BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Lessons from a Difficult Person: How to Deal with People Like Us by Sarah H. Elliston

Book Details:

Book Title:  Lessons from a Difficult Person: How to Deal with People Like Us
Author:  Sarah H. Elliston
Category:  Adult Non-fiction, 176 pages
Genre:  Self-help / Relationships
Publisher:  CreateSpace
Release date:  November 30, 2016
Tour dates:  Jan 30 to Feb 17, 2017
Content Rating:  G

Book Description:

The funny thing is that Sarah Elliston never realized she was “a difficult person,” — someone who harangued people until she got her way, threw snip fits and temper tantrums, talked over her bosses and pointed out what she thought were their misconceptions. In her family, where she felt bullied, the only way she knew how to get someone’s attention and approval was to voice her opinion—and loudly! Without standing her ground, how could she do what she thought was best for herself and everyone around her. She wasn’t intentionally mean-spirited. She was just trying to do what she thought was RIGHT!

Until a kind, but firm, boss woke her up! With great compassion, and strength, her boss pointed out that that her actions had consequences. That in being “difficult,” she was not only disrupting the office camaraderie and production, but impeding her own professional advancement.

That’s the beginning of Sarah’s transformation— when she started on the journey to leave behind the difficult person, and become the woman who teaches others how to deal with difficult people. Sam Elliston is now bringing forth her vital manual on how to awaken the challenging personality, and change both the relationship and the environment, with her new book Dealing with Difficult People; Lessons Learned from a Difficult Person.

Today, Elliston is a highly successful workshop leader and trainer, who offers wisdom learned the hard way—by experience – as well as through rigorous study and certification in many areas of professional training that aid her in her work — Values Realization, Parent Effectiveness Training and Reality Therapy. She is a faculty member of the William Glasser Institute. Glasser is an internationally recognized psychiatrist and developer of Reality Therapy, a method of psychotherapy that teaches people they have a choice in how they choose to behave.

The methods Elliston offers in her book end the trauma and the drama, and minimize the possibility of confrontation. She gives YOU, the reader, the ability to take a strong, positive, confident—yet compassionate–stance with the “difficult person”—whether that is a relative, coworker, friend, one of your children or anyone else for that matter.

Elliston demonstrates how to:

• Identify the ways to talk to a “difficult” person
• Incorporate true incentives to help people change
• Make real the consequences of the “difficult” person’s action
• Increase success through acceptance and belonging
• Avoid being triggered by the “difficult” person allowing you to neutralize those hot buttons and communicate without judgment

Elliston lays out a proven script for peacefully transforming the difficult person’s behavior and the environment. She gives you the tools for successfully initiating and engaging in a conversation with a difficult person that would lead to change.

Buy the Book:  Amazon

Sarah E. Elliston

Meet the Author:

Sarah (Sam) Elliston is an expert in the art of Dealing with Difficult People. She is a top workshop leader and a member of the faculty of the William Glasser Institute, which espouses “Reality Therapy” to foster behavioral change.

But her instructional career began long before she even became aware that she was herself a “difficult person,” traits that began in Lincoln MA, where she grew up. For more than 30 years she has been teaching and training, first as a high school teacher in Ohio and Cincinnati—and then as an administrator in the notfor-profit sector.

Elliston, who holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Maine and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University, spent 23 years with United Way’s Volunteer Center, coordinating volunteers for city government, training local volunteer coordinators and board volunteers, and managing the volunteer program for United Way.

While at United Way, she developed and managed a certificate-earning series on volunteer management with Northern Kentucky University and The Union Institute. She also taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in Volunteer Program Management at Northern Kentucky University.

Her career at United Way included initiating and managing the Municipal Volunteer Program — Volunteer Cincinnati — for 15 years. In addition, she worked closely with nonprofit agencies to empower their volunteer programs and boards of trustees and served on the Executive Committee of the Cincinnati Association of Volunteer Administrators. She has presented at the International Conference on Volunteer Administration, the Conference for National and Community Service and regional and state conferences in Ohio, Kentucky, Iowa, New York, Michigan and Illinois. She is a Certified Volunteer Administrator, the highest level of professional certification in the field.

