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Sunday, December 16, 2012


I have some reviews coming up, but wanted to take time and just "talk" to my readers. With the busy Christmas  season in full swing, I'm sure everyone is busily getting ready for family celebrations.
I would love to hear some of your family traditions. What do you do to make the season special?
What is a favorite tradition?
In our family we have a few traditions we've done since my son was born and others that change depending on situations. One thing we always do is a special ornament for my son. This ornament has something to do with either something he's been involved with during the year, a favorite activity, hobby etc. One year he did Tae-kwon-do and we found an ornament with a boy doing a high kick. We did a chef mitt with cooking utensils when he was baking a lot, holiday dog, trains and such. This is special knowing when he grows up he will have many years of memories to take with him for his own tree.
In  years past, we have always spent Christmas Eve and Day with family. Last year we moved to FL and so were far from any family and hadn't really met any close friends here yet, so we decided to start a new tradition. We decided to go to Cocoa Beach on Christmas Day. For those of us from up north, that is a huge thing to do! Of course we had to put pictures up on Facebook for our friends dealing with freezing temperatures.
Now it's your turn. I'd love to hear some of your favorite traditions and how you make the Christmas season special!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Snowy Day

The Snowy Day

By Ezra Jack Keats

      In keeping with the Christmas book theme, here is another one of my favorite winter books. Although it doesn't directly have anything to do with Christmas, we keep it with our Christmas books and it's always just become a book we read at Christmas.
      This is such a sweet story of a child who is so excited about a snowy day. He wakes up and notices the snow that appeared while he slept. He goes out into the snow and spends time experiencing the snow in a variety of different ways from snow angels to knocking snow of tree branches. Although he isn't able to do some of the things the older boys can, he finds ways to enjoy the snow. He even wants to keep a snowball so that the day can last longer. 
      When he arrives home and while he is spending time warming up he forgets about his snowball. When he discovers that the snow has melted, he longs for his snowball back, and the feeling of being with the snow. He dreams the snow melts that night, and although he wakes up sad, when he sees that it actually snowed more he is determined again not to miss out on whatever adventures the snow holds for him.
       This is a great book.  This book is a tradition for us. I grew up on this book and I loved being able to continue reading it with my own son. It always gets us wishing for a snowy day!

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. The book is from my own collection and the opinions are my own.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Crippled Lamb

The Crippled Lamb

By Max Lucado

  • children's board book
  • Christmas book
  • My rating is 5 out of 5 stars
      This is another great book to help you get in the Christmas mood. This one focuses on the true meaning of Christmas as seen through the eyes of a lamb. This lamb, Joshua, has a bad leg. He is left behind on the trip to another field due to him being slower than the others. He has a cow friend, Abigail, who stays back in the barn with him. Suddenly they hear a noise and see a baby in the barn. Joshua notices the baby is cold and warms him with his wool. He learns the baby is the new King Jesus  and how God has a place for everyone. This is a good reminder for all of us, that no matter what we are  doing or where we are in life, that God has a plan. We are in the right place for what he will use us for.
       This is a great book for Christmas, but really it's good for throughout the year whenever we need a reminder of God's love for us.
        Praying blessings on all of my readers this Christmas season, may you find joy in this time of our Savior's birth.

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. My opinions are my own and the book used was from my own book collection.

Kids Christmas books

In getting with the season, I thought I would do some reviews of favorite Christmas books in our house!
I will do one or two a day. These are all older books, but classic.
Grab a drink...mine is iced tea today, and enjoy!

Wee Mouse Christmas

By Alyssa Satin Capucilli

  • Children's book
  • pop-up book
  • my rating is 5 out of 5 stars
      The first thing you notice with this book is the front cover. It has a delightful picture of mice mixed in with presents and a wreath. It brings you in the story from the start. The story is a clever one of the mice family experiencing Christmas. You see how Wee Mouse explores the house and sees the best thing he knows  of Christmas. He can't wait to share his "surprise" with the whole mouse family. You go on the adventure with him as he finds his family behind the flaps. Then he brings them with him back to where he found the surprise and they see the wonderful Christmas tree with the pile of gifts below it. The way the tree flaps out just makes it seem all the more thrilling. 
       This is a short and too the point book, but you are so quickly involved that you don't notice the length of the story. It is such a cute book. Your kids, and you, are sure to love it. 
       When my son was younger we would read this book many times a day throughout the Christmas season. Many of the flaps have been lovingly torn due to the amount of times read over the years.
Even though my son is a teenager, this book is still fun to look at and remember the feeling of reading it for the first time.

Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this review. The opinions are my own. This is a review from my own book collection.

Monday, December 3, 2012

$25 Disney Gift Card + Tinkerbell Lanyard and Medallion Set

Great gift for any Disney Fan!

$25 Disney Gift Card + Tinkerbell Lanyard and Medallion Gift Set Giveaway!

