Book Review: And Then I Am Gone

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Author: Mathias B. Freese
Summary from Goodreads:
And Then I Am Gone: A Walk with Thoreau tells the story of a New York City man who becomes an Alabama man. Despite his radical migration to simpler living and a late-life marriage to a saint of sorts, his persistent pet anxieties and unanswerable questions follow him. Mathias Freese wants his retreat from the societal "it" to be a brave safari for the self rather than cowardly avoidance, so who better to guide him but Henry David Thoreau, the self-aware philosopher who retreated to Walden Pond "to live deliberately" and cease "the hurry and waste of life"? In this memoir, Freese wishes to share how and why he came to Harvest, Alabama (both literally and figuratively), to impart his existential impressions and concerns, and to leave his mark before he is gone.

About the Author

Mathias B. Freese is a writer, teacher, and psychotherapist who has authored six books. His I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust won the Beverly Hills Book Awards and the Reader's Favorite Book Award, and it was a finalist in the Indie Excellence Book Awards, the Paris Book Festival, and the Amsterdam Book Festival. In 2016 Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers, his first memoir, received seven awards.

Personal Review:
In full disclosure, I have never read Thoreau. But when the author of this book reached out to me and I read the information about a city guy moving to a more rural place, I thought I would give it a try. This book was an interesting read and I am glad that I picked it up.

In the book, we gain a much broader understanding of the author, who wants to be, who he becomes, and what he thinks about in the world. I think that there is some vulnerability in the book and I appreciate it because it comes across as sincere.

Thanks for the opportunity to read this book.

Disclaimer: I was awarded this book from the author. Though I did not pay for the book, the opinions are strictly my own.

Happy Reading!

Book Promotion: My One and Only

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Hi Everyone!

Just stopping by to let you know about a book that may be just what you need this holiday season!


Getting snowed in with a hot guy is not a bad way to spend the holidays...

Five Years Ago She Was Left at the Altar

Five years later…Jessica Monroe has moved on with her life in Harper’s Corner, and her fabulously successful bridal business. She has her friends, and her comfortable life in one of America’s most beautiful small towns. What more could a girl possibly want? 

Matthew Larson is roguishly handsome and happily enlisted in the Army. He lives for two things: serving his country and Jessica Monroe. He’s loved her for years, long before she was engaged to his arrogant and self-absorbed brother Will. 

When Will left her at the altar, Matt was there to comfort her, as much as an almost brother-in-law was allowed, before he deployed to Afghanistan. 

They were almost family so Jessica kept in touch, but little did she know how hungrily Matt would read each email. She was his escape from the horrors of war and a reminder of a simpler life that awaited him back in Harper’s Corner. 

When Matt finally returns Jessica is taken aback by a rush of emotions - suddenly faced with the reality that she nearly married the wrong brother. 

Welcome to Book One in the Harper’s Corner Series. 

Author Bio:
I’ve worked in publishing for twenty years and I sincerely love books and authors. I started this journey with my own books planning to write just one, and then well - all I can say is the stories kept coming. My original series The Publicist, follows Kate, Mac, Nick, Vivienne and a host of other awesome characters as they make their lives in New York, amidst the chaos that publishing often brings with it. 

There are six books in that series now and if you're already a fan, I think you from the bottom of my heart. 
Now I'm delving into royal romance, with a touch of history, time travel and paranormal thrown in for good measure. I love writing, and I have many tales to tell. I hope you'll enjoy reading them all. 
Please feel free to email me at with your thoughts on any of my books. 

More Information:
Instagram: Publicistgal Twitter: Publicistgal  Facebook: Website: and


Happy Reading!


Friday, December 29, 2017

Fri. | Dec. 29 – Top Books that Blew Your Mind This Year #AMonthofFaves – squee worthy reads

This one was a bit hard for me! I read some really great books this year. To that end, rather than select individual books, I just really wanted to say thank you for everyone in book world. To the authors, to the publishers, my fellow bloggers, all of you!

You make this community great!
Happy Reading!


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thu. | Dec. 28 – Favorite Book Covers From Our Reads This Year #AMonthofFaves

Here are few of mine:

Cute puppies!

