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Book Review: Deep In The Sahara

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Deep In The Sahara is about a young girl, Lalla, who admires and cannot wait to wear a malafa, a colorful cloth Mauritanian women wear.

Lalla sees the different women in her life, wearing the malafa and sees that the women wearing it exude beauty, mystery, and to homor tradition.

Her mother soon lets her know that the malafa stands for more than that. A malafa is for faith.

This is a gorgeous and very well-written book. The illustrations are beautiful and I love that it helps children learn of another culture. The age level for the book is between 4-8 years old.

Deep In The Sahara is by Kelly Cunnane and Hoda Hadadi.

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Book Review: The Snicky Guide To Falling Asleep

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This is an adorable book about Snicky the dog and the many ways he likes falling asleep. Written by Pamela Ann Will, The Snicky Guide To Falling Asleep is a great book for the little ones.

The hummingbird has me read it to her several times in a row. Her favorite part is when she sees Snicky cuddled up in blankets. When I asked the little bird how much she likes the book, she spread her arms wide and said “this much!”

About the book…

Snicky was rescued from a shelter by Pamela who put his picture on the internet. It was love at first sight when she saw his cute face and big ears. This book is the result of Snicky’s uncanny ability to fall asleep anytime and anywhere.

Let Snicky be your child’s role model as he demonstrates all the fun ways to go to sleep.

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This book is available at SnickyBooks.

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Book Review: Full Dark, No Stars

fulldarknostarsFull Dark, No Stars was the very first book I read from Stephen King a few years ago and that’s when I fell in love with his writing. I recently started reading it for the second time and holy shit, I think it’s even better this time around.

It’s super, super, good. Did I mention how great I think this book is?

It has 4 stories:

1922 – This story involves a murder on a farm and comes from the main character’s point of view. Excellent storytelling by Stephen King.

Big Driver – I was immediately sucked into this story about a female author who ends up in hell on earth on the way back from a speaking engagement. She’s assaulted and left for dead. This story is such an incredible piece of writing and my favorite out of the whole book.

Fair Extension – A tale where a man makes a deal with the devil. It’s the shortest story in the book. This is good but didn’t really stand out for me.

A Good Marriage – Holy shit, people! This was such a great read and surprised the hell out of me. With her husband out of town, a wife goes into the garage for some batteries and the secrets of her husband start to unfold. Really, really excellent.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do.

*Volcano

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Book Review: I, Tina

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*For the lovely Alice.

I, Tina – by Tina Turner with Kurt Loder

I love, love, love Tina Turner and have always admired her strength. I saw the 1993 movie “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and couldn’t believe the things that Ms. Turner endured during her years with Ike Turner. In the book, the things that he did were even more reprehensible.

At the age of 3, Anna Mae Bullock and her sister were left behind by their parents in Nut Bush, Tennesse. Her sister Alline went to live with Mama Georgie, who Anna adored and loved but Anna was sent to live with the dour and strict Mama Roxanna.

Anna first debuted her amazing pipes in church. While she didn’t care for church, choir was the one thing she really loved.

In 1956, Anna Mae moved to St. Louis to live with her mom which was certainly a culture shock coming from the backwoods of Nut Bush, Tennessee. Alline had also come to St. Louis and they would go to clubs, one was where they saw Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm.

While Anna Mae didn’t think much of Ike at the time, when she saw him perform, she was blown away. Anna and Ike were involved with others and during this time Anna became pregnant by The Kings of Rhythm saxophone player, Raymond Hill.

The relationship didn’t last and despite the fact that Ike and Tina saw each other as having more of a brother/sister relationship, they ended up together, starting an extremely tumultuous relationship.

Soon Anna Mae was pregnant with Ike’s baby, her second child. Ike also renamed her Tina Turner and after working their asses off , touring clubs and long days with Ike overworking the crew, the hard work paid off and they got the opportunity to move to Los Angeles.

While their career was on the up and up, the relationship was hanging by a thread. There was so much abuse at the hand of Ike, and Tina felt like she owed it to Ike to stay since she knew what it was like to be abandoned by family.

The abuse from Ike are unspeakable but Tina tried her hardest to keep the band and family together. There were also serious threats made by Ike to keep Tina in line.

Not only was Ike Turner abusive to Tina, he would lash out at friends and coworkers as well. After many years of his abusive behavior, Tina finally had enough and got the courage to leave. During this time, she was exploring Buddhism and she felt that gave her the strength to finally leave.

Even after leaving Ike, he still made his presence known. Tina feared for her life and her childrens’ with the threats he would make to her for leaving him. There was even one instance when Tina was at home and there was a gunshot. The bullet went through her living room window. While they didn’t have proof, she was sure Ike was behind this despicable act.

After Tina’s divorce from Ike, all she was left with was her professional name. She went back to playing clubs and hotels. Then she got her break with music manager Roger Davies and she started touring all over the world.

Things really started to happen to her career when Roger Davies booked the Ritz in NYC to showcase Tina. It was a success! She even got the chance to tour with The Rolling Stones, something she did years prior when she was still with Ike.

Tina has grown from a sassy little girl from Nut Bush, Tennessee to a beloved international superstar.

