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 http://www.pajamadiaries.com/index.php

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 http://www.authorsresources.ca/index2.html 
or
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 http://www.orangeberrybooktours.com/2012/03/suzanne-anderson.html

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 http://www.amazon.com/Mrs-Tuesdays-Departure-ebook/dp/B0045JLR5Y

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 http://www.laurenclarkbooks.com/



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 http://www.tomgalvin.com/


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:
www.tomgalvin.com

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 http://essaysforhope.webs.com/

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 http://becauseiamagirl.ca/ and http://plan-international.org/

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 http://www.roomtoread.org/


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 http://www.heartandstroke.com/

First volume release date - 2012



LOVE

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 http://www.cancer.ca/

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 http://www.salvationarmy.ca/

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