Tuesday, June 28, 2016

2016 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge



Although I have done A-Z challenges a few times over, I have decided to take up yet another one that I just came across. This one has to be completed by December 31st which is quite doable. Maybe I might manage to get that TBR pile down. Nah...
I will update on THIS PAGE officially but most likely blog each book as usual.

Anyway, the books can be in any genre. Even though I will be reviewing the books I read, you don't have to!

Would you like to take up this challenge? Go HERE to sign up and for official rules. Good luck!

~M.M. Hudson aka Naila Moon

Saturday, June 18, 2016

#Review: S.A.I.N.T.: How to live more fully in the Spirit by Charles Jacquin #spiritual #selfhelp


Summary:
"Is it possible to be a saint in this life? The answer is yes! S.A.I.N.T., a new practice, describes in specific detail how to reshape your perceptions and behavior to do just that. This is not about becoming a saint proclaimed by church authorities. This is a lifestyle, a way of functioning in this world. There are five specific steps required. Each step is illustrated and explained, so that you can fully experience God working in your life, just as historical saints did. Sainthood does require commitment to heavenly standards. Explore how you can see the world you live in through the eyes of a saint. 

S.A.I.N.T. opens you to the possibility of miracles happening every day. By applying the principles outlined in this book, you can open the window to the divine. Find your inner peace. Fear, rejection, or lack of personal self-esteem can no longer hold you back from being who you really are. S.A.I.N.T. invites you to recognize the saint that you are. If you are tired of the same old drumbeat of life’s ups and downs, read how to live more fully in the spirit. The method is here! It’s time to shine your light to the world." 


My review:
This is an amazing spiritual insight from a man who for 40 years thought nothing of spirituality.
He has a personal encounter with God and his life is changed for ever. He transforms his life in living as the saint he is meant to be. 

He describes being a "saint" in five easily obtainable  and clear words, thus S.A.I.N.T. It is a journey he began and one that he shares with those he meets and those who read his book. You do not have to be extraordinary to follow just be open.

This book is timeless and worth the read for anyone who has lost their way, seeking a personal journey with God, needing to find the meaning of life, or just do not know what to do with life in general. 

Usually, this reader when reviewing a religious, spiritual, or self-help book, reads the book as a scholarly work. That is what I began this book with as well, but by the end, it meant more to me than I expected.

5 stars!

Disclosure: I "happened" to have met the author and had conversation with him before I read his book. He only told me that he was an author but never disclosed what was in his book and allowed me to find the book on my own. As it was, I found the book in my local library. Even having met the author, my review and opinions here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. M.M. Hudson aka Naila Moon

Where to find the author:
Amazon
Goodreads

Friday, June 17, 2016

PUT ME IN THE STORY AND NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS PRESENT… THE LITTLE EXPLORER DRAWING CONTEST!



THE LITTLE EXPLORER DRAWING CONTEST!

Contest Open: June 1- July 1, 2016

To Enter: Adults 18+ can fill out the form on the contest page to enter.

For EXTRA entries: Download the free coloring pages on the contest page and share a photo of your child’s drawing on their coloring page with the hashtag #ColorAndExplore on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook! You can also upload the drawing to the photo gallery on the contest page.
*Social media posts must be public for them to be counted as an extra entry.

1 GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive:
·        Family vacation to San Diego!
o   4-days/3-nights for a family of 4! Includes flights, hotel
·        National Geographic Little Kids Book of Animals and National Geographic Little Kids Book of Dinosaurs personalized books

2 RUNNER-UP WINNERS will receive:
·        National Geographic Little Kids Book of Animals and National Geographic Little Kids Book of Dinosaurs personalized books
·        1-year subscriptions to National Geographic Kids magazine and National Geographic magazine


ABOUT THE BOOKS



National Geographic Little Kids Book of Animals

Explore the rain forest, the ocean, and the icecaps with this personalized guide for your animal-lover! National Geographic Little Kids Book of Animals is a colorful introduction to some of the world’s coolest creatures. From blue morpho butterflies and red-eyed tree frogs to tigers and polar bears, this personalized guide is sure to indulge your junior explorer.

