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Friday, March 25, 2022

Lawn Darts and Lemonade by Steven Manchester

Country Time Lemonade, Bomb Pops and ice cream trucks, Magic 8 balls and Blockbuster Video stores. What 80's kid doesn't have a fond memory of enjoying those during summer vacations from school? If you are looking for a great summer book, I highly recommend Lawn Darts and Lemonade from Steven Manchester! 

This is the second book in his series and even if you haven't read the first one, Breadbags and Bullies, you can easily understand this one. However I would highly recommend you pick them both up and it will easily take you back to those 80's summers of bike riding, staying out til the street lights come on and trying to find something to do to occupy your summer days. 

I've been so blessed to have read everything he has written and once again this was a book, that when I picked it up, I was not able to put it down. I had to know how it would end. Once again readers are taken back to the 1980's with three brothers, Wally, Herbie and Cockroach, who at the opening of the book are dealing with the loss of their father. As the family begins sharing those favorite and special moments, the brothers are transported back to those times where they are transported back to their Summer of 1984. 

There are so many great references in this book, from the video game arcades at the mall, to those summer jobs which would enable us to get candy and sodas at the local corner store. Mom stayed home and of course, made sure the boys were outside all day until the street lights came on where the family would once more gather around the dinner table to share their adventures, while Dad gave the boys all that fatherly wisdom that only dads could dispense along with classic one liners known as Dadisms! 

I would highly recommend this book as the perfect Summer read and easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars! Anyone who has ever lived in the 80's will LOVE this book. I received this book from Steven Manchester for my honest review and received no paid compensation to offer a favorable review. 

You can purchase a copy of this book from Amazon at the following link:

If you would love to know about other books written by Steven Manchester, please visit his website by clicking on the link below:

Friday, October 1, 2021

Dad by Steven Manchester


There is no greater need in anyone's life like that of a Father. Whether it's in the role of a grandfather, dad or simply a future dad in the making, there is a sense of leadership and authority that comes when you think of a man in that role. A nurturing. A legacy in the making. A protector. The head of the household. 

I've been so blessed to have had the unique opportunity to be asked once again to review the latest book from best selling author, Steven Manchester. The one thing I always know even before I know what the book is about, is that it will be life changing. It will cause me to reflect on things in my own life and make comparisons from what I am reading to what I know to be true in my own life. I also know that it will never disappoint and undoubtedly be a great book. One that I will probably recommend to someone looking for a great book too! 

I also have learned whenever anyone reads a book review before deciding if this is one they should review, I won't give it all away but simply convey my own personal thoughts on this book. So if you have read the review, thus far, I can save you the time of reading any further. Read the book. Buy the Book. Yes, it is that great! 

I've been a book reader for as long as I can remember back to my childhood and love the way a book can transform your life and give you a reprieve from where you are at in your life. A virtual vacation if you will. A way to get lost between the pages and delve into a storyline that will make you lose track of time. One you won't want to put down, unless you have to, but also one that will call you back to the pages to pick back up where you left off and finish the book. This IS that book. 

Just by the title alone, you will know it will involve a dad, but in this book it takes us into the lives of three generations of men from the same family, who are at different chapters in their own personal lives. Struggling in ways we can't begin to understand unless we have been there ourselves or in this case, read about Robert, the patriarch of the family, who is dealing with the fact he is getting old and time is running thin. We walk through the life of Oliver, who has the relationship I believe most adult children might have with their dads. As long as things are going well, they don't talk about what is going on in their lives. Oliver is struggling with his marriage, and he understands that things go through phases, he doesn't want to lose his wife. However as the book opens we find him working with a therapist to help him work through things. His own son Jonah at 19 is on the brink of leaving behind his childhood and about to face the pressures of what being adult is about to bring. 

For me, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, as a woman, we don't often glean what men think and this book gives me the insight to see what all three men are thinking and going through. How that plays out in the roles they are walking through and also how their lives intersect. It's not seamless, and there is a struggle each one faces as they move through those phases. It must be a heavy weight men bear on their shoulders as the world far too often doesn't understand the burden they must carry. It has made me look at the life of my own father, husband and brother in my life, with new clarity. I understand what they face and also what they may need but never ask for. It's something I hope I can change while I might still have time. This novel has given me new perspective and once again, I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this novel and can highly give it a 5 out of 5 stars, in my opinion. I was not paid for my review and this is solely based on my own insight on what I take away from the book, without giving it all away to the reader. Trust me, it's worth the read. 

If you would like to pick up a copy of this novel, you can click on this link below to purchase it from Amazon. 

If you would like to read about all the novels written by Steven Manchester, and trust me, you will want more, click on this link to visit his website. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Fear is Not the Boss of You



 I was looking for a faith based business coach for the longest time, who would not leave Faith at the door when it came to business. Then I found Jennifer Allwood. I can't even remember how I found her but her coaching for my business was a huge lifeline for me. I knew when she announced she was writing a book, it would be a great one.

