Monday, May 22, 2017

Mailbox Monday - May 22



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.

Happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend. The weather was good here and it gave me a chance to spread some mulch down and refresh that area of the yard I designated for my wildlife friends. I also sold a house. Real estate has kept me very busy this year. The market is booming: low inventory and high buyer demand have increased prices.

On the book front, I've been playing catch up. These reviews were posted recently:

Organizing for Your Lifestyle
Food Junkies
The Joyful Business Planner
Creating a Life Worth Living, Volume 1

The Friends of the Wilbraham Public Library held their annual book sale at the beginning of May. Here's what I picked up from there:



Most of them are research materials for my writing, but I did pick up a couple of novels.

Last week, Charlotte Hubbard sent me her upcoming release. She has a book tour coming up soon.

Founded by the three Bender sisters, the Amish community of Promise Lodge is thriving—and growing. In fact, residents are thrilled to welcome a charismatic new arrival—one who may not just strengthen their faith, but put it to the test . . .

When Christine Bender meets widowed Bishop Monroe Burkholder, it’s love at first sight. But Preacher Amos finds him too good to be true, and is determined to find out what’s behind his sudden, unannounced arrival. Still, the colony needs a new bishop, and everyone is excited to have a younger, more progressive leader. As for Christine, Monroe returns her affection, but her bubble is soon burst with the arrival of a young woman half his age . . .

Leola Duff claims Monroe “ruined” her and she now intends to make an honest man of him. But throughout the process of discovering the truth, Christine never doubts that Monroe is the fine man she believes him to be—and never wavers in her faith that all will work out as it should. And when Monroe is forced to confess the truth before the entire congregation, he can only pray that open hearts and minds will prevail, allowing him a future at Promise Lodge—with Christine . . .

That's it for me this week. Hope you'll share your new mailbox.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Book Review: The Joyful Business Planner by Kate Martin

Where has this business planner been for the past three decades of my life? The Joyful Business Planner by Kate Martin is unlike anything you've probably seen before--which is why the author says she put it together.

Broken down into five sections--Business Overview, Marketing, Yearly Tracking, Calendars, and Wish Lists and Aspirations--this planner has the systems to get you organized and on track to meet your goals.

What I love about this book (everything really, but...):
  • It's less than 100 pages (perfect for busy small business owners like me);
  • It is short on narration and long on helpful templates to put the right systems in place;
  • There is one sheet that is a look at your current year at a glance that you can complete and hang in your office to stay focused;
  • One chapter focuses solely on social media marketing (including blogging);
I could go on and on about The Joyful Business Planner, but in the end all I need to say is this: if you are a small business owner, The Joyful Business Planner is an essential tool for success. 

Paperback: 92 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 13, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1539141810
ISBN-13: 978-1539141815

I received a digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Book Review: Food Junkies by Vera Tarman & Phil Werdell Read by Lisa Bunting


This is one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. Food Junkies: The Truth about Food Addiction by Vera Tarman and Phil Werdell and Read by Lisa Bunting is an in-depth look into food addiction with accounts from struggling addicts, a look into the shame of the addiction, and offers practical advice for people struggling with problems of overeating, binge eating, anorexia, and bulimia.

As someone who has struggled to eat healthy, Food Junkies was an eye-opening read. Learning about a variety of addictions and also how our bodies interact with what we eat is certainly helpful. Even when you know the health concerns, it isn't always easy not to over-indulge. Imagine how much more difficult it must be to cope with a food addiction and the shame that can come with it. There are stories of addiction in this book that will be tough to read, but if they help someone it will be worth it.

Audible doesn't always work well with my device, so I purchased the Kindle version. I did, however, download the audio version on my PC and thought Bunting's tone and inflection good for this topic.

If you're dealing with food addiction or know someone who is, Food Junkies is definitely worth reading; though I think it's a fascinating read for anyone interested in food and your body.


Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 8 hours and 20 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press
Audible.com Release Date: July 7, 2016
Language: English

I received an audio version of this book from the authors through Goddess Fish Promotions. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Book Review: Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller

It has long been my dream to get more organized. I'm not bad at it, but over the years the family has collected more things than we can ever use and I'm at the point where I don't want to look at it anymore. I've also never liked our closet storage. So, when Jane Stoller's publicist asked me if I would like to review Organizing for Your Lifestyle: Adaptable Inspirations from Socks to Suitcases, I jumped at the chance.

An organizer from a very young age, Stoller has put together a book that will inspire you to get organized for good. Get ideas on how to design your closet, tips on how best to hang your clothes, learn how to keep the bathroom toiletries in order and keep your kitchen tidy, learn traveling tips and more.

Organizing for Your Lifestyle is just the right size for the busy mom because it provides the information you need in under 130 pages. You can slip it in your purse and read it a little at time--maybe take some notes--and put together a plan of action. The pictures are an added bonus.

There are two hard things about organization--getting organized and staying organized. Stoller helps you to do both. My plan of action is already in the works and I look forward to sharing the results with my readers in the future.

If you're tired of living the life of the eternally disorganized, pick up a copy of Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller. It will empower you to change your ways.


Paperback: 148 pages
Publisher: BookBaby (August 4, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1483570959
ISBN-13: 978-1483570952

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Diary of a Busy Mom - The Blessing of Trials




It's hard to believe that April 28 was my last post. I really miss blogging, but there has been little time for it. The real estate market is hot and I've had three new listings over the last few weeks. Two of them are already under contract: a sign of the limited housing inventory and how swiftly properties are moving. 

The house is a mess. I’m putting in twelve-hour days. My goal of bringing my office down to the first floor remains unachieved. Reading time is almost as non-existent as blogging time.

Over the last four weeks our family has traveled through and, thankfully, out of a valley. My husband was laid off. Both our cars needed expensive repairs. A dear friend passed away. But God is good! Hubby is back to work. Our friend’s son has been a sleepover guest. I had a chance to participate in my first Author’s Fair at the local library. We’ve had the joy of watching our girls’ concerts as the school year begins to wind down and our annual vacation to North Carolina is coming closer. We are hoping to plan a surprise for the Lil’ Diva’s sixteenth birthday too. Shhhhhh!

Life certainly is a mix of trials and blessings. We learn to praise God not only for the blessings, but for the trials as well. For without the trials, how could we ever come to appreciate how much He truly loves us? Would the blessings seem as sweet if we never traveled through a desert place? I can’t imagine they would. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Book Review & Giveaway: A Mother's Love by Charlotte Hubbard

Revealed secrets, love and forgiveness swirl through this superb new novel from Charlotte Hubbard.

A Mother's Love tells the story of Widow Rose Raber, who lost her father and husband in a sawmill fire. Raising her daughter Gracie while caring for her sick mother has been challenging. Then when on her death bed Lydia reveals Rose was adopted and she is not to seek out her birth mother because that woman has too much to lose if the secret comes out, her world is turned upside down. As Rose struggles to reconcile the truth with her faith, newcomer Matthias Wagler is another unexpected surprise in her life.

When her birth mother unexpectedly shows up at Rose's new job, their bond is instant and unmistakable. But Saul Hartzler isn't a man to be reckoned with. He soon realizes his wife's deception and is appalled that she bore a child he knew nothing about. Now this truth threatens Matthais' livelihood and Rose's future. Rose and Matthias must place all their faith in God and trust He will provide a miraculous resolution.

A Mother's Love is a captivating story. From the very first moment the reader is drawn into Rose's life: the ache of the loss of her family, her uncertainty and anger over learning about her birth mother, the challenges of being a single parent, the desire to find her birth mother, the need to carve out a new life for Gracie and her, and so much more. This story will tug at your heartstrings as much as it will comfort you in realizing that God works out all things for the good of His people.

With each new novel I read from Charlotte Hubbard I think, this is the best story she has ever written. Then she amazes me by writing another fabulous story that is even better. If you haven't read anything by Hubbard before, you're missing out on one of the best names in Amish fiction. Pick up a copy of A Mother's Love today and find out for yourself.

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Kensington (March 28, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 149670844X
ISBN-13: 978-1496708441

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.



Click on these links to buy this book now!


