April 30, 2012

Book Review ~ Intangible

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Title: Intangible
Author: J. Meyers
Published: January 29, 2012
Pages: 349 (Kindle edition)
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Average Rating: 4.25 of 5 stars4.25
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars false 4 out of 5 stars
Read from March 12 to 31, 2012

Goodreads summary: Twins Sera and Luke Raine have a well-kept secret—she heals with a touch of her hand, he sees the future. All their lives they’ve helped those in need on the sly. They’ve always thought of their abilities as being a gift.

Then Luke has a vision that Sera is killed. That gift they’ve always cherished begins to feel an awful lot like a curse. Because the thing about Luke’s ability? He’s always right. And he can’t do anything about it.

My Review:
I entered to win a copy of this book in the Goodreads giveaway. Sadly, I didn't win, but soon after the giveaway ended, the author graciously gave me a copy for my Kindle to honestly review. I was very ecstatic and grateful! :) Below is my review.

There were a lot of things I loved about this book. First of all, I enjoyed the fact that the two main characters are twins, each with a different gift. Luke can see the future, and his sister Sera can heal with a touch. I loved the connection they have and how they use their gifts for good. There were so many twists and turns I never saw coming! It's refreshing to read a book when I'm unable to predict what's going to happen next.

There's also romance, but it isn't your stereotypical girl-meets-guy and are instantly together. I won't give away the ending or any other details; however, if you are worried this book is the end...don't worry!! :)

If you didn't read my review of the story "Intuition" that goes along with this book, I highly recommend you check out the author's blog. Here's the link to J. Meyers's blog: . She's very interesting, approachable, and friendly, and I definitely look forward to reading her next book!           
Exciting news! There is currently another giveaway for this book on Goodreads! Click on the following link to enter the giveaway, which ends on May 7th: Intangible giveaway . Make sure you enter by May 7th for this awesome book! :)

April 20, 2012

fighting monsters with lightsabers

If you read my last post, I promised to look for the link to the article I had read about conquering your child's fear of monsters. I couldn't find the exact article--it might have helped if I could remember when and where I saw the article. :P My memory just isn't what it used to be! However, I did find plenty of other articles with the same theme of creative ideas. Below are just a couple that were interesting to me.
Fighting Monsters with Force Fields and White Lies
Helping Children with Monster Fears

The first link takes you to an article written for one of my favorite magazines, Psychology Today. The author mentions some of his colleagues expressed concern that the fear of monsters may be reinforced if a parent chooses a method other than telling the child they don't exist in the first place. I can see where they're coming from--perhaps this would happen in some cases, but I honestly think the number would be very low.

Children, especially the very young such as toddlers, don't think the same way adults do. My parents told me monsters don't exist, and I sure as heck didn't believe them! Eventually, I just grew out of that fear but suffered many sleepless and anxious nights until I did. I want to prevent that for my kids. I believe a more effective and possibly quicker fix to this dilemma calls for some creativity. :D

I'm want to know what all of you think! Whether you aren't a parent, are a parent, or will be a parent, please tell me your opinion and any experiences you'd like to share. If you are unable to comment directly on this post, then you can contact me in one of the following ways:

Twitter @pearlofagirl30
Goodreads Jennifer R

Do you think "fighting" monsters with your child (or another similar idea) would be helpful to him/her, or do you feel that it would be feeding into your child's fears, thus reinforcing them instead of dispelling them?

Let me know your opinions, and I'll post them on here to share with others! :D

April 19, 2012

when did the word "scary" become scary?

There comes a time in every parent's life when you can no longer say the word "scary" without your two-year-old son climbing into your lap, telling you he's scared.

Nah, I'm just kidding! I don't know what I'm talking about. :D While I doubt this happens to every parent, what I don't doubt is that my son becomes slightly afraid when I say something like, "I'm afraid I'll forget to turn in our library books," or "I'm scared I'll forget to do...". Just fill in the blanks with whatever the average person might forget. And since my examples both involve forgetfulness, you can bet I'm a very forgetful person!

My son just recently began saying he's scared or afraid when these two words are used in any context, and he doesn't do this with just me. He does this with all of our family and friends. If someone laughs loudly and suddenly, he claims to be startled by saying, "That scared me." I'm hoping this is a phase he'll grow out of since I don't want him to be afraid of everything, especially the word itself!

He is also now "killing the monsters" that purportedly live in his room. He grabs whatever "weapon" is available, whether it's his lightsaber, sword, various toy guns, etc., and proceeds to attack them--very noisily I might add. I read somewhere that if your child is afraid of monsters, rather than trying to convince your child there are no such things as monsters and that there's nothing to be afraid of, you should ask your child to describe what the monsters look like and then "attack" them with your child. I believe the author advised this strategy to conquer the fear instead of "discounting" it. If your child has this fear or any fear, rationalizing with them probably won't work. Fears aren't usually all that rational. Many times fearful thoughts are worse than what's actually coming up ahead.

I'll try to find the article and post a link for anyone who's interested!

