Monday, October 31, 2016

The Perfect Tear by Connie Lansberg (Book Spotlight, Guest Post and Giveaway!)

Today I'm kicking off the tour for a special book. The Perfect Tear is a beautiful story and I look forward to sharing my thoughts on the book with you on Nov 15. For now, please help me welcome singer, songwriter and author Connie Lansberg. Scroll down and read her guest post about how her songwriting is connected to the book and be sure to enter the giveaway to win a copy of The Perfect Tear!

Book Details:

Book Title: The Perfect Tear by Connie Lansberg
Category: YA fiction, 324 pages
Genre: Fairytale / Fantasy
Publisher: Rockit Press
Release date: Dec 15, 2015
Tour dates: Oct 31 to Nov 25, 2016
Content Rating: G (This book is family friendly)

Book Description:

Eleanor, a timid orphan, has no clue to her real purpose, but she also has no desire to become a subservient old maid, like the miserable nuns she is forced to with. Eleanor believes Edward, whom she loves, will save her from being forced to take vows. She knows Mother Superior has no intention of letting her leave–her songs are the only thing keeping the grey mist at bay. Her devastation is complete when she discovers Edward is a prince and heir to the throne, but it is the impetus she needs to leave the safety of the abbey and go in search of her long lost father.

She doesn’t get far before discovering her true destiny. With only her instincts to protect her, she must match wits with a powerful being intent on the destruction of her world. If she does not find The Perfect Tear and release its healing power into the land, she will become an accomplice in the destruction of all she loves.

Buy the Book: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

How My Songwriting is Connected to The Perfect Tear 
by Connie Lansberg

Whether it’s a song or a weighty tome, words have the same importance in creating mood, setting, character, conflict and resolution– story.

As a child, I would sit for hours writing line after line of rhymes just for the fun of it. I didn’t connect that to songwriting until much later. I didn’t actually think I could sing because at that time, I didn’t hear a voice anywhere, that was like mine. On the other hand, there were many terrible singers on the radio and it occurred to me that because they wrote their own songs, no one was judging them against the original version. I always tell a story in my songs and it was actually ten songs I wrote around certain themes that led first to the screenplay and much later the first book in the series.

I took those ten songs and just finished a live studio album which is being mixed as we speak. It goes with the book and I’ve called it Tsera’s Gift. You’ll know the meaning of the title once you’ve read the book. I’ve actually tied together the three aspects of my writing–songs, scripts and books under this one title. I have to say songs are the easiest. They usually come out almost fully formed. Scripts are the hardest because they have a professional language you need to learn and they have to be producer ready. There are very few courses that teach that.

With songwriting you have to be as sparing as possible for the greatest impact. Scripts are tight and very disciplined as are songs, and books are where you can really play. Writing books is like the reward for being disciplined in the other two forms. All three are fun, but with songs, I can take my amazing musicians into the jazz club and play them for people straight away. It’s a wonderful counterpoint to how long scripts and books take to give feedback. The entire story of The Perfect Tear was born out of these ten original songs and hopefully they will make into the movie too–the Perfect Tear could be my perfect circle.

Thank you Laura, for letting me part of your wonderful blog.

Watch the Trailer:

About the Author

Connie Lansberg is a singer/songwriter, scriptwriter and now author with the publication of her first book The Perfect Tear. Connie studied script writing at AFTR and has had songs placed in major Australian TV series. She has just complete an album of songs connected to the book and will be performing these live at her weekly jazz gig in Melbourne.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? Oct 31 Edition

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia who now blogs at To Be Continued. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

It's been such an ugly kind of week: rainy, cold, damp and boring. Same humdrum. Kids have lots of homework and projects, and hubby and I hard at work too. Thanks goodness for family dinners. On that note, I came across this video that was truly touching:

It's worth watching.

Some great books in my mailbox this week! These three are for review:

How could I resist a book with the words "trailblazing women" in it?

Earning It: Hard-Won Lessons from Trailblazing Women at the Top of the Business World by Joann S. Lublin

Among the first female reporters at The Wall Street Journal, Joann S. Lublin faced a number of uphill battles in her career. She became deputy bureau chief of the Journal’s important London bureau, its first run by women. Now, she and dozens of other women who successfully navigated the corporate battlefield share their valuable leadership lessons.