In addition to her work as a volunteer administrator, Elliston pursued a course of study that would bring her to her current area of expertise. She is now certified in Values Realization, Parent Effectiveness Training and Reality Therapy. She has served as a board member and president of the Values Realization Institute.

Elliston’s passion is training and designing an experience that allows learners to find a process that works for them to make the changes they desire. She is a gentle, persistent, humorous and intelligent trainer, drawing from many sources and always willing to admit that she might not know the answer.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

​Jan 30 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 31 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 31 – Reviews by Room With Books – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 1 –   Fantastic Feathers – book spotlight / guest post
Feb 1 –   Man of la Book – A Bookish Blog – book spotlight / guest post
Feb 2 –   #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 3 –   Laura’s Interests – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 3 –   A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 6 –   Outset – Rakhi Jayashankar’s Blog – book spotlight
Feb 6 –   Books for Books – book spotlight
Feb 8 –   Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 9 –  JBronder Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview
Feb 9 –   Deal Sharing Aunt – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 10 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 10 – Rainy Day Reviews – book spotlight / author interview
Feb 13 – Reading Authors – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 14 – Everyday Gyaan – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 15 – Perfect Chaos – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 16 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 16 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 17 – Health Is Our Key – book spotlight
Feb 17 – Seaside Book Nook – book spotlight / giveaway

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Book review: Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo

About The Fire By Night

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (January 17, 2017)

A powerful and evocative debut novel about two American military nurses during World War II that illuminates the unsung heroism of women who risked their lives in the fight’s riveting saga of friendship, valor, sacrifice, and survival combining the grit and selflessness of Band of Brothers with the emotional resonance of The Nightingale.

In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo singlehandedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops. There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on to joyful memories of the past, to the times she shared with her best friend, Kay, whom she met in nursing school.

Half a world away in the Pacific, Kay is trapped in a squalid Japanese POW camp in Manila, one of thousands of Allied men, women, and children whose fates rest in the hands of a sadistic enemy. Far from the familiar safety of the small Pennsylvania coal town of her childhood, Kay clings to memories of her happy days posted in Hawaii, and the handsome flyer who swept her off her feet in the weeks before Pearl Harbor. Surrounded by cruelty and death, Kay battles to maintain her sanity and save lives as best she can . . . and live to see her beloved friend Jo once more.

When the conflict at last comes to an end, Jo and Kay discover that to achieve their own peace, they must find their place and the hope of love in a world that’s forever changed. With rich, superbly researched detail, Teresa Messineo’s thrilling novel brings to life the pain and uncertainty of war and the sustaining power of love and friendship, and illuminates the lives of the women who risked everything to save others during a horrifying time.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Teresa Messineo

Teresa Messineo spent seven years researching the history behind The Fire by Night, her first novel. She is a graduate of DeSales University, and her varied interests include homeschooling her four children, volunteering with the underprivileged, medicine, swing dancing, and competitive athletics. She lives in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Connect with Teresa on Facebook.

MY REVIEW:

The newsreels often described the work of a military nurse as “glamorous” and “patriotic”. Kay and Jo, two young American military nurses and best of friends were assigned to different countries during WWI.  They came to realize very quickly that their duties entailed more than what they were trained for.  For Jo, trying to keep six men alive single-handedly at the French front surrounded by Germans and mine fields and enduring severe food, medicine and equipment shortages took both a physical and emotional toll. She learns to hold in her emotions as those she cares for as well as those she cares about can disappear in the blink of an eye without warning.

Kay, in love and stationed in romantic Hawaii soon finds herself a prisoner of war in the Philippines under the control of the Japanese.  Privation, intimidation and death threats are reducing the number of nurses and civilians every day. The only thing they can keep from the Japanese are their precious vials of morphine which they hide in their “victory rolls”.  (see picture below)

Both women long to communicate with each other and are out of contact for most of the war, neither imagining the horrific trials the other is facing.