Each page features beautiful photos of the animal alongside quick facts about its size, diet, and habitat. Questions like “How fast can you run?” are woven throughout to keep your little one’s interest. 

Personalize this book with your child’s name, photo, and an encouraging dedication message to create a memorable keepsake. For a special surprise, check out the final pages, where your child can mark their favorite animal characteristics, then draw themselves as their favorite animal!


National Geographic Little Kids Book of Dinosaurs

Take a trip back in time with this personalized guide through the prehistoric world! With full-color illustrations, quick facts, and pronunciation guides, National Geographic Little Kids Book of Dinosaurs has plenty of information to captivate your paleontologist-in-training.

This kid-friendly reference book includes dinosaurs of all kinds: big and small, scaled and feathered, meat-eating and plant-eating. Your kiddo will learn fun facts about each dinosaur and answer questions like, “How many plates do you see on the Stegosaurus?” 

Personalized with your child’s name, photo, and special dedication message, National Geographic Little Kids Book of Dinosaurs will become a favorite read. On the final pages, your child can mark the dinosaur qualities they like best, then draw themselves as a dinosaur!



About National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Kids inspires young adventurers to explore the world through award-winning magazines, books, apps, games, toys, videos, events and a website, and is the only kids brand with a world-class scientific organization at its core. National Geographic Kids magazine (10 issues per year) and National Geographic Little Kids magazine (six issues per year) are photo-driven publications available on newsstands or by subscription in print and on tablets. National Geographic Kids Books is the leading nonfiction publisher for kids with more than 100 titles each year, including The New York Times best-seller “Kids Almanac.”

About Put Me In The Story
Put Me In The Story, the #1 personalized books site in the U.S., creates personalized versions of bestselling books and books where you star alongside your favorite characters. Our gifts capture moments that matter and memories that last. With each touching picture and special dedication message, our readers have become our most dynamic characters.

Put Me In The Story inspires a love for reading, across all ages and generations, through the experience of shared, personalized stories.


#Review: It's Ok to Be Me! by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos/ Illustrated by Marta Fabrega #DiverseBooks



Summary:
From a child's point of view, life can often seem difficult, but this brightly illustrated book--one in a set of two Live and Learn titles--encourages children never to be afraid of a challenge. It's all right to be a little scared about things that seem hard to do, but whatever the challenge, determination and practice can get them through. The child in this story must stay in a wheelchair. Sometimes, he feels bad because he is left out of things by his classmates. One day, watching his friends play basketball, he has an idea. He decides that even while remaining in his wheelchair, he too can learn to play the game. The text is simple and the illustrations on every page are appealing. Four pages presenting activities for children appear at the back of each book, followed by a two-page section for parents, with tips on explaining the subject in more detail.

My review: This is a cute book that has the main character, a boy, who is in a wheelchair.

The story starts out as he tells about himself and moves in to things that upset him, like wanting to play with other kids.

He takes control of the situation and learns to do things in his wheelchair by himself. Although scared, he learns to persevere and show others that just because he is in a wheelchair , he is just like them.

This was a good book to show other kids that all kids want to be happy and have friends. Even if children do not have a disability, there may be other challenges they have to face and can do it if they work at it.

The illustrations are bold and bright. They engage the reader to know more.
4 stars

Disclosure: I picked up a copy of this book from the local library. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours.

Where to find the author:

Goodreads
Amazon

Thursday, June 16, 2016

#Review: This Little President: A Presidential Primer by Joan Holub/ Illustrated by Daniel Roode #Toddlers #boardbooks #Presidents



Summary:
Now even the youngest patriots can learn about America’s presidential history with this bright and playful board book. Highlighting ten of the most memorable presidents—and featuring all forty-four on the last page—parents and presidents-in-training alike will love sharing this fun primer full of age-appropriate facts, leadership skills, and White House history.

My review: 
Since it is an election year here in the U.S. this book is timely. The book opens with highlighting our first President and ends with our current. Each page tells about the President in rhyme and then a small tidbit about him. The author is a master of her small rhymes for children. Even though the rhymes are small, they are also informative.

