If You Love to Read...

~ Posted on Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 1:52 AM ~

Then sign up for this!

When I first started blogging in June 2009, I stumbled across the Book Sneeze (formerly known as Thomas Nelson) Blog Reviewer Program website which offered blogger opportunity to review books for free! In return for an honest feedback of your review, you only need to post your feedback in your own blog and one commercial website.

I joined up immediately and I didn't even think that my registration will be approved! You see, most of the reviews and giveaways I came across the Internet are only available for US and/or Canada which is why I didn't think that I'll have any chance in being part of the blogger review team. So imagine how excited I am to be part of the awesome reviewing team?!!!

Now, how does it work?

#1: If you’re a blogger and enjoy reviewing books, sign up for a free account

#2: Choose a book from their available books and they’ll send you a copy for free

#3: Post a review of 200 words or more on your blog and a consumer website

#4: Login to Booksneeze, provide a link to your review, then request another book!

Easy peasy, right?!

I love the Book Sneeze review program because:

* I get to choose the books (from the available ones of course!) that I like and interested in!

* I get to keep the book after I review it! (Think of the money I saved from buying those books! Woohooo!!)

* I get to share my honest feedbacks through my blog with my blog readers!

* I can read the book together with Ben! (or get him to read it by himself one day!)

Ben looking at one of his favorite book!

* There is no time limit (mostly...) for the book you are reviewing so you can take it slow and steady, take your own sweet time to read and write up your review!

* I get to be part of the early birds who can review the book before its official world launch! (example: Max Lucado's "Fearless" book) - You see, sometimes for worldwide launches, they have special privileges for bloggers, meaning on top of the book you are currently reviewing, you can opt for additional book without restrictions!

Of course, the down side of this program are:

* You can only review one book at a time. Once you completed your review and posted it on your blog and one commercial website, you can proceed to request for the next book. (However this will be ignored if there is a special launch for the book! Hooray!)

* The wait for the book... it can be from 2-4 weeks on average for each book cos they have to ship it all the way to Malaysia, my country!

* It gets pretty tense especially when the book you signed up to review has to be posted by certain date (for official launch event)!

But other than that, I'm extremely happy to be able to discover this awesome site and blogger reviewer program!

So, have you came across such review program (can be other than books) before?

If you don't mind, please share it by leaving your comment!

 

I'll be more than interested to find out about it! Thanks!

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with free books (and recently a DVD) by Book Sneeze  in order to facilitate my book reviews. All opinions expressed in my book review posts are of my own. Please do your own research when purchasing books, as your opinions may differ from mine. If you love to read like me, you should really consider signing up for this! And of course, I'm sharing the awesome Book Sneeze website as part of my blog meme which is:

And if you'd like to read all of my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"

Music Review - Counting Stars

~ Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 1:43 PM ~

I would like to share my feedback and review on this awesome album that I have the chance to review for Centricity Music. The album by Andrew Peterson is called “Counting Stars” and is scheduled to be released on July 27th.

Excerpts taken from the album's bio page:

Framed in a largely acoustic context and underpinned by a sense of gentle but ancient and unyielding strength, Counting Stars aches and glows, finding infinite wonder in the stuff of hearth and home, family and friendship, struggle and storm. Perhaps it’s because the writing approach this time around involved a conscious departure from the string of concept albums Peterson has released in recent years. Opting for a more introspective, confessional approach seems to have opened a greater sense of vulnerability in the writing process. 

 

While at least a half dozen of Peterson’s new songs—like “Dancing In the Minefields”, “Planting Trees”, and “God of My Fathers”—joyously celebrate his connectedness to his creator, family, friends, fellow artists, and even to past and future generations, a secondary theme also clearly emerges on the record; one that speaks of the great battle between hope and despair. Songs like the sparsely melodic “In the Night My Hope Lives On”, the slow-building “You Came So Close”, and the weary but unwavering “The Last Frontier” each move from a place of pain or struggle to one of a hard-won eternal hope.

The title Counting Stars ties the themes of relationship and hope together in the hope of God’s promise to Abraham. We’re a part of the cloud of witnesses, passing the promises of God to our children.