This novel was extremely intense and descriptive for the first 180 pages or so. However, this scene building helps the reader to identify with the emotions that each of the women were going through and how it affected their choices after the war.  This type of book encourages you to do more research into the subject of military nursing.  Nurses suffered shell shock just as much as the soldiers in the trenches did (PTSD) and were often not given the recognition they deserved.  I look forward to reading more of Teresa Messineo’s work.

Book spotlight: The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall by Shannon Kirk

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Book Details:

Book Title:  The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall by Shannon Kirk
Category:  Adult Fiction, 295 pages
Genre: Literary
Publisher:   Reputation Books
Release date:  September 6, 2016
Format available for review:  Print and ebook (mobi, ePub, NetGalley)
Will send print books to: USA & Canada
Tour dates: Jan 16 to Feb 3, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (Contains a couple of non-explicit, but rather set in impressionist tones, sex scenes.)

Book Description:

What if you could choose your heaven now? Go on a celestial shopping trip of sorts? Thirty-five-year-old Vivienne does just that, as she lies dying in the ICU; a fatal walk into the path of a truck. In her final week of life, Vivienne treks through the Heavens of a priest, a best friend, a homeless child, and a lover who never was. Vivienne’s guardian angel, Noah, who may just be her soul mate, escorts her through selections of Heavens and through the confusion Vivienne experiences as she flounders between a doubt of life and the certainty of death. Although her visits to varied afterlives provide peace and beauty, choosing proves not so easy: Vivienne’s love for her young son and her earthly father pull her from her colorful journey—and from her divine love of Noah.

The nature of love, the variety and magic of life, unending hope, and the importance of saying goodbye are central to this uplifting tale.

Buy the Book:  Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble 

Watch the Book Trailer:

Shannon Kirk

Meet the Author:

Shannon Kirk is the awarding-winning author of the international bestselling Method 15/33 (psychological thriller–bestseller in Colombia and Spain, will be lead title in Italy, 2017) and Heavens (Literary Fiction). Method 15/33 has received multiple accolades: 2015 Foreword Review Book of the Year (Suspense); Winner of 2015 National Indie Excellence Award, Best Suspense; 2015 USA Best Book Finalist; School Library Journal’s Best Adult Books for Teens (2015); and Finalist in 2013 William Faulkner William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition (when a Novella). Method 15/33 is optioned for a major motion film and has sold to nineteen foreign rights.

When not writing, she is a practicing lawyer, residing on Massachusett’s Cape Ann with her husband and son and two cat writing accomplices, Marvin Marquez (in honor of Gabriel Garcia Marquez) and Stewie Poe (Edgar Allen Poe).

Shannon enjoys writing in several genres: literary fiction, psychological thriller, young adult, and poetry. She has been honored three times by the William Faulkner William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

TOUR SCHEDULE:

Jan 16 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 17 – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
Jan 17 – A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 18 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway
Jan 19 – Bound 4 Escape – review / giveaway
Jan 20 – Olio by Marilyn – review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 23 – 3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy + Sissy Too! – review / giveaway
Jan 24 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – review / giveaway
Jan 25 – Thoughts on Books – review / giveaway
Jan 26 – Books for Books – review
Jan 27 – The Autistic Gamer – review
Jan 30 – Turning the Pages – review
Jan 31 – Turning the Pages – author interview / giveaway
Jan 31 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 1   –  Shoshi Reads – review / giveaway
Feb 1   –  Jorie Loves A Story – review
Feb 2   –  Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review
Feb 3   – Jessica Cassidy – review / author interview / giveaway

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

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Book review: Lillian Boxfish takes a walk by Kathleen Rooney

  • Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
  • Date released:  January 17, 2017
  • Pages:  304
  • Genre:  Literary fiction / Women’s fiction

SYNOPSIS:

“In my reckless and undiscouraged youth,” Lillian Boxfish writes, “I worked in a walnut-paneled office thirteen floors above West Thirty-Fifth Street…”

She took 1930s New York by storm, working her way up writing copy for R.H. Macy’s to become the highest paid advertising woman in the country. It was a job that, she says, “in some ways saved my life, and in other ways ruined it.”

