Book review: Success With Stress by Jae Ellard

Book Details:

Book Title:   Success With Stress by Jae Ellard
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction, 102 pages
Genre:  Self-help
Publisher:  Simple Intentions
Release date:  March 31, 2011
Format available for review:  Print
Will send print books:  Internationally
Tour dates: April 10 to May 5, 2017
Content Rating: G (This is an all ages book designed to create awareness and manage stress)

Book Description:

Believe it or not, stress isn’t all bad; in fact, it’s an important part of the natural world. Stress helps us survive as a species – because of that we want the ability to be stressed. That said, being able to manage stress with greater success is the difference between surviving and THRIVING. Success with Stress explores five simple ideas to spark your personal power to change the level, duration, and frequency of the stress in your life. With workplace stress being linked to quality of life, health, and workplace morale, this is a must-read for any team looking to improve morale and individuals looking to improve their quality of life.

Buy the Book:  Amazon

Add to Goodreads


About the Author:

Jae Ellard is an author and expert on behaviors that cause imbalance, disengagement and distraction. After years in senior communication roles crafting content for executives, Jae collapsed from stress-related adrenal fatigue. This life-altering experience propelled her to research human behavior, neuroscience, mindfulness, and organizational relationship systems. In 2008, Jae founded Simple Intentions and developed the Mindful Life™ Program to generate intentional conversations to disrupt patterns and create awareness, accountability and action at team and individual levels. Jae has taught the skill of awareness in more than 50 countries to thousands of employees at multinational corporations such as Microsoft, Amazon and Expedia.

Jae is a columnist on workplace awareness for Mindful Magazine, as well as the author of 7 books on the topic. She contributes to the Healthy Living section on Huffington Post as well as the Simple Intentions blog. In 2013, she founded Seattle Wisdom, a community organization working to create and support conscious conversations in professional spaces in the Pacific Northwest. Jae has a master’s degree in Communication Management from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communication from Metropolitan State College of Denver. She holds certificates in co-active coaching and organizational relationship systems coaching.

Connect with Jae:  Website ~ Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~ LinkedIn

This is the second book from Jae Ellard’s series of self-help books that I have had a chance to read and review.  I enjoyed her first book “The Five Truths About Work-Life Balance”  and was interested to read another one in the series.
She begins with defining what stress is and that most kinds of stress can be traced to issues concerning not communicating properly with others as well as not respecting our personal boundaries.  She then gives a bit of a scientific background on how the chemicals in our brain and body react to different types of stress.
A subheading “5 Strategies for Success with Stress” gives practical advice on how to accept the elements in your life that are truly causing you stress and how to deal with them.  We also learn how eliminating multitasking can decrease our stress level.
A small, easy-to-read book with a lot of practical suggestions.  Just a quick note, the quote on page 67:  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is not an old adage.  It is found in the Bible in Luke 6:31 ““Also, just as you want men to do to you, do the same way to them” (NWT).  I found it paradoxical that the book uses  both the theory of evolution in the beginning of the book as well as a Biblical quote as a basis for her advice.

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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  


​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 – – 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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SPOTLIGHT TOUR: A Drop Of Water: A Spiritual Journey by Yvonne Williams Casaus


Book Details:

Book Title:  A Drop Of Water: A Spiritual Journey by Yvonne Williams Casaus
Category:  Adult nonfiction, 208 pages
Genre:  Memoir, Spirituality, Self-help, Personal Growth, Grief, Loss, Mental Health, Suicide Prevention
Publisher: Laughing At Myself, LLC
Release date:  September 2016
Tour dates:  Sept 19 to Oct 7, 2016
Content Rating:  PG + M (There is no bad language, but author discusses her husband’s suicide)

Book Description:

In this extraordinary book, Yvonne reflects upon her past experiences, grief, and losses to find her way back to her spirituality and strength. She bares her soul, yet is able to use water as a lighthearted, uninhibited, and fun way to express how we are all connected. It is a spiritually inspired book about healing, grief, and personal growth.

