Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review: Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay (giveaway)


Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from William Morrow, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it


And now a book about every mother's worst nightmare...

disappearance at devils rock cover

Synopsis:

Late one summer night, Elizabeth Sanderson receives the devastating news that every mother fears: her fourteen-year-old son, Tommy, has vanished without a trace in the woods of a local park.

The search isn’t yielding any answers, and Elizabeth and her young daughter, Kate, struggle to comprehend his disappearance. Feeling helpless and alone, their sorrow is compounded by anger and frustration. The local and state police haven’t uncovered any leads. Josh and Luis, the friends who were with Tommy last, may not be telling the whole truth about that night in Borderland State Park, when they were supposedly hanging out a landmark the local teens have renamed Devil’s Rock— rumored to be cursed. 

Living in an all-too-real nightmare, riddled with worry, pain, and guilt, Elizabeth is wholly unprepared for the strange series of events that follow. She believes a ghostly shadow of Tommy materializes in her bedroom, while Kate and other local residents claim to see a shadow peering through their own windows in the dead of night. Then, random pages torn from Tommy’s journal begin to mysteriously appear—entries that reveal an introverted teenager obsessed with the phantasmagoric; the loss of his father, killed in a drunk-driving accident a decade earlier; a folktale involving the devil and the woods of Borderland; and a horrific incident that Tommy believed connected them all and changes everything.

As the search grows more desperate, and the implications of what happened becomes more haunting and sinister, no one is prepared for the shocking truth about that night and Tommy’s disappearance at Devil’s Rock.


Review:

Tremblay is the master at blending supernatural elements into normal everyday life, in a way that is so natural, that you have to do a double take and rethink reality! He does it again with a simple story of a missing boy. What happened to Tommy? Who is the mysterious shadow everyone keeps seeing? Are Tommy's friends more involved than they said in his disappearance? As Tremblay allows the story to unravel like a tightly wound skein of yarn, the nuances appear. This is not a story to be read quickly, but to be savored for all the small signs. And then when you THINK you know what happened, be prepares to NOT know. The ending does not disappoint, though I will warn there is a bit of gruesome description towards the end. But if you read police procedurals, you'll be fine. Once you finish the book you realize just what a great writer Tremblay is and how he 'deceived' the reader via inferences, but not words. How the reader 'sees' something because they have bonded with a character and empathisize with them. This is sure to be one of the talked about books this Summer, so do NOT miss it's June release! Put it on Mom's pre-order list for that new ereader or tablet you got her! She'll want to read it too!

About the Author:

Paul Tremblay is a multiple Bram Stoker Award finalist and the author of A Head Full of Ghosts,The Little Sleep, and No Sleep Till Wonderland. He is a member of the board of directors of the Shirley Jackson Awards, and his essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and numerous “year’s best” anthologies. He has a master’s degree in mathematics and lives in Stoughton, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children.


Giveaway:

If you're a member of Goodreads, head on over and enter the giveaway of this great book there!

Give Mom a Decadent but Lite Dessert This Weekend

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this post, free of charge,from Gaeafor blog posting purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it


Looking for a surprise dessert for Mom this Sunday, 
that is healthy and not something she's had before?

I've got JUST the recipe for you!


The secret to this recipe is that extra-virgin olive oil replaces the usual cream-AHA, resulting in a silky texture and a hint of the oil's flavor (and less cream = more healthy, right??).



Gaea's Orange-Flavored Bitter Chocolate Mousse
SERVINGS: 6

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 cups bitter couverture (70% cocoa)
1/4 cup GAEA FRESH Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 large organic eggs
3/4 cup sugar
Salt
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
Zest of 1 orange in shavings


DIRECTIONS:

1. Cut the couverture into small pieces
2. Separate the eggs' yolk from the whites into two bowls.
3. Melt couverture and add the olive oil and liqueur
4. Mix the yolks with half of the sugar and whisk until smooth.
5. Mix the chocolate into the yolk mixture.
6. Whip the egg whites with the rest of the sugar and the salt into firm peaks to make the meringue.
7. Blend together the meringue and the chocolate mixture and stir in ¾ of the orange shavings. Whisk gently until the mixture becomes smooth.
8. Put the mousse into bowls or glasses.
9. Place them in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
10. Serve adding orange shavings on top of each portion.



