Category: giveaways

Bread Bags & Bullies: Surviving the ’80s

This hysterical coming-of-age tale is jam-packed with enough nostalgia to satisfy anyone who grew up in the ‘80s or at least had the good fortune to travel through them.

About Bread Bags & Bullies: Surviving the ’80s

It’s the winter of 1984. Twelve-year-old Herbie and his two brothers—Wally and Cockroach—are enjoying the mayhem of winter break when a late Nor’easter blows through New England, trapping their quirky family in the house. The power goes out and playing Space Invaders to AC DC’s Back in Black album is suddenly silenced—forcing them to use their twisted imaginations in beating back the boredom. At a time when the brothers must overcome one fear after the next, they learn that courage is the one character trait that guarantees all others.

Our Thoughts

Bread Bags & Bullies: Surviving the ’80s was a fantastic, heart felt, laugh out loud read. Steven has a personal way of writing that is honest, fresh and down to earth. You feel as though you are right there experiencing every moment with the family. It reminded me of all the good laughs you have with friends over the good old days.

The ’80s were definitely a simpler time (I was a very young child growing up but I still remember the endless days of being outside until it was dark and those bread bags (or any bag in general!). We used to spend hours riding up and down the street on bikes with no care in the world. This book brings back some great memories and makes you wish you could take a trip back in time. I loved the emphasis on family and spending time together – this is sometimes lacking now in society, where everyone is so busy all the time. Families may not have been perfect but they put family first.

This book starts off with Herbie breaking up a fight between his own two boys and then he begins to tell the tale of a week long adventure in his childhood home during the middle of winter and one bad storm.

I fell in love with this family, they were quirky but they were real. I am pretty sure you will be able to find similarities in some of the characters to your own family. They absolutely love each other but have a very unique way of showing it – a result of the times that they grew up in (a perfect example, the brothers could tease poor Cockroach but definitely not their friends!). The brothers learned how to handle situations themselves, they did have their parents but they were independent for the most part which ensured that they had the life skills they needed. We witness the struggles of having little money and doing everything you can to keep the family afloat. It was his childhood and the lessons he learned that guided him in his own journey of fatherhood – we grow from all the good and bad things that happen to us.

This is a fantastic book from start to finish, you will laugh, get anxious and take a trip down memory lane. It is so well written that you will not be able to put it down.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers Twelve Months, The Rockin’ Chair, Pressed Pennies and Gooseberry Island; the national bestsellers, Ashes, The Changing Season and Three Shoeboxes; and the multi-award winning novels, Goodnight Brian and The Thursday Night Club. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Three of Steven’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a multi-produced playwright, as well as the winner of the 2017 Los Angeles Book Festival and the 2018 New York Book Festival. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing.

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

The Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Providence Book Promotions for Steven Manchester. There will be seven (7) winners. Two (2) winners will each win one (1) Amazon GC and five (5) winners will each win a copy of Bread Bags & Bullies: Surviving the ’80s by Steven Manchester (eBook). The giveaway begins on November 1, 2019 and runs through January 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.
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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Tender Birds Book Review

iRead Book Tours

“The wording is both elegant and poetic… the author, accomplished painting vivid images within my mind’s eye that will never be forgotten. Overall this book is unique, being unlike anything I have read before. Go get a copy! You will not be disappointed.” —Readaholic Zone

About The Tenders Bird

Matthew Reilly is a busy academic, a lonely priest haunted by secrets. Young Alison is the shy and devoted keeper of Daisy, a falcon which suffered an accident and can no longer fly. The three of them meet in a Boston parish, but Matt has forgotten a momentary but disturbing meetup with Alison, homeless eight years earlier in Toronto. Close to exhaustion, he’s forced to reflect on what’s become of his life, including the loss of a son that no one knew he’d fathered. Alison and Matt had a fateful encounter during her homeless period, but Matt doesn’t connect that frail teenager with the healthy young woman she’d become. It’s left to Alison to uncover Matt’s past and for Matt to come to terms with it.

My Thoughts

The Tender Birds is a powerful book that left me in tears and touched my heart.

The author starts the book off with an individual rushing to make a flight but unfortunately missing his flight. As we turn the page, we learn that the flight he missed was the flight that crashed into the World Trade Center Towers. The story continues to unfold in a beautiful, mysterious way as we discover how the lives of our two main characters, Alison and Matt are interwoven. We learn how their decisions have impacted another individuals life and how far reaching this was.

