Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tour Stop - Dead Perfect by P.G. Shriver

My lifelong dreams never included falling in love. Graduating top of the class, going to college somewhere far away and starting a life in a place where my alcoholic mother could never find me were the first three goals on my list. Then the unexpected auto accident with Mother, after her regular doses of vodka, altered all of that. With her gone, my life and my perspective changed forever.  
Desperate to find Joanie so I could break free, I returned to my old school. The search led me to her, my Aphrodite, a familiar lost look in her soulful eyes. Fantasies of her forced reasoning from my mind. I had to meet her! Once fallen, would her love for me survive the ghostly secrets haunting us?
A well written paranormal romance that is not predictable. This was an enjoyable read in a genre I don't usually pick up and after reading this I am glad that I did!
What is really nice is that you get the POV of both characters throughout the story which I think is nicely done and gives added dimension to the book. I reccomend this book to all that enjoy YA and to those of you who have not dipped into this genre recently, why not give it a try with
Dead Perfect :)
To get your copy check out

Friday, August 31, 2012

Blog Tour Stop - The Cinderella Project by Stan Crowe

Cover for 'The Cinderella Project'
A clean romance from the guys point of view is refreshing after a summer taken over by 50 Shades et all! What is even more refreshing is that the story is written by a guy, making the POV of the main character authentic.

I had fun reading the story and I really enjoyed spending time with the characters. I highly recommend this book to all readers who like contemporary romance! I hope to read more by Stan in the future :)

Stan was kind enough to take some time to tell us the story behind the book!

How The Cinderella Project Came About

In 2008, on an obscure webboard floating in the great sea of the internet,
Stan found himself embroiled in a three-part writing contest. For the third, most strenuous round, our intrepid hero took a fantasy-fic romance he'd been writing and moved it into the 21st Century. The handsome prince morphed into a doctoral student. The princess, of course, remained his fiancee, and the castle they lived in became a university.

The heart and soul of the romance remained, however--that of the prince being true to his betrothed despite massive temptations. ****

I had the original story mostly plotted out before I ran across the story contest. Consequently, serious revamping was in order. That said, I had the first draft laid down in about three months which, for me, is insanely fast.

At the time I finished the original draft, I'd published an anthology, and another short story. The idea of publishing again was very appealing. I let too many things distract me from that goal, however, and it wasn't until 2010 that I visited a local publishing house to see about getting my story published. They told me that even if I were to have submitted a finished manuscript right then, it would be at least 18 months before a print copy ever released--I later realized that 18 months from manuscript to shelves is actually pretty quick, but at the time I thought, "Geez. That's a long way out." So I sat on it for a while.

Fast forward to February 2012. I'd met the head of my publisher's company, and she had agreed to take me on. That meant that I had to kick things into high gear to get the project done on time. First, I needed to take the 40,000 words I'd written and beef it up to no less than 60 k. I was fine with that, since the first draft felt incomplete and rushed anyway.

Once the submission draft was complete, my editor and I hammered on it to work out some kinks and polish up a few items. The results were a book that was even better than what I'd first written--I was pleased.

From there, it was just post-production stuff, and the rest is history.

To follow the tour check out

To get your hands on a copy of The Cinderella Project go to one of the following:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Carniaval Girl: Searching for God in the Aftermath of War

Today I join in on the Carnival Girl Blog Tour to showcase a great book by author Sonja Herbert.

Fourteen-year-old Sonja has always known there is a God who loves her. But when you spend your life on the road with the carnival, traveling the country in a tiny caravan home, it’s hard to imagine a normal, churchgoing life.

Everything changes when Sonja meets two Mormon missionaries. Even though her parents don’t approve, her brothers and sisters taunt her, and her whole life is on the move, Sonja can’t help how she feels. Now she’ll have to choose between the carnival and her convictions, between her family and her faith.

Based on Sonja Herbert’s real childhood in postwar Germany, this incredible, true story is beautifully written and full of heart—A powerful reminder for readers everywhere how much God loves each one of us and how his strength can make dreams come true.

This is a very well written book that is both enlightening and entertaining. I felt as if I was right there beside Sonja as she tells us about what a remarkable childhood she had and how she has become the person she is today. This is a book that so many need to read to see just how life can work itself out, all you need to do is to believe in yourself and be true to yourself and you can find the way. Thank you Sonja for sending this message as it is so easy to forget when times are tough.

Sonja herself will tell us a bit more about what lead to writing this book ....

During the few times we carnival children attended school, I once received an A for a story about a Greek myth I had written, and on that day I decided to write about my mother’s life when I grew up.
Many years later, I married an American GI and moved with him to the States. We bought a home in Manti, and one day I did a brave thing. I went to nearby Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, and asked if I could attend a class. They agreed. If I’d get a good grade, I could keep taking classes. I started with English 101. Studying came easy to me, and I enjoyed the class a lot. Our final paper was to be an autobiography. I wrote about my childhood in our traveling carnival in Germany, and was quite surprised to receive an A+.
All through the time I raised my six children, I kept attending first Snow College, then SUU, and BYU. When I received my MA in Language Acquisition and my two youngest children were in middle school, I decided the time had come to write in earnest. I started writing about my mother’s life. As the story unfolded, I realized that it would not be complete unless I also told the story of my childhood, and so I did.
I originally called my memoir Conversations with Margot (my mother’s first name), but since the novel I wrote about her life isn’t published yet, I decided to re-name the memoir and publish it first.
And that’s how Carnival Girl began.