Now it’s the last night of 1984 and Lillian, 85 years old but just as sharp and savvy as ever, is on her way to a party. It’s chilly enough out for her mink coat and Manhattan is grittier now—her son keeps warning her about a subway vigilante on the prowl—but the quick-tongued poetess has never been one to scare easily. On a walk that takes her over 10 miles around the city, she meets bartenders, bodega clerks, security guards, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be, while reviewing a life of excitement and adversity, passion and heartbreak, illuminating all the ways New York has changed—and has not.

A love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.

Lillian figures she might as well take her time. For now, after all, the night is still young.

“Extraordinary…Hilarious…Elegantly written, Rooney creates a glorious paean to a distant literary life and time—and an unabashed celebration of human connections that bridge past and future.
Publishers Weekly

BUY THE BOOK:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble   MacMillan

Meet the author:  Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press and a founding member of Poems While You Wait. She has been recognized as one of Newcity Lit’s “Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago 2016.” Her previous work includes poetry as well as both fiction and nonfiction, and has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Allure, Salon, The Rumpus, and the Chicago Tribune. She works as a senior lecturer in English and Creative Writing at DePaul University where she teaches, among other things, a workshop on The Writer as Urban Walker. Kathleen is married to the novelist Martin Seay.

Connect with the author:   Website   Facebook   Twitter   goodreads   tumbler

MY REVIEW:

Eighty-five year old Lillian is going for a walk on New Year’s eve.  A very long walk.  Never the wilting violet, her walk takes her through dangerous neighbourhoods as well as old haunts. As she passes from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, old memories surface as she relives her life beginning as a young career woman who rose to fame writing ads for Macy’s Department Store in the 1930s.  Her widely publicized creed that a woman doesn’t need romance or love in her life backfires when she falls completely and insanely in love with Max.  With the birth of her child, her lifestyle and aspirations change abruptly, causing her to lose her lose her sense of self.

Although this book is a work of fiction, the author’s inspiration came from the real life character of Margaret Fishback, a poet and the real highest-paid female advertising copywriter in the world during the 1930s.

The author, herself a poet, delivers a delightfully witty and touching story of a woman who has it all, loses it all and then comes to terms with who she has become. I smiled often at Lillian’s witticisms and feisty repartee and will buy the hardbound book just so that I can re-read this wonderful story again.

 

 

Book spotlight: Uplift: A Little Book of God’s Promises to Give Hope and Uplift Your Soul by Natalia Terfa

Book Details:

Book Title:  Uplift: A Little Book of God’s Promises to Give Hope and Uplift Your Soul
Author:  Natalia Terfa
Category:  Adult Nonfiction,  152 pages
Genre:  Inspiration
Publisher:  Wise Ink
Release date:  Nov 2016
Tour dates:  Jan 9 to 20, 2017
Content Rating:  G

Book Description:  

No matter how old we are, where we live, or what we believe – there are times in everyone’s life that cause us to struggle. An it’s in those times that we want nothing else but a word of hope and instead are so often surrounded by trite platitudes and false promises.

This is not that.

This small book was written to be something different: to uplift those who need it, to bring grace and love and light to the darkest times, and to be a voice of hope in the world where hope is often at a premium.

Read it yourself and be uplifted, or gift it to someone going through dark days.
We all need a little hope in difficult times. This is just a place to start.