It becomes a beautiful poetic journey as she discovers her love of water as part of what led her towards her spiritual path. Through her writing she expresses how she found her way through several tremendous losses, including the loss of her husband. In her ability to endure, she found a strength she never knew she had.

This book is for anyone that has ever struggled with depression, grief, or loss of any kind. It is for anyone interested in personal growth and healing. By sharing her personal story she is able to remind us that we are never truly alone. Water connects us all.

Buy the Book:   Amazon


Meet the Author:

Yvonne Williams Casaus is a Mom, Wife, Author, Counselor, and Play Therapist. She is an independently licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LPCC), a Registered Play Therapist (RPT), and is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. She specializes in Depression, Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She has a private practice in New Mexico and has been helping adults, children, adolescents, and families for over eleven years.

Yvonne’s areas of expertise include Depression, Anxiety, Divorce, Panic Attacks, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), Sexual Abuse, Rape, Physical Abuse, Grief, ADHD and other issues. She also specializes in treating traumatized children with issues such as PTSD, Sexual abuse, Physical Abuse, Neglect, Adoption, and Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Connect with the author:   Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest  ~ Instagram


Sept 19 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
Sept 19 – Reading Authors – book spotlight / giveaway
Sept 20 – Book reviews nature photos and everything in between – book spotlight
Sept 20 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 21 – Divas With A Purpose – book spotlight / guest post
Sept 21 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – book spotlight / guest post
Sept 22 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
Sept 23 – Corinne Rodrigues – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 23 – Northernmsw – book spotlight / author interview
Sept 26 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight / giveaway
Sept 26 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Sept 27 – Sylv all about books and film – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 28 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 29 – Collecting Moments – book spotlight
Sept 30 – Deal Sharing Aunt – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Oct 3 –     Collecting Moments – guest post
Oct 4 – – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 5 –     The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight
Oct 6 –     Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Oct 7 –     Health is Our Key – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway


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Book spotlight: Live Self-Sufficiently: The 12 Step Living Guide by Tisha Marie Payton, MHR


Book Details:

Book Title:  Live Self-Sufficiently: The 12 Step Living Guide by Tisha Marie Payton
Category:  Adult nonfiction,  94 pages
Genre:  Self-help
Publisher:  Tisha Marie Enterprises, LLC
Release date:  October 1, 2014
Tour dates:  June 13 to 24, 2016
Content Rating:  PG +M ( The book is rated PG+M for mild depictions of domestic abuse.)

Book Description:

This is a twelve-step guide to living self-sufficiently with lessons on personal
growth, self-love, health and wellness, financial stability, and healthy relationships.

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Alibris


 Meet the Author:

Tisha Marie Payton is a certified life and relationship coach. She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma. Her education is in human relations with an emphasis in art therapy. For over twelve years Ms. Payton provided service to her community as a Girl Scout, has competed in pageants, fitness and swimsuit modeling, and landed the cover of Playboy Magazine. Throughout her collegiate and modeling career, she found that many people live dependent upon others and aren’t truly living happily. She began a nonprofit organization called Building ME in Texas to build enlightened minds in youth and provide pertinent life skills to stop the cycle of dependency. This is a twelve-step guide to personal growth, self-love, health and wellness, financial stability, and healthy relationships.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram


June 13 – Library of Clean Reads – spotlight / giveaway
June 13 – Working Mommy Journal – spotlight / giveaway
June 14 – – spotlight / giveaway
June 15 – Book Reviews Nature Photos and everything in between – spotlight
June 15 – Bound 4 Escape – spotlight / giveaway
June 16 – 100 pages a day – spotlight / giveaway
June 16 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – spotlight
June 17 – Puddletown Reviews – spotlight / giveaway
June 20 – Laura’s Interests – spotlight / giveaway
June 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – spotlight / giveaway
June 21 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – spotlight / giveaway
June 22 – Jessica Cassidy – spotlight / giveaway
June 22 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – spotlight / giveaway
June 22 – Corinne Rodrigues – spotlight / giveaway
June 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – spotlight / giveaway
June 24 – Northernmsw – spotlight