Ebook: 

Charlotte will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while she was still a school librarian—Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. This launched her into writing around seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and she’s been a slave to her overactive imagination ever since. Over the course of her writing career, she has sold nearly 50 books—most recently, Amish romance series she’s written as Charlotte Hubbard or Naomi King.

Charlotte lived in Missouri for most of her life, so her Amish stories are set in imaginary Missouri towns. These days she lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

WEBSITE www.CharlotteHubbard.com

Facebook www.Facebook.com/Charlotte.Hubbard1

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book Spotlight: Beethoven in Love by Howard J. Smith





We're happy to host Howard J. Smith's BEETHOVEN IN LOVE: OPUS 139 Virtual Book Tour today! Please leave a comment to let him know you stopped by!



Title:
BEETHOVEN IN LOVE; OPUS 139

Author: Howard Jay Smith

Publisher: SYQ

Pages: 385

Genre: Literary Fiction/Biographical Fiction

At the moment of his death, Ludwig van Beethoven pleads with Providence to grant him a final wish—one day, just a single day of pure joy. But first he must confront the many failings in his life, so the
great composer and exceedingly complex man begins an odyssey into the netherworld of his past life led by a spirit guide who certainly seems to be Napoleon, who died six years before. This ghost of the former emperor, whom the historical Beethoven both revered and despised, struggles to compel the composer to confront the ugliness as well as the beauty and accomplishments of his past. 

As Beethoven ultimately faces the realities of his just-ended life, we encounter the women who loved and inspired him. In their own voices, we discover their Beethoven—a lover with whom they savor
the profound beauty and passion of his creations. And it’s in the arms of his beloveds that he comes to terms with the meaning of his life and experiences the moment of true joy he has always sought.

Purchase Information:

Amazon




Book Excerpt:



Prologue:
The Death of Beethoven
Vienna, 5:00 pm,
March
26, 1827
 
Outside Beethoven’s rooms at the Schwarzspanierhaus, a fresh measure of snow from a late season thunderstorm muffles the chimes of St. Stephens Cathedral as they ring out the hours for the old city.
    Ein, Zwei, Drei, Vier…
Funf  Uhr. 
Five O’clock.
    Beethoven, three months past his fifty-sixth birthday, lies in a coma, as he has now for two nights,
his body bound by the betrayal of an illness whose only virtue was that it proved incurable and would, thankfully, be his last. Though his chest muscles and his lungs wrestle like giants against the approaching blackness, his breathing is so labored that the death rattle can be heard over the grumblings of the heavens throughout his apartment. 
     Muss es sein? Must it be? Ja, es muss sein. Beethoven is dying. From on high, the Gods vent their
grief at his imminent passing and hurl a spear of lightening at
Vienna.
     Their jagged bolt of electricity explodes outside the frost covered windows of the Schwarzspanierhaus with a clap of thunder so violent it startles the composer to consciousness. 
     Beethoven’s eyes open, glassy, unfocused. He looks upward – only the Gods know what he sees, if
anything. He raises his right hand, a hand that has graced a thousand sonatas, and clenches his fist for perhaps the last time. His arm trembles as if railing against the heavens. Tears flood his eyes.
     His arm falls back to the bed… His eyelids close… And then he is gone ...

REVIEW COMING SOON!


About the Author

Howard Jay Smith is an award-winning writer from Santa Barbara, California. BEETHOVEN IN LOVE; OPUS 139 is his third book. A former Washington, D.C. Commission for the Arts Fellow, & Bread Loaf Writers Conference Scholar, he taught for many years in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and has lectured nationally. His short stories, articles and photographs have appeared in the Washington Post, Horizon Magazine, the Journal of the Writers Guild of America, the Ojai Quarterly, and numerous literary and trade publications. While an executive at ABC Television, Embassy TV, and Academy Home Entertainment, he worked on numerous film, television, radio, and commercial projects. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Symphony - "The Best Small City Symphony in America" -  and is a member of the American Beethoven Society.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

INTERVIEW
BOOK CIRCLE ONLINE AT YOUTUBE

INTERVIEW
BLOGTALK RADIO


http://www.pumpupyourbook.com