Tag Archives: family

Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess by Deedee Cummings (Book Review)

Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess by Deedee Cummings

(Ages 4-10),  24 pages

 

Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess is a heartwarming story about family, role models, dreams, and discovering a determination for growth. 

The first in a five-part series, this diverse picture book shines the spotlight on a little brown girl who loves musical theater and never lets anything get in the way of her dreams. Everyone else has an idea of who she should be, but in the end, she discovers that she is the one who gets to decide. 

The story also reveals the special family dynamic that Kayla shares with her mom; a hard-working woman who struggles with the guilt of not being as available for her young daughter as she would like. But as the story progresses, Kayla and her mom realize the impact of valuing the time they have together as well as the importance of seeing each other acknowledge (and pursue) their individual dreams. 

“Daughters often learn their place in the world by watching their mothers claim theirs.” ~Author Deedee Cummings

 
 

Kindle Purchase Link ~ Print Purchase Link 
Make a Way Media    
Goodreads

 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess by Deedee Cummings delivered a powerful message to any child reading or listening to the story. Be proud of who you are! 
 
As the author stated, people can be mean sometimes, but it’s important not to pay attention to them. While that feat is difficult, it’s essential to teach children to value themselves over other people’s opinions of them. 
 
As with any other children’s book I read, I always ask my daughter’s impression. Her opinion is important since she is the viewing audience. She’s a bit older than the target audience (3-7), but I still value her input. 🙂
 
Here’s what she had to say. 
 
“I love the teddy bear on the cover since I love teddy bears. The highlight around the words makes it easier to read because the background is so careful. It makes the words pop on the pages. I love the background colors too. The pages look mystical or magical. Oh, and the fox is really cute.”
 
When I asked her what she’d score from 1-5, she said (without hesitation) a 5.
I agree. 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Deedee Cummings
As a therapist, attorney, CEO of Make A Way Media, and author of fifteen children’s books, Deedee Cummings has a passion for ensuring equality, inclusion, and social justice for the next generation. Since her first book published in 2014, Cummings has been on a mission to help young dreamers and doers “see themselves” in the pages of the books they read.

Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field, and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care.

By the end of 2021, this #OWNVOICES author will have fifteen diverse children’s books to her credit, including the Rapid Release of her Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess five-book series. All fifteen of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life.

Cummings is also the founder and creator of the Louisville Book Festival, a literacy-based celebration in Louisville, KY, celebrated on October 22nd and 23rd, 2021.

connect with the author:  website  ~ make a way media  ~ twitter   ~  facebook ~ pinterest ~ instagramgoodreads

 

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The Last Imperator by M L Tishner (Book Review)

 

How much will she sacrifice for peace?

After six months of campaigning, Rei and the other Volocio have barely convinced half the star cluster to vote for the Federation.

Activist groups from all sides are calling for a war Rei is destined to declare, but she won’t do it. While she wants to kill the Dominion Sovereign – Anekris Praymer – she wants to destroy him herself. She can channel lightning – she is the god queen – she doesn’t need more than that and the whole star cluster doesn’t need to go to war for it.

But tensions are rising beyond both their control and when both Rei and Anekris are trapped together after an attack – they strike up an uneasy alliance.

As time progresses, Rei finds herself wondering – will they remain enemies or will they join together and finally unite the Federation and Dominion?

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Niklaryn

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)


WOW, what a marvelous read! 

The Last Imperator by M. L. Tisher had continuous action sequences, betrayal, family drama, love, magic, and surprise developments. It’s the type of story you’ll want to pull an all-nighter to read so that you can finish it in one sitting. I would’ve done just that, but I had to teach the following morning, so I reluctantly put the book aside to catch some zzz’s. However, come bright, and early the next day, I hurried back to The Last Imperator. 

M. L. Tisher did a spectacular job developing a solid storyline. I loved every dramatic moment—sibling against sibling. Even though this story took place in space and with individuals who possessed unique talents/powers, M. L. Tisher gave them qualities we would see here on Earth: anxiety and panic attacks. The Last Imperator didn’t shy away from mental illness; you’ll read multiple mentions of it. As a person who suffers from several mental issues, I appreciated how M. L. Tisher presented it in The Last Imperator.

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

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Read the first four chapters for FREE!

 

 

Mari, a native Hoosier, currently lives in southern Germany where she entertains people with her adventures as an American expat in the Land of Beer and Pretzels on her blog adventuresoflamari.com as well as the adventures of her pugs, Abner and Roxy. When she’s not writing, Mari cooks, snowboards, dances to the beat of her own drum, reads late into the night, and binge watches Netflix with her husband. The God Queen is her debut novel.

