Monday, January 30, 2017

Mailbox Monday - Jan 30

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.

The month has flown by around here. I can't believe it is almost over. One of my Christmas trees is still up. What has been going on in my busy little world?

We gained a new family member......

This is Theo. We love him. The cats hate him. He's a puppy and he's still learning, so everyone is adjusting.

Career is going well. In 2016 I increased my business 66% over the previous year and I've set an aggressive goal for myself for 2017. This month I had a closing and have a buyer under contract in town. Looking forward to another closing in a few weeks. I also listed two commercial properties for lease. 

Our company unveiled a cash back program for sellers listing their homes with Real Living. It's a great program and they will have an ad running during the Super Bowl. Go Pats!

My father-in-law has been very ill. We brought him home from the nursing home two Mondays ago and I had to rush him to the hospital Tuesday. After days of antibiotics and fluids he pulled through and is now in rehab. Taking care of my in-laws has definitely made life challenging, but family comes first.

As for reading, not much going on around here, but I did receive two books last week. I won this first one from Virginia Vaughn. 

This next one I received from Bill Fields when I signed up for an eight-week training program with him. I've worked with Bill before. He has a lot of great advice and he's helped me to put some habits into place for my business to run more efficiently. 

That's it from my neck of the woods. Hope all is well with you. Feel free to share what was in your mailbox last week.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Spotlight: Food Junkies by Vera Tarman, MD and Phil Werdell

Is it possible to be addicted to food? When does indulging in 'comfort' food become substance abuse? Is it possible that there is more than a lack of will power at work when someone can't stop eating? In Food Junkies, Vera Tarman and Phil Werdell explain what is - and isn't - food addiction, tackling this complex and poorly understood problem through the stories of many survivors and from the perspectives of medical researchers/practitioners. They break down the science behind the research so that anyone can understand it, and take a fresh look at obesity, overeating, binge eating, anorexia and bulimia. For people struggling with these issues — and their families — recognizing the condition is the first step to gaining the kind of support and advice they need.

Food Junkies (finalist in the 2016 Voice Arts Awards) offers hope and guidance. Read by Lisa Bunting, according to one audible customer review, her "calming voice assists with decreasing the shame so often found with addiction and can open the listener up to actually hearing," while another noted the audiobook version "brought the science to life in a different way than the book. It made it even more real as one can't 'skim' or 'rush' through the life-changing content."



Buy links for the book:

Vera Tarman is a medical practitioner who focuses on addictions. She is the medical director of Renascent, an addictions treatment centre. Dr. Tarman conducts workshops and speaking engagements on the science of food addiction and "comfort food" abuse. She has reached audiences across the world. She lives in Toronto.

Phil Werdell is a recovering food addict, a social work clinician, and an educator. He is the primary organizer of the Food Addiction Institute and the International Society of Food Addiction Professionals, and is Director of ACORN’s Professional Training Program. Phil currently teaches Addictions Studies at Springfield College, School of Human Services, Tampa. He lives in Florida.


Lisa Bunting is a stage, screen and voice actor, drama instructor, audition coach, and professional skills development simulator. For Post Hypnotic Press, she has narrated the non-fiction self-help titles The Woman Who Changed Her Brain, The Remarriage Blueprint, Voice Arts Awards-nominated Food Junkies and the forthcoming i-Minds. She was named Best Supporting Actress at LA’s Focus International Film Festival, Winter 2015. She is a member of Canadian Actors’ Equity and ACTRA.

Vera Tarman:

Phil Werdell:

Lisa Bunting:

Post Hypnotic Press:

Monday, January 9, 2017

Mailbox Monday - Jan 9

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.

My mailbox certainly looks like that one in the picture after the 4 inches or so of the white stuff we received Saturday. We had a good week overall. I'm fully back to work now that the holidays are over and my father-in-law should be coming home from the nursing home in a few days, so we are preparing for that.

Nothing new in my mailbox, but I did pick up this freebie from Tonya Kappes recently.

For Holly Englehardt, Christmas has always been a special day filled with family, friends, and a wacky tradition of watching Breakfast At Tiffany's while dressed up in the stars costumes. . .…tiara tiaras and all.

Holly's biggest client insists on having a Skype call on Christmas day to secure a deal of a lifetime, which is fine with her, because this year she's going to make a new tradition. ; Celebrating Christmas alone with her cat at her snowy remote family cabin as family and friends go their separate ways to celebrate the holiday.

When things everything start starts to go array, Holly has to call on her hunky neighbor for help in order to secure the her deal of a lifetime.

Will it all work out or will Holly pull the quilt over her head waiting for Christmas to be over?

