Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Community fan page for DJ Wilsons books

 Check out this community fan page for DJ Wilson's books. Contests, giveaways and much more announced there.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


A Promise In Pieces Quilts of Love by Emily T. Wierenga
This book starts out with a section called War and it's the present day and the grandparents are in the car with the grandkids as they drive around the battlefields in the DC area. Then it talks of the war and hardship and what Clara Wilson and others had done themselves to support the country.
Another section is entitled Peace and again it starts out in the present time then back to the past to help you understand. The bible plays a large part in the story. Forgiveness, faith in God and friendship. This is the section she returns home after delivering a letter to a widow of a dying soldier that was in her care. She also returns to her home.
Love how the quilt comes into play in this book and what it all signifies and the bigger project. Loved hearing of the journey and their lifes along the way. Easy to keep track of the characters.
I received this book from Net Galley via Abingdon Press in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Books read April 14

 Easy, Elegant and Adorable Easter Treats
Love all the ideas to get everybody involved in making Easter a nice family holiday tradition.
Cards, picnics, egg hunts, etc are just a few. Love the detail it goes into about the holiday itself and how other countries celebrate it.
Food comes with pictures and how long to make them. Very colorful and easy to make.
Also tips on what else to put in a  child's Easter basket.
Recipes towards the back of the book will take a few hours to make-some of them. So pretty though!

25 Awesome Bedtime Stories for 1st-4th Graders (Beginner Readers)
Drawings that are sometimes colorful, children's book about Dan who doodles. Many stories with a moral and teaching a child respect and other life lessons.
Love the one where he tells the class what he wants to be when he grows up and proceeds to not only draw the job but tells what is being done.
Everyone Do The Crab Walk is another good one where a child can feel good about themselves because of what they can do. Some stories are just a few pages and some are 6 pages long. Some are totally silly.
Great stories for any child.

30 Delicious Ice Cream Cake Recipes
What I liked about this from the beginning is that you can substitute for a healthier ice cream cake.
The examples are numerous. Step by step instructions and there are many of them for each recipe.
Lots of different combinations. No pictures and no nutritional information.
I'd like to try the oreo cookie one as it's probably the fastest one to make and less steps to prepare it all. Definitely a treat for a special occasion.

Be Thankful for the Little Things Rhymes and Pictures to Teach Children about Gratitude By Louise Folger
Illustrated very colorful children's book that teaches them to appreciate what they have.
Starts out with things as basic as flowers and spring and to be thankful for those along with bird songs.
Other things that bring a smile to their face are also given a colorful page of things they are thankful for. The page states what they are thankful for and then why.
My favorite page is getting a hug from your grandmother, she is shown with an afghan on her lap and a cup of hot tea-this is me!
Little things also do not have to cost money. Other books by the author are highlighted.
Book encourages you the next time you wake up blue to think about little things and know that God's love is true.
I received this book from Library Thing via the author in exchange for my honest review.

All I Have In This World by Michael Parker
What first prompted me to apply to read this book was the title. It's not the material things we have that will live with us forever.
This is a story about many people and I first found it confusing because of the chapters were from a different year and different people til I realized it was the story of the car and the previous owners lives.
Loved learning about the terrain and nature around the various places the books take you to. Marcus has his dream and realizes he's a failure and tries to make his dream happen. Maria is from a mixed up family and they end up buying the car together.
Found it interesting where their path takes them especially when they are out driving, talking and learning about one another and what they want to do.
Loved the lists and charts. Love how the background of the car and its owners connect to the characters who buy it.
I received this book from Library Thing via Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill in exchange for my honest review.

Carnal Innocence  by Nora Roberts
The world class violinist, Carolyn is moving back to her familys home in Innocence, MS.   
Tucker was being accused to killing Emma Lou who she had stated earlier that day she was pregnant with his child.
Investigation continues as others come to his rescue...Lots going on..
Brutal and tortuous at times and scary.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

I Give You Get Giveaway

I Give, You Get...What A Giveaway!   Ride To Redemption. Get it here!    

Group info:
I Give, You Get...What A Giveaway!
Ride To Redemption. Get it here!

Every paperback giveaway winner will have 4 meals donated to Second Harvest in their honor.

Every e-book sold through Amazon purchases 4 meals to Second Harvest.

Paying it Forward has never been so Easy.

Spread the Word via Facebook and Twitter.

Sign up through goodreads giveaways today!

Contest is open: Apr 10 - Jun 10, 2014
7 copies available. Possibly More.