 

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Again: Surviving Cancer Twice with Love and Lists by Christine Shields Corrigan (Book Review)

 

A breast cancer diagnosis at forty-nine forces Christine Shields Corrigan, a wife, mom, and meticulous list-maker, to confront her deepest fears of illness, death, and loss of control as she struggles to face cancer again. From the discovery of a “junky” cyst, to chemotherapy and surgery, sleepless nights filled with rosaries and “what ifs,” and shifting family dynamics, her adult experience mirrors her teen bout with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, with one exception—she no longer has parents keeping her in the dark.

With the ghosts of cancer past hovering around her, Chris falls into the same overprotective traps her taciturn Irish-Catholic parents created, striving to keep her family’s life “normal,” when it is anything but, and soldiering through on her own, until a neighbor’s unexpected advice and gift move her to accept others’ help. With fierce honesty, poignant reflection, and good humor, Chris shares a journey filled with sorrow, grace, forgiveness, and resilience, as she winds her way through cancer for the second time. Again offers practical guidance and hope to individuals that they have the strength to forge a path beyond a diagnosis.

 
Buy the Book:
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from
 iRead Book Tours 
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Christine Shields Corrigan refers to cancer as the Beast; I think of it as more as the bogeyman no one wants to face. Just uttering the word cancer strikes fear in the minds of anyone, regardless of age. And Christine was correct when she stated in Again: Surviving Cancer Twice with Love and Lists— “Cancer is an equal opportunity disease. No one is immune, and we’re all the same when it hits.”

I’ve never faced the Beast or the bogeyman; therefore, I didn’t realize how many side effects there were to the chemo drugs. I was aware of the hair loss and memory issues, but the vast number of other side effects astounded me. I couldn’t imagine walking a mile, let alone an inch, in Christine’s shoes — any cancer patient’s shoes for that matter. The physical, emotional, and psychological toll it takes on a person seems almost too much to bear. 

For those facing the Beast, I encourage you to read Again: Surviving Cancer Twice with Love and Lists. Christine shares tips on what helped her cope with specific side effects of the treatments. She also included resources for books, bras (after reconstruction), tattoo artists, and much more.  

If you are a friend or family member facing the evil C-word, you should read Again: Surviving Cancer Twice with Love and Lists. It will give you great insight into what your loved one is facing or will be facing. 

 
Donate today:
 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~B&N ~ BAM
Book Depository ~ IndieBound
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 
Meet the Author: 
Christine Shields Corrigan is a two-time cancer survivor, wife, mom, and author of Again: Surviving Cancer Twice with Love and Lists . In addition to Again , Chris has published a number of lyrical and practical essays where she gives voice to the beautiful ordinary. Her work about family, illness, writing, and resilient survivorship has appeared in anthologies, magazines, and other publications including, The Brevity Blog, Grown & Flown, Horn Pond Review, The Potato Soup Journal and Anthology, Purple Clover, Ravishly.com, Wildfire Magazine, and the Writer’s Circle 2 Anthology.

Chris’ essay, “Not Back to But Forward,” about how her cancer experiences helped her cope with COVID-19 is included in (Her)oics: Women’s Lived Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic (edited by Joanell Serra and Amy Roost), an anthology that draws together the stories of 52 women across the US during the Covid-19 pandemic (March 2021). A graduate of Manhattan College and Fordham University School of Law, Chris built a successful career as a labor and employment law attorney and as a legal writer and editor. After surviving cancer in midlife, Chris became a freelance writer. She also teaches creative nonfiction writing for an adult education program, provides writing workshops for cancer support groups, and is the chair of the programming committee of the Morristown Festival of Books. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

 
 
Connect with the author:  
Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook ~ instagram
 

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Flying Against the Odds: One Man’s Journey to New Ways of Healing by Jean-Jacques Trochon with Heather Whitehall-Trochon (Book Review)

FLYING AGAINST THE ODDS by Jean-Jacques Trochon

Adult Non-Fiction (18+),  249 pages

“IT TAKES A DIFFERENT KIND OF THINKING TO SOLVE A PROBLEM THAN THE KIND OF THINKING THAT PRODUCED THE PROBLEM.” —Albert Einstein


JJ had a devastating problem. At age fifty-one, he was diagnosed with stage four cancer and given three years to live. Rather than accept that outcome, JJ did what he always does: he set out to find a solution. Desiring to look beyond traditional treatments and their often harmful side effects, he put his unconventionally wired mind to work. JJ was relentless as he investigated alternative therapies and pursued global trailblazers in cancer research. Moving from the role of patient to patient-researcher, he became a trailblazer in his own right, being sought after for his latest findings.

