Em

Happy Saturday Evening!
While my life updates have been few and far between, I just want you all to know to rest assure, things are going fantastic. So far this weekend has been filled with birthday celebrations and time well spent with family. It has been wonderful. I have been blessed with some amazing people in my life and feel so thankful to have such a great support system.

Tonight, with my heart light and happy, I am pleased to switch routes with my book reviews and bring you one that is also light hearted. Alas, I bring to you The Fart that Saved Christmas by JacobMorningside. Yes my friends, you read that correctly. A holiday tale centered around this bodily function.

Summary:
The behind the scenes story of what really happened "The Night Before Christmas."

It's Christmas Eve. The reindeer go on strike with a list of demands for Santa, the elves and Mrs. Claus. Santa gets "loaded" and threatens to cancel Christmas, fire the deer and divorce Mrs. Claus. But, just when all seems lost, Christmas is saved by a timely fart.
 
Review:

It was a story like no other
An adult one they say
About a corrupt Santa
Who wanted his way
Some of the rhymes were forced, just a bit
But like our disgruntled Santa

Who gives a S#!t

The illustrations were clever

I enjoyed them a lot

Especially the details

Not said in the plot

The story read quick

At 36 pages

But it’s not to be read

To kids of all ages

Juvenile at times

But fun either way

Twas a fart that saved Christmas

On this Christmas Day.

 All Rhymes aside, if you are looking for a fun tale to tell while drinking beer with friends this Holiday season, this would be the tale to read.
The Fart that Saved Christmas can be purchased at:

iBookstore

Check out the books blog tour here!


About the Author:
Born into a body inhabited by multiple muse personalities, I [Jacob Morningside] create stories by stretching the "normal" beyond the boundaries of the absurd. The result is a worm-hole ride to the Far Side. I love a good story — so, I wrote one. Enjoy it with my wishes for a happy holiday season. 
Em
Happy Wednesday Friends!
As I am playing catch up at work due to a snow day (Yes, 26 year olds can still get Snow Days), I can’t help but think how busy we all are. I previously mentioned that I have been catching up on my reading list in my spare time and am very happy to bring to you another good read. While this book is completely different from many of the books I have reviewed, it is also one that made me feel most grateful for the life I have and the moments I can share with loved ones. It made me slow down and think about people that I am blessed with to have in my life. I believe it will do the same for you. Today I am going to review, Dianna’s Way by John Catenacci. Prepare to be thankful.

 Summary:
Dianna is a young woman in her late 20’s when she meets John, a man in his late 40's. They fall in love and marry. A central feature of their life plan is to have one child to fulfill her fervent lifelong dream of being a mother.
Not to be.
Not long into their marriage, Dianna discovers she has an aggressive form of breast cancer.
Hand in hand, they begin a 17 year spiritual journey into the nature of love and healing. Along the way, she discovers and fulfills her life purpose and, in the process, takes John by the hand, gently helping him to reveal, then fulfill, his own.
In the beginning, John, being much older, thought he would be her teacher but gradually discovers in the most important dimensions of life quite the opposite is true. With Dianna’s guidance, he ultimately discovers we are all teachers, we are all students and we are all one.
Theirs is a story of courage, determination and a lightness of being, as they descend into the deepest valleys of crushing disappointment, pain and suffering only to rise again to ever higher peaks of appreciation, gratitude and love. Throughout it all, their journey is laced with light and laughter.
Even today, after her passing, they continue their relationship, piercing the Illusion that veils this reality, exploring its limits while continuing a spiritual journey without end.

Review:
 How do you write a review on book that is so personal that you feel like you walked down the path of heartache with the people who actually lived these moments? This is the road block I was faced with. The book was such a powerful story wrote by the author, John Catenacci, that I felt like I became his friend along the way. I got to see Dianna through his eyes. How he fell in love with her, his emotions towards the events that their life together took, and the love he had for her. Throughout the book, I couldn’t help but feel downhearted because of how I thought the ending was going to turn out. It was during the happy moments that I felt the saddest. It is one thing to know you are reading a sorrowful story based on the author’s thoughts, but it is another thing completely when you know that this is the true life that they led. Even when the book started to feel a bit tiresome at some parts, it didn’t deter me because that was their life. There were exciting moments, sad moments, and moments that you just lived. After reading this book, you will feel grateful for the instances in your life that make it worthwhile to go on to tomorrow. No one can question Jon’s love for Dianna. She was mysterious, playful, grateful, and so very strong. Jon wrote his own love story about a love that consumes, even after events take a turn down a completely different path that they set out on. The pure courage and strength these two people have was so admirable and together, their attitudes and love was overwhelming. This book teaches you how to live for each moment and how the hateful Cancer doesn’t need to rule every great moment of your life.
Thank you Jon, for this beautiful story. It must have been hard to write and even harder to live.

