Category Archives: book review

EBook review of “Still Here: How to Succeed in Life after Failing at Suicide” by Andy Grant

Andy Grant


Andy Grant set out to write a book to prevent suicide. Instead, he wrote an inspirational book that explains many secrets about life. His text should be mandatory reading for everyone who has gone through a depression.

Andy is a suicide attempt survivor. From a surprisingly early age, he thought about ending his own life and he tried to do it several times. These attempts and the related depressions that he experienced, made him spend time in five different mental hospitals throughout the course of his life.

Andy did not find many answers in the health system or in the traditional medications prescribed to people who share these symptoms. But somewhere along the trip, he found the answers that he needed and he managed to turn his life around.

In “Still Here”, Andy shares with us all the different tools that he uses every day to lead a happy and healthy life. His methodology is based in what he calls his “Six Keys to Loving Your Life”. These keys are nothing fancy, expensive or difficult; they are simple, but powerful things that all of us can incorporate in our daily routine without breaking the bank, going to specialized seminars or devoting more than some minutes a day.

While I already knew some of the tools mentioned in the book, the author managed to always bring a fresh point of view to all them. Other things, such as tapping, were new to me, but Andy explained everything in a simple and interesting way.

I didn’t know anything about suicide before reading this book and I was surprised by a lot of facts. It would seem that suicide is the war that humanity is losing: according to Andy more people are dying by their own hand than by war and homicide combined.

But I think this is a war that we can win, if we have the proper weapons to fight. To do that, “Still Here: How To Succeed in Life After Failing At Suicide”, by Andy Grant, should figure prominently in our arsenal.

Thank you for living a bright and courageous life, Andy.

“It isn’t about being happy or unhappy. It is about being happier. Feeling good isn’t an on/ off thing. It is not a black and white world. Choose a little better thought, choose to be a little happier, and choose to shine a little brighter”.

Andy Grant

To learn more about Andy Grant and his work, you can use the following links:



My mission is to help English writing authors reach the Latino Market by translating their eBooks to Spanish. Contact me at or at

Ebook review: “Walk Yourself Skinny” by Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas


I love this book by Michael Thomas! I seldom find a book that will answer all my questions regarding an exercise or diet plan, but “Walk Yourself Skinny” anticipated all my different worries and was able to address them easily.

The book begins telling Michael Thomas’ story: he was a regular person who started gaining weight because of his sedentary lifestyle. He tells us how he felt but he also tells us how he lost all those extra pounds.

Michael covers several subjects in easy to understand language: the benefits of walking; the way our body works; what are some good strategies (besides walking) to lose weight and many other things.

He gives us a basic diet that can help us keep those calories under control. I don’t know about you, but I want a simple diet! I don’t want a plan with 20 weeks where I will have to learn to pronounce the name of some mysterious fish.

Michael also gives us some good comparisons: For example, did you know that your typical burger and fries combo will cost you 13.6 miles to walk off? 13.6 miles! That is a number you want to keep in mind the next time you want to order that Big Mac.

The book is very practical and brings value in every page, but probably the most useful part comes at the end, with the 66 Day Walking Plan.

If you want to lose weight in a simple way, and you want all your questions answered, I absolutely recommend this book. Grab your copy in Amazon now!



My mission is to help English writing authors reach the Latino Market by translating their eBooks to Spanish. Contact me at or at


eBook Review: “Play” by Angela Reuss

Angela Reuss, Play


I remember that in my rebellious teen years I would say to my grandfather “You can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink”.

He would simply smile and respond in a soft tone “No, but I can make damn sure that it’s thirsty as hell by the time it reaches that water”.

It took me almost 30 years to understand him; to understand that you can’t make someone do something, unless they want to do it; and that the secret of a great leader is to make people want to do those things… and that the said “people” also include your own children.

Luckily, it took Angela Reuss far less time to understand the same thing. Faced with three young children and the prospect of having a terrible summer while working full time and trying to keep the kids happy and entertained (sounds familiar?) she created “Play: Planning Life for Active Young’ns”.

The methodology has a subtitle that says “implementing education, logic, & love that motivates children to have self-discipline”. I would describe “Play” as “make your children understand real life and that they are part of it”.

In “Play”, Angela Reuss shows us a way to make our children want to behave, to do their chores and to get along with their siblings. Sounds pretty incredible.

The secret, according to Angela, is to give them “Mom-dollars” every time they do something right, and in turn, fine them when they do something wrong.

