Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pop Up Cards by Mari Kumada

With world card making day coming up on October 6th, what better book to review than a card making one :0)

Available October 9th, 2012    
A card is a more special gift when it’s made by hand, and the cards in this book make the giving even more fun through designs that pop up, move, and spin. The charm and whimsy of these cards will elevate any occasion. From children’s birthday cards with wheels that spin to get-well wishes revealed with the pull of a tab and gift boxes that magically take shape when the card is opened, the cards in this book are sure to please.
With over fifty designs for a range of occasions—from birthdays, baby announcements, and get-well wishes to Easter, Halloween, and Christmas—there’s sure to be something for everyone in this book. Each project is presented through beautifully styled photographs, clear step-by-step instructions, detailed diagrams, and templates. Even those new to working with paper will be able to make the whimsical and elegant designs in this book.
Make the cards in this book and give your friends and family a keepsake they will treasure.

I personally love to make cards. I find that adding a personal touch to birthday, Easter and Christmas cards is just down right FUN.
With this book you have simple and I MEAN simple instructions to make your flat cards say even more.
Yes, I know you can go and buy a five dollar card and send it, but this book can help you turn a few pieces of paper into a wonderful card that even your mom will ask you if you were abducted by aliens (lol).
I really like the little cone card where it's like a little birthday hat popping out of the card....and how you can change it up to be a witch hat....'cause we all know that my alter-ego :0)

Over all this is a great beginner book for anyone wanting to start in the pop up world or those of you wanting a retro turn back.
Great step by steps.

~Get Your Own Copy~

Thank you NetGalley and Shambala Publications for the pleasure of reviewing this book.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Baby Matrix by Laura Carroll ~Blog Tour and Kindle Fire Giveaway~

In the movie The Matrix, the character Morpheus offers two pills to Neo—if he takes the blue pill, he will go on with life as he has before, believing what he has always believed. If he takes the red pill, he will find out what the “matrix” really is, and many of his earlier beliefs will be shattered. When it comes to taking a hard look at a specific set of beliefs about parenthood and reproduction that has driven our society for generations, The Baby Matrix is the red pill.
We commonly think our desire to have children boils down to our biological wiring, but author Laura Carroll says it’s much more than that. Unlike other books on parenthood, The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World takes a serious look at powerful social and cultural influences that drive the desire for the parenthood experience, and lays out why we need to be very aware of these influences to make the most informed decisions about parenthood.
The Baby Matrix looks at long-held beliefs about parenthood and reproduction, and unravels why we believe what we believe. It lays out:
-the historical origins of beliefs about parenthood and reproduction
-why many of these beliefs no longer work for society or were never true in the first place
-why we continue to believe them anyway
-the prices society pays as a result
The Baby Matrix shows us how we got here, brings to light what is true, which includes knowing about the powerful influence of “pronatalism,” and explains why society can no longer afford to leave pronatalism unquestioned.
“This is not a book about convincing people not to have children,” says Carroll. “I want people to be very aware of the long-held social and cultural pressures, and be able to free themselves from those pressures when making parenthood choices. This will result in more people making the best decisions for themselves, will foster a society in which those who are best suited to become parents are the ones who have children and one that knows what it means to bring a child into the world today.”
This book will make you examine your own intentions and beliefs, will rile you, and might just change your mind. Whether you are already a parent, want to become a parent, are still making up your mind, or know you don’t want children, you’ll never think about parenthood in the same way.
The Baby Matrix is a must-read for anyone interested in psychology, sociology, anthropology, parenting issues, environmentalism, and social justice. But most of all, it’s for anyone, parent or not, who reveres the truth and wants the best for themselves, their families, and our world.

~Buy Your Copy~

~Amazing Guest Post By Author Laura Carroll~

Why We Need to Challenge the Pronatalist “Offspring Assumption”

