Month: May 2019

A Silent Voice DVD Review and Giveaway

A Silent Voice presents a powerful message about bullying, depression and forgiveness.

About A Silent Voice

Silent Voice is a gorgeous anime film with a powerful message about bullying, depression and forgiveness. The moving coming-of-age drama depicts the struggles of adolescence through its memorable characters and stunning animation.

When a deaf elementary school girl named Shoko is forced to transfer to a new school after a boy named Shôya constant bullies her, Shôya suffers over the consequences of his guilt for years. Upon entering high school, Shôya decides he must find Shoko, to make amends for what he did in elementary school and to become her friend. He meets new and old faces, and struggles with many complicated relationships and feelings in “this beautifully rendered anime” (Total Film).

Based on the critically acclaimed manga by Yoshitoki Oima, this release is presented in Japanese with subtitles, and with an English dub. Winner of the 40th Japan Academy Award for Excellent Animation of the Year, A Silent Voice – The Movie makes its debut on home entertainment following its 2017 theatrical run in the U.S. 

Our Thoughts

This is a very powerful and important message that many young adults and teens should watch and learn from. It is recommended for youth thirteen years of age and older, I feel this is most appropriate based on the story line and topics.

We hear a lot about bullying and the consequences of bullying and this movie tackles this right on. A young deaf girl is forced to go as far as to change schools because of how she is bullied. Her bully in turn becomes someone who is also shunned, no friends and bullied. It is when he is the shoes of Shoko, that he can truly understand the consequences of his actions. He wants to set out to try to make his actions right but also has to come to terms with his own actions and ask for forgiveness.

While a tough topic and parts can make your heart sore, it is an excellent topic starter for young teens. Because of the topic, I would definitely recommend it to be viewed by children thirteen years of age or older. The total run time of this DVD is 130 minutes.

You can purchase a copy of this DVD on Amazon.

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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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Song of Atlantis Book Review

iRead Book Tours

A shocking discovery leads one scientist down a dangerous path in Brian Power’s compelling debut novel, Song of Atlantis.

About Song of Atlantis

When Amon Goro, master architect of Atlantis, discovers a way to harness the earth’s forces into an infinite source of clean energy, it seems destined to change civilization as we know it.

But 4,500 years later, Atlantis exploration team leader Palen Golendar is brutally captured by a Native American tribe in modern-day South Dakota—derailing any hope Atlantis held of utilizing its energy secrets.

Eight thousand years in the future, Native American anthropologist Gordon Tallbear and his team of highly skilled researchers stumble across a connection between the recent discovery of Golendar’s remains and an intricate cavern system deep in the mountains of Antarctica…a connection that finally reveals the Atlantean secret of perpetual energy.

While Tallbear and his team plan to recreate the energy source that will change the world, a wealthy group with deep ties to carbon-based fuel producers decides this newfound energy source must be destroyed—and they will stop at nothing to assassinate the researchers in order to bury what they know.

Can Tallbear’s newfound knowledge survive?

My Thoughts

The first thing that attracted me to this story was the legend of Atlantis – how can you not be a fan of this legend? There is always so much conspiracy, thoughts and myths around this magical place. I remember as a young girl, wishing I lived there! I wanted to be a mythical princess of this land of technological advances and perfection. So I couldn’t wait to dive into this story and this novel did not disappoint.

Brian Power writes a well written and researched story that has a little bit for everyone – history, fantasy, mystery and more. It is full of attention to detail that really gets your mind thinking. I loved the way he wrote the story and the way it unfolded, as it allowed you to draw the story together and match up the missing pieces, while still leaving you not quite too sure what was going to happen next.

The plot itself was incredible and one that makes you really think about good versus bad and how do we harness the power of technology to do good not harm. Is this technology everything that it is meant to be? Is it worth death? Could this happen in modern times today?

This is an excellent well written novel with a lot of work done by the author to really pull the plot together. It has many complicated layers that will engage you and really make you think. It had me reading long into the night as I had to know what happened next. A definite must read!

