Category Archives: book review

Jade Emperor quickly sucked me in…

Kelly Boyd’s life was quite predictable with every day planned out and the routine set. Her husband, Steve, is a Vietnam veteran who deployed shortly after their first child, Augie, was born. Now married with six adult children, Kelly and Steve were comfortable with their lives, until a stranger arrives at their door and their routines are flipped upside-down. The Jade Emperor by Suzanne Jenkins quickly sucked me into the storyline.

That stranger turns out to be the son of Steve and his mother is from Vietnam.  Wait, what? Yes. Apparently, Steve had some fun when he was in Vietnam thinking he was going to die at any moment. He even convinced Kelly all those years that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when in reality he was internally hiding that he was in love with someone else in a different country and he never kept in touch with her.

When this stranger arrives, his mother is with him a well. Knowing this, Steve suddenly spends tons of time with the two. When Kelly finds them at a restaurant outside of town, she observes how he treats this Vietnamese woman and realizes that he has never treated her like that. The moment that Steve hasn’t been suffering from PTSD, rather from heart-break hits her. Kelly begins to understand that they’ve both been living a lie all these years.

It doesn’t take long before Kelly brings the family together, a common occurrence. Unexpectedly, Steve and his Vietnamese love, Lee, shows up in the middle of the gathering. Talk about awkward moment! Kelly uses this moment to begin getting to know this lady and her son, Titan, while containing her composure and encouraging her children to be polite.

Then, everything seems to happen quickly in the story and I went from being lost in the story to wondering what just happened and how did everything progress so quickly. The Jade Emperor was mentioned in the story until more than halfway through and there wasn’t much of a history about this Jade Emperor. Personally, I feel like the ending of this story was rushed. The detail of the beginning was lost about halfway through.

The Jade Emperor by best-selling author, Suzanne Jenkins, was provided complimentary through readingdeals.com for an honest review. I feel this story is a 3-star because it begins so well and the detail so realistic, then it lost me as the ending felt rushed and thrown together haphazardly.

The not so Useless Warrior Princess

A Princess convinces her father, the king, that she wants to become a warrior like her brothers and the other boys. There are several kingdoms and the Warrior kingdom is the one that seems to keep the others in check. The Princess isn’t able to learn the magic in training but she doesn’t understand why. 

This book is brief and exciting. While the Princess isn’t doing well as a warrior-in-training and has been teased by many, all hope seems to be lost when the fire king begins taking over the other kingdoms. There is that one sliver of hope with the Soul Eating Sword, but it requires a Warrior kingdom sacrifice. The Princess and her brothers travel far to find this Soul Eating Sword. But will this sacrifice be the answer to defeating the fire king?

Recently I received an email requesting a review for a children’s book, The Useless Warrior Princess by Segilola Salami. I feel like this is a great story for children, but there is just something missing. There is discussion about each kingdom, about the Princess having weaknesses and strengths. But there is no examples of what these are. As much as I thought this story was about overcoming weaknesses and using your strengths, there is nothing about what these might be for the Princess.

There is potential with this story. Provided complimentary for an honest review, Unfortunately, I was unable to open this book on my kindle app, so I was unable to see any colors that may be present on the story. I was able to read it in black and white on my kindle Paperwhite. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review this book.

A suspenseful and emotional Return to Christmas

Returning from combat deployment is no vacation and it sometimes leaves the soldier feeling like no one understands him except for his battle buddies. While life goes on, the readjustment is difficult for many. In Return to Christmas, post-deployment is difficult for Chet as he attempts to readjust to behind home with his family and having difficulty finding and keeping employed. It as not until he meets a quiet autistic child that he begins to open up.

The behaviors of Chet are familiar to me, as I work with wounded warriors full-time. I’m not a social worker, but sometimes I wonder if that’s the next chapter for myself. Regardless, this story of Chet and his family and their journey to Christmas is emotional, heart-breaking, hopeful, and enlightening. In my experience with working with the wounded, ill, and injured service members post-deployment, their conditions are not always physical, but rather behavior health with chronic issues with sleep, anger, depression, headaches, and more. 

Chet seemed to do his best when it came to caring for his child. This is one person who wouldn’t judge him nor does he feel judged. This is often the case with returning soldiers from combat-deployment. They seem to focus on their children. Maybe it’s because they have seen the value of life, or maybe it’s because they want a better life for their own child, whatever the case, their children seem to ground them, particularly if the child is young, like Chet’s.

This story lightly touches on the effects on the home life for many who return from combat-deployments. An easy and light read, yet heart-warming and touching storyline, Return to Christmas by Kathi Macias shows a fairly typical story of post-deployment soldiers. The support of family and friends is important, even though the soldier may not want it. The changes in behavior are typical for soldiers who have deployed to Operation Eduring Freedom and Opeartion Iraqi Freedom, resulting in isolation and difficulty to reintegrate into civilian life.

I am honored to have the opportunity to read and review this book that shows even a small glimpse of life with a wounded warrior. This book was provided complimentary for an honest review. I highly recommend this book to anyone who knows a recently deployed soldier or maybe just a military love story. 