On June 22-24, 2012, the Rio+20 Conference occurred in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Government delegates from all over the world talked about findings from an analysis done by a group of international scientists that deserve all of our attention. The scientists report that the Earth is in a "critical transition," and reaching a "tipping point" when it comes to irreversible destruction of the global environment.
What are the problems that are bringing the mounting pressure on the Earth's environmental health? "Unchecked population growth, the disappearance of critical plant and animal species, the over-exploitation of energy resources, and the rapidly warming climate."
And if it continues the way it's been going, according to the lead scientist Anthony Barnosky,  the Earth could reach this tipping point at a "time scale of a century or even a few decades."
As David Perlman writes in the San Francisco Chronicle article, "Close to the Tipping Point of Warming, " the problems include:
- "Rapid growth in the world's human population - to 9 billion by 2050 and possibly 27 billion by the end of the century - is quickly consuming available resources."
-Fossil fuels are being burned at a "rapidly increasing rate."
-Vast"dead zones" in the ocean (where there are no fish) are growing.
-Loss of biodiversity on land - "40% of Earths land mass was once biodiverse, and now, it "contains far fewer species of crop plants and domestic animals."
-Loss of animal and plant species - we are seeing more extinctions than ever before.
-The impacts of the rising global temperature - in the next 60 years, it will be "higher than it has been since humans evolved."
To slow or reverse the critical transition we are in, the scientists urge "international cooperation to slow population growth, curb dependence on fossil fuels, increase the efficiency of food production, and manage both lands and oceans as reservoirs of biodiversity."
What do we need more of at an individual level?  When it comes to decisions to bring more children into the world, as David Paxson, President of World Population Balance, insightfully puts it, we have to come to terms with the fact that we are now in a time where "a person's biological right to have children must be mediated by his or her social responsibility not to have too many."
As the Offspring Assumption chapter discusses in The Baby Matrix, given the population and environmental realities we face, it is time to challenge pronatalism's assumption that we all have the right to have as many biological children as we want.  We need to shift from a mindset that adulates the birth if another child, to one that hold couples who choose to adopt, or have one or no biological child in the highest regard. Why? Because they are doing their part to mitigate the catastrophic impact of a rapidly growing population on resource decline, rather than what they might personally want first.
The Baby Matrix also address why we need to do some serious rethinking about the supposed problems with having only one child and negative myths about adopting, and how policies need to change so that rather than encouraging births, they provide incentive to reduce biological births.
It's time to shift away from pronatalist offspring assumptions that harm our society and natural environment. Each person's existence has an environmental impact, which affects other humans and other species. We've reached a time, even the tipping point, to where it is up to all of us to choose reproductive action that lessens that impact.

~About this Wonderful Author~

Laura Carroll is the author of The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction will Create a Better World, Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice, and Finding Fulfillment From the Inside Out.
In addition to writing nonfiction books, she has worked over the last 15 years as a business and litigation psychology consultant and used her expertise in behavioral sciences, psychology, and communications to advise business, legal, and nonprofit professionals on their communications strategies and goals.
Laura is a seasoned leader of personal and professional development seminars, and has appeared on a variety of television shows, including Good Morning America and The Early Show. She has been a guest on many radio talk shows to discuss social science topics.
You’ll also find her online at her nonfiction book site, LiveTrue Books, and her top blog, La Vie Childfree.

To learn more about Laura, go to her website
Visit Laura Carroll on Twitter
Like Laura Carroll on Facebook
Find out all about The Baby Matrix at Goodreads

~Enter To Win A Kindle Fire HD~

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Toxic Relationship by Richard Hacker ~Blog Tour and Giveaway~

Date Published: 8/6/12
Publisher: Champagne Books

After a murdered partner, a cheating wife and a lost job in Houston, Nick Sibelius sets up a private investigation business in a small Texas town hoping to find some peace and maybe, himself. When a couple disappears and a bass fisherman turns up dead, he finds himself drawn into a web of toxic relationships:  MaryLou, a beautiful woman with a mysterious past; Junior, a failed farmer whose best intentions seem to always result in a dead body; Barry, a sociopathic dentist turned illegal toxic waste entrepreneur with visions of grandeur.  When the felon who killed his partner in Houston joins forces with Barry, Nick must not only stop the toxic waste dumping while finding his client’s missing daughter, but keep from being killed in the process. In the end, MaryLou’s dark secret will either save him or kill him -- whichever comes first.

“Tight suspense with wonderful laugh out loud moments. Richard Hacker is a master storyteller."  
Pam Binder, Pacific Northwest Writers Association President and author of the NY Times Best Selling anthology, A Season in the Highlands

"Many times I found myself getting strange looks because I was laughing out loud...Highly entertaining and sure to be enjoyed by fans of mysteries with humor. I highly recommend it and hope that there will be more stories to follow."  
Paige Lovitt for Reader Views


~About the Author~

Richard Hacker’s novel, TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, released August, 2012 by Champagne was a 2011 Writer’s League of Texas (WLT) finalist, where in addition, SHAPER EMERGENCE won best novel in the Science Fiction category.  He is a member of both the Writers’ League of Texas and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. 
 After living many years in Texas where he worked as a leadership coach, public speaker and management trainer, he moved with his high school sweetheart to Seattle.  While he misses the big skies of Texas, Richard has grown pretty fond of the Pacific Northwest.  Along with his wife, Sidney, they hike, kayak and have adventures on his Vespa scooter.  His writing partner is a springer spaniel named Jazz, who helps with proofreading and ball fetching.
 DIRTY WATER, the next novel in the Nick Sibelius series after TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, will be released June, 2013.  He is currently working on the third book in the series, as well as a young adult fantasy entitled INKER WARS: THE FIVE PENS OF JOHANN.