Hiking? Yes, please?

Just a real sentiment...LOL

This one makes me smile!

Happy Reading!

Waiting on Wednesday: All We Ever Wanted

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Hi Everyone!

Letting you know about a book that I am waiting on! :)

Author: Emily Giffin
Release Date: June 26, 2018

Summary from Goodreads:
Two very different families collide in the new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed, The One & Only, and First Comes Love. When scandal threatens your loved ones, how far would you go to protect them?

Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville's elite. Her husband's tech business is booming, and her son, Finch, is bound for Princeton.

Thomas Talone is a single dad working multiple jobs. His daughter, Lila, was recently accepted to Nashville's most prestigious private high school on a scholarship.

Then one devastating photo changes everything. Lila passes out at a party, drunk and half-naked. Finch snaps a picture, types out a caption and--click--sends it out to a few friends. The photo spreads quickly, and before long, an already divided community takes sides, throws blame, and implodes. And in the midst of it all, Nina and Tom are forced to question all their assumptions about love and loyalty.

In this riveting novel, Emily Giffin tells a story of characters who face impossible choices--but emerge to live more truly to themselves than they ever have before

Happy Reading!


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tue. | Dec. 26 – Challenges {The Year End Updates on Reading Challenges, Personal Goals, Resolutions} #AMonthofFaves – how did you do? Are you going to do more challenges next year?

I would say it has been a hit and miss year. I have had some successes, yes! But there are others I would like to do more with in the next year. Maybe try for #0by19?
 Happy Reading!

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Photo Credit

Book Review: A Prairie Girl's Faith

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Author: Stephen W. Hines
Summary from Goodreads: 
The beloved author of the Little House books was not only one of America's great pioneer storytellers but a woman of vibrant faith.

A Prairie Girl's Faith provides the first extended, in depth discussion of the Christian faith of one of America's most beloved pioneer women--Laura Ingalls Wilder. Although the faith of the Ingalls' family pervades books in the Little House series, the more specific details of Laura's faith have never been fully explored. It took extraordinary pluck for anyone to survive the harshness of frontier life--from the heartbreak of sudden crop losses to murderous storms to unrelentling loneliness. This book reveals how in surviving, the brave Laura drew not just on her character, but found encouragement, strength, and hope in her relationship with God.

Personal Review:
I picked this book up because I had grown up watching Little House on the Prairie and was familiar with Laura Ingalls Wilder. I always knew it was based on a real person, but to get the details of her was informative and interesting.

I appreciated that the author shared about how tough it was to grow up in the time that she did and to experience what she had experienced. Life was not easy.

I really enjoyed this book. Thanks for the opportunity! 

 Disclaimer: I was awarded this book as part of the blogging for books program. Though I did not pay for the book, the opinions are strictly my own.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Born to be Wild

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Author: Jess P. Shatkin
Summary from Goodreads: 
A groundbreaking, research-based guide that sheds new light on why young people make dangerous choices--and offers solutions that work.

Texting while driving. Binge-drinking. Bullying. Unprotected sex. There are plenty of reasons for parents to worry about getting a late-night call about their teen. But most of the advice parents and educators hear about teens is outdated and unscientific--and based on the rates of teen pregnancy, accidents, addiction, and more.

Acclaimed adolescent psychiatrist Jess P. Shatkin brings more than two decades' worth of research and clinical experience to the subject, along with cutting-edge findings from brain science, evolutionary psychology, game theory, and other disciplines -- plus a widely curious mind and the perspective of a concerned dad.

Using science and stories, fresh analogies, clinical anecdotes, and research-based observations, Shatkin explains: Why "scared straight," adult logic, and draconian punishment don't work.

Why the teen brain is "born to be wild"--shaped by evolution to explore and take risks.

The surprising role of brain development, hormones, peer pressure, screen time, and other key factors.

What parents and teachers can do--in everyday interactions, teachable moments, and specially chosen activities and outings--to work with teens' need for risk, rewards and social acceptance, not against it.