Buy the Book: Amazon  

Natalia Terfa

About the Author:

Natalia Terfa is a pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. She is passionate about grace, yoga, and reading. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and daughter – the love of her life.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter for Book ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

Jan 9   – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 9   – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight / guest post
Jan 10 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 10 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 11 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 12 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 13 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 14 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 16 – Teresa Edmond-Sargeant – book spotlight / author interview
Jan 17 – Puddletown Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 18 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Jan 19 – booklovercircumspect4 – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 20 – Jessica Cassidy – book spotlight
Jan 20 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway

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Book review: The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

the-golden-son-pb-coverThe Golden Son

• Paperback: 432 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (November 29, 2016)

The New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of Secret Daughter returns with an unforgettable story of family, responsibility, love, honor, tradition, and identity, in which two childhood friends—a young doctor and a newly married bride—must balance the expectations of their culture and their families with the desires of their own hearts.

The first of his family to go to college, Anil Patel, the golden son, carries the weight of tradition and his family’s expectations when he leaves his tiny Indian village to begin a medical residency in Dallas, Texas, at one of the busiest and most competitive hospitals in America. When his father dies, Anil becomes the de facto head of the Patel household and inherits the mantle of arbiter for all of the village’s disputes. But he is uneasy with the custom, uncertain that he has the wisdom and courage demonstrated by his father and grandfather. His doubts are compounded by the difficulties he discovers in adjusting to a new culture and a new job, challenges that will shake his confidence in himself and his abilities.

Back home in India, Anil’s closest childhood friend, Leena, struggles to adapt to her demanding new husband and relatives. Arranged by her parents, the marriage shatters Leena’s romantic hopes, and eventually forces her to make a desperate choice that will hold drastic repercussions for herself and her family. Though Anil and Leena struggle to come to terms with their identities thousands of miles apart, their lives eventually intersect once more—changing them both and the people they love forever.

Tender and bittersweet, The Golden Son illuminates the ambivalence of people caught between past and present, tradition and modernity, duty and choice; the push and pull of living in two cultures, and the painful decisions we must make to find our true selves.

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Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Shilpi Somaya Gowda APAbout Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Shilpi Somaya Gowda was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. She holds an MBA from Stanford University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain scholar. She lives in California with her husband and children.

Find out more about Shilpi at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

REVIEW:

Most Indian parents dream that their child becomes a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer. Combine that with a marriage to a good family and their expectations are fulfilled.  In The Golden Son, Anil Patel’s father, as patriarch and arbitrator of the Patel family and village, decides that his son should be sent to America to study to be a doctor.  Anil has reached his potential in India and longs to study and work in an American hospital.

Upon his arrival in America, he quickly realizes that not everything is in black and white. He wants to adapt to the culture of his new country, but doesn’t want to give up the traditions of the old.  Anil is shocked by the prejudice shown toward Indian immigrants. He hopes to find respite back home but after having spent several years in the US, discovers that he somehow doesn’t quite fit in with the culture he once knew.

The author deftly weaves in different characters into Anil’s life.  These characters help shape Anil as he desperately tries to please his family in India as well as his hospital superiors.  To be honest, I much preferred reading more about these other characters than the main character because they were so beautifully brought to life.   I would love to see another novel that continues on with their lives.

There is plenty of intense drama in this story so be prepared to stay up late reading it.

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Book spotlight: Falling For The Stars: A Stunt Gal’s Tattle Tales by Lisa Loving Dalton

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Book Details:

Book Title:  Falling For The Stars: A Stunt Gal’s Tattle Tales
Author:  Lisa Loving Dalton
Category:  Adult Nonfiction,  224 pages
Genre:  Memoir, Performing Arts
Publisher:  Peak Performance Living
Release date:  Oct 27, 2016
Tour dates:  Nov 21 to Dec 9, 2016
Content Rating:  PG-13 + M

Book Description:  

Lisa Loving Dalton spent years working with or stunt doubling for a galaxy of celebrity stars including Madonna, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Katherine Hepburn, Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, Darryl Hannah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robin Williams, Robert Downey Jr., Liam Neeson, Cher and more…

Yet, what stands out in her new book Falling For The Stars: A Stunt Gal’s Tattle Tales is the indomitable spirit she assayed, despite the extraordinary price she paid for her stellar career—including misogyny, a miscarriage, and a life-long back injury. And each juicy story she relays in her fascinating chronicle, brings home an important life lesson for the reader—one that she learned the hard way.