She just needed a Second Chance Grill

Destined to greatness, Dr. Mary Chance finds herself grieving after the lost of her best friend and fellow physician. Mary decides to take a sabbatical and learns she’s now the owner of a grill in small town Liberty, Ohio. 

Totally out of her comfort zone, Mary reluctantly learns the ropes of owning and running a grill. She has her second chance when the food is absolutely horrible her first go-around that everyone wants to avoid this little establishment. While she gets everything under control, she meets preteen, Blossom Perini, who’s father owns the autoshop across the street. 

Blossom has a spirit that anyone would grow to love. She also seems to want Mary and her single father to get to know each other better. Blossom is in remission for a short time while Mary keeps an eye on her new friend. 

Meanwhile, it seems Mary decides to sell the grill as Blossom heads to the hospital. Before the restaurant goes under, Mary decides to throw a property and estate sale to help with Blossom’s treatment as she’s quickly deteriorating. Blossom’s friends help with advertising and marketing the sale and get the media involved. But are Mary and Blossom’s friends too late? 

Second Chance Grill is a pretty quick read and an emotional story of laughs and tears, heart-swelling joy, romance, and giggles. The reader gets pulled into the characters of Liberty, Ohio with descriptive personalities and beautiful surroundings. Each individual quickly become the reader’s own family and friends.  

A sweet story written by Christine Nolfi in this lovely Liberty Series. Provided complimentary by the author herself for an honest review; I am honored to be blessed with such an amazing story to read! I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a love story between friends and community as well as two unlikely neighbors. 

Start each day with a Miracle Morning

Those days of wanting to accomplish more in a day but don’t have enough time is over!! When you start your day with a Miracle Morning, you start fresh every day and prepare for accomplishing more than ever!


No, it’s not just for giggles! Start your day an hour or two earlier than usual. Take some time for silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing. Author Hal Wlrod even suggests being able to donall this in just a few minutes when time is super tight. 

When you start your mornings in these areas, it balances you emotionally, gets your heart pumping, and creates a morning of reflection as well as helps you to focus on what you’re doing that day and journaling your emotional state. All of these put together make an extraordinary way to start the day! 

For those of us who have young children, it is important to get this done before they wake up. Have you ever tried to squeeze things in at the wnd of a day? Many times it’s impossible to squeeze anything in!

Hal Elrod had an amazing miraculous recovery from severe traumatic brain injury from a car accident. He has overcome much more than anyone should need to. He didn’t let his circumstances stop him from becoming more, nor should you. 

A friend of mine recommended this book as a great read. It sounded interesting enough that I took it upon myself to read it for myself. I was not disappointed and neither will you!

What is The Brand That Fits?

In the last year or so, I’ve been hearing a lot about how I should create and promote my “personal brand”. It’s been a year and I still have little to no idea what my personal brand is. It’s easy for me to pick it out for others, but in myself? I’m at a total loss!

A couple days ago, someone asked for a ladies to read a book in beta form. I wasn’t sure I could squeeze it into my schedule, but I did it! I put my other books aside for a couple days and focused specifically on this book, The Brand That Fits by Sabrina Evans. 

She goes over a lot of tips that I’ve heard before and have never done yet, such as a professionally photo for my profile and writing a blog using search engine optimization (SEO) words. There were also tips on things I have attempted before, like writing down who I am and creating my target market. Everything we do and post online is part of our personal brand. 

The book encourages readers to get out of the house and attend events outside the home. This helps us to show that we are willing to get out there and make new friends and have a variety of experiences. 

Personally, I find it sifficukt to attend events outside the home unless it is something that I can convince my husband and son to go to as well. Occasionally, I will go with my son and very rarely alone. My son loves to tag along with me. This shows that I care about my son and that I do things with my child. 

However, after reading this book, I am encouraged to find an event or two a week to get out there and make myself uncomfortable. Stretch to help create my personal brand. 

Another thing I’ve started that this book recommends is a blog. This helps to create a personal brand because of the writing that we do that showcases who we are and what we care about; what we are an authority in. 

As mentioned before, This book is in beta form and when published it will be an excellent read for anyone interested in creating their personal brand. 

We can all agree: Don’t Sell Me, Tell Me

They used to come knocking on the door and we’re called a traveling salesman. Most often, they were men while the women stayed home with thee children. Then the sales industry picked up on new technology called the telephone and became a nuisance at dinner time. More recently, with social media where most people spend much of the day, sales has taken over the social media platform. I may have missed a few steps in between, but this is just the main idea.

Now, there has always been a “salesy” language and ways to cold call or hard close and whatnot. But do those even work these days? I think many of us prefer to buy from people we trust. Usually, the people we trust are those who are learning more about us and using what hey learn to focus conversations. It’s all about really listening!


In the book “Don’t Sell Me, Tell Me”, Greg Koorhan shares how people in the sales industry don’t want a lecture. Don’t tell me what your product or service does and it’s benefits. He says to ask questions, learn more about me, and use those answers to better direct the conversation. Basically, if someone says they are looking for a desk that has all these functions to be better organized, don’t sell him a table that does none of what he’s looking for! 

