#BookReview Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence

Who doesn’t love a book about a strong female character? Especially a girl like me who grew up needing some strong female influences!

Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence is a wonderful, little book that is a must read for children.

To begin with, there is a super, evil villain who has decided the best way to ruin the world is to stop the spread of knowledge! This monster is big, mean and scary and seems to be content with his super devious plan. In walks Marie Curie, a woman who will turn into a superhero scientist through her amazing intelligence and experiments! Our evil villain wants Marie Curie stopped before she can get too smart and stop his wicked plans. Along the way, we will learn how Marie Curie is full of persistence in many different ways!

This little book is a wonderful mix of fiction and non-fiction. There’s lots of learning opportunities about this super scientist scattered among the pages. Definitions, facts and timelines about Marie Curie and information about the things she studied and created are all available to see. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good STEM book for their kids, especially since it’s about Marie Curie. She was a legend!

Also: references… in a children’s book… I LOVE IT.

On a side note, I thought the pictures were lovely and very unique. I haven’t seen this style a lot in children’s books, so I was impressed. It was colourful, fun and had lots of awesome details.

I am so thankful for this book. It is absolutely amazing and I wish I would have had books like this in my youth. Hopefully many kids are able to pick this book up or many educators get their hands on it! Seriously, we need more books like this – educational and fun!

Five out of five stars!

Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Explore for giving me the opportunity to read this amazing book!

 

Check out this book on:
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Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo

 

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#BookReview Valyo Rising by R.A. Mendsen

A little birdie recommended Valyo Rising to me, and man they were spot on!

R.A. Mendsen has crafted one truly fantastical journey that will give you The Witcher and Game of Thrones vibe. And, if you LOVE LOVE LOVE fantasy, you’ll be totally addicted to this book.

Now, you need to keep in mind that fantasy is not a genre I venture into often. I haven’t found much luck with fantasy so I’ve avoided it unless I absolutely want to read the book. That being said, my views on fantasy are definitely not the end all, be all. I’m not some book reviewing wizard about what works in fantasy.

I’d like to use the word swashbuckling for this book because it seems fitting, but that gives me pirates vibe. The level of fantastical fun that Pirates of the Carribean gave me the first time I saw it was the same level of fun I had reading this book. It’s packed full of high stakes, maxed out fantasy and a wicked hunt.

Now, what is this book about?
The seventh son of the seventh son has always been said to have magical gifts according to lore, and in Valyo Rising this appears to be accurate. Our lead has visions of death and fear, and must try to survive in a brutal world with his siblings. There’s drama though, is the seventh child the magical one, The Valyo? Or is the seventh son? These siblings try to survive in a wicked world full of evil people, all the while trying to deal with the fantastical world elements coming at them from all angles.

This book is one hundred percent R rated, so I don’t recommend if you don’t like brutal scenes. I relate it to the rating Game of Thrones would have, for a comparison. This isn’t a book I’d go recommending to your middle grade and YA fantasy lovers. Dayne’s horror is absolutely brutal and should be read with careful eyes.

I picked two parts of this book I really enjoyed, even though the entire book is absolutely delightful:
1. Desyderia is a pretty name that I have no idea how to pronounce.
2. Linnea is sinister, scary yet sultry and I am totally enchanted by her character.

My biggest flaws were:
1. Similar names. I literally had to keep a little note to myself since I was reading this book on and off for weeks. Having lots of characters has always been a turn off for me, and similar names made it more confusing. Most fantasy readers are used to this though, so it shouldn’t be an issue for anyone else. The characters are well written and have lots to do on their own, so don’t be worried on that front.

Overall, this story about a group of kids trying to survive in a fantastical, dark world is a real hit! If you love epic fantasy then you’ll absolutely adore this book. I can’t recommend it enough! R.A. Mendsen has a way with words.

Be warned though, this book is long! Just the way epic fantasy should be.

Five out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author, R.A. Mendsen, in exchange for an honest review.

 

You can find out more about this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

You can find R.A. Mendsen on:
Goodreads
https://indiepublishauthors.wixsite.com/ramendsen

 

If you love fantastical fun, here’s some other books featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#TopBooksList Briar’s Top Fantasy Reads, Part 1
Book Review: NYV: Punk by K.D. McQuain
#BookReview Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt

 

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#BookReview The Heirs by Fran Hawthorne

The Heirs by Fran Hawthorne is a delightful, contemporary novel that lit up my bookshelf.

Eleanor’s Mother, Rose, has a terrible fall and is suddenly speaking Polish. For many years, Rose has kept her history of the war a secret and not shared a word to a single soul. This sudden change sparks interest in Eleanor and the hunt for a secret past begins. Family secrets are unlocked, drama ensues and life lessons are learned. Will her marriage survive? Will her Mother and her’s bond survive? Will her son ever enjoy soccer?