Check out this fabulous Disney themed giveaway brought to you by Naomi Maclaren, affiliated with The Magic For Less Travel! It's time to explore all the wonderful things Disney has to offer for your next family vacation!
 I encourage you to check out Naomi's blog at Pixie Dusted Homeschool and enjoy reading some fun and informative posts filled with helpful tips and information about a variety of topics including Disney. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest too!
This giveaway is presented by 
Your Disney Prize Pack includes: One winner will receive a $25 Disney Gift Card, 1 Brand New Disney Reusable Shopping Bag,  1 Tinkerbell Lanyard from Disneyland, and 1 Tinkerbell Pin and Lanyard Medallion set which is also from Disneyland. (These items are provided by our sponsor, Naomi Maclaren, affiliated with The Magic For Less Travel. AGE: 18 yrs or older LOCATION: USA residents only DATE: Giveaway starts on December 3, 2012 and ends on December 17, 2012 at 12:00am. Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Allow the form to load completely then finish the mandatory entries. Once you have completely the mandatory entries, that will unlock a bunch of additional "optional" entries you can do to earn more entry points in the giveaway. Good luck to each of you! a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: LOST ISLAND OF BOOK REVIEWS did not receive compensation for this post except for a free link on the giveaway form.   LOST ISLAND OF BOOK REVIEWS and Love2EncourageYou are not responsible for sponsor prize fulfillment. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.

Dianna's Way by John Catenacci


Dianna's Way

By John Catenacci

  • Non-Fiction/ memoir 
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
                Through the eyes of John, we gain insight into the life of Dianna, her marriage to John, and their struggles as Dianna deals with cancer. We get a peek at how it all began as we hear in John's own words, how they met, began dating and finally marry.
                 Hearing not  only John's story, but the accounts of family members, help to show a well-rounded version of who Dianna was.
                As they begin to talk of marriage, we see how they viewed it as a great opportunity. Dianna especially lives her life as an adventure, and with a positive attitude. There are wonderful stories told of adventures together from hot air balloon rides, to decorating their home. We hear of many travels they take together.
                 They agree that their pasts make them who they are and to live without regret. This helps make forgiveness easy for them. This is important with the path they are on.
                We come alongside them as they struggle with the daily life of a person affected with cancer. Through the process of tests, diagnosis, and effects of both, we find how the strength and positive outlook stay with them till the end.

            From the beginning, what I notice is how John writes as if he's talking to a friend. In his comfortable language you see the whole picture of their life with cancer, and feel a part of the journey with them. I really enjoyed how he occasionally would be telling of a situation and add how the future played into that situation. This really helped pull the story together. You soon discover that while cancer obviously was the major reason for the book, they never allowed cancer to take control. The word that comes to my mind is strength. You see this many times throughout the book. They seemed to live life forward as mentioned by John many times. This is of great encouragement to anyone going through a similar situation. 
            I enjoyed seeing how Dianna kept a gratitude journal even in the midst of her worst days. this also stood out to me. 
            The stories told of how they pushed through what could paralyze some, were great . The wig stories were my favorite!
             John tells it like it is throughout the book. Sometimes maybe a little too much...which I'm sure you'll understand once you read the book! (you really want to find that part don't you?!)
At times I felt the book read a little slow, but there was a lot to share and you did need it to get the full story. I do recommend this book as a great look into how living life with a terminal disease can be, and how you can change your outlook into one of encouragement to others.

Disclosure: I only received an e-book copy of this book in order to do the review. The  honest opinions of this post are my own.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

John Catenacci's Web Site: (at this time, not yet live)
John Catenacci's Facebook:
Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:

Dianna's Way
 blog tour site:

Enjoy a Q & A with John Catenacci below:

 Please tell us about your current release. I will use the back cover copy as it works pretty well on its own.
 John Catenacci is enthralled from the start by the beauty, radiance, and mystery of the much younger woman he meets at a party. Dianna “is in Technicolor and everyone else is in black and white.” Expecting to be the teacher, not the student, John is humbled by the gradual discovery that the opposite is true, in their marriage and in life. The author is profoundly awed by Dianna’s courage, determination, and lightness of being that remains entirely undiminished in the face of what becomes a seventeen-year battle with an aggressive form of breast cancer. John accompanies Dianna each step of the way, and is increasingly amazed by the undeniable healing affect she has on others. Theirs is a shared spiritual journey into the nature of love and transformation. Even after her passing, their relationship pierces the illusion veiling this reality.

Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?
At some point in our life together, I began to notice Dianna was living her life in a genuinely powerful, almost mysterious (to me) way and suggested to her that I write her story. She was as delighted as any child running down the stairs on Christmas morning. But, as her health deteriorated, I became focused on care giving and put the writing aside. After she died, I was engulfed in grief and for a couple of years I just couldn’t climb out of it. One day, I happened upon a book by Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way, which I credit with guiding me back into the game. The book is in five parts. The first four recount our life together with the fifth devoted to my personal spiritual journey of coming to terms with her leaving, my long view of who she was and what I learned from her. The first four parts flowed like water once I began to write but I struggled mightily with the last part. Yet it is this last part that weaves together the whole of her life, her message, in a way very satisfying to me.

Can you tell us about the story behind your book cover?
Well, originally the cover was going to be centered on the photo of Dianna that is now on the back cover. I love this photo of her – it is quintessential Dianna in an image. However, my editor, Marly Cornell, convinced me this was going to be an ineffective cover and, after accidentally seeing the photo of Dianna and me from the rear taken by a dear friend/professional photographer, Giovanni Sanitate, she instantly said, “This is the one. Use this one.” Well, it has taken most of my life but I have finally learned to listen and follow advice when the advice comes from someone I respect. So, now, everyone gets to see my bald head instead of Dianna. More mystery, more intriguing, Marly said. Probably because anyone looking at it would wonder what this young woman is doing with this old man. Anyway, unwilling to let it go completely, I pushed Dianna’s photo to the back cover because I wanted it to be seen and seen in color.