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Book review: The Five Truths About Work-Life Balance by Jae Ellard


Book Details:

Book Title:  The Five Truths About Work-Life Balance by Jae Ellard
Category:  Adult non-fiction, 102 pages
Genre:  Self Help
Publisher:  Simple Intentions
Release date:  November 7, 2014
Available for review in:  Print
Will send print books:  USA & Canada
Tour dates:  April 25 to May 20, 2016
Content Rating:  G

Book Description:  

Work-life balance has nothing to do with work. Really. It also doesn’t matter what words you use to describe it. The fact is, most people share a similar desire to create easy joy and meaningful engagement across the roles, relationships and responsibilities that make up life.

Our current habits and perceptions often get us stuck and prevent us from creating the life we desire. Get unstuck, learn the truths about work-life balance.

Buy the book:  Amazon

Jae Ellard author pic

Meet the author:  

After years in senior communication roles crafting content for executives, Jae collapsed from stress-related adrenal fatigue. This life-altering experience propelled her to research human behavior, neuroscience, mindfulness, and organizational relationship systems.

In 2008, Jae founded Simple Intentions and developed the Mindful Life™ Program, which includes four group coaching workshops to generate reflection, awareness and action at the organizational and individual levels. Jae has taught the skill of awareness to thousands of employees at multinational corporations in more than 50 countries including China, Russia, India, Japan, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Germany, United Kingdom, Norway, and the United States.

Jae contributes to the Awareness at Work column for Mindful Magazine, the Healthy Living section on Huffington Post as well as the Simple Intentions blog. Jae has a master’s degree in Communication Management from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communication from Metropolitan State College of Denver. She holds certificates in co-active coaching and organizational relationship systems coaching and is the author of seven books.

Connect with the author:   Website   Twitter   Facebook

“You will be in and out of balance your entire life.”
“Work-life balance has nothing to do with work.”
The need to multi-task and try to cram as much into our already busy lifestyles has created behavioural problems, one of which is the ability to focus and to enjoy being in the present.  We are often so involved with reliving the past and imagining the future that often the simple things in our present escape us.
Jae Ellard has provided a very unique and visual guide to help us question exactly what our work-life balance should be.  Although this guide is very simple, its message is powerful.  Taking the time to reflect on its message has helped me to set priorities and limits on how to manage my time and energy. This guide would prove beneficial to those who may feel overwhelmed with life’s responsibilities and challenges or who are in a state of perpetual exhaustion and who need a little help to take control of their life again..
I look forward to reading the author’s other guides.

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Book review: Dream: Clarify and Create What You Want by Marcia Wieder


Book Details:

Book Title:  Dream:  Clarify and Create What You Want by Marcia Wieder
Category:  Adult non-fiction, 232 pages
Genre:  Self Help, Personal Development, Dreams
Publisher:  Next Century Publishing
Release date:  February 2016
Available for review in:  Print, ebook (PDF)
Will send print books:  USA & Canada
Tour dates:  March 14 to April 8, 2016
Content Rating:  G

Book Description:  

Do you dare to dream? If so, you are a results-oriented person. Dream is designed to help you both transform your own life and contribute to making the world a better place. Dreaming is something you do—or should do.

You were created to create, and your ability to dream is paramount and fundamental when it comes to living a dream-come-true life. Dream will help you design a life that is the highest expression of your purpose by creating dreams in every area that matters to you, both personally and professionally.

This book will help you take real steps toward creating and achieving the dreams that matter to you most. It will help you to uncover, or recover, your purpose so that you can live with purpose—and there’s nothing that will bring you greater fulfillment.

Reading this book will help you to fully understand:

• Who you really are
• How you want your life to be
• How to develop dreams that inspire you
• How to look at your life with a fresh perspective
• How to remove fear, doubt, or other obstacles
• How to implement shortcuts and the techniques you will learn

​Dream will teach you exactly how to do these and so much more.

Buy the book:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Watch the Trailer:


Meet the author:

​Dream University’s CEO, Marcia Wieder is a long established thought leader on visionary thinking. As Founder of The Meaning Institute, she teaches people to create and live fulfilling lives. She’s been a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, writes for Huffington Post and is the author of 14 books. She appeared often on Oprah and was featured in her own PBS-TV show called Making Your Dreams Come True.

