Tag Archives: Multicultural

Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu (Book Review)

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“Our Moon Festival” is a beautifully illustrated children’s book celebrating the unique ways the Japanese, Vietnamese, and Chinese communities celebrate the Moon Festival.

The story highlights different families and their traditions as they observe Zhong Qiu Jie, Tết Trung Thu, and Tsukimi!

 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book ToursI voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 
Earth is a big, majestic world-encompassing so many beautiful people and traditions. It’s crucial teachers and parents educate children on different cultures inhabiting it. Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu would be an excellent book to choose for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, May. 


In September, you could also read the book to celebrate the different festivals portrayed in the informative but entertaining children’s book: Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhong Qui Jie), Vietnamese Moon Festival (Tết Trung Thu), and Japenese Moon Festival (Tsukimi).


If a child isn’t familiar with the foods listed, this would be an excellent opportunity to introduce new dishes to their diet. After reading Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu, I began looking up recipes for mooncakes (dessert). If my daughter and I can make them successfully, we might hand them out to our neighbors. Who couldn’t use “best wishes for peace, health, and happiness!” 😀


The illustrations by Christina Nel Lopez gave me ideas for art projects. We could make starry night paintings, paper lanterns, or a rabbit (like in Tsukimi). For public and homeschoolers, teachers might have the students write a haiku about the moon. What can I say? The teacher in me always finds ways to expand on a story to fit various subjects. Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu checks off many boxes. If you don’t want to expand on the story, then don’t. Your child will still find it very enjoyable. 


My only slight change to the story would be the color choice for some of the text. A couple of lines/words were difficult for my daughter to see and read because the black text blended too much with the background images. Other than that, we found no issues. 

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

 
 
 
Meet the Author:
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Yobe is an educator, entrepreneur and mom who lives in NYC. As an educator, she focused on teaching families to embrace love, diversity and different cultures. Through the years working in the classrooms and closely with other educators, she noticed the lack of multi-cultural resources that represented children of color. That is when Yobe decided to create multicultural children stories that feature Asian children, families and cultures! Yobe loves spending time with her daughter, reading to children and taking long walks during the day!
 
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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: ❤❤❤

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


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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He gave her a tour of his brother’s estate. They raided the refrigerator and hung out in his game room playing table football. 

“You’re good at this,” Nolan said after her second straight win.

“Every single group home Deidra and I lived in had at least one.”

From the interviews after the rescue, Nolan knew she had no other relatives, but she hadn’t spoken about it before now. “How many homes did you live in?”

“Six or seven. I don’t remember.” She moved over to Rob’s ping pong table. 

He followed her over and served first. “May I ask about your family?”

“You may.” She slammed the ball hard enough to make him stretch. “No clue about our dad, or dads. One day, our mother took us to social service. She sat us in a chair and said she was going to the restroom.” The ball bounced back and forth between them. “Or so we’ve been told. I wasn’t quite a year yet and Deidra was two. We were lucky. They kept us together. We don’t have any hard feelings or psychopathic tendencies I’m aware of. Just one of those unpleasant happenings in life.”

“You seem healthy. Not a psychopathic tendency in sight.” His serve whooshed past her.

She gave a girlish squeal that made him chuckle. “Healthy lungs too.”

“I’ll get you for that!”

The game ended when the last ping pong ball rolled under the sofa. “Do you want to move the couch, or move on to the next game?”

It was a three-piece reclining sectional. “No, thanks.” She laid her paddle down and pointed to the pool table. I have no clue how to play this game, but I’m going to brutalize you.”

“Brutalize me?” The idea wasn’t at all unpleasant to him.

“Oh yeah. I’m dangerous.”

It wasn’t long before he discovered how dangerous. She repeatedly knocked the balls off the table and once lost her grip on the pool stick.

“You’re not dangerous. You’re a menace.”

She laughed, agreeing with his assessment. “Mitch tried to teach me once. You can see how that turned out. That was before we stopped having fun.” She paused. Her wood-brown eyes, glossed over with unshed tears, took on a smoky hue. “I’m sorry. That was ungracious of me.” She laid her pool stick down and turned her back to him. “I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.”

Likewise, Nolan set his stick aside. He joined Angela on her side of the table, leaning against the rail. “You’re not ungracious. It’s all right to speak the truth.” He touched her shoulder. “Even about the dead.”