What book on the market does yours compare to? How is your book different?
 Everyone is unique. No one could have written this book but me and no one else has existed nor ever will exist who is like Dianna. So her story and how I have written it is like no other book anyone has ever read. Of course, this does not make it a good book but simply a unique one. I have read quite a few memoirs, many involving illness, care giving – and some of them were really good. What I think makes this book special is what made Dianna special, what made our relationship special – so much laughter, optimism, ways of constantly making lemonade when we needed it, and, finally, the deeply spiritual orientation to the book’s message – good or bad, there is nothing fluffy about where Dianna goes in her life nor in the way I have chosen to examine her life …. and the very meaning of life itself.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I like to write in sentence fragments and the entire book is a sort of a mosaic – there are chapters that are conventionally chronological because they had to be but other parts of the book are like bursts of light shining on an amazing woman so the reader can enjoy her in the way I – and all who knew her – enjoyed and were inspired by her.  I am so happy with how the entire tapestry came together into a whole. I think Dianna is too. Of course I could go into grammar and punctuation, which I thought I knew. And my love of ellipses and my aversion to the word “that” and my unconscious tendency to start sentences with “So.”  So, my early readers and editor ripped me to pieces on those “quirks.”

Open your book to a random page and tell us what’s happening.
In my reality, nothing in life is random — or accidental. When I was about to write this response, I happened to look out the window and saw three – three – hummingbirds dancing around a honeysuckle – have never seen this before – like Dianna saying “talk about the hummingbird chapter.” While I was writing the book, it occurred to me to use a hummingbird as one metaphor for how Dianna lived her life – flitting from person to person, embracing their love whole heartedly while impregnating each one with a simple grace, unflagging humor and ineffable love in return, all in one magical spontaneous exchange. The look of triumph on her face, her excitement and joy, when the first hummingbird showed up in our yard was unforgettable. She had worked so hard for several years, planting for them, and finally there it was, this little Ruby Throated blur. In that moment I saw, once again, her determination, patience, faith, appreciation and gratitude all in one tiny vignette during one day of our lives.

 Do you plan any subsequent books?
An already almost fully formed book is in my mind now. Better writers than I have said don’t talk about a book idea or the energy for writing it will bleed away, leaving it stillborn.

Tell us what you’re reading at the moment and what you think of it.
The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die by John Izzo and The Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware because I am old enough now where I should pay attention to these things — probably before tomorrow — and A Broken Sausage Grinder by Hank Thomas, a friend of mine and The Almost Archer Sisters by Lisa Gabriele, a relative and friend of mine. I often read several books at a time, switching back and forth depending on my mood. All are interesting in different ways and for different reasons. There is so very much talent in the world isn’t there?

Excerpt from the book:

The End of Something
     “Honey, why don’t we make love anymore?”
     We are in bed. Dianna is reading a book about healing cancer, while
I’m thumbing through a bird hunting magazine. Dianna lays her book
on the end table and rolls over toward me. I lay down the magazine, too.
She has my undivided attention now.
     “I think we make love every day in some way,” I say.
     “You know what I mean.”
     I let out a big sigh. We have not had sex since the transplant. I have
been thinking about this for quite a while, and nothing ever comes up
making sense to me.
     “Don’t you find me desirable anymore? Do you still love me?”
     “Do you actually have to ask me that?” I’m looking her right in the
eye. “I love you more now than I ever have.”
     “I don’t have a way to explain it. It’s not that I don’t find you attractive
or desirable. It’s just with everything that has happened to us, to you, I
just…I don’t know what to say.”
      “It’s because I’ve lost my breasts, isn’t it. You never touch them
     “Well, honey, we’ve discussed that already. You’ve admitted you
don’t have any feeling there anymore. Why would I touch them? I don’t
fondle doorknobs, either. But, anyway, your breasts have nothing to do
with it.”
     “Then, what?”
     “The only way I can put it is, I love you very much, and more and
more with each passing year. But expressing my love for you in a sexual
way feels…I don’t know…just feels inappropriate somehow.”
     “Like you will hurt me or something?”
      “I guess so. No matter how much you love someone, if the person
you love is wounded and bleeding, you don’t try to have sex with them.
Feels… just doesn’t feel…right. You protect them. You care for them, not
have sex with them. Something like that.”
     “I’m not a cripple, you know. I’m not a piece of glass. I won’t break.”
     “I know that, honey.”
      “I’m a woman with womanly needs. I still desire you sexually. I would
love to have sex with you like a normal human being.” She slides her arm
under my arm. “I feel rejected. That hurts.”
     “I realize that. I feel terrible about it. Don’t you think I haven’t thought
about how much you’ve lost? You have lost your dream of having a child.
Now your menstrual cycles have ended, reminding you that all you are
going to get from now on is hot flashes instead of the child you so dearly
wanted. You’ve lost your breasts, a part of you, you were always so proud
of…, and you have lost your hair twelve times. You…”
     “Three times.”
     I laugh. Then, so does she, a little.
     “What I’m trying to say, maybe not very well, is I realize all these
losses assail your femininity, of what it means to be a woman, …and…
not having sex with your partner is just another thing piled on top of all
the rest. It’s the last thing you need to have happen in your life, right now.
I know I can’t feel what you feel exactly…, but I do understand these are
losses you deal with every day. That’s why it hurts me so much to be stuck
like this, this way.”
     “Then, I don’t understand why you would want to deprive me of this,
     My eyes are getting wet, and my heart is thick in my throat.
     “Believe me, if I could do anything about it, I would. I just can’t. Men
can’t fake it, you know.”
     “I don’t want you to fake it.”
      I put my arms around her and pull her close to me. I can’t stop the
tears now.
     “And so I don’t. I’m not faking my love for you, either. I would do
anything I know how to do for you. I do what I can. I’m so sorry, honey.”
      She starts to cry, softly, quietly, burying her head into my neck.
     “So am I,” she whispers.
     We fall into silence. There doesn’t seem to be anything else to say. I
keep my arms around her, and she keeps her arm over me.
     We fall asleep that way.