Lublin combines her fascinating story with insightful tales from more than fifty women who reached the highest rungs of the corporate ladder—most of whom became chief executives of public companies —in industries as diverse as retailing, manufacturing, finance, high technology, publishing, advertising, automobiles, and pharmaceuticals. Leaders like Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, as well as Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, and Brenda Barnes, former CEO of Sara Lee, were the first women to run their huge employers. Earning It reveals obstacles such women faced as they fought to make their mark, choices they made, and battles they won—and lost.

Lublin chronicles the major milestones and dilemmas of the work world unique to women, providing candid advice and practical inspiration for women of all ages and at every stage of their careers. The extraordinary women we meet in the pages of Earning It and the hard-won lessons they share provide a compelling career compass that will help all women reach their highest potential without losing a meaningful personal life.

Life, Incorporated: A Practical Guide to Wholehearted Living by Halley Bock

Live Life from the Inside Out
Despite living in a hyperconnected world, individuals are more disconnected from each other and themselves than ever before. In her engaging new book, Life, Incorporated: A Practical Guide to Wholehearted Living, Halley Bock inspires readers to slow down, wake up, and pay mindful attention to all facets of life in order to generate self-worth and to live whole, more gratifying lives.

In conversational prose, Bock shares her own experiences and guides readers toward purposeful living--what she terms as living life from the inside out, with topics ranging from inner life and well-being, personal mission statement to core values, avocation and vocation, and relationships. Bock's focus on connection to the self and others makes Life, Incorporated particularly intriguing. Life, Incorporated is a must-read for anyone interested in redefining and recapturing life and provides a revolutionary alternative to the age-old money = happiness mind-set.

Bock expertly braids her personal path to fulfillment with compelling activities, thought-provoking quotations, and life-changing lessons that will captivate readers along with a journal component to ensure the reader can put this work into practice. Securing mindfulness and balance--from the inside out--is the only way to achieve fulfillment and real happiness. Bock shows the reader just how to make that happen.

This one is set in Italy and in particular the cities of Rome and Venice. I'm really exciting about reading it.

Disruption By Chuck Barret

There are two types of people: those who have been hacked and know it, and those who have been hacked and don’t know it.

Former Naval Intelligence Officer turned secret operative Jake Pendleton finds himself in a pulse-pounding race to stop a cyber-terrorist from releasing a string of the most heinous cyber-crimes the world has ever seen. Crimes that could render the world’s advanced technology useless.

Jake teams with his partner, Francesca Catanzaro, to track down their only lead, a white-hat hacker in Italy known only as The Jew. A man who might hold the key to stop a group of black-hat hackers from causing worldwide chaos—tag named Disruption.

After a search of the hacker’s flat in Rome turns up empty, Jake and Francesca follow the clues—a trail of dead bodies that leads them across Europe. Along the way, Jake discovers a possible link between recent hacks and a Malaysian airliner that mysteriously disappeared.

In the final adrenaline-charged moments before Disruption, Jake and Francesca find themselves in a high-voltage race to stop these cyber terrorists from unleashing destruction against their sworn mortal enemy.

This one was a free Kindle. I love Tamara Leigh's writing but have only read two of her books even though I want to read all of her works.

Baron of Godsmere: A Medieval Romance (The Feud Book 1) by Tamara Leigh

England, 1308. Boursier, De Arell, Verdun—three noblemen who secretly gather to ally against their treacherous lord. But though each is elevated to a baron in his own right and given a portion of his lord’s lands, jealousy and reprisal lead to a twenty-five year feud, pitting family against family, passing father to son.

England, 1333. The chink in Baron Boursier’s armor is his fondness for a lovely face. When it costs him half his sight and brands him as one who abuses women, he vows to never again be “blinded” by beauty. Thus, given the choice between forfeiting his lands and wedding one of his enemies to end their feud, he chooses as his betrothed the lady said to be plain of face, rejecting the lady rumored to be most fair.

On the eve of the deadline to honor the king’s decree of marriage, the fair Elianor of Emberly takes matters into her own hands. Determined none will suffer marriage to the man better known as The Boursier, she sets in motion her plan to imprison him long enough to ensure his barony is forfeited. But when all goes awry and her wrathful enemy compels her to wed him to save his lands, she discovers he is either much changed or much maligned. And the real enemy is one who lurks in their midst. One bent on keeping the feud burning.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Posts From Last Week:

How to Raise a Smart Ass by Lucia Walinchus (Book Spotlight & Giveaway!)

