Monday, May 22, 2017

Celebrate Dad with These Two New Books! (review and giveaway)

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received these books, free of charge,from Tarcher Press, 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,  all opinions are my own.


we love dad meme button

Today I have not 1, but 2, great new books that take on parenting from DAD'S point of view!

Dad's often get over looked until Father's Day rolls around, so these 2 great books are prefect for celebrating the new Dad in YOUR life- either as a Baby Shower present, or as a first Father's Day (or Father's Day to be) gift!

diaper dude cover

Diaper Dude:The Ultimate Dad's Guide to Surviving the First Two Years
 by Chris Pegula

Dude, you're a dad now!

Picking up where From Dude to Dad left off, author and founder of the popular Diaper Dude parenting brand Chris Pegula dives into the first two years of parenting and furthers his deeply held belief that you don't have to lose yourself when you become a father. 

Once again written in Pegula's everyman voice and filled with humorous takes on fatherhood from the front lines, the book is an easy-to-read resource for new dads, combining hard-won lessons learned, pitfalls to avoid, and practical advice from a dude who hasn't lost his identity (or his sanity).  

Filled with useful information, hilarious stories of dad madness, a little psychology and science, and engaging sidebars, Diaper Dude covers everything from bonding, babyproofing, and when you'll have sex again to toddlerhood, tantrums, and tag-teaming with your partner to cover all the bases while staying (somewhat) sane.

and our second book


Sleepless Nights and Kisses by Matteo Bussola

Matteo Bussola is a designer and cartoonist who lives in Verona, Italy who has been writing posts on Facebook, capturing the beauty of ordinary moments with his family. Sleepless Nights and Kisses for Breakfast  is the memoir that grew out of these writings. Divided into winter, spring, summer, and fall, the book follows the different seasons of parenthood and life. At times moving, and at others humorous, these writings remind people to savor the present and appreciate the simple things in life.
     As Matteo says, “Virginia, Ginevra, and Melania are the lens through which I observe the world. . . . My daughters remind me that being a father means living in that gray area between responsibility and carelessness, strength and softness.” Sleepless Nights and Kisses for Breakfast is an eloquent memoir by a gifted storyteller.

Review:

Both of these books are perfect for the Dad who isn't sure he is up to the task of overseeing the life of a child. Both take ignettes from everyday life and show the humor, love and emotion in each mment. It doesn't matter if you are in sunny California or Italy, the moments to cherish in our children's lives are universal. Both books also include moments of carrying for Mom as well- something that new dads sometimes forget is just as important! Both books are equally charming and funny. I would say Diaper Dude might suit younger dads better, whereas older dads will probably relate more to Sleepless Nights. We highly recommend both books!



flashing Win

Giveaway:

In honor of Father's Day, one lucky BTHM reader will get to win this review copy of Diaper Dude, for their fav new dad!





About the Authors:


Chris Pegula,actor-turned-father-turned-designer, is the creator of Diaper Dude, America’s most high-profile line of hip gear for cool dads. After the birth of the first of his three children, Pegula noticed that most diaper bags and accessories were designed with women’s sense of style in mind and created the Diaper Dude for dads. In addressing a simple need, Pegula revolutionized an industry. 

After penning rock n’ roll biographies on acts such as The Ramones, Van Halen and Phil Spector, Frank Meyer teamed up with Chris Pegula for 2014’s From Dude to Dad: The Diaper Dude Guide to Pregnancy. In addition to his writing career (Variety, LA Weekly, New Times), Meyer has a background as a Telly, Webby and W3 award winning digital content producer for Fender Guitars and G4tv, and has directed national TV commercials for the likes of NBC, Esquire Network, Sonic, Dyson, BMW, Subway, Little Caesars and Sonic.

Matteo Bussola is a bestselling Italian author whose Facebook posts on his family’s adventures have gone viral, as they serve as moving reminders to embrace the present and value every moment we share with our loved ones. He is an architect turned cartoonist who lives in Verona, Italy with his wife, Paola, and their three young daughters, Virginia, Ginevra, and Melania
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Saturday, May 20, 2017

Come "Out of the Dark" with Mandisa (review and giveaway)

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this cd, free of charge, from Propeller Consulting, LLC,for review purposes on this blog.Many thanks to them for also providing the additional prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners are made randomly via the form used, and any stated opinions above are 100% my own and NOT influenced by any compensation received.  all opinions are my own.



