Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Book Review: Royally Romanov by Teri Wilson

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge,from Gallery Threshhold via Netgalley,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.

Looking for a good Summer by the pool read? 

Got one for you, that has an interesting historical, romance take too!

royally romanov cover


In this charming modern day retelling of the 1956 classic Anastasia, a museum curator falls for a mysterious man who may or may not be a long lost heir to Russia’s imperial Romanov dynasty.

Finley Abbot is organizing the most prestigious art exhibit of her career at the Louvre museum—a retrospective of art from the House of Romanov. But the sudden appearance of Maxim Romanov threatens to turn her into the biggest laughingstock of the art world. When she finds herself falling in love, she realizes there’s even more at stake than her career. How can she trust a man with her whole world when he can’t remember a thing about his past?

After suffering a violent blow to the head, Maxim’s only clue to his identity is a notebook containing carefully researched documentation in his own handwriting indicating that he is the sole surviving descendant of the Grand Duchess Anastasia, previously thought dead in the murder of her family during Russia’s Bolshevik revolution. His struggle to put the mysterious pieces of his past back together leads him to Finley. At first, she’s convinced Maxim is nothing but a con artist. But there’s something undeniably captivating about the beautiful, brooding man who claims to be searching for his identity—something Finley can’t quite bring herself to resist. When he reveals a secret about one of the imperial FabergĂ© eggs in the collection, she accepts he may actually be telling the truth. But as soon as Finley and Maxim act on their feelings for one another, Maxim is confronted with evidence that calls into question everything he’s begun to believe about himself.


This book is actuallVolume 2 in The Royals Series, from Wilson (Vol 1 being Royally Wed), but the first I have read from her. Loving the whole Romanov mystique, I was a goner from the first chapter, and quickly read through the whole book! This is a light, romantic take of the original movie, and for those who enjoyed it, there is the added nuance of comparing the two! Add in a good dose of mystery, romance and the history and you have a compelling beach read, perfect for a 'Summer getaway'! Make sure this is on your Summer reading list too!

About the Author:

Teri Wilson’s novels Unleashing Mr. Darcy and The Art of Us are now both Hallmark Channel Original Movies. Teri is also a contributing writer at HelloGiggles.com and Teen Vogue, covering books, pop culture, and everything royal. She’s crazy about cute animals, vintage fashion, and traveling. Visit her at TeriWilson.net

Help Your Kids Break the Code with Code 7! by Bryan Johnson

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge,from FSB Asspciates, 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.
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From the minute they wake up in the morning, most kids are far too busy dealing with schoolwork, their activities, and their responsibilities at home. In other words, they are busy doing what they are told. But what about what our kids aspire to do? Can we do more to expose our children to a full spectrum of possibilities beyond standardized tests, dance recitals, and taking care of Fido? Entrepreneur Bryan R. Johnson believes we can!

code 7 cover


Life at Flint Hill Elementary School may seem normal, but seven friends soon find themselves on a path to crack the code for an epic life.  Whether they’re chasing their dreams on stage, searching for an elusive monster fish, or running a makeshift business out of a tree house, can these heroes find a way to work together to change their community?

Johnson wrote Code 7 because he believes we can help our upcoming generation take charge of their lives to better the world. Code 7 provides a roadmap for a diverse audience of children and their advocates to start early and make meaning in their lives today. Not only are the stories in Code7 engaging for children to read, but the book is also perfect for parents and educators to share with kids to address themes of: 

Young people making a difference / changing the world
Determining the values you want to live by 
Being empowered to follow your passions
Service learning and social entrepreneurship 
Identity, self-confidence, and self-esteem 


This book is aimed at kids in greades 2-6. Younger kids will benefit from family reading time, and older kids will be able to read its alone and leas the discussions. Parents can download a discussion guide from the wesbsite to start theie kids thinking about how THEY will crack the code, and what their code word will be. teaching character is never easy, but this book presents it and responsibility in ways that kids can not only understand, but better relate to. The end result is that your kids will quickly read and be ready to apply in their own lives!

After your kids read the book, they can share the code word  they decide to live by with others via the website, and pay it forward to thos ethey know who are doing the same, to win  Challenge prizes. It's a book that will KEEP your kids thinking, doing, and CARING for others! And that is a book so worthwhile, as it is a life lesson in of itself! We highly recommend adding this book to your Summer reading list!

About the Author:

No matter where Bryan R. Johnson is—in the car, at the dinner table, or around the campfire—he loves inventing stories for his children on demand. A successful entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and founder of Kernel, OS Fund and Braintree, Johnson is also a real-life adventurer. If he’s not flying airplanes, he’s exploring the ruins of ancient Rome or climbing the peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro. He also loves fist bumps over handshakes, pizza without the crust, and colorful shoes.

Bless Their Little Giveaways Linky: June 27-July 3, 2017

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Reciipe Wekend: Modern Sugar Flowers by Jacqueline Butler

.Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge,from F+W Media, 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.
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Something else that might be on your "meaning to do" list,
 is how to properly decorate a cake.

