Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review: The Girl who came back To Life by Craig Staufenberg @VBTCafe

Book Description
When you die, your spirit wakes in the
north, in the City of the Dead. There, you wander the cold
until one of your living loved ones finds you, says
"Goodbye," and Sends you to the next world.

After her parents die, 12-year-old Sophie refuses to
release their spirits. Instead, she resolves to travel to the
City of the Dead to bring her mother and father’s spirits
back home with her.

Taking the long pilgrimage north with her gruff & distant
grandmother—by train, by foot, by boat; over ruined
mountains and plains and oceans—Sophie struggles to
return what death stole from her. Yet the journey offers
her many hard, unexpected lessons—what to hold on to,
when to let go, and who she must truly bring back to life.

My Review

It isn't often that I actually really get into the books my kids are reading (oops, did I just say that?), but once in a while we come across a really great read and none of us ever want to put it down. The Girl who came back To Life is one of those books for me - I just wanted to keep reading.
The story is told in a  really interesting way - first of all, it's written in acts instead of regular chapters, which sort of makes you feel like you're watching a movie. It's a narrated story in the third person, but you feel as though you are inside the main character, Sophie's, head. You feel her thoughts, see what she sees, and sense her emotions, all through the eyes of a kid trying t cope with the death of her parents. I especially found the ending to be really emotional - there may have been some tears!
Needless to say it isn't a 'light' book - it deals with death, the death of her parents no less. I've read many books with my son that have dealt with death however. He has gotten pretty emotional about some characters in the stories not making it to the end, but I think that's important!. It not only opens up discussions about life, faith and even health, but is a great way to get your child's perspective on life - do they lean more to the negative or the positive? It also prepares them not only for dealing with people dying, but other disappointments in life as well.

The story itself was really nice too and focuses a lot on family, hard work and growing up - great things for tweens/teens to read about.
I haven't read it over with my son yet - we're already reading 4 books for homeschooling right now, but definitely intend to later this year. I loved the fairytale and it will definitely be staying on the prized position of our bookshelf in the living room with all our favorites.

The Author

Craig Staufenberg is a writer and 
filmmaker living in NYC. 


Author Links - 

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 24, 2014

Beautiful #Bloominous Wedding Bouquet #DIY

*Sponsored Post

Bloominous is a new innovation in the way you can do your wedding flowers!

When my husband and I got married, choosing flowers was one of the 'smaller tasks' on our list. We were having a small reception with just 60 people, only our family and closest friends. The reception room was small, so we didn't want to overwhelm the room with flowers - we wanted only a nice, simple arrangement on each table.

I would have loved it back then if I had heard of Bloominous! Bloominous is a great new concept in the DIY wedding decor arena. They send you what you need to make your own perfect bouquet, and you (or your bridesmaids!) assemble it.

To give you an idea of what it entails, they were kind enough to share one of their kit details with you and I! This is from their Bohemian Desert Bridal Bouquet - a beautiful piece from their Bohemian Desert Collection.
Enjoy the instructional below, and check out their amazing bouquets at

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Book Spotlight: Jim Reilly

Seaville by Jim Reilly

Publisher: Sayville Books 
Release Date: September 30th 
Buy Links: TBA 

When new neighbors, Mike and Ann Wells along with their children CJ and Patricia, move into the southern part of town along the Great South Bay of Long Island, they discover the true identity of their neighbors. Each of their new neighbors hosts a being from an alien race hiding from the cruelty of enslavement. This mysterious race needs the Wells family to help them navigate the complicated human experience while being concealed from a nosy but well-meaning old priest. But most of all, they must help them from being captured by a corrupt individual looking to make a profit off a race hoping to peacefully secure fuel to stay one step ahead of their former masters. As the town of Seaville erupts into chaos, Mike and Ann try to keep their new friends concealed and safe. However, time is running out as their former masters search the universe for their lost property and inch closer to Earth. 

Author Bio: Jim Reilly is a new science fiction / fantasy novelist. He is a married father of four, born and raised in Long Island. After going back to college and finishing with an MBA, some of his professors gave accolades to his writing prowess. With that and encouragement from his wife, he wrote his first novel, Evolution. The success of Evolution has inspired Jim to continue his writing efforts and finish his next science fiction / fantasy novel, Seaville. From an early age, Jim always had a fascination with science, science fiction, and fantasy to a point that it became a passion of his. Now he enjoys putting that passion to paper. He has already penned his next book and is working on another. 

Author Links -

Monday, October 13, 2014

#Inspirational Quote for October 13th, 2014

This quote from Helen Keller says a lot. Smiles from your children, kisses from a loved one, beautiful sunsets - they are all things that can be seen and touched in different ways. But to truly encounter them with emotion, they must be felt with the heart!

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or heard, they must be felt with the heart"
-Helen Keller

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Reads Review and #Giveaway: A Place to Call Home


Every rescue dog has a tale to tell, a story uniquely their own. A Place to Call Home is Toby’s tale. His story takes you on a journey across the country from California to Connecticut and across the spectrum of life’s emotional and spiritual experience.

Born on a small farm in northern California, Toby narrowly escapes the death sentence imposed on him by his breeder. Through a series of events driven by good intentions, he finds himself in a Connecticut suburb where life with his new family soon collapses on him, and his newfound happiness is brutally destroyed.

On his quest to find a place to call home, Toby encounters and endures the best and worst of humanity as he comes face to face with sorrow and joy, fear and courage, and ultimately, with the power of love.

Based on a true story, A Place to Call Home is a young adult novel for dog lovers of all ages.

Author Bio:

Ms. Whitmore’s passion for writing and her love of dogs come together in her series The Rescue Dog Tales. The first book in the series, A Place to Call Home, is based on the true story of Toby, an abused dog she adopted from the Connecticut Humane Society. Ms. Whitmore currently lives in Connecticut with her rescue dog Kadee.

Author Links - 



Twitter: @gawhitmore



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Monday, October 6, 2014

#Inspiration for Today October 6th, 2014

I love this quote from Aristotle Onassis. 
If we focus hard enough, we can see some light in any situation, no matter how dark!

"It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light" 
-Aristotle Onassis