To get yourself a copy of Carnival Girl: Searching for God in the Aftermath of War go to

Friday, July 6, 2012

Book Blogger Roll Call #2

Here is another edition of Book Blogger Roll Call.

I have Tina here again from Tutu's Two Cents and introducing this week Emma-Lee from House With No Name. Click on the links to the websites to read the full review!

Black Heart Blue
by Louisa Reid

Slash and Burn: A Dr. Siri Mystery set in Laos
by Colin Cotterill

If you are looking to get your hands on one or both of these titles (I know I am) check out the updated Mommy's Reading Too Bookstore at the bottem of this page! Remember all money earned from the store will help get the Essays For Hope Books published .... and then all the proceeds from the books will go to organizations that will help worthy organizations. For more info on the project please check out the website at

Friday, June 22, 2012

Book Blogger Roll Call Week One

Here are a couple of book reviews that were posted this week around the internet, a big thanks to both Tina and Teressa sharing their reviews for the first week of what will be a new weekly feature! Please take a visit to both of their blogs and check out the great reviews in full:)

The World Without You by Joshua Henkin

From Tina at Tutu's Two Cents
The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry
From Teressa at Window on the World

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Book Blogger Roll Call ....

A new idea came to mind the other night as I was tossing and turning due to the extreme heat we have been having, one that would help expose my readers to more awesome book blogs and more awesome book ideas. I have a certain type of book I enjoy and I was thinking that this blog needs a little bit more variety. So I have decided that each Friday afternoon I will post a best of from around the web. I will have a post that will include up to 20 links of new and fresh reviews from book bloggers around the globe, giving you a chance to see whats out there! I hope you enjoy!

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Suitable Husband by S.B. Lerner

A Suitable Husband

In 1930s Poland, the economy is crumbling, the government is in chaos, and Jewish groups argue over how best to deal with the worsening situation. Among them are the Guardsmen, daring and organized young Zionists who are determined to start a new life in Palestine.

A Suitable Husband brings this vibrant period alive with the story of Bianca Lieber, caught between the pressure to marry Alex, the intelligent but staid doctor presented by the matchmaker, and Wolf, the intrepid Zionist leader who can help her get to Palestine.

Just over 6 months ago I first met S.B. Lerner online when I reviewed her collection of short stories (In the Middle of Almost and other stories) and after enjoying it very much I was excited to eventually be able to read the novel that she had in-progress at that time! About a month ago she contacted me to let me know that the story was done. I was so excited and could not wait to start reading. Sometimes when you have a lot of expectations attached to a new book it doesn't work  ...... however in this particular case ..... the wait was totally worth it and I hope that there is much more to come from this very gifted writer! 

I loved this book. I read books on a regular basis about 1930's and 1940's Europe and on the plight of the Jews during this time. I have a family connection to the Holocaust and I think that because of this tie I am drawn to fiction about this era. What I have not read much about is the Zionist movement in Poland before the onset of the German invasion, I learnt so much from reading A Suitable Husband. At the same time you get to expand your knowledge on such important events in world history, you get to enjoy a beautifully written coming of age story that touches both the heart and mind. A must for all readers of Historical Fiction.

Susan was gracious enough to take time from her busy schedule and let the readers of Mommy's Reading Too a little bit about why she chose to write about 1930's Poland.

Image of S.B. LernerWhen I was a kid, I’d lie on my bed with a book every day after school and read novels. A great story gave me hope that life could be exciting and dramatic and that people could evolve from quiet and serious (like me) into interesting and charismatic (my heroines). Whether they provided inspiration or simply distracted me from living more fully, I’m still not sure. But there is no denying the power and influence of the novel.

I was a Nancy Drew fan in elementary school, but as I got a bit older, I gravitated to novels about World War Two, probably because both my parents came over from Eastern Europe when they were young. They rarely spoke of their childhoods, so what I learned in novels filled in the gaps. I read books like Exodus and Winds of War, and then branched out into books about other times and places. I enjoyed books which transported me to other worlds and where I learned about other periods in history. That is the kind of book I wanted to write. When I learned about the political youth groups in 1930s Poland, I realized that fascinating period has been largely overshadowed by the Holocaust, and chose it as the setting for my novel.

The Zionist youth movement in 1930s Poland was a psychological lifeline for young Polish Jews, and for those who made it to Palestine, a literal one. Their grievances were very real but they'd given up on protesting the widespread anti-Semitism. With limited opportunities for education or employment and their civil rights steadily eroding, they banded together, determined to claim their piece of land in Palestine, and to develop it through hard work, in order to live in freedom.

They faced their increasingly bleak future with energy, organization and a grand sense of purpose. They defied their parents, found money to bribe the necessary officials, got around restrictive British emigration policies, and turned scholars into farmers. They lived communally in unique and for a long time, largely successful, socialist farming communities, making up their own rules, inventing their own moral code. Heady stuff, and a great setting for a novel.

I hope mine has done them justice.