Righting another's wrong landed D in WITSEC, the witness protection program and cost him family, friends, and everything of substance in his life.

Loneliness is his constant companion until he meets Candi, the girl of his dreams. He and Candi embark on a three-week ride to redemption where they deal with mind-numbing deceit, perilous treachery, their overpowering lust for each other and their personal demons.

Spectacular scenery and a cast of unforgettable characters they meet along the way makes the journey memorable, but nothing prepares them for the sacrifices they must eventually make midway in the ride.

"The more things change, the more they stay the same," sadly, does not ring true for Candice and D throughout this first of a two part series. Lust and greed are forever game-changers, even for those who desperately seek redemption

Friday, April 11, 2014



Books read April 11

The 6 Steps Plan to e-Publishing by Ally Nathaniel I wanted to read this book to help out an author friend get the word out on his new book. This book is written for one who's never published their book. It will walk you through a lot of the sites available to help publish and promote your book. I even clicked on a few of the links to undertand what was going on and they are spot on. So many ways and very very very time consuming to do it all yourself as the author. So many different places you have to visit to sell yourself along with your work. There are many helpful people along the way, some free, some you need to pay. Not every aspect of this book was revelant to my friend's book as it's not a children's book but the general concepts are very well thought out. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to not only publish their ebook but promote it for others to read. The most important part I felt was the keywords used at Amazon to tag to your book. Book trailer was another part that I felt was very important especially in this day and digital components around us. I received this book from Story Cartel via the author in exchange for my honest review.

Castaway Cove by JoAnn Ross
This book in the series, stand alone as well. is about Mac and how he comes home wounded in the war to a wife and toddler. The day he arrives she hands him the key to the house and leaves with her new boyfriend. I can totally see this really happening and it is a book about how he's strong to learn about his daughter and her needs and take care of himself as well.
He ends up moving back to his father's home in Oregon to also help with the care of his grandfather who's in a nursing home and losing more of his memories.
Annie lives in Oregon where she runs a bookstore and runs into Mac often at the nursing home. Mac runs a call in show on the radio at nights and she has called to talk to him a few times that started their relationship.
Love how her girlfriends give her the push she needs to make some moves on him.
Love the tips of how to care for an elder who's losing their memories. Hot steamy sex scenes enhance this book.

I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

The Secret Dinosaur #2: Hunters Attack! (The Dinotek Adventures by N.S. Blackman
Enjoyed the first book in this series especially because of the exploration and adventure.
Illustrated colorful children's books about the mechanical side of the dinosaur species. Summarizes what happens in the first book of this series.
Marlin Maxton has arrived and things start to change with help from his Uncle Gus and the dinosaurs left at the museum. They have plans and they work together as the army is ready to invade and destroy them.
The part I like the best is not only the dinosaurs for my 8 year old grandson but the descriptions of the machinery and how they are assembled.  Such a boy book but girls would enjoy it as well.
Love their three golden rules and they should apply to those reading the book, in their everyday lives.
The hunters are tracking their trail and they are so close to catching them with a new secret weapon...Another plan for the dinotek's come to light. So fascinating to learn about.
I received this gift from the author in exchange for my honest review

 The Secret Dinosaur #3: Jurassic Adventure (The Dinotek Adventure) by N.S. Blackman
Illustrated colorful children's book about mechanical working dinosaurs of years past.
Marlin has gone to live with them once they've escaped to the mountain. They learn new things about one another.
What I like about this book in the series is it teaches you to adapt to your surroundings and to use the barter system to survive. Remember the golden rules!
Love how the things that happened in the past fix the present so there is a future.
I received this gift from the author in exchange for my honest review

Children's book: Don't Let Rocky Get Away! (Parents Library Collection, Stories about toys, Values and principles, Children's Books Ages 6-8, Moral stories
Illustrated colorful children's book and with a review you can get extra content.
Tommy is not allowed to go out to play til he cleans his room. He tries to blame it on his friends that came over the other day. He can barely even get into his room.
Rocky the spider monkey is on the run and he knows how to get back to Tommy's room. Tommy meets other toys he's tossed aside and they want to go back to his room also. They all chase the monkey, he will tell them if they catch him.
Love how they all pitch in to work together. Love moral of the story.