She has taught at Stanford’s Business School and as president of the National Association of Women Business Owners, she assisted 3 U.S. presidents. She is a member of the Transformational Leadership Council and on the advisory board for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Connect with the author:   Website   Twitter   Facebook


March 14 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – review
March 14 – Sarah Rehmatullah – review
March 15 – Amie’s Book Reviews – review / author interview / giveaway
March 15 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
March 16 – Book Reviews Nature Photos and Everything in Between – review / interview
March 16 – Sahar’s Blog – review
March 16 – Leigh Anderson Romance – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
March 17 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – review / giveaway
March 18 – Heidi’s Wanderings – review / giveaway
March 21 – A Holland Reads – review / author interview / giveaway
March 22 – Take It Personel-ly – review / guest post / giveaway
March 23 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight / guest post
March 24 – 3 Partners in Shopping – book spotlight / giveaway
March 25 – One Frugal Girl – review / giveaway
March 28 – The Autistic Gamer – review
March 29 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway
March 30 – Readers’ Muse – review / guest post
March 31 – The Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass – book spotlight / giveaway
April 1 – – review / giveaway
April 4 –      Story Matters – review / giveaway
April 4 –       fuonlyknew – review / giveaway
April 5 –      Everyday Gyaan – review / giveaway
April 5 –      Reading Authors – review / giveaway
April 6 –      Collecting Moments – book spotlight / guest post
April 7 –     Jessica Cassidy – review / author interview / giveaway
April 8 –     Create With Joy – review / giveaway

“I Have a Dream” – Martin Luther King
“Dream:  Clarify and Create What You Want” is a tool that can be used to help us determine exactly what we would like to do with our lives.  We all dream.  Some dreams we’ve put on the back burner and others have become somewhat hazy.  Marcia teaches us how to clarify our dreams using different methods including practical approaches to help us de-clutter our lives to allow more room for our future “dream” or “personal project” to come alive.  One of the points I appreciated was to “practice emptying yourself out and clearing the clutter of your mind and life”… “if you want to achieve your dreams, you need to create space for them, not just in your closets but in yourself”.
She outlines simple exercises to help us to overcome obstacles and negative thinking. Sharing our ideas and dreams with others can open up new opportunities.  She also qualifies the concept of success – it can be both financial and philanthropical.
Although most of the examples in this book are geared toward those who have already achieved some level of success in their lives and who are financially secure, many of the practical aspects can be adapted to those who want to explore other possibilities and follow their dreams.

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Book spotlight: Really Good F-Words: Your Interactive Guide to Self-Care by Lorrie Forde


Book Details:

Book Title:  Really Good F Words:  Your Interactive Guide to Self-Care by Lorrie Forde
Category:  Adult fiction, 238 pages
Genre:  Self-help
Publisher:  Influence Publishing
Release date:  November 1,  2015
Available for review in:  Print, ebook (PDF)
Will send print books:  USA & Canada
Tour dates:  Nov 23 to Dec 4, 2015
Content Rating:  G

Book Description:  

Where are you on your priority list? A key question in measuring self-care. Uncover your own customized strategies for moving further up that list as you bring this thought provoking and interactive book to life around your own kitchen table. Connect with friends and get your sense of self back with doable self-care strategies.

Author Lorrie Forde invites you to break all the old rules about not writing in books—this one is yours to write in, reflect back on, and share as you choose. Make it work for you! This is not another thing to add to your ‘to-do’ list. Let the pages do the work and before you know it, you’ll be laughing with friends, reconnecting with your passion, and the envy of your peers as you figure out what ‘feeds you’ and where your ‘weak spots’ are. How long will it take till you’re using “F” words all the time and your cookie jar is overflowing? Analogies like this cookie jar and using really good “F” words help us to laugh at reality and a little laughter really can make all the difference.