This great new CD came out yesterday!

out of the dark cover



Mandisa wrote her song “Overcomer” in 2013 to encourage her close friend Kisha, who was battling breast cancer. Mandisa really believed and prayed that God was going to heal her, but when Kisha went to be with Jesus in 2014, Mandisa’s foundation was shaken in a way she never expected. She fell into a deep pit of depression for close to 3 years, shutting out her friends, family and the rest of the world. Mandisa believes if she had kept going down that road she was on, she would not be here today… but God stepped in and lifted her out of that pit by using her close friends to  communicate their love for her and God’s love for her. You can check out an interview she did on GMA discussing that depression that she found herself in,

This album is Mandisa’s way of letting her fans into her story – it’s called Out Of The Dark because that is exactly where God lifted her out of! Chekc out more of the backstory:




Review:

This CD reminded me of the movie 'Collateral Damage'. The CD is Mandisa's way of writing to Love, Death and Time, which ultimately are all tied up in God, asking the why, that she sought answers for during her time of depression. But it is also the hope of love- how the love of her friends and family of God, ultimately called her back to life, and to see the collateral beauty all around her, still waiting to be discovered, to see that SHE could be the one that God speaks through for others, as her friends had for her. It is a deeply personal CD, but one that so many of us can relate to- how grief can seem to take so much from us, But it can bring much more to us, as God shows us who we can trust and count on, and how he is ALWAYS here for us!

We were blessed to see Mandisa at The Roadshow tour 2 years ago, and her voice is an amazing gift, and even then, she was an inspiration to the entire crowd, with her joy and exhiliration with her music. You can truly see God shining through her, and with this new CD everyone will get to hear it as well! Do not miss this CD!

here's one mof my fav songs from the Cd, in an incredible acoustic version:


Tracks:
1. Voicemail (Intro)
2. I'm Still Here
3. Out Of The Dark
4. Unfinished
5. Bleed The Same (Intro) [feat. Kirk Franklin]
6. Bleed The Same [feat. Kirk Franklin]
7. Comeback Kid
8. What You're Worth [feat. Britt Nicole]
9. Dear John Praise Report
10, Good News
11. Prove Me Wrong
12. MothDisa (Interlude)
13. The One He Speaks Through
14. Shine
15. My First Love [feat. Jeremy Camp]

purchase links

Purchase:

Purchase link: Click on over to purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and other digital outets!



flashing Win




Giveaway:

One BTHM reader will get to win their own copy of this great CD!



Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Book Review and Giveaway: Glasgow Kiss by Alex Gray

.Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from Partners in Crime Book Tours, 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,  all opinions are my own.

Welcome to our spot on the Glasgow Kiss Book Tour!

Glasgow Kiss by Alex Gray

Synopsis:

Eric Chalmers is one of the most popular teachers at Muirpark Secondary School in Glasgow. Gentle and kind, he is the one adult students trust as a confidant. So when precocious teenager Julie Donaldson accuses Chalmers of rape, the school goes into shock. How could a deeply religious family man like Chalmers do such a thing? With some students and teachers supporting Julie, and others standing by Chalmers, life at Muirpark is far from harmonious. And then the situation gets much worse – Julie Donaldson goes missing, and the police are called in.


For DCI William Lorimer, this is the second missing persons case in a week. He's had too many sleepless nights worrying about a toddler who has been missing for several days. Julie's disappearance adds a further burden to Lorimer's already overstretched workload. With each day, the likelihood of either girl being found alive diminishes, and Lorimer finds himself racing against the clock to save innocent lives.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery   Published by: Harper Witness   Publication Date: May 9th 2017
Number of Pages: 368    ISBN: 0062659162 (ISBN13: 9780062659163)
Series: DCI Lorimer #6

Read an excerpt:

They were walking a little apart now. Her face was in profile, half shaded by the overhanging trees so that he could not make out her expression, though from time to time he would sneak a glance to see if she was looking his way. Her long pale-golden hair was twisted into plaits, leaving the cheekbones naked and exposed. It should have made her seem like a child but instead she looked older, more remote, and Kyle wished she’d left it loose as she usually did, burnished and glimmering in the afternoon sunshine.

It hadn’t always been like this. They’d walked through Dawsholm Park loads of times, sometimes hand in hand, dawdling by the grass verges, snatching the chance to have a quick kiss.


But now, Kyle thought gloomily, these halcyon days were over. Halcyon had been Kyle’s favourite word last term. His English teacher, Mrs. Lorimer, had explained that it derived from a Greek story about a mythical bird that in the middle of winter made its nest floating upon the Aegean seas. The bird had magical powers to make the waters calm and the winds drop. Kyle loved that story and had used the word in his own mind to describe his relationship with Julie. He’d even dreamed of them once – floating together like that bird, side by side, waves lapping gently against their boat. Something made him shiver suddenly and the girl turned to him, a question in her eyes. Kyle shook his head, too full to speak. She was still watching him and must have seen the bob of his Adam’s apple as he swallowed back the tears.


‘All right?’ Her voice was full of concern, but not for what was happening between them. Not for that.


