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Book Review: Bella Saves the Beach by Nancy Stewart

Bella Cover

A true story of try and try again can be found in Bella Saves the Beach by award-winning children’s author, Nancy Stewart.

Bella is sad when her beloved beach is loaded with trash. But with her best friend Britt away on vacation, it’s harder to clean up the beach than she planned. Each new idea doesn’t bring about the desired result, but Bella is determined to make the beach safe and clean for her animal friends.

As someone who loves learning, a book like Bella Saves the Beach is so wonderful. This book has two messages. There’s the environmental one about how dangerous trash is to wildlife. Then there’s the “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” message. Combining them makes for a superbly told engaging story about one girl’s determination to make a difference.

From the beginning, Stewart’s Bella and Britt series has shown young readers that their ideas matter and how they can make a difference when it comes to caring for our planet and its creatures. In this new book, the author takes that message to a new level by leaving Bella to face the challenge without her best friend Britt’s support. Now it isn’t two kids making a difference. It’s one determined young girl.

At the end of the story, the author shares information on beach trash, facts about creatures mentioned within the book’s pages, and encourages readers to have a Green Picnic on the sand, leaving behind only footprints.

One can’t forget to mention the stunning watercolor artwork of Samantha Bell. She has illustrated all three books in this series. With warm colors and rich details, she brings Bella’s story to life in pictures. A perfect complement to Stewart’s story, the artwork is so lovely you can almost hear the waves hitting the sand and the caws of the birds.

Bella Saves the Beach is a fine addition to the Bella and Britt series. I can’t wait to see what Bella and Britt are up to next.

Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc (February 15, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616333715
ISBN-13: 978-1616333713

Available at: 

NANCYSTEWARTBOOKS.COM

GUARDIAN ANGEL PUBLISHING

AMAZON 

BARNES AND NOBLE

The author paid me to promote this book through a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book. This fee did not include a review. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

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Is Your Ghost Holy?: Eight Principles for Evaluating Your Walk in the Spirit

Is Your Ghost Holy cover

Is Your Ghost Holy?: Eight Principles for Evaluating Your Walk in the Spirit
Author: Shay Bills
Publisher: Saint Paul Press 

Rating: 
Reviewed by:  Cheryl Malandrinos 

 

Not every inspirational book is going to touch your heart or even make you think.  But Is Your Ghost Holy? by Shay Bills does that and more.  In this slender book full of powerful and moving words, the reader is given eight principles to help her evaluate her walk in the Spirit.  The Principles of Truth, Life and Death, Faith, Love, Change, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost and the Power of the Holy Ghost come together for an inspiring and empowering read.

The author’s experience as a speaker, teacher and motivator truly shines in Is Your Ghost Holy?  Her conversational style and touching words will leave you thinking long after you close the cover on this book.  But I recommend that you never truly close this book, but leave it on your nightstand so that you can refer to it often, using it perhaps as a devotional on a regular basis. 

Certain chapters may speak to you more than others.  I found the seventh principle extremely helpful, especially considering some of the events I still hold onto from my past.  In “The Principle of Blasphemy Against the Holy Ghost”, Bills discusses how unforgiveness in the Christian walk keeps many stagnant in Christ.  She explores the dangerous place that the state of unforgiveness is.  With a firm grasp on Scripture, she discusses how easy it can be to notice unChristian behavior in others, but not in ourselves.  And she fully explains what blasphemy against the Holy Ghost truly is.

Learn how to take the road less traveled and stand firm on the Word.  Is Your Ghost Holy? by Shay Bills will show you how.

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Filed under Christian nonfiction, Inspirational, Non-Fiction

Learning Disabilities: Understanding the Problem and Managing the Challenges

learning-disabilities-cover-mid

Learning Disabilities: Understanding the Problem and Managing the Challenges
Author: Etta K. Brown
Publisher: Langdon Street Press 

Rating: 
Reviewed by:  Cheryl Malandrinos 

If you suspect your child has a learning disability or if an educator has suggested your child has a learning disability you’ll want to pick up a copy of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the Problem and Managing the Challenges by Etta K. Brown.

A certified special education teacher, school social worker, school psychologist and Licensed Education Psychologist, Brown puts her twenty years of experience to excellent use in putting together a helpful and informative guide for parents who need to understand learning disabilities and the environmental influences that impact a child’s ability to learn.

