Monday, April 25, 2016

Currently reading: The Long Ride Home: The Extraordinary Journey of Healing that Changed a Child's Life by Rupert Issacson

THE LONG RIDE HOME:
The Extraordinary Journey of Healing that Changed a Child’s Life
By Rupert Isaacson

I am currently reading The Long Ride Home, and it is fascinating! As a parent who has tried some out-of-the-box therapies for my kids like listening therapy, interactive metronome, and Irlen filter glasses, I understand so much how exciting it can be to get results from something non-traditional. The effect horse riding had on Rowan is nothing short of amazing!

Press release info:
Would you go to the ends of the earth to help your child?

Writer Rupert Isaacson and his wife, Kristin, traveled to Mongolia, Southern Africa and Australia to seek solutions for their autistic son, Rowan. The Isaacsons’ amazing quest to help—and ultimately heal—Rowan, is captured in THE LONG RIDE HOME: The Extraordinary Journey of Healing that Changed a Child’s Life (Horse Boy Press; March 2016). Part thrilling adventure and part lyrical memoir, the book is a love letter from a father to a child whose gifts were waiting to be unlocked.


It began with a horse. One day Rowan slipped away from his father and ran up to Betsy, a gentle mare who lived next door to their Texas home. Rowan’s instant rapport with Betsy, and the amazing effect she had on his behavior, inspired Isaacson to ride with his son. Isaacson, a trained rider, thought he had given up horses when his son was diagnosed with autism.

As Rowan learned to read and communicate astride Betsy with his father, Isaacson felt an unexplainable tug of intuition. If he could take Rowan someplace that combined horses and spirituality, he could help him begin to heal. And what better place than the ancestral home of the horse, where shamans still practiced their craft—Mongolia.

That’s when the adventure began. Going on faith and a hunch, the Isaacsons committed themselves to taking their intermittently incontinent, tantrum-prone son around the world. They travelled miles across the Mongolian steppes on horseback to meet a shaman whose odd methods brought amazing results. But the Isaacsons were warned: they would need three more healing journeys before any improvement became permanent.

Pilgrimages to Southern Africa to meet the Kalahari Bushmen, as well as shamans of Australia’s coastal rainforest and the Navajo reservations of the American Southwest followed. Along the way the Isaacsons discovered how nature, movement and animals can help release children living on the Autism Spectrum from their most debilitating symptoms.

THE LONG RIDE HOME combines Isaacson’s talents as an observer with a gift for breathtaking detail with the insight of his psychologist wife to create a portrait of hope that has resulted in The Movement Method, practiced around the world. It’s a story of love and the perseverance to find the child locked within the shell of autism and help him reach his full potential, a potential that may be a gift to the neurotypical world.  

RUPERT ISAACSON was born in London to Southern African parents. He is the author of The Healing Land, the story of his time with the San Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert and the adventure of helping them regain their ancestral hunting grounds; The Wild Host: The History and the Meaning of the Hunt, and The Horse Boy, the story of his quest on horseback across Mongolia to find help for his autistic son, which has been translated into 30 languages. Isaacson’s feature documentary, The Horse Boy, was screened on television worldwide and in American cinemas and his journalistic work has appeared in national newspapers in the United States and United Kingdom. A human rights activist for the Kalahari Bushmen, he also founded and runs The Horse Boy Foundation, which specializes in helping children learn and communicate through horses (The Horse Boy Method) and play equipment and the environment (Horse Boy Learning). For more information, visit www.horseboyfoundation.org.  

THE LONG RIDE HOME
The Extraordinary Journey of Healing that Changed a Child’s Life
By Rupert Isaacson
Horse Boy Press; March 2016

$14.99; 324 pages ISBN: 978-0-9966276-0-3



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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Cover Reveal- True North Series by Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a one-click author for me, and I am so excited to help reveal the cover for Bittersweet, the first novel in The True North Series! These covers are GORGEOUS and I can't read to get started on this series!

BITTERSWEET (TRUE NORTH #1)


If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the orchard.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago. 

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.

Bittersweet is available for pre-order on iBooks, and scheduled to release on June 14, 2016.