That's it from me. Hope you have a great week.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Book Review: Madam President by William Hazelgrove

Long before there was 24 hours news and calls for transparency, a president's wife and his personal physician were able to cover up the fact that he was gravely ill and she had stepped in to run the country.

In Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson, best-selling author William Hazelgrove creates an engaging account of a strong, independent-minded woman whose devotion to her husband ran so deep she would deceive an entire nation.

During Woodrow Wilson's second term in office, physical strain and ill health led to him suffering a devastating stroke that left him confined to bed for weeks and sequestered from everyone except his second wife, Edith, and his personal physician, Dr. Grayson. Knowing the importance of reducing her husband's stress, Edith--who had always been kept abreast of current affairs--began selecting what matters she would share with the president and delegated others to cabinet members. Hazelgrove's account sheds significant light on this period of time that Edith was secretly running the county. Though she had limited schooling, her close relationship with her husband and his acceptance of women playing a greater role than society found acceptable paved the way for her to step into his shoes.

Hazelgrove doesn't sugarcoat things, though. Edith had a darker side. She disliked certain people with as much passion as she loved her husband. She could hold grudges for a long time. Her contempt for  Wilson's vice-president, Thomas Marshall, was part of the reason she embarked upon what she called as her "stewardship" during her husband's illness. She also sought to replace people she felt were disloyal to him.

Madam President shares a great deal of personal and historical information, making this a love story that unfolds during one of the most tumultuous times in American history. Though I was fully aware of the history and of Wilson's incapacitation, I honestly didn't know much about Edith Wilson. She truly was a woman before her time. Madam President is a fascinating account of this complex, staunchly loyal woman.

File Size: 1459 KB
Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Regnery History (October 18, 2016)
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English

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

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Book Review: A Tree's Christmas by James Andrew Bowen

A Tree's Christmas by James Andrew Bowen must be one of the most beautiful, magical tales of the season ever written.

As has long been a family tradition, once the season is over the Christmas tree is taken out to the yard and placed in the garden to lay until spring. After this particular Christmas, the trees around the garden wake from their winter slumber to hear the story of the young fir and the important part he played in the family's lives.

Once in a while a seasonal story touches your heart in such a way you can't help but share it. That's certainly true of A Tree's Christmas. I smiled. I cried. It truly warmed my heart. This is a book that will be treasured for years to come. The reading of A Tree's Christmas would be the perfect tradition to start in your home. I know I'll be starting it in mine.

Hardcover: 68 pages
Publisher: Clearview Communications Publishing; 1st edition (September 2, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0979359317
ISBN-13: 978-0979359316

I received a free copy from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinion, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Mailbox Monday - Jan 2

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 new year, everyone! I hope you had a nice holiday season. I'm spending this last day before getting back to full-time work organizing my office and enjoying some peace and quiet.

It's also goal setting time. I've set my writing goals and reading goals. My first business planning meeting of the year is Friday. While my business plan has been set for a few weeks now, I need to nail down my goals to achieve that plan by then. As for personal goals, I have just two (and one of them is related to my work schedule):
  • Dedicate time each week to what I enjoy most: family, reading, cooking and gardening;
  • Continue my health and wellness plan from 2016. 
I think Tuesday will be my day off from real estate. Weekends are usually busy for agents, so that's not feasible. Eventually I hope to have a couple of agents working with me so that I can take weekends off, but until then I must plan Saturdays and Sundays as work days.

Last year, I lost 14 pounds to bring me to my goal weight. In the past couple of months I've been so busy I haven't exercised much, but better food choices have allowed me to maintain my weight. This morning, I decided to exercise and plan to time block three days a week to exercise going forward. 

As far as my mailbox goes, it's been slow since Christmas. I did, however, download a couple of writing craft books on character development.

Character development can be one of the hardest aspects of great writing. You may have a great plot and story line but if the characters aren't real or just don't fit in--the whole story is a flop.

This short workshop will help you develop meaningful, true-to-life characters. Get personal with them, get inside their head and learn to create compelling characters from the inside-out.

How do you create a main character readers won't forget? How do you write a book in multiple-third-person point of view without confusing your readers (or yourself)? How do you plant essential information about a character's past into a story?

Write Great Fiction: Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint by award-winning author Nancy Kress answers all of these questions and more! This accessible book is filled with interactive exercises and valuable advice that teaches you how to:

•Choose and execute the best point of view for your story
•Create three-dimensional and believable characters
•Develop your characters' emotions
•Create realistic love, fight, and death scenes
•Use frustration to motivate your characters and drive your story

With dozens of excerpts from some of today's most popular writers, Write Great Fiction: Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint provides you with the techniques you need to create characters and stories sure to linger in the hearts and minds of agents, editors, and readers long after they've finished your book.

That's it for this week. Wishing all of you a year filled with health and happiness.