This is one of the best autobiographies I’ve read. What was surprising to me was that Ike Turner even took part in it with interviews. While this book can be hard to read because of the abuse Ike handed out, it also shows strength, courage, and inspiration from Tina.

*Proud Mary… AMAZING live performance.

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Book Review and Giveaway: I Just Want To Pee Alone.

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UPDATE: The winner for the book giveaway is Elizabeth! Congratulations!

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It all started when I came across a post from Patti at Insane In The Mom Brain. A few lines into reading and I immediately felt like I had found my future sister wife.

In a post from March, she wrote a letter to Felicity Huffman mentioning how much she’d love her to review a book which she contributed to, I Just Want To Pee Alone, on Felicity’s site, What The Flicka? You can read the hilarious letter here (it’s halfway down the page).

Although I didn’t speak to you guys, I’m sure you remember me. I was the really tall blonde with giant eyeballs who smelled like Vanilla and was trying to act like Felicity Huffman asks her to excuse her every day. No big deal.

I was in love with this woman but wasn’t sure what I could do. Sure, I write over at WTF? but don’t have any control over the content. Should I email Patti? Yes, yes you should, replied my husband.

Long story short, I emailed her, emailed my editor, and we got the review up on What The Flicka!! Yay! Felicity wasn’t able to review it after all as she was working so I was the lucky one to do the job and the book is HILARIOUS. I’m already reading it for the second time. Yes, it’s that full of awesomeness.

I Just Want To Pee Alone is a book of essays written by over 30 mom bloggers who have hilarious tales to tell about their experiences with motherhood. It’s one of the funniest books I’ve read in quite a while and I couldn’t put it down.

It’s a candid look at motherhood that will have you laughing so hard, it will leave you peeing your pants.

And let’s face it, if we didn’t laugh about the trials and tribulations, we would be in a corner crying and rocking ourselves back and forth with a glass of wine in hand. Wait, we do that anyway, don’t we?

In the book, there are such gems as:

In The Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Penis – About the best birth control options after 4 kids.

How Moving Made Me Want To Become a Carnie – Why finding and buying a house sucks.

Embarrassment, Thy Name is Motherhood – Who could ever forget that embarrassing vaginal ultrasound with the condom rolled over the phallic shaped instrument? Amy, from Funny Is Family, had me laughing so hard at this story.

I Just Want To Pee Alone is the perfect book for mothers of young kids and adult children. It’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face and will have you laughing out loud.

All of the authors that contributed will be in an upcoming “Blog Love” post so you can check out these fabulous women. Sidenote: I have never used the words fabulous or fantastic my whole life. Then a few weeks ago, they somehow invaded my vocabulary. What the fabtastic fuck?!

Anyway, the fabulously fantastic Patti will be giving away an autographed copy to one of you!

This giveaway is for those in the Continental U.S. and ends on Friday, the 14th at noon PST. All you need to do is leave me a comment telling me what guilty pleasure you would  indulge in if you had an hour to yourself.

Good luck, everyone!

*The Clash

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Book Reviews: I Have A Dream and Harlem’s Little Blackbird

i-have-a-dream1I Have A Dream – Paintings By Kadir Nelson

This is a beautiful book with the speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and gorgeous paintings by Kadir Nelson. It includes a cd with the original recording of Dr. King’s speech on August 28, 1963.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

harlems-little-blackbird1Harlem’s Little Blackbird – Renee Watson and Christian Robinson

This is the story of singer Florence Mills who’s wonderful voice made her a hit in the 1920′s on Broadway. Born to former slaves, she never forgot her roots. She faced racism during her career, for example when she went to London and people threatened to boycott the the show but she quickly won over the audience with her singing.

Ziegfeld was a famed broadway manager who offered Ms. Mills a leading role, which would have made her the first black woman to star in the Ziegfeld Follies but she turned down the role, opting to support shows that gave unknown black singers a chance to be heard.

I loved reading this to the little hummingbird and it really opened up a discussion about different races. Yes, she’s only 3 years-old and doesn’t really understand why there was such a separation between whites and people of color, but I loved talking with her about how the color of your skin doesn’t matter. It’s what’s on the inside that matters the most. It’s something I hope will stay with her throughout her life.

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I wrote a children’s book. Ummm, now what?

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So, yeah, I wrote a children’s book a few months ago. It’s a book for ages newborn to 3 but what makes the book beautiful and amazing is the illustrator that did such an incredible job on it. I couldn’t have asked or wished for anyone better.

I’m also working on a book for adults, that may turn into a screenplay instead, and a story for kids in the 4-8 range. I’ve been a busy girl.

Back to the book at hand. It’s called Dream Of All The Stars Above and while it’s pretty much done, I have no idea what to do next. I plan on self publishing it but still don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

I really want to publish it in book form, not as an ebook, and as much as I’ve read about self publishing, I’m still completely lost. I know I’ll figure it out eventually but I’m a blonde so it may take me longer than most people.

If you know somebody who knows somebody who knows of somebody else that knows about how to get this book published or into the right hands, for the love of all things chocolate, please drop me an email. elle dot mommyhood at gmail dot com.

Any advice at all on self publishing and distribution is welcomed and very much appreciated.

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