What are “Mom-dollars” for, you ask? Well, they can buy you nice things (just like actual money in real life). You can use them to get more video game hours, computer time or even a sleep-over with a friend! They can even buy you real dollars too! But if you get into a fight, you fail to do your homework or don’t pick up your toys, you will have to pay Mom some of your precious “maternal-cash”.

Angela explains in her book how you can customize the “Play” method to suit your own family values, your child’s age or even your budget. She also addresses the ancient question of “should we give children prizes for doing the chores that they are supposed to do, anyway?”

Does “Play” work? I don’t know yet. But I will give it a try! (Yes, I am at that point in my life).

You can learn more about “Play” and about Angela Reuss in the following links:

  •  You can visit Amazon to buy “Play” here.
  • Angela Reuss in GoodReads.
  • Angela Reuss in Youtube.



My mission is to help English writing authors reach the Latino Market by translating their eBooks to Spanish. Contact me at or at

Life-ology 101: If All Else Fails, Smile by Michael Soward

Michael Soward


This book tells us the true story of a child who, having almost everything against him, decided not only to survive, but to build a fulfilling and dignified life.

Michael Soward grew up in a conservative environment in the South, where he was beaten regularly. Being very young, his mother died and his father decided to leave him and his little brother with his maternal grandmother. Working since he was six years old in the cotton fields, Michael desperately needed a lifesaver to help him keep his head above the water and he found it in music. He began playing the organ at his local church and when he finally managed to escape away from his grandmother to the big city, his love for the sacred music followed him to his new home, providing a faith that would be much needed in the years to follow.

In the course of his story, Michael tells us how he served in the US Navy for 3 years and how he was able to prosper in different cities, succeeding in a couple of different professions; he also tells us about the delights and disappointments of his marriage and family life and throughout the text he explains his philosophy and way of looking at life: “If All Else Fails, Smile”.

You can buy Michael’s book in Amazon, both in English and in Spanish.



My mission is to help English writing authors reach the Latino Market by translating their eBooks to Spanish. Contact me at or at

Ebook review: DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens

DOG BONE SOUP Launch Banner

Back in 2013 Bette A. Stevens gave us a glimpse into the life of Shawn Daniels in a little book titled PURE TRASH.  Back then, Shawn was a little kid growing up in a small town in New England and he was trying to be happy despite the fact that his father was the town’s drunk.

The story, too small back then, left us wondering whatever happened to Shawn. We now have most of the answers in Bette’s debut novel, DOG BONE SOUP.

The Dog Bone Soup is a dish you are forced to consume every day when your family is broke, your father is gone and your mother is too proud to accept charity. As you can imagine, it is the sort of food that is easy to hate, as it becomes a symbol of everything that is wrong when you are a poor kid trying to understand why others have more than you and your family do.

Shawn may be the most underprivileged kid in town, but he is far from beaten. He still carries the indomitable spirit and that is characteristic of the children who have not known failure yet.

Although he is not quite eighteen years old, Shawn is confronted with several serious problems: He is trying to feed his family and keep his father from coming back home to beat his mother, all while struggling to get good grades in school and worrying about whether to go to college or join the army.

Unfortunately, not everything is going according to Shawn’s plan.

DOG BONE SOUP is a coming-of-age story that will set you thinking about your childhood and about your children. It is a novel filled up with both sad and happy moments, and unless I am mistaken, it is prose that will make you cry at least once.

Read it to understand how fortunate you and your children are and to remember to be happy.

To learn more about Bette A. Stevens and her books, you can visit the following links:



My mission is to help English writing authors reach the Latino Market by translating their eBooks to Spanish. Contact me at or at

DOG BONE SOUP is not only the title of Bette A. Stevens’s debut novel; it ranks high among the paltry meals that the book’s protagonist, Shawn Daniels, wants to forget. Plodding through mounting snow and battling howling winds, Shawn is ready to leave it all behind—living in poverty, Dad’s drinking, life in foster care, the divorce, the bullies….

Travel with Shawn Daniels through the guts and the glories of life. You’ll find them all in DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming-of-age saga. Available now at “YOUR AMAZON”

From the Reviewers

“Dog Bone Soup is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when most others were on the crest of a wave. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry. But most of all it will make you glad you read it.” ~ Charlie Bray, founder of the Indietribe

“In Dog Bone Soup, Bette Stevens captures the feeling and images of growing up in hardscrabble times perfectly.” ~ John Clark, librarian and author


READ the opening Excerpt from Chapter One right here…

DOG BONE SOUP BW Border 2015The postcard arrived four days before my eighteenth birthday. All I had to do now was sign the final papers and light out for basic training. I could hardly wait to leave this place behind.