101 Quick & Easy Cupcake and Muffin Recipes by Victoria  Steele
Always looking for new recipes to try out.
Lots of tips and how to when it comes to frosting the cupcakes and what tools to use and special techniques.
Each recipe comes with suggested frosting a handful of pictures and no nutritional information.
Love the combinations of flavors in the batter.  Like to try carrot cupcakes with substitutions for the oil and I'd use egg beater no yolks for a healthier option.
Muffin section also has many useful tips to get you started. Excellent bran muffin section for the most healthiest of muffins!
Other works by the author is highlighted at the end.

A Murder at the Breakers by Alyssa Maxwell
Wanted to read this book because I am very local to this town. I've yet to visit this museum of a house, maybe this year.
Love banter between the woman, Emmaline Cross and her brother, Brady and how he finds himself always in a mess and she is always there to pick up the pieces.
He is a playboy and she works for the local paper writing for the society pages and is always invited to the best of the parties. Loved hearing of all of their everyday problems-just like regular people. Controversies of financial ruin, gambling, yachting to name a few of the happenings.
Love that the story follows the same streets and places we visit today in the city.  When the murder occurs she must help solve it to clear her relative. She fancies a man who combine forces to help one another in each of their missions.
So many people but easy to keep track of and there is an excerpt at the end for the next book in the series-can't wait!
I received this book from The Kennsington Books in exchange for my honest review.

35 Yummy Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes (With Nutritional Information)
Starts out with information and the various slow cookers that can be used.
Even though the recipes do list the nutritional information it's still very high in cholesterol and sodium for our diet.
I'm sure I can find other ingredients to use rather than a package mix=in some cases to make it more healthier.
Some of the recipes don't tell you what a serving size is-very deceiving!  Whole chicken meal would be the best but why not use fresh herbs and spices rather than the sodium filled packet of Lipton soup mix?
Not one of my favorite cookbooks, hope others can find more usefulness out of it. My diet is very strict after the heart attack.
No pictures.

 Home baked bread: Recipes beyond the basic Loaf: Everything You need to Know to Bake 43 Amazing Breads (Home Baked Bread!)
Author from UK goes over the basic step by step instructions on how to make a basic loaf.
The variations of flavors sound appealing. Pictures for each recipe-no nutritional information. Each recipe does include UK/US measurements.
Cornbread mixed with yogurt would be my favorite to try. I have made this before from a different recipe using egg beaters-very healthy.
So much to learn about with the breads introduced and where they originate from.

27 Healthy Muffin Recipes:Homemade Recipes With Nutritional Information
The recipes could be a lot healthier if you cut down on the sodium. By using a prepackaged mix the sodium is included. Why not use just fresh ingredients?
No pictures and most recipes do NOT tell you what a serving size is. I have many different muffin pans from a small to a huge one so that information is crucial to me.
Being on the strict diet we are on sodium and fat and cholesterol are the 3 things we pay attention to.
Eggs - we would use egg beaters with no yolks for a healthy option.
Like the flavor combinations.

You Make Me Proud!  Umesh  Shukla
Illustrated colorful children's book about being proud. The Littleton family puts up a sticky note with important messages to make sure the other knows they are very proud of what the other is doing.
Sharing toys makes the parent proud. The child then writes - you taught me so I am proud of you.
Love little hints all in a day's work. Love the ending, full circle.

Children's Book: Dragon Makes New FRIENDS ( A Gorgeous Illustrated Children's Picture Book for Ages 2-10 )
Illustrated very colorful children's book about making friends. This book also rhymes every sentence with the next one.
The dragon was afraid to make and play with new kids he didn't want to scare them.
When a boy is helped by Drake getting the apple out of the tall tree the others want to get their own apple by climbing the tall tree.
Moral of the story is a good one, it's ok to be different. You can also download a free coloring book-link at the end.

 Canning And Preserving: How To Can, Preserve, And Store Your Food In Jars
I grew up where we always had a huge garden and with the abundance of food we canned and jarred many of it for the winter months.
Very detailed methods of using and sterilizing containers for use=very helpful.
Paragraphs on food poisoning and how to can the right way. Many methods are discussed.
List of utensils and appliances and their cost is discussed.  Besides the list of food that can be preserved it tells you which method to use. Also a listing of food by seasons so you can preserve them as well.
Other components of canning are also talked about along with summary of safety tips.

