Dark Chapter – by Winnie M. Li

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Summary:

NOMINATED FOR THE EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL

Vivian is a cosmopolitan Taiwanese-American tourist who often escapes her busy life in London through adventure and travel. Johnny is a 15-year-old Irish teenager, living a neglected life on the margins of society. On a bright spring afternoon in West Belfast, their paths collide during a horrifying act of violence. In the aftermath, each is forced to confront the chain of events that led to the attack. Inspired by true events, this is a story of the dark chapters and chance encounters that can irrevocably determine the shape of our lives.

 

Review:

If I had to choose only three words to sum up Li’s debut novel Dark Chapter, it would be: astounding, well-written and courageous. This book was painful and brutal yet simultaneously beautiful and necessary. I could not put it down and I stayed up too late past my bedtime to finish it. The book follows alternate chapters in which Vivian and Johnny’s lives are traced leading up to the event that would change their lives forever; the very ordinariness of their lives and experiences, how events and people shaped the people they became, was a powerful and tense read. It was impossible to read it and not feel the emotions that Vivian felt. From start to finish was an emotional rollercoaster.

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About the Author:

Winnie M. Li is a writer, producer, and activist. And frequent backpacker who has somehow managed to spend the past 15 years, engaged in film and literature in various parts of the world.
Taiwanese-American and raised in New Jersey, Winnie studied Folklore and Mythology at Harvard, specializing in Celtic Languages and Literature. In 2000, she was selected as a George Mitchell Scholar and earned her MA in Anglo-Irish Literature at the National University of Ireland, Cork.

 

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Tale of a Tooth – by Allie Rogers

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I was thrilled to receive the review copy and my date for this blog tour.

This is a wonderful book, I couldn’t put it down! Written in the voice of Danny the four-year-old, I found this to be quite skilfully written. Danny drew me into his world, this is something phenomenal when reading as many review copies as I do. As the reader, you ‘see’ more than he tells so the picture of the action is complete. There are some nail-biting moments and also great tenderness and understanding.

A definite MUST-READ in literary fiction!!!

#TaleOfATooth #AllieRogers #LegendPress

 

Three Brains: How the Heart, Brain, and Gut Influence Mental Health and Identity

Did you know you have three brains? Yes, you read that right! You have three brains – your HEAD brain, your HEART brain, and your GUT brain.

Today, more than ever before, people, young and old, are being diagnosed with brain disorders, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, learning disorders, and dementia. Learning about the causes and risk factors associated with these conditions will give you a greater understanding of what you can do to help prevent and treat these life-limiting conditions.

The human brain has been studied for centuries and amazing discoveries have been made. Research suggests that you actually have three brains: the heart, the gut, and the head brain. There is an intricate relationship between these three brains that influence mental health and optimal brain function.

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About The Author:

Dr. Karen Jensen graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in Ontario in 1988. She is a well-known lecturer who has appeared regularly on television and radio stations. She has also written extensively for health magazines and is the author of 6 books including her most recent, Three Brains: How the Heart, Brain, and Gut Influence Mental Health and Identity. After 25 years in clinical practice, Dr. Jensen retired but continues to write and lecture on the naturopathic approach to wellness.

Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐/ ✰✰✰✰✰

Excerpt

“Nutrients from whole foods, exercise, and supplements are effective, non-invasive ways to support the ‘three brains’ interaction and optimize mental health and cognition.” Dr. Karen Jensen, ND

Introduction and Synopsis

The Role of the Three Brains
Although the head, heart, and gut brains work together, they have obvious different physical functions and they also perform different mental and emotional roles.

The head brain analyzes information and applies logic.
The heart brain senses the world through emotion and feelings.
The gut brain is used for understanding our identity and who we are in the world. The gut brain also helps us learn self-preservation by teaching us to follow our instinct – the “gut feeling” we all experience at times.

Set up as follows:

  • Chapter 1 discusses the three brains.
  • Chapter 2 discusses stress and the three brains.
  • Chapters 3 and 4 discuss factors that disrupt three brain health.
  • Chapter 5 discusses using nutrition to achieve optimal brain health.
  • Chapter 6 discusses protecting and supporting brain development in children.
  • Chapter 7 discusses three brain, mood, and mental disorders.
  • Chapter 8 discusses sleep disorders.
  • Chapter 9 discusses memory disorders.
  • Includes the Optimal Use Guide

Did You Know:

  • Variations in the composition of the gut microbiota have been shown to impact health on many levels, not just in the gut but in the brain as well.
  • Probiotics have been shown to support individuals with mental health issues, as well as problems with bowel function.
  • The heart is a much more complex organ, both of perception and cognition than was previously believed. Scientists have discovered that the heart produces oxytocin, which is beneficial for many mental health conditions, reducing stress-induced cortisol levels, and weight loss.
  • Oxytocin has also been found in the intestinal tract, where it improves gut motility and decreases intestinal inflammation. Dr. Jensen.

Conclusion:

As a professional book reviewer for multiple authors and publishing companies, I highly recommend this book for more than just a one-time read.   It is well set up, jam-packed with information and is so, very, easy to read. A definite wellness warrior recommended read!

Product Recommendations: 

 

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  • Takes the guesswork out of supporting brain health.
  • Grape Seed extract and Meriva curcumin deliver strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support.
  • Sharp-PS phosphatidylserine supports memory and concentration.
  • 900 mg of omega-3 EPA/DHA contributes to cardiovascular health and brain function.
  • Five high-potency probiotic strains support digestive health.