Beginning as a naïve, insecure actress, trying to use extra work and stunts as a way into the Hollywood firmament, Dalton rises to become one of the top stunt professionals, ultimately reaping the economic rewards and the ego gratification—while denying her true desire to act full time. Dalton appeared in more than 200 films, television shows and commercials in New York, Hollywood and Texas, including work in Ghostbusters, Money Pit, Crocodile Dundee, Married to the Mob, FX, Legal Eagles, and Splash on the big screen and ER, HBO’s Carnivale, Dr. Quinn and Melrose Place among her many TV credits.

Yet, Falling For The Stars also provides a magical behind-the-scenes look at the stars and moviemaking through the eyes of a woman who went toe-to-toe with the Hollywood elite, or at least walked in their stunt shoes. She knows first-hand the caring and humanity of such luminaries as Streep, Redford and Cher.

Dalton reveals what it took to hang over cliffs, get hit by a moving car, drop from five stories up, dodge a bridge full of speeding cars—and to ignore the Universe’s more gentle prompts that it was time to quit and follow her passion into acting fulltime or teaching acting. The resulting career-ending spinal injury has a story of its own, how she researched medical and alternative paths that form the heart of what she shares with the world today. She is now certified in NLP, Hypnosis, and Neurological Repatterning—ways she learned to heal.

With humor and candor, Dalton inspires the reader to rise above one’s fears and limitations and go for the gusto. In her book, it is very clear that she knows full well that tomorrow is promised to no one and there is no gift greater than the present. And the present is what you make of it by finding the hidden gifts. Today, she helps actors burnish their gifts by performing and teaching acting around the world.

Buy the Book:  Amazon

Watch the trailer:


Lisa Loving Dalton

Meet the Author:

From a bullied, dyslexic, messy, freckle-faced, klutzy pixie, Lisa Loving Dalton grew into a statuesque and skillful stuntwoman, actor, director, teacher, author, filmmaker, leadership and life coach, and ceremonial minister. Always seeking and finding the silver lining, she has made the most of whatever life threw at her. She says, “I spill stuff, trip and drip all of the time so I made a career out of it. My advice: Embrace what is as perfect.”

Dalton appeared in more than 200 films, television shows and commercials in New York, Hollywood and Texas, including work in Ghostbusters, Money Pit, Crocodile Dundee, Married to the Mob, FX, Legal Eagles, and Splash on the big screen and ER, HBO’s Carnivale, Dr. Quinn and Melrose Place among her many TV credits.

Connect with the author:

Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest  ~  Youtube  ~  Instagram

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

Nov 21 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 21 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – book spotlight / guest post
Nov 22 – Book Reviews Nature photos and everything in between – book spotlight
Nov 22 – Reading Authors – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 23 – My Life. One Story at a Time. – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 23 – Kimber Leigh Writes – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 23 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight
Nov 24 – A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 24 – Fantastic Feathers  – book spotlight / guest post
Nov 25 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 28 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 29 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Nov 30 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 1 –  Cheryl’s Book Nook – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Dec 2 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Dec 2 – My Devotional Thoughts – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Dec 5 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 6 – fuonlyknew – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Dec 7 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight
Dec 8 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 9 – E-News With Jessy – book spotlight

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Book review: Dreaming Sophia: Because Dreaming is an Art by Melissa Muldoon

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Book Details:

Book Title:  Dreaming Sophia: Because Dreaming is an Art by Melissa Muldoon
Category:  Adult Fiction, 232 pages
Genre: Literary
Publisher:  Matta Press
Release date:   August 2016
Available for review in: print and ebook (ePub, PDF, mobi)
Will send print books: USA & Canada
Tour dates:  Nov 21 to Dec 16, 2016
Content Rating:  PG (Mild profanity, and mild religious expletives, exploration Italian swear words, kissing – oh my!)