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

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

Brian Power is an educator who has taught at both the high school and college levels. He earned a BS degree in English and Secondary Education, and an MA in International Relations. A retired corporate consultant and trainer, he is also a retired Marine Corps Reserve Lieutenant Colonel who served for 24 years on both active duty and in the reserves. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife. SONG OF ATLANTIS is his first book. You can connect with him on his website.

The Giveaway!

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 5-Minute Recharge Book Review

We know the formula for living a good life but why are we still struggling? Learn techniques to help improve, inspire and refresh with The 5-Minute Recharge.

About The 5-Minute Recharge

Researchers have discovered the formula for living a good life, so why is depression still the world’s leading disability and anxiety the most common mental health disorder in North America? Most people don’t know what will truly make them happy, and far too few make proven wellness practices a part of their lives.

To cope with all the stresses we encounter, we need to actively care for ourselves, which includes heeding our ancient programming that demands that we move our bodies, connect face-to-face and get enough sleep. Science has proven that you have the power, through your habitual ways of thinking and behaving, to renovate the space inside your head, making it brighter, more resilient, and a more enjoyable place to hang out.

The 5-Minute Recharge contains 31 proven techniques to help you thrive at work and in life. They are backed by research and include additional resources to enrich your understanding of wellness and inspire you to care for yourself.

My Thoughts

I think we can all admit that many times we feel overwhelmed, overworked and overstimulated. Life is so busy that it can be hard to unwind, relax our minds and emotions. This has so many negative consequences for our physical, mental and social well being. We know that in order to be happy we need to find that balance but we become lost somewhere in achieving this.

I loved how thoughtful and intimate this book was. It wasn’t a book that pointed out your failures, made you feel shameful and not too sure if you want to try the changes. Instead it uses humour, quotes, experiences to give you that personal connection in order to better your personal wellness. They encourage you to become a part of the journey instead of being a passive reader, you should do each of the exercises included in the chapters – they will really get you thinking and focusing on you. The book is not overbearing or difficult to read which everyone can appreciate. That being said – take your time reading each section, participate fully and allow the time for you to reconnect with you.

I know we can feel a lot of guilt around taking time to care for ourselves but with the evidence presented in this book, the easy exercises and healthy, manageable behaviours presented – you can take care of yourself, you will not feel guilty about doing so and it will make you a better person for doing so. At the end of the day, in order for us to function fully and be the best version we can be, we need to feel happy and balanced. This book helps us accomplish this in easy, manageable steps. A fantastic resource for all adults feeling overwhelmed and looking for better balance.

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

About the Authors

Lynne Everatt is a recovering MBA, LinkedIn Top Voice in management and culture, and nominee for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour for her first book, E-Mails from the Edge, a novel with the theme of workplace mental health. E-mails also appeared in The Globe and Mail as a Careers column. An ardent advocate for mental health through physical fitness, Lynne is a certified personal trainer who has completed two sweaty half-marathons and a marathon six minutes and twenty-three seconds of stand-up at the Absolute Comedy Club. She served for three years as President of the Board of Directors of the women’s shelter Interim Place where she met and became friends with co-author Addie Greco-Sanchez.

Addie Greco-Sanchez is the founder and President of AGS Rehab, a leader in disability management and assessment services since 1999 that has grown into a successful company with a head office in the Greater Toronto Area and a large network of professionals across Canada. Selected as one of PROFIT/Chatelaine’s top 100 Female Entrepreneurs, Addie is a passionate and expert advocate for mental health in the workplace, and frequent speaker on the topic of how companies can safeguard employees’ psychological health.

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

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Sesame Street Awesome Alphabet Collection DVD Giveaway

Shout! Kids Factory

Learn your ABCs with the best gang in town – Sesame Street! Awesome Alphabet Collection is coming to DVD on May 7, 2019 from Shout! Factory.