Buy the book:    Amazon  ~   Barnes & Noble

Lorrie Forde author pic

Meet the author:

Lorrie Forde is a daughter, a mother, a sister, a grandma, and a friend. She learned the hard way that balance is her secret ingredient in the analogy of a full and healthy ‘cookie jar’.

During a twenty-five year career in post-secondary education and through her work as a professional Executive and Life Coach, Lorrie has gathered the research and the tools she needed to bring this book to life. “I believe everyone deserves to have a coach and this book was a way for me to make that possible. I invite my readers to have fun with the process and to trust that their answers will come—they always do.” Lorrie loves to fill her days with adventure and laughter. She enjoys her work and says, “I work hard but I work to live—I don’t live to work.”

Connect with the author:   Website  ~ Twitter  ~  Facebook


Nov 23 – – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 23 – Readers’ Muse – review / guest post
Nov 24 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – book spotlight / guest post
Nov 25 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 26 – alwaysjoart – review / giveaway
Nov 27 – Room With Books – review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 30 – Divas With a Purpose – review / author interview
Dec 1 –   misty103 @ HubPages – review
Dec 2 –   3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy , + Sissy, Too ! – review / giveaway
Dec 3 –   Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway
Dec 3 –   Create With Joy – review / giveaway
Dec 4 –   Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review


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Book review: Ditching the Drive-thru: How to Pass Up Processed Foods, Buy Farm Fresh, and Transform Your Family’s Eating Habits on a Modern Mom’s Schedule by J. Natalie Winch


Book Details:

Book Title:  Ditching the Drive-Thru: How to Pass Up Processed Foods, Buy Farm Fresh, and Transform Your Family’s Eating Habits on a Modern Mom’s Schedule by J. Natalie Winch 
Category:  Adult non-fiction,192 pages
Genre:  Healthy Living / Food
Publisher:  Spikehorn Press
Release date:  September 2015
Available for review in:  Print, ebook (mobi for Kindle), ePUB, PDF
Will send print books:  USA & Canada
Tour dates:  Nov 9 to December 11, 2015
Content Rating:  G

Book Description:  

After an exhausting day at work, hitting the drive-thru or nuking a pre-fab meal is all too often the go-to decision for feeding a family. Cooking a meal from scratch using fresh ingredients can seem beyond the average person’s time, energy, or financial means. But with mounting evidence pointing to processed food and our industrial food system as the culprits behind many of our nation’s health problems—including obesity, diabetes, and cancer—it’s now more important than ever to be fully informed about what goes on your family’s dinner plates.

If you’re ready to take control of your food choices but don’t know the difference between grass-fed versus grain-fed, pastured versus free-range, or organic versus sustainable, read this book to discover:

• How to create your own thirty-month plan to convert your family from junk food to real food, without a revolt!

• Recipes and advice on planning and prepping meals so you can make homecooked a habit for your family

• Instructions for getting the most out of produce using techniques such as lacto-fermentation, dehydrating, and canning

•  introduction to the world of farm-direct sales, including tips on locating local farms, seeing through marketing buzzwords, and shopping with CSAs Ditching the Drive-Thru exposes the insidious hold the commercial food industry has taken over the fast-paced lives of the average American and the danger these processed foods and diet plans pose to our health, environment, and emotional wellbeing.

Learn how to break free from the grind and return to a simpler relationship with food from farmers, not factories, and home-cooked meals that are created in your kitchen, not on a conveyor belt.

Buy the book:    Amazon   Barnes & Noble

J. Natalie Winch author pic

Meet the author:   

J. Natalie Winch lives in southern New Jersey, not far from where she grew up, with her husband, two children, and dogs. When she isn’t mothering, teaching, grading, or making lesson plans, Natalie runs the Hebrew School at her synagogue, coaches soccer, teaches lacto-fermentation classes, writes the occasional entry for her blog Food Empowerment (, and fights the dust bunnies that threaten to take over her family room.

Connect with the author:   Website 

More and more people these days feel challenged by the kitchen.  The popularity of cooking shows has grown in inverse proportion to the number of people who actually cook.  In a sense, cooking has become a spectator sport.

