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The Struggle is Real: Confessions of a Single Mother

Title:    The Struggle is Real: Confessions of a Single Mother   
Author:   Farrah Hodgson  
Publisher:  Thompson & Co. Publishing, 2016 
ISBN:   978-0-9951791-1-0  
Format:  Paperback 

Confessions of a single mother is a compilation of 14 women sharing their authentic testimonies of their struggles of being single mothers. For some of the women this is still their current situation and some are now married and have been divinely delivered from the aforementioned.

As mothers coming from diverse cultural backgrounds and different ages this book is a handbook for woman all over the world. These women touch on the trials and tribulations that they faced through their day-to-day journey with their children; with the intent to give their readers some coping mechanisms they can use to help them overcome some of their hardships.

We sincerely want all women to know that they can rise above any adversaries by unlocking their full potential in the process, and to know their self-worth because greatness is already in them! These heartfelt stories are not sugar coated as their children would like, but rather raw not being the authors' preference of meat otherwise being their motto “The Struggle is Real."

If you know where you are going but lack the courage, confidence or faith to get there, then this book is for you! If you are a single mother, struggling to get by day-to-day, or stuck in a relationship without commitment, then this book is for you!

No matter your situation this book will uplift and help you improve and elevate your life and mindset.



Goodnight Jesus

Title: Goodnight Jesus
Author: Angela Isaacs
Publisher: Ancient Faith Publishing, 2016 
ISBN: 978-1944967062
Pages: 24
Format: Board Book


Goodnight Jesusis a board book that is gentle and sweet and repetitive in just the right way for the last bedtime story of the night. The rhyming text follows a baby giving goodnight kisses. The baby kisses Jesus and Mary, saints from Bible stories, Mom and Dad and brothers, Grandma’s photo, and a stuffed bunny. Baby even blows a kiss to the goldfish!

But the most remarkable thing about the book, the thing that makes it truly exceptional, is the baby’s family. The little one has blond hair and big blue eyes. Neither of the parents is blond, nor are any of the three brothers. The parents could be Greek or Palestinian or Lebanese. The brothers are each of a different race: one is Black, one Asian, and one perhaps Hispanic.

This is the only picture book I know of that shows a transracial adoptive family. November is National Adoption Awareness Month.  Goodnight Jesus is a great book for the month – and for bedtime all year round.

– Reviewed by Charlotte Riggle, the award-winning author of Catherine’s Pascha.



Toby's Tails-Saying Goodbye to Lucky

Title: Toby's Tails-Saying Goodbye to Lucky
Author: Susan May Keefe
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN: 978-1522969969
Format: Kindle & Paperback
Pages: 36
A heart-warming and touching story of a great loss, cherished memories and unforgettable friendships .
Toby's Tails is told through the dark, but glistening eyes of an adorable black and white Border Collie who takes his readers on a nostalgic journey of his friendship with his late and best doggy friend; and mentor, Lucky.
Lucky, a wise old Golden Retriever was sure to prepare and encourage Toby to be the watch-keeper of their family once he had passed on. And, through Lucky's words of wisdom, Toby learned the responsibility of being a watch-keeper of closeness, comfort and safety.
~Reviewed by bestselling author of "I am Beautiful: When I Look at Me, I See..." Simone Da Costa

My Amazing Day

Title: My Amazing Day: A Celebration of Wonder & Gratitude
Author: Karin Fisher-Golton
Genre: Children
Publisher: Pacific Dogwood Press
ISBN: 978-0-9896145-1-1
Format: Boardbook 
Pages: 26
Through the big bright hazel eyes of a beautiful brown-haired toddle who happily and excitedly explores the wonderment of the world and the joyous things in it.
Finding much pleasure in the singing of a chirping bird, the sweet and squishy taste of a banana, the smell of authentic spices, popping dazzling bubbles and much more. This little tot displays gratitude for the things that surrounds her everyday in her amazing day in, My Amazing day.
~Reviewed by Simone Da Costa, bestselling author of "I am Beautiful: when I Look at Me, I See..."
The Multicultural Children's Book Day (MCCBD)team’s mission is to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.
Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors! 
Platinum: Wisdom Tales Press
StoryQuest Books*Lil Libros
Gold: Author Tori Nighthawk
Candlewick Press
Bharat Babies
Silver: Lee and Low Books
Chronicle Books
Capstone Young Readers T
Tuttle Publishing
NY Media Works, LLC/KidLit TV
Bronze: Pomelo Books
Author Jacqueline Woodson
Papa Lemon Books
Goosebottom Books
Author Gleeson Rebello
ShoutMouse Press
Author Mahvash Shahegh
Live Oak Media
The Co-Hosts of the Multicultural Children’s Book Day are:
All Done Monkey
Crafty Moms Share
Educators Spin on it
Growing Book by Book
Imagination Soup
I’m Not the Nanny
InCultural Parent
Kid World Citizen
Mama Smiles
Multicultural Kid Blogs
Spanish Playground

Toby Tails

Title: Toby's Tails- The Christmas Kittens
Author: Susan May Keefe
ISBN: 978-1517520991
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Pages: 54
Susan Keefe has done it again with this latest addition to her Fantasy Farm Tales series, combining her gentle, loving writing style, voiced by the famous spokesdog Toby, with many excellent colour pictures of – mostly – little felines, to create a short but very sweet and appealing book.