The Beginning of Something Else
    The next morning, I get up, leaving Dianna still asleep, and go into the
kitchen to make coffee. My back is facing the hallway to the bedroom.
Suddenly I feel her arms around me as she lays her head sideways against
my back.
     “I know what love is, John.”
     “You do?” I ask without turning toward her.
     “Look at me,” she says.
     I turn around and look into her eyes. They look wet, but she’s
smiling. “Love is the way you are with me,” she pauses, then, in a more
perky tone of voice, “And the way I am with you, too.”
     Now I can’t help it. I fall apart. She wraps her arms tight around me
and I bury my head into her neck.
     “It’s going to be okay,” she says.
     “It is okay,” she says, then adds, “More than okay.”
     After a minute, she steps back and looks at me with a smirk on her
face. “Do you ever desire other women?”
     I think about that minefield, but decide to go ahead anyway. “Of course.
Once in awhile, I do. Some women are sexually attractive and, …and don’t
look wounded to me, I guess. Must be about a billion of ’em out there.”
     She smiles, gives me a little kiss on the cheek, then walks over to
the dining room window and looks out over the lake. Finally, she says
quietly, without looking at me, “Maybe one day, honey, you’ll see we are
all wounded.”
     I stop pouring water into the coffee pot in midstream, about to enlist
my skills in mental masturbation, when she darts away to a different
     “Oh, honey, I think it’s going to be a beautiful day today. In fact, I’m
sure it is.” She comes across the room and peeks over the bar. “Oh. Are
you making coffee for me?”
      “Everything is for you,” I say with a smile.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Fallacy Detective

The Fallacy Detective

By Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn

  • Educational/Homeschool
  • My rating is 5 out of 5 stars
  • ISBN: 978-0-9745315-3-3

                 In this great logic book, which is part of the same series of books as "The Thinking Toolbox", we are learning now how to recognize bad reasoning.
                 The basic set up of the book is similar to "The Thinking Toolbox" in that  you have the separate lessons which have the explanation, examples and exercises.  The difference is in the theme of the book.  "The Fallacy Detective" starts out with teaching us to listen. (every mom is cheering now!)
Sometimes we aren't good at the basic listening skills needed in life, and we miss out on the whole story. This section shows us ways to listen and why it's important to listen. We have to use our minds in order to catch the bad reasoning. A Fallacy means when you find an error in your logic. To find the bad reasoning we have to use our minds and be able to notice when things don't make sense.
                  In this book we cover how to handle things such as avoiding the question where we learn about red herrings. We learn what happens when we make assumptions, some statistical fallacies and finally propaganda.
                   The explanations of each of these are carefully laid out in specific sections which allows us to understand what is being explained. What I find especially fun in this book is the Detective game at the end of the book. You are able to apply what you have been learning about and use it in finding the fallacies in a fun way. It's a wonderful way to engage the students. I would check out this book for sure!

Disclosure: I received a paperback copy of the book in order to do the review. All opinions are honest and my own.

The Thinking Toolbox


The Thinking Toolbox

By Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn

  • Educational/ Homeschool
  • my rating is 5 out of 5 stars
  • ISBN : 978-0-9745315-1-9

                    As a homeschool mom myself, I really was excited about getting my hands on a good logic book. Logic is an important aspect of learning and the more engaging the book is, the more interest the kids will have.
                     The first thing I noticed was how friendly the book appears. It has a colorful cover with fun pictures that just invites you to look more. I know for a lot of kids, that's the first step to sparking an interest in a book of any kind.  When I noticed that it was written with a Christian viewpoint, as a mom I was very interested. I liked to see some of the examples linked to Bible verses or situations.
                      In looking through this book, I was not disappointed. The lessons are separated into sections which discuss different reasoning skills. You move from learning about the Tools for Thinking, to the Opposing Viewpoints and finally the Tools of Science. Each section is broken down into lessons that focus on one area of logic. You are given an explaination of the topic which include examples and any stories that might follow along. Then you are given some "do it yourself" exercises to solidify your understanding of what you've learned. The lessons are well thought out and explained. They contain useful examples and great exercises.
                       My favorite lessons were those that transformed the lesson into a mystery to solve. These really allowed the reader to grasp the concepts in a new and entertaining way.
                        At the back of the book there is a section dedicated to projects and games to use outside the book, that encourages more active thinking. There is also an answer key for all the exercises in the book.
                        I really think the authors were great at incorporating the material into a fun book. I recommend this book to any family who wants to encourage logical thinking.
Disclosure: I received a paperback copy of this book in order to do the review. All opinions are honest and my own.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Affairs of the mind: Chibi

Affairs of the Mind: Chibi

"An Apple for a Rose"

By Jwan Jordan

  • Comic
  • my rating is 4 out of 5 stars
         This is a fun book read in a comic layout. You have the artwork and a few words per page about the story. The book is about someone trying to get an apple out of a tree. The girl really feels the tree wants her to have the apple but she is  having difficulty getting it down by herself. She needs help from her friends. She brings in the friends she feels have resources to help her get the apple to fall from the tree. We watch the different ideas the friends bring with them, and see how it works. Finally we see her get the apple she's worked so hard to receive!
           This is a cute book. It's a quick read with a clear and easy story.  The artwork is great also.  Although I wish there was a little more to it, it puts across a theme that is well supported and encouraging. 
           I enjoyed reading this comic style book and encourage everyone to give it a read.