 About the Author:
After spending his youth doing cement construction work while getting his education, John Catenacci earned a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He went on to work on the Apollo 11 Project as a member of the USAF in California, then  as an engineer for the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, MI, doing both process research as well as designing and building chemical plants.
Mid-career he became interested in group dynamics, leading to another 20-year career in team building that took him across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Saudi Arabia.
With a sprinkling of published short stories and articles in small magazines along the way, his abiding passion has always been writing, something now coming to fruition in this, his first book.
 Check out Dianna's Way blog Tour with Tribute Books here.
Dianna’s Way can be purchased at:
Paperback
Price: $16.95
Pages: 365
ISBN: 9780985247904
Publisher: Spiritdogtalking
Release: December 1, 2012
Em
Hello, again! My, it has been awhile. While the days are getting shorter, so it seems is my free time. I have been enjoying my days filled with Christmas cookies, family celebrations, Christmas lights, and the start of winter. I know that my presence on here is more than lacking, and I do apologize for that. What free time I do have, I am spending catching up on my reading list. Once again, Tribute Books has given me another great read. Nobody Has to Know by Frank Nappi is a roller coaster book that you don't want to miss out on.


Summary:

Nobody Has To Know, Frank Nappi's dark and daring new thriller, tells the story of Cameron Baldridge, a popular high school teacher whose relationship with one of his students leads him down an unfortunate and self-destructive path. Stalked through text-messages, Baldridge fights for his life against a terrifying extortion plot and the forces that threaten to expose him.

Nobody Has To Know is a sobering look into a world of secrets, lies, and shocking revelations, and will leave the reader wondering many things, including whether or not you can ever really know the person you love.

Review:

As mentioned, Nobody Has to Know was a roller coaster of a ride where every page had me on the peak of the track right before it catapulted down. The obsession that defines each character makes the reader one who is obsessed with finding out the real answer to each of the events that unfolds. The lust, lies, thrills, madness, longing, hate, and love are thrown into a melting pot of suspense and you find it hard to distinguish what is really going on. This is what defined the novel as so suspenseful. The characters in Nappi's story were a main part of this lustful ride, more specifically the main character, Cam. I found a part of me hating him and questioning why he did the things he did. Every bump in his life made me think that he deserved it. It started with him not knowing when to say no. The further along, I felt sympathy for him and the pitiful turn his life took. Even though a part of me felt he deserved what was coming, the other part wanted him to make it out unscathed. What I loved most about Nappi's characters is how real he made them. A young teacher would be confused. High school girls do have a hard time keeping a secret and being rational. A jealous girlfriend might think that the only route was revenge. We have all lusted over something or someone we couldn't have and Nappi shows us a route of what can happen if thoughts become a reality. His writing was raw and threw me into a world that I never would have imagined. This book was a thrill ride all the way through the end. What it boils down to is the reality of his writing. I truly felt that I was experiencing everything right with Cam and Hayley and the others and saw all sides of these characters. I loved them, hated them, walked through the fires of envy with them. In the end, the only route for the obsession that consumed was to give into it. If you want a fast read that keeps you wanting more, this book is definitely one that belongings on the suspense shelf.
I can honestly say that by reading this book, I am definitely going to check out Fank Nappi's other ones and I hope they leave me breathless also.
So if you are looking for something to keep you occupied on the quiet and snowy evenings, curl up and get ready to be swept away in a thrilling adventure.

About the Author:

Frank Nappi has taught high school English and Creative Writing for over twenty years. His debut novel, Echoes From The Infantry, received national attention, including MWSA's silver medal for outstanding fiction. His follow-up novel, The Legend of Mickey Tussler, garnered rave reviews as well, including a movie adaptation of the touching story "A Mile in His Shoes" starring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder. Frank continues to produce quality work, including Sophomore Campaign, the intriguing sequel to the much heralded original story, and is presently at work on a third installment of the unique series. Frank lives on Long Island with his wife Julia and their two sons, Nicholas and Anthony.