This adorable book is just right for the little hands to hold as it is smaller and is a hardback board book. The illustrations are colorful and come to life. The Presidents are done in a bit of cartoon-ish form which not only appealed to me but appeals to children too. My grandson loved this book!

The last page features all of the Presidents with a question as who will be elected soon. That is nice as children can find out who all the Presidents were. Yes, it is aimed at toddlers but older kids will like it too.

Joan Holub has done it again and this book is sure to be a treasure on book shelves for years to come.  5 stars!

Disclosure: I received this book in exchange for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. aka Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Joan HolubAmazon | Goodreads | Facebook







Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Kid Lit Blog Hop-June 2016 #KidLitHop, #KLBH



Hi Everyone! I am excited you all are here again for this month of Kid Lit. I appreciate all of you coming back time and time again to discuss everything related to children's literature. 
I would like to ask if you have the logo still attached to Mother Daughter reviews, to change it to go here. There is no information for the hop there anymore and all comes from here. Thanks for that!
Although THIS book is actually considered YA, I think it is worth taking a look at. The story is short, only 40 pages but I did enjoy it. Happy hopping everyone! M.M aka Naila Moon

It's Summer time! We want to welcome you to the June 2016  Kid Lit Blog Hop. This exciting, monthly hop, is where we develop an engaged group of people who love everything that has to do with children's literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!



Simply make a post related to Children’s literature and add it to the linky. (Please make sure to add your direct post only) If you are an author, feel free just to link to your blog.



Once you are done, then hop around to visit others. Please follow the co-host and visit at least the two people above your link. Please leave a comment when you do visit, we all like those.

Also, it would be appreciated if you grab the Kid Lit Blog Hop Badge and display it on your blog and/or your post.



We would also be grateful if you tweet about the blog hop. Let’s grow this wonderful community.



Our next hop will be July 20, 2016.  The hostess will be around to see you. Happy Hopping!




Reading Authors, Hostess



Julie Grasso


BeachBoundBooks


Cheryl Carpinello


Pragmatic Mom


The Logonauts



Spark and Pook


Hits and Misses

Friday, June 10, 2016

#Review: Ghost Investigating the Other Side by Katherine Ramsland #paranormal #adultnonfiction



Summary:
Katherine Ramsland turns her keen and curious eye to the phenomena of ghosts to uncover the truth behind a number of supernatural "sightings". Written in the bold tradition of participatory journalism, Ramsland's extraordinary investigative memoir takes readers directly into the world of ghost hunting and paranormal activity, offering an unflinching account of this mysterious world. On the track of an authentic "haunting," Ramsland encounters psychics, shamans, voodoo practicioners, and high-tech ghost hunters eager to reveal how to contact spirits. But through her own daring experiments, Ramsland is able to penetrate the supernatural mystery that has inspired paranormal investigations worldwide.

My review:
I was initially intrigued by this book as I have a sheer fascination with ghost and the after life. I will state that I have had my own encounters so, I tend to seek out books like this.

That being said, the author writes this book in first person and in the beginning as purely investigative after encountering a modern day vampire. Now, this may seem non-plausible except that she had done previous works about the subject of vampires. This "vampire" had given her an object, a ring, that purportedly belonged to a now ghost, named "Christian". This act sent her on a journey of what could be said, epic proportions.

The author was lead to many ghostly sites particularly in the Eastern and Southern regions of the U.S., Gettysburg was one that she mentioned periodically throughout the book. It did lead her to Arizona in the ghost town of Jerome of which this reader is familiar with.

In her investigation, she met up with many mediums, psychics, ghost hunters, and people who had encounters with various ghost. Each encounter brought her one step closer, or so it seemed, to the truth about this mysterious ring and ghostly visitors in general. She even went so far as to become a "ghost hunter" complete with all the equipment needed for such an endeavor.

Even though I was initially intrigued and completed reading the book because of it, I often felt bogged down in the reading. Much of the things the author spoke about were repetitive experiences or readings that mediums would get from the ring. I felt at times, she was truly unwilling to accept the things she experienced. In fact, at the end, although she is apparently still ghost hunting,  she seems to negate her entire fact finding mission. She even ends up ridding herself of the ring in what seems like a melodramatic ending made to sound like a movie. Or did she? It was disappointing and if nothing else, lead to even more questions.