3 Brains Daily Brain

 

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  • 60 vegetarian capsules.
  • Contains whole cell BB536 Bifidobacterium longum, one of the world’s most researched probiotics.
  • 10 billion CFU per vegetarian capsule.
  • No refrigeration required, ideal for daily use and for travel.
  • Helps support gastrointestinal health.
  • Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

 

3 Brains Gut-Brain Probiotic

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Three Brains Book By Karen Jensen ND

An A-Z Women’s Guide to Vibrant Health

Prevent and Treat the Top 25 Female Health Conditions 

Women have suffered too long at the mercy of their disrupted hormones. An A-Z Woman’s Guide offers clinically proven natural solutions to correct the top 25 female health conditions including Acne, Abnormal PAP, Bladder infections, Breast cancer, Diabetes, Fibrocystic breasts, Fibromyalgia, Low thyroid, Menopause, Osteoporosis, Ovarian cysts, Period problems, Uterine fibroids and Weight Loss.

an_az_guide_to_vibrant_healthAbout The Author:

Lorna Vanderhaeghe is a medical journalist, nutritionist, biochemist and women’s health educator, who has been researching and writing on nutritional medicine for over 20 years. She is an associate for Total Health magazine in the United States and alive magazine in Canada.

Lorna is the co-author of No More HRT: Menopause Treat the Cause, The Immune System Cure, Healthy Immunity: Scientifically Proven Natural Treatments for Conditions from A-Z and The BodySense Natural Diet.

Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐ / ✰✰✰✰✰

Excerpt – Dedication

🙶 I dedicate this book to women of all ages.

“Women constitute 53 percent of the earth’s population. They perform two-thirds of the world’s work for which they earn 10 percent of the income. They own 1 percent of the property, and they have 100 percent of the children. Given these statistics, women should hold the majority of the political power in the world”  – Helen Caldicott, MD.

We don’t because we are too tired from looking after our families, jobs, and homes.🙷

Introduction

If you’ve ever sat down and thought about your health, could you say that you’ve ever described it as “vibrant”? This A-Z Woman’s Guide explains clinically proven natural solutions to correct the top 25 female health conditions including Acne, Abnormal PAP, Bladder infections, Breast cancer, Diabetes, Fibrocystic breasts, Fibromyalgia, Low thyroid, Menopause, Osteoporosis, Ovarian cysts, Period problems, Uterine fibroids and Weight Loss.

Synopsis

This information-packed resource is an outstanding addition to any women’s home library. It is set up in sections which individually cover the top 25 female health conditions.  The way the book is set up allows for quick access to information on the fly and also for reading from beginning to end.

Set up as follows:

Health Condition (ie Adrenal Fatigue)

Symptoms – outline the recognizable symptoms for the health condition.

Causes – outline the cause or causes for the health condition.

Prescription for health – these sections show recommended nutrients/supplements, dosage and what these supplements do to aid the health condition.

Health Tips to enhance healing – in these sections Lorna provides additional health tips and actions you can take outside of the supplemental action. Nutrition and lifestyle advice for the specific health concern being covered.

Great additions:

In addition to the outstanding information covering the various health concerns, this book has a few great additions and resources.

  • Self assessment questionnaire – located on page 115.
  • All you need to know about diagnostic tests and health assessments – located on page 125.
  • Smart Solutions product guide – located on page 136.
  • Free Nutrition Course Access – page location is a surprise.

The book allows you to take time to invest in your health by providing access to Lorna’s free online nutrition course.  Learn how to reclaim your health and maximize vitality in 10 short life-changing information packed modules. The modules cover weight loss, hormone balance, healthy eating, beauty tips, anti-aging strategies and so much more.

Conclusion:

As a professional book reviewer for multiple authors and publishing companies, I highly recommend this book for more than just a one-time read. This is the sort of book you can refer to every time you or one of your girlfriends have a specific health concern.  It is well set up, jam-packed with information and is so, very, easy to read. A definite wellness warrior recommended read!

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

I’ve been a fan of Sophie Kinsella/Madeleine Wickam, since first picking up a copy of The Undomestic Goddess back in early 2005.  I was delighted to receive a review copy of Surprise me, and it did not disappoint.

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Synopsis:

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.

In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.

Review:

This is a well-done novel that starts off with a light, chick-lit tone. Sometimes you just need a book that has a humorous take on life and love. I should have known from the blurb alone that this was going to be the book for me. Sophie, you came through and for that, I thank you! This isn’t your usual light chicklit read – its around 450+ pages but those are page turner pages, I found this to be a speedy read for that reason. This is the type of “guilty pleasure” book that you can read and drop the guilt. I’m surprised at how connected I felt with the characters and still find myself reminiscing about the story and feeling a little sad about having to leave them behind and move on to something else. I really like the premise of Surprise Me–rather than the typical Kinsella premise of a single girl trying to get her life together and in doing so ultimately finds love, we have a married couple worried that their marriage has gone stale.  It does take a while to get into if you’re not used to Kinsella’s tone, but the end result is a lovely message about loyalty, appreciation, partnership [and the consequences of the annoying art of not communicating] within a marriage and embracing the future, challenges and all, instead of stunting your growth by living in the past.

I’m a “quote” person, my fave quote from this novel is “Love is finding one person infinitely fascinating. And so… not an achievement, my dear. Rather, a privilege.”

If you are looking for a break from the unpleasantries that life can bring, this is definitely the read for you.