I am honored to have had the chance to interview the author and ask some questions. 
Hope you enjoy!

1. What inspired you to write your first book?
     Well, my father Kenneth Jordan was a stuntman in L.A. and he also worked at Walt Disney Studios. While at Walt Disney Studios, I had many fortunate opportunities to watch some of Disney's classic cartoons created. I believe that's when I fell in love with comics, cartoons and all things related.

2. What book are you currently reading?
    I am currently reading LIFE by Chris Brady & Orrin Woodard and the Sherlock Holmes collection.

3. Do you have any advice for someone who is wanting to become an author?
    I suggest taking a writing class. If you can not take a college course, then look into your local community for classes. You will be surprised how many writers gather together in your area.
Take the advice from experienced writers, and never be afraid to ask questions.

4. What was your inspiration for writing this specific book?
    I've struggled with depression all my life and my grandmother used to always tell me "All the affairs of life come from your state of mind" Eventually I began to educate myself on ways to fight depression.Through exercise, meditation. education and vitamins I began to keep my depression at bay.
When I began to write comics it seemed like a perfect mix to add comics with my grandmother's philosophy.

5.  What is the daily life of an author like?
     It can be pretty interesting at times. I've met so many unique and talented  people. I often spend most of my time writing by the window. I'm always brainstorming on new ideas and preparing the next issue. When I'm not working on books, I am setting up motivational seminars and art classes for those interested.

6. How do you come up with ideas for your books?
    I've always had a big imagination and it doesn't take much to get it going. Watching an ant carry food back to its home can give me a mass of ideas. Needless to say, like most writers, I'm easily distracted.

7. What is your favorite thing about writing books?
     I enjoy having an abstract idea from my mind become a concrete object I can show others. It never ceases to amaze me how much people enjoy reading my books and how often I get to be a part of other people's lives  in a positive way through my books. It really helps me to feel like I have a purpose in this world and hopefully I can help others who suffer from depression also. 

For those interested in requesting me for a motivational seminar or to speak to at their school or community event can contact me at or through my facebook page

Disclosure: I received an ebook of this comic for the purpose of doing this review and interview. I did not receive any other compensation. My opinions are honest and my own.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

For the Future Generations


For the Future Generations(book 1)

by Anastasia Faith

  • science/Fantasy
  • Christian Fiction
  • young adult
  • my rating is 4 out of 5 stars
         This is a delightfully fresh outlook on dealing with one of the most talked about issues today...abortion.
This book is written unapologetically from a Christian perspective and is 100% pro-life. Instead of being a "preachy" book, it creates a dramatic story that shows the ins and outs of life and how the choices we make affect the future generations.
         In this story, we are time traveling through different time periods in order to create the relationship between the characters and the way the people live. We are brought in when the US has fallen and is now Middle Country. We are shown how abortion was a cause of the fall. We follow Matthia through an assignment and see how life is and how hard it is to be a Christian and be against abortion in a society where it is encouraged and seen as normal. Along the way, Matthia meets up with Declan, who works with her through the times. They are to distribute vieos which speak out against abortion. This is a very dangerous thing to do when everyone is pro-choice and Matthia is seen as the enemy.
         As we begin to become involved with the characters, we learn more about their lives and how they were directly influenced by the abortion issue.
        The message overall is how we need to turn back to God. We have allowed other things to become more important. We see that each life has a purpose and changes need to be made. What we do now will ultimately effect future generations. 
         This is a really interesting book and is the author's first novel. I highly recommend reading it. I look forward to future books in the series

Disclosure: I received a PDF of the book in order to do my review. I received no other compensation. My opinions are honest and all my own.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Now That's Romantic Giveaway!

What a perfect time to plan something special for your spouse! Enter to win this book of romantic ideas for a evening together!

Now That's Romantic!
Intimate Themed Dinners for Romantic Special Occasions
by author
Kim Moore
  Full Review by Rebecca @ Love2EncourageYou  Now That's Romantic by Kim Moore was carefully constructed to help couples enhance their marriages and spark more fun and romantic times together. The book comes with all the adventure and imagination your heart could ever wish for to inspire the perfect creative mood for a lovely themed dinner and special evening with the one you love. There are six complete roomscapes which are included in this stunning, hardcover book with full color illustrations. Each reader will get something different out of this delightful gift! Now That's Romantic comes with everything presented in a very organized fashion from beautiful pictures of the exciting roomscape ideas, handy check lists, music suggestions and creative ideas on what to wear to add to the fun experience.
I highly recommend purchasing a copy of "Now That's Romantic" and trying to surprise your husband or wife this holiday season with a memory making themed dinner. It looks like so much fun!
You can follow Kim Moore and her ideas from Now That's Romantic on Facebook! You can also keep up with her tweets on Twitter.
PRIZE: One winner will receive an autographed hardcover copy of Kim Moore's book: Now That's Romantic! $29.95 value DATE: Giveaway ends on December 5, 2012. LOCATION: Must be a resident of the US lower 48 states only. AGE:  18+yrs Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter form below. You must complete the mandatory entries first then they will unlock the additional optional entries. a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: Lost Island of Book Reivews did not receive any compensation for publishing this post except for a link on the giveaway form. Love2EncourageYou and Lost Island of Book Reviews are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Homeschool your 1st grader