Although I try to eat as healty as possible, I didn’t realize how ignorant I was with respect to the different terminologies describing food culture. For example, what is the difference between the the term “organic” and “all-natural”. What does GMO mean? What exactly does “processed” mean?

Chapter 5 – Making Informed Choices deals with produce, eggs, dairy, meat and fish and how they are controlled by the different industries and associations.

Chapter 7 – Agri-Cabulary explains how to buy healthy meat.

I really enjoyed the chapter on “Corporate Marketing Manipulation”. This chapter explains, amongst other things, the political connection between the government and the FDA or USDA. It also explains food layout in grocery stores, why processed foods are all up and down the aisles while fresh foods are displayed around the perimeter of the store.

The author has given me much “food for thought”. The book is easy to understand (although not exhaustive) and includes a 30 month plan to implement healthier living practices into your lifestyle, easy recipes, how to stock your pantry and how to find a farmer that produces quality food that you can develop a long-term relationship with.

I am going to pass this on to my friends, and will definitely be more pro-active in the way I shop and eat.


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Book review: Healthy Brain, Happy Life by Dr. Wendy Suzuki, PhD

9780857988843Book Description

The key to a happy life . . . is a healthy brain

From the outside, it looked like Dr. Wendy Suzuki had it all. She was a world-renowned neuroscientist. She had been lauded by her peers with many prizes and had produced many highly regarded scientific publications. She had tenure at a top-ranked university, where she also ran her own lab—two of the most difficult and highly coveted positions for any scientist to attain. And yet . . .

Wendy was forty, frumpy, and focused on her work one hundred percent of the time. She was single, overwhelmed by her responsibilities, and often found herself in uncomfortable, strained interactions with everyone around her. To put it simply, Wendy Suzuki needed to change her life.

She set out on a journey that would transform her body, her mind, and her brain. The first step was exercise and creating a regime that would make her body more fit. In the process, Wendy found herself focusing better, working smarter, and getting more accomplished in a shorter amount of time. As her body changed, her determination grew. Wendy set out to build a more vibrant social life, spark her creativity, and engage in meditation and other mindful activities—using her expertise in neuroscience to pinpoint exactly how these actions not only made her brain work better but also made her feel, well, happy. In Healthy Brain, Happy Life, Wendy Suzuki makes the ultimate mind-body-spirit connection and shows that everything she did for her body changed her brain—and her life—for the better.

Healthy Brain, Happy Life is an accessible blend of memoir and science narrative that will transform the way you think about your brain, your health, and your personal happiness. Through both groundbreaking brain research and personal stories, Wendy offers practical and fascinating ways to improve memory, engage the mind more deeply, and learn new skills that will ultimately transform your body and your life.

Buy the book here:   Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Chapters/Indigo

wsuzukiAbout the author:   Wendy Suzuki, PhD, runs an interactive research lab at New York University, where her work has been recognized with numerous awards including the prestigious Troland Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences. Her research has focused on understanding the patterns of brain activity underlying long-term memory and, more recently, how aerobic exercise might improve our learning, memory, and cognitive abilities. She is a two-time TEDx speaker and is regularly interviewed on television and in print about her work on the effects of exercise on brain function. She lectures nationally and internationally on her research and serves as a reviewer for many of the top neuroscience journals. She lives in New York City.

Connect with the author:    Website     Twitter     Facebook

My Review:

It had been a while since I had read a “brainiac book”. I was happy to meet Wendy Suzuki at BEA 2015 and was really excited to begin reading her book. She begins her book with “How a geeky girl fell in love with the brain”. Being a geeky girl myself, this was right up my alley.

What’s nice about the book is that it’s written in layman’s language and the medical explantions, while detailed, are not all that difficult to grasp. Illustrations, photographs and summary boxes eased the flow of information.

I found so much interesting information in this book, as well as a few things that I already knew. I particularly enjoyed the sections explaining how memories are formed and retained, the plasticity of the brain and a brief explanation of brain anatomy.

