Monday, October 31, 2016

"Wishing on Snowflakes" 
by Joanne DeMaio

I was very fortunate to have been chosen to be a part of the Snowy Street Team for "Wishing on Snowflakes," the new release by Joanne DeMaio.  It is a combination of two previously-released books titled "Snowflakes and Coffeecakes" and "Snow Deer and Cocoa Cheer."  I received an electronic copy of the book free in exchange for an honest review.

This was my first time reading anything by Joanne DeMaio.  I have had several of her books on my to-read list in the past and just never got around to reading them -- definitely my bad!!  I did not realize what I was missing out on for all of this time until now.

Both of these novels are set in the small, quaint town of Addison, Connecticut just before the holiday season begins and involve a lot of the same people.  The characters are well-developed and before you know it, they have become your friends. 

The first novel opens with a wedding getting ready to take place, but the real story lies in a relationship between someone losing a job and returning home to live again and someone trying to get past a personal tragedy. 

The second novel opens with news that a wedding has been cancelled just a few weeks before the scheduled date.  The story revolves around someone picking up the life's pieces and someone healing after an accident.  As both people heal, love blossoms.

Both novels involve all of the senses and feature a lot of holiday decorating, family, good food, good friends, and lots of snow . . . all of the ingredients for a wonderful holiday season!!  In fact, the books would be a great holiday gift for someone, even yourself!!

I have to admit I was sad to see the stories come to an end.  The next day I was wondering how my friends in Addison were doing.  These DeMaio books are a quick read and definitely worth your time.  I know I am glad I can finally add her to my list of favorite authors and will read more of her novels in the future.

Monday, October 24, 2016

"The Christmas Club" by Barbara Hinske

I started reading "The Christmas Club" around 3:00 one morning just after I went to bed and was immediately immersed in the story of Verna, Edward, and others in early 1950s Cleveland and how something as simple as a $5.00 bill can change someone's life for the better, sometimes without that person even knowing it.

Barbara Hinske has taken a number of people who did not know each other and interwoven their lives together by simple acts of kindness and selfless caring.  Each life is touched in an honest and pure way that not only allows the receiver to feel better, but also warms the soul of the giver.

The book is short, written in Hinske's usual conversational style, and can easily be read in one or two sittings.  It is perfect to read while waiting in traffic or at a doctor's office.  Once you start reading "The Christmas Club," time will fly and all of a sudden you will be sad to see that you have reached the end of the book -- that is what happened to me.

Thank you Barbara Hinske for another enjoyable read!! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Everything is Possible" by Jen Bricker

"Everything is Possible" by Jen Bricker is written in a conversational style which makes it an easy, quick, and enjoyable read.  Photographs are included in the midsection which highlight some of the moments in Jen's past, as well as being an adult and traveling the world.

Given up at birth by her biological parents, Jen was placed into the foster care system. Fortunately, she was only in the system for about three months before her adoptive parents were able to be matched with her.  She was the answer to her new mother's prayer because her new mother was unable to have more children and really wanted a daughter after having three sons.  It was a family decision to have Jen join them, a decision that has never been regretted.

Even though she was born without legs, Jen Bricker never felt as though she was handicapped or disabled.  In fact, she is grateful for the body she was given and feels that is how God works through her -- by her "uniqueness."  She is the first one to say that God gave her this body for a reason, so she could catch the attention of others "to educate, inform, and inspire" them.  She is a firm believer that everyone has the power to change someone's life by using special, unique talents and gifts.

As Jen grew up, she was raised with love, encouragement, and told that "can't" is a bad word in their home and should not be used.  Even though she was physically challenged, she was encouraged to try anything and everything she wanted to do.  She had a wonderful well-rounded childhood and grew into a caring, mature adult. 

Jen's Christian faith is first and foremost in her life and is the foundation upon which she builds her life.  Throughout the book she quotes special verses from the Bible that are important to her and have been pertinent to her life.

Throughout the book, there are sections titled "My VIPs" where someone from Jen's life, e.g., her parents, family, teachers, and friends, have written a few paragraphs on how important Jen is in their lives.

Overall, this was an enjoyable book about an amazing young woman.  I look forward to seeing what life has in store for her.

Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book by the Jen Bricker Book Launch Team for an honest opinion and review.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Backyard surprise!!