Personal Review:
While, I do not personally have kids, I thought this book was a very interesting read. It is interesting to hear about the science of adolescence and the stories that go along with it. I studied family science in undergraduate and this book appealed to me in many ways. I appreciated the ideas behind this book.

I would recommend this book for those who want to learn more about the young person in their lives. I thought it had golden nuggets of information and ideas.

Thank you for the opportunity to read this book.

 Disclaimer: I was awarded this book. Though I did not pay for the book, the opinions are strictly my own.

Happy Reading!


Friday, December 22, 2017

Fri. | Dec. 22 – “New to Me” Author Discoveries #AMonthofFaves – which books by authors you hadn’t read from before made you.

Both excellent reads! 


Happy Reading!

Book Promotion: Hollywood Riptide

Thursday, December 21, 2017

 Hi Everyone!

Letting you know about a book that may be of interest to you.

Author: Joseph Sciuto
Summary from Amazon:
A seismic shift in Hollywood's power structure occurred during the 1980s. Gone were the moguls and founding fathers of the motion picture industry -- Jack L. Warner, Louis B. Mayer, Carl Laemmle, Samuel Goldwyn, and Darryl Zanuck. The studios were being taken over by technological giants such as Sony and Panasonic, and the new owners turned to lawyers and talent agents to run their newly obtained properties. In 1982, an aspiring young screenwriter, Nick Caggiano, moves from the Bronx to Los Angeles, hoping to find work in the industry. At a famous bar and restaurant on the Sunset Strip one night, he encounters a wealthy young woman named Nicole. What transpires between them creates a riptide of greed, corruption, and perversion that drags Nick through the underbelly of the Hollywood establishment, upending his life and challenging his moral fabric and his sense of self.

You can find out additional information on his blog here.

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Wed. | Dec 20 – The Most Unique, Weird or Memorable Book(s) Read This Year #AMonthofFaves – books you did not finish, were super weird, characters you disliked, book award winners (from this year) you read and didn’t like, books you didn’t think you would like, but you did.

I am used to her as a romance writer...but I really liked it anyways :) 
Happy Reading!

Guest Post with Ellen Wood

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Hi Everyone!

I am excited to be here today to bring you guest post from Ellen Wood. Please help me by giving her a warm welcome to the blog!


How To Talk To Your Body by Ellen Wood, Author of Joy! Joy! Joy!
There’s a light dusting of snow on Taos Mountain and this very warm day has turned quite chilly as the sun begins to set. From my car window I see no-neck people with their collars turned up and shoulders slightly hunched against the wind. It’s sleeveless weather during the day but the temperature plunges 50 degrees by dark in this high-elevation town, and many of those still outside are caught underdressed even though they know it happens every day this time of year. I park the car, step outside and whoosh! – the wind has its own design in mind for my hair.

I used to lament my thin hair but since I’ve been practicing age-reversing/joy-receiving techniques, I’ve changed how I feel about my hair – and every other part of my body. I know that loving who I am and how I look and feel right now is an essential part of this process. And I know that what I think and believe about who I am determines how I look and feel.

Here’s why: our thoughts and beliefs create energy, which influences matter – since at the most basic level, matter IS energy. The sub-atomic “particles” that compose your body are energy. This energy exists as a wave, until you observe it – and then it becomes a particle. But if you stop observing this energy, it becomes a wave again.

If you’d like to know more about the science, read renowned cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton’s “Biology of Belief.”

So it’s your observation, your attention, your intention, that literally creates what you see around you, and literally, creates you – your body. This is a participatory universe, in which your consciousness participates in the creation of everything.

If you can manage to love who you are and how you look right now, then joy and youthfulness will come to you far more quickly. But if you can’t truly love yourself, “fake it ’til you feel it.” Instead of criticizing your hair, your skin, your legs, your butt, occupy your conscious mind with words of love. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make after this becomes a habit.

Talk to your body. Here’s an example of how I talk to parts of my body, “I love you, legs. Thank you for carrying me around. Thank you for getting me up and down stairs without my having to consciously think about it.” Try it. Do it while you’re bathing, or dry brushing your skin, if that seems a more appropriate way to begin.