Although, the book shows photographic evidence of orbs, it does not prove or disprove anything. I am sure her experiences were real but the intertwined store of "Christian" and his lover just seems contrived at best. Was his story told as the book's dedication is made to him? I tend to doubt it, but who knows, maybe the author has more encounters up her sleeve and another book to come out eventually that truly does tell his story and not of "the others".

All in all, the author's true reason for writing this book was to investigate with hopes of finding the real. She took painstaking time to do that and it seems she is still on that quest. I wish her luck in that endeavor to see a real ghost.

3 stars as the book is ok to me.

Disclosure: I  picked up this book for a free giveaway from my local library. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours.  ~M.M. aka Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Katherine Ramsland
Amazon

Sunday, June 5, 2016

#Spotlight: Big Hair and Buttermilk Pie by Lori Stacy #mysteries


Disclosure: I agreed to spotlight this book as part of the Great Escapes Blog Tours. ~M.M.
Big Hair & Buttermilk Pie:
A Rose Cottage Cafe Mystery
Cozy Mystery
Superlative Media (April 18, 2016)
Print Length: 116 pages
ASIN: B01DL3XZGI

Synopsis:

Mandy Hemphill is living her dream, running the successful Rose Cottage Cafe in Orchardville, Texas, from the ground floor of a converted, old—and possibly haunted—downtown home. She even had plans to grow her business with a new outdoor patio…if only the mayor wouldn’t have turned her down.
So when the beloved mayor is found murdered, Mandy finds herself among the suspects. And now business at the cafe is dropping faster than a fallen soufflé. How can she prove her innocence and save the Rose Cottage Cafe?
Thankfully Ben, the new owner of The Orchardville Gazette, doesn’t believe she’s guilty. As the two of them set out to find the real killer, they uncover one small-town lie after the next. But the closer they get to learning the truth about who killed the mayor, the more in danger they find themselves.
If you would like to enter in the giveaway for a copy of this book, GO HERE.
About The Author –
 After her twenty-year career in magazine publishing came to a screeching halt faster than you can say “print is dead,” Lori Stacy decided it was time to finally turn the many stories she had been crafting in her head over the years into books.
Lori has authored a number of fiction and nonfiction books for young adults, has written articles for both print and online publications, and has written about hotels for one of the world’s leading search engines.
She lives in Texas with her husband and three children. When she is not writing, you can usually find her in the kitchen baking treats (which she says are for her children) or trying to train their hundred-pound golden retriever, an obedience school dropout.
You can find out more about Lori and her latest books at www.loristacy.com, provided she didn’t forget to pay her web hosting bill.
Author Links
Purchase Link: 

Friday, June 3, 2016

#Review: I'm Not Really Here by Tim Allen



Summary:
The popular actor and comedian shares his observations on why things are the way they are while sharing his offbeat opinions about the meaning of life and his personal role in it. 

My review:

I like the author as actor and comedian so, I thought picking up this book would be a good fit for me. Well...
Tim Allen, the family man, finds himself alone for one weekend and having an issue finding a car part and in the midst of a mid-life crisis. His search for the part allows him to search for unanswered questions on the meaning of life.

I found myself at time giggling at the author's personal antidotes and flashbacks of childhood but I thought the book would be more funny. I thought it would be even more about his life. It wasn't, at least not that much. In fact, the author sometimes carried on with such dribble about quantum physics that it was painful to read. The next to last chapter was nothing more than a letter from a friend that I almost decided to skip it altogether. 

However, I didn't. The reason is that I find the meaning of life to be a interesting topic. Quantum physics aside, it becomes important to all of us at some points in our lives. In essence, we all eventually question why we are here or have a mid-life crisis. For the author, this book was much more like a diary, so personal that he was compelled to write it. The thought though is maybe he should not have.

In any case, I found the book to be okay and rather honest. Although, he could have made the whole thing up in some regard as he might have not been there when he wrote it. *wink* For his efforts and thought provoking ideas he gets my 3 stars.

