17 September 2021

Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss Book Review and Giveaway

 

About the Book


Book: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue

Author: Steve Searfoss

Genre: Fiction

Release date: January 26, 2020

Chance Sterling launches a pool cleaning business over the summer. Join Chance as he looks for new customers, discovers how much to charge them, recruits an employee, deals with difficult clients, and figures out how to make a profit. Oh, and his sister Addie wants in on the action too. Will they learn how to be business partners?  He has twelve weeks to reach his goal. Will he make it? Only if he takes some chances.

KidVenture stories are business adventures where kids figure out how to market their company, understand risk, and negotiate. Each chapter ends with a challenge, including business decisions, ethical dilemmas and interpersonal conflict for young readers to wrestle with. As the story progresses, the characters track revenue, costs, profit margin, and other key metrics which are explained in simple, fun ways that tie into the story.

I am a Christian and a parent. My wife and I pay close attention to the books and media our four children consume, and try to make sure the content is edifying, just as Paul exhorts us in Philippians 4:8. I wanted to write a book that met that standard, and was also fun and engaging. KidVenture teaches kids the importance of hard work, of keeping your word and being trustworthy, and telling the truth, even when it means delivering bad news. As the story progresses, the protagonist understands that business is about more than making money as he appreciates  the responsibility he has to his customers, his employee and his partner. How you treat people matters in tangible ways.

At the center of the story is a strong family. The two main characters are a brother and sister, who engage in their share of sibling rivalry, but also learn how to work together and forgive each other. At key junctures when they face big dilemmas, they turn to their parents for advice. The kids learn a healthy mix of independence, risk taking and learning through trial and error — balanced with knowing when to ask for help. All of this is presented in a way that is not preachy or hokey, but wrapped inside a story full of unexpected plot twists, witty banter and memorable characters.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Review:

 This story is a must-read for kids. It shows the importance of work, saving money, and even running your own business. Whether kids plan on running a business or not I think it has some important life application regardless.

Chance Sterling is a 10-year old that started his own business cleaning swimming pools. His motivation is to buy a midnight blue bicycle. Chance has no idea how to get the book. His father helps him prepare a way to see his goal come to light.

Chance learns the concepts of business and you see the business calculation worksheets, cons, and pros, business strategies, vendors for supplies, visuals to show the layout of his business. The worksheets are not busy and easy to understand. They show profits, percentages of earnings that need to go for supplies, and even what hourly pay is. One worksheet is how to screen new customers or rules for standard operations procedures. A few illustrations throughout the book also.

At the end of each chapter, there is a situation and it asks several questions. What would you do? It asks specific questions around that dilemma.

A fun book with great characters. I like the emphasis on being honest, treating others nicely , and being fair in buisness. This is emphasized throughout the book.  I see a lot of life skills other than having a business. Getting along with others. Other concepts taught are partnerships, negotiations, and teamwork.

I highly recommend this book and hope to see other books in the future.

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through Celebrate Lit Bloggers in exchange for my honest thoughts. 

About the Author

I wrote my first KidVenture book after years of making up stories to teach my kids about business and economics. Whenever they’d ask how something works or why things were a certain way, I would say, “Let’s pretend you have a business that sells…” and off we’d go. What would start as a simple hypothetical to explain a concept would become an adventure spanning several days as my kids would come back with new questions which would spawn more plot twists. Rather than give them quick answers, I tried to create cliffhangers to get them to really think through an idea and make the experience as interactive as possible.

I try to bring that same spirit of fun, curiosity and challenge to each KidVenture book. That’s why every chapter ends with a dilemma and a set of questions. KidVenture books are fun for kids to read alone, and even more fun to read together and discuss. There are plenty of books where kids learn about being doctors and astronauts and firefighters. There are hardly any where they learn what it’s like to run small business. KidVenture is different. The companies the kids start are modest and simple, but the themes are serious and important.

I’m an entrepreneur who has started a half dozen or so businesses and have had my share of failures. My dad was an entrepreneur and as a kid I used to love asking him about his business and learning the ins and outs of what to do and not do. Mistakes make the best stories — and the best lessons. I wanted to write a business book that was realistic, where you get to see the characters stumble and wander and reset, the way entrepreneurs do in real life. Unlike most books and movies where business is portrayed as easy, where all you need is one good idea and the desire to be successful, the characters in KidVenture find that every day brings new problems to solve.