Contact Information

~Amazing Giveaway~

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wedding Cake Girl by Anne Pfeffer ~Blog Tour and Giveaway~

Date Published: July 24, 2012


Seventeen-year-old Alexandra spends so much time helping others realize their dreams

that she never has time for her own. An expert ocean diver and reluctant maker of

wedding cakes, she longs to leave roses and frosting behind to study oceanography.

Alex’s mother won’t have it—needy and dependent, Mom can’t run the family wedding

cake business on her own.

No matter what Alex does, things only get worse for her. When she saves a man's life

while scuba diving and becomes the local hero, Mom's angry with Alex for going diving

at all. Mom discourages Alex's new friendship with Jeremy, a fun and insanely wealthy

boy who happens to have a secret. Then, Alex's best friend, Zack, a hunky island guy,

starts to take an interest in her as well. The problem is, he's dating another girl.

If she doesn't do something fast, Alex will spend her life making wedding cakes and be

buried in her "Sue's Wedding Cakery" apron with a spatula in her hand.

The Wedding Cake Girl features a colorful island setting, dangerous underwater diving

adventures, a family of billionaires, and lots and lots of buttercream. The book is Alex's

journey toward not only finding love, but learning how to step forward and take control of
her own life, a rite of passage that faces all young readers.

I wished I could of connected with the main character, but I just couldn't.
No, matter how many extra side stories that were brought in with Zack, Jeremy, Lester and even Chris...I just found Alex...... ANNOYING!!!!

I mean, the girl is turning eighteen!!!!
She can't talk to her mother, has to wake her mother up in the morning, has to basically do everything for her mother....You would think it's a nursing home!
It's takes her mom burning down a good part of the house for her mother to wake up and that wasn't until half way through the book!!!

I honestly don't know one teenager that wouldn't rebel.

I guess the end was truly the irony of the whole story....
her part-time job.

~Buy Your Copy~

~About the Author~
Anne Pfeffer lives in Los Angeles near a large rotating neon chicken head with her
daughter and her dachshund Taco.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dream Lover by Suzanne Jenkins ~Blog Tour and Kindle Fire Giveaway~

The third book in the Pam of Babylon series, Dream Lover is a compilation of character studies of the women and one man who Jack Smith left behind. Slowly, they make their way to the Long Island village of Babylon for an audience with his widow. No longer in denial and stronger than she thought possible, Pam Smith is able to confront the horror of her marriage in its totality as she draws a new picture of the man she was married to. The new discoveries she makes empowers her and she is able to maintain her strength and the grace and compassion she’s known for. Truly a formidable woman, Pam conquers her worst demons in Dream Lover.

The MOST INTENSE book so far!
Ms. Jenkins has the reader so engrossed in the character's actions by the time you realize it....
"Ashton" is bidding "Pam" farewell.

Of the three books, I would have to say this is my favorite.
It's just so IN YOUR FACE.....Characters are coming from all angles. Each person has something that "Jack" wanted/needed and they all seem to want to talk to "Pam".

I truly enjoyed "Melissa", she was the real smack in the face that "Pam" needed.
(Trust me on that one)

It just makes me laugh that even though "Pam" didn't know any of "Jack's" little misdeeds, most of they knew about the others.
I mean in all honesty if you're married to a man and you don't know what is actually going on in his life day to day...what is that really saying about your marriage?
It's kinda sad.

The hardest part of the whole book..... chapters 35/36, having been through it...I couldn't help but cry.

I look forward to seeing how the rest of the story plays out....
Does "Marie and Steve" make it? What is his big secret?
What happens with "Sandra and Tom"? Does chapter 36 make them stronger?
Does "Pam" sue the hospital? Is she going to "Dale" again?
Gosh darn it I need the next book...LOL

~Buy your copy~

~About The Author~

Suzanne Jenkins.jpg

Suzanne Jenkins lives at the west Michigan lakeshore with her husband, two dogs and two sheep.  Her latest books are Pam of Babylon, Don’t You Forget About Me and Dream Lover.
To learn more about Suzanne Jenkins, visit her website
Drop in at Suzanne Jenkins’ blog
Visit Suzanne Jenkins on Twitter
Like Suzanne Jenkins on Facebook

~Awesome Kindle Fire Giveaway~

Monday, September 10, 2012

Back To Books Winner

Ok...That was an Interesting Hop. It was a lot of fun seeing everyone's response to "My Favorite Song"...I didn't realize when writing my post how EVIL I was being!!!!

I guess I hinted to more songs then I realize...LOL
AS much as I loved Dumbo...Sorry it was not
"When I see an Elephant Fly"
I really love Fridays but atlas.....
It was NOT!
The actual song was......

Angel Eyes
Many of you found the answer Hidden in the Terms and Conditions of the Rafflecopter.

Thank you to both  I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Buried in Books for hosting this great hop.
Our winner was 
Entry #608Leev W.

They chose to go with The Book Depository.
Look forward to seeing you all real soon