If only I had this book in my possession when I began the difficult process of having my daughter assessed, I would not only have done things differently, I would have been a better advocate for my child. I didn’t know the majority of the information found in the book, which is why I believe that every parent with a child who has been recommended for an assessment needs to read it before taking any step in that direction.

In addition to the impact that diet and sleep have on brain function, the author discusses developmental readiness and how immature development may affect classroom performance. She spends time on the subject of retention and why it isn’t always the best solution. This book also covers how parenting, emotional trauma and toxic metals can affect development.

After getting an understanding of learning disabilities and environmental influences that impact a child’s ability to learn, Brown moves on to a history of Special Education and provides an in-depth look at the entire process of determining eligibility, tests and testing, and the Individualized Education Plan (IEP). She is a strong proponent of parents acting as advocates for their children.

The last section of the book shares signs and symptoms of learning disabilities and accomodations and modifications that can be made at home and school to provide the best enviroment for your child’s learning based upon the disability she is trying to manage.

Learning Disabilities will empower parents to take an active role in their child’s education and provide them with the tools to be the best advocates for their child.

I highly recommend Learning Disabilities by Etta K. Brown. Every school should have multiple copies on hand to assist parents with the process.

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Saffron Dreams

saffron_dreams

Saffron Dreams 
Author: Shaila Abdullah
Publisher: Modern History Press
Rating: 
Reviewed by:  Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Saffron Dreams by Shaila Abdullah is an eloquently written and moving story of a Muslim woman living in America, whose world is turned upside down on September 11th.

Arissa Illahi is a Muslim artist and writer living in New York City with her husband Faizan. Expecting their first child, they are happy with life. But on the morning of September 11, 2001, Faizan would go to work in the World Trade Center…and never return.

Always free to live as a Muslim in America, after the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Great American Melting Pot doesn’t seem to blend so well. People who greeted Arissa with a smile before that fateful day, barely look at her. Feeling adrift after her loss, Arissa wanders through the days awaiting the birth of her unborn son, a son Faizan would never hold. The discovery of her husband’s unfinished manuscript may be the key to her survival. And perhaps by finishing Faizan’s legacy, Arissa will redeem a race.

If ever there was a book more eloquently written than Saffron Dreams, I would like to see it. The words simply fly off the page and float into your consciousness; their power touching you in a way like no other book might ever touch you again. The struggles of being a 9/11 widow and a Muslim, come together in a moving story that will find you filled with every emotion ever experienced by a human being.

Abdullah’s masterful storytelling draws you in from the very first moment and does not release you until you’ve turned the very last page. Anyone who has ever loved and lost will be touched by this heartrending, yet triumphant story of one woman’s difficult journey to pick up the pieces of her shattered life in a country that has suddenly put her and an entire race under a microscope in order to make sense of a monumental tragedy. The descriptions and details put you right alongside Arissa so that you are totally captivated by her world, her dreams, her struggles, and her triumphs.

The stunning cover art must be seen up close, as it is even lovelier and more striking in your hands than what you see posted here.

Saffron Dreams is destined to add more awards to Abdullah’s portfolio. This is a must read book for 2009!

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The Dead Guy

the_dead_guyThe Dead Guy
Author: Doug Hewitt
Publisher: Aberdeen Bay

Rating: 
Reviewed by:  Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Looking for suspense? Looking for action? Looking for an intense read? You’ll find it in The Dead Guy by Doug Hewitt.

Jack Thigpen is sent on what he believes is a routine car insurance scam investigation. But on this one, Jack gets more than he bargained for.

His investigation targets him for death soon after Jack discovers he’s dying from an untreatable, debilitating illness. When Jack’s best friend, Hal, is caught in the line of fire, Jack vows to track down Hal’s killer, as he struggles to accept the fact that he’s going to die–slowly and painfully.

The Dead Guy is one of those books that will leave you begging for more. Jack is a likeable, tough character who is put in a position no human being should ever be–feeling responsible for his best friend’s death when he, himself, is at death’s door. Hewitt’s masterful storytelling allows the reader to experience everything with Jack as he uncovers the evil underbelly of Detroit, which is consumed by corruption, fraud, and organized crime.

Other memorable characters include Jack’s brother, Tom, the only other person who knows of Jack’s illness, and who is forced to deal with the impending loss of his brother while struggling to sit back and let Jack deal with things his own way; Octavia, a tennis champion who Jack used to mentor; and Blalock, whose own complex story unfolds in the background.