 

 

One of the songs in the album which caught my attention (and led me to click to every other songs of his on Youtube and becoming a fan on his Facebook profile) is the "Dancing in the Minefield". You can click on the song title to view the official video on Youtube or click here to read about the making of the music video. Few lines in the "Dancing in the Minefield" song which I absolutely love is:

"So when I lose my way, find me
And when I loose love’s chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith, to the end of all my days
When I forget my name, remind me
"`

 

Lovely and meaningful lyrics! According to album's website, the story behind the "Dancing in the Minefield" song is as below:

"In December of 2009 my wife and I celebrated fifteen years of marriage. Three days later, we got in a silly argument and I wrote this song after she went to bed. Marriage, see, was God’s idea. It’s one of the most potent metaphors in all of Scripture for the way God loves us and the way we’re to let ourselves be loved by him. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. To the contrary, it’s fraught with peril. Any good marriage involves a thousand deaths to self—the good news is, a godly marriage involves at least as many resurrections. We lay our lives down and enter this perilous dance with another human being who has done the same. Why should we expect to emerge unscathed? No, the wounds bear testimony to the great power of grace. If I had had any idea what I was getting into fifteen years ago I wouldn’t have walked the aisle—I’d have run down it."

Wow! I just loved it when he said "Any good marriage involves a thousand deaths to self—the good news is, a godly marriage involves at least as many resurrections."

IMO, marriage is not an easy thing. To be able to find that special someone out of the gazillions people on this planet means something. To make marriage works takes lots and lots of love and understanding, tons of patience and an open heart and mind for both parties. And since we're still on the topic of marriage, do take some time to read the following scriptures that I found: 1 Corinthians 13:4-13, Ephesians 5:22-33 

You can get the Counting Stars album from Amazon to get your own copy now!

I would like to give a note of thanks to Centricity Music for this wonderful opportunity to review this amazing singer and album!

Andrew Peterson's songs are definitely going into my bookmarked pages for songs to listen to when I am doing my work (when Ben's asleep of course!) and even as I'm typing this, the "Dancing in the Minefield" song is playing at the background and Ben is sleeping peacefully as ever and I'm reminded of how blessed I am to be married to my hubby and having a beautiful and perfect child like Ben.

Also, I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a promo page with info on this album by Centricity Music in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

Product Review - Hermie: Who Is In Charge Anyway?

~ Posted on Friday, July 16, 2010 at 12:08 PM ~

This is my 1st DVD review under the Book Sneeze (formerly known as Thomas Nelson) Blogger Review program.

To be honest, the moment I saw the name of Max Lucado, I immediately request for a review copy and I didn't even realised that it's a DVD until I received the parcel today! Not complaining at all, since I love Lucado's work.

So anyway, I'm constantly looking for educational materials to expose to my 16 months old boy and although I'm trying not to rely so much on IT gadgets as a medium for teaching and learning (we wanted more hands on learning approach), I still gave this a shot.

Ben checking out the DVD cover...

I like the DVD cover because it is attractive and the illustrations are just too cute!

On the inside of the DVD box, there's a small booklet of the products available and some discount coupons that we can use for purchase of selected DVDs or books.

Ben watching with full concentration as I played the DVD on my laptop.

He recognised some of the insects and animals shown in the video and  I love the sing-along of the "Just Can't Pray" song! Catchy, inspiring and cute! However, I don't quite like some of the characters - like the lizard... kinda spooky actually.

What is the DVD about you ask?

Well, it's about Freddie the flea who's feeling pretty low because everyone around him seems to have a purpose in life, as if they are put on earth for a reason and that as a flea, he couldn't think of what good he is to be alive and God told him all about the Garden gangs when they are young and afraid and do not have confident like him. After listening to God, Freddie started feeling positive and he realised that God made no mistakes and everything has its purpose on earth!

Now, I would definitely play this DVD again as it also has bonus materials such as trivia game and a story read-along. Overall, I give this DVD an 8 out of 10.

Click on Who is in Charge Anyway?: A Lesson in Growing Up With God to buy your own copy today!