3/26/15

3 Considerations When Buying Mood Therapy Lights


This is a guest post.
If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), you're probably already familiar with the benefits of light box therapy. But what if you aren't sure which lights are the right ones for you? Here are just three things to keep in mind when shopping for the perfect illumination.  

Know Your Budget. Light therapy doesn't have to be expensive, but if you have a severe case of SAD or are looking to outfit multiple rooms with light boxes and lamps, the price tag might inch higher than you'd like. Make sure you plan your finances carefully to fund your light therapy needs.  

Think About Intensity and Color. Light boxes can come with fluorescent, incandescent or LED lights. Different boxes will also emit different amounts of UV rays. Most use white light, but some have been branching into blue light with great success. You should consider all of your options before choosing any one product in particular. You'll want to make a fully-informed decision about your purchase.  

Choose Your Type of Light Therapy. Light therapy lamps are great for chasing shadows out of the entire room. On the other hand, if you're looking for a more concentrated dose, you might prefer a small light box that can sit on your desk while you work. There are no right or wrong answers; it's all up to you.

These are just three tips for finding the right light box or therapy lamp. Don't let SAD keep you SAD!

Book Reviews: The Empire and The Rebels by Elizabeth Lang




Empire cover only (398 x 600) I recently had the opportunity to read and review the first two books from Elizabeth Lang's The Empire series.  I really do enjoy science fiction and looked forward to reading both The Empire and The Rebels.  What did I think of Elizabeth Lang's sci-fi series?

I received complimentary copies of these books for use in my review.  All opinions are my own.

Quick summary of The Empire. All Adrian Stannis wanted was a quiet corner of the galaxy where he could work on his beloved scientific experiments, but unfortunately, he was born into a world at war, where his people are struggling for survival against a vastly superior alien invasion force and he is a genius who was trained for the very thing he hates, the creation of deadly weapons. Not to mention, he appears to have been genetically mated to a telepath by his government and he doesn’t find her…uninteresting. In fact, she appears quite intelligent. So what will happen to this solitary man when his peace is shattered in every way possible and there is nowhere left to run?

My thoughts on The Empire.  This book opens the series with a lot of action--and a lot of character development.  The pace of the book is a little uneven--but, the characters keep readers interested in their plights even when the book's action slows. Lang creates interesting characters--with their own weaknesses and quirks and uses a lot of character dialog to move her story.  The book ends in just enough of a cliffhanger to excite readers for the 2nd book in the series. 

Would I recommend The Empire?  The science fiction elements of the book are easy to follow and the author keeps the human element in the storyline with her characters.  There is a little romance--but, it isn't the main focus.  While the book is a little slow at times, the characters will keep readers moving forward to the end.

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The Rebels Adrian, Kali and Adrian’s personal assistant, Bryce are finally free of the oppressive Empire. They hide on a planet called, Orasis, a tech-4 world on the Outer Rim whose only usefulness is a low-grade source of Tri-Iridium ore. Not the kind of place to find the most advanced weapons scientist in the galaxy. Things go well, relatively, and Adrian and Kali finally have time to develop the relationship they didn’t think possible. Adrian and Bryce even start up their own fix-it business. Then a stranger arrives on the planet.

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My thoughts on The Rebels by Elizabeth Lang.  I enjoyed this book more than the first one.  Perhaps I knew the main characters a bit more and was able to better anticipate Lang's plot twists--but, the book moved much faster and the scenes held my attention much better than the first book.    This book does not make many efforts to catch readers up on the action of the first book--so, I really recommend reading the series in order.  While the book itself could be a stand alone novel--I do not think I would have enjoyed it as much without the background and connections to the first book.

Would I recommend The Rebels by Elizabeth Lang?  I enjoy science fiction in which human nature plays a role and Lang does a nice job creating strong characters with personal and moral struggles.  This book has more twists and turns than the first book--and is a little more suspenseful.  It does end with a surprise--so readers should expect to add the 3rd book in the series to their reading lists! 



About the Author:
Elizabeth Lang is first and foremost, a geek with the obligatory love of science fiction and fantasy. She spent most of her life in the computer industry designing computer systems for world domination the mundane industry of life insurance, which is surprisingly, not as exciting as it sounds. Now she creates enchanted worlds of magic, explores the human condition in the light of future technology and civilizations, and dreams about world domination. Or at least, some of her characters do.

Her first book, The Empire was fortunate enough to be a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and she has never looked back.    

Author Social Media Webpage: www.elizabeth-lang.com Facebook: Elizabeth Lang Twitter: @Elizabeth_Lang Pinterest: Elizabeth Lang

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3/25/15

Donkey's Kite Book Review & a Book Tour Giveaway


I love children's books with positive messages.   As I read the description of Donkey's Kite by Liana-Melissa Allen--I was excited to share it with my family and readers.  You may also enter to win a copy in the book tour hosted giveaway at the end of this post!  What did we think of
Donkey's Kite? 

I received a complimentary copy of this book for use in my review.  All opinions are my own.  We may receive slight compensation from affiliate linking within our posts as well. 

Quick Summary of Donkey's Kite by Liana-Melissa Allen.  The three horses Jack, Max, Lax and their friend Donkey are back! In Horse Valley, it's a perfect day to go kite flying. Jack, Max, Lax, and Donkey decide to get creative by putting together their own homemade kites. However, Donkey's kite doesn't work. No matter how hard he tries to get it to fly, it just keeps tumbling to the ground. How will poor Donkey get his kite to fly? A friendly goose named Gusty is delighted to help him out.  In this Horse Valley Adventure, Donkey learns not to give up when all seems hopeless. The friends all learn a lesson about helping others and true friendship.