To get a hold of  your own copy go to

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Discovery: The Pajama Diaries Comic Strip

The Pajama Diaries: Deja To-Do!

Just a quick post today about a new comic strip I just discovered through NetGallery - the Pajama Diaries by Terri Libenson.

This is the best comic strip I have seen in a long time! I love that it is all about what I am thinking as a Mom but can't always say!!! Laughed from start to end! All Mom's need to read this because it reminds you that you are not the only one dealing with all the ups and downs. It allows you to just sit back and laugh, something we all need sometimes.

For more info go to

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Homeschooling Discoveries - The Captain Joe Series by Emily Madill

Over the past few month I have had to slow down a lot on blogging due to issues beyond my control. I thank everyone .. readers and authors for being so patient! I have so many outstanding reviews and I will get to them all. So many books have come my way in the past 3 or 4 months and I want to tell you all about what is so great about them. That said starting today I want to let you know about a bunch of awesome homeschooling resources I have come across. I don't home school but I do love to supplement beyond what my daughter learns at school, she loves it too. I put out a call for reviews many months ago and got so many amazing responses I could hardly keep track! I was going to make this a monthly feature but I think between the writers who contact me and the books I find both at work and at the library, this will become a weekly feature! So enough of my gabbing  ....  here is this weeks first find!

JK to Grade 3 (and beyond)

The Captain Joe Series by Emily Madill

The Captain Joe Series© was designed as a tool for adults to teach children about constructive imagination. The four books are a fun and interactive way to introduce the concept of "Thoughts Turn into Things, so Choose the Ones that Make you Happy" to young children, ages five to nine years. Joe and his thought-zapping superpower will invite children to use their imaginations to constructively choose thoughts that promote healthy self-esteem and self-awareness.
Each of the four stories is designed to teach a key concept. Follow the series and discover what happens with Joe when he encounters a magical wizard. Captain Joe to the Rescue introduces Joe and the concept of his thought-zapping superpower.

Emily is a mother of two boys which shows that she understands how kids function and think. I liked that the stories were very simplistic in regards to explaining what can sometimes be a  a very complex idea for young children, self-esteem. The stories follow a young boy as he learns that he has a superpower, he can turn his dark thoughts into happy thoughts, a superpower that everyone has .... they just need to know how to use it! I read these books with my daughter who is nearing the end of JK and she really seemed to get a grasp that she should have fun and not worry what others will think. She was able to take this very basic concept and place it into her own life. She excels at so much but in one area at school this year she has had some trouble (learning to print). After a while she was so upset at her progress that she forgot about all the stuff she was good at and focused on the printing ... which really upset her. I took out the Captain Joe Books at bedtime one night and we slowly re-read all the books. After discussing what we read I brought up all the stuff she was good at and that overtime she would improve. The books were a great way to get the discussion going and now she is feeling much better about herself.

The teaching guide is a nice supplement as there are discussion exercises as well as some reading comprehension sheets and even a math page for each book.

I think that this is a good addition for early readers as they can practice reading and learn to feel good about themselves at the same time.

For more information go to Emily Madill's website 
to the Captain Joe website

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Special Guest - Author Suzanne Anderson

Today I am hosting a blog tour stop with Suzanne Anderson, author of Mrs Tuesday's Departure. For more on this tour go to

Mrs. Tuesday's Departure

Hungary's fragile alliance with
Germany kept Natalie, a renowned children's book author, and her family out of
harm's way for most of the war. Now as the F├╝hrer's desperation grows during
the waning years of the conflict, so does its threat. Natalie's younger sister,
Ilona, married a Jewish man, putting both her and her young daughter, Mila, in
peril; Natalie's twin sister, Anna, is losing her already tenuous hold on
reality. As the streets of Budapest thrum with the pounding boots of Nazi
soldiers, danger creeps to the doorstep where Natalie shields them all.

Ilona and her husband take the last
two tickets to safety for themselves, abandoning Natalie to protect Anna and
Mila from the encroaching danger.
Anna's paranoid
explosion at a university where was once a professor, sparked by delusions over
an imagined love triangle, threatens their only other chance for escape.
Ultimately, Natalie is presented with a choice no one should ever have to make;
which of her family will she save?

An inspirational story of faith and
family, strength and weakness, and the ultimate triumph of love over
hate. Mrs. Tuesday's Departure demonstrates the power of faith
to light even the most harrowing darkness.

Image of Suzanne Anderson

And here is Suzanne in her own words .....

What are the challenges you face as a writer in your genre?
By Suzanne Anderson

If you asked me what type of book I write, I’d tell you that I write mainstream women’s fiction with a Christian perspective. In other words, I write stories that reflect my view of the world. For instance, God is an essential and important part of my life, yet I am constantly questioning His presence in my life and how I should live in relation with Him.

This perspective may become a challenge within traditional Christian fiction, because I question as much as I proselytize. My writing might be too worldly for the some Christian readers. For instance, one reviewer remarked that she found my use of a few swear words in my first novel, Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure, to be offensive. I wrote back and apologized that she was offended. However, given the fact that I was writing a novel set in war-time, I felt the sparing use of those words was within bounds.

On the other hand, I would not be inclined to write an explicit sex scene, even between husband and wife, and then try to publish it as a Christian novel.