It is a beautiful story about understanding, forgiveness, compassion and faith. Our actions (or lack of action) can have an impact on someone’s life that we may never understand, see nor appreciate. We don’t truly even appreciate the impact of Matt’s decisions until we hear Alison’s story in the second half of the book. While Matt’s story is one of an individual seeking forgiveness, of a person who doesn’t quite seem able to connect with others or even know himself or the consequences of his actions – Alison’s story broke my heart. The events that she had to deal with in her life, could have broken her but instead it was her Father’s memory, her faith and her belief in goodness that slowly helps her heal. She is just a truly good person, who sees the beauty and light in everyone and everything (especially in birds). She makes mistakes but she is also honest about them and seeks to correct and forgive. She could have never forgiven nor let go of her past but instead she tries to move forward, slowly making friends, shows compassion to others and teaches those around her to show compassion to those less fortunate. She doesn’t do it in a flashy way, she is always humble and almost doesn’t even realize the lessons she is teaching others.

While the ending of the book is sad, it is also full of hope, understanding and forgiveness. Alison has learned and grown so much and you can’t help but feel proud of her. I was sad when this book ended because I would have loved to have read her next chapter. This is an excellent novel that does not disappoint.

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

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Carole Giangrande is the award-winning author of ten books, including the novella A Gardener on the Moon (winner of the 2010 Ken Klonsky Award) and the novel All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (2018 Independent Publishers Gold Medal for Literary Fiction). The Tender Birds is her fourth novel. She’s worked as a broadcast journalist for CBC Radio (Canada’s public broadcaster), and her fiction, poetry, articles and reviews have appeared in literary journals and in Canada’s major newspapers. In her spare time, she loves exploring nature with her partner Brian, photographing birds and studying French.

The Giveaway!

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

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Great Kids Don’t Just Happen Book Spotlight

iRead Book Tours

In Great Kids Don’t Just Happen you will learn how to use elements to nurture the children in your life.

About Great Kids Don’t Just Happen

Physically and emotionally healthy children are Great Kids. They are happier when young and thrive as adults.

Pediatrician Dr. Paul Smolen identifies five essential parenting elements which help develop happy and successful kids.

In Great Kids Don’t Just Happen you will learn how to use those elements and nurture the children in your life.

The author’s observations and advice are supported by scientific studies referenced throughout the book and personal observations from his many years of practice as a pediatrician. The five essential elements and how to apply them are made easy to understand in the warm words of one who knows, practices, and teaches from research, observation, and experience.

Learn how to provide:

  1. Realistic praise
  2. Consistent limits
  3. A healthy emotional environment
  4. Strong parental commitment
  5. Stability

Dr. Smolen’s research and wisdom are sure to be of great help for your family and loved ones.

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

Book Trailer

About the Author

Dr. Paul Smolen, also known as Doc Smo by his friends, is a pediatrician with 37 years of experience caring for children and families. He is a graduate of Duke University (1974), Rutgers Medical School (1978), and Wake Forest University-N.C. Baptist Hospital (1982). At Wake Forest University he completed a residency in general pediatrics, served as chief resident, and completed a fellowship in ambulatory pediatrics. Subsequently, he became board certified in the American Academy of Pediatrics (1983) and completed his recertification in 2014. For the last 37 years, he has been an Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, helping to train a generation of medical students and pediatric residents as well as author several research papers. He is also the author of a parenting book called, Can Doesn’t Mean Should. With 37 years under his belt, Doc Smo is a bona-fide expert in knowing what parents want and need to know about parenting and child health. Imparting practical and useful advice is the goal of every “Pedcast”. Smiling along the way can’t hurt!

Connect with him on his website, Twitter and Facebook.

The Giveaway

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Disclosure: This is a spotlight post, I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Cinderella and the Secret Prince DVD Giveaway

Shout! Kids Factory

On November 5th, a never before told story of Cinderella comes to DVD from Shout!Kids Factory and Gold Valley Films, Cinderella and the Secret Prince.

About Cinderella and the Secret Prince

With the help of good fairy Crystal, Cinderella and her three mouse friends are able to escape the attic they live in and make it to the Royal Ball at the palace. They soon discover a terrible secret. The real Prince has been turned into a mouse by an evil witch! The “Prince” standing in front of everyone at the Ball is an impostor!