Then CoVid hit and the world was thrown off its axis. Who knew that God would use this time to launch, Fear is Not the Boss of You? I mean who wouldn't want to grab this book in the midst of uncertainty. Like so many other women, I found her words in this book to be healing. Coming from a generation where my parents divorced early on, I had to face to many uphill battles alone. Even now in my own business, I have let the fears of the unknown drive some of my own insecurities and make me question certain decisions. 

I knew I had to break free from the fear that puts faith on the back burner. I needed words from a great friend who has walked those valleys to help me reach the mountaintop together with God. What a breath of fresh air this book has been for me. Jennifer is our modern day Esther. She was placed in our lives for a time such as this. To help us to break free from our fears, our thoughts, how we were raised, that all influence how we react to any situation we may face in life. 

It won't mean that I won't be afraid when I make my appointment with a dermatologist to face what I believe is skin cancer. My own father constantly reminded me that every imperfection I had was cancer, from simple breakouts to allergic reactions and those have caused me to fear going to the doctor for fear of being told I was going to have cancer. Jennifer's words of wisdom are like a balm to a hurting and wounded soul. I have since picked up several copies of this book to give to my daughters because I know at some point in their life, fear will try to steal their faith that they can do whatever they want. I want them to have that same voice telling them it's okay to still do it scared, but just do it. 

I highly recommend, Fear is Not The Boss of You by Jennifer Allwood and have received no compensation for a positive review for this book. I truly believe that healing lies beneath the cover for those that simply can't move forward in whatever aspect of your life because of fear and I am confident that you will find the courage to challenge those very fears head on. I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. This is a must read for every woman! 

For more information about Jennifer Allwood or to purchase a copy of this book, please click on the links below: 

Fear is Not The Boss of You by Jennifer Allwood

You can find Jennifer Allwood on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Menu - Book Review

If you had a chance at doing your life over again, just one part you wanted to go back and change, would you?

What if you simply wanted to find that soul mate? True Love? Deeper Faith? Wisdom to make different choices? Most of us, don't understand those questions, because in our minds, we still have time left to make those choices. It's not til we get to our death bed, that those questions would be answered with deep conviction and certainty. Yet what would you give up to have those do overs?

In his latest book, The Menu, author Steven Manchester invokes a sense of searching our hearts and questions how we have lived our lives to this point. Through the character Phinn Reed, who sits in heaven with the possibility of choosing from a list of life desires, to get a second chance at something he never had. A menu of possibilities but also the cost you will need to endure to gain that life. Once a choice is made, all memories of heaven and your past is completely erased.

"This is your life. Order whatever you wish, but keep in mind - whatever you choose to taste, you have to finish," He told Phinn before sending him into the world. God reminds Phinn that he will encounter others that have also chosen changes, and he is likely to encounter them during his time on earth. God also reminds Phinn that with each choice, a price must be paid to obtain it. If you choose compassion, you can have it but not before experiencing pain and suffering. You can have commitment and wisdom, but not before conquering trials and tribulations. Courage after overcoming fear, honor after facing shame, success after much failure."

I absolutely LOVED this direction that this author took with a concept of second chances, because its not a simple Happily Ever After novel. There is a payment to acquire that which we all seek and while most of us just want the menu item, we don't want the price necessary to achieve that even in our lives today. We all want the results, but not what it took to get there. This makes us re-evaluate our lives a bit and take into account what we not only achieved but what we had to pay to get it.

I would highly recommend The Menu by Steven Manchester, and I received a complimentary copy from the author for my honest review of this novel. I have to say this is a really great read and I think there is some wisdom to be gleaned through this fictional novel. As a believer, you can appreciate the ideas behind this fictional book, with understanding it is fiction novel with a point. I would easily give this a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

If you would like to get a copy of this book, please click on the link to Amazon. 

To find more novels from Steven Manchester, please visit his website.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Three Shoeboxes

I've been a huge fan of Steven Manchester's novel since I read my first one. I guess what draws me to continue to read anything he writes is his ability to cut to the core of what we all feel deep down inside ourselves. Those are often places we hope we never have to visit in our lifetime and being exposed to them from a safe place allows us to see things from different perspectives and wonder if we were in the same situation, how might we deal with what the characters face.

In his latest novel, Three Shoeboxes, Mac Anderson, is living the dream. He has a successful career as an ad executive, a wonderful home, loving wife, three wonderful children and the support of those in his community. Yet he would never have expected that the one night as he was driving home from an anniversary dinner with his wife, that this would be the catalyst that would change everything and strip it away piece by piece.

As he begins to experience what can only be described as panic attacks, Mac refuses to let anyone into what he is dealing with. Perhaps that is that manly pride that as the head of the house, one needs to hold it all together at all times. Even though his wife Jen can clearly see he is dealing with issues, he continues to keep her at bay. As each of these attacks grows more frequent and out of control, Mac finally relents to getting some personal help. Yet even the therapist can seem to grasp the sudden turn around in his life and be able to help him deal with things.

So Mac gives up and tries to resolve the issues on his own, becoming more and more hostile, argumentative and even resorting to alcohol to put this attacks to rest. Only it just drives a deeper and widening gap between his family until he loses control one night and from then out out, even is family no longer wants anything to do with him and now he faces the loss of his job, the support of family and friends and now living on the street he faces his demons alone. Is it all lost? Can he find his way back home? Or is he just one bullet shy from ending it all? You'll have to find out by picking up this novel.