Homeschool Your First Grader

by Beth Jones

  • Educational/Homeschool
  • my rating is 5 out of 5 stars

                      This is exactly the book I wish was available when I started to homeschool. When we started to homeschool 15 yrs ago, we were without a lot of support. We didn't have any groups close by, friends that homeschooled, everyone told us we were crazy and no idea what we were doing!
                       This book covers all the questions you might have when beginning the process of deciding to homeschool. The author answers even the tough questions such as "Can I really do this?" with such confidence, that you really feel her support. The answer is "Yes", First grade is not that difficult, You can do it! She helps to alleviate any fears you might have starting out. You begin to understand that you know your child best, you know how they learn the best and shows you ways to teach to that learning style.
                        The author gives great advice on how to homeschool legally, the variety of curriculum options, and what to teach. You are encouraged to make your child a part of the process, to find out their interests, how they think they can learn the best, and gives you wonderful helps for creating your own ideas how to teach. 
                        You have to read this book, It is written in straight forward language which makes it very easy to follow and understand. You will feel more confident about your choice to homeschool after reading this book!

Disclosure: I received an ebook copy of the book in order to do this review. No other compensation was given. All opinions in this review are honest and my own.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using <a rel="nofollow" href=""></a>. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

win a year supply of BIZ Stain Fighter

What a great opportunity to win a year supply of great stain fighter! Who doesn't need to fight stains?! Don't wait, Enter now!

BIZ Stain Fighter: Win a 1 Year Supply! 


Brought to you by:
and Rebecca @ Love2EncourageYou. 
Special thanks to our CoHost, Mama Bee Does.
You can read the Full Review by Rebecca @ Love2EncourageYou It is my pleasure to share with you about this incredible secret weapon for getting out tough stains from your laundry - introducing BIZ Laundry Stain Fighter!
We really like the way the BIZ Detergent Booster + Multi-Purpose Cleaner worked on cleaning the pollen/algae build up off the top of our lounge chairs and patio table out back by the pool and with cleaning the soap grime off the bath tub and shower stalls.I tend to have to put some muscle into it when I clean the bathrooms, but with BIZ you can use less of your own muscle as BIZ flexes its own muscles and does a super job breaking up the soap residue while you clean. I love it! When doing the laundry and trying to beat the toughest stains like ketchup, blood, sweat and grass stains, I believe using the liquid Biz Stain Remover was just as effective if not MORE effective than our previous stain remover brand! Go here if you'd like a $2.00 off coupon so you can try it! I'm very impressed with the BIZ product line and all its helpful and practical applications. A+ from me on customer satisfaction! BIZ gets Five Stars!! Follow Biz Stain Fighter on Facebook and Twitter!  What a great opportunity...who doesn't need a great stain fighter? Enter to win a 1 year supply!
PRIZE: One winner will receive a 1 Year Supply of Biz Stain Fighter! 

AGE: 18 yrs or older to enter 
LOCATION: Must be a resident of the USA 
DATE: 11/13/2012  to 12/03/2012 at 12:00am. 

 Please wait for the Rafflecopter form to load then enter the mandatory entries that are showing. Once you complete these first few entries, you will "unlock" additional entries for lots more ways to earn entries into the giveaway. The more you enter the more chances to win! a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Disclosure: Lost Island of Book Reviews did not receive compensation for this publication except for two links on the giveaway form. Love2EncourageYou and Lost Island of Book Reviews are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment for the giveaway. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Win an autographed copy of The Secret Within by Lila Dawn


The Secret Within

By Lila Dawn

  • Fiction
  • my rating is 4 out of 5 stars
  • ISBN: 978-1-4259-9452-5

                Two best friends, enjoying becoming closer friends, trusting each other and talking about everything. Nicholas and Lexi have spent the last year building a great foundation for their relationship.
They never would imagine anything could go wrong. For Lexi's birthday, Nicholas plans a hiking trip in the woods, and a trip to meet his mother with whom he has a rocky relationship, to say the least.
The day starts out great, with the weather perfect for hiking and  a great picnic lunch with conversation about upcoming events and plans. On the trail back to the car something happens that changes everything. Lexi falls, leaving her injured. As Nicholas desperately searches for help, the unimaginable happens, Lexi goes missing. What has happened to her? Where could she have gone? These are just a couple of the questions you will wonder about as you go through this experience with both of their families.
                 As the day goes on and things begin to unfold, you see that lives are intertwined in very unusual ways. This is an honest story of a year in Nicholas's life and how he handles the stress of his best friend gone from his life. You feel his guilt and sadness as he struggles to find a reason for what's happening and what he finds in the process.  It's a story of love, trust and life.

             This is a great story. It's easy and straightforward writing helps you gain a connection with each of the characters right from the start. Each character is carefully created in a unique and realistic way. You get a sense of emotion as you realize the relationships between characters and how they relate to each others storyline. 
            I recommend this book to anyone looking for a refreshing read, with great characters, and a little suspense and drama mixed in.  You learn a lot about yourself and how you might handle life situations would they arise in your own life. 
           The way Lila Dawn brings real life into the story, along with creative circumstances, you are
sure to enjoy this book.