Sarina also released the covers for the other two books in the series, Keepsake and Steadfast.


STEADFAST (TRUE NORTH #2)

Jude lost everything one spring day when he crashed his car into an apple tree on the side of the road. A man is dead, and there's no way he can ever right that wrong.
For Sophie Haines, Jude's sudden return to Colebury, Vermont, is an unwelcome distraction. It's not acceptable to still crave the man who killed your brother.
And it's a small town...

KEEPSAKE (TRUE NORTH #3)

Zach's book.



Here's where to find Sarina on social media:


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Monday, April 18, 2016

Book Review: Spy Girl by Jillian Dodd

Spy Girl by Jillian Dodd

What happens when you get pulled out of spy academy before graduation because you look good in a bikini? 

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: 
Protect the heir to the throne of Montrovia, while uncovering the person or persons behind the plot to assassinate him in order to take over control of this geographically important sovereign nation, and eliminate the threat. 

Get close to the hottest prince on the planet and work for Black X, the double-black covert group so secret even the President of the United States is on a need-to-know basis? 
I accept.

As soon as I saw the promo info for Spy Girl, I knew it was an immediate one-click for me! Dodd's That Boy series and her Keatyn Chronicles books were such favorites, I knew I would love this too. I am a big fan of the TV series Alias, and the blurb made me think of Sydney Bristow so I couldn't wait to read it.

It did not disappoint! I devoured it in a day and absolutely couldn't put it down. It was sexy, humorous, full of charming men, and just plain fun to read! Huntley is such a badass spy. Although it can be read as a standalone, there's an epilogue at the end that leaves some unanswered questions, and it's been announced that the second book in the The Spy Girl Series will be titled The Assassin.  Can't wait to read it!

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Book Review: Withering Hope by Layla Hagen


by Layla Hagen

From Amazon.com: Aimee’s wedding is supposed to turn out perfect. Her dress, her fiancé and the location—the idyllic holiday ranch in Brazil—are perfect. 

But all Aimee’s plans come crashing down when the private jet that’s taking her from the U.S. to the ranch—where her fiancé awaits her—defects mid-flight and the pilot is forced to perform an emergency landing in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. 

With no way to reach civilisation, being rescued is Aimee and Tristan’s—the pilot—only hope. A slim one that slowly withers away, desperation taking its place. Because death wanders in the jungle under many forms: starvation, diseases. Beasts. 

As Aimee and Tristan fight to find ways to survive, they grow closer. Together they discover that facing old, inner agonies carved by painful pasts takes just as much courage, if not even more, than facing the rainforest. 

Despite her devotion to her fiancé, Aimee can’t hide her feelings for Tristan—the man for whom she’s slowly becoming everything. You can hide many things in the rainforest. But not lies. Or love. 

Withering Hope is the story of a man who desperately needs forgiveness and the woman who brings him hope. It is a story in which hope births wings and blooms into a love that is as beautiful and intense as it is forbidden. 

*This read is recommended for 18+ due to romance and sex and mature themes.*

During a bout of insomnia this week, I purchased this for just 99 cents and I am so glad I did! I absolutely devoured it! It was so unique and absolutely amazing. The ending was so touching, with not just one, but two epilogues! I highly recommend this, especially for just 99 cents!


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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Review: A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole

by Tillie Cole

From Amazon.com: One kiss lasts a moment. But a thousand kisses can last a lifetime. One boy. One girl. A bond that is forged in an instant and cherished for a decade. A bond that neither time nor distance can break. A bond that will last forever. Or so they believe. When seventeen-year-old Rune Kristiansen returns from his native Norway to the sleepy town of Blossom Grove, Georgia, where he befriended Poppy Litchfield as a child, he has just one thing on his mind. Why did the girl who was one half of his soul, who promised to wait faithfully for his return, cut him off without a word of explanation? Rune’s heart was broken two years ago when Poppy fell silent. When he discovers the truth, he finds that the greatest heartache is yet to come. Standalone Young Adult Tearjerker Romance. For ages 14 and up

This is such an epic love story! So sweet, so touching... just tragically beautiful. All. The. Feels.