Want to see how the ride ends? I don't blame you. Nobody Has to Know can be purchsed at:

Amazon
Em
 Some days, things just seem better. Prettier. More beautiful than yesterday. You wake up; take the same way to work. Walk through the same door and sit at the same place, but some days, this changes. Not physically, but there is something about the glow of the sunrise or the mood in the air that makes today better than yesterday and gets you excited for tomorrow.
Happy Thursday Friends.
Today is going to be a wonderful day.
Em
 I am pleased to be posting for the second time this week. Cheers to a good week and an even better weekend, Friends, for it is once again Friday. This weekend I plan on going Christmas shopping, meeting up with some friends to catch some Dueling Pianos, buy a new coffee maker (After 3 long years, my trusty Black and Decker coffee maker died on me. It was a very sad day in the Regnier household), sit in front of the fire, and read some good books. Yes, this weekend is going to be amazing.
With this being the start of November, I have heard many people talking about things they are thankful for and picking one out each day to remind themselves that there really is so much to be thankful for. I love this time of year because of this fact alone. Even though the Christmas decorations are coming out and Jingle Bells are heard over the loudspeakers in Shopping Malls, a lot of people still are remember to be thankful for how great the small things are. This time of year, people tend to go out of their way to do something nice, give a kind word, or perform a random act of kindness. People smile at strangers, hold doors for each other, and drop their extra change in the donation jars. Yes, this truly is a great time of the year. As we do our own countdown to Thanksgiving, remember to be thankful for the things we are given.
Just in case you were wondering what I am thankful for, here is a run on list of the many many things that I cherish in my life:
Mylovinghusband.mysupportingfamily.myinlaws.mykittyElvis.
myjob.myhouse.optimism.mycrappycarthatstillgetsmeto
workeachday.Godsgifeofnature.kraftmacaroniandcheese.
coffee.espresso.applecider.comfycouches.myfriends.laughter.
sweatpants.boardgames.thelovethatfillsmyhearteachday.
sunrises.walksintwilight.handholding.candles.
coffemugsshapedasanimals.mybeautifulneice.chapstick.
sweatershoes.peoplewhowink.agoodread.lovesongs.
holidays.ahomecookedmeal.milkandcookies.hugs.
outdoormovies.fireplaces.magneticpoetry.
readingthenewspaperSundaymorning.agoodjoke.love.
These are just a tip of the iceberg, but you all get the idea. Be thankful for each and every single moment of your life. Cherish them, and spread the good vibes on.
Happy Friday! I will be talking to you soon.
-Cheers!
Em
Good Morning Friends.
First of all, I again send my apologies for the absence on my blog. One of my friends once told me that blogging is like another job, you need to be dedicated otherwise it is easy to fall behind. I consider myself dedicated, but the lack of posts might make it seem otherwise. I do believe a big factor of this is my lack of internet that I have. We no longer have it at my house, I don’t have the time to fit it in to my workday, and our new town (even though I still love it) has a lack of places with WiFi. I find myself having to drive over an hour to find a place that is comfortable to sit for a long period of time that has coffee. Oh the troubles of life. J
The main thing that has changed is that I am a year older. For some reason, having a birthday never scared me. I thought that as I got older, it would settle in that I am closer to 30 than 20 now, but it still doesn’t bother me. I think this has to be the result of where my life is now. I. Am. Happy. I know that I always say that and some of you are probably getting sick of hearing about it, but I am truly happy. The small troubles in life like money or getting a flat tire are nothing in the grand scheme of things. My relationship with my husband is closer than it has ever been, My parents are still of the two greatest people I know and my love for them abounds each day, my sisters surround me with love and laughter, and everyone else involved are all so great! All of these things have made me the happiest person.  I truly am blessed with the people that surround me and the support I feel from everyone. So, yes I am another year older. I have made it over the hump of 25 and am moving on to 30 and I couldn’t be happier.
This is how I celebrated my birthday:
·         Parents drove up late Friday night and took us out to eat
·         Had coffee with my beautiful mom and handsome husband
·         Went shopping
·         My sister and her family surprised me and drive all the way up here to have lunch
·         My other sister and her boyfriend drove up to celebrate and spend the night
·         Chopped wood with an axe (Yes, this is exactly how it sounds)
·         Ate cake
·         Played board/card games until the wee hours of the morning (okay, so it was only around 1:00, but I am getting old J)
·         Ate more cake
·         Ate a delicious brunch and read the Sunday Paper
·         Took a nap
·         Got a birthday present and a letter from my sister overseas!!!!!
·         Went out to eat
In short: I ate, drank, was merry, and was surrounded by the people that I love the most. I hope these people know how humbled I am by their love for me. I seriously am so very lucky to be living the life that I am. I am not a crier, but if I was, the love I am shown each and every day nearly brings me to tears. Their presence in my life makes me wake up each day with a smile.
So, with the whole birthday thing, people have asked me if I am any wiser with my new found ‘old age.’ I may be none the wiser (yet), but we all know that I am not going to leave this post without some words of wisdom for the upcoming day, month, or year. The Holidays are closer than ever, so please don’t overlook the love that surrounds you and be thankful each day for your beautiful life.
Words of Wisdom from Me to You:
May the sun warm the ground beneath your feet. May the wind move the gray clouds behind you, and may the stars’ light break up the darkness. May angels guide your steps and fill your soul with peace, and may love greet you at every crossroad. May all your needs be met, your dreams fulfilled.
Until next time, May your journey be long and happy.
-Cheers!