Cinderella and her faithful furry friends must embark on an all-new adventure to restore the real Prince to his true form and help him defeat the forces of darkness.

Cinderella and the Secret Prince is voiced by Cassandra Lee Morris (Your Name), Chris Niosi (TOME), R. Martin Klein (Perfect Blue), Tony Azzolino (The Grover Complex), Kirsten Day (Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures), Wendee Lee (Cowboy Beebop: The Movie), Stephen Mendel (Barbie: Dreamtopia), Terrence Stone (Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft), and Stephanie Sanditz (The High Life), directed by Lynne Southerland, and produced by Allen Tsang at Gold Valley Films.

DVD Trailer

Are you ready to see a whole new take on the story of Cinderella?

Then get ready for this modern version of the classic story where Cinderella does all the saving! Huge admiration for the girl power in this movie, love the idea that girls can be the ones saving the prince and that we don’t always need to be the one saved in films.

This is beautifully animated film that runs approximately one hour and a half in length. It is full of personality and fun with a great, brand new spin on a family favourite story. This new version will soon become a family favourite. The DVD would make an excellent addition to a stocking this holiday season if you are looking for stocking gift ideas.

The DVD arrives in stores on November 5th but you can enter now to win your own copy. The giveaway is open to residents of the USA and Canada (excluding Quebec), 18 years of age and older. Good luck!

The Giveaway!

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

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Come the Eventide

iRead Book Tours

In his first novel, Chris Riker conducts an opus in voce giocoso that grins at the inevitable, but reminds us of the heart that all life shares.

About Come the Eventide

A century has passed since the fall of humanity changed the natural landscape. The oceans are poison, and a fraction of Earth’s magnificent creatures remain. The only surviving humans squabble over limited resources as they cling to a fragile peace. Yet in this bleak landscape hope lives on in Earth’s other intelligent life. It all begins when Septielle, a seven-armed octopod, has a vision of a world restored—a world she will not live to see. Inspired by her vision, a dolphin named Muriel shoulders her mission and enlists any humans who will listen—including Anadare, a young islander with an ax to grind against the oppressive ruling class of tourists turned bureaucrats. An invasion of cannibalistic pirates complicates things as they declare war on a world that rejects them.

As tensions rise to a crescendo, islanders, tourists, and pirates alike must put aside their differences to send Muriel on her greatest journey yet—beyond the sea, beyond form, beyond time itself.

My Thoughts

Come the Eventide is an interesting book set in the future – where mankind has destroyed our home (plant Earth) and are struggling to survive in a landscape that is hard to imagine. This is a topic that hits home especially now as we see our planet suffer from our actions. All of the ways that humans destroyed our planet are still alive and present after the catastrophic events – greed, jealousy and inequity, as it seems we tend not to learn from our past mistakes. The story is told from two viewpoints – humans and animals.

The children in this story take centre stage as they are charged with the important task of uncovering the pirates and their plans by the cruel ruling class. They meet a few dolphins who they can communicate with in such a unique manner. It is almost as if the dolphin becomes one with their minds and can speak and see their thoughts and feelings. The dolphins assist them on their task but I did not see the pirates plot coming at all and how it would impact their lives.

We learn of a bleak history for the humans (starvation, turning on each other, water that has been so polluted that fish no longer swim there) and a plan from the pirates that can be hard to read at times. The pirates are not for the faint of heart – my stomach turned at some of their acts (reader beware!).

While I really enjoyed the plot and idea behind the story, it was a bit hard to follow at times and I found I had to back track a bit to ensure I remembered the names of the characters and how they were connected. It was a busy plot so this was important, I am not sure if a character list may have helped in the beginning of the novel so that you could refer back to it if you became lost.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & noble, BookLogix.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

Chris Riker is a writer, father, and journalist. He grew up in Rhode Island and now makes his home in Georgia with his wife, Ping. He has always loved books, from science-fiction and fantasy to historical novels and biographies. Building on a background in broadcast news, including a stint at CNN, he is now focused on telling stories with strong characters and moral resonance. His premiere effort blends a love for our beautiful Earth and her myriad life-forms with a sense of wonder at our shared purpose and fate. Connect with Chris on his website, Facebook.

The Giveaway!

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

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