In other words, no matter what genre you choose, your readers will have certain expectations of your book. If you want to write for that genre, you need to respect the guidelines while remaining true to your story and your unique voice. If you find that overly confining, then choose another genre.

Which is not to say that you cannot be original or break new ground in an established genre. You can, and it may be your originality might be rewarded with greater sales. However, I also believe it’s important to respect my readers, while I entertain them. I want them to remember my book for the wonderful story that transported them into another world, rather than shocked and dismayed.

To get a hold of Mrs Tuesday's Departure go to

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blog Tour - Stay Tuned By Lauren Clark

What happens when a #1 news team becomes the top story instead of reporting it?

For TV producer Melissa Moore, crisis management comes with the job. From employee disputes to her high-maintenance boss, there’s not much she hasn’t seen or can’t handle.

But no one—including Melissa—expects a fistfight during the ten o’clock news. When sexy-but-crazy Alyssa Andrews lands a punch on her co-anchor’s face, Melissa jumps on set to help. She’s determined that WSGA’s reputation won’t be destroyed on her watch.

Both anchors are fired and Melissa agrees to fill in—but not before polishing her look from haircut to heels. While the new Melissa wows WSGA viewers, her personal life starts fraying at the edges. Melissa’s husband is away more than he’s home, leaving cryptic Post-it notes in his wake. Her mother’s antics spiral out of control at the nursing home and a stalker decides Melissa is her next target.

What happens next? Stay Tuned to find out…

This was a fun read and I think it is worth a look at from all readers who like Women's Lit.

I like that life is no where near perfect in Melissa's world and that is so true for all of us. There is alot going on throughout the story which I enjoyed, I found that it was written well and it was true to life. I mean really ... don't we all have to deal with a bunch of stuff at the same time! Life does not slow down and Melissa's is no exception. I look forward to reading more by Lauren Clark in the future :)

To Get Your Copy Go To

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Guest Post - Pandora Poikilos author of Frequent Traveller

Catherine Dixon is everyone's dreamgirl. Girls want to be her. Men want to be with her. From her charming smile to her gentle voice, one always turns to take a second look at Cathy. Wherever she goes there isn't an ill word spoken about her. Her job as Vice President of Communications at MoonStar, one of the world's top hotel chains is to make sure guests are happy to the point of perfection.

From the blue oceans of Antigua to the bustling streets of Vietnam, the racing adrenaline at the Green Hell, the devastating natural disaster in Japan and the stunning architecture in Germany, Cathy finds herself in a whirlwind of fine dining, plush clothes and sheer extravagance. But is perfection only a mask for untold disaster? In a job that deals so much with people, Cathy goes home to an empty bed. There are no pictures on her wall, no doting phone calls from a tongue tied lover and no family holidays to boast about.

What is Cathy's secret and how will her world change when the world knows? What is the significance of the blue pendant round her neck? Who is the mysterious man she is seen with every three months? What are the contents of the brown envelope delivered to her on the fifteenth of every month? Will her secrets ever catch up with her or will Cathy continue to sail alongside perfection in the world she has created for herself as a Frequent Traveller?

As part of Pandora's blog tour she is stopping by Mommy's Reading Too with an inspiring guest post about why she writes! Thank you Pandora!

Writing to me is a lot of things, it is acceptance, love, faith, hope, freedom and peace. All themes I have touched on before. But if I had to pick just one word to complete the sentence, "Writing to me is ..." then I will pick "healing".

Yes - Writing to me is healing. When I write, I am not the frail inept woman battling an incurable neurological disorder, I can be anything I set my mind to be without any limitations. I can choose to heal my past hurts, draw out the future and I can show people around me how much they mean to me.

Most of all, I hope I can offer "healing" to someone else who may need it so they too can chin up and keep moving forward. Lord knows I'm literally a few brain nerves short since my diagnosis and shunt surgery but for everything that has been taken from me, I still have the best thing of all, my words.

Love and light.

Connect with Pandora Poikilos on Twitter Facebook

Friday, May 4, 2012

Gabriel's Gate Blog Tour Stop

In 2010, when the recession took root in Ireland, the young people looked at the ground they were standing on and realised it was rotten. Rotten in so many ways, but especially in the ways made by man. So most decided it was time to do what their forefathers had done during times of famine, when the ground was rotten too, and leave. For America. And Newfoundland. And Australia. And Canada.

But in the winter of 2010, a group of college students had a different idea. They weren’t going to leave. They would simply find a patch of land that hadn’t been contaminated and live off it. Just like their forefathers had always done before the land became rotten and the country corrupted by greed. This is their story.

I quite enjoyed this story. It is a great account at what Ireland has been through in the past few years and I love that the group took it among themselves to take what they had and to make the best of it. I found the writing to be very descriptive and I found the background very interesting. If you like a well written piece of fiction I highly recommend this book. If you have ties to Ireland (as I do) I think you should definitely read this book.

To get a copy in your hands check out

About Tom Galvin:

Dublin-born Tom Galvin was educated at University College Dublin and St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. He has a BA in English and Philosophy and MA in Philosophy, having written his dissertation on Albert Camus’ The Rebel. Tom is a journalist/writer by trade and also makes a living as a musician.