Book Description:

Dreaming Sophia is a magical look into Italy, language, art, and culture. It is a story about turning dreams into reality and learning to walk the fine line between fact and fantasy. When tragedy strikes, Sophia finds herself alone in the world, without direction and fearful of loving again. With only her vivid imagination to guide her, she begins a journey that will take her from the vineyards in Sonoma, California to a grad school in Philadelphia and, eventually, to Italy: Florence, Lucca, Rome, Verona, Venice, and Val d’Orcia.

Through dreamlike encounters, Sophia meets Italian personalities—princes, poets, duchesses, artists, and film stars— who give her advice to help put her life back together. Following a path that takes her from grief to joy, she discovers the source of her creativity and learns to love again, turning her dreams into reality.

Buy the Book:  

Amazon – print
Amazon / Kindle – ebook
Create Space
I-tunes – Apple Store-ebook
Barnes & Noble – ebook

Inktera-ebook

Melissa meets Sophia Loren in March 2016!

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Watch as Melissa talks about her debut novel: 

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Melissa MuldoonMeet the Author:

Melissa Muldoon is the Studentessa Matta-the crazy linguist! In Italian, “matta” means “crazy” or “impassioned”. Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master’s degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has also studied painting and art history in Florence.

Melissa promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog, Studentessa Matta (studentessamatta.com). Melissa began the Matta blog to improve her command of the language and to connect with other language learners. It has since grown to include a podcast, “Tutti Matti per l’Italiano” and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Tours, which she co-leads with Italian partners in Italy.

Dreaming Sophia is Melissa’s first novel. It is a fanciful look at art history and Italian language and culture, but it is also the culmination of personal stories and insights resulting from her experiences living in Italy, as well as her involvement and familiarity with the Italian language, painting, and art history.

As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she’d never need it again but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That “thing” was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event! Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency-a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways.
Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. When Melissa is not traveling in Italy, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is married and has three boys and two beagles.

Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Dreaming Sophia. She also designed the Dreaming Sophia website and created the character illustrations that can be found in the book and on the Dreaming Sophia websites.

Connect with the Author:
Website  ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Youtube ~
Pinterest

REVIEW:
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Can you learn history through fantasy?  It certainly felt like that as I read Dreaming Sophia. I’m a history and art buff and didn’t realize how much I would enjoy reading this fantasy / novel.  Sophia’s muses really make Italian history “come to life” and their inclusion added an unusual dimension to her story. The interaction between her “dream characters” was clever. On several occasions her “muses” moved me to put down the book and do more research into their lives.  I was also interested in the different pieces of artwork mentioned in the book.
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Florence, Venice and Rome hold many fond memories for me.   I was able to recall some of these wonderful memories about these cities from the author’s descriptions of the architecture, food and museums.
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I really loved that the author used a lot of Italian expressions in the book (together with the their translation).  It gave the book such an “Italian” feel.
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The artwork on the cover was simply beautiful and immediately caught my attention.  What is even more incredible is that the author created the artwork herself!
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You can find more interesting tidbits on Melissa’s website such as:
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Her muses:  http://dreamingsophiabook.com/sophias-muses/
An Italian dictionary: http://dreamingsophiabook.com/italian-dictionary/
Music videos from the book:  http://dreamingsophiabook.com/music-videos/
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Together with all the author’s multimedia, reading the book was a really fun experience!
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Book review: The Other Einstein: A Novel by Marie Benedict

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  • Name:  The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
  • Publisher:  Sourcebooks Landmark
  • Publication date:  Oct. 18 2016
  • Pages: 304
  • Genre:  Historical fiction / literary fiction

DESCRIPTION:

In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein’s enormous shadow. It is the story of Einstein’s wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.

Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most twenty-year-olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.

Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Penquin

1280105About the author:  Marie Benedict is a lawyer with more than ten years’ experience as a litigator at two of the country’s premier law firms. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College with a focus in History and Art History, and a cum laude graduate of the Boston University School of Law.