More from Steve

I am a Christian and a parent. My wife and I pay close attention to the books and
media our four children consume, and try to make sure the content is edifying,
just as Paul exhorts us in Philippians 4:8. I wanted to write a book that met that
standard, and was also fun and engaging. KidVenture teaches kids the importance
of hard work, of keeping your word and being trustworthy, and telling the truth,
even when it means delivering bad news. As the story progresses, the protagonist
understands that business is about more than making money as he appreciates
the responsibility he has to his customers, his employee and his partner. How you
treat people matters in tangible ways.

At the center of the story is a strong family. The two main characters are a
brother and sister, who engage in their share of sibling rivalry, but also learn how
to work together and forgive each other. At key junctures when they face big
dilemmas, they turn to their parents for advice. The kids learn a healthy mix of
independence, risk taking and learning through trial and error — balanced with
knowing when to ask for help. All of this is presented in a way that is not preachy
or hokey, but wrapped inside a story full of unexpected plot twists, witty banter
and memorable characters.


Blog Stops


Lots of Helpers, September 8

Cats in the Cradle Blog, September 8

Texas Book-aholic, September 9

For Him and My Family, September 10

Boondock Ramblings, September 10

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 12

Mary Hake, September 12

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 13

Inklings and notions, September 14

Blogging With Carol, September 14

deb’s Book Review, September 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 16

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, September 17

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 18

Splashes of Joy, September 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 19

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 20

Lights in a Dark World, September 20

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 21

Giveaway


To celebrate his tour, Steve is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

 https://promosimple.com/ps/11817/twelve-weeks-to-midnight-blue-celebration-tour-giveaway

15 September 2021

Wordless Wednesday

 


Blue Man by John L. Moore Book Review


Ezra Riley is a hardened Montana cowboy who prefers the hills, cattle, and horses to cities, but his unique gift for dream interpretation has him secretly taken to the White House where the President is suffering from recurring nightmares. Riley's encounter with the President launches a series of attacks by the man behind the nightmares, William Anderson Hall, an elderly master spy and a pioneer in the CIA's experiments with psychic powers and hallucinogens. In his remote Virginia compound, Hall has invested 30 years and millions of dollars in creating Blue Man, the ultimate psychic warrior.

Riley's life is soon complicated by Davis Browne, a former agent with the Department of Homeland Security, and Hall's two nieces, Isabel Elizabeth Hall and Mary Margaret Hall. Riley's rough ride is balanced by his cowboy friend, the cartoonist Barney Wallace, whose loyalty follows Riley to the climactic end and the revelation of the content of the President's dream.

John L. Moore is an award-winning novelist and journalist. He's published seven novels, several non-fiction books, and over 2,000 articles, poems, short stories, columns, and reviews. A third-generation Montana rancher best known for his western classic, The Breaking of Ezra Riley, and a pioneer in the Christian fiction genre, he is the winner of numerous awards, including a 2015 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction for his sixth novel, Looking for Lynne. Active in ministry for over a quarter-century, Moore has appeared in four documentaries due to his knowledge of the history of horses on the Northern Great Plains. He is a member of the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Montana Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.


Facebook: John Moore Writer
LinkedIn: John Moore

My Thoughts:

My first thought after reading this novel was wow! I read a lot of books and not many leave me speechless trying to dissect the book afterward. It hits you hard in many areas. This book left me amazed at the creativity and the plot. It wasn’t what I expected either. That is not a bad thing. At first, I had a hard time getting into it. It’s a unique read that grows on you quickly. What I didn’t know going into this novel is that there are other novels on one of the major characters Ezra Riley. I felt the story was developed enough for this to be a standalone novel. It left me craving to go back and read the other books about Ezra Riley.

It is a paranormal spy/suspense thriller that meets a modern-day western cowboy twist. Somehow it works and it was an incredibly good story.

Ezra is chasing down his favorite ornery cow and her calf before winter hits on his Montana ranch in the badlands. He knows that Wildebeest has lived her life to the fullness. Ezra knows that it's time he ends her life and not at an auction. Wildebeest has a knack for escaping when she has a calf and disappearing into the Badlands. She is a bit crazy and a favorite of Riley’s. She deserved to be laid to rest in the badlands. Ezra finds his hunt for her disrupted and she plays a major role in the end of the story.