But don’t stop at your body: say “I love you” frequently.  When I wake up in the morning, I look out the window and say, “I love you, mountains.” Do they hear me?  I don’t know. What I DO know is that it makes me feel good and creates the thrilling emotion of love inside my being – so why not say it?

As I write this, I am saying “I love you,” to you, my reader. I hope you can feel it.

For further info:

Ellen Wood of Taos, New Mexico, is a humorous inspirational speaker, columnist and award-winning author. As upbeat and vivacious as Ms. Wood is, it hasn't always been an easy road for her. Five years after her mother died of Alzheimer’s, Ellen started experiencing progressive mental decline similar to the early stages of Alzheimer’s (she has the gene, APO-e4). That, plus a diagnosis of breast cancer and other serious knocks and bruises, provided the ‘wake up call’ to change her life. In 2004 Ellen developed a program of seven mind/body/spirit techniques which she continues practicing to this day. She shared the mental and spiritual foundation for rejuvenation in Think and Grow Young and the audio book won the Gold Nautilus Award in 2011. An unexpected speaking engagement to help an organization decrease a northern New Mexico town’s high suicide and depression rate changed Ellen’s primary focus from growing younger to reducing stress and conquering the blues. That speech led to subsequent speaking gigs on the subject and Joy! Joy! Joy! 7 Mind Body Spirit Self-Help Practices to Relieve Stress and Anxiety, Reverse Memory Loss and Live Happy was born.

Short Bio:
Ellen Wood of Taos, New Mexico, is a humorous inspirational speaker, columnist and award-winning author of Think and Grow Young. Her new book is Joy! Joy! Joy! 7 Mind Body Spirit Self-Help Practices to Relieve Stress and Anxiety, Reverse Memory Loss and Live Happy.

Thanks Ellen for being on the blog today!


Happy Reading!


Monday, December 18, 2017

Mon. | Dec 18 – I Love … December #AMonthofFaves – Rep your home’s holiday look, share pictures of your holiday decorations. Christmas tree, your favorite holiday traditions, holiday festivities, favorite ornaments, places to go, holiday drinks, holiday eats, holiday themed reads.

Happy Reading!

Book Promotion: Christmas Stories

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Hi Everyone!

I am excited to be here to tell you about a holiday book that may be up your alley! Be sure to check it out.


Background about the book:
This is a book of seven short stories that are all told during the Christmas season.  Each character is taken on a journey that is magnified during this special and difficult time of year. In “Comfort and Joy” a high powered attorney faces the dilemma of “gaining the whole world and losing her soul.”    In “The Santa Suit,” a young boy has to stay with his grandfather during the Christmas season. He realizes his Mother and him have judged the man too harshly, as he gets to really know his grandpa from a different lens. “Angels in the Midst” is a supernatural story of an Angel who has forgotten his way and needs to find the truth before midnight on Christmas Eve.    “911” Finds Gloria Diamond a burnt out Home Coming Queen trying to stop blaming and making excuses for her lack of character and finds the strength to do something about it, by doing something for someone else.  “Lost in Florida” is a Christmas memory about a beloved brother.  “Sitting in my seat at the lounge in the airport I find something very mysterious about this out of place Christmas tree.” “Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree.” will tell you what it is.   Jessie Torres is heading for trouble with the law until he finds and “Unexpected Gift.”

Author bio: 
After years of being “followed around” by his characters, Kevin Moore decided to put them on paper and bring them to life. This is his first book. Kevin grew up in New York City among the magic New York creates at Christmas time and now lives in the City of Angels, which has its own magic. Moore had his play "Conversations From The Sports Arena performed at the HBO Theater in Hollywood.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: The Shift

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Author: Mo Issa
Summary from Goodreads: After a devastating family tragedy, author Mo Issa was forced to reexamine his life. Six surprising catalysts helped him rethink his whole life plan. These came from a wide range of sources—from Leo Tolstoy’s seminal classic The Death of Ivan Ilyich to BrenĂ© Brown’s TED Talk. With these influences in mind, Issa thought about the way he was living and asked himself whether it was how he really wanted to live his life.