In 1994 Tom went with APSO (Agency for Personal Service Overseas), the state body for development Overseas, to Poland to work as a teacher in a state school. There, he began writing regularly for the Warsaw Voice, the English language paper for Poland and Central Europe, about life in a small town outside Warsaw. His writing, observations of daily life, the characters in the town, was essentially a column for ex-pats living in Warsaw, giving them a picture of what was considered closer to the ‘real’ Poland. He finished his first novel, Gabriel’s Gate, whilst there and self-published it in Warsaw, selling copies in the Irish bars and anywhere else that would take it. In the late nineties, he contributed to programmes on Poland’s English language service on Radio Polonia.

He left Poland after five years and returned to Ireland where he began working as a staff writer (and later editor) for In Dublin magazine as well as contributing travel features to other titles including the Sunday Independent, The Irish Times, Backpacker and Abroad magazine. In 2004 he wrote The Little Book of Dublin for New Island and contributed to the opinion columns of the Evening Herald before working as Arts/Culture editor of Village magazine. The following year, while editor of the Evening Herald’s Polish section, Tom published his account of life in Poland in his book There’s an Egg in My Soup (O’Brien Press) which was critically well-received. He is presently the books editor with the Evening Herald.

In his spare time, besides writing, Tom is a keen photographer. He has studied photography intensively over the past ten years and specialises in black and white developing techniques. His photographs have been exhibited and published in a variety of magazines. He is still a working musician, playing two or three times a month to audiences in clubs and pubs around Ireland. He is married to Asha and lives in Wicklow, just outside Dublin, with their twin babies.

For more on other novels, excerpts, photo-features and work:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Essays For Hope project is expanding ...

Just a quick note to all writers that the Essays For Hope project is now open for submissions on an ongoing basis. This is a great way to use your words to help raise money for some very worthy causes. Its in the very early stages and is currently a one woman show ... but hopefully with the help of a bunch of great writers to help fill the pages of these books, this project will be able to make a difference if even in just a small way. Check out

Here is some information on what the current topics of books are:

The Mommy Life
A collection of essays written by Moms for Mom's.
Even though many know you only as your kids mom, we all have a name and an identity! We all have the same basic needs to fill, but how we do it is as unique as who we are. These are the stories of who you are, your hopes and dreams, who you are inside.

All proceeds go to and

First volume to be released - Summer 2012

(Original Plan for Book 1 and Book 2 have been combined into 1 volume, The Mommy Life)

European Survival: those who lived to tell about life and death in WW2 Europe

This is for anyone who is a survivor of World War 2 or had family/friends who lived through the war in a country torn apart by the war. I am looking for stories of those who lived through it as a civilian, how they survived,what they gave up and lost to do so, and how they went on to live life when the war ended.

These stories should never be forgotten.

First volume to be released - Fall 2012

This collection has very special meaning to me as I would not be here today if my grandfather had not made it through 5 unbearable years in Holland, I want to celebrate his story and the thousands of others who beat unimaginable odds and to make sure younger generations still know what happened.

The money raised from this collection will go to Room To Read

The World According to Daddy

A collection of essays written by Dad's for Dad's.
Everyone expects you to be the man of the house; to provide and protect. How do you do it and what makes you your kid's Dad!

All proceeds go to

First volume release date - 2012


A collection of essays written about Love. There are so many kinds of love and millions of personal experiences. This is a collection that will fill you with all kinds of emotions and stories that you will not want to forget.

All proceeds go to

First volume release date - 2012

You Never Stop Learning

A collection of essays about the wonderful journey of lifelong learning. Did you go back to school after many years, do you self-study just to learn new things. What does lifelong learning mean to you?

All proceeds go to

First volume release date - 2012

New Edition - Once in a lifetime trips - Title TBD

A collection of essays about once in a lifetime journeys. Did you travel an hour away from home or did it take a week to get there? Did you have an adventure or was it the first time that you could truly relax in years? What prep work and planing went into to making this the trip of a lifetime? What made it unique? What did you learn?

All proceeds go to the Canadian Red Cross

First volume release date - 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What If You Made It Up? By Kathleen S. Kolze

What if You Made It Up?

It was a painful habit, living with bad choices when people thought she was the epitome of success. But when hiding her misery from a probing life coach proved futile, Eva Karlsen ditched her lucrative corporate career and rebooted, making up a new life with her own life coaching practice in the shadows of the Gros Ventres, Bear, Wyoming. Opening herself up to relationships and community was not what Eva had in mind, but the small-town residents didn't get her memo. The dramatic Heidi, effervescent Jana, sage Grace, and boisterous Marlo unwittingly pull Eva into a luxury she had never allowed herself-friendships with women. Add the mysterious transplant Sander, the entrepreneur Gianni, and the masculine Steve Mason, and the community of Bear gets spicy. Suddenly Eva's involved in the adventures of her new friends as they unravel an international caper, open a new Italian restaurant, uncover a long-lost family legacy, and negotiate their unpredictable environment. Between daily walks with her retrievers, moose watching, life coaching, and new love, Eva finds herself flourishing in a life she never would have expected for herself a few years earlier. All she had needed to do was simply make it up!