It's interesting my son is already doing this himself. I must admit, I did tell him there are no monsters at first because it was my instinct to do so. We've talked about them many times, and I ask him questions to see if he will describe what they look like to him or not. Or I'll describe them myself and pretend I'm having a conversation with one, assuring my son they're friendly. This seems to be working, since he is now attacking them to keep himself and mommy safe! :D

April 13, 2012

hello, my name is jennifer, and i'm a soap addict

If my grandma were still with us today, she would be absolutely devastated with the precarious state of soaps these days. I can't help but think of her every time I watch them. If losing two of the soaps she had watched for decades weren't enough--Guiding Light ended in '09 and As the World Turns in '10--then the demise of All My Children and One Life to Live would have sealed the deal, causing worry and speculation the remaining FOUR (yep, I said four) would be next on the chopping block.

She watched all four of the CBS soaps (back when there were more than four soaps total) for, well, I don't even know exactly how long. Forever practically. The love was passed down to my mom, who passed it down to me. I was watching Young and the Restless from the womb!! I remember when I was three or four, drinking water daintily from a Dixie cup, pretending I was the very rich, very elegant Katherine Chancellor.

For anyone who doesn't understand a soap fan's love for the genre, there are a few things to know that might help clear up the confusion. First of all, watching them is usually passed down from generation to generation and is something that as an adult you can fondly remember from your childhood. Such is the case for me. I can remember the times I watched them at my grandma's house while on summer break from school, or the times my mom and I watched the episodes she taped for when she came home from work. It's something tangible you can hang onto and use to feel close to your parents and grandparents if they've passed on.

The characters and dialogue can be superb. Those are my favorite moments, when I have to rewind and watch a scene a second time because it was written and acted so well. I need that second time to absorb the moment. If you know the characters and their histories really well, then certain dialogue between characters is so witty and simply entertaining to watch--for instance, when snarky characters are being especially snarky with some snappy comebacks.

Soaps are an escape from the "real world." Are there crazy storylines that could never happen in real life? Absolutely! But we soap fans watch anyway to be entertained, suspending our disbelief in order to escape for an hour or two from the daily grind.

When you think about what it takes to produce a soap, there are a lot of constraints that must be dealt with--for instance, there can only be so many actors and consequently, only so many love interests, etc. for characters to interact with. They put out five shows every week. There are pages and pages of dialogue for the actors to memorize in a very short time. Writers have to remember history when writing new scenes and storylines--sometimes decades and decades of history. And these are just a few examples!

So yes, I am a soap fan. And I am so not ashamed of it! :D

Upcoming Posts:
  • SOS (Saving Our Soaps)
  • i'm with the band ~ part iii
  • nice guys finish last
  • book reviews

April 10, 2012

spring vacay!

Since winter break, I counted down the days until spring break. It's funny, too, because a lot of people I know are like, "Ack! The kids are gonna be home for a week?!?" In my case, having my nine-year-old daughter home is not only very helpful to me, but I also love hanging out with her! She's one cool chick, and all of our friends and family have always been impressed with her maturity. She looks younger than nine, but she definitely talks and behaves like she's a little adult.

My husband took off work last week, and we had booked a room at the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth, Michigan--our favorite family vacation spot. This was the fourth year we have gone with our daughter, and it was the second year our two-year-old son went. After the first time we went, when our daughter was three, we never really planned to keep coming back; however, we had so much fun, and it isn't too far away (it's about a five hour drive from here, including rest stops) that we keep going back.

I must admit, I was a bit nervous about how our son would do on the drive up there after what happened last year when he cried for the last two hours straight before we arrived at our destination. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, we all jumped out of the car with our nerves completely fried. He just wanted out of the car, and there was no comforting him.

This year, however, he did just fine. He slept about half of the way, and then we stopped for lunch and let the kids stretch their legs before resuming our trip. His sister entertained him the rest of the way. It was really cool hearing them getting along and laughing together--that doesn't happen too terribly often.

We left on Sunday and came home on Thursday--three days before Easter. We shopped, swam, went out to eat, played games (think Chuck-E-Cheese), and tried to just relax. I say tried because with a two-year-old little boy, that's a challenge in and of itself! What's really nice about Frankenmuth and the Bavarian Inn in particular is that everything is within close range. The Bavarian Inn has swimming pools, a game area where you can win tickets for prizes, restaurants, gift shops, and a putt putt course, and all of this is indoors, which is great in case it rains.

Frankenmuth is a small town with plenty of restaurants and gift shops along its main strip. Everything is German-themed (it's known as Michigan's Little Bavaria), and it's famous for fudge, cheese, taffy, and several course meals that you need to be wheeled out of the restaurant afterwards. There's definitely a lot to do within a nice little area, and it's very family-friendly.

The trip definitely went way too fast, and before we knew it, we were home. It's always a bit sad to come home and get back to the regular routine. Four days after we came home, my daughter was back in school, and my spring break was over as well. I wonder where we'll go next year! ;)