I purchased this and read it on my Kindle app in one day. Actually, I woke up in the middle of the night and finished it after reading most of it that same day. 

It's definitely a 5-Star read for me, and 91% of the 494 reviews on Amazon are also 5-Star, so I'm definitely not alone!



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Monday, April 4, 2016

Release Day- My Picture Perfect Family by Marguerite Elisofon!

Today is release day for My Picture Perfect Family by Marguerite Elisofon! I wanted to tell you about a special event tomorrow where readers will be able to ask author Marguerite Elisofon questions during her livechat on Booktrib.com. The expanse of knowledge that Marguerite has will be a wonderful resource for any parents needing guidance in regards to Autism and other special needs. Click the picture below for a link to the livechat.

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MY PICTURE PERFECT FAMILY:
What Happens When One Twin has Autism
Marguerite Elisofon
Central Park Publishers; April 4, 2016
$14.95; 276 pages
ISBN: 978-1-938595-04-2
http://margueriteelisofon.com/ 



I was recently sent an advance copy of this book and I was so eager to read it! Although neither of my children are on the autism spectrum, both have dealt with one of the challenges that children on the spectrum sometimes deal with- Sensory Processing Disorder, as well as the resulting learning delays/disabilities. As I got further into the book, I also found that Elisofon's daughter Samantha, the twin on the spectrum, was also diagnosed with Exotropia- the same visual condition my son had.

In their family photos, the Elisofons look like they stepped out of a Hollywood movie—handsome father, beautiful mother, adorable son hugging his twin sister as she beams a radiant smile. The reality was quite different.

Out of the 11,600 children who were born today, some 171 will be diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Receiving this news can be heartbreaking for parents whose fondest wish is to have a healthy child. Marguerite and Howard Elisofon were first alarmed, and then overwhelmed, when their daughter Samantha was diagnosed as being on the Spectrum. The family’s struggle to understand ASDs and find the optimal interventions—in the days before internet resources and autism parenting groups—are at the heart of the compelling memoir MY PICTURE PERFECT FAMILY: What Happens When One Twin has Autism by Marguerite Elisofon (Central Park Publishers; April 4, 2016).

Marguerite and Howard Elisofon eagerly anticipated starting a family. After receiving medical help to conceive, Marguerite joyfully found herself pregnant with twins. Born after only 33 weeks, Samantha’s introduction to the world was much more challenging than her brother’s. The differences between the twins continued to escalate after they left the hospital. The Elisofon’s overly sensitive infant daughter grew into a toddler who fell further and further behind her twin in language and cognitive development. Finally, at the urging of family members, they sought professional help and received the diagnosis they feared—their daughter was on the Autistic Spectrum.

MY PICTURE PERFECT FAMILY paints an engaging and at times heart-wrenching picture of the courage it takes to raise and advocate for a child who is far more than the sum of her ever-shifting diagnosis. Elisofon details the therapies, treatments, school searches and day-to-day victories of a little girl who so desperately wanted to fit into a world that didn’t understand her. She shares the considerable challenges met by the entire family including Samantha’s twin brother, Matthew. And she reveals the eventual triumphs as Samantha grows into a young woman who discovers a hidden gift for singing and pursues a college degree.

ASDs are the fastest growing developmental disabilities in the United States with an increase in diagnoses from 1 in 150 in 2000 to 1 in 68 in 2016 (1 in 42 for boys). Elisofon’s memoir is a stark reminder of the human being behind the diagnosis and the important work we must do in order to offer these children and young adults their best and brightest future.

My Picture Perfect Family is the story of a family’s dedication to helping their daughter succeed against all odds. The explosive 10-year-old who made no eye contact, talked to imaginary friends and turned out the lights in my office, blossomed into a beautiful 18-year-old who was able to go to college.”
Dr. Harry Wachs,
Founder of the Vision & Conceptual Development Center,
co-author, Thinking Goes to School

For any parent who has dealt with parenting challenges, or any parent who know someone who has gone through a journey like the Elisofon family, this is an excellent and inspiring read. Interspersed with family pictures, Elisofon's story about Samantha's journey was touching and I absolutely cheered for Samantha's accomplishments after reading about her early difficulties. This is a must read!



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