Kid Konnection: Our Love Grows by Anna Pignataro (Review)

Reading Now:

Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.

Hope you all have a great reading week.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Kid Konnection: Our Love Grows by Anna Pignataro (Review)

Our Love Grows is a touching and heartwarming book about a mother panda who takes the time to explain to her little panda bear Pip how he is growing.

Book Details:

Our Love Grows by Anna Pignataro
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
ISBN: 978-1492634188
Published: April 1, 2016
Hardcover, 24 pages
Ages: 4-8 years

Book Description:

In the deep green forest, Pip asked,
"Mama, when will I be big?"

Pip is an adorable, roly-poly little panda who sees the world changing and growing. But Pip is feeling a bit left behind. Luckily Mama is there to show playful and curious Pip that, like the trees in the forest and the stars in the sky, he's growing and changing too. And no matter how much Pip grows, the one thing that will never change is how much Mama loves him!

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Sourcebooks

Our Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani & Son

Our Love Grows is a touching and heartwarming book about a mother panda who takes the time to explain to her little panda bear Pip how he is growing by using the illustration of the forest and their surroundings. It is simply adorable and sweet, perfect for bedtime reading as it provides reassurance for little ones as they get tucked in.

It is a simple story but not simplistic as the author uses comparisons with objects and activities that a small child would quickly understand when explaining how he can tell he is growing. For example:

Birdy (stuffed toy) was all bright and new
and Blankie covered all of you.

Both my son and I liked the watercolor soft illustrations that perfectly reflected the loving tone of the mother panda. We enjoyed the rhyming words that flowed smoothly. And in my son's words, "The ending was beautiful."

This is a lovely book that will help strengthen a loving bond between mother and son or daughter as when it is read a mother can comfort her child and tell him/her how much her own love will grow just as the child will. Both my son and I give this book a big thumbs up.

Disclosure: Thanks to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for sending us this book for review. We were not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

About the Author:

Anna Pignataro has created more than sixty books for children. She has won the Crichton Award for Book Illustration and many of her books have been shortlisted and have received Notable Book Commendations from The Children’s Book Council. Anna’s books have featured on children’s television programmes such as Play School, Humphrey and Warrawy, are published internationally and translated into eleven different languages. She is also the author of a junior fiction series and has created a quirky and diverse range of greeting cards. She lives in Melbourne, Australia near the beach with her husband and daughter. Visit her online at

Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts a feature called Kid Konnection—a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, visit Booking Mama.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Corporate Citizen: Roma Series Book Five by Gabriel Valjan (Review & Giveaway!)

This is the next installment in the Roma Series that fans won't want to miss!

Book Details:

Corporate Citizen: Roma Series Book Five by Gabriel Valjan
ISBN: 9781941058503
Published:  October 5, 2016
Published by: Winter Goose Publishing
Trade paperback: 388 pages
Content rating: PG-13

Book Description:

A call for help from an old friend lands Bianca and the crew back in Boston. On a timeout with Dante, due to revelations in the aftermath of the showdown in Naples, Bianca is drawn to a mysterious new ally who understands the traumas of her past, and has some very real trauma of his own. Murder, designer drugs, and a hacker named Magician challenge our team, and Bianca learns that leaving Rendition behind might be much harder than she thinks.

Buy Corporate Citizen:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble

My Review:
Reviewed by Sandra Olshaski

This is an intense, face-paced novel of intrigue, murder, espionage, covert US agencies, corrupt officials, amusing avatars, and strong characters, good and bad. There is a lighter side to the story in the form of "the floor people" a tuxedo cat named Bogie and a ginger tabby, Bacall, who appear throughout. A bit of comic relief, perhaps?

It's obvious that the author loves all things Italian as seen in his descriptions of food, expressions, and people. He also has a fairly in-depth knowledge of computer hacking and surveillance because he writes convincingly about it. Mr. Valjan is an expert at building suspense and uncertainty – who can you trust and who are the good guys?