It's giveaway time! Enter to win an autographed copy of this book! You must be 18 yrs old to enter and be a  lower US resident. There is one (1) winner. Giveaway is open from Oct 27 2012 thru Nov 17 2012.  This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. The opinions in this blog are my own.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Woman behind the Mirror by Judith Couchman

Enter this giveaway to win a copy of Judith Couchman's "Woman behind the Mirror"!
Presented by author, Judith Couchman, and Rebecca @ Love2EncourageYou Judith Couchman is a very experienced author. She has touched many lives through her writing and has encouraged readers  to improve their relationship with the Lord through her books that share insight about the Word of God and Christian living. Please stop by Judith's website and check out the incredible collection of free resources she has available to the public. GIVEAWAY TIME!  PRIZE: One winner will receive an autographed copy of Judith Couchman's book: Woman Behind the Mirror Book Description: "Do you struggle with your appearance? If you feel less than acceptable, there’s hope. In The Woman Behind the Mirror, Judith encourages you to stop obsessing about your body. If you’re tired of the beauty quest, you can make peace with your looks, regardless of the world’s insistence on physical perfection. Viewed from God’s perspective, you’re already captivating."  DATE: Ends on 11/13/2012. LOCATION: Open to residents of the USA and Canada AGE: 18+yrs to enter
Keep up to date with the latest new books and special offers from Judith Couchman by following her on Facebook, Twitter or subscribing to her incredible new resource: Forty Days Blog.
a Rafflecopter giveaway If you are a blogger: Please join us and sign up for the Love2EncourageYou Opps & More private Facebook Group to be included in all the latest giveaway opps and review opps, plus a chance to earn special prizes just for members participating in these opps. There are currently five awesome prizes available for Members Only to win this month! Come be a part of the team! *Disclosure: Lost Island of Book Reviews received no compensation for this post. Love2EncourageYou and Lost Island of Book Reviews are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Planned Purity by Jennie Bishop

I had the privilege of interviewing author Jennie Bishop for her new book "Planned Purity".
Here she answers some questions we all probably are wondering. Hope you enjoy!
There is also a giveaway where you have the chance to win a free copy of the book!

1.   What have you found to be the hardest in teaching "saving the first kiss" in your experience?

The hardest thing is trying to explain to a teenager why it's important when no one has talked to them about it prior to the teen years. The second hardest thing is trying to convince parents that they must start with the heart and start early. Early purity of heart training is the best way to ready a child to embrace sexual purity as they grow, period.

2.    What are some ways you explained the biblical approach to purity when your girls were young besides just reading the Bible to them?

Hoo boy. I can't say that I did it as I would have liked to, because things still weren't completely clear to me at that time. I was intentional in making sure they understood their bodies and that their questions were answered. Randy and I tried to keep their trust for future conversations so they knew we would be safe to ask ANY question. I think we were engaged, transparent parents. I wish I had been teaching them the five doors of the heart when they were preschool age, but I didn't know about it yet! I guess that was my impetus for creating the Planned Purity training system—I needed a better plan myself!

3.    Do most of your books come from real life experiences in parenting your own children?

Mine and many others'. Loads of people shared their stories for Planned Purity for Parents. The children's stories come by some particular inspiration, certain windows of insight, maybe. Each one has its own story and ingredients.

4.    What is the most exciting thing you've learned through writing books?

The thrill of seeing pictures and other media come from stories is amazing and really magical. But having someone tell me the books changed their lives is humbling and wonderful. And to see my own family affected by them, well … no words for that.

5.    What would a "day in the life of an author" be like?

My answer may disappoint some. It's laundry and dishes and meals and toilet scrubbing, being available to two young ladies and a husband, all creative and wonderful and messy, emotionally and otherwise. And there's some undisciplined writing in there as well as a little travelling and speaking. And walks on the beach. (:

6.    What advice would you give someone who is an aspiring author?

Make sure you're called to it, that you're not looking for an identity. I've read a lot of manuscripts from a lot of people who are writing but would be so much happier and more productive doing something else, but the "glamour" (insert a hearty laugh here) of being an author has them in its grip. After reading my "day in the life" you can see how glamorous the life of an author really is. Life must be based on the satisfaction of loving God and serving those we love, not on being a writer. Any path one chooses is only fulfilling if it accomplishes the purpose one needs to complete in his/her generation.

 The Princess and the Kiss w/NO Audio CD
Best Selling author, Jennie Bishop, of The Princess and the Kiss now brings you a wonderful parenting book called Planned Purity. This is a gift and a tool for parents to use to raise up young men and women with the power to make wise choices and keep themselves pure.
Here's a terrific glimpse at the fantastic speaking events that Jennie Bishop presents to parents all over the world on behalf of Planned Purity. Follow Jennie Bishop and Planned Purity on Facebook or Twitter. Visit her website to experience all the great resources available for parents and children.
 Planned Purity for Parents
PRIZE: 1 winner will receive a signed copy of the book Planned Purity by author, Jennie Bishop. 
DATE: Starts on 10/17 and ends on 11/1 at 12:00am. LOCATION: USA and Canada AGE: 18+ years or older to enter. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Lost Island of Book Reviews  did not receive compensation for this post except for a link on the rc. Love2EncourageYou and Lost Island of Book Reviews are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mail-Order Marriages by Debbie Macomber

Product Details

Mail-Order Marriages

By Debbie Macomber

  • fiction
  • my rating is 5 out of 5 stars     

The thing I like most about a book series is the excitement you have knowing that the characters you come to love throughout the book will in some way return, through the eyes of another focus character. This allows for a deeper knowledge of a character and how they fit in more peoples lives. In this review, I am looking only at book one, titled Mail-Order Marriages. It is the first of three books but contains in it two stories separated by the titles.  All three books revolve around the O’Halloran brothers and the bush pilot charter service, called Midnight Sons, that they run out of Hard Luck, Alaska. Hard Luck is a very small town located north of the Arctic circle where the scenery is beautiful, but the weather can be rough. 