Angela glanced at him and then away.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

 She sighed. “I shouldn’t think negatively about him.”

“You can’t feel guilty about that. He was human and so are you.”

His compelling tone drew her in. “I had a great marriage. That can’t be denied but… but sometimes, it wasn’t good. I don’t remember precisely how I felt at the time, but I…I recall not liking some of it. We had money and jobs and freedom. We bought stuff and did stuff and people were always envious. Mitch loved that. People envying the illusion we created. When I let myself dwell on it, I can see that’s what it was: an illusion. He never forgot my birthday, but he couldn’t remember to stop at the dry cleaners. The big deal things that everyone talked about—no problem. The little things… hanging out in the kitchen while I put away the dishes, teaching me to shoot pool or keeping a dumb promise—that was always missing. Part of me feels stupid and selfish. He did so many great things, why should I care about doing the dishes together? If I wanted one, he’d have gotten me a housekeeper.” She shut up then. 

Her rigid stance, the way she hugged herself, and her too-tight control told him she needed to talk. He let her.

“We wanted a baby. I’m not sure why Mitchell did—probably because it fit our success story image. No. I’m being petty. Sorry.”

“Why did you want a baby?”

“Because I love children.”

Nolan sensed there was more. He waited.

“Because a baby would need me and love me for all the little reasons nobody can see. But I’m out of luck there too.” Now, the tears came. A soft trickle, rolling across her cheek. “I have what they call unexplained infertility. There’s no medical reason why I can’t conceive. No one can tell me how to fix it.” She hunched her shoulders. “Mitchell tried to fix it. We redecorated our condo. We bought a new Mercedes. He took me to Cancun. He booked the cruise home to extend our vacation because he was fixing it. But he couldn’t fix me. Half of the time he didn’t recognize me. And now, I can’t recall the few precious moments I did have.” She turned around again, agitated and sad. Very sad.

Nolan digested the information. She was as complicated as she was beautiful. He didn’t have any words of comfort to give her. She wouldn’t receive them anyway. He picked up the pool stick and offered it to her.

She took it on reflex. 

Positioning himself behind her, Nolan adjusted the stick properly in her hands. “You put your fingers like this…  Hold the back a little higher.”

“Like this?”

“Yes. You want to slide it through easy. Like this…” 

His arms were around her, their fingers entwined as he guided her movements. Her tension ebbed away as she relaxed into him. 

This was the comfort she needed.  

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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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Welcome to BB’s: A Sex Shop Series Novella by Tracy A. Ball

Paperback: 159 pages

Lizzy didn’t know why her friends were broke, anti-social, and content to remain that way. Until her birthday, when they chipped in and got her a sample package.It came with a coupon…

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Snippet:

Lizzy’s heart skipped a beat when she heard the light tap on the door. Here we go. Her heart almost stopped when she opened it.

Leaning against the doorframe, Javier filled the space. His eyes were hazel with amber flecks of fire. His broad shoulders gave the T-shirt a pleasurable stretch. The hand he had casually blocking his groin didn’t hide a thing. His stance left her no doubt of his confidence. And the stud in his left ear—a silver heart—was a total turn on. “Sorry for keeping you waiting, pretty lady.” He brushed by her and took command of the room. 

Lizzy didn’t know what to do with herself. She wasn’t squeezing a rubber dick in front of him. 

“You look like you could use a drink.” Javier relieved himself of a small backpack, Lizzy hadn’t noticed. “Let me make you one and we’ll get started.”

“Uhhh…okay…” Lizzy couldn’t breathe; she couldn’t think. She stood there watching him mix drinks. 

When he finished, he held up a cold cloudy beverage, garnished with a slice of lime. “Gimlet. Gin, lime, and a little sweetener. It’s an easy sipper. To relax and inspire you.” He gave her one glass, and caught hold of her fingers, leading her to the sofa. He sat beside her, close, touching her hand.

Lizzy had a sip. Then she had another because she was nervous and couldn’t help herself. “It’s good. Thank you.”

“My pleasure.” He drank his own.

Oh damn. He had a dimple. 

“So, uhh…how does this work? What should I be doing?”