I didn’t read the previous four books in this series and I must admit that it was challenging to follow the intricate, involved plot and keep the characters straight. The character list helped.

I liked the descriptions the author used. Regarding a corrupt District Attorney, the author writes, "….every time this guy shows up, people drop faster than roaches at the sight of a can of Raid….."  Regarding the Cloud, the author describes it as "the fog that is the Internet. The ether above us where bits and bytes float around for anyone with a butterfly net to steal the data in them."

Corporate Citizen is a very interesting tale that could have been told just as convincingly without the use of religious expletives and f-bombs.

To read more reviews, please visit Gabriel Valjan's page on Italy Book Tours.

You can also read Laura Fabiani's review of Corporate Citizen on Essentially Italian, and her interview with the author.

Sandra Olshaski's disclaimer: Thanks to Gabriel Valjan for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

About the author:

Gabriel Valjan lives in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the author of the Roma Series, available from Winter Goose Publishing. Gabriel has also written numerous short stories and essays found online and in print.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton by Sarah Bates (Review, Author interview & Giveaway)

I am delighted to feature this book on my blog today. I loved reading it as it portrays a strong female character based on a historical figure. I was intrigued by the book cover because of its mysterious allure. Be sure to read my review and my interview with the author as I ask her about it. And enter my giveaway to win a copy!

Book Details:

Title: Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton by Sarah Bates
Publisher:, Inc. 
Published: February 15, 2016
Category: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance 
Trade paperback, 420 Pages
Content rating: G

Book Description:

From award winning author, Sarah Bates, Johnstown, New York, 1823: It is a time when a wife’s dowry, even children, automatically becomes her husband’s property. Slavery is an economic advantage entrenched in America but rumblings of abolition abound. For Elizabeth Cady to confront this culture is unheard of, yet that is exactly what she does. Before she can become a leader of the women's rights movement and prominent abolitionist, she faces challenges fraught with disappointment. Her father admires her intellect but says a woman cannot aspire to the goals of men. Her sister’s husband becomes her champion–but secretly wants more. Religious fervor threatens to consume her. 

As she faces depression and despair, she records these struggles and other dark confidences in diaries. When she learns the journals might fall into the wrong hands and discredit her, she panics and rips out pages of entries that might destroy her hard-fought reputation. Relieved, she believes they are lost to history forever. But are they? Travel with Elizabeth into American history and discover a young woman truly ahead of her time.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. This fiction story is based on the early life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American suffragist, social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early women's rights movement. Author Sarah Bates deftly brought this historical figure to life with a writing style that captivated me from the first page. I love historical fiction and the author succeeded in transporting me back to the 1800s New York to the life of a young woman who, through her father who was  judge, became aware of the lack of human rights for women and black slaves. 

The story begins when Elizabeth is an elderly woman about to give a speech and she spends a few hours beforehand in her rooms recounting her earlier history to a young admirer of her human rights work. She does this by revealing her diary contents. They show her struggles as a young woman who fought to go to the same schools as her brothers and her most intimate thoughts as she grew from a child to a woman. It's a well-told story, and being a fan of Jane Austen, who I thought was a woman ahead of her time, this book reminded me of Austen literature.

The pages flew by and I was sad to come to an end to Elizabeth's story when she marries at the age of 25 to a man who shared her views. The story then resumes where it left off, Elizabeth having just read her diary to the young follower, who now is appalled at what she's learned. This is where I became confused in the story. I couldn't understand what was so bad about what was revealed in the diary. If anything I admired Elizabeth even more because it gave a portrait of a strong and confident woman. 

Nonetheless, I loved this book! It was well-written, inspiring and entertaining. For any woman who thinks she can make a difference in this world, stories like this are encouraging. This book has made it to my list of Best Reads of 2016. I'm a new fan of Sarah Bates and hope to read more from her soon. Fans of clean historical fiction with strong women characters will delight in this fictional portrait of one of America's courageous forward thinkers.

To read more reviews, please visit Sarah Bates' page on Virtual Author Book Tours.

Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Buy the Book:

My Interview with Sarah Bates:

LCR: Hi Sarah, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today. Your novel appealed to me for various reasons. It includes a strong female and it’s historical fiction, one of my favorite genres. What challenges did you face in writing this novel?

