Archive for October 31st, 2016

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The Last Drop


The Last Drop by Andrea Perno

Jeremy always said Space Academy was Earth’s last hope. People only dream of leaving a dying planet in search of better lives. Avery never expected he would be forced to do just that.

On the heels of his brother’s murder, his father’s disappearance and Earth’s dwindling water supply now contaminated with a deadly virus, Avery and his younger brother have no choice but to leave Earth behind and join the survivors migrating the nearest habitable planet.

What they don’t know is that the rarity of water extends far beyond Earth and they aren’t the only ones fighting for survival.

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My Review

5 stars

The water on Earth has been used up and the few amounts left that are not polluted are fiercely guarded. Avery lives on one of these bases and although home life is rough, being outside the base means death. After the loss of his father and brother, Avery and his brother Jace find themselves in space on their way to Panacea. Panacea is an Earthlike planet, except it is already inhabited and water is scarce there too.

As Avery trains he makes friends with another fierce fighter, Clesandra. After an incident where a native, Zap, saved them, they find themselves trying to fight against Commander Smith’s plans to eliminate any competition and to horde the remaining water.

I really enjoyed this story. Avery is filled with doubt and not wanting to become his father. Clesandra is quick and mean, just the exact opposite of Avery. The story is almost scary in the face that it could really happen with today’s events. But I loved all the detail that goes into the science part of this story.

I don’t know if this is going to be a series but I do get the feeling that there is going to be more to this book. It’s a great story and one that I recommend people checking out.

I received The Last Drop from Candid Book Reviews for free. This is in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Dressing a Tiger


Dressing a Tiger by Maggie San Miguel

A father (Jack Dahlstrom) serving the Mob, hit men moonlighting as babysitters, an uncle in the Secret Service, famous politicians amongst family friends, a mother in need of shock therapy, and a kid who eavesdrops and remembers it all. Maggie San Miguel shares her unique childhood in this funny and poignant memoir reminiscent of The Godfather meets Running with Scissors. Her father’s prior knowledge of the Kennedy assassination and his unique friendships with Jack Ruby, John Connally, Henry Wade and infamous Mafia bosses Carlo Gambino, Sam Giancana and Paul Castellano is a story untold until now. As a negotiator for the Teamsters Union and a high-ranking associate of the Mob, Jack Dahlstrom collected an impressive array of friends and Mafia secrets that were never meant to see the light of day. Maggie San Miguel has just opened the blinds.

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My Review

5 stars

Follow along as Maggie, as a precocious 5 year old gets tricked into going to the dentist with her father’s friend Jimmy. Jimmy is more muscle for Jack Dahlstrom but does have a soft spot for Maggie. We continue along as Maggie shares meeting the different people that her father knows and does her best to avoid a mother that clearly has mental issues.

It is clear that although Maggie is a sweet child, one night in Austria bursts the bubble of childhood and opens her eyes to the world she really is in. While we follow along with Maggie, we also learn about the origins of her mother and father, what helped lead to her mother’s mental break down and many other adventures. It is a hard world that she lived in and she had to be tough to make it though.

I loved following along with Maggie on her different adventures. The Geisha’s and the ceiling and her selling things to earn money for Christmas stand out in my mind. But her life is not easy, especially when you learn how her mother could have used some help of her own. But I loved the look inside the lives of the famous people that we only hear bits and pieces about and only through the news. It breathes life into those names that you just read a blurb on Wikipedia about.

This is a great story and one that I recommend. It’s a joy to follow Maggie as the grows and to see the inner workings behind some players in the Mob. I really liked touching on the Kennedy assassination.

I received Dressing a Tiger from the publisher for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Finding Mom

Finding Mom by Amanda Mawhinney

Non-fiction, parenting, self-help, personal growth, mom self-care.

Date Published: October 6, 2016

Publisher: My Koala Pouch publishing

Vitality. Passion. Tranquility. Do any of these words currently describe you?
Finding Mom will reawaken your dreams and help you to find and reinvent yourself.