Temptation by Sherryl Woods
Have read many of the authors later works and know I will enjoy this one as well.
Callie Smith dumped by her husband, her mother is visiting and she's lost her Wall Street job.
Jason Kane, finds her irresistible and plans to make Callie a star. He's director of a soap opera and he wants her full time on his show.
She does not want to go back to the farm to help her mother so her sister sends her mother to her in the city. She feels forced to take the job offer and others resent her being there.
As they spend more time together she learns about what makes him tick: is it all material things or is there a passion collecting the possessions.
The male actor is being threatened by things that are happening at work and she watches for clues at work.
The book also follows her mother and her return to the art world in the city that Callie lives where she is staying. Apartment breakin cause others to take things seriously... Hot steamy sex scenes.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

Winners by Danielle Steel
Love this author's book and can't ever seem to read them all. this one is about Lily and she's training to be an Olympic skier. She lives with her father-her mother died when she was the age of 3.
After the accident he takes her on a world wide trip to find a doctor that will tell her there is a cure for her injury. They do not find that though and she goes home to go to rehab where others have broken off their friendship.
The book also follows the doctor, Jessie who operated on her for 11 hours. At the end she learns of her husband's death and she goes home to take care of the kids. Her path and Bill's meet over time as they discuss Lily's progress and he finds out about her life with the kids.
Loved hearing how Lily is at rehab and the pain and progress she has to overcome while doing class work. Others at the center help as they've been through it before.
Paying it forward in the way of a scholarship/school for others who are afflicted with the same type of injury brought tears to my eyes.
What I like the best is the different ages of those who are effected and how they strive to make the world a better place for not only them or their loved ones.
 I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Book review and giveaway: True Blend by Joanne DeMaio

 True Blend by Joanne DeMaio


 New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio returns to small-town New England in this compelling love story where truth is veiled by secrets.

Vintage bridal shop owner Amy Trewist thinks she'll never recover her quiet life at her beloved farmhouse on an old country road. Not after her two-year-old daughter Grace is kidnapped in an elaborate crime. On one clear morning, in mere minutes, Grace is gone and Amy's world spins into a heartbreaking new place.

George Carbone often spends easy time with his brother. Whether at a ballgame or taking a day trip, it's how they connect. Until one sunny day when the trip is to a bank parking lot and George is drawn into a crime he never sees coming. And into a stricken mother's life he cannot ignore.

In a summer that simmers with the unsolved crime, George is haunted by a bankroll hidden behind kitchen tiles, by a brother who dragged him into this, and by a father who instilled in him a conscience. A conscience challenged when a young child and beautiful woman crossed paths with him and unexpectedly took hold of his heart.

Set among the red barns, lush cornfields and sparkling wishing fountain of Addison, Connecticut, True Blend is a captivating novel that steals your heart and does not let go. Because like the lace wedding gowns hanging on Amy's clothesline, waltzing in the summer breeze, love and secrets twist and spin together in their own mesmerizing dance.

Author Bio:

 Joanne DeMaio is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of BLUE JEANS AND COFFEE BEANS, WHOLE LATTE LIFE, SNOWFLAKES AND COFFEE CAKES, and most recently TRUE BLEND. She lives with her family in Connecticut and is currently at work on her next novel.

Joanne enjoys hearing from readers at Facebook 

Author Goodreads page

I am so happy to announce that my new book TRUE BLEND is now published and available in paperback and eBook. This novel in particular was an absolute thrill to write, and I’m truly excited to share it with you.

Set in my fictional town of Addison, Connecticut, TRUE BLEND is an unexpected love story with a dash of suspense. One that will have two people reexamine all they thought was true—over the course of a hot New England summer.

Other works by Joanne:

My Review:

True Blend by Joanne DeMaio
Without even knowing what this book was about when I was approached to read/review/blog tour I jumped at the chance. I have loved the author's other works and knew this would be a good one also.
I was not disappointed. Starts out with Amy who is a widow of just one year and she has a 2 yo daughter, Grace. They lead a routine schedule but one morning Grace is taken by armed robbers who also take an armored truck.
She obeys their final words and not contact the police for over an hour. She is returned and Amy finds it hard even with her mother there to trust people again. She works at the bridal gown shop out of her house.
The story also follows George Carbone and him being the hero for returning Amy to her mother. Problem is he has issues of his own and never wanted to be part of the armed robbery, never mind taking a child away from her mother. He's also finding it hard to not only trust people but carry on under the guise of being a hero when in his mind, he is not.
Love the locale, hearing of the bridal gown accessories/design work and learning about other career choices described.
Therapy helps Amy and what to expect from her flashbacks and Amy's that might help the police... What amazes me is we as kids growing up also put cards held with clothespins on our bike spokes.
Love how the whole story comes together with pieces from the past days and months that all fit in. Such detailed descriptions of the dates and day trips, priceless!
I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

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