SB: I am not a historical fiction writer, though nothing stops me from writing what I choose. As for the protagonist, I am always drawn to strong women, and particularly admired Elizabeth for what she did for women’s rights when few women dared speak out. The most significant challenge was making sure the information I used was correct when I wove it around the facts of Elizabeth’s life. For example, the clothing, meals, transportation, settings, even the famous people of the time she might have met.

The research and writing of this novel took six years during which time I visited Elizabeth’s hometown, Johnstown, New York where I walked where she walked, poked around in the historic buildings there when she was, and traveled to Troy, New York to read Elizabeth’s report cards and correspondence in the archives of the Troy Female Seminary (Emma Willard)!

LCR: Is there a woman you admire in our time because she is ahead of her time? 

SB: There are two: Jane Fonda for whom nothing seems impossible to master, and Hillary Clinton for her sheer tenacity, especially now when pitted against an adversary no one ever could have predicted. Neither woman is “ahead of her time” but the right woman for the right time.

LCR: I was intrigued by your book cover. Can you tell me more about it?

SB: When I first furnished the designer with an overview of the story, I was distracted by some unpleasant events in my life. As a result when he sent the cover my jaw dropped because it did not reflect the theme of the story. That cover, done in blue, grey and purple reflected the story of an old woman–even with a photo of 80-year-old Elizabeth right in the center! I have worked with this designer before and knew it was my fault entirely. After giving him the “look, tone, and feel” –advertising terms–for the story I should have told him about in the first place, he sent me four photos of troubled women and two designs using old-fashioned diaries. From those images I chose the ones you see on the now-perfect cover of the book.

LCR: Do you have any other works in process?

SB: I do! I am about 35,000 words into a contemporary novel set in a small Southern California town. The story follows six people over the space of a week as they live their ordinary lives plagued by a rainstorm that ultimately results in a 100-year-old flood predicted for the region.

LCR: Who are your favorite authors and what have you read recently that is noteworthy?

SB: I just finished reading Anne Patchett’s Commonwealth, which I liked a lot. There’s a great literary device about 2/3rd in that readers don’t see coming and writers will love for its impact! I read literary fiction for the most part: Stewart O’Nan, Colum McCann, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Adam Johnson; and my guilty pleasure, Elizabeth George. Longtime favorites: Tobias Wolff, Tim O’Brien and among the dead authors, Jack Kerouac, Raymond Carver, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.

LCR: If you were to travel back in time, where would you go?

I absolutely adore the 1920s and 1930s for the clothes, music, art and architecture, movies and literature so I’d be in Paris, New York or Los Angeles.

LCR: Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

SB: I will still be writing. But, after each long novel–and the one I’ve mentioned above might be the last–I swear I will go back to short fiction which is fun, allows me to play with voice and setting, and I can “Save” it and go back to it without wondering where the heck I was when I last worked on it!

LCR: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me!

About the Author:

Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton by Sarah Bates

Sarah Bates worked as an advertising copywriter for ten years then as a freelance writer. Her clients included a book packager, the local chamber of commerce, a travel newsletter and a weekly newspaper where she covered business and schools. Her short fiction has appeared in the Greenwich Village Literary Review, the San Diego North County Times (now the Union-Tribune) and the literary magazine Bravura. She is the author of Twenty-One Steps of Courage, an Army action novel published in 2012 and co-author of the 2005 short story collection, Out of Our Minds, Wild Stories by Wild Women

She is the winner of Military Category, for Twenty-One Steps of Courage, Next Generation Indie Book Awards (2013) and 2nd Place Finalist, The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Unpublished Novel- Category, San Diego Book Awards (2015) Bates was an English Department writing tutor at Palomar College in California for ten years. She continues to privately tutor both academic and creative writing students and is writing a new novel. Sarah Bates lives in Fallbrook, California. 

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Google+

Enter the Giveaway!

Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton by Sarah Bates

Monday, October 24, 2016

How to Raise a Smart Ass by Lucia Walinchus (Book Spotlight & Giveaway!)

Today I have the pleasure of kicking off the tour for Lucia Walinchus' new parenting book. Need a funny and witty advice book to get you through those toddler years? Part memoir/part humor, this book might just keep you sane. Scroll down to read my interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book and a $25 gift card.