I found this book truly intriguing an addicting. It’s hard to tell which way this book is going to go right off the bat, which is why I truly enjoyed it. There’s so many secrets hidden and discussed, slowly being revealed as each chapter rolls on. Eleanor’s entire life seems to be falling at the seams, and yet she keeps her cool and manages herself through all of it. Not only was this book about discovering the past, it was also about taking control of your present and future! Eleanor has to manage taking care of her Mother while trying to be a wife and a Mother. Not all of her life is sunshine and roses: her relationship with her Mother is strained, her cousin seems to have a better relationship with Rose, her marriage isn’t in tip top shape, her son isn’t interested in sports, and there may be a man flirting with her! There’s so much going on for Eleanor and yet she handles it all like a pro (with some stumbles, but we all stumble once and a while).

Fran crafted this story wonderfully. I think enough information is released piece by piece, but it also moves at a fast enough pace to keep the reader interested. It’s full of contemporary drama and insights into the past (specifically World War ll).

I can truly respect this book. I found it super engaging and I definitely want more. I could analyze this book while also drifting off into another world that reflects my own.

I can’t find any real negatives about this book, if I’m being honest. I never studied much history or took a giant interest in it, so I felt like I didn’t connect with the history as much as my history buff friends could have. People who enjoy history might like the little splash of Poland that is thrown in.

Overall, I’d highly suggest this book. I think Fran has crafted one of the best books of 2020 and I will be singing it’s praises for years.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free from the author, Fran Hawthorne, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
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Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
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You can find out more about the author, Fran Hawthorne, on:
Goodreads
http://www.hawthornewriter.com/
Twitter – @hawthornewriter

 

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#BookReview Project Team Leadership and Communication by Samuel Malachowsky, PMP

Samuel Malachowsky has crafted an intelligent textbook packed full of management and leadership advice.

This excellent collection of ideas is the ultimate learning tool. Not only is there lots of information available in written form, but there is also supplemental learning tools within the book – questions, quizzes, definitions. There is also a curriculum available to provide education professionals an option for their courses.

I like the mix of Project Management, Team and Group Dynamics and Leadership styles, among other learning objectives taught within the book. I found that the books was made under the “keep it simple, stupid” principle – all of it was easy to read, follow and understand. If my university textbooks were like this, learning might be easier! Tiny case studies can also be found within the book to assist with these learning opportunities.

By no means is this a comprehensive learning tool. This book appears to be designed for an introduction into management techniques. Further reading will be done to grasp the more complex subjects, but I think Samuel did an excellent job introducing learners and readers to the basic concepts. I also am impressed with the logical order and how Samuel was able to make some of these difficult topics seem easy. In addition, this book focuses on some great best practices available currently in the industry.

To address the supplemental learning tools as someone who has a fondness for learning and has educated others in the past:
1. The learning objectives and questions supplemented each other really well. I like books that have questions that directly tie back to what is being learned. A+ for effort!
2. There are chapter slides available which I found very useful in an educational setting. I think those could be utilized well.
3. The chapter activities were super useful and well thought out. I think they’d be great for assignments and group dynamic opportunities.
4. The curriculum and mini-modules round up the extra material quite nicely.

Overall, I think this is a great learning tool and should be utilized by students, educators and business professionals who are looking to expand their knowledge on team leadership.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free from the author, Samuel Malachowsky, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Indigo

Find out more about Samuel Malachowsky on:
Goodreads
Lintwood

 

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#BookReview Mighty Coconuts (Miss Tree Tales #1) by Deepa Remesh

Miss Tree Tales by Deepa Remesh is a wonderful series that is an absolute must read!

Book #1: Mighty Coconuts is a cute, little gem that should be actively sought out by avid readers. This middle grade novel is short but sweet, and delivering all the right messages.

Mia and Nik live in Texas, and boy is it hot! The nine and seven year olds are full of whimsy and adventure. When a storm seems to blow through, a woman appears and begins to teach the children wonderful facts about the local nature (think droughts, growth and greenhouse gases). These intelligent kids can keep up with Miss Tree with ease, and they learn a lot in the process. Miss Tree offers them a gig to help save the planet! Seedcopters, seed apps and lots of fun happen among the pages of this book – all of which is knowledgeable yet packed with fun! If you’re looking for a Green Thumb, this book is just for you!

The illustrations were cute and felt like they fit right into the story. I had an e-copy of the book, but I’m assuming the physical copies would look so much nicer. The quality of the pictures tend to rely on your device these days.

The best part of this book was the “Seeds for Thought” sections at the end of the chapters. These little blurbs provide useful and information and links for curious students to follow. One excellent quote from this book is, “Protect, Sustain, Conserve”, which perfectly sums up the goal of this read.

I know, personally, if I would have had books like this about biology back in my school days then I would have liked biology a lot more. I found the teachers were always bored with these topics and made it impossible for any of us students to learn. Deepa Remesh’s book makes me actually enjoy learning about biology. I’m sure many students and kids would appreciate help from educational books like this one. To top it off, it’s also just a good book in general!