This is the debut novel by Kathleen Kolze and I have to say I look forward to further work from this author. The story is entertaining and the character development is impressive, not only with Eva the main character, but with her friends and clients as well. I like that the story has the message that you can do what you want to do even if at first it seems that it is too late. I felt inspired by the end! I think anyone who enjoys well written women's fiction will enjoy this new book. Besides it has a bit of everything; romance, mystery, friendships, and fun!

Kathleen was kind enough to take some time out of her very busy schedule to take part in the Mommy's Reading Too Author Interview. So here she is in her own words ......

Tell us about yourself.

I'm a wife to Bob, for over 24 years, and a mother to Kent (19) and Claire (17). I work full time - and have been fortunate that the last 10 years have been from a telework office - which includes intermittent global travel. I'm also a certified and credentialed coach.  This came after a career change I made to talent development from information technology, where I had roles from analyst to Chief Information Officer -- my degree was in Computer Science and Mathematics. I work in a very culturally diverse company, which I love.

Travel keeps me motivated. I always try to have a trip in mind, or in the works. This started in my youth when I lived in Brussels, Belgium from the ages of 10-16. I've also lived across the American Mid-West and Northern California. I'm an avid walker, quilter / art quilter, and a devoted student of ballroom dance. My husband and I take classes together and have been dancing for 4 years - we do everything from  American Smooth - waltz/foxtrot/tango/quick step - to Latin dances and Swing. He's even posted us dancing on YouTube which makes me crazy! I love good food, I suppose we all do, and when I can, I like to cook new dishes and continue to work on Italian fare with olive oil and garlic!

Tell us about your writing experience.

Twenty years ago I took a "Writing Fiction" course at a local community college and still have the encouraging notes from the instructor! The particular story I was working on at that time has not come to full fruition, but I may have to dust it off! Throughout my corporate career I have been writing articles on my work-based topics for newsletters, communication to internal clients, technical manuals, and more recently articles for internal social media sites and blogs. This is something I do on a weekly basis.

I starting writing about Eva when my company was sold to another firm back in 2007...just in case things didn't work out for me!  I ended up gainfully employed, but kept on writing. What I love about this medium with my busy life is that you can add to it any time. It keeps getting bigger. I can write when I have the time and the inspiration -- and before I know it, there is a chapter, and another -- and then a complete story!

What lead to you coming up with this book?

The first idea I had for a book was to share how I changed careers, the ups and downs, the people, the training and transformation that I had to make it work. A change from technology to talent management and coaching is a big swing. The book bored me (and if I was one else would want to read it!) and I knew the message has been delivered by other authors.  One of my goals was to share the impact of life coaching. I realized this didn't have to be a personal memoir, so that's when I created Eva, and Bear, Wyoming -- weaving coaching into the plot.  Having the vignettes of coaching calls gave me a chance to show rather than tell what is life coaching.  I love the outdoors and being in Wyoming, so that locale seemed a natural place for Eva to live. I got to dream of being there every time I wrote about it -- from my memories, research and imagination.

What If You Made It Up? unraveled over four years of early Saturday mornings until it became a full length adventure of Eva and the town of Bear. I mostly kept my writing private, wanting to make sure I finished the novel and didn’t distract myself from my "real" job. I didn't share it with my husband until I had 100 pages written.  Most of my friends and family didn’t know I had written the novel until it was in the final stages of publishing - so I surprised a lot of  people! Now, there were a few girlfriends and one of my sisters who were very intimately involved along the way

What led to your decision to self-publish?

After trying to find an agent, I was concerned that the months were clicking by and I didn’t want the story to get stale. There were a few “asks” for more information, but the process was long and arduous, and most just politely rejected me. My working and traveling didn't help, so time was an issue for me. That is what led me to investigate the process of self publishing.

I went this direction because I loved the characters and the story (can I even say that? it’s true... they even make me cry/laugh at certain parts). I needed to share Eva, Bear, her friends and coaching with readers out there! I couldn't give up.

I also knew the manuscript was in desperate need of a REAL editor before any publishing could happen.

That being the case --- I talked to my high school girlfriend who knows everyone. She knew someone from our high school class who was an editor. I emailed her -- and she emailed back within an hour. We only knew of each other in high school. She is now one of my favorite people, such a generous, kind, and smart soul.

“Yes” she said she’d love to edit a novel after all the heavy non-fiction she’d been editing! YEAH. I was so thrilled I couldn’t sleep. I sent my manuscript - electronic of course - - and the rest is history. She’s a master. It took us a year almost exactly for editing through design and printing.

An interesting note: As a result of my novel, she started her own self-publishing company.  I was her first client.

What obstacles did you come across in the process?

Because of this point that my editor became my self-publisher, I didn't have as many obstacles as most people. She is amazing, and her company, Diligent Editorial, is one I would promote to any author who wants to self-publish. I completely trust her. She is absolutely diligent and really, really good.

The obstacles I have now are  with trying to keep track of the different venues that carry my book. This includes Amazon, BN, for both paperback an ebook (Nook, Kindle, for iPad...).  I have a website,, that people can visit and it will take you to the links to purchase the book online.

