I am a bit too afraid to try something different without following directions. This book encourages you to do that – develop the knowledge that leads to the courage to season, brown and use ingredients that explore in flavour.

While most recipe books provide a few pages of what you will need, ingredients and tools, I have never felt that it was enough. This book provides you with a comprehensive guide – almost eighty three pages of knowledge to guide you on this cooking journey. I had a good laugh when I came to the flavour building blocks (one that I cannot share with my husband). We constantly fight over how much salt he puts in food, so I stopped cooking with salt about two years ago. Salt is listed in the book as one of the ingredients that matter the most! It seems my concern over my husband’s arteries may have impacted my own cooking. All joking aside, you are provided with many tips and tricks to help get the taste and how to adjust taste with spices, acidity, and heat. Some you may know and others you likely will not. You are also provided with the techniques needed to achieve that amazing taste, how to caramelize in a pan, how to braise, deglaze and so much more.

One of my favourite parts in this section is:

“Season with strength and purpose. Suppress your inner voice of restraint. Trust yourself to mix, match and substitute ingredients” – Flavorbomb

You are given the trust and inspiration to not just follow a recipe but to own it and make it your own. You have all the tricks and tips that you need to make dishes full of flavour.

The recipes that are included in the second half of the book are divine, and include drool worthy pictures that will make your stomach rumble. We didn’t even know where to start because they all looked so delicious! We started simple (for us) with the puttanesca pasta. The recipe was easy to follow, we had everything already that we would need (apart from the olives) already in the house. We had no problems following the instructions and I loved how we learned how the ingredients added to the different taste – anchovy oil, harissa, aged balsamic vinegar and even the fried breadcrumbs.

Flavorbomb is the perfect gift for the cook in your life or even the more timid cook that wants to learn more but may be afraid. The book is full of encouragement to explore, learn and gain the trust you need to create extraordinary dishes at home that everyone will love.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Gastronaut, author, artist and eight-time Guinness World Record holder BOB BLUMER is best known as the creator and host of Food Network’s award-winning shows Surreal Gourmet and Glutton for Punishment. In his six cookbooks and appearances around the globe, Bob transforms ordinary ingredients into wow-inspiring dishes. Bob is an ambassador for Second Harvest in Toronto, and Love Food, Hate Waste, a national zero-waste initiative. He lives in Los Angeles, with his wife, under the D of the Hollywood sign.

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

Continue Reading