The Mystery of the Circus For Hire, Book 6 in the series

Title: The Mystery of the Circus For Hire, Book 6
Author: Renee Hand
Publisher: North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.
ISBN:  978-0878396115
Format: Kindle/Paperback
Pages: 112 pages
In my Crypto-Caper Series children get to solve puzzles and cryptograms that are woven strategically inside of the story for the reader to find and solve inside of the books. Each book provides the reader with what they will need to solve the case, providing them with the knowledge and new skills that will help them succeed.
THE ASSIGNMENT: The Circus for Hire is a whirlwind of an adventure where the Crypto-Capers travel to Russia to save Max and Mia's parents, Mitchem and Martha Holmes, from going to prison for a crime they didn't commit. Finding themselves caught up in a scandal that is beyond their control, they use their skills and talents to try to outsmart the most notorious criminal of all time, but can they do that without sacrificing one of their own? Lies become intermixed with truth, yet, with the help of a new ally, the Crypto-Capers find themselves ahead of the game, but will they find the ending they're looking for? Puzzles of varying degree of difficulty challenge the reader in this award-winning interactive mystery series.

My Name is Blessing

Title: My Name is Blessing
Author: Eric Walters
ISBN-13: 9781770493018
Publisher: Tundra
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 32
Age range: 6 - 9 Years
Based on the life of a real boy, this warm-hearted, beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Baraka, a young Kenyan boy with a physical disability. Baraka and eight cousins live with their grandmother. She gives them boundless love, but there is never enough money or food, and life is hard —love doesn't feed hungry stomachs or clothe growing bodies, or school keen minds. Baraka is too young, and, with his disability, needs too much, and she is too old. A difficult choice must be made, and grandmother and grandchild set off on a journey to see if there is a place at the orphanage for Baraka. The story begins by looking at Baraka's physical disability as a misfortune, but ends by looking beyond the disability, to his great heart and spirit, and the blessings he brings.
-Book description: Barnes & Noble

Animal Alphabet Search: Learn your ABC's & 1,2,3's.

Title: Animal Alphabet Search: Learn your ABC's & 1,2,3's.
Author: John Priest
Publisher:  CreateSpace
ISBN:  978-1511691819
Paperback: $9.49
eKindle: 3.16
Number of pages: 36
Animal Alphabet Search by John Priest is an educational book for small kids put together in a fun way so that kids not only learn animal names but also numbers and alphabets. The book teaches everything in a fun and interactive way that makes learning easy for young readers. The bright and colorful illustrations complement the author's words and method of teaching very well. Kids will easily comprehend the author's ideas, thoughts and concepts. It is a perfect book for parents of small kids to own as it makes learning enjoyable, fun and easy.
I found the book cute, charming and adorable. What a perfect way to teach children numbers, alphabets and animal names! Parents and grandparents can use the book as a good bedtime story book for their kids and grandkids. This interactive book is also useful in the classroom. Teaching kids and making it enjoyable is not always easy. That is when books like this are good. They are not only educational but also delightful and successful in holding the attention of young readers.
The best books to introduce children to when they start reading are books that convey good messages, ideas, concepts and thoughts so that learning is easy and effortless. The alphabet search in the book is helpful in finding out if kids understood the concept of counting. It's a book definitely worth having.
-5 Star Review By Readers' Favorite

Damaged Goods: A Detective Inspector White Caper

Title: Damaged Goods: A Detective Inspector White Caper
Author: Jack Everett and David Coles
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Format: Kindle
A brilliantly gripping mystery.
Firstly, I have to say that if you are looking for a book to grab your attention right from page one and then keep you hooked right through to the very end, then this is definitely the one for you.
Robert Cleghorn is a troubled man, with a past which makes him deadly. Ex-Special Forces and CIA, he is a highly trained, dangerous killing machine. However this is not all, war vet Robert has suffered brain damage, and has undergone extensive treatments which have left him with false memories of the past and the ability to suffer no remorse, a cruel and calculated killer.
Bubbling under the surface of this tortured mind is the injustice he believes his brother Alan has done to him, an infatuation with his sister-in-law Stephanie, and the firm belief that given the chance to talk to her, she will love him again. Then, whilst working for Alan at his home near Lake Kissimmee in Florida he snaps…
Whilst in the U.K. Detective inspector Stewart White is starting his new job in Leeds. As he settles in, and gets to know the officers, including the mysterious Shelly, a link is discovered between a series of seemingly random crimes. It soon becomes apparent that there is a deadly killer out there who must be caught quickly. But who are they searching for?