Earlier this week I looked out the window and saw this beautiful sunflower in the backyard -- just one, all by itself.  I was feeling all special that the sunflower chose my backyard in which to grow.  It is growing under the oak tree where birds sit, sing, and, hmmmm.  It makes me wonder where the seed came from . . . but why is there only one sunflower?

No matter, it is beautiful and it is mine!!  I have taken quite a few photographs as it has been opening and blooming.  It is amazing how much it changes from day to day.

Friday, July 29, 2016

"Drawing Close" by Barbara Hinske

Product Details

This is another excellent installment in the Rosemont Series that went by way too quickly for this reader.  As always, Westbury is buzzing with excitement.  There are those folks that have a complete change of heart, those that learn new life-changing facts, and then you have those wretched characters that will never change and want to bring misery to others.  You will have to read "Drawing Close" to find out who is who.  I guarantee you will be surprised!!

Disclaimer:  I was provided an electronic copy of the book by the author to early read and provide a review.

"Something to Hide" by Deborah Moggach

    Something to Hide       

Deborah Moggach has such an ability to be able to weave separate storylines in and out of each other and still maintain a coherent story.  I was a little confused in the beginning at the Prologue wondering why it was there when it seemed to have nothing to do with the storylines when lo and behold, a couple of characters popped up way in the last part of the book as minor characters.  She is so good at that.

This time the main locations the story takes us to are London, England; Beijing, China; White Springs, Texas; and Assenonga, West Africa.  Now if THAT is not enough to already pique your interest, I do not know what can.  Moggach, the magic story weaver, takes us on a journey to have all of the paths of these characters from these locations cross several times, sometimes unknowingly, and sometimes quite vividly.

Love, money and ageing do strange things to people and those they love and nowhere is that more apparent than this delightful novel.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

"How to Do It All" by Linda Formichelli

I was part of the beta read group for this book selected by the author.  A copy of the book was provided in exchange for an honest opinion and comments about the book.

Reading this book is like sitting down and have a cup of tea and a conversation with Author Linda Formichelli.  The style of the book is conversational, easy to understand, and enjoyable to read.  The chapters are short and easy to read a couple if you only have a few minutes.

Even though a lot of this book did not directly apply to me (I live rural and not in a city environment), I still garnered a huge amount of insight from several of the chapters and quite a few of the worksheets that are provided as a free download along with the purchase of the book. 

Several topics that hit home are "Stop Checking Your Email" - it is not necessary to check for messages every 15 minutes throughout the day; "Schedule an Admin Day" - set one day a week to run errands instead of running them every day after work; and "Choose Four" - the night before, choose four items on your to-do list that absolutely must be done the next day and post the four items so you see it the first thing in the morning.

The worksheets will prove to be very helpful such as the "Night-Time Brain Dump List" for listing everything on your mind before you try to go to sleep at night.  This is a big one for me.  Sometimes I just cannot get my brain to be quiet.  Listing the items will allow you to rest knowing that you do not have to remember them, they are on a list, and will be waiting for you to tackle tomorrow.  The "Naikan Worksheet" ended up being my favorite of them all.  I was not familiar with the Naikan method of self-reflection.  I have been doing something similar for years but just did not have a name for it -- now I do.  It is based on three questions:  What have I received from a specific person?  What have I given to or done for this person?  What troubles and difficulties have I caused this person?  The "Tolerations List" is a useful list for getting rid of your frustrations.  It is a list you make of everything that irritates you daily from the faucet dripping to the telephone ringing all the time.  It is suggested that you list 100 items.  It is followed-up by the "Killed Tolerations List" which is where the items go when you have satisfied the problem.  This will be a useful and satisfying list for me.

This will be a good book for the person who is trying to balance a full life and wants to still carve out a piece to have for her own.  Yes, this is possible and Linda will show you how to do it!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


     Welcome to the first post to "Slices of This Life"!!  Previously, my "Day in the Life" blog covered writing, book reviews, and Zentangle posts.  I decided it was time to split them up and dedicate a separate blog for each topic.
     Here is how I have split them:
  • Book reviews and other miscellaneous items will be found here.  
  • Zentangle posts will be found at "ZentangleLynn," (
  • Writing posts will be found at "A Day in the Life" (
Please stop by to visit all three blogs often.  As always, comments and criticisms are appreciated.