Em
Happy Friday! It is once again a TGIF kind of day. It may be dreary and gloomy weather-wise, but my mood is just the opposite. 1. I LOVE rainy days and 2. It’s Friday. It really can’t get much better than that. In 5 hours I will be blissfully heading out of the workplace realm and walking to my freedom of the weekend. No plans in sight, hubs will be home, and it is going to be a glorious weekend. I have been getting some questions on what I have been up to lately. Instead of posting a pointless list about random facts, I am going to post a pointless list about yours truly (that would be me). While perusing other blogs, I found one that had a really cool idea called “Currently.” I am going to play copycat and give you a list of things that I am Currently doing/interested in. Enjoy!
Currently
Current Book (s): I am in fact reading two books at the moment. I have been on a Jane Austen kick lately and my current book is “Sense and Sensibility.” The book that I am reading alongside this one is the second book of the Twilight Saga “New Moon.” Don’t judge. J With the release of the last movie, I find that it is my duty to re-read all of the books just in case I forgot any part of them Don’t worry, this will only be my 5th time reading all of the books in the series. Yes, I am a nerd.
Current favorite Color: Burnt Orange. I believe this has mainly to do with the Fall colors (or the lack thereof). I just can’t get enough of it. Now if I only had the money to spend on clothes…..
Current Food/Drink: Well, I bet you can guess what my current drink is. Yes, it is indeed Coffee. My food at the moment is a mixture of Honey Nut Cheerios and Golden Grahams. I believe this does prove that I have a palate of a two year old.
Current Show: Right now I have a couple of shows I am watching. The first (non-embarrassing) one is Modern Family. A co-worker borrowed me the first 2 seasons and the husband and I watch it nightly. It is my goal to have a son or daughter with the personality of Manny. This is indeed a real goal. The other show I am watching is The Vampire Diaries. Something about the sexy bloodsuckers just draws me in. I can’t get enough of the show. (Maybe I should re think this post. Try not to pass judgment on my poor taste J)  
Current Need: (Besides more coffee) I would have to say an Oil Change for my little car. Oh, and money.
Current Blessing: I would have to get cheesy here and say my Husband. He surprises me every day, supports me to no end, and makes me laugh. He provides for me and lets me be me. I seriously don’t know what I would do without him.
Current Indulgence: Sleep. It seems that lately I have been getting copious amounts of sleep. This is also the reason, I believe, that I feel tired. I think I have been getting too much sleep. If that is one of my biggest problems in life right now, I really have nothing to complain about.
Current Outfit: Jeggings, burnt orange tank and a heathered workout shirt. Don’t be confused, I am not working out. The jeggings appear to be real jeans and I bought the ActiveWear shirt for style. J
Current Excitement: It almost the weekend! It takes very little to make me happy and the impending weekend is all I need to get through the day! We are also having some friends over for lunch on Saturday and I am making my famous Chili. Come on, what’s not exciting about that!
Current Mood: Happy and impatient. My work motivation is very down because it has seemed like a long week and the end of the workday can’t come soon enough.
Current Wish list: With my birthday coming up, this has been something that I have put thought into, but alas, it seems like I have very expensive taste. The item that has been on my wish list (for a while now) is a small Kuerig Coffee maker. Now, I drink a lot of coffee so it may seem impractical for me to get a one cup coffee maker. I agree. I want one however. I can’t explain it. I also would like a Northface Jacket, different kinds of coffee, a new coffee mug, slippers, cozy pajamas…. Okay, now I am just getting out of control.
Current Worry: *Sigh* This would have to be money. I think this is a worry almost everyone has and it is probably the biggest worry for me at the moment.
Current Goal: This would have to be to drink more water. I know it doesn’t seem that hard of one, but it seems like I am strictly sticking to coffee these days for a beverage. When I was training for the half marathon, I felt so good about myself and I think it had mainly to do with the large amount of water I drank during the day (well, that and the exercise). I would also like to eat healthier, but it is just sooo expensive to do that. Along with these two, I would also like to start exercising again. With the weather getting colder, I just haven’t been running. As soon as I get my treadmill back, I am hoping to get back on track and start running daily again.
Current time: 9:50 a.m. Man, I should really get some work done.
Well, friends, what are you currently doing?
I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and I will talk to you soon!
-Cheers!
Em
Good Morning Friends. I hope you all are catching up on life and taking the time to see the changing of the seasons. It is beginning to feel that Fall was short-lived as I see flakes float down and dissolve on the cold ground. I am not meaning to be so melancholy right now, but come on. The Pumpkin Lattes were just announced in Coffee Shops and now I feel as if I should be drinking the Ho-Ho Mocha or the Fa-La Latte. Brrrr. That is what I have to say. Some may call me bitter because of how much I love Fall, but the Christmas aisles in departments stores came way too soon this year. As I mentioned almost a year ago today, please friends, do not overlook Thanksgiving. We are so blessed to be living the life we lead. Let’s take the stress out of the Holidays by not starting so early with the gifts and promotions. Don’t worry; I am almost done with my rant. I know you aren’t used to hearing me rant, but maybe it is because my Coffee just doesn’t taste right this morning. This could be because I have been under the weather lately and the talk of snow is in the air, or it could be a metaphor of my life at the moment. Sure, some days coffee may not taste as good but will that stop me from drinking it down to the last drop? No. I will still drink it, all the while thinking how bad it is. I think this scenario happens to a lot of people in life. It may not be coffee, but I am sure it has happened to you. Maybe it was a bad day that kept getting worse. Do we give up and call it a day? No. We keep on going on and get through life and know that tomorrow is going to be better. So drink up, move on, and have a great day today (tomorrow if today is ‘one of those days’).  Never give up because life is way too precious to miss any moment of it.
I will once again be insolently (not on purpose) shying away from my Friday post. Tomorrow morning I will be headed to the North part of the state for a conference and then driving to my old stomping grounds to run my last race of the season. This is bittersweet because not only is it getting a little too cold for me to be motivated to run outside, there is also talk of snow in the forecast. I am hoping to get my best time for a 5k and got out with a bang. Immediately after this race, I will be headed back to my house, take a warm shower and relax. It is going to be a stressful busy weekend and I can’t wait.
Maybe I will have time to do some Christmas Shopping…..wait a minute….
Until next time, my friends, Live long and prosper.
-Cheers
Em
Happy Saturday! And what a Saturday it is! The wind has taken a  turn to the bitter cold and the leaves that I love so much are being raked into piles and jumped into (I may or may not be one of the jumpers). It is the beginning of October and I feel the bite of Old Man Winter at the doorstep. Today, I am back home drinking hot apple cider and celebrating the birthday of a special 3 year old and I couldn't be happier.
Today, I have yet another book review. The book I am reviewing today is unlike any I have read. It is real, the author’s stories are broke down with emotion, and you won’t soon forget the people you meet on the journey through the lives of ordinary people fighting wars that should not be overlooked. Today I am eager to review for you War Stories by Elisabeth Doyle.
Summary
We all carry our own battle scars.