While practicing as a lawyer, Marie dreamed of a fantastical job unearthing the hidden historical stories of women — and finally found it when she tried her hand at writing. She embarked on a new, narratively connected series of historical novels with THE OTHER EINSTEIN, which tells the tale of Albert Einstein’s first wife, a physicist herself, and the role she might have played in his theories. Writing as Heather Terrell, Marie also published the historical novels The Chrysalis, The Map Thief, and Brigid of Kildare.

Connect with the author:   Website   Facebook   goodreads

REVIEW:

This book recounts the fictional life of the real historical figure of Mitza Maric. Her story begins as a young gifted girl who is expected to stay at home and never marry.  Born with a limp but a brilliant mind, she travels from Zagreb, Croatia to Zurich to be the only female physics student at the Swiss Polytechnic.  Her gift in the field of mathematics and her grasp of physics attracts the attention of young Albert Einstein, a fellow student. After several years of persistent courtship,  she falls in love with him and they eventually marry.

At first all is well as they partner several projects together.  Mitza’s strength in mathematics and abstract thinking give her an edge.  As partners, she expects equal recognition on the papers they submit.  In this fictional account, Albert claims the ideas are his alone and this infuriates Mitza.  As their personal life spirals out of control, we see her frustration and malcontent as she puts her ambitions to be a physicist aside to raise their children.

The author’s description of the way educated women were viewed at the time was quite revealing. This book was a fairly light read, and did not really expound on themes of a scientific nature as much as I thought it would. Despite the the artistic license the author took to fictionalize this character and the possible inaccuracies regarding the life of Albert Einstein, I did enjoy reading this account.

 

 

Book review: The Stages of Grace: Life and Love in the Face of Alzheimer’s by Connie Ruben

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Book Details:

Book Title:  The Stages of Grace: Life and Love in the Face of Alzheimer’s by Connie Ruben
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction,   149 pages
Genre: Memoir, drama
Publisher:   Xlibres
Release date:  July 2015
Format available for review:  Print and ebook (PDF)
Will send print books to: USA & Canada
Tour dates: Nov 21 to Dec 9, 2016
Content Rating: PG (There are a couple of swear words such as “asshole” but no F words)

Book Description:

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

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Amazon.ca

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Meet the Author:

Connie Ruben is an entrepreneur with well developed management skills. She has run several large companies, and prides herself on empowering others to work to their full potential. Connie also has an intimate knowledge of the challenges and joys of caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease, as her mother-in-law Grace was diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s disease in 2003. While Connie still struggles to balance her work life and home life, her understanding of this disease has made it easier for her to negotiate the demands of being a caregiver, as well as a wife, mother, and employer. She has written this book in order to share the insights she has gained as Grace’s primary caregiver and friend. Most importantly, Connie wants this book to assure others that caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be enjoyable, life-affirming, and emotionally significant.

Connect with the author: Website 

REVIEW:
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I had the opportunity to meet Connie at the 2015 Book Expo in New York and that is where I first saw her book about her life with Grace.
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Connie first meets Grace through Grace’s son (and her future husband) and immediately forms a very close and loving friendship with this lively and caring lady.
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Years later, in 2003 Grace receives a  diagnosis of advanced Alzheimer’s disease.  Connie is thrown into despair and confusion.  Grace has been her pillar, a mother figure and a close friend and the fear of watching Grace lose her ability to communicate and care for herself frightens Connie.   Connie’s relationship with Grace changes from that of a friend to primary caregiver and through trial and error and often humourous situations, she learns that despite the frustration and helplessness she feels, there are still plenty of unexpected happy and funny moments they share together.
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What I learned from Connie and Grace’s story is that in some situations, unpredictability and loss of control might leave us feeling helpless and frustrated.  We can’t do everything by ourselves so by accepting assistance and support we are able to navigate through unsure waters with more confidence.  Although not a guide to treating Alzheimer’s patients, this account gives us insight into some of the situations we may encounter with a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
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