Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Book Review: The Clouds Roll Away by Sibella Giorello

The Clouds Roll Away (Raleigh Harmon)The Clouds Roll Away (Raleigh Harmon)
is a wonderful book!

About the book (from Amazon):
Closing her assignment with the FBI's Seattle office, forensic geologist Raleigh Harmon returns to her hometown of Richmond, Virginia, expecting a warm welcome. Instead she finds herself investigating an ugly cross burning at a celebrity's mansion and standing in the crosshairs of her boss at the Bureau. And the deeper Raleigh digs into the case, the murkier the water becomes...until she's left wondering who the real victims might be.

To make matters worse, Raleigh's personal life offers almost zero clarity. Her former confidant is suddenly remote while her former boyfriend keeps popping up wherever she goes. And then there's her mother. Raleigh's move home was supposed to improve Nadine's fragile sanity, but instead seems to be making things worse.

As the threads of the case begin crossing and double-crossing, Raleigh is forced to rely on her forensic skills, her faith, and the fervent hope that breakthrough will come, bringing with it that singular moment when the clouds roll away and everything finally makes sense.

My Comments:

While mystery/thriller-type books are not my usual read, I haven't had the best luck lately with my usual historical/romantic-type fiction, and there was something intriguing about this one, so when Phenix & Phenix Publicists offered me a complimentary review copy, I accepted.  First of all, the author, Sibella Giorello can write, and write beautifully.  I'm a rapid reader, I read for ideas, not details, as a general rule.  I devour books, I don't generally savor them.  Language is usually the medium, not something I appreciate on its own behalf; but this book is different.  Yes, it was a good story, but there were times when I stopped my breakneck reading speed and read paragraphs out loud just to hear the language.

The book is Christian fiction, but that doesn't mean it is sappy sweet and full of all sorts of preaching.  What it does mean is that the language is clean, despite the fact that main characters are rappers and gang members.  It means that the characters go to church.  It means that when Raleigh questions a dying KKK member, she asks him if he has thought about the hereafter.  Raleigh has a strong faith and believes that grace, not fate, has kept her alive.  I'll be the first to tell you that much Christian fiction isn't worth reading if you aren't into religion, but I really think this book could have a much larger audience.

This is the third book in the series.  While there was reference to some back story, primarily the fact that Raleigh was newly back in her hometown of Richmond VA, after having been banished to Washington State.  She has a romantic interest who is from her past as well.  While this story came to a satisfying end, there were threads left open, presumably for another book.

Grade A-.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Don't Forget to Enter: Exergen Giveaway

April 1 is the deadline for entering my giveaway for an Exergen TemporalScan Thermometer.

Children's Book Review: Bailey's Day

Bailey's DayBailey's Day is a fun book in which Bailey, a dog, shares what he does all day while his "dad", a postman, is at work.  Bailey, who lives in Phoenix AZ, begins his day with breakfast and a nap.  Then he heads out through the doggie door and chases a lizard.  Next, he climbs the fence, and meets his neighbor dog, Frankie.  They head to the pool for a swim, to the park, and to the neighborhood taco stand.  On the way home "Dad" sees them and gives them a ride, noting that he hopes they don't get out like this every day.

The first half of the book is the story, with illustrations similar to that seen on the cover.  My five year old enjoyed the story and asked a few questions about things that are different in Arizona than in Louisiana (the dogs played in the "wash" which looked to me like a dry canal).  The second half of the book is photographs of the real Bailey, the author's dog.  She thought he was cute.  I enjoyed reading the story to her and telling her about the desert.

I'd like to thank the author, Robert Haggerty for sending me a complimentary review copy.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Review: The Promise of Morning

Promise of Morning, The (At Home in Beldon Grove)Promise of Morning, The (At Home in Beldon Grove) is Christian historical fiction, heavy on the Christian.

About the Book:

The Promise of Morning from Ann Shorey takes readers to Beldon Grove on the Illinois frontier in the 1840s. Life isn’t easy here. For Ellie Craig, the graves of her three infant children make it unbearably lonely, despite the love of her husband Matthew. When she uncovers a family secret that suggests she may not be as alone as she thought, Ellie is determined to find the truth.