As communications hot up between American and the U.K., the true horror of the events in Florida unveil themselves and things begin to make sense. The killer has travelled to the U.K. on a false passport and is on a mission to right past wrongs, leaving a killing spree in his wake.
Following a trail across a snow clad Yorkshire, the police and the CIA are both desperate to stop this man, before he accomplishes his goal, but which one, if either will manage to do so?
This book was truly un-put-down-able, action packed with strong characters, an excellent plot, and plenty of twists and turns right until the last page. With such a brilliant storyline, I would love to see it made into a film. I cannot recommend it highly enough and look forward to reading more from these talented authors.
Reviewed by Susan Keefe

Ocular: The Haunting of Peacock Hill

Title: Ocular: The Haunting of Peacock Hill
Author: Stephen Crockett
Genre: Horror
Format: Kindle

When his father decides to use his inheritance money to buy and renovate a run-down house in Peacock Hill, south-eastern Virginia, fifteen year old Stephen finds it hard enough leaving their home, and everything they had known on Tangier Island in Chesapeake Bay to start a new life many miles away. Little does he know that their new home has a secret and its history explains why Peacock Hill, which used to be a thriving place, alive with laughter and families, now stands alone surrounded by acres of farmland.
The family looking around their new home, cannot understand how an old closet could have been missed, but there it is, standing out strangely among its newly painted surroundings.
Stephen, given the job of sorting it out, soon finds himself drawn to a fascinating old mirror whose frame appears to be covered in ancient symbols, unlike anything he has seen before...
It is not long before he discovers that the mysterious mirror is indeed not what it appears, it holds terrible secrets and inside is a gateway to…. Well you will find that out yourself.
With his parents busy, the troubled teenager has only two elderly ‘neighbours’ Gaggey and Grandma to turn to, and their advice to guide him. Luckily, Grandma has her journal, and the couple possess an uncanny memory of the house’s past. However, will the pictures he has found, and their shared knowledge be enough to save the family?
If you are looking for a good scary story, containing all the ingredients a horror fan could wish for, then I cannot recommend this book enough. Demons, poltergeist, possession and ghosts are all there, liberally sprinkled with tortured cries and screams and brilliantly brought to life by the author’s vivid imagination and wonderfully descriptive writing.
Reviewed by Susan Keefe


10 Stacks to Success: How to Achieve Success One Goal at a Time


Title: 10 Stacks to Success: How to Achieve Success One Goal at a Time
Author: Jerome Jay Isip
Genre: Inspiration
Pages: 146
ISBN: 978-1502960269

Throughout his life, Jerome Isip has learned one thing: success isn’t merely a goal, but a lifestyle. Thus, he has discovered that the only way to make dreams become a reality is to actually strive for them.This book is not designed to be considerate of one’s feelings. Nor does it sugarcoat life’s troubles. Instead, it simply states what most people don’t have the marbles to: The cold hard truth.

His delivery may be blunt. At times, even harsh. Or, humorously injected with a healthy dose of New Jersey slang. However, Jerome Isip’s straightforward approach has inspired, motivated, and changed the lives of many – including himself. If you have been “stuck in neutral” and searching for a new way, a new voice to help you unlock the lofty dreams that have been trapped inside for all too long, this book will provide the stepping stones you need to begin the journey once again.

The lessons in this guide include:

Learning how to properly set goals and knock them down one by one
Converting those ever-longing dreams into reality
Overcoming fears that hold you back from moving forward in life
Understanding the true meaning and purpose of your life
Developing a positive and productive mindset

It ‘s time to live your life the way you have always wanted to. With this simple step-by-step guide, you will find the inspiration you need to embark on an adventure you never believed possible.