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book for my own collections. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. aka Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Amazon
Goodreads

Thursday, June 2, 2016

#Review: The Abducted by J.T. Lewis #YA #paranormalmystery



Summary:

It was just a party. 
There were six of them, three guys and three girls enjoying the cool fall evening. Good friends, they had been drawn together in high school like pieces of steel to a magnet. Considered nerds by many in their school, all of them were near the top of their class and seemed destined for big things. 
But something in the sky that night changed their lives forever! 

Based on actual events...maybe... 


My Review:

This book is a short YA story meant to be a prequel for a series I have not read. This makes no difference to me because I was hooked from the very first words in the book. 

To me alien abduction is a fascinating subject, one that certainly would not be discussed among the masses but maybe in close friendship with someone. In this book, several close friends are just barely in high school and encounter a strange event that makes them not only lose time but gets them in a whole lot of trouble. It also gives them strange powers.


The premise of this story runs the gamut of well-known cheezy abduction stories to possibilities of something out there. The author even includes the characteristics of the aliens as long bodies, big heads, and large black eyes. Yes, I have heard that before but I had to smile when I read it.


I like how the author also weaved a budding romance and strong friendships that have lasted in the tests of time and abduction. What a way to have a friendship!  He also introduced scientific studies that seemingly come out of the latest sci-fi movie. I love it!


This story is directed at young adults but I feel that adults would like it too. I did! It is a mere 40 pages and worth the read if nothing more than to put a smile on your face and wonder, "Are We Alone?"


Now I have to read the series. I give this 4 alien stars!


Disclosure: I received a copy of this book as a free download from Kindle. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. Hudson aka Naila Moon


Where to find the author:




Amazon

Goodreads

#Giveaway: $150 Paypal & Ebook, Tortured Souls: The House On Wellfleet Bluffs #paranormalbooks #paranormalthrillers @LindaACadose @MMHudson1968 @TheHitsMisses


Author Linda Cadose's $150 Paypal & Ebook Giveaway

Co-hosts: 
M.M. Hudson
J.A. Gerber

I am happy to be co-hosting this giveaway on behalf of Linda Cadose. I may be a bit biased of course about this book. It was an experience to co-write but I do love the book!  I hope you enjoy the book and want it in your collections!

Author Linda Cadose previously wrote two middle-grade adventure books but has now switched genres to paranormal books for adults. Introducing, Tortured Souls: The House On Wellfleet Bluffs, written in collaboration with J.A. Gerber and M.M. Hudson, this book follows Lynne and Jason and a house full of ghost.



About the book:
In some towns, the past is easily forgotten. Not in Wellfleet Bluffs. Lynne and Jason buy their dream house online and quickly move to the quaint little town. After unexplained events send them looking for answers, will they become a forgotten part of history or will they find the answers and help the ghosts of the past find peace?

PURCHASE On Kindle or Free on Kindle Unlimited

Paperback coming soon!
Linda Cadose would like to present this book to the world at large by generously offering a giveaway for $150 Paypal and a Kindle copy of the book for one lucky winner. Simply enter in the Giveaway Tools below.


About the author:
2013 Summer Pinnacle Book Award winner, Linda Cadose enjoys weaving fantasy and truth, creating tales filled with mystery and mayhem. She is a retired respiratory therapist with over 40 years in the field. She resides in Carver, MA.


Disclosure:
This giveaway is sponsored by author Linda Cadose who is responsible for prize distribution.. M.M. Hudson aka Naila Moon was asked to promote this giveaway is not responsible for prize shipment. I did receive compensation for this post. The prize is $150 Paypal and the ebook, Tortured Souls: The House On Wellfleet Bluffs. The giveaway begins 6/2/16 at 1 AM and ends 6/17/16 at 11:59 PM, open Worldwide. You must be at 18+ to enter. You MUST have an active Paypal account and Kindle account for payment. No other payment options will be available and paid only in U.S. dollars. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Winner will be randomly selected via Giveaway Tools. The winner has 48 hours to respond to an email sent to them or forfeit their prize of which an alternate winner will be chosen. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Twitter, Google or any other social media outlet.

KID LIT BLOG HOP-June 2017

Hello, welcome back to another month of terrific children's literature. We welcome you to the June 2017 Kid Lit Blog Hop. This ...