There were six of us ready to become soldiers. The other five guys were headed to Fort Dix. Soon as we were inducted, the sergeant who swore us in started calling us a bunch of lily-assed bastards and worse. When the jerk marched the other five guys off, I was happy as hell I wasn’t one of them.

Lieutenant Richards called me into his office. “You’ll be heading out tomorrow, Private Daniels. Here are your tickets.”

We sat in his office and talked about my future with the U.S. Army. Then he handed me a schedule for the next day’s journey and we went over every detail.

“Now let’s get you home so you can get a good night’s sleep before you fly off to serve Uncle Sam, soldier.”

“Good luck Private,” the lieutenant said when he dropped me off at the house. We saluted and I stood there watching until his car disappeared over the hill.

I’d always liked army people. They called me Mr. Daniels and even sir sometimes. Now I was officially a private in the U.S. Army and I was ready to start a new life. I pictured myself in an officer’s uniform one day—a lieutenant, a captain, maybe even a general.

Mum and I didn’t get much more than a few winks of sleep that night. I don’t know how many pots of coffee she perked while we sat at the kitchen table and talked the night away. Of course, it was Mum did most of the talking. Once she opened her picture books, I felt like I was drinking in the life I wanted to leave.

Mum took all of those pictures with her Brownie—that camera was her pride and joy. None of us kids was allowed to touch it unless she supervised a picture taking every now and then. If Dad wasn’t around, it was me peeking through the lens. Mum was fussy about taking pictures just so.

Five books were piled on the table and we went through them one page at a time. Mum had a story for every snap shot. Some made me laugh so hard that I doubled over.

It was two minutes shy of three when she closed the last album.

“Thanks for staying up. I’ve got the alarm set for six and I know that won’t give us much sleep.” Mum pulled out her hanky, sniffled and hugged me before we turned in. My leaving would to be hard on her.

Willie was snoring away, likely dreaming about cars. I slipped in next to him and pulled away some puffs and huddled under them.

The minute I closed my eyes I started dreaming about my new life. No more freezing to death up north. I was headed for southern sunshine and I saw myself soaking it all in.

Bzzzzzzz. I jumped out of bed, threw on my clothes, grabbed the suitcase and headed for the kitchen. Mum already had breakfast on the stove, so I ran outside to do my business and came back in to grab a hot biscuit and down it with a cup of steaming coffee.

I was half frozen and snow was whipping around me in circles when I headed out on the three-mile walk into town to catch that bus.

I shook flakes big as quarters from my jacket when I climbed the steps of the Greyhound. Two hours and I’d be boarding a plane headed to Fort Jackson. South Carolina was sure the place to be, especially in February.

### end of excerpt

About the author

BAS Author logo stamp 2015Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Bette A. Stevens is the author of award-winning picture book AMAZING MATILDA; home/school resource, The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to DOG BONE SOUP.

Find out more about the author and her books right here on “YOUR AMAZON”

eBook review: “The Crab Who Wanted to Be a Dolphin” by Valerie Harmon

valerie harmon

Crab is always cranky, lonely and sad. She believes that she is unhappy because she is not a dolphin. When she decides to become one, she starts asking around: what exactly does one need to do around here to become a dolphin? 

The little Crab does not realize that dolphins are born and not made. 

Nevertheless, Crab starts working towards fulfilling her dream. Dolphin, her new friend, gives her some tips and sends her on a couple of missions that could help her achieve her goal. 

Along this self-discovery trip, Crab learns about Gratitude and about the good things that are present in her crabby little life and finally understands that to be happy, the change needs to happen on the inside and not in the world surrounding us.

Valerie’s book is illustrated by Carol Stevens, and both the prose and the illustrations are very professional. 

This book is recommended for children ages 4-8 who need to learn the basics of positive thinking and also that the most important changes must happen within us if we wish to live happily ever after.  

You can learn more about Valerie’s and Carol’s books at the following places: 



My mission is to help English writing authors reach the Latino Market by translating their eBooks to Spanish. Contact me at or at

eBook review: Dinosaur Party Adventure by Christina Johnson

Christina Johnson


Joe the elephant, Sam the dog, and Fred the mouse are invited to a Dinosaur Party. They have never been at a party like this, but they are excited to go.

The party has all the regular features: cake, candy, presents, a piñata and lots of fun. But there are still some surprises. Because this party is hosted by dinosaurs and for dinosaurs, not everything is planned for an elephant, a dog or a mouse.