It wasn’t, and Issa realized he had to change. He started working toward a more authentic, spiritual existence. Along the way, he dug deep into his psyche and got to know himself, identifying the habits that helped him focus on his purpose. He is now sharing these habits and more with you!

In The Shift,Issa discusses

the importance of authenticity, 
the connection between the spirit and the mind, 
the need for vulnerability, 
the direct and indirect actions that can help you form good habits, 
the consequences of conforming to society’s standards instead of questioning and challenging them, and 
living a life without regret. 

Issa hopes he can inspire you and give you the tools you need to seek out the true version of yourselves.

Personal Review:In this book, we met Issa who has to take a step back to look at his life and figure out if this was the way he really wanted to live. We explore with him the things that really helped him to become self-aware, like his habits. While thinking about who you are and who you want to be is no easy task, he share with us ways to do so. 

I appreciated the sincerity of this book and about what makes sense for his life. It is encouraging and a very interesting read.

I appreciated the opportunity to read this! Thank you.

 Disclaimer: I was awarded this book. Though I did not pay for the book, the opinions are strictly my own.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Follow the Snowflakes Review

Friday, December 15, 2017

Author Name: Angelina Kerner
Publication Date: December 15, 2017
Genre: Chick-lit/ Contemporary Romance


 At 28, it’s bad to be single. After four years of relationship struggles, Cat is ready to try anything.
That’s when her friend tells her about her class’ Dear Santa letters. One little boy asked for a new mommy, and she suggests Cat meets the kid’s dad, just to see where things go. Cat figures it can’t hurt…until she meets a stranger in the midst of a car accident. The man is handsome with a sad look in his eyes. He still wears a wedding band and she’s not sure his heart’s available, even if he makes her heart race. But, maybe he’s a widower? Cat wonders if she should resign herself to being an old maid, or whether she could possibly be the answer to a little boy’s Christmas wish, unless there’s a third option – a future with the stranger.

About the Author
Angelina Kerner.jpg
Angelina Kerner’s writing career started at a young age when she discovered that her creativity could be channeled through a bit of ink and paper.

She moved around during her younger years from Novosibirsk and Kaluga Russia to finally settle in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. This startling contrast between the fierce snow of Siberia and the bright sun of the American West is a crucial source of inspiration and humility: the forces of people is to be found not only in their spirits, but in their land too.

Angelina’s curiosity in the human condition led her to pursue courses in psychology and blossomed into a master’s degree in Topographical science. It was with a burning fire that she rejected the status quo offered to her generation, and after many meaningless jobs, she decided that writing could be the canvas in which she could express this dichotomy. While working full-time behind counters and registers, she persisted in supporting her family, her full-time coursework, and her creative dreams.
She dared to believe in her talents, and most importantly, in her ability to make a real mark on this world.

Like any creative soul, there was time for doubts, self-loathing, and loneliness, but never fear. She worked on countless experimental narratives, universes, genres, until her voice crystallized into her first published narrative. She is now the author of Deity’s Soulmate and Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted. Her next project involves a competition for a beautiful phoenix. Angelina currently divides her time between her family, work, writing, lots of cats, and two celestial dragons.

Personal Review:

Are you looking for a quick interesting read this holiday? Look no more! This short novella is one that was one that fit the bill for me. In a romance filled book that kept you wondering how it would turn out, there was a few twists in the plot. I enjoyed the characters and I thought there could have been more details, but I had enough to get the idea of what was going on. I appreciated the opportunity to read this one. Thank you!

 Disclaimer: I was awarded this book. Though I did not pay for the book, the opinions are strictly my own.
Happy Reading!


Fri. | Dec. 15 – Best Changes You Made To Tweak This Year #AMonthofFaves – best changes you made or routines you kept that to better organize your day / life; your = morning, evening or daily routines.

Good question...

1) I think investing in a smaller planner! I have always used one, but the other was large and too bulky.

2) Continuing to walk K every day!

3) Drinking more coffee? LOL. It helps me focus! 

Happy Reading!

Guest Post with Joanie Pariera

Thursday, December 14, 2017