The other obstacle I have is spreading the word. This is tough without an agent. So am trying to work through my list of ideas. Word of mouth and social media will be best - and I hope to get response in these areas. There are reviews on Amazon, which is exciting --- and the best part, some of those people are not people that I know! Of course I appreciate my friends honest reviews, but a review from people who only know me due to writing, is very rewarding.

Would you / are you planning to self-publish more books in the future?

I have two other novels in the works that I would like to self-publish if I can cover the costs of the edit, design and publishing process. Actually, three books. They are:
Tango in Tazewell County.  This is about a seasoned city girl starting a ballroom dance studio in the Heartland... and all the drama, change and passion that comes with dancing, dance instructors, and putting eclectic people in one place!

A Wife: Conversations with Myself
This is a story woven around all those things that "this wife" thinks to herself but never says ... it opens up raw truths with the thoughts and actions of what appears to be an ordinary wife and mother. Who said anything about ordinary?

 I would like to write a  travelogue, To France With Claire, after spending eight days in France with her last month on Spring  Break -- just the two of us. We had a dream vacation. She is a senior and off to college in August.We journaled during the trip and have an idea to co-write a book that shows our different  perspectives of the trip. 

If you go to my website -- the  top picture on the home page is me holding my book (this part is cut off) in front of the historic Shakespeare and Co, an English bookstore in Paris. It was exciting... I left a copy of my book on the stacks! :-)

A big thanks to Kathleen for visting Mommy's Reading Too and another big thanks to Patti Bower at Diligent Editorial and Book Production Service, who first got me interested in reading What If You Made It Up? .

To get your own copy go to

Saturday, April 14, 2012

At The Corner Of Wall And Sesame By Wendy Levitt

At the Corner of Wall and Sesame

V Skyler has it all. Fantastic career, amazing husband, and an unbelievable view from her apartment on Central Park West. Her whole life is wrapped up with a big silver bow, and she is sure it will be no problem to tie a rattle to the end of it. But problems start even before Baby Madison arrives. V wants to schedule a Friday delivery, but her water breaks in the middle of the board room. At the hospital, a resident cuts off her frantic e-mailing. And the head nurse won’t give her a private room for her 3:00a.m. conference call with Asia. V is determined to get back to business, but Baby Madison has other plans. She can’t even get through voice mail without splitting an eardrum or getting covered in goo, poo, or some other “oo” that has no place in the corporate world. Even as she fights to get back to "normal," V is drawn into the world of the Stay at Homes. By the time her maternity leave is over, she's no longer positive which path she wants her life to take. For ten months V bounces between her two lives like a super ball in a fun house. At home she faces mothers who can’t figure out why anyone would ever think about leaving their child for eighty hours a week. At work her colleagues whisper every time she leaves the office before 8:00. And to make things worse, Jason has a definite opinion as to how V should handle the tug of war that has become her life. Pushed to the brink of losing everything, V knows she's going to have to take a stand. She just hopes it is one she can live with.

I am just going to say it .... I loved reading this book! I laughed and I stressed out with the main character V throughout the book. I felt her roller coaster of emotions as she tried to be a perfect high power exec and a perfect new Mom and just do it all! I too once thought that I could do everything and sometimes still do ... and the author has managed to show that it is okay not to be perfect in every aspect at all times. Because the reality is that something has got to give and that does not mean you are a failure, its just life! I was entertained and empowered as a woman, at the same time. Especially as being a SAHM doesn't always get the credit it deserves! I recommend this to all Mom's and to all who know a great Mom!

To get this into your hands go to

Monday, April 9, 2012

Blog Tour Stop - These Girls By Sarah Pekkanen

Sarah’s website:

These Girls page on S&

"In her third novel, internationally bestselling author Sarah Pekkanen examines the lives of three women working and living together in New York City and shows that family secrets may shape us all, but it’s the rich, complicated layers of friendship that can save us.Cate, Renee, and Abby have come to New York for very different reasons, and in a bustling city of millions, they are linked together through circumstance and chance.

Cate has just been named the features editor of Gloss, a high-end lifestyle magazine. It’s a professional coup, but her new job comes with more complications than Cate ever anticipated.
Cate’s roommate Renee will do anything to nab the plum job of beauty editor at Gloss. But snide comments about Renee’s weight send her into an emotional tailspin. Soon she is taking black market diet pills—despite the racing heartbeat and trembling hands that signal she’s heading for real danger.

Then there’s Abby, whom they take in as a third roommate. Once a joyful graduate student working as a nanny part time, she abruptly fled a seemingly happy life in the D.C. suburbs. No one knows what shattered Abby—or why she left everything she once loved behind.

Pekkanen’s most compelling, true-to-life novel yet tells the story of three very different women as they navigate the complications of careers and love—and find the lifeline they need in each other."

I was happy to be invited to this blog tour by Simon & Schuster Canada as this was a very enjoyable read. The author has been compared in other reviews to Sarah Dessen and Emily Giffen, and I whole-heartily agree with the comparisons. During my late teen years (MANY YEARS AGO) I had discovered a wonderful new writer Sarah Dessen, she was writing about my friends and I . Now in my early thirties I have found another new author (new to me anyways) who is writing about so many people I know, including aspects of my own ups and downs. The characters I enjoy to read about have grown up since my teen reading days, but they need to be just as real and likable in all there own ways (and they cannot never be the perfect woman). Sarah Pekkanen has done this for me in These Girls! I highly recommend this to anyone who likes contemporary women's fiction. I now have to go out and get her first two books as I am sure I will love them too!