This book is a roller coaster ride of action, intrigue, and mystery. Just when you think Jack has it figured out, something throws a monkey wrench into his theory and things are no longer as they seem. The reader will unconciously be biting off fingernails as he follows Jack from car dealerships to body shops to riverboats.

If this book hasn’t won any awards yet, it should!

Riveting, intense, and action-packed, The Dead Guy by Doug Hewitt keeps you hanging on the edge of your seat and turning the pages.

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Born Liberal, Raised Right

born_liberal_raised_rightBorn Liberal, Raised Right: How to Rescue America from Moral Decline–One Family at a Time
Author: Reb Bradley
Publisher: WND Books

Rating: 
Reviewed by:  Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Are you tired of hearing of all the crime on our streets lately? Does it make you weary to watch the news or read it online? Are you concerned about the direction America is headed but not quite sure how it got so bad in the first place?

If you answered, yes, to any or all of these questions, then Born Liberal, Raised Right should be the next book you purchase.

In this engaging and informative book, author Reb Bradley discusses how the future of America is threatened by adults “stuck in their ‘terrible twos'”. Based upon Bradley’s personal experience as a pastor and counselor, in addition to a wealth of research, the author provides a sound argument that America’s moral decline is the result of overindulgent parents not providing their children with the self-control they need to become successful members of society. Bradley contends that parents who overindulge their children, fix all their problems, and refuse to allow their children to experience the consequences of their actions, foster young people who become adults who feel entitled to have everything they want and cannot accept life’s disappointments.

The author states that we are born with certain tendancies: a desire for self-gratification, lack of self-control, and subordination to our emotions. And it is these traits that parents must consistently help their children rein in if they are ever going to escape feelings of entitlement and the desire to always play the victim and avoid blame. Bradley also goes on to state that “magical thinking”, unchecked emotion, and an inability to deny yourself anything are traits that are “the very hallmark of liberalism”. Misplaced liberal compassion creates problems in America; it doesn’t fix them.

Well thought out, easy to read, and captivating, Bradley has penned an excellent book that could make a difference in the future of America. Liberals will probably hate it and conservatives will tout his wisdom, but in the end Bradley is truly believeable as a man who wants to preserve the American family and inspire parents to bring up inspriring and motivational leaders who will move the country to new heights of moral greatness.

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Filed under Current Events, Politics

When Life Stinks, It’s Time to Wash the Gym Clothes

When Life Stinks, It’s Time to Wash the Gym Clothes
Author: Kelly Epperson
Publisher: Rockford Writer’s Guild
Rating:

Reviewed by: Cheryl Malandrinos

 

If you are looking for the perfect gift for the Mom on your list, then look no further than When Life Stinks, It’s Time to Wash the Gym Clothes by Kelly Epperson.

A compilation of Epperson’s columns that have appeared in a variety of newspapers, When Life Stinks is an often humorous look at life, aging, motherhood, and world events.

From traveling down memory lane to the hazards of parenting, from 9/11 to the death of Princess Diana, and from Live Aid to living in France, When Life Stinks will have you saying, “Yes! Finally there is someone who understands.” Epperson talks about the making and breaking of New Year’s resolutions and being a “gum junkie”. You’ll laugh right along with her as she discusses how JcPenney might have discovered that 8 out 10 women are wearing the wrong bra size and the fad of girls wearing sweatpants with words plastered across their behinds.

Granted, I may have related more to this book than a younger reader because Epperson and I are close enough in age that I recognized the name of almost every band or musician mentioned, but most of the themes flowing through When Life Stinks are universal and can be appreciated by a diverse group of readers.

A great debut for Kelly Epperson. I can’t wait to see what she’s up to next.

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Dear God Let Me Lose Fat Amen!

Dear God Let Me Lose Fat Amen?
Authors: J.R. Paine and Dr. S.N. Gupta, Ph.D.
Publisher: BookSurge, LLC
Rating: 
Reviewed by:  Cheryl C. Malandrinos

 

 

Are you seeking for a way to better understand the nutritional value of foods? Do you know the difference between nutritional calories, killer calories, and fat calories? Are you tired of the roller coaster of gaining weight, losing weight, gaining weight…?