‘Aye, fine,’ he replied but failed to stifle the sigh escaping from his chest. Would she stick with him out of pity after seeing his battered face? Part of him wanted to have Julie around, her warmth and loveliness blotting out the misery of the last two days. But deep down he knew he’d lost her long before his father’s release from prison.


‘Kyle?’


‘What?’


‘D’you want to talk about it?’ She had stopped walking now and was looking at him, frowning. ‘It might help . . .’ Her voice trailed off in an unspoken apology.

Kyle shrugged. He hadn’t talked about it to anyone though he’d done a fair amount of listening. His gran’s house had been full of talk: recriminations, wild accusations and shouting. But that was because women did that sort of thing. And because Kyle was Gran’s favourite, the youngest of her three grandsons. His brothers and his gran: they all had something to say about what Tam Kerrigan had done, and not just to him. That was one reason why he was here, with Julie, to escape from all of the talk. But also he’d been interested in the bit about the murder victim, in spite of everything. What happened to a dead person at a post-mortem examination?


He’d looked up stuff on the net, reading in a detached way about incisions and bodily fluids, not really making a link with the dead man his father had killed. Even the illustrations on the Internet site hadn’t put him off. It was like selecting bits of vacuum-packed butcher meat from the supermarket shelves and not seeing the animal they’d come from. Not like in the school trip to France where you were in no doubt about the origin of your dinner. One of the lassies had nearly thrown up that time someone had served up a chicken with everything still attached, the yellow claws curled over the platter and the head all to one side; you could imagine its squawk as the neck had been wrung.


‘Kyle?’ Julie’s voice broke into his thought


‘Och, I’m okay,’ he told her, then dropped his gaze, unable to bear the kindness in her face. ‘The bruises’ll be gone in a day or so. Probably by the time we go back to school,’ he added.

‘Are you going back right away?’

Kyle shrugged again. ‘Why not? Can’t see what good it’ll do me to hang around the house.’ He paused to let the unspoken words sink in.


Keeping out of the house meant keeping away from his father. They walked on again in silence but this time Julie reached out for his hand and he took it, feeling its warmth, glad to have her there. It would be okay. There might be folk staring at him, curious to know the truth behind what the papers said about Tam Kerrigan, but if Julie was there, even as a friend, he’d manage all right. All summer they’d talked about the advantages of being in Fourth Year, both excited, dropping the pretence of being too cool to show it. His mouth twisted at the memory. That had been another person, a young carefree creature whose whole life had stretched before him like an open road. Now that person was dead and gone, his boyhood behind him for ever.

---
Excerpt from Glasgow Kiss by Alex Gray. Copyright © 2017 by Alex Gray. Reproduced with permission from Harper Witness. All rights reserved.



Review: 
  I adore this series (this is book 6), but this isn't my favorite edition in it.  I had a hard time getting into the book and then while it held my attention, I didn't race through it like I have the previous 5 novels. The same characters are here and the repercussions from the previous book are not seeming to be major ripples, but just minor ones, that are almost asides, rather than major events.  The story line almost seemed like a leftover sub arc from the previous book, or a short story idea that was fleshed out for a book. I think if the book had been more of a novella, it might have been perfect, but it just seemed like 2 short stories thrown together to make a due date, versus a well constructed typical Alex Gray novel. But that is not to say it is a bad book, it's just felt more sophomoric compared to the rest of the series. I'm sure the next book will pick up more speed, but if you're looking to get introduced to this series, this isn't a bad way, just not as heart pounding thriller as the rest, 


About the Author 
Alex Gray
Alex Gray was born and educated in Glasgow. After studying English and Philosophy at the University of Strathclyde, she worked as a visiting officer for the Department of Health, a time she looks upon as postgraduate education since it proved a rich source of character studies. She then trained as a secondary school teacher of English.

Alex began writing professionally in 1993 and had immediate success with short stories, articles, and commissions for BBC radio programs. She has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers' Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing.

A regular on the Scottish bestseller lists, she is the author of thirteen DCI Lorimer novels. She is the co-founder of the international Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, which had its inaugural year in 2012. Connect with Alex Gray on her Website & Twitter .  



flashing Win


Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Alex Gray and Harper Collins.  There will be 3 winners of one (1) eBook copy of THE RIVERMAN (a book I loved!) by Alex Gray. 