I am so excited that Sarah Pekkanen took the time out of what must be a crazy busy schedule to do a short interview with Mommy's Reading Too! Thank you Sarah!

1. Could you please tell us a little about yourself.
Sure! I’m a former journalist who became a stay-at-home Mom after my first son was born (now I have three boys!) I’ve wanted to be a writer my entire life, and I turned to fiction because when I left my job at a newspaper, I felt as if there was a gaping hole in my life. I loved being a Mom, but losing writing was like losing my best friend. So one night, I poured a glass of wine (for courage!) and went up to my computer and began to type. Those pages turned into my first novel, THE OPPOSITE OF ME. I live with my family and rescue lab, Bella, just outside of Washington D.C. I’m also a chocoholic. And, um, I watch more Reality TV than I should.

2. How did you first get into writing?
When I was a little girl, I used to write books on 3-ring binder paper and send them off to publishers. I can’t remember ever not writing. When I don’t write for even a few days, I feel jittery and unmoored. I think it’s the best way I have to process my emotions and feelings.

3. Could you please tell us a bit about how you first got published.
I spent a really long time writing my first book, and I took classes at a local writing center, and even read books on how to write a book! When I completed my fourth or fifth draft of my novel, I sent out a query letter to agents (a query letter Is just a one-page letter describing your book. The trick is to make it really interesting – it should read like the copy on the back jacket of a book you might pick up in a store and decide to buy). I heard back from a terrific agent, who immediately told me to rewrite the book. Twice. I did, and then we sent it out to publishers (my agent handled this aspect of it, while I helped by pacing and biting my nails). I couldn’t believe it when we got a publishing deal with my dream editor, Greer Hendricks, who also edits Jennifer Weiner and the authors of The Nanny Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada.

4. What is the story behind These Girls? What triggered the story?
I loved the idea of writing a book centering around female friendships. My first book is about sisters, and my second is about a marriage, and it made sense for my third – These Girls – to focus on yet another important relationship in a woman’s life – friendship. I love the complexity in women’s relationships. It’s such a rich, nurturing, deep bond, and I wanted to show that even though we all might have some pain and complications in our families of origin, we can create another family for ourselves through the gift of friendship.

Thanks so much for having me here today, and If anyone would like to connect on Facebook or twitter @sarahpekkanen please come find me – I’d love to chat more!

Guest Author Post - Kimberly S. Lin

A little over a week ago I reviewed a great book "Recession Proof" by Kimberly S. Lin. 

Today I am excited that Kimberly will be a guest blogger here at Mommy's Reading Too!  I asked her to let us know the story behind the book.

Recession Proof started out as a way for me to express how I felt as a young twenty-something professional working in today’s economic landscape. I think there’s an incredible sense of fear and uncertainty when you’re in your twenties and for today’s twenty-somethings, it’s exacerbated by the Recession. So many times, people sacrifice their passions to simply get by. I wanted to create a contemporary “heroine” that experiences all these fears and challenges but manages to triumph and have a little fun along the way.

But for me personally, I was inspired by my mom to quit my job in corporate finance and pursue what I really love. After she retired, she was really honest with me and said that she couldn’t even remember what she loved to do after working in the corporate world for 25 years. I just decided that I didn’t want my life to start at 55. I wanted it to start now.

Truly, I don't regret my financial experience since publishing is still a business at the end of the day. But I always knew I was always really good at writing, especially story-telling. There’s a unique sense of fulfillment I feel when creating something out of nothing. And it makes me happy, plain and simple.

More About Kimberly S. Lin:  
Kimberly S. Lin, a California native, g raduated from UC Irvine with a degree in Economics. After college, she moved to Los Angeles and worked as a financial writer and hedge fund analyst but always dreamed of becoming a women's literature writer. Utilizing her experiences, she writes stories that are witty, heartwarming and relatable to the modern woman. She is the publisher of Minted Magazine, a career and lifestyle magazine empowering women and working on her second novel.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Recession Proof Blog Tour - a novel by Kimberly S. Lin

Sometimes going after what you want is the hardest thing you will ever do...

Meet Helen. Smart, successful and obliviously trapped. For the past six years, Helen has given her life and her heart to her cushy corporate finance job and to Mark without question. However as the Recession sweeps the Nation, she is one of many left unemployed and with the burning question of what does she really want in life.

RECESSION PROOF is a debut novel for anyone that has settled in their career and relationship but has discovered that what really matters in life is living it.

This is a book that many can relate to in today’s world of financial woes! I thought that it was a well written story that really allows you to get involved with the characters. It actually has made me think about what do I WANT TO DO if I could do anything at all. While I won't share my aswer to that question, I will tell you that if you want a fun read about this crazy world we are living in right now, get yourself a copy of this book!

To get a hold of your copy go to:
·        Amazon:
·        Barnes & Noble

And a quick thanks to Amanda at CLNB Blog tours for giving me the opportunity to join this blog tour. Check out this link to visit other stops along the way