This is the premise of War Stories, a rich collection of short fiction that draws upon both the literal and figurative meaning of its title.  Through a diverse array of characters, settings, and circumstances, War Stories delivers a series of powerful tales from the home front of war: the stories of parents, siblings, and spouses of those who have fought, as well as those who have returned from battle.
Set against the backdrop of contemporary conflicts, War Stories’ compelling nine narratives tell of a wounded veteran who seeks renewal through an imagined relationship with a neighborhood girl, a grieving father who finds peace and reconciliation at the site of a disastrous bus crash, a young woman who searches for identity and meaning in the wake of her husband’s injury, and an urban teenager engaged in a fateful standoff with local recruiters. Interspersed with these tales are powerful, non-traditional “war stories” – of youth, unexpected loss, and heartbreaking love.
War Stories’ thoughtful and beautifully crafted tales, which range in style from deceptively simple to rich and complex, tell of people young and old, male and female, who share two things: humanity and resilience. These diverse and deftly written stories are joined through Elisabeth Doyle’s remarkable style and ease in creating a universe full of despair, hope, and dreams. At turns tender and harsh, tragic and yearning, these stories will leave you wanting more.
Review:
This review is a hard one for me to find a place to begin. I find it hard to start this for two reasons, one of them being the fact that I think story deserves its own review (I will not make you all read my breakdown of each and every nine stories because that would probably be twenty pages long).After finishing each and every story, I felt that I wanted more. Not needed, but wanted. The stories pack a punch and each one gives you a new emotion. The thing is that each story doesn’t leave your mind when you start a new one. The emotions you feel, whether it be sorrow, pity, hurt, pain, a fleeting moment of happiness, loneliness or hate, each emotion stacks up and by the end, you feel relief that its over but secretly wish that there was more. Each character, each story is so powerfully striking that you can’t put this book down. It is an emotional ride and you best hang on. The second reason I find it hard to write a review is that each story has stuck with me that I just don’t know how to express the sensation I feel now, after finishing the book. This book shows the true battles that happen every day. The battles of loneliness, suicide, drug abuse, and just plain sadness. These are the battles that are in every character and these are the battles that are so raw, so real, that they are hard to fight. Elisabeth Doyle has a group of short fiction stories that will stick in your mind long after you finish the book. “We all carry our own battle scars.” Yes, yes we do. War Stories proves to us that one of these days, it will all be over. We just have to wait and see how life plays out and who comes out on the winning side. The nine tales in the book is like a list of nine lives. Each one breaking down to be a battle. A battle we can either overcome or sink.
You will relate to this book in one way or another and feel exactly that way I do. This book should be one on every persons book list and they will then recommend it to their friends. Yes, it is that good.
Well friends there you go. I seriously recommend you pick this book up and read it. Click on the links below to find out how.  Also, I have included some excerpts and information on the author. Read on friends, read on!
War Stories:
Short Fiction