Christina Johnson has written several books featuring her characters Joe, Sam and Fred and this is another of their adventures in their series.

The books are interactive, and they let the children choose where to send the characters through several points in the story.

This is a nice series of books for young children interested in animals.

To read more about Christina Johnson and her characters, visit the following links:

  • Christina Johnson website
  • Christina’s community in Facebook
  • Buy the Dinosaur Party Adventure in Amazon
  • Buy the Joe, Sam, & Fred’s Adventure Stories Collection in Amazon



My mission is to help English writing authors reach the Latino Market by translating their eBooks to Spanish. Contact me at or at

ebook review: Jesse the Precocious Polar Bear, written by Janice Spina and illustrated by John Spina

Janice Spina

Jesse is a baby polar bear who not only likes to ask a lot of questions, but also questions the status quo of all the things around him.

As tough as it is sometimes, his mother lets him express his opinions and just once in a while, lets him get away with certain things that are contrary to a polar bear’s best judgment.

In the end, mama´s patience pays off, as Jesse is saved by a dear friend that he would not have, had he followed traditional rules.

The book teaches little ones (and their parents) that sometimes, not everything has to be the way it has always been. It also reminds us to breathe deeply every time our little one asks us repeatedly why, why, why, why???

Janice Spina´s book is written in rhymes; it is illustrated by her husband, John Spina and it is part of their Jembooks.  This collection is focused in teaching real life lessons to children through the use of cute animals doing extraordinary deeds.

Both Janice and John have spent their lives educating children and they have poured all their knowledge into their Jembooks.

To learn more about Janice and Jembooks, you can visit the following web sites:



My mission is to help English writing authors reach the Latino Market by translating their eBooks to Spanish. Contact me at or at

eBook review: Gabby and the Quads by Tina Frisco

Tina Frisco


Gabby is a single child that is about to have not one new baby brother or sister, but four!

As a parent, how can you make sure that your first born will not be filled with jealousy and insecurities when she sees four new babies come through the door? If you had siblings or if you are the parent of more than one child, I am sure that you know what I am talking about! If you felt you had less attention from your parents when they were struggling to keep the house together after the arrival of one baby, you can only imagine the consequences of a set of quadruplets.

In the book, Gabby’s parents decide to try a unique approach to get her support and secure her unconditional love for the little ones. Sure enough, Gabby reacts positively and is happy to lend a helping hand whenever it´s needed, which is always. The story has a happy ending, with the big family of seven enjoying each other´s company.

Tina Frisco is not a new author; we have talked before about her beautiful narrative style and her unique philosophy. This time, inspired in the recent events in her life, she has decided to take her message to the little ones. The book has the lovely illustrations of Amy Tokarczyk.

If you are a mother or a father trying to deal with your children´s sibling rivalry, pick up this book today and read it to them. If Gabby was able to turn all her love and attention to her little brothers and sister, I am sure your little one will be able too.

Here are some links about Tina Frisco and her books:



My mission is to help English writing authors reach the Latino Market by translating their eBooks to Spanish. Contact me at or at

eBook Review: Jump! by Julia Dweck

jump! by Julia Dweck

 Julia Dweck really has to stop doing this to me.

Every time she has a new book, I declare “This is my favourite Julia Dweck book… ever!” I manage to stay put for a while and then along she comes with a new book, and I make a fool of myself proclaiming: “No, no, no. This is the one: This is my favourite Julia Dweck book…ever!”

I have to draw the line somewhere, so today I am announcing that “Jump!” is my favourite Julia Dweck book…ever.

Yes, I know my favourite was Where are the dinos?” Those were adorable: little dinosaurs shopping and driving and doing all these cool things. I said, and I still maintain, that the word needs to have these little cute dinos as toys. I am still waiting to buy one to put on my desk.

But… “Jump!” has an unbeatable message that “Where are the dinos?” lacks: that a crisis is an opportunity in disguise; that you can accomplish anything if you believe in yourself and that once that you have gone there, nothing will ever be the same.

The message is conveyed in an easy way for children to understand, yet, full of enough charisma to appeal to grownups.

And the illustrations done by Brian Allen are simply amazing!

So, I am saying it now (this has to stop at some point, Julia): “Jump!” is my favourite Julia Dweck book ever!

The book is available now in Amazon: read it, have a big smile and think hard and long about your life and your goals.



My mission is to help English writing authors reach the Latino Market by translating their eBooks to Spanish. Contact me at or at