The first story is called “Brides for Brothers”. This story focuses on Sawyer O’Halloran, the middle brother. When he and his younger brother Christian notice a lot of their pilots are thinking of leaving for someplace where they can meet women, they decide they need to do something to keep them in Hard Luck. They decide to create jobs and offer land to any women willing to live in Hard Luck for a year. As expected, this doesn’t turn out the way they planned. The first woman to arrive is Abby. She is there for a library position. When she arrives with two children, the men realize they may not have thought the plan through like they should have. Sawyer is intrigued, but determined not to get involved with her, and he doesn’t feel like he needs the distraction. As Abby gets settled into the way of life and her kids make friends, Sawyer finds himself starting to fall for her. He finds himself getting more involved with her and her kids, and becoming a part of their lives. This scares and annoys him, and he goes to great lengths to get her out of his mind, including trying to send her back to Washington State. He learns many things throughout their growing relationship about himself, his family and love. He knows life will never be the same, and realizes he can’t live without her.

In “The Marriage Risk”, it’s Charles O’Halloran, the oldest brother, who gets his turn at finding love. Due to the number of women arriving in Hard Luck, Lanni Caldwell is in town getting her grandmother’s house ready to be used for their living arrangements. Her grandmother is in a nursing home and the family has decided to allow the women to use the home rather than see it sit empty. When Charles sees her he has instant feeling, and does not like it one bit. He is determined to stay away and not let her get under his skin. When it turns out she is helping at Midnight Sons for awhile, it seems that is not going to happen. Finally when he allows himself to spend time with her, he learns more about her..and falls in love with her. It’s then that  he finds out things are not as easy as they seem. Turns out Lanni is the granddaughter of his family’s least favorite person. This could be a deal breaker. He is so angry at the fact that she is related to the woman that he thinks broke up his family, he isn’t willing to even think of staying together with her. He begins to fight the relationship with all he has. When Lanni is put in what could be a dangerous situation, Charles has to open up to the fact that he does love her regardless of what the past family situations might be. He has to stop fighting the process of love, and acknowledge what’s in his heart. 

I really enjoyed both stories. I felt the experience of small town living and thinking what fun it would be to visit the fictional town. Not only is it a good romance book, it pulls you in to an experience of being a part of the town where you feel the characters are friends.

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated for this posting. I am sharing this post on my own. My posts are my honest opinions. All images on these posts are directly linked to their source.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Guest List by Fern Michaels

The Guest List 
by Fern Michaels

  • Romance/Mystery
  • My rating is: 5 out of 5 stars 
 You know how when you read a book you sometimes wish you knew the backstory and how they came to the place they are at? This book achieves this. In part 1 you get the story of the family and how they deal with a daughter, Abby, who is born with a birthmark that covers one whole side of her face. Mom is unable or unwilling to deal with the child, and through the first few chapters you learn how she translates this dislike with her older daughter, Mallory, and therefore causes hateful thoughts to occur between the sisters. Because of the "imperfection" the sisters are unable to have the sweet friendship between sisters, and it shows the dynamics of a troubled family life. A family tragedy leaves the girls alone, and sent to live with a family friend. The trouble only seems to escalate and the newly married, and new to parenthood, make the decision to send Mallory away to a school they hope can help her.

You are then brought into Abby's growing up years. Although she struggles with her birthmark and the hate from her sister, the love of her adopted family has brought her joy and a feeling of security. She enjoys college life, spending time with her boyfriend and best friend and dreaming about their future lives. She is beginning to do some writing, in hopes of becoming a published writer.

You only really see the life of Abby, but can see Mallory through the family's eyes and by the mention of occasional trying of reconnecting. The hurt Mallory feels about the abandonment is apparent in her willingness to make amends with those she has hurt. You can see how both girls wish things had been different in the early years. As Abby grows older, the dynamics of the family change as Abby gains independence, and the way the step-mom, Carol, reacts to these changes. Carol becomes controlling in an effort to keep Abby needing only her. This is all too apparent when Abby begins to repair her relationship with Mallory.

Things really change when Abby graduates from college with a serious boyfriend and plans to move away. This is when the mystery really begins. There are different focuses coming together from Abby and her friends,to Carol and the step-dad Donovan, and their son. Abby is also dealing with the past, moving on and begins a relationship with her sister you wouldn't imagine could ever happen. as situations begin to unfold, you find out people aren't really who they appear to be. The girls have the growing friendship of sisters...but is it a healthy thing? through fear, trust and following their instincts, the sisters find themselves closer then ever. Will they be able to survive long enough to have their happily ever after? Will their feelings of what really happened be correct? This is a must read for anyone who likes not only the romance,and love of family, but also a good mystery where you won't know what happens till the end!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for doing this post. I am sharing this review on my own. I always try and be honest in my opinions.