If you said yes to any of the above, you’ll want to check out Dear God Let Me Lose Fat Amen! by J.R. Paine and Dr. S.N. Gupta. In this book the authors have managed to squeeze a monsterous amount of information into only 50 pages and those 50 pages could make all the difference in your eating habits.

Paine and Gupta discuss how obesity and being overweight are not beauty issues, but “life and limb” issues. They provide anatomical information on the stomach and show the reader what her body does with the food she eats. You’ll find out more about protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, “friendly” and “unfriendly” fats, water, salt, and sugar.

This book teaches you how to gain or lose a pound of fat a day, provides helpful weight control formulas and dieting information. The last several pages include motivational material that can be used to keep you from overeating and encourage you to exercise.

When this book came in the mail it’s small size made me think this might be one of those quick weight loss programs, but Dear God Let Me Lose Fat Amen! is a truly remarkable approach to weight loss because it not only provides you the information you need to make smart choices about your diet, it also provides the motivation to stick with your new lifestyle and it encourages the reader to speak with her doctor and nutrition professionals. And while I don’t see me posting all the pinups around my house, I know that the “Foods to Eat and Love” chart–which groups healthy goods into five categories–will be stuck to my refrigerator and encourage me to make healthier selections when putting together my grocery list.

My only disappointment is that the editing is sloppy. I found numerous typographical errors–four of them on the first page of the book.

Speaking as someone who struggles to maintain her weight, not to lose it, I see Dear God Let Me Lose Fat Amen! as being the answer to a lot of people’s prayers as society moves toward healthy living.

If you are at all interested in what you put into your body and how your body uses it, then buy this book!

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Filed under Health and Fitness, Self-Help

THE 3 SECRET PILLARS OF WEALTH by James Burns, Esq.

The 3 Secret Pillars of Wealth: How to Crack Your Wealth Code Using the Tools of Self-made Billionaires
Author: James Burns, Esq.
Publisher: White Diamond Press/Arbor Books
Rating:
Reviewed by: Dorothy Thompson

Who wouldn’t want to know the secrets of getting rich? That’s the premise of a new book by James Burns, Esq. titled THE 3 SECRET PILLARS OF WEALTH: HOW TO CRACK YOUR WEALTH CODE USING THE TOOLS OF SELF-MADE BILLIONAIRES, but James is quick to point out that this book isn’t a get rich book. It’s more of a primer for learning how to plan for the future by changing your traditional ways of thinking.

James explains that we have to change the way we’ve been taught to think about making money and we need to understand that successful people leave clues and that’s what we need to pay attention to.

I particularly liked his statement that investors see money as a tool and to people who are financially broke, investing is not a priority and in order to become financially secure, we need to get into the investor mindset. This definitely made sense to me.

As a baby boomer facing retirement in the next ten years, I found that James’ philosophies right on the money. By reading his book now, it’s opened up my eyes to the real world of becoming financial independent in years ahead. It’s a wake up call and I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking to invest in your future.

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Quo Vadis, Israel

Quo Vadis, Israel?

Author: H. Peter Nennhaus
Rating:
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Reviewed by: Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Well-written, intellectually stimulating, and thoroughly researched, Quo Vadis, Israel? provides the open-minded reader with a unique solution to a decades-long problem.

Since its birth in 1948, the State of Israel has been consistently despised and attacked. Numerous peace efforts by various countries and organizations have failed to bring about a long-lasting solution for Israel and Palestine.

But what if Israel were moved to a more suitable land in Europe?

This is what author H. Peter Nennhaus asks the reader to contemplate while providing an historical background of the conflict, the history of anti-Semitism, and the bleak outlook for the future in the Middle East.

For such a short piece of work (~ 110 pages), Nennhaus has managed to pack in a plethera of facts, figures, and important dates. It is obvious he is knowledgeable about this topic. He makes a strong case for moving Israel to a more suitable location–one where the State of Israel and its inhabitants wouldn’t be surrounded by a bunch of countries and people who wish them harm. Showcasing the abilities that the Jews have for turning wasteland into prosperous territory, Nennhaus believes the Jews will do equally well in creating a new home in a land that is in much better condition than the land they received in 1948. The author willingly admits that this plan will be difficult for many to accept, but this reviewer admires his convincing arguments.

In Quo Vadis, Israel? I found a probable solution that would finally allow the State of Israel and its people to live in peace.

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