can be purchased at:
MyBookOrders.com

Paperback
Price: $14.95
Pages: 119
ISBN: 9781937928407
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Release: August 7, 2012
The Deepest, Darkest Part of the Woods Excerpt
It was the summer of the bicentennial, 1976, and the country was celebrating itself. The war had been over for more than a year and things went on as ever, the children playing in the Sullivan’s big back yard under skinny, century-old trees, the kind of trees with small round leaves that look like olive branches.

Driving Excerpt
They drove around that summer because there was nothing else to do. Benji had just gotten his driver’s license and his father let him use his old VW bug, no air condition and a noisy engine, but it ran. They decided to look for jobs, so they drove around South Jersey scouting for places that might hire them, their shirts soaked through in the back and their legs sticking to the seats. They stopped at a bar called Kowalski’s off of Route 70. It was empty in the daytime, just a guy cleaning. He had long hair and a tattoo on his neck that said “Quang Ngai.” The man asked if they were 18 and shook his head “no” when they said they weren’t, and then he went back to mopping the floor.

Median Excerpt
Usually, Wendell’s job involved more typical, straightforward events – a heart attack here and there, or someone falling off a ladder. Every once in a while, a suicide, maybe, and those were the hardest. There was a man who ran the local bicycle shop who shot himself. He had no wife, no relatives, so they just locked up the shop and left it, as-is. When you walked by you could still see all the merchandise in the window, crowded in and piled from the floor to the ceiling. It’s a shame, Wendell thought, all those bicycles going to waste.
About the Author:
Elisabeth Doyle is a writer and attorney living in Washington, D.C. She studied fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College and the University at Albany, and is completing a Masters of Laws Degree at Georgetown University Law Center.  Ms. Doyle’s short fiction was published in the literary journal Nadir and was awarded the University at Albany’s Lovenheim Prize for best short fiction. Her first short film, Hard Hearted One, was admitted into the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema and the Street Films Film Festival, and was shown on Public Television and Manhattan Cable. War Stories is her first collection of short fiction.
Em

Good Saturday Morning!