 
Ultimately, JJ brought together the most innovative international minds at the Rethinking Cancer 2017 conference in Paris. Together, they found common ground, and they continue to create integrative, synergistic approaches to treatment.
 
Today, almost a decade after his diagnosis, JJ has defied the odds and is cancer-free. Recently retired from his career as a commercial airline captain on the Airbus A380, he now devotes himself to sharing his ongoing research with scientists and patients.
 
JJ’s story illustrates how looking at things differently often enables us to see them in a whole new light.
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Flying Against the Odds: One Man’s Journey to New Ways of Healing by Jean-Jacques Trochon with Heather Whitehall-Trochon was an inspirational story about a man’s journey to combat stage 4 kidney cancer. This book also talked in-depth about those who inspired, assisted, and supported his efforts. 


Jean-Jacques has led quite an adventurous life before and after the dreaded cancer diagnosis. With his father being a pilot and then him himself, Jean-Jacques has visited many wondrous places. His travels have taken him to South Africa, the USA, and Europe. He’s also known in the rugby world and an accomplished surfer. 


He’s a man always on the go, and he wasn’t going to allow a cancer diagnosis to stop him from living. He took charge of his treatments, put in the time in cancer research, and spoke to many highly respected individuals in their field of study. He defied the odds and inspired others. 


The road to remission was not easy for him or his family. Heather, his wife, was his rock. She altered her life, her diet in support of him. I’m not a huge fan of sugary treats, but I do like to partake in a donut here and there. It must’ve been a hard adjustment to give certain foods up. Most spouses/life partners probably wouldn’t have done it. I applaud them both. (section on Keto Diet)


Jean-Jacques Trochon proved he’s do anything to starve his cancer cells. His strength and determination, his cancer-beating story, inspired a conference — a movement. (Rethinking Cancer 2017) 


He has also given researchers a new path to study in the fight against cancer. More than anything, he has given hope to those who had none. 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
 
 
 
Meet the Authors: 
 
Jean-Jacques Trochon (or JJ as he is more commonly known) spent thirty-two years as a commercial airline pilot for Air France. A French national, he enjoyed an early childhood in Tahiti before finishing his schooling in France and the USA. In 2003, JJ was diagnosed with aggressive kidney cancer and subsequently underwent the removal of his left kidney. In 2012 and 2014, he underwent further surgeries following the discovery of multiple metastases in both lungs. Despite being given a slim chance of survival, JJ again returned to work in 2016. He captained the world’s largest commercial aircraft, the Airbus A380, until his retirement in spring 2020. Today, Jean-Jacques devotes his spare time to helping other cancer sufferers and spreading the word about his revolutionary approach to the disease. He was the initiator of Rethinking Cancer 2017, a groundbreaking conference held in Paris on September 21, 2017, at Institut Gustave Roussy, the leading cancer center in Europe.

Heather Whitehall-Trochon is a lover of languages and translator of French and German into English. A British national, she completed studies in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion before moving to Munich, Germany, where she worked in public relations for fashion and film. After relocating to Vienna, Austria, she had a brief stint as an editor at the Associated Press, prior to becoming a freelance translator and seasoned backpacker. Heather met JJ in Paris in 2007, marrying him the following year. The couple, together with their cat, Zulu, have now settled in Biarritz, France.

Connect with the author:
 Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads

 
 

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The Other Shore by Tracy A. Ball (Book Review)

 

Sometimes two wrongs are the only way to make it right.

Power-couple Angela and Mitchell Point wanted to build a family. Instead, they got torn apart and pieced together separately. Without warning, their old and new lives collide in a Castaway meets Hope Floats tale of love lost and life recovered.

When every choice breaks a heart, doing the right thing is impossible.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

The drama that unfolded in The Other Shore by Tracy A. Ball reminded me of storylines that you’d see on a soap opera, and I loved it! 

Yacht destroyed. 

Crew members dead.

Lives in peril. 

Passengers lost, presumed dead. 

Miraculous rescues. 

And then the real drama kicks in! 

Five adults, multiple love triangles —forget daytime tv, I want more of Tracy’s written soap opera. It’s fantastic, and the cover was sensational as well. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

 

Made entirely of rum and snacks—International Bestselling Author, Tracy A. Ball is a native Baltimorean and veteran West Virginian, whose family is a mashup of cultures. She writes real and raw interracial romance with an intensity that burns because she has been busting stereotypes while teaching interracial/generational healing for more than a quarter of a century.

Tracy engages with folks from every twist of fate and all manner of experience. She has hung out with murderers and dined with people who have dined with the Pope, which is why she needs the rum…and a nap.

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Amazon Author Page / Ball Books

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Sign up for Tracy’s (quarterly) Newsletter today by clicking HERE!

 

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