Life... Health... Reviews...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Take time for a good read... or two

Dear Dedicated (Book) Readers,

Please forgive my delinquency in posting book reviews. My only "excuse" is the busyness of the most recent holiday season that had my days a little off kilter. I am hoping that I am on the road to a more organized, and committed, blogging schedule that does not neglect my book and product reviews (as well as my other responsibilities), the readers of my reviews, and the publishers and publicists who vigilantly work to promote these great works.

Humbly yours,

Petula, the blogger, mom, writer... uh, woman.

Engaging & fulfilling
Those are two of the words I'll use to describe "Love You To Death" by Shannon K. Butcher. The book jacket is what intrigued me to read it:
It's been days since reporter Elise McBride has heard from her sister, Ashley, She's convinced Ashley has met with some kind of foul play, especially when she learns that bodies of other missing women have surfaced in around Chicago - all the victims of a brutal serial killer. Convinced her sister is still alive, Elise vows to risk everything to save her...
There enters the hunk of the story: ex-cop Trent Brady who not only has skeletons in his past, but commits to helping Elise find her sister. In the process they, of course, fall for each other. Bad thing is; the psycho has his eyes on her as well.

I'm loving the novels that mix suspense, drama and mystery with a little romance and sexual tension. It's the fabulous change to chick lit called romantic thrillers. If you haven't figured it out yet: I really enjoyed this book.

One of the things I found most fascinating about the author is she's the wife of bestselling author Jim Butcher. She learned to write from him by helping him with his stories. The urge to create her own was too strong and the industrial engineer is now a full-time author. (Inspiring, right?)

If I were you I'd order a copy, and to make it a little easier for you I'm including a link to Amazon here. Yes, it goes through my Amazon associates account, but I know you wouldn't mind clicking through to support a hard-working, freelance, single mom of four. ;D

Artful & thoughtful
The Art of Meaningful Living by Christopher F. Brown, LCSW, MBA, with art by John Palmer turned out to be more than I thought it was. It's one of the best coffee table-style books I've read since Dreads. With so many self-help books on the market that only speak to the mind and not the soul, this book is intended to offer "a framework for navigating significant life change through a combination of psychologically-based techniques and provocative abstract artwork."

It's that and it's beautiful. I find it to be a book that you can browse through and absorb yourself in the artwork or you can read the text to delve deeper into the true purpose of it. It's filled with psychological concepts that Brown says has worked on himself and those he has treated in his private practice while Palmer contributes original pieces of art that was inspired by the text.

To really experience The Art of Meaningful Living you'll have to see it for yourself. If you like beautiful artwork with the added benefit of a purpose, or vice versa, then you'll definitely want to grab a copy of this one.

Bonding with baby
For centuries mommies have figured out that most babies love to be touched and soothed. Now there's a book that uses massage-touch play activities to enhance that bonding experience and creative development. "Mommy, Draw Stars on My Tummy" by Martine Greeneveld* with art by Brad Kunkle includes brief instructions and suggestions to lead mommies (daddies can do it too) to make this a fulfilling and fun experience.

Honestly, the book wasn't exactly what I thought it would be, but I definitely see how today's new mommies can incorporate the techniques into their daily routines. For me, it would have been a great to have when my middle daughter, in particular, was an infant and young toddler because we had a daily massage routine. Even as early as three months old she showed how much she enjoyed massage. She would pause in sucking her fingers, widen her eyes and expectantly lift her eyebrows and wait. Once I began her massage, she would slowly suck her fingers and blink her long eyelashes laying there for as long as I decided to massage her little legs and feet.

That daughter, who's almost 5 years old, still enjoys her legs and feet massaged so I am glad that I have that bond with her. And with the "Mommy, Draw Stars on My Tummy" book I could have learned more techniques to develop a massage touch and play routine with all of my children. If you're looking for a way to enhance the interpersonal communication, promote health and well being as well as cognitive development then grab a copy so you can begin drawing stars on your little one's tummy.

*Groeneveld is a registered nurse, licensed massage therapist, certified infant massage instructor and mother of two.

I received the above mentioned books in order to compose these reviews/synopsis. No other compensation was received. The opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise indicated. 
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