Reviewed by Susan Keefe

Darwin's Paradox

Title: Darwin's Paradox
Author:  Nina Munteanu
Publisher: Dragon Moon Press (Oct. 30 2007)
Genre: Sciene Fiction
ISBN: 978-1896944685
Pages: 320

Darwin's Paradox is rich with real science and people who care about each other, whether in a good way or a bad one. Lovers of techno-thrillers will enjoy the blend of super AIs and biological AIs bent on meddling with mankind. At the same time, Darwin's Paradox injects hope into a post holocaust type of setting threatened with a typically SF scenario of doom. Munteanu writes with energy and a lively sense of joy in her work. Her main character, Julie, possesses the superpowers of an info-age homo superior: she can communicate pseudo-telepathically with others like herself and with AIs. In addition to her mental gifts she is also physically superior. What's unusual about her as a homo superior heroine is her role as the unwitting vector of the plague that decimated her people. While Julie contends with the twists and turns of the plot, she is simultaneously threatened by the risk of losing her husband and daughter, both literally and emotionally. The challenges she navigates are personal, throughout, in parallel with the fast-paced action.

Reviewed by Lynda Williams, author of Okal Rel series

I'm Not Perfect and It's Okay

If you had a mother who shared her wisdom with you then you are blessed. If you did not have a relationship like that, then pick up I'm Not Perfect and It's Okay. You will be wonderfully blessed!"  ~ Author Laura Davis

 ...recipe for a better life to be pleasant, helpful and encouraging. I'm Not Perfect and It's Okay is an easy book to read, gentle on the spirit, that feels like a personal letter just for you. It includes many inspirational quotes that have encouraged the author over the years. ~ Christian Writer Janet Sketchley

"This is a useful and practical book that I would recommend for those who tend to think that life has given them a raw deal. It offers better ways to look at that raw deal and to rise above it." ~ Christian Author Donna Dawson
"Just a little note to let you know... that I didn't know what it was like not to be able to put a book down once you started reading.  Well now I know because it just happened to me once I started reading your second book.  ~ D.D.

Roly-Poly Monster

Title: Roly-Poly Monster
Author: Charity Tober
Genre: Children's
Pages: 36
Formats: Paperback and Kindle
Publisher: Charity Tober; 1 edition
ISBN: 978-0989933001

Roly Poly Monster got out of bed one day and started rolling, and rolling, and rolling. He rolls through the house, down the sidewalk, through the park, and on and on, seeing the sights on the way. Finally, after rolling around all over the neighborhood, Roly Poly rolls back to his house, grabs food as he rolls past the table, rolling to the bathtub and then into bed. And that is how Roly Poly’s day goes. But this is just a little bit about his day. You need to read the book to find all of the places this little monster went, and find out what an exciting time he had as he rolled around. You don’t want to miss out on his day.

This is the cutest little monster. He’s bright red with an adorable face, and he is just so cute rolling around. But that’s not all, Roly Poly’s family is round too, and you get to meet all of them. Roly Poly Monster shows that there are good monsters in the book world to read about. This story is short, with just a sentence or two on each page, making it easy to read to small children. And the illustrations created by Andrew Tober are just so adorable that I would love to give the characters a big hug. The colors and illustrations go along with the story perfectly and any young child will be thrilled to have a copy of this precious book written by Charity Tober.

Reviewed by Joy Hannabass for Readers' Favorite

An Abundance of Katherines

Title: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Genre: YA
Pages: 272
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
ISBN: 978-0142410707

If I learned anything from reading An Abundance of Katherines, it is that “anagramming” is a skill that is both impossibly impressive, and useless.

In the opening of realistically captivating novel by John Green, a prodigy adolescent named Colin Singleton sulks in his sorrows of being a failure boyfriend and genius lacking in original ideas, and exceeding in worry if his nineteenth girlfriend named Katherine still loves him.  His Muslim, Judge-Judy loving friend named Hassan convinces him to go on a road trip for the summer, and they find themselves in a small town, abandoned by all but the few thousand citizens.

Being a huge John Green fan, and having read The Fault in Our Stars,  Looking for Alaska, and Paper Towns before this one, I can say, in my opinion that this wasn’t  of his best works.  However, that’s compared to a Printz Award novel, and another being adapted to film.  This novel alone is a fantastic book that holds several increasingly insightful thoughts about humanity and the subconscious desire to be important that lies in everyone, and it definitely deserved being a finalist Printz book.

Compared to John’s other books, it’s pretty much Looking for Alaska, or Paper Towns with slightly altered characters under very different circumstances.  It features an impulsive, secretive, extremely popular girl and a loser nerd with pretty much only one close friend who’s reputation is built around his comedy.  Sound familiar?  It seemed like a downfall when I first discovered the similarities, but then I realized that it’s like a sequel to his Printz winning book “Looking for Alaska” with an original twist of completely different circumstances.

That being said, it was still pretty good.  There were several moments that pulled at my heartstrings, several that made me stop reading altogether to just think about life, and there were even more hilarious moments that had me legitimately laughing out loud.

Altogether, this book is most definitely worth reading, especially if you enjoy pretty much any John Green book, or realistic fiction.  Just read it.

Reviewed by Daniel Pritchard