Book Details:

Book Title: How to Raise a Smart Ass: Parenting That Should Not Be Tried at Home by Lucia Walinchus
Category: Adult Nonfiction, 119 pages
Genre: Parenting. Non-fiction memoir, Humor
Publisher: Pronoun Books
Release date: August 2016
Tour dates: Oct 24 to Nov 4, 2016
Content Rating: PG (Some mild swearing, descriptions of labor. No f-words, sex scenes, drugs, etc.)

Book Description:

How to Raise a Smart Ass is a funny, witty, rollicking ride through the joys of early parenthood. The so-titled “Best Butt Wiper in the World” delights audiences by recounting tales of ninja nurses, naughty knights, and super-duper poopers. Whether you’re a proud parent or you aspire to populate the world with tiny terrors of your own someday, this book will have you laughing out loud, or at a minimum buying lots of sanitizer. Kids are messy.

To read reviews, please visit Lucia Walinchus' page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the print book: 

Buy the eBook: 

My Interview with Lucia Walinchus

LCR: Describe your book in 20 words or less.

LW: New highly-rated book features funny stories from the front lines of parenting.

LCR: There are many parenting books out there. What makes yours different?
LW: My goal wasn’t to tell people how to parent, but rather to share some funny and interesting tidbits along the way. We were all kids once, and we remember that time we thought we were especially clever. For example, as a kid I thought I was a genius for figuring out how to be “a mountain climber.” About halfway up a tree, as I watched the rope holding me up rapidly start to unravel, it occurred to me that this probably wasn’t going to happen.

LCR: What motivated you to write a parenting book?

LW: I would collect all the little funny things that they said, and over time I kept thinking: I should really turn this into a book! And it was a fun break from the doom and gloom I usually cover.

LCR: How did you come up with that title?

LW: I thought it would be a funny take on a traditional parenting manual. We spend so much time trying to be the perfect parent, but we just end up with tiny versions of ourselves.

LCR: Describe one of the funniest moments you experienced in parenting.

LW: Ooh how do I pick? The time Chloe got into a box of bachelorette party gag gifts? The time Chetta let a rip before the Virginia Supreme Court?

I think a lot of the funniest moments have been the little ones, though. The other day I told Chetta she had to eat her chili if she wanted to go play after dinner.

“Okay,” she said, picking up a black bean and eating it. “But I only want to eat the chocolate ones.”

“Yes…” I hesitated. “The.... Chocolate.... Ones. Exactly. Eat those.”

LCR: The scariest?

LW: I think any time your kid gets hurt, there’s a part of you that just can’t handle it. Chloe tried to climb a chair once and brought the whole thing down on top of her. We were in a small apartment and actually both in the room preparing dinner. I don’t know what the international sign for “I need help” is, but I’m pretty sure it’s standing in the Pediatric ER with a kid dripping blood everywhere. She ended up being fine, mostly a bloody nose, but waiting at the hospital seemed to take eons.

LCR: If you could travel back in time, where would you go?

LW: Probably pretty far back; I love ancient history because there’s always that element of mystery. How did they build Stonehenge? What really happened to the Mayans? I also think it might be neat to see my parents or grandparents as small children.

LCR: What is the best advice you can give to new parents?

LW: Find about four to five local sitters who come highly recommended. Or go on a site like Sittercity or and do background checks and interviews on a few that you like. This whole process will actually take a bit more time than you think, because some will come highly rated but won’t bother to show up for an interview.

It’s great to have backups on hand in case you have an emergency or even if you just want a date night. People’s schedules are constantly changing, so usually with a few on hand, if you text them all, at least one will be available. 

LCR: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me!

Meet the Author:

Lucia Walinchus is an award-winning journalist, author and ice hockey addict. She has written more than 500 articles for various publications throughout her career and was recently named to the 2016 Fulbright Berlin Capital Program. She has been featured as a guest speaker on CNN and is a contracted freelancer for the New York Times. Walinchus currently lives in Oklahoma because she enjoys wide, flat golf courses that make her think she isn’t actually that bad.

Upcoming event: Lucia Walinchus will be a the Enid, Oklahoma Public Library at 11AM on Saturday, November 12th.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter

Enter the Giveaway!