I received Three Shoeboxes by Steven Manchester compliments of The Story Plant. This is an emotional story that could face anyone at anytime, and makes us all understand how precious moments are in life and how quickly it can all change. It makes the reader reassess what it the most valuable things in your life and how you might face the challenges Mac faces. Does he have the faith in himself to fight his way back to the man he used to be? I'll let you decide when you pick this one up. For me, again a stellar 5 star novel in my opinion.

For more information about Steven Manchester, Three Shoeboxes or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Steven Manchester on Facebook to stay up to date his latest novels.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Heart Between Us

When you think about it medical technology has come a long way in the way of being able to offer patients the ability to have a heart transplant. The one thing sustaining life within all of us can at any time and without any reason, suddenly stop working. There isn't a reset button or the ability to power cycle a human being like we can with technology but to take a once beating heart from one person and transplant it in someone else is truly a miracle in of itself.

Megan Jacobs is just such a person. Struggling with growing up her entire life watching the life she wished she could have be lived out in her twin Crystal. She had to be the one carefully watched by not only her friends but her family who understood the implications of living with a weak heart. Who could fault any of them for wanting to make sure she didn't overexert herself trying to play sports, the one who spent most of her time in hospital beds than her own. Who could even blame Megan for wanting everything she felt denied to her all because of something she was born with and couldn't change.

This would be a pattern that would set itself up for both girls during their adult life as well. Megan would remain the secluded single girl taking the only job that offered no health risks, a librarian while her sister gets the perfect life of following her dreams and starting her own family. Yet when she is given the opportunity of a life time to receive a donor heart from a young girl named Amanda, she wants to make a connection to know who the girl was that lost her life so she could have a chance at another one for herself. Amanda's parents gift her with a journal in which Amanda wrote a Bucket List of all the things she wished she could have done but unfortunately never had the time to do. Megan finds that she can gift them both by following her dream to travel and visit the places Amanda always wished she could go. But will she be able to convince her parents to let up on the tight reins that have kept over her life to allow her to live the new one God had blessed her with?

I received The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel compliments of TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson Publishers. I absolutely LOVE this novel because it conveys so many of the emotions one can feel being on both sides of the fence. To love a daughter enough you'd do anything to keep her safe, and for the one who wants to experience all life has to offer even if it only lasts just one more day. Will Amanda's heart heal more than just one person in the process at giving Megan a new start at a life she could only dream about before? Pick this one up to find out. I easily give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars in this reader's opinion.

For more information about The Heart Between Us, Lindsay Harrel or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Lindsay Harrel on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews on The Heart Between Us, please visit TLC's Book Tour page. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Man He Never Was

There is only one novel of James L. Rubart's I haven't read and I will correct that very soon. However to understand his style of writing, it is not going to be something you can easily figure out like most novels. Most of his take the reader on a journey that may have not been expecting and with that I believe comes a greater understanding that we share similar qualities with the characters he pens to life in his novels.

The Man He Never Was is exactly like that. You have the main character Toren Daniels who mysteriously wakes up in a hotel room with no recollection of why he is there. He believed he went bed beside his wife in his own home, but that is not what has happened, nor will he like what he is about to discover. Eight months of his life have completely vanished without a trace. He has no memory other than the rage he used to have to contend with is no longer present in his life, leaving his with a calming peace in places where only there used to be burning rage and anger. His only clue is a mysterious package that arrives, telling him that the anger that has robbed him not only of his chance with the NFL but also with his family.

He vaguely remembers that anger as it seems that he is looking outside of the former person he was and all he knows from those he talks with is he apparently wrote a suicide note, and vanished into thin air, leaving people to believe he followed through on his threat. Even his wife and children have moved on and his wife is now in love with someone else. Through vague recollections and pieces of what might have occurred he struggles to get back what he has lost, without losing himself to the former man he was. Using the examples of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, along with the Hulk, Toren believes he may have been experimented on, giving some kind of mind altering drink but as he feels that peace and contentment slipping away, he knows he is running out of time and the dark beast within is threatening to become unleashed again.

I received The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart compliments of TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson Publishers. There are so many spins in this novel that unless you are familiar with James' work you might just get lost before you settle in and wait for the outcome. Most often than we'd like to admit, there is a bit of darkness in all of us. Some can make peace with it while keeping it under control and there are others that allow it to dominate the person they become and in the process are lost like children who can't find their way home. "Henry Jekyll says that he and every other man and woman is not truly one, but truly two, and he sees the human soul as the ultimate battleground of our lives - one part of us an angel and the other a demon, both struggling for mastery and destruction of the other." You'll have to see what you get from this when you finish, but for me, another well done masterpiece. There is even a reader's discussion guide included which would make this a great novel for book clubs. For me, another well deserved 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about The Man He Never Was, James L. Rubart or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find James L. Rubart on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Man He Never Was, please visit TLC Book Tour page.