Wendy recounts her own personal story beginning with her experiences as a young girl, her life in France and subsequent return to the US to study neuroanatomy. Her experiements took her in several directions, including some completely unexpected. One of the exciting things she discovered was the exercise dramatically improves brain function and memory. There is also a chapter that explains how to control psychological stress.

Overall super interesting and a great reference guide to keep in your library.

Book review: Calming the Chaos by Jackie Woodside


Book Details:

Book Title:  Calming the Chaos:  A Soulful Guide to Managing Your Energy Rather Than Your Time by Jackie Woodside, CPC, LICSW
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction, 232 pages
Genre:   Self Help / Personal and Professional Growth / Motivational / Time Management / Business Success through Personal Management
Publisher:  Next Century Publishing
Release date: April 7, 2015
Available for review in:  Print & PDF
Will send books:  USA and Canada
Tour dates: June 1 to 26
Content Rating:  PG

Book Description:

Far too many people in contemporary culture feel they don’t have enough time to “get it all done.” The stress of this chronic overwhelm creates a disorganized mind that leads to a chaotic life. Based on her highly acclaimed “Energy Management” workshops, and drawn from over 25 years of counseling and coaching experience, professional trainer and speaker Jackie Woodside shares her breakthrough methods that lead to becoming the least stressed, most productive person you know!

In Calming the Chaos, you will learn the step-by-step skills and thought processes that lead to increased productivity and peace of mind. Jackie’s approach stems from the new frontier of human performance called energetic consciousness. Part philosophy, part psychology, fully practical application, you will learn:

• Why there is no such thing as time management and what to do instead.
• How to manage your energy instead of your time and stress.
• The three-step formula for managing every component of your life for the rest of your life!
• Why “to-do lists” are a set up for failure and what really works.
• “The Three Strikes Rule” that will end procrastination for good!
• How to always know that you have the time for what you want and need to do!

Many books promise to change your life. Applying these principles will make this a reality!

Buy her book here:   Author’s Website   Amazon   Barnes & Noble

4119521_origMeet the author:Jackie Woodside, CPC, LICSW is a psychotherapist, coach, speaker and author, specializing in the power of managing personal energy, rather than time or stress. An Amazon bestselling author of ‘What If It’s Time for a Change?’ and highly sought-after speaker on leadership and empowerment topics, Jackie conducts training programs for public, private and government sectors nationwide.

Connect with Jackie:  Website  ~  Twitter   ~  Facebook

Giveaway:    A Rafflecopter giveaway


“Rather than trying to manage time and stress and productivity, perhaps all we need to do is learn to manage our energy and ourselves.” “Managing energy is a whole new frontier”.I found Jackie’s approach to managing our lifestyle to be intuitive. We all have the same amount of time and “everyone everywhere is moving through life at warp speed”, trying to survive instead of thrive.

The chapter entitled “There is more to Life than Getting Things Done” teaches us to basically to really be human in the framework of our lives, or in other words “stop and smell the roses”.

I particularly enjoyed the chapter “Managing the Energy of Stuff – Clutter and Disorganization. I quote: “There is energy to everything. The more stuff that you have, the denser the energy in your environment becomes. The clutter around you competes for your attention much the way a car alarm going off distracts you when you are engaged in conversation over lunch. I call clutter “mental noise”. She continues: “research shows that you will be less irritable, more productive, less distracted and able to process information better with an uncluttered and organized home and office.” (which I find to be personally true. A simple lifestyle allows you breathing space).

The chapter “Busy vs. Productive” stresses the need to first organize your mind – which brings a whole new energy to the feeling of your day.

The book ends with “Top Ten Rules of Calming the Chaos”:

1. Become aware of and incredibly willing to reduce energy drains
2. Make a contract with yourself
3. Align your actions with your desires
4. Tear up your lists
5. Mentally prepare for your day early
6. Finish the day with a debrief
7. Complete the week with a debrief
8. Review your goals and intentions quarterly
9. Use repeating events once
10. Either do it, move it or eliminate it.

There is so much useful information in this guide that will enable us to re-think the way we live our lives, unlearn bad habits and really take the time to sit down and think about what we want out of life.