Ezra Riley is a modern-day Joseph with the ability to interpret dreams and other unique gifts to discern spiritual things. He gets invited to the White House to interpret the dream that Ezra knew before he meets with the President. That secret trip that is kept under wraps changes many things for Ezra’s quiet life on the ranch. Very few individuals know about his secret visit to the White House. Only Riley and the President know the dream and the interpretation of it.

This is where you meet Blue Man, he is an experiment that is doesn’t know he is being held by his keeper and has never been outside of his home. All of his needs are met and he is told he can never leave the compound. He has some physic skills that his keeper uses as a weapon unknowing on the victims. They need to know what the President's dream was. The only way that they can find out is through Ezra. Blue Man meets his match with Ezra and his faith in Jesus.

The characters are well developed and you find yourself having a strong feeling for them. They are relatable and just down-to-earth. I enjoyed Barney aka Barn Wall which is Ezra’s best friend.

 The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger wondering what will become of Blue Man and if he will have another encounter with Ezra Riley.

I have been pleasantly surprised with Blue Man.

 I received a complimentary of this product in exchange for my honest review. 

Bandana Acres Rascal’s Trip by Kathy J. Perry Review and Giveaway

 

About the Book



Book: Bandana Acres: Rascal’s Trip

Author: Kathy J. Perry

Genre: Early Reader Chapter Book

Release date: May 1, 2018

Oh, no! Why didnt I wait?

Rascal the raccoon is sorry he ignored the warning signs He’s surprised by a whirlwind and he’s taken for the ride of his life. Now it’s up to the Bandana Buddies to help him learn the importance of thinking ahead. Can he stay out of trouble long enough to get back home?

Former teacher, Kathy J Perry has developed this series is for kids to enjoy as they bridge the gap between picture and chapter books. Or, read aloud to the younger. With an easy-to-read font, original watercolor illustrations, the series also packs additional educational helps: a glossary and a “What If” page to help readers think about what they’ve read.

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

I love children’s books. I love the illustrations and the stories in them.  I have some favorites and this book is now one of my all-time favorites. This is a keeper and will stay on my library shelf. This book has all the elements I love in children's books. The illustrations are fun and capture your imagination. The content and characters in the story are amazing. I love the character traits, friendships, and life lessons taught.

Rascal the raccoon made a bad choice and the consequences aren’t good as he gets lost. He wandered away from home knowing it was a bad decision with the approaching storm. He thought if he just went a little further he would get home before the storm. Then he is hit by a whirlwind that takes him far from home. He is scared and lost now. He meets Jasper and Ollie who help him get home. If only Rascal could stay out of trouble and learn the importance of thinking ahead.

There are five books in the Bandana Acres. Each one teaches a lesson based on the book's character. I adore the map at the front of the book. The map has all the places of the animals in the series and the main locations in the book.

At the end of the book, it concludes with “What if questions”? This gets you thinking of the character Rascal his choices and the consequences of his actions. This is a nice way to have some meaningful conversations with your child.

This sweet story is intended for ages five through eight, the books are short chapter books. I think some older kids would love this story. The book is labeled as a beginning reader but I think kids who are more confident in reading will do better with reading this story. There is a glossary at the back of the book. I love the variety of vocabulary, the words are more colorful. There are words like ominous, wafted, excitement to just name a few.

Bandana Acres Rascal’s Trip by Kathy J. Perry shines and is a heartfelt story with a lesson to be taught. I highly recommend this sweet story.

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through Celebrate Lit Bloggers in exchange for my honest thoughts. 

About the Author


After the passing of my parents, I re-evaluated what I was doing with my life and my contribution to others. A former classroom teacher and homeschool mom, I’ve always had a heart for educating kids.

In 2016 my daughter and I attended a local arts and crafts fair where I stumbled upon some cute children’s art and thought, “That’s what I can do! Write children’s books.”

I set my mission. I would do my best to affect our youth through wonderful stories full of timeless character struggles. 

More from Kathy

Even with short attention spans, kids learn to think ahead through consequences. As they mature, they understand that their decisions have a direct bearing on the results.

Rascal, a young raccoon, knows it’s about time to go home, but he stretches his exploring time just a few minutes longer. Too long. Suddenly, a storm pops up and a whirlwind whisks him away to the top of a tall pine tree. Now lost, he gets in even more trouble as he tries to find his way home. Through several mishaps, he eventually learns that he must think ahead BEFORE he decides and earns a green bandana to wear as a reminder.