I hope this post finds all of you well and I hope that you are enjoying the last weekend in September. It is crazy to think that Monday will bring on a whole new month. The month before the so called Holiday Craziness begins. The month of ghosts and goblins. Bobbing for apples and pumpkins galore. October happiness to be my favorite month and I can’t wait for the excitement that it will bring. Speaking of excitement, today I am going to post a review of a book that is unlike any other books I have reviewed thus far. It’s titled How to Find the Right One and Make it Last! By Charles A. Johnson. I was excited to review this ‘self help’ book because I considered myself happily married to the right one. It intrigues me to see if I did think “by the book” and if we were meant to be. Well, here you go, friends!

Summary:

 We all want that special someone in our lives. But isn't it odd that one of life's most important lessons tends to receive the least amount of focus. It's no wonder why we have so little success attracting the love, passion, romance and fun that we all need and desire.

The problem for many busy and successful people is that they do not know where to find and meet the right partners, how to approach dating, or what it takes to build and sustain a healthy, loving relationship. To address these issues, I have taken a unique approach and have written this book about real people, like you, who struggle with finding love and the right companionship. Many who have used my techniques have been able to find happy rewarding relationships.

This book provides real world experiences and proven dating strategies and techniques. It's a guide that can be used to change your life and bring you the romance and love you've always wanted.

Review:

As I mentioned, I was very excited to do this review. The perspective that I might have on finding the right one is probably completely different because, well, I fully believe that I found the right one and that we are already making it last. I was excited to look at my relationship from another perspective to see if I followed the guidelines of Charles Jonhson’s book, or if I did things off kilter. When I started to read his introduction, it made me ever that much more excited nervous because it seemed like he was going to ask questions that I never really asked myself when I first started to date my loving husband. When I got further in the book, I became a little disappointed. A lot of the wording seemed to take a shallow sense. This started to turn me off from the book. I hate to think about finding the right one comes down to looks, dental work, and a makeover. Don’t let my frustration deter you dear friends. As I got further in to the book, I started to realize that the author wrote about this because when it comes down to it, finding the right one starts off with the initial attraction, which is looks. He was very honest in what he has seen starts a relationship for success. I found an appreciation for that. Dress to impress, give off the right signals, be open to adventure, communicate, create a balance, and love with all your heart. Charles Johnson, I think you are on to something.

One thing that I really like about this book is the questions. It was fun asking the husband the questions that was posed in the book and in turn answering them. We didn’t find out anything new about our relationship, but that didn’t bother me. Just made me realize that I am lucky enough to be in a relationship that will, without a doubt, last. For all the singles out there, tread wisely. This book is a great starting point, but I will forever be a strong advocate of fate. There is a true love waiting out there for each and every person. This, ultimately, was Charles A. Johnson’s moral of his book also. Love will find a way my friends. Prepare yourself to be swept away in the tides of love.

Looking for more? Read on, my friends, read on.

How to Find the Right One & Make It Last! can be purchased at:
askcharlesjohnson.com

About the Author:

After more than 20 years in the military and 16 in a corporate environment, Charles Johnson found another calling in life. In both the Air Force as well the many companies he founded or worked in, Charles managed and mentored diverse teams across Europe, Asia and North America. But he wasn’t your typical corporate manager.

Charles always focused more on the whole person and how to help those who worked with and around him find balance and achieve both personal and professional success. He found that he was helping people not only get well-deserved promotions or the financial recognition for their work, but he also helped them identify and realize what makes them happy.

Helping others create a life and a lifestyle where their happiness is a priority and life balance is the primary goal became Charles’ new life work. He became a certified life coach and author and has dedicated himself to helping single people find and select the right life and marriage partners and make it last.

Surrounded by three sisters and eight female cousins, Charles had a significant female influence growing up. With the knowledge he gleaned from that experience, he spent the last 25 years coaching and mentoring hundreds of single professionals and up-and-coming, career-minded men and women -- including his own four daughters. He found himself providing guidance to help these otherwise successful individuals improve their personal confidence by updating their image, polishing their social skills and providing insight into the art of establishing and maintaining relationships.