Sometimes we love being a mom, but get frustrated when motherhood takes over our life. You are a mom and so much more. That’s why it’s important to start your journey to find your purpose beyond just being a mom. Learn the secrets to finding “me time” in even your busiest days. Uncover and recover your unique mom personality with a personality quiz. Create a sustainable and effective plan for your future that your family will support. No matter how busy you are, how many kids you have, or how young your children are, this book makes finding fulfillment possible for you.

What are you waiting for? Make a difference in your life and start finding yourself today!

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Authors Bio:

Amanda Mawhinney is an author, trainer and family relationship coach. Her professional passions are helping women to develop themselves and helping families to connect and build stronger bonds. Her blog, My Koala Pouch is where she writes about creating healthier families and fun activities for kids and adults.

Amanda holds a degree in Psychology from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She was an HR professional at a company with over 11,000 employees worldwide. She designed, created and implemented many developmental courses and an orientation program. She trained management, developed employees, facilitated mentorship programs and strengthened interdepartmental teams. Before having children of her own, Amanda worked with children with behavioral issues and their families. As an AmeriCorps volunteer she taught disabled and at- risk youth about giving back to the community and the environment.

Amanda currently homeschools her two delightful daughters and spends her days enjoying the great outdoors, reading, writing and doing fun activities with her family.

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Finding Mom Excerpt

You may think that it’s impossible to get to know yourself while your children are young and that it will be easier when your children get older. The truth is, you don’t have to wait. I took my journal to the hospital with me when I had my second child and started implementing some of my goals right after I recovered from childbirth.

Refinding myself has really changed the entirety of my life. In the year following my own personal analysis, I managed to meet my goals of becoming an author, losing all my baby weight from both kids, and strengthening my spirituality. I discovered that I do not have the patience or the real skill for crocheting; I enjoy horseback riding and quiet time in the woods. Currently, I’m working through a couch to 5K program in order to run a race in a few months. I have future aspirations of having my own successful business, learning karate, and traveling the globe.

You may be thinking, “Well, good for you, Amanda, but I’m too busy to find myself.” Maybe you work full time, homeschool, have seven kids, and make all of your food from scratch. Maybe you volunteer at church or take care of an elderly parent or a special needs child. As mothers, our list of responsibilities is endless and our unique challenges may feel insurmountable. The thing is, if you really want to make a difference in your life, you will find a way. I purposely directed this book at moms because we face unique trials, and I wanted to really zero in on how you can make a difference in your life.

The “year of Amanda,” during which I took the time to find myself, was also one of the most hectic periods of my life to date. We had a new baby, my husband got a new job, and we moved from one house to another. All of this was going on while I was still actively raising and nurturing two children. The “year of you” may be even more hectic, but we are going to work together to make it a reality.

Are you ready for the “Year of You?”

This book is designed as an informational workbook to help you on your journey toward rediscovering yourself. I know there is so much in this book that it can be a bit overwhelming. You do not have to complete all of Part 1 at one time in order to get a lot out of this book. That’s why I broke the book down into three parts. You can explore as much or as little about yourself in Part 1 as you want, while still being able to turn your areas of improvement into actionable steps and goals in Part 2. In Part 3, you can learn how to take those goals and start applying them to your life. This book isn’t meant to be something to just read and forget. I want you to be able to take whatever time you have and put it into making a real change in your life.

After reading this book, you will be able to:

  • Incorporate personal time into your daily routine (with the kids around)
  • Identify your individual qualities, stresses, and opportunities
  • Understand your personality and your family members’ personalities
  • Set achievable goals particular to your life
  • Start a realistic personal development plan
  • Become the mom you want to be

If you actively partake in this book, you will have a solid plan for becoming who you are above and beyond the beloved label of “mom.” We have a lot to cover in this book, and I’m excited to help you change your life into one that is more fulfilling. As you turn the page, bring a pen to take notes and an open mind to discover your potential.

Let’s start finding you . . .

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