Meanwhile, Matthew Craig faces controversy in the church he pastors when a man arrives in town claiming to be both a minister and the son of the town's founder. Will Matthew find the courage to reclaim his church? Or will he return to itinerant preaching, leaving Ellie even more alone than before?

Book 2 in the At Home in Beldon Grove series, The Promise of Morning will touch your soul with themes of overcoming tragedy, finding strength to meet daunting challenges, and trusting your heart to love again.

My Comments:   As I noted earlier this book is heavy on the Christian aspect, and therefore will appeal to a limited audience.  It is a book that encourages traditional Christian virtues and one in which the bag guy gets his due, and the good folks live happily ever after.  It is definitely not high-brow literature, but it is an enjoyable story.  Grade B-

Thanks to Donna Hausler at the Baker Publishing Group for sending me a review copy of this book.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

Happy Palm Sunday.  As we begin Holy Week, I want to wish the blessing of Almighty God on all of you.  I got several book reviews up last week, but none were terribly religious much less Catholic.  However, besides my own blog, I am also the primary writer for the blog of Mississippi's First Alumnae Association.  Starting today, we are featuring alumnae(i) in full-time ministry, and the first woman we feature is Catholic, and I invite you to read about her, as well as those we will meet later in the week.  If you are looking for a good small university for your daughter or son, MUW offers many of the advantages of a private school at a public school price.  It also has a good scholarship program.

What did you write about this week?  To participate in Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival, go to your blog and create a post entitled Sunday Snippets--A Catholic carnival, and in it highlight one or more of  your posts from this week, including link(s) to the post(s).  In that post, also include a link to this post.  Then come back here and sign Mr. Linky, giving a link to your post.

If you'd like a reminder to post weekly, subscribe to our yahoogroup.

Book Review: The Black-White Achievement Gap

The Black-White Achievement Gap: Why Closing It Is the Greatest Civil Rights Issue of Our Time

The Black-White Achievement Gap: Why Closing It Is the Greatest Civil Rights Issue of Our Time is a book that tackles what the authors, Rod Paige (former U.S. Secretary of Education) and his sister, Elaine Witty, Ed.D, see as the greatest civil rights issue of our day, the academic achievement gap between African-American and non-African-American children. Witty takes the entire educational, social and political establishment to task for their failure to recognize this as the greatest problem facing African-Americans today and calls for a concerted effort by "Authentic African-American Leadership" to do something about it. While recognizing that the gap has many historical causes going all the way back to slavery, the authors clearly state that the past cannot be changed, but the future can.  While many cite a panoply of social ills as contributing to the gap, the book points out that waiting to cure those social ills before closing the achievement gap simply assures that another generation of African-American youth will be subjects of that gap.

During the civil rights era, the African-American leadership and the African-American people were united in fighting a named enemy, an enemy that was clearly blocking access to full participation in American society.  Today, they opine, the Black-White achievement gap is THE issue which must be addressed if African-Americans, as a whole, are going to become fully equal members of society.  However, instead of mounting an all-out attack on this achievement gap, African-American leaders and African-Americans in general, while they may decry the gap, do little but maintain the status quo. They put effort into fighting battles like removing Confederate flags which have little effect on the life of the average African-American.  They fight voucher programs or other ideas that remove power from the teacher's unions.  

The book is filled with statistics but most are concentrated in one chapter.  I found it a fascinating look at what is happening in education today.  This is definitely a book I would recommend.  Grade:  A.

I'd like to thank The B & B Media Group for sending me a complimentary review copy.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Where Do We Go? A Mama Buzz Review

Title:  Where Do We Go?
Author:  James Weinsier
Publisher: Wondrous Publications L.L.C., Fernandina Beach, Florida
Price: $12.95 U.S.
Softbound / Nonfiction
Size: 9.3" by 9.01" / 44 pages
ISBN: 978-0-61523-805-0
Pub Date: 2008

About the Book

The death of a loved one is difficult enough for an adult to understand and cope with; imagine how much more difficult it is for a child! Where Do We Go? delicately explores the theme of death in a child-friendly fashion with reassuring, thought-provoking text and cheerful illustrations. With compassion and sensitivity, James F. Weinsier addresses the age-old, complex question: Where do we go when we die?

In the words of Laura Duksta, author of the New York Times bestseller I Love You More, "Where Do We Go? Brings joy, play and ease to what is often an awkward conversation. Its message is a precious tool that will open the hearts and imagination of its readers to a greater awareness of love, life and beyond!"

Where Do We Go? is as helpful to children as it is to the adults challenged with the bewildering task of discussing death with them.

About the Author:

Born in New York City in 1945, James Weinsier was raised on Long Island. He received an Associates Degree in Applied Sciences from Nassau Community College in 1964, followed by service in the U. S. Navy. Upon completing his tour of duty, he resumed his education at the University of Miami, graduating with a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration. He is now retired and lives with his wife, in Fernandina Beach, FL.

Weinsier first grappled with writing in 1996, when in anticipation of his daughter's 21st birthday, he decided to give her something unique and straight from his heart. The result was a 100-page journal of special memories he and his daughter shared written in poetic verse. The manuscript was so well-received by his daughter that he published a 70-page book of thoughts for his father, Here…and Afterthoughts, and gave it to him for his 90th birthday. James continued to write, and three years after his first published work was released More…Thoughts was completed. This book contains 199 pages of sentiments commonly shared between parents and their children. James presented it to his father on his 93rd birthday-shortly before his passing.
In 2006, James experienced the devastating losses of three family members: his father, a son and grandson, Isaac Randolph, who died in a neonatal infant care unit from complications of necrotizing enterocolitis (an intestinal disorder) 10 days after his premature birth. In response to the pertinent questions from his other young grandchildren about what happens to us after we die, James wrote a children's book, Where Do We Go?, which was published in 2008.

"Wondrous" events took place a couple of weeks after the book's publication, which was two years after Isaac's death. On the exact month and day of Isaac's death and only a few minutes from the exact time of his death on that date, Weinsier's daughter gave birth to her second child, James Walter. Baby James was premature and followed his brother's path into the NIC Unit. Fortunately, his issues were not catastrophic, and on his 10th day of life, James W. was strong enough to go to his family's home in Kansas; while on the 10th day after Isaac's birth, he had passed away. Both boys went "home" on the 10th day...

My Thoughts:

This is a bright and colorful book written in charming verse.  It is a child wondering what the hereafter will be like.  Will it be winter all year, or summer, or some of each?  Will there be parks, video games, fireflies or bubblegum?  He finally concludes that our pets will be there with us (but doesn't name "there" as heaven or anything) and that "you really, truly never go anywhere, no matter what you do, Because forever you live in the hearts of all those who love you".  It's a cute book and good for starting discussions of the hereafter, according to family beliefs; however I find it interesting that the only definitive statement the author makes about the hereafter is that our pets will be there.

This is a Mama Buzz review.  A complimentary copy of the book was provided by Five Star Publications for this review.  

To purchase from Amazon (and give me a small commission)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Montana Destiny

Montana Destiny Anna Ballasi, the publicist from Hachette Books who sent me Montana Legacy asked bloggers to submit questions for an interview she was conducting.  You can hear the interview here.  She bribed us by offering us a stack of books if one of our questions was chosen.  I won--she ended up using two of my questions.  Therefore I got to read Montana Destiny before most folks.

Montana Destiny is the story of Wyatt McCord, cousin of Jesse, of Montana Legacy.  Wyatt was a world traveler and seeker before returning to the ranch after his grandfather died.  The female lead is Marilee Trainor, the local EMT and private pilot.  She is a military brat who was dragged all over the world and wants nothing more than to settle down somewhere.  She is also the child of a very critical man, and a mother who could not make any decisions on her own.  Merilee is determined to be independent.  She and Wyatt are attracted to each other....

There is also a bad guy, but in the end....

Yea, I liked the book.  It was a fun read, with a little more story than what many romances have.  There were a couple of bedroom scenes but they left a lot to the imagination.

Grade:  B+

A Distant Melody: My Review

Distant Melody, A: A Novel (Wings of Glory)Distant Melody, A: A Novel (Wings of Glory) is a Christian romance, written by Sarah Sundin, set during WWII.  It features Allie, the daughter of wealthy parents, but a young woman who, despite her college education, has never been able to please her mother.  Allie is engaged to marry Baxter, the manager of her father's business.  Her parents love him, but she doesn't, and realizes he doesn't love her either.  Allie goes to spend a week with a college friend who is getting married.  While there, she meets Walt, an Army pilot.  Sparks fly, but in the end each decides not to keep in touch with the other.  Luckily, that decision doesn't last long.  Through their letters they get to about each other and about themselves.

As Christian romances go, I'd put this in the moderate category.  It isn't just a basic clean romance that happens to be about Christians.  On the other hand, it isn't one of those where the story is nothing more than a carrier for a message.  It is about very real, very human characters with very real, human flaws, but the religious aspects of the story are front and center.  Walt reads Bible verses to his crew before every mission.  He is the son of a preacher, the only one of three boys who didn't go into the  ministry.  However, he has one character flaw that he just can't seem to beat. One change Allie decides to make in her life after that wedding week is to change churches because St. Timothy's, where her parents attend, has no life.  There is much made of Christians not being yoked to unbelievers.  I took exception to one passage where Allie asked her new church friends what they were giving up for Lent, and they said "nothing" and pointed out that life has enough sacrifices, and that when we choose the sacrifices to offer to God, we may be choosing not to do His will.  While I'm not saying that isn't true in some cases, the small self-chosen sacrifices made during Lent are spiritually strengthening.

Still, it was a good story with a happy ending, but not one too good to be true.  This is the first in a series; I'd like to read the rest.

To learn more about the author, Sarah Sundin, see her website.

I'd like to thank Donna Hausler at Baker Publishing Group for sending me a review copy of the book

“Available March 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Monday, March 22, 2010

Blog Tour and Review: Scattered Petals

Scattered Petals: A Novel (Texas Dreams)Scattered Petals: A Novel (Texas Dreams) is a Christian Romance, sent to me for review by Donna Hausler at the Baker Publishing Group.  The heroine is Priscilla, a young woman from Boston who was travelling to Texas to attend the wedding of her late sister's husband.  The stagecoach in which she and her mother were traveling was attacked by bandits.  After being robbed, her parents were killed and she was raped.  Before she could be killed, a Texas ranger rescues her and takes her to her brother-in-law's ranch, where she meets Zach, who just happens to have a fair physical resemblance to her attacker (who the Ranger killed).  The touch of any man terrifies her, but as things develop, she needs a husband and he volunteers.

The story is set in the Texas hill country and the settlers of the town are French and German, from Alcase-Lorraine,an area on the French and German border which has changed hand many times over the years.  In this story, though they are in America, the French and German residents mix only a bit, each having their own church.  Intermarriage is unheard of.  That is significant because one of the subplots features a French woman and a German man.  There are also subplots about a bad guy and about the ranger searching for the men who killed Priscilla's parents.

I enjoyed the book and recommend it if you like romances and either like or can handle a rather religious version.  It is a story with very obvious lessons about forgiving enemies and  yourself, and about accepting differences in people.  The characters pray and we go to church with them.  It isn't one of those books where a character has to find God before s/he can live happily ever after, but it isn't one that is simply about Christians either. While there are times we get glimpses of the character's spiritual lives, I wouldn't characterize this book as being about their spiritual lives either.  Rather, the novel is a carrier for the lessons the author wants to teach.

I didn't quite know what to make of the church scenes in the book.  As mentioned before, the town had a French church and a German church.    Wikipedia says that both Catholics and Protestants lived in Alsace-Lorraine. The pastor of the French church was referred to as Pere and once called "Father", making me wonder if he was Catholic.  Despite this, and the fact that the food he served to Priscilla was made by his housekeeper, not his wife, the church scenes described were more Protestant than Catholic.  The pastor picked his own text for the sermon and held a joint Easter sunrise service with the German pastor, neither of which would have happened in real life in a Catholic church at that time.

Grade B-

“Available March 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway--Montana Legacy

Montana LegacyI guess you know you are getting older when you take a look at a cover like this and think "What a cute baby-face".  Despite the fact that he is too young for me, I have to admit I liked the book.  Montana Legacy is a romance novel in which the man plays the starring role, and the woman is the co-star, not the star.  Jesse was raised on his grandfather's Montana ranch, along with two cousins near his own age.  Besides the ranch, the family legacy included a bag of gold which disappeared when an ancestor was killed.  Jesse's grandfather spent his life searching for the gold, and that search caused serious rifts in his own family.  Grandpa dies, and his will said that if the cousins (who haven't been back to the ranch since their parents moved them away years ago) stayed on the ranch and searched for the treasure, they would share in the treasure and the ranch.  Part of the story deals with these three young men getting to know each other again, and searching for the treasure.  About the same time, Jesse's high school sweetheart comes back to town and sparks fly.  A bad guy also emerges and tries to harm Jesse.

I found this book to be a cut above many romance novels as there were other characters and conflicts besides boy loves girl.  It isn't a chaste romance, but there is only one bedroom scene (and actually it's a barn scene) and while it didn't leave everything up to the readers' imagination, it wasn't the most descriptive I've ever read either.

I'd like to thank the nice folks at Hachette for sending me this book for review, and I'd like to offer you the chance to win a copy (I have five to give away).  US or Canada only, no P.O.Boxes.

To Enter:

1.  Leave a comment with your email address
2.  Find another romance I've reviewed, and leave a comment on that post.  Then come back here and tell me what book you commented on.
3.  Blog, tweet, facebook, whatever, about this  post and leave me a comment with a link.
4.  Follow me, or leave me a note saying you already do.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Miracle In Sumatra: The Story of Gutsy Gus

Miracle in Sumatra: The Story of Gutsy GusMiracle in Sumatra: The Story of Gutsy Gus

About the Book:  (from Deep in the jungles of Sumatra there lives a courageous little orangutan named Gutsy Gus. One day, when Gus is out playing, his parents are captured by animal trappers, and it's up to Gus to rescue them. With the help of a guardian angel named Gabriella and a brave little girl named Maya, Gus fights for his parents' freedom and proves that even one small orangutan can make a big difference.
My Comments:  The book is rated as being for 4-8 year olds.  My five year old found it to be too long.  
The book began in Africa where Hunter had captured many different types of apes.  He complains that it is getting too hard to catch them, and that he is going to Sumatra to capture orangutans. Gabriella is a heavenly angel who watches over Sumatra.  Maya is the daughter of a local.  Gus and his family are orangutans.  The story has a basic hunting is bad theme.  Too politically correct for me.
I'd like to thank the nice folks at Phenix & Phenix for sending me a review copy.

Children's Book Review: Is There a Monster Over There?

Is there a monster over there?Is there a monster over there? is a cute children's book in which a little girl is afraid of monsters until one day she happens to consider that the monster may be a lot like her, or even afraid of her too.  They become friends and have tea together.  The cover shown above is representative of the illustrations in the book.  My five year old enjoyed the book, and while there is nothing wrong with it, it didn't particularly impress me either.   It is by Sally O. Lee, who wrote No, Never! which I reviewed last year.  Grade:  B-

Thanks to author Sally O. Lee for sending me a review copy.

Disaster Status: A Book Review

Disaster Status (Mercy Hospital, Book 2)  Since I enjoyed Candance Calverts's Critical Care (Mercy Hospital, Book 1) so much (my review), I jumped at the chance to read book 2 in the series.  Disaster Status (Mercy Hospital, Book 2) is about  Erin Quinn and Scott McKenna.  They meet when he is trying to keep her out of the ER during an emergency.  She had been called in on her day off and had forgotten her ID.  Both Erin and Scott have been hurt recently; both are afraid to let go of the hurt to love again, but....

I really liked the book.  Unlike some Christian romance, this is far more about romance than about Christianity.  The characters seem real, not like some paragons of virtue.  It is a clean romance (and sometimes those can hotter than those that don't leave anything to the imagination, since love and attraction can't be shown by sending the characters to bed).  The topic of PTSD is addressed, and forgiveness of self and others is a major theme.  While Christian romance, it is one that any romance reader could enjoy, unless vivid bedroom scenes are necessary for you to enjoy a romance.

This book will be toured by First Wildcard on April 6.  Check back then to read the first chapter.

Grade:  B+

Book Review: Strictly Sundays

Strictly Sundays: Making every cook a hero on Sundays

I have found there  there are generally two types of cookbooks:  the kind with elaborate recipes and fancy ingredients that make dishes the kids won't eat; and the kind with a few ingredients, usually including some processed base like canned soup, ketchup or barbecue sauce, that are easy to get on the table and kid-friendly.  This book, Strictly Sundays: Making every cook a hero on Sundays, doesn't fit in either category.   

The author calls himself  "The Blue-Collar Gourmet", and that really does characterize  his recipes. Sometimes they are long and involved, like gourmet recipes, but they also use "blue-collar" ingredients like powdered onion soup mix, condensed cream of mushroom soup, BBQ sauce, or Old Bay Seasoning.  He has two recipes for Spaghetti Sauce.  One has 24 ingredients, including three kinds of meat (pork butt bone, lamb shank and Italian sausage).  It calls for dried herbs and canned tomatoes and tomato paste, as well as canned chicken broth.  It looks like it would take about 30 minutes to prepare, three hours to cook during step one, about 10 minutes of prep for the second part, followed by another hour of cooking time.  The other recipe calls for 9 ingredients.  It calls for canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste, and for Schilling brand Italian Seasoning.  You only cook it for an hour.

The book is printed on glossy paper and has some illustrations, but not enough to put it in the coffee table book category.  It includes recipes for appetizers, main dishes, salads, soups, side dishes and salsas, but no breads or desserts.  

I'd like to thank publicist Barbara Kindness for sending me a review copy, via Bostick.  Grade:  B.

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

This has been a very slow blogging week for me; so slow in fact that you'll notice that my last post was my last Sunday Snippets posts.  I've read a few books, and hope to get some reviews up today but real life has been busy in a good way lately so my time for reading and writing here has been less.

What did you write about this week?  To participate in Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival, go to your blog and create a post entitled Sunday Snippets--A Catholic carnival, and in it highlight one or more of  your posts from this week, including link(s) to the post(s).  In that post, also include a link to this post.  Then come back here and sign Mr. Linky, giving a link to your post.

If you'd like a reminder to post weekly, subscribe to our yahoogroup.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

Hi folks!  It seems that winter has at last loosed its grip on us.  Last Sunday was beautiful and I spent most of it in the backyard with a book--earning myself a painfully sunburned neck.  Today my brother and sister from Georgia met the rest of the family at my dad's in Mississippi and we boiled crawfish.  A good time was had by all and we finished the evening by attending mass in my childhood parish, where I saw a couple of people with whom I went to high school.

I was supposed to work all afternoon tomorrow selling GS cookies but the leader called tonite and said that they sold out today and can't get more.

On the blogging front this week, I am giving away an Exergen TemporalScan thermometer.  I'm not sure how it would work for basal body temps, but for an easy way to take a kid's temperature, this thing is great.  My "From My Reader" post has some links that may interest you all.

Sunday Snippet--A Catholic Carnival is a way for Catholic bloggers to get to know each other and share our best posts.  If you are a Catholic blogger, whether you blog about Catholic things occasionally or exclusively, you are welcome to join us.  To participate, go to your blog and create a post titled "Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival".  In it, highlight and link to your best posts of the week, and include a link back here.  Then come back here and sign Mr. Linky, leaving the link to your post.

If you'd like a reminder to post weekly, subscribe to our yahoogroup.

Here is Mr. Linky--I added him after publishing originally.  Thanks Nod!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

From My Reader

I haven't done one of these lately and tonite there are over 700 posts in my reader, so let's see what catches my eye.

Kris on Cheap Healthy Good has links to budgets, pricebooks, grocery lists and the like.
Sheri at the Semicolon Blog shares a music video. Pro-life all the way.
Want to know about Real Moms?
Dawn has an interesting article about men in the church.
Sherri has a good post on healthcare reform.


Mama Buzz Review and Giveaway: Exergen TemporalScanner Thermometer

Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer MODEL# 2000COne task most new moms dread is taking their baby's temperature.  When I had my oldest, they taught us how to when I was in the hospital and our discharge kit included a glass rectal thermometer.  Of course you not only had to know how to insert it, but how to read it.  Baby wasn't fond of the operation either.  Next, the ear thermometers were the thing, and I guess they still sell them.  My doctor's office used them for a while, but quit, saying they weren't accurate.  I just thought they were expensive.  I bought a digital thermometer and used it under my kids arms, or, when they got older, in their mouths.  Still, my preferred method of temperature taking was to kiss their forehead and declare that they didn't have a fever, had a low fever, or a high fever.  I really didn't see the need to know more than that most of the time and the in-exact nature of my method did not matter.

I recently received a free review sample of the latest thing in thermometers, an Exergen TemporalScanner Thermometer. I wish it had been in my discharge kit when I had my first baby, and it will be the device we will use here to measure temperature.  You simply uncap the device (my kids have found that it doesn't work well if you forget this step) and swipe it across the patient's forehead.  The temperature is displayed digitally.

Does it work?  Well, at this moment, my entire family is healthy, so we all should have temps at or near 98.6. I didn't check us with the other thermometers because I couldn't find them, and besides, my test subjects don't like them.  I went to each person and scanned his/her forehead five times, one right after the other, so presumably there should have been no change, as each  person was seated when it was his/her turn.  Here are the results:

Dad:  98.2, 97.9, 97.8, 98.1, 98.3
17 y.o.:  97.9, 98.0, 97.6, 97.4, 98.0
14 y.o.  99.6, 98.6, 98.5, 98.3, 98.3
5 y.o.:  99, 99, 98.9, 99.2, 99

My conclusions:  If you need a thermometer to take your child's temperature to see if she/he has a fever, and having the thermometer off by a tenth of a degree or so isn't going to make a difference, then I'd say this is the device for you.  It is big enough that is isn't going to get lost in a drawer and in the real world, for taking the temperature of a sick child, it doesn't really matter if the "real" temperature is 102.8 or 103.  It is easy to use, and if your child doesn't want to cooperate, holding anyone below the age of about 10 still enough to use this long enough to use it, should be possible, whereas most other methods require at least a modicum of cooperation from the child.  Using other types of thermometers may give results just as inconsistent as these (or more so if affected by things such as ambient temperature or food/drink intake, or the child not holding the  thermometer properly in his/her mouth). sells them for $33.29 Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer MODEL# 2000C which I consider very reasonable for never having to fight to take a child's temperature.

If you are charting basal body temps as a method of family planning, I'm not sure if this would give consistent enough results for that.  (If you aren't familiar with temperatures and Natural Family Planning, you are looking for a 4/10 degree rise in your temp, taken before you get out of bed in the morning).  I'm not ovulating regularly anymore so I didn't use myself as a test subject.  If anyone has tried it for that use, I'd love to hear about it.

For more information, check out the Exergen website and Exergen's Facebook Page (which links to giveaways).

If this sounds like the thermometer for you, I am able to offer you a $5.00 rebate coupon so that you may purchase one.

Also, the nice folks at Exergen are allowing me to give away one free TemporalScanner Thermometer to be mailed to the US or Canada only.  Contest ends April 1, 2010.

For one entry, leave a comment telling why you want to win, and leaving me an email address.
For another entry, blog, tweet, facebook etc. about this contest, and leave me a link.
For another entry, check my archives for last March.  Leave a comment on the review of a book you'd like to read, and a comment here saying which book you'd like to read.
For another entry, follow me, or tell me that you already do.

This is a MamaBuzz review, and if you check the MamaBzz site, you'll find links to other tour stops (and giveaways) (It isn't up yet, but should be soon).
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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Well, I'm keeping up with the mailman.  I got two books in this week, and I've read two books this weekend.  What did I get?
Montana LegacyMontana Legacy came from the nice folks at Hachette for a blog tour the week of March 22.  I'll also be doing a giveaway, so stay tuned.  It was a good romance, with the main character being the man rather than the woman.

Scattered Petals: A Novel (Texas Dreams)Scattered Petals: A Novel (Texas Dreams) is a Christian romance I'm reading for a blog tour the week of March 22.  I'm only a couple of chapters into it, but so far, so good.  I will say I though of Amy's post on covers when I saw this one.

To see what folks have been getting this week, see Marsha's blog, The Printed Page.

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