Or maybe you already know the basics, but want to learn those WOW factor sugar flowers?

THIS book is here to show you JUST how to do that!

modern sugar flowers cover


Internationally acclaimed sugar artist Jacqueline Butler has developed a unique style of cake decorating with sugar flowers, which she generously shares in this beautifully illustrated book.

Through over 600 exquisite photographs, you will learn how to create 18 stylized gumpaste flowers in various stages of bloom, as well as buds and leaves, using a fresh modern color palette.

Jacqueline also reveals how to use the flowers to create artful arrangements on wedding and celebration cakes, including working directly on single- and multi-tier cakes, as well as pre-made toppers and separators.

Inspirational and practical, this step-by-step cake decorating book will be your go-to reference on sugar flowers for years to come.

Modern Sugar Flowers  sample 1


As you can see from the samples above, and below, you get some pretty AMAZING photos that take you step by step along the way to make 18 sugar flowers that will not only WOW your family and friends, but increase your confidence that you CAN make some pretty amazing cakes too! The instructions are very straightforward, as you can see, and the intro section goes over tools and tricks of the trade, as well as simple recipes you need tor the flowers. Due to our extreme heat wave, I wasn't about to try to make any of the flowers, but having made fondant flowers with similar techniques, I believe the one sin this book are truly attainable, as long as you have the right recipe, tools and directions, which 2 are in the book for you! Who knows, this book might just inspire you, or the teens, to start a new family business, that future generations will look back on and say "WOW it started with a book?"! We can't recommend it enough for some Summer fun!

Modern Sugar Flowers sample 2

About the author;

Jacqueline Butler is a wedding cake designer and sugar artist based in San Diego, California, under the business name Petalsweet Cakes. She teaches sugar flowers internationally, including the USA, Australia, Europe and Asia. She's known for her sophisticated flowers in soft pastel shades, modern flower arrangements and the ability to break down the flower-making process into achievable steps, leading to beautiful results. Check out her Facebook page for more great ideas and creations!

Book Review: The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide by James M. Beidler

.Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge,from F+W Media, 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.
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Need a Summer project for YOU, that you can get the kids involved in too?

How about tracing that family genealogy?

Along the way, the kids will learn about their ancestors, how they lived, ancient naming patterns, and maybe some history (Summer education, score!), and you can knock an item off your "meaning to do" list!

This new book can help get you on your way!

The Family Tree German Genealogy Guideby cover


Follow your family tree back to its roots in Bavaria, Baden, Prussia, Hesse, Saxony, Wurttemburg and beyond. This in-depth genealogy guide will walk you step by step through the exciting journey of researching your German heritage, whether your ancestors came from lands now in modern-day Germany or other German-speaking areas of Europe, including Austria, Switzerland, and enclaves across Eastern Europe.

In this book, you'll learn how to:
- Retrace your German immigrant ancestors' voyage from Europe to America.
- Pinpoint the precise place in Europe your ancestors came from.
- Uncover birth, marriage, death, church, census, court, military, and other records documenting your ancestors' lives.
- Access German records of your family from your own hometown.
- Decipher German-language records, including unfamiliar German script.
Understand German names and naming patterns that offer research clues.

You'll also find maps, timelines, sample records and resource lists throughout the book for quick and easy reference. Whether you're just beginning your family tree or a longtime genealogy researcher, the Family Tree German Genealogy Guide will help you conquer the unique challenges of German research and uncover your ancestors' stories.


I was VERY lucky when I started researching my dad's German line to find a cousin (like 16 times removed, LOL), who had just been and looked at farm books and church registries in the German area I needed (which was really Prussia, aka Poland now), and he was able to email me copies of the shots he took, saving me EONS of letters being translated into German and sent to archdioceses and more. But if you don't have that luck, trying to figure out boundary lines, where to find records (remember that little thing called World War II? Yup, lots of records got destroyed (purposely and accidentally). So this book is just the thing you need to not only start you in the right direction (which country now holds the records you need), but to decipher and figure out your next step. 

Being able to find your family on the big ancestral site like they show on TV is not as easy as it is made to be. Living relative's info is NOT online, so typically you have to go back 3 -4 generations, and try to make matches. That can be problematic, espeically when there are 14 Carl Otto Heinrich's in the Minnesota area, all born within 6 months of each other. Which one is your great-grandfather, and which one is a 5th cousin, twice removed? Because, as you will find out with this book, families shared the same ancestor's names, over and over. The book contains a wealth of historical info as well, that might actually help you on other lines that tie into your German ones, as well. making it well worth the money to have as a genealogical resource!

If you are looking to start your German line, be SURE to pick up this book, it just might be the proverbial life-saver, and help you find your German line, and cousins, quicker than you think possible! 

About the Author:

James M. Beidler came by his German genealogy expertise honestly - it took him more than 20 years of searching to find any ancestry that wasn't from Germany! Beidler is a columnist for German Life magazine and is considered to "go-to" person for German genealogy articles and lectures.

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