The giveaway begins on May 7th and runs through June 1st 2017. Tour Participants:
   
Friday, May 19, 2017

Movie Review: Urban Hymn

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this screener, free of charge,from Level 33 Entertainment, via Tether, 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,  all opinions are my own.



urban myth poster



This new British movie released theatrically on the 12th, and is now also available fordigital viewing!



urban hymn still 1

Urban Hymn is a British film, telling a redemptive coming of age story about a wayward teen, Jamie (Letitia Wright), who is encouraged by an inspiring and unconventional social worker Kate (Shirley Henderson), to use singing as an escape from her troubled background.  Jamie’s loyalties soon become torn between Kate and her possessive and volatile best friend, Leanne (Isabella Laughland).



urban hymn still 2

The movie is directed by Michael Caton-Jones, known for DOC HOLLYWOOD, ROB ROY, THE JACKAL, CITY BY THE SEA, MEMPHIS BELLE, TV Mini-Series Ken Follett’s “World Without End.” And it has received numerous awards already, including:

WINNER Audience Award - International Young Audience Film Festival
WINNER Organiser’s Prize - International Young Audience Film Festival
WINNER Golden Gryphon Generator +18 - Giffoni Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Toronto International Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Busan International Film Festival

Check out the Trailer:



Review:

First- warning, this is a very much rated R movie- there is strong language, violence and sexual content. But having said that, it is a movie to be watched by parents and high schoolers, for its honesty about teens, especially those of poorer backgrounds, or 'in the system'.  It IS a British film, but the accents are not much to get around.

It has been described as 'a beautiful, yet heartbreaking film' and I can't think of a better way to describe it. It starts slow, but as you get to know Janie and Kate, you can see where Kate will be able to help Janie, if only she will let her. Janie is still a child in many ways-holding on tho the memory of her mother and her mother's love of music, and trying to be an adult, as she is ready to age out of the system. So Kate comes into her life at a very critical junction, where she has to make a choice of what she wants to be and do with her life. It is this decision making that makes the movie worthwhile for teens to watch with their parents. As the relationship between Janie and Kate continues you can see the sparks starting with Leanne, and you know there will be drama there, as she wants one path, and Janie wants another. Peer pressure 101, only at an extreme level, is fully shown, and could be an eye opener for many teens. 

The movie is about hope and there is much to root for in this movie as Janie makes decisions for her life. But with life, there can always be bad, and those choices ultimately lead to heartbreak. The movie is decidely a drama in the old school way, and when the movie is over, it stays with you and hopefully for teesn watching it, helps them to understand choices have consequences, for good and bad. It is a wonderful movie, and I'm sure it will gain many more awards before coming to our local theatres!




Book Review: Death on Nantucket by Francine Mathews

.Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from Soho Crime, 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,  all opinions are my own.



And now for Book 5 in the nantucket island Mysteries series, perfect for Summer reading!


death on nantucket cover

Synopsis:

Spencer Murphy is a national treasure. A famous Vietnam War correspondent who escaped captivity in Southeast Asia, he made a fortune off of his books and television appearances. But Spence is growing forgetful with age; he’s started to wander and even fails to come home one night. When a body is discovered at Step Above, the sprawling Murphy house near Steps Beach, Nantucket police detective Meredith Folger is called in to investigate.


The timing couldn’t be worse: It’s the Fourth of July, and tourists are arriving in droves to celebrate on Nantucket’s beaches, so the police force is spread thin. On top of that Merry is planning her wedding to cranberry farmer Peter Mason, and her new boss, an ex-Chicago police chief with an aggressive management strategy, seems to be trying to force her to quit. Merry can’t conclude the Murphy investigation quickly enough for him. As she grapples with a family of unreliable storytellers—some incapable of recalling the past, and others determined that it never be known—she suspects that the truth may be forever out of reach, trapped in the failing brain of a man whose whole life may be a lie.



Review:

Meredith is a main character that readers will love- she's honest, realistic, and seems like the girl next door. Course not every girl next door is a police officer, from a long line of them! LOL. And not all girls have their Dad as their boss! But her dad has now retired and she has to face a new boss who seems to not like female police ifficers, and her especially. Add in wedding stress and you every reader will be able to relate to her being a bit on edge! But when the current mystery requires some help to solve, merry isn't above seeking out the best resources she has- her dad and grandfather! The closeness of the family is what makes this series special and unique, and for this tale, an integral part! This is a light read, but one that will still have you rapidly trning the pages to see what will happen next, and it's not to be missed. You can step into the series at any time, but I would recommend reading 3 and 4 before this one, just for the background! Then read 1 and 2 as well.





About the Author:



Francine Mathews was born in Binghamton, New York, the last of six girls. She attended Princeton and Stanford Universities, where she studied history, before going on to work as an intelligence analyst at the CIA. She wrote her first book in 1992 and left the Agency a year later. Since then, she has written twenty-five books, including four other novels in the Merry Folger series (Death in Rough Water, Death in a Mood Indigo, Death in a Cold Hard Light, and Death on Nantucket) as well as the nationally bestselling Being a Jane Austen mystery series, which she writes under the penname Stephanie Barron. She lives and works in Denver, Colorado.  Check out her website for mroe info 

Follow Bless Their Hearts Mom