Charles has connected and helped hundreds of couples find marriage or committed partners and coaches them on how to make relationships last. He has been married for more than 33 years and three of his four daughters are now married. Charles has found happiness and balance in his own life as well, pursuing his passions as an avid traveler, photography enthusiast, art collector and a supporter of various charitable causes. He enjoys basketball, football and tennis. His greatest passion is writing about hope and how people can achieve their dreams and still have a balanced and complete life.

 
Em
Happy Saturday Morning, Friends!
This morning I am enjoying a hot cup of coffee while watching the geese fly in. My (sick) kitty is on my lap, and my husband is sitting by me. Life. Is. Good.  It is on this crisp Fall morning that I am pleased to bring you yet another book review of a great book: Back to Bataan by Jerome Charyn.

Summary:
New York City, 1943. War is raging in Europe and the Pacific, while Jack Dalton is stuck attending Dutch Masters Day School. What Jack really wants is to enlist in the army, to fight...
Everything changes when Coco, Jack's "fiancee," throws him over for one of his classmates. Jack sees red and does something drastic. Then he runs away. Hiding out in a nearby park, Jack joins ranks with a group of vagrants and is soon under the sway of a man called the Leader, an ex-convict who is as articulate and charismatic as he is dangerous. The Leader turns Jack's world upside down. To put things right, Jack must prove himself a braver soldier than he ever imagined.
Strive, determination, honesty, loyalty and love. These are just few of the characteristics that author Jerome Charyn placed in the main character, Jack Dalton. The main character, that is only eleven years old. The main character, that grew up way too fast. Jerome Charyn did something in this book that made me fall in love with it right away, which was his starting paragraph. The author sets up the maturity of this eleven year old to prepare the reader that this boy is no ordinary boy. This boy is going to be extraordinary.  “It was late. I’d had a big fight with Mama. She said the Army wouldn’t take a soldier who was eleven (pg.  7).” It was right after this that you also found out that Jack has a ‘fiancĂ©e’ named Mauricette, they are in the middle of World War II, and his father died on the island of Bataan. All of these facts combined shaped Jack into the boy that he is. It is because of Mauricette (Coco) he started a fire and ran away, it is because of the war that his father died, and it is the death of his father that makes him seek out other means as a way to live.
I will just get down to the true grit that shapes this novel, The Leader. This is an unforgettable character and it is this man that shows Jack how to survive. In this man, Jack saw true friendship. It was this man that falsely accused Jack of being a traitor and threatened Jack into stealing. This was a very Jekyll and Hyde moment of the book because Jack struggles with ‘the Devil’ inside of himself as he searchers for his true identity. The fact that Jack, or Mr. Dalton as The Leader liked to call him, struggles with identity and who his really is at the tender age of eleven shows that life lessons can happen at any stage of life. By the end of the book, Jack has protected his mother, confessed to stealing, known what heartache is, and become a local hero through his thoughts and words. It was through all this that Jack stayed loyal to the one man that betrayed him. It was through all this that Jack never made it Back to Bataan and he realized that some goals in life will have to wait. They might be unachievable right now but never unreachable.
What made this book jump from good to great was the ending that brought it all together. In the first chapter, we listened  in on a telephone call  between Mauricette and Jack and how their love for each other is strong. The book ends with Mauricette calling Jack to express the same feelings. To me, this was a lesson in itself. With everything that happened between the beginning and the end, this showed me that humanity is still alive and present. That no matter what happens, life still goes on. No matter how hard times may get, there is hope for survival. I never knew what to expect turning the page or what path jack’s life was going to take, but throughout it all, Jack stayed true to himself. This book was admired to say the least and I would recommend it to young and old alike.
There you have it friends. If you are wondering what to read next, look no further.  Thank you to Nicole from Tribute Books for yet another great read. Want to know more about the author? Read on. Want to purchase the book to see what happened to Jack? Click on the links below!
I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday and I will talk to you soon!
-Cheers!
Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.”
New York Newsday hailed Charyn as “a contemporary American Balzac,” and the Los Angeles Times described him as “absolutely unique among American writers.”
Since 1964, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.
Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.
Purchase Back to Bataan here: