Friday, January 30, 2015

The Friday 56 - Week 212

Welcome to Week 212!

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post to the Linky at Freda's Voice. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.

It finally arrived! The book that fans have been clamoring for over the last several decades: the release of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Pioneer Girl manuscript, the basis for her famous Little House books.

This annotated autobiography is edited by Pamela Smith Hill, author of Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer's Life. Since page 56 was just a map, this excerpt is from page 156.

14. Ma was afraid. In By the Shores of Silver Lake, Wilder used Ma's fear to reinforce the unspoken conflict between her parents and their views of the American West: "[Ma] did not say anything because nothing she could say would make any difference. Bu Laura knew Ma had never wanted to leave Plum Creek and did not like to be here now" (p.66).

Thursday, January 29, 2015

PBS KIDS Announces Annual Writing Contest!


The PBS KIDS Writers Contest is designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. The contest is open to children in grades K-3 and encourages creative thinking and storytelling, while building literacy skills through the creation and illustration of original stories.

To enter, kids can submit stories to their local stations, and local winners will then be entered into the national contest. National winners will be announced during the summer of 2015, and the winning stories will be featured on

This year, the judges include acclaimed writers, producers and children’s media creators, including Marc Brown, author and illustrator of the ARTHUR book series, and the Kratt Brothers, Martin and Chris, from the PBS KIDS show WILD KRATTS. The national winners will receive prize packages including ARTHUR books and a personal technology device courtesy of PBS.

To enter the contest and for more information on entry rules and contest resources, visit or your local PBS station website.

As a Busy Mom Thinks

Today is the release of a new regular column at The Busy Mom's Daily. This idea has been in the back of my mind for quite a while. When it began percolating, I envisioned it as a way to share opinions about a variety of things; a springboard for discussions with other busy moms. Let’s face it, not only do we busy moms work hard, we have opinions about a variety of topics. We should be able to share and discuss them whenever we want.

The title of this new column, “As a Busy Mom Thinks,” has its origins with Laura Ingalls Wilder. Before becoming a world famous children’s author, Wilder wrote a regular column for the Missouri Ruralist entitled, “As a Farm Woman Thinks.” She discussed home, family, and world events. I envision “As a Busy Mom Thinks” to be similar.

If you are interested in writing a guest post for “As a Busy Mom Thinks,” please email me at

I’m going to kick off this column with a bit of a rant. Why not start with a bang, right?

Why is it that working moms are expected to juggle family life and career, but working dads aren’t always expected to help out around the house?

When we first moved in here, both of us worked outside the home. Once I left the corporate world to become a stay-at-home mom, I felt part of my contribution was to take care of the house and run errands. For some reason, however, the expectation is that despite me working 40 hours a week now, I should still be the one to do all the laundry, cook, keep the house clean, and run errands. Do I look like Wonder Woman?

So, I must ask, is it the same way at your house or do I simply need to put my foot down?

Hope you enjoy this new column. I look forward to our discussions.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Win a Copy of Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen at The Book Connection

Just when you think every book has been written that has a Laura Ingalls Wilder connection, you come across something so unique and fascinating that it begs your attention. Pioneer Girl tells the story of Lee Lein, who finds herself jobless after obtaining her PhD in American literature. She heads home to a Chicago suburb to work in her mother and grandfather's cafe. The tense relationship with her mother only worsens, and then her brother disappears without a trace, leaving behind a gold brooch from her mother's past in Vietnam that was left behind by an American reporter who visited her grandfather's original cafe in 1965. Based upon a passage from the Little House books, Lee is convinced the reporter was Rose Wilder Lane, the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Does this pin connect her family to one of America's famous pioneering legacies? 

There is so much to this novel, I simply can't state it here and keep the post at a reasonable length. You can read my full review here.

Enter for your chance to win a FREE paperback copy of Pioneer Girl here!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Kindle Freebie: Priceless Proverbs by Kristi Porter

Priceless Proverbs Book 2 continues where book one left off - with over one hundred additional kid quotes and illustrations. It is the result of hundreds of interviews with young children ages three to twelve, who were presented with the first half of a famous saying or proverb and then asked to finish it themselves.

It began as part of a larger class project by teacher Kristi Porter and the children of Happi Kamper Child Care, located in North Muskegon, Michigan. Each child was to create an individual gift book for his or her parents, and Priceless Proverbs was simply to be one chapter in each child’s book.

Now, the individual answers of the Happi Kamper Kids, as well as those of the children at Community United Methodist Preschool, and Power Play Childcare in N. Muskegon have been combined. Their diverse, candid, and uncensored answers may surprise you, or even make you laugh out loud, as you get a quick glimpse into the amazing and intricate minds of some of the most delightful and fascinating children around. Enjoy!

File Size: 3901 KB
Print Length: 109 pages
Publisher: Happi Kamper Press (November 1, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0692304185
ISBN-13: 978-0692304181

Purchase here!