Asking questions is quite important and active listening. So many people out there are so busy thinking about what they’ll say next that they don’t even hear what is being said. Stop being preoccupied during conversations! How can you build any trust with anyone who really isn’t listening? 

Koorhan suggests that in the sales industry, after learning more about the buyer, there should be story telling. See stories should be relatable to the buyers needs and wants. Real examples are always great! The author goes on to describe how to build your stories and use  it to your advantage in telling, not selling!

I enjoyed this book as I am in direct sales myself. This book confirmed much of the training I’ve received from my leaders and has provided me with more concrete process to get the story developed. If I learned anything in the past year, it is that connecting with others often comes with story telling. When you create emotions in someone’s heart, they tend to remember you and the emotion that was created within their heart.

Provided complimentary for an honest review through Reading Deals, I am thankful for the opportunity to not only read this book, but also to build myself better stories. For anyone who is trying to connect with anyone, sell anything, this is an amazing book to read. 

Christmas Confessions & Cocktails: fun, festive, & fantastic!

Reflecting on Christmas past isn’t always easy. We have moments we think are normal then moments we would rather forget ever happened. There are those quirky things our family does that drive us crazy and then those things we wish would last forever. Add some cocktails to the mix and it’s loaded with more excitement and interesting chatter, right?

Well, I have found this book full of short stories of Christmas past along with fun little cocktails, mainly a recipe for one! It is so well written, I feel like I’m right there, taking up space in Vicki Lasage’s super tiny apartment in France where the Christmas tree gets knocked over every time you turn! And I can understand the family quirks as my own family has our own.


Personally, I can’t see myself ever sharing about family quirks or life during the Christmas season. It actually sounds boring to me, but in Christmas Confessions & Cocktails, even the mundane seems exilerating! You know a writer is amazing when what may be boring suddenly becomes a sitcom.

Add in some cocktails to enjoy during the read is so much fun! If I was able to actually enjoy a recipe or two while reading, we’d have a much more entertaining review, I’m sure! 

I am thankful for the chuckles I had while reading this book by Vicki Lasage. Wow, and to think there’s more where this came from! Awesome!

Christmas Confessions & Cocktails was provided complimentary from Reading Deals for an honest review.

God Made You Just Right: Adorably written and beautifully illustrated

As a matter of fact, God DID make you just right! How fitting of a title to a board book full of rhymes and beautiful illustrations!


Each moment in the life of a toddler is significant and absolutely amazing. God Made You Just Right focuses on many of these activities that toddlers go through. The rhymes are super cute and flows so angelically from page to page, one idea to the next. 

The images portrayed are also not short of spectacular! I love how the story shows these children of both genders and many ethnicities through activities both inside and outside. Most importantly, the focus of how something as simple as their fingers or toes is useful in its own special way!

It’s lovely to see a children’s book guiding toddlers to be themselves and not try to be like everyone else. God made each of us differently, but His creation is perfect so we are all perfect in His eyes. That’s all that should really matter!

I would have loved reading this to my son when he was younger! Now he can read it to me! Even adults enjoy being read to! 

God Made You Just Right by Jill Roman Lord and illustrated by Amy Wummer was provided complimentary for an honest review for Worthy Publishing.

Excellent steps to Finding Freedom

It is common for people to simply love life day to day with no real rhyme or reason. We get up, go to work, go home, sleep, and repeat every day. What is your purpose in life? How are you living your life to achieve that purpose?

Before I started reading Finding Freedom by David R. Cross, I honestly had a wrong impression of what I would find between the covers of this 129-page book. Instead of it being how God will bless me with riches if I give much to my church, I was pleasantly surprised that it shares seven steps to finding your purpose and how to see it through. 


You see, God designed each of us differently with our own purpose in life and gifts specifically for that purpose. Your passion is likely different than the person next door. Sometimes your passion is similar to someone else’s, but the gifting you have is a bit different. How do you know what your purpose is in this life? Finding Freedom will help guide you through figuring this out for yourself! 

With seven steps to revealing the life God has purposes for you, Finding Freedom will guide you through a thought provoking bible study and a life activation guide to help readers achieve their purpose in life. The purpose given to you and you alone to achieve along with the gifts you were born with to accomplish.

Unless you actually sit and go through the life activation guide, this book is just another collection of words. It isn’t until you dig in and actually work on these steps will you get closer to knowing what your purpose really is. 

If you are anything like me, there’s a lot out there that’s interesting and worth learning about. But is learning about everything in the world your purpose? Maybe, but for most of us, it isn’t. Have I found my purpose after reading this book? I am a lot closer to understanding my purpose than I was prior to reading Finding Freedom. It is a daily journey to be with God, be in scriptures, meditations, and prayer in order to accomplish my purpose for the day. 

My favorite quote from Finding Freedom is this:

“At the heart of transformation is the fact that what you are becoming has nothing to do with what you were!” (p. 51)

This is so true to life. It isn’t about where you were or what you did in the past. It’s all about the here and now as well as the God-willing future. 

A complimentary copy of Finding Freedom was provided for a honest review through Bostic Communications.