Allen creates a wonderful children's story--with a valuable message.  Although the book has a picture book appearance--it holds a lot of words on each page for slightly older readers and parents to enjoy.  Allen creates a dilemma around a family-friendly, familiar activity:  kite flying--and allows her loveable characters to learn and grow with the story's lesson.  It's a fun way to remind children to push through difficulties, to ask for help--and to help others in need as well.

Allen's illustrations highlight the story on every page.  Kids will love the characters' expressions--and the descriptive scenes of this story.  Allen uses her talents well to pack a lot of detail--and inspire a lot of discussion--into a small book.

Would I recommend Donkey's Kite by Liana-Melissa Allen.  This book holds a lot of little reminders and opportunities for family discussions about helping others, feeling left out, empathy, and staying motivated to push through when the going gets tough.  While children will enjoy the story on their own--I think it offers so much more potential as a classroom or family, read-aloud-and-discuss story.  I would certainly recommend this book for reading with elementary students.

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About the Author
Liana-Melissa Allen is a young author and illustrator of children's books and books for youth. She has written, illustrated and published six books. Her most recent one is the colorfully illustrated children's book "Donkey's Kite", the second book of "A Horse Valley Adventure" series. The first was "The Three Little Horses and the Big Bully Donkey". The lovable cartoon characters, Max, Lax, Jack and Donkey makes them a favorite of first and second grade students. She is now working on her third book of "A Horse Valley Adventure".

The magical world of fantasy has inspired Liana's imagination since as long as she can remember. Part of this was fueled by her dad reading aloud to her every day when she was younger. As a result, reading is her primary passion along with music. These two passions feed her imagination into stories and drawings, which she joyously sketches out into storyboards for a potential book.

Liana-Melissa is also a dedicated classical/jazz pianist, and mostly enjoys older music, especially from the big band era and the 1940's, 50's and 60's. While playing the piano, her imagination often leads to a great amount of improvising. Frequently, Liana will improvise a theme for one of the stories she is writing. Capturing this improvised music became a priority, which ultimately resulted in theme music for "A Horse Valley Adventure". The "Horse Valley" theme will be used for a short animated video featuring her Horse Valley characters.

Liana-Melissa loves to hear from her young readers. Please visit her website at www.lmabooks.com for more information, and to contact her by email. Visit her on Facebook too.


Enter to Win a Book Tour Prize
Enter to win one of ten sets of A Horse Valley Adventure books! 
One winner will also get a $30 Amazon gift card. 

All Mascara is Not Created Equal Book Review & Giveaway


There are so many little tips and thoughts about life that we should share with our daughters--but, there are only so many hours in our days.  All Mascara is Not Equal by Jessica Landmon takes a host of motivational quotes, spiritual quotes, and practical daily tips--and packs them piece by piece into a fun book for women.  I recently had the opportunity to read and review All Mascara is Not Equal--and I also have a copy to give away to one lucky reader!  What is my review of
All Mascara is Not Equal by Jessica Landmon?

I received a complimentary copy of this book for use in my review during the book tour.  All opinions are my own.

Quick Summary of All Mascara is Not Equal.  All Mascara is Not Equal takes spirituality to the modern woman. Tackling issues such as body image, fear, depression and many others, Landmon has tips that are practical, spiritual and apply to any struggle in between.  Originally written to help her daughter counter the social media haze of today’s pop culture, Landmon has now expanded the book to all women readers. With God’s faith leading her, she hopes to be a “life changer” for every woman that reads or hears her words.

I loved the randomness of the advice on the pages of this book.  Landmon doesn't create chapters devoted to spiritual health or to body image .  Instead, every page is dotted with an assortment of tips from a variety of subjects.  It's a lot like moving through the day wearing the many hats a woman may wear.  One page may offer a health related tip ("Water is the best drink in the house."), a little relationship advice ("Surround yourself with honest people.")--and a bit of a spiritual reminder combined with a practical tip...("There is not too much that prayer and a glue gun can't fix.")  Every page is a surprise.

Would I recommend All Mascara is Not Created Equal by Jessica Landmon?  This is a fun book that Christian women will love to share.  The author doesn't preach--but, she dots faith onto her pages frequently.  This is the perfect book to gift to a daughter--or to a girlfriend.  It is light reading--intended to bring a little smile (or an "isn't that the truth" lightbulb) with each page.  Landmon presents every page in a down to earth manner with cute, sometimes whimsical illustrations, a lot of pink--and many pieces of advice that women would share with daughters--or friends.  I definitely recommend this book for those looking for a slightly different keepsake gift for woman (young or old).

Buy All Mascara is Not Created Equal by Jessica Landmon on Amazon.

About the Author
Jessica has ministered to women's groups for over a decade and serves as the Minister of Spiritual Growth and Discipleship at the Cornerstone Church in Cheshire, CT.  Her ministry focuses on issues that all women struggle with, including fear, faith, anxiety, depression, body image, and walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jessica holds a  Bachelors of Science in Accounting from the University of Connecticut, and is a graduate of the International School of Ministry, earning a degree in Biblical Studies from Christian Leadership University.

She is married to her high school sweetheart and has two children.  


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3/24/15

Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop: Sisters


At least once a week, I find new photos on my cell phone.  The girls LOVE to take selfies....or take pictures of the dog or cats...or sometimes food or even random pieces of furniture.  (I'm never sure about the furniture thing.)  These made me smile after the weekend--so I thought I would share them as this week's Wordless Wednesday Link-Up!  These two may fight like mad--but, I do think they still love each other most days.

Sisters....






Enjoy your week!!

It's Time to Join This Week's Wordless Wednesday Linkup!