Prizes: ​

Win a copy of How To Raise a Smart Ass and/or a $25 GC to spend at My Spreadshirt Shop (5 winners - print for USA, ebook for int’l) 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? Oct 24 Edition

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia who now blogs at To Be Continued. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

It's finally starting to look and feel like fall here in Montreal. Blustery windy day today and the streets are now full of fallen yellow and blazing orange leaves. Some areas only an hour away already had their first snowfall. I'm not ready for that yet...

Some great books in my mailbox this week! The first 3 are kidlit.

#BabyLove: My Toddler Life by Corine Dehghanpisheh

In #BabyLove: My Toddler Life, a new children’s picture book by Corine Dehghanpisheh, a curious toddler loves to play… especially with his mommy’s smartphone!

When Mommy finds him using her phone without permission, it’s the perfect teaching moment. Mommy reminds her little one that what matters most in life is time together filled with love and attention.

Her simple reminder: Put down our phones.

Pedro 'n' Pip by Taylor Barton

Pedro ‘n’ Pip is a raucous, uplifting rock ‘n’ roll odyssey about a tenacious ten-year-old girl, named Pip, and a ‘rockoctopus’, Pedro, who she meets while scuba diving after an oil spill in the Gulf. Together, they forge a powerful friendship and unite sea creatures and landlubbers alike to help clean up our waters for the good of all. A funny, tender, courageous story meant to raise environmental awareness in our kids.

Mama's Knight: A Cancer Story of Love by Aurora Whittet

Once upon a time . . . It’s how all heroes begin their story, and you’re a hero, too! Your mama has cancer, and it’s a scary journey, but you can help your mama just by being you—special, wonderful, YOU. Your mama loves you just the way you are. You are your mama’s knight.

Mama’s Knight: A Cancer Story of Love is an emotional toolbox that can help kids and parents communicate about what it means for Mama to have cancer. The book is filled with tools and activities designed to make coping with illness easier on both parent and child, and can be personalized for each child.

Time Shift by Kris Trudeau

TimeShift is a gripping journey of suspense, drama and sci-fi action spanning 900 years in 185 days. Four interconnected story lines turn up the heat in this futuristic techno-thriller.

Owen Taylor is suspicious when a team arrives from eighty years in the future to enlist him for knowledge they claim only he possesses.

In 2097, the missing link to Artificial Intelligence is uncovered when conventional robots are programmed with human personalities, giving them the desire to “be.” While these free-thinking robots struggle to understand their own existence, they discover a dislike for human inefficiencies and materialism. Quietly, they strive to free their race from human constraints and their population explosion goes unnoticed until it’s too late.

Tricity is on the brink of falling into the robots’ clutches and the only solution whereby control of the city can be seized from the metallic malcontents is so unconventional that the odds of success are virtually nonexistent. During this 185-day mission, teams must alter elements of the past to save the future. If they are successful, time will “shift” and rewrite the future without the robots’ destruction.

Owen has no idea how he can help these teams save his city from the rogue, experimental robots, eighty years before the conflict even erupts. Although he is the key to saving the future in 2097, Owen may not be alive long enough to help. Caught up in a whirlwind of time travel, futuristic technologies and mysterious accidents, Owen’s life may never return to normal.

TimeShift unravels the complex relationships and unique challenges faced by each team member during this seemingly impossible endeavour. Each person has the potential to shift time in a way that could drastically alter or undo key events and de-create people throughout history, changing the world for better…or for worse.

The Stages of Grace by Connie Ruben & Kate O'Neill

This book was written out of a desire to share with others who have loved ones with Alzheimer's disease what I have experience as Grace' caregiver and friend. I wanted to capture the emotions, the expected and the unexpected issues, the painful times as well as the humorous and loving moments that Grace and I have shared as a result of this disease. This is not mean to be a handbook for dealing with Alzheimer's disease, but I hope that by sharing my feelings and experiences, readers may recognize they are not alone on this particular journey.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Posts From Last Week:

Date Like a Girl, Marry Like a Woman by Jessica R Bunevacz (Book Spotlight & Giveaway!)

Reading Now:

Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.

Hope you all have a great reading week.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The 10 Myths of Teen Dating by Daniel Anderson and Jacquelyn Anderson (Review)

A uniquely resourceful book for any parent with a teen daughter and an eye-opener for any young girl who wants to date.