And for those who want a video instruction too:



For more great recipes like this, sign up for the Gaeaus newsletter! 
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DVD Review: Living Hope- Be the Solution

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this DVD, free of charge,from Edify Media, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it




living hope dvd cover


 Synopsis: 

 Living Hope is a feature-length documentary film that tells the amazing true story of a local church’s fight against poverty, addiction and disease in Cape Town, South Africa. The action they took not only changed their city, but attracted the attention of foreign dignitaries, rock musicians, and a U.S. President. Follow alongside an inspiring group of men and women who have devoted their lives to serving the poor, and witness a seldom-seen perspective of the joy, heartache, and passion of missionaries in Africa. Narrated by Grammy Award winner Joel Smallbone of the band, For King & Country, Living Hope also features personal stories from former White House Press Secretary and FOX News host Dana Perino, and Grammy Award winning musician Michael W Smith, both of whom have been personally involved at Living Hope.

 Watch the trailer:

Review

 "We as Christians need to be the solution, not standing on the sidelines"

That quote is the foundation of this story about 3 different people, from different walks of life who decided to take that quote, from the movie above, and make a difference for the poor in south Africa. 
The documentary comes from Word Cinema,and the filmmakers who made the amazing Journey to Everest, and it is an wonderful look at why people choose missionary work as a way of fulfilling Christ's mission to us, and how they reap so much more than those they are helping.

I like how they selected people who are different, but at their hearts, have found a true calling. There is Leonie Rustin, a single mom, and nursing assistant, who will touch your heart with her story of how she turned from a life of drug addiction, to follow Christ. She found her calling in helping others to break free from the same drug addiction and also from prostitution. God's grace truly comes through in her story- how he forgives us our weaknesses, and is always there to offer us redemption.

Then in the middle, so to speak, there is Joey Lankford, a father of four, who left the corporate world behind, and moved his family to Cape Town, to work and inspire people there. I think his story struck home the most for me, as Miss Grace's teacher is leaving for missionary work over the Summer, and this is something they have done off and on, while raising their kids. Their kids have amazing empathy and compassion and when you look at the story of Joey and his family, you can see how they learned that! His story is so touching, as he achieves such wonderful bonds with the men and women he helps to learn job skills and get jobs.  

But the foundation of Living Hope is Pastor John Thomas, who is lead his church, Fish Hoek Baptist Church (now named King of Kings Baptist Church), into founding Living Hope Ministry in 2000, to serve the sick, hungry, and dying in the communities that surround them in South Africa, via 4 different ministries. Their Living Care ministry provided medical services for those who would never get them, and no one is ever turned away. Their Living Right ministry focus on HIV/AIDS prevention and support, while their Living Grace ministries deals with addiction and homelessness. Meanwhile their Living Way ministry works to  empower people with job skills and economic independence. All 4 of these are shown in the film, and they showcase just how much work John and his members, and missionaries, have done and how many lives they have changed. They truly have achieved the goal set for us by Christ-  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.”  

This is an amazing film that will make you relook at how Christ has called us to action, and how it takes just one person to start a connection, that can domino into serving entire communities. It can truly be an eyeopener for your church, and family, as to how change and faith can walk hand in hand! We highly recommend it!

You cn help support Living Hope via donations, or by shopping for gifts at their online store!



About Word Cinema

Americans spend millions of dollars at the cinema each week. Movies impact our culture, encourage discussion, and form common bonds that can tie communities together. Word Cinema strives to be a light in the darkness and offers thought provoking films that tell stories of Faith, Hope, Love, and Redemption.They are excited to partner with your ministry via their films.

Book Review: The Mourning Hours by Paula Treick DeBoard

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from harper Collins, via Edelweiss, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

the mourning hours cover

Synopsis:


Kirsten Hammarstrom hasn't been back to her Wisconsin hometown in years—not since the mysterious disappearance of a local teenage girl rocked the small community and shattered her family. Kirsten was just nine years old when the girl went missing, and the last person who saw her alive was the girl's boyfriend—Kirsten's older brother. No one knew what to believe, but the event unhinged the town and put Kirsten's family beneath the crushing weight of suspicion.

When a new tragedy forces Kirsten and her siblings to return home, they must confront the horrible event that changed everything all those years ago. Chilling and suspenseful, The Mourning Hours is one family's gripping story of loyalty, betrayal and forgiveness.