Mailbox Monday - January 26

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Well, we are hunkering down for the historic Nor'easter that is on its way tonight through early Wednesday morning. I have a feeling the girls will be home from school for the next two days. At least I have plenty of reading material.

This is a book that I requested for a March blog tour. I don't know why I keep adding more books to my already overloaded TBR pile, but what can I say, I am a book addict.

Jago Tanner is a loner. He works up a good hunger at his outdoors pursuits centre in Wales and looks upon each female conquest as just another meal. When he’s sated, he doesn’t go back for dessert. Until Riley shows up. A Londoner hired through an agency to assist him with activities, she isn’t at all what he asked for. For starters, with the name Riley, he expected a man. But Riley is all woman—the sexiest woman Jago has ever laid eyes on. Unfortunately she dresses like a trollop and curses like a sailor. Though ignorant about most outdoors pursuits, she’s a skilled horsewoman, able to calm even his nerviest stallion. And her lively and generous nature enchants his housekeeper Emily and his ancient friend, Tom. In short, Jago’s new employee is a bundle of contradictions. Which is why, when Jago falls for her, he doesn’t trust his feelings. Riley seems unusually accident prone, and when her brother’s shady friends menace her, she plays the innocent. But how can anyone so self-sufficient and mouthy also be so trusting and na├»ve? And can a man with Jago’s volatile nature endure the jealousy a woman like Riley provokes just by strolling down the street?

I'm also on a freebie purchasing binge lately. Here are some free Kindle downloads I discovered. The scary thing is that they are all mysteries of some kind. I promise, these are not research for some diabolical plan I am hatching.

There’s more than one secret in the old Blackmoore house. Some have been buried for a long time and some are sitting closer to the surface. Morgan and Fiona Blackmoore enjoy their simple life in the sleepy ocean-side town of Noquitt Maine where they offer herbal remedies and crystal healing for locals and tourists alike.... Until Morgan is accused of killing the town shrew, Prudence Littlefield.

It is 1929. Asharton Manor stands alone in the middle of a pine forest, once the place where ancient pagan ceremonies were undertaken in honour of the goddess Astarte. The Manor is one of the most beautiful stately homes in the West Country and seems like a palace to Joan Hart, newly arrived from London to take up a servant’s position as the head kitchen maid. Getting to grips with her new role and with her fellow workers, Joan is kept busy, but not too busy to notice that the glittering surface of life at the Manor might be hiding some dark secrets. The beautiful and wealthy mistress of the house, Delphine Denford, keeps falling ill but why? Confiding her thoughts to her friend and fellow housemaid, feisty Verity Hunter, Joan is unsure of what exactly is making her uneasy, but then Delphine Denford dies…

Armed only with their own good sense and quick thinking, Joan and Verity must pit their wits against a cunning murderer in order to bring them to justice.

Death at the Manor is the first in the Asharton Manor Mysteries series: a four part series of novellas spanning the twentieth century. Each standalone story uses Asharton Manor as the backdrop to a devious and twisting crime mystery, from bestselling crime writer Celina Grace, author of The Kate Redman Mysteries.

Includes Holiday Drink Recipes!

After breaking up with hunky movie star Nick Doyle, Grammy Award-winning singer Emma Wild returns to her hometown for Christmas to get away from it all. In Hartfield, a small town in Ontario, Canada, she gets caught up in a murder case after a fan's drink is poisoned at the Chocoholic Cafe, owned by Emma's sister Mirabelle.

Who is the killer and was the drink originally intended for Emma?

To add to the chaos, Sterling Matthews is the detective on the case. He'd shattered her heart nine years ago and inspired all her hit singles, but now they must work together to find the murderer before the murderer finds Emma.

Join Emma Wild on her first adventure in the first book of Harper Lin's 4-Book holiday mystery series.

It's the summer of 1879, and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, is in trouble. Annie's husband squandered her fortune before committing suicide five years earlier, and one of his creditors is now threatening to take the boardinghouse she owns to pay off a debt. Annie Fuller also has a secret. She supplements her income by giving domestic and business advice as Madam Sibyl, one of San Francisco's most exclusive clairvoyants, and one of Madam Sibyl's clients, Matthew Voss, has died. The police believe his death was suicide brought upon by bankruptcy, but Annie believes Voss has been murdered and that his assets have been stolen. Nate Dawson has a problem. As the Voss family lawyer, he would love to believe that Matthew Voss didn't leave his grieving family destitute. But that would mean working with Annie Fuller, a woman who alternatively attracts and infuriates him as she shatters every notion he ever had of proper ladylike behavior. Sparks fly as Anne and Nate pursue the truth about the murder of Matthew Voss in this light-hearted historical mystery set in the foggy gas-lit world of Victorian San Francisco.

My Favorite Corpse centers around Ashley Sands, the owner of a mystery-themed inn located on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. An amateur sleuth, Ashley finds a corpse washed to shore at her inn's private beach. She must learn what happened before her guests begin checking out. While Ashley’s mystery weekend guests usually enjoy the occasional dead body, they prefer the never-previously-animated kind.

Did you receive any neat books in your mailbox?