I would recommend kids seven to thirteen read this book. Thirteen might be a little high, but I could see them reading this to their reading buddies. I’d even recommend this book for educational purposes within schools. It’s a different take on biology and conservation that I think would be a great asset and tool!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Deepa Remesh, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Find more information about Miss Tree Tales:
http://www.misstreetales.com/
Goodreads
Twitter – @misstreetales

If you liked this review, here’s some other books you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Underground Toy Society by Jessica D. Adams
#BookReview The Water War by Kevin Miller
#BookReview Monster Blood (Goosebumps) by R.L. Stine

 

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#BookReview Barefoot Beach by Debbie Mason

Barefoot Beach by Debbie Mason is a lovely romance novel filled with suspense, a sexy firefighter and one headstrong female lead.

I honestly wish I had read the full series before I got to this book. Even though it works as a stand alone, I felt like I wanted to know more of the background story. For one, there’s a ghost in this story that made me really want to know how the supernatural made it into this book. There’s also so many other romances that are hinted at that I would have love to see come together. Either way, the book is still good but I highly suggest reading the full series to make it to this book.

Theia and Marco are the two leads – a headstrong pilot who finds out more about herself in this journey and a sexy firefighter who does not want to have his family play matchmaker for him. Well, turns out that whole matchmaking idea is thrown out of the window when he meets Theia. We learn a fair bit about Marco’s ex in this story too, which had me wondering if there was a previous book about her.

The duo definitely have a sexy, slow burn romance story. When we do get to the romance, it’s pretty darn hot and suggestive. It honestly felt like the best of both worlds for me – I like slow burn where their relationship builds over time but I also love the sexy and steamy romances. Also, they weren’t the “typical” couple (let’s be honest though, this type of couple is becoming more common…) where he doesn’t want a relationship and she is headstrong, secure with her life and doesn’t need no man. Well, until they meet each other and spend a lot of time with each other. But who doesn’t want a sexy firefighter/paramedic with rock hard abs, amazing cooking skills and a sweet heart?

There’s also this fun “side story” with Theia being related to one of the major families of this series. I’m sure there’s a lot more to this story line throughout the series, especially with the whole ghost thing, but I found it interesting. It’s something I would have loved to know the back story for. The book does give you enough information to get along though.

Overall, this book is full of fun banter and witty comments. I really enjoyed this novel and hope to read more in this series. Debbie knows how to make an entertaining romance book that moves fast enough to keep you interested but slow (burn) enough to leave you grasping onto the novel.

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

You can find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Indigo
Kobo

 

Here’s some other books you might enjoy if you love Barefoot Beach:
Book Review: Happy Ever After in Christmas by Debbie Mason
#BookReview More Than a Feeling by Sara Richardson
#BookReview For Her Own Good by Tamsen Parker

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#BookReview Chain Reaction by Tara Wyatt

If you’re looking for a slow burn romance with action and suspense woven throughout, Tara Wyatt’s Chain Reaction is the book for you!

Why didn’t I read this book sooner? Romance, a Canadian author, and a sexy man on the cover are three awesome traits of this book that make it a must have in my collection. This book has it all – drama, suspense, thrills, romance and some incredibly sexy scenes. Zack is mega hot, Alexa is a Hollywood star looking for something different and they are a match made in heaven! It helps that they’ve been pining after each other in secret for the past year.

This Bodyguard series seems to be centered on, you guessed it, bodyguards protecting a woman and then falling in love with them. It’s kind of the damsel in distress narrative, but with a little more ‘umph’. The duo seem to fall in love way too quickly, but it’s a romance novel so it’s easy to suspend reality on that front. But, the falling in love fast story line makes this book feel passionate and sexy. While it won’t work for all readers, it sure worked for me!

I liked Tara’s writing style – it was fast enough to keep me hooked, it was descriptive enough to make me feel like I’d been whisked away from reality, and it was easy to read. I found myself binging the whole book because I felt for Zack and Alexa and needed to know how it ended. She also wrote Alexa, a character with obvious flaws, really well. I honestly wanted her to have the happy ending she deserves. Buuuuut… yep, a but, I would have loved to have seen her past fleshed out a bit more. She’s a really interesting character who I want to follow more of. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll be getting anymore epic side stories about Alexa and Zack (at least… not yet!).

The plot itself is exciting and full of soap opera like turns. Alexa’s Dad is a bad guy, and there’s many more reveals to come. Alexa and Zack decide to ‘fake’ a relationship to not tip off any of the bad guys, but we all know how well that goes in romance novels.

On a side note: This book was easily read as a stand alone. I had no idea what happened in the past books, even though the novel hinted at them along the way, but that didn’t affect the quality of this book. As a reader, I was able to nod along and follow the plot without needing to search up the prequels. I absolutely want to read the two previous books now because this book was just so darn good!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! I can easily recommend this to romance lovers who like a little action mixed in with their story.

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

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Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Kobo
Barnes & Noble

 

Check out Tara Wyatt on:
http://www.tara-wyatt.com/
Twitter – @taradwyatt

 

Looking for more romance books? Check out some others you might enjoy!
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Blood Lust by Alexandra Ivy
#BookReview The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

 

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