 Review

This is an interesting book, full of family dysfunction, mistrust and secrets. Which makes it perfect for reading before Mother's Day, as we all know how some family gatherings can go! Especially here in the South! Drama mama time! But the book takes an interesting look at not the missing girl's family, but of the boy's who is the last person she was known to be with. As her boyfriend, who was being pressured by her, even more suspicion comes onto him. When her body is not found, nor is she, then he and his family become the town pariahs. Yet their family has been on their farm for 4 generations, how can they leave? Yet they do split up, each taking their fears, secrets, questions and little betrayals with them. Now they have to return and decide what to do with the farm, and suddenly what seemed normal back then, never was.

It is an interesting tale, that literally keeps the reader guessing what REALLY happened to Kirsten, and was anyone involved. To say more gives away the ending of the story, but readers will NOT be disappointed. I was surprised this was the author's debut book! There is so much depth to the characters, yet she does a great job showing how they all hid their secrets from one another. If you are looking for a great look at family dysfunction and loyalty, check this one out!


About the Author

Paula Treick DeBoard lives with her husband Will and their four-legged brood in Modesto, CA. She received a BA in English from Dordt College, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine and a practical education from countless students in her English classes over the years. The Mourning Hours is her first novel.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Create UNIQUE Art This Mother's Day with Fingerprint Princesses and Fairies!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge,from Quarry Books, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

What about a Teacher Appreciation gift?

If you totally forgot and need the kids to make something quick, 
run over to your local bookstore and pick up this new book, and let the kids get creative! 



Fingerprint Princesses and Fairies cover


Take a hands-on approach to art with Fingerprint Princesses and Fairies!
Create engaging art activities with your children - at home or in the classroom. Packed with fun step-by-step instructions, this book teaches you how to make 30 classic fairy tale characters including nymphs, fairies, princesses, butterflies, and angels with only the tips of your fingers. Create your own enchanting world, no paintbrush required! Kids aren't the only ones who will enjoy it, artists of all ages can put their fingers on the fun of art. Use the characters to spice up you art journals and doodles. Creativity is at your fingertips!

Fingerprint Princesses and Fairies art needs

This is literally all you need to get started on a great gift idea, using this fun book!

Well, a piece of paper too (OOPS, it was out of photo range!) and a hand. It can be yours, or da kid's!

Fingerprint Princesses and Fairies sample instructions

The book has 144 pages of fairy, animal and forest creatures for you to create! The book starts with 6 pages of instructions, which were so clear that the 9 yr old did NOT need Mom's help, to make a card for her Meme! As you can see above, they are also color coded, so that when you see pink, like above, you know you are using your whole thumb print, blue is your index finger, etc. It's a easy peasy reference for kids, that they can remember. Additionally, like the sample above, EACH step is shown, with what you add to the drawing shown above it. So you have not 1, but 3 references on what to draw! And as you can see, they are pretty easy to draw!

Fingerprint Princesses and Fairies sample pages

The book also includes 10 empty pages, with a setting, like a park or the beach, for your kids to make their own art on! This could be handy dandy for long car rides too. Give the kids a couple of stamp pads, the book and some baby wipes and you won't be hearing 'are we there yet?" for at least a half hour! An hour if your kids are really creative! YEAH!

Fingerprint Princesses and Fairies sample art

As you can see, Miss Grace took 5 different elements and added them to her card. I was really impressed at how well she did! She was too- "Mom, I've never drawn a harp before! It was EASY!". One card down and she was ready to make some more! She'll be using the book to make an unique Teacher Appreciation card for her teacher today! And with Father's Day around the corner (WHERE has the year gone??), she's all set for it too!

This is a super fun book that will give your entire family HOURS AND HOURS of fun and creative time away from the TV and other electronics! It can help re-introduce the idea behind 'hand' made to your kids, and bring back the FUN! So don't miss this one!

Fingerprint Monsters and Dragons cover

The Accompanying book, Fingerprint Monsters and Dragons gives you more great figures, and allows for a more rounded out storybook, as it includes 30 classic fictional foes including trolls, pirates, warlocks, and skeletons! So pick it up too!


About the Editors/Illustrators

Ilona Molnar is a illustrator based in Munich Germany. 

Natahsa Mossbauer and Silvia Keller are both editors working for Editions Michael Fisher a Munich-based art and lifestyle publisher.

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