Special things about this book (and series) include:

  1. Proven easy-to-read font for early readers (Sassoon Primary)
  2. In full-color with original watercolor artwork.
  3. Leveled by Lexile and Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) for dialing in to your child’s reading level.
  4. Red words are the character’s inside thoughts (rather than italics, which I thought would be harder to read). Kids enjoy the color. In fact, struggling readers love to read just the colored parts to start – and then want to continue reading! (Each book has its own color for this.)
  5. A glossary of newer words with definitions.
  6. A “What If” section for discussion with five questions about the story, and five questions of how the theme plays out in real life. (Parents and teachers love these books!)
  7. Rascal’s Trip is available in hardcover and softcover.

Help your kids learn to read with this fun story and cute watercolor illustrations. This early reader chapter book is perfect for ages 5-8 and can usually be read alone by 2nd or 3rd grades.

Blog Stops

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 2

Cats in the Cradle Blog, September 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 3

Texas Book-aholic, September 4

Inklings and notions, September 5

Blogging With Carol, September 5

For Him and My Family, September 6

deb’s Book Review, September 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 8

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 8

Older & Smarter?, September 9

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 10

Mary Hake, September 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 12

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 13

Vicky Sluiter, September 13

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 14

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, September 15

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card, a softcover copy of the book, digital artwork with motivational phrases, and a custom Hoo-Rag (better bandana), covered with artwork from the Bandana Acres series!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

 https://promosimple.com/ps/116b5/bandana-acres-rascal-s-trip-celebration-tour-giveaway

08 September 2021

Wordless Wednesday

 


Declutter Like A Mother by Allie Casazza Book Review


Successful business entrepreneur Allie Casazza shares her powerful and proven method for clearing the clutter in our minds by first clearing the clutter in our homes, the place where transformation begins.

When Allie Casazza first became a mom, she found herself struggling to make it through each day. She battled fatigue, depression, and the unsettling feeling that she didn't have what it took to do "this mom thing" well. When she realized the root of her burden was the overwhelm of physical clutter, she got intentional about what took up her space and time. The path she carved brought her and her family greater contentment and more abundant living, and she shares it in her much-anticipated first book, Declutter Like a Mother.

In her winsome, relatable style, Casazza has built a massive following--and a multimillion-dollar online business--based on her proven, family-oriented approach to living more simply. Her mission is to empower other moms to start making real, lasting change. Combining humor and a lighthearted kick-in-the-pants, Declutter Like a Mother will motivate readers to start taking action. Once referred to as an "in-your-face Marie Kondo for millennial moms," Casazza's advice is actionable, at times irreverent, and already proven to be life-changing.

My Thoughts:

Decluttering is something I think just about every mom could do to make life more manageable. Allie Casazza is pretty passionate about making life more manageable. After being overwhelmed with three young kids she got serious about getting rid of unused stuff. All that stuff was keeping her from spending time with her kids with the constant battle to keep things cleaned and put away. It was a never-ending cycle that kept her overwhelmed and feeling down on herself. She started in the playroom and eliminated toys that weren’t being used.

She goes on to say that she is not promoting being a minimalist, she says, “It’s about having less of what doesn’t matter in order to make room for what does” and “What takes up your space take up your time”.  The minimalist is something you will have to determine yourself. I think for some having less is good for them to focus their time and what is important to them. Others seem to do good being organized and getting rid of things that they don’t need. I think you could use this book either way to fit your lifestyle and needs.

Throughout the book, you will see bold print in areas to make a point or it is something of importance. The book is a casual book with a bit of humor.

I would say that there is a lot of common sense information in the book. She gives you reasons why these changes can do you good. Some like less laundry, cleaning up after dinner, not having clutter, and less housework.  Prioritizing, decluttering, the medical benefits of less stuff which relates to stress.

She shares tips to get inspired with your progress like taking before and after photos. She has things like this throughout the book.

Allie does talk about her paid programs, webpage, podcast, Facebook group, and Instagram. She has done well promoting her business and seems like she is very passionate about what she is doing.

My overall take on this book. I do feel a lot of it is common sense. I know some need some inspiration and directions. That is not a bad thing. This book may be just what you need. You can purchase your copy here.

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through FrontGate Blogger Network in exchange for my honest thoughts.



01 September 2021

Wordless Wednesday

 


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