Book Details:

Title: The 10 Myths of Teen Dating: Truths Your Daughter Needs to Know to Date Smart, Avoid Disaster, and Protect Her Future
Authors: Daniel Anderson with his daughter Jacquelyn Anderson
Publisher: David C Cook
Published: September 2016
Trade paperback, 254 pages
Content rating: G

Book Description:

There's no greater moment of panic in a parent's life than when their daughter begins to date.

Due to their lack of knowledge about the world their teens face coupled with the scant dating information they received as teens, many parents feel ill-equipped to guide their daughters through the minefield that is teen dating.

And by the same token, teenage girls crave information about dating and relationships. And left to their own devices, many will develop their own assumptions about dating by talking to their friends or watching the latest TV shows and movies. But that will only lead them down a path toward heartbreak.

So how do you engage your daughter in discussions about dating, relationships, and her future happiness? Expert educator Daniel Anderson and his twenty something daughter, Jacquelyn, help you navigate the biggest dating myths, including: the myth that a boyfriend will make your daughter happy, that she should trust her feelings, or that sex will enhance her relationship. Combining the latest scientific research with poignant personal stories, as well as proven truths and practical application, The 10 Myths of Teen Dating will equip you to teach your daughter how to date smart for today . . . and tomorrow.

Purchase a copy:

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I enjoy reading parenting books because although I consider myself a good parent, there is nothing that prepares you for the lack of confidence you will feel on some days. My kids are now teens and it reminds me somewhat of the toddler years when testing independence was a big transitional stage. 

So the minute I saw this book I thought I could use some advice as my daughter is now 15 and the topic of dating has come up because some of the older teens she is hanging out with are dating and getting married young. As parents, we are relieved she feels like we do that she should focus on her studies and use her youth to travel, make new friends and learn about other cultures. But as I began to read this book, I realised that although my daughter may be mature, she certainly wasn't immune to the way teens and her peers think! 

I'll tell you straight off that this is one of the best parenting books I have read. It's well-written and researched and the author is a veteran high school teacher who is also a father of two grown daughters and a son. The writing is engaging, intelligent and at times poignant. The minute I began to read this book, I learned new things and I continued to learn new things throughout. 

As a parent, I appreciated the psychological, physiological and statistical information dispensed in such an absorbing way that I easily read through this book. Every chapter ends with questions for reflection, questions for parents to discuss with their daughters and a short intro to the next chapter. I read many non-fiction books and the way this one is laid out is well-organized with a creative narrative that includes conversations with teen girls and anecdotes of actual incidents that are insightful and drive the point home.

What's more, the author's daughter who is now also a teacher, includes her honest observations and feelings of what it was like to be a teen girl during the dating years. She includes her views on why certain parental tactics did not work and the mistakes she made. Her candid and sincere remarks were an eye-opener for me! This dual viewpoint, actual make that triple viewpoint of experienced parent, teacher and teen daughter was brilliant.

My experience as a Special Care Counsellor applauds the valuable information this book provides in helping both parents and teens navigate the difficult and emotionally trying teenage years. This is an excellent resource for both parents, educators, counsellors and teens. But the parent in me is so grateful that Mr. Anderson took the time to write a book that informs and empowers both parents and their daughters to work together and understand each other. The world of teens, their lingo and way of communicating today is so different from when we were that young, that as parents we need to stay abreast and do all we can to understand it.

I will recommend this book to all my parent friends, make sure my husband reads it too and apply the good advice and suggestions to open discussions on dating with my daughter. This is a must-read for all parents of teens, even those who only have boys so they can help them understand how girls think in terms of a relationship. It will be included in my list of Best Books Read in 2016. Highly highly recommended!

To read more reviews, please visit the authors' page on Litfuse.

Disclosure: Thanks to Litfuse for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

About the authors:

Daniel Anderson is a former college All-American basketball player, an expert educator, and a father of two grown daughters and a son. As a veteran high school teacher in the public school system, Daniel was troubled by how his students approached dating and relationships. He and his daughter, Jacquelyn Anderson---a twenty something and also a high school teacher---decided to address this need by equipping parents with The 10 Myths of Teen Dating, their first book together. Daniel and Jacquelyn both make their home in Portland, Oregon.

Connect with the authors:

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