About Awesome Alphabet Collection

Kids will enjoy practicing their ABCs with Awesome Alphabet Collection. Highlights include classics “The Beetles Perform Letter B” and “C is for Cookie,” animations, pop culture parodies, and segments from recent seasons. Explore the alphabet alongside their furry friends and an all-star lineup of celebrity guests. Norah Jones duets with the letter Y, Tori Kelly tries a little kindness, and Pharrell Williams belts it out for the letter B. Maya Angelou talks hugs, Sheryl Crow helps “I” soak up some sun, and Ricky Gervais tries singing a lullaby to a sleepy Elmo. Talk about a list of entertainers there!

The DVD has a runtime of two hours, including Elmo’s Amazing Alphabet Race as a bonus feature. ABC-themed printable activities round out this one-of-a-kind collection.

Awesome Alphabet Collection is being released during Sesame Street’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration. The anniversary celebrates the timeless lessons that Sesame Street has always taught: everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from, is equally deserving of respect, opportunity, and joy.

How can you not love the Sesame Street gang? I grew up with them and I am proud to say my kids are growing up with them. They instill important lessons, values and morals that are crucial for our children, all while making it fun. You will love the entire two hours of learning with your child.

Have a special Sesame Street memory? Make sure you share your favourite Sesame Street memories across social media this year, using #ThisIsMyStreet as they celebrate 50 years!

Don’t forget to download the Sesame Street Printable and the Sesame Street Bookmark.

Awesome Alphabet Collection Trailer

The Giveaway!

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

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Highland Crown Book Review

Scottish pride, persuasion, and passion—this is Highland romance at its breathtaking best. 

About Highland Crown

Inverness, 1820

Perched on the North Sea, this port town—by turns legendary and mythological—is a place where Highland rebels and English authorities clash in a mortal struggle for survival and dominance. Among the fray is a lovely young widow who possesses rare and special gifts.

A true beauty and trained physician, Isabella has inspired longing and mystery—and fury—in a great many men. Hunted by both the British government and Scottish rebels, she came to the Highlands in search of survival. But a dying ship’s captain will steer her fate into even stormier waters. . .and her heart into flames. 

Cast from his home as a child, Cinaed is a fierce soul whose allegiance is only to himself … until Isabella saved his life—and added more risk to her own. Now, the only way Cinaed can keep her safe to seek refuge at Dalmigavie Castle, the Mackintosh family seat. But when the scandalous truth of his past comes out, any chance of Cinaed having a bright future with Isabella is thrown into complete darkness. What will these two ill-fated lovers have to sacrifice to be together…for eternity?

My Thoughts

I fell in love with this beautiful romance set in Scotland during a time of poverty, war and social unrest.

Isabella is that strong, independent female character that you can’t help but love. She is a doctor, which in itself is enough to be admired as women in general were not encouraged to do something like this during these time periods but she also is confident in herself and her skills and she never backs down. She is also a wanted woman by both the British and the Scottish people. Her deceased husband was proclaimed a rebel to the crown and the British want her for her knowledge. The Scottish people want her so that they can ensure she never speaks. She is torn in between and desperate to escape and ensure her families safety.

By luck, she crosses path with Cinead, a ship captain that imports weapons and other supplies to the Highlands. They meet at his weakest moment and she cares for him until he is strong again. This sets them off on a path of survival, hope and perhaps a chance at a new future?

I loved so much about this book from the plot, the writing to the characters themselves. I loved how Isabella was portrayed to the reader, she was strong, intelligent and calm in the face of so much disaster, death and pain. You immediately fall in love with her and want to know more about her and keep praying that everything will work out okay for her. The relationship that begins to blossom between her and Cinead leaves you wanting more. I would love to see a second installment of this story! This is a definite must read.

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Authors

Authors Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick (writing as May McGoldrick) weave emotionally satisfying tales of love and danger. Under the names of May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey, these authors have written more than thirty novels and works of nonfiction. Nikoo, an engineer, also conducts frequent workshops on writing and publishing and serves as a Resident Author. Jim holds a Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance literature and teaches English in northwestern Connecticut. They are the authors of Much ado about HighlandersTaming the Highlander, and Tempest in the Highlands.

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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