“Enjoy your drink. We’ll hang out and chat until you’re comfortable. Then we can do whatever you want.”

Having a drink was definitely a good idea. It might have been the gin/champagne combo.  More likely, it was him, but Lizzy believed she was already starting to buzz. “So you’re a sex shop tour guide. How long have you been doing this?”

“This is my first and only tour.”

“No.”

“It is.”

Something about his confession—if it were the truth—encouraged her. She felt less embarrassed than she would be with an old-hand. He didn’t have an arsenal of tired sell-lines to throw at her. She leaned into him without realizing it. “Why would this be your only tour?”

He drank his gin. “I’m here for you. It’s all I’m good for.”

She watched him weave his fingers through hers. 

“You don’t even know me.”

“I’m learning.”

Having put all her energy into stressing over the sex shop visit itself, Lizzy was unprepared for the shock he gave her hormones. Her skirt had risen a half-mile higher than it needed to be. Damn peppermint. It put her in the mood to make-out…with a total stranger…with a pipe in his lap…

Say something, say something, say something…“Do you guys really sell souped-up sex dolls?” She hadn’t meant to blurt it out, but she wanted to know.

“I’m not familiar with the term, souped-up. But, I imagine it would be self-flattery coming from me.” The bright amber flecks in his eyes lit up his face. “And, while we don’t consider ourselves sex dolls, a large portion of what we do would suggest it. I believe the answer would be affirmative.” 

It had to be the gin. “Pardon me?”

“I’m a souped-up sex doll.”

She burst out laughing. “I meant the supposed robots.”

Javier leaned over and whispered in her ear, “That is a conflicting response.”

It was a straight sentence, no hidden meanings or innuendos. But his breath in her ear made her wet her panties.

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Gimlet

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

 

My jaw is still dragging the floor after reading Welcome to BB’s. 

If you can forget Lizzie is having wild sex with a very, very, VERY  enhanced robot, then the sex scenes were off the charts hot. 

Javier is not your typical robot. He looks real, feels real, and has thoughts and emotions. However, there is no mistaking he is not human. First and foremost, he’s price tag was no joke — $350,000 with no upgrades!

There were several instances where I laughed, though.  

  • He had a magical schlong. It literally shot out Gimlet (a cocktail). His tongue also released liquor from it. 
  • His ‘member’ can also shrink, deflate, or grow in size, depending on Lizzie’s pleasure and which hole he was about to or in the process of occupying. What a nifty trick!
  • Boris was a cad. Love that guy! 

I know sexbots are a real thing. I know they are becoming more realistic with each new model. I’m not sure if I would shell out or take a loan out for one, but there’s no harm in taking a tour of the shop. Now is there… *wink wink*

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score:  ❤1/2

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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.

Her published works include: Blood Like Rain, Welcome to BBs, The Other Shore, Death’s Desire, Big Guns & Bullsh@t, “Imogene’s Flowers,” “Thorns,” “Black’s Magic” “Truly, Madly, Kiss Me,” “Cumberland Christmas,” Civil Warriors, Dragonfly Dreams, “An Angel with Dirty Wings,” “Tsarina,” KAYOS: The Bad & The Worse, The Tiger & The Snake, The Right Way to Be Wrong, “Left on Marriottsville,” “The Train Ride,” Mail Duty, White Russian Lies.

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Perfect by Tricia Copeland (Book Showcase)


One driven woman. Five passionate paths to the perfect love.

Chloe refuses to compromise when it comes to romance and success. Powering through her sophomore-level college business classes, she’s done with the effort of distance-dating her high-school sweetheart. But when he proposes just as she hits it off with a hunky basketball player, she worries following her heart could send her bright future to the bench.

As Chloe matures becoming a rising star in the fashion industry, love knocks another four times. But while each potential suitor eventually pops the question, only she knows her ultimate happy ending.

Whose arms will embrace Chloe when she chooses her forever man?

Perfect is a standalone clean contemporary romance. If you like tender moments, lighthearted comedy, and endings you choose yourself, then you’ll adore Tricia Copeland’s option-filled tale.

Buy Perfect to pick your ideal walk down the aisle today!

 

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Abby

Reviewed in the United States on January 28, 2020

Format: Paperback
Mindy S.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Paths Not Taken

Reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2020

Format: Paperback

 

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