Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Woman He Married (A Magic City Duo Book 1)

GENRE: Women's Fiction



Once an aspiring young attorney, Josie looked forward to taking on the injustices of the world—one case at a time. Eleven years later, she’s a stay-at-home mom and battling demons that don’t require a law degree. Only keeping up pretenses proves more than she can bear when a bracelet that should have been hers shows up on the wrist of another woman. Her marriage slowly begins to unravel as an ex-lover comes back into her life. When he offers her the dreams she thought she’d lost, Josie must chose between the man she married and the one she let get away.

John has always known exactly what he wanted. A career as a high-powered attorney, followed by the perfect family of six, and then elected public service. So it was no surprise that the first time he laid his eyes on Josie, he knew she was the one he’d share his dreams with. More than a decade, and one tragic miscalculation later, all he has worked for is slipping through his fingers. Powerless to stem the flow, the one thing he remains certain of: he can’t lose the woman he married.



Julie N. Ford will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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My Impressions: 
 "The Woman He Married" was my first Julie Ford book and I have to say I have mixed emotions about it. I really disliked John and Josie. Its not that the characters were not well written, it was the way Josie was a dumping ground for John. It ticked me off. He cheats, blames her and I felt like  she basically grovels for him not to leave while he gets everything he wanted. Hes a self indulgent, hypocritical cheater with Josie being a insecure, self adsorbed drunk and there are so many other issues in this extremely dysfunctional marriage that I felt like I have been on an emotional roller coaster and the ride ended abruptly.  

The writing style was good, considering its a first book and it flowed nicely to keep you engaged. The story itself was well written, with my only complaint being how nice, neat and abruptly the story was ended. I like to see these things played out slowly and not as one big dump. Otherwise I enjoyed it and cannot wait to see what this author produces.


Josie’s first big mistake, as it turned out, was putting John’s goals, his dreams and wishes, ahead of her own. As with the law, apparently so went marriage. Once a precedent had been set, it was next to impossible to overturn.

In this modern age, with so many women balancing career and family, she hadn’t expected to have to choose between the two. Nor had she realized there were still men like John who believed his success should be enough for them both; much less women like herself, who’d willingly exchange her dreams for the love of one such man.

For the first time in years, tonight she’d caught a glimpse of her old self, of the woman who had once been too brave for her own good. Who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, to fight for what was right. Unfortunately when John had said he was leaving, that woman had panicked and shamelessly thrown herself at him . . . An offer he’d flat-out refused . . . That refusal had struck like a single kill-shot, finishing off what was left of Josie’s self-worth, and she’d let him go without further argument . . . Where he could be at this hour, she refused to imagine. Not even in her mind could she stomach the sight of John’s body wrapped around that of another woman’s, his hands touching her in places he’d once promised to only touch Josie. With each passing hour, her hurt and humiliation had slowly been replaced by the numbness she’d grown much too accustomed to . . . She’d been trying to live this suburban life for too long, forcing herself to become a brand of woman she didn’t know how to be. The kind of woman she’d never wanted to be. She needed to stop, to just say no, but she couldn’t figure out how. How did a mother of three young children—angels she loved beyond belief—with a beautiful home and a handsome, successful husband justify not wanting her life anymore?

John had never given much credence to self-help jargon like doormat, codependent, inner-child. Baggage. But for the sake of argument, he spared a thought to what so-called baggage he’d been lugging around since his childhood. The image of a weighty chip, a sarsen that looked a whole lot like his old man and had been clinging to his shoulder for as long as he could remember, leapt to mind. How had he failed to recognize that the one person he loathed most had been the very person dictating his behavior all these years? Wasn’t life peculiar? The way clarity and perspective came not in moments of peace and quiet reflection, but in times of turmoil, when one’s world had been knocked about and was just beginning to settle upright again.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science, Julie N. Ford also earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama, which has only made her better able to recognize the unhealthy, codependent relationship she has with writing. Professionally, she has worked in teaching and as a marriage and family counselor. She is the author of six women’s fiction novels, including Count Down to Love, a 2011 Whitney Award finalist. When she’s not writing, she entertains delusions of being a master gardener, that is, when she’s not killing the unsuspecting plants in her yard with her good intentions. She lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, two daughters, and the cutest Scottish fold cat you’ve ever seen.

The Woman He Married will be $0.99 during the tour.





Thursday, September 15, 2016

Texas and Tiaras (The Book Cellar Mysteries 2)

Nobody in Herald Springs can believe that their small town served as the scene for a major criminal showdown. With the events of the annual gala behind them, they just want to get back to their normal lives, but the members of the local “drink and gossip club” know the drama is far from over.

Brooke’s got a stalker, Annabeth has a criminal mastermind bent on her destruction, and even Vi is being taken for a ride by someone she thought was her friend. If only they could turn to each other for help, things might not be so bad—but with the women at odds with one another and only Jesse in good graces with the rest of the group, that isn’t likely to happen any time soon.

Their world is going to hell in a hand basket, so why not throw a party to brighten everyone’s mood? With Ligia’s help, Brooke arranges a charity beauty pageant the town won’t soon forget, especially when the bad guys show up and attempt to finish what they started earlier that year…

My Impressions: 

Texas and Tiaras is the 2nd book of the Book Cellar Mystery collection, following Walker Texas Wife. I am hooked on this series. It took me forever to pick up and read the first book. I kept putting it off because the title really did not speak to me, but once I did I was trapped into the wonderful world created by this amazing author. The follow up book is just as amazing and wonderful as the first. I will say that without reading the first book, you really miss so much of the characters background and connecting stories that you cannot appreciate Texas and Tiaras to its full extent and potential. The authors do try and connect the stories, but having read the first one I felt so much was missing if you try and read this as a stand-alone book. I adore the way faith is worked into each of these stories in a gentle, nonjudgmental, real way. You see how faith works differently in each character and the struggles they have from adultery, domestic violence, relationships, friendship, etc. Overall the book is amazing and always leaves you with a great cliff hanger so you cannot wait for the next one to come out.

Pop Manga Coloring Book By: Camilla d’Errico

Coloring books are a great stress reliever for people of all ages. As a Social Worker, I use them for my personal self-care and recommend them to others.  I am not a real fan of Magna, but I have 3 teenagers that go crazy over it. So when I saw this book I knew I could not pass it up. The Manga coloring book is a wonderful addition for those who love animation, magna anime and the cute and bizarre. I adored the cute little animation at the bottom of the page that helped inspire the inner creative artist in each of us. I also noticed that the cover both outside and inside since all done in black and white can also be colored to add your own personal customized flare to your book.  There is so much creativity put into this coloring book that I was amazed. The book feels me a sense of curiosity, comfort, love, acceptance, pain, loneliness and acceptance. The artwork is excellent with a lot of free space to explore both inside and outside the lines J Easy book to recommend for all ages that enjoy coloring, relaxing and taking a break from life to escape to simpler enjoyments. 

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. 

Friday, August 26, 2016


This Summer

Inside the Book:

Author: Katlyn Duncan
Publisher: Carina UK
Pages: 288
Genre: Upper YA/Contemporary Romance
Before college, before responsibilities, Hadley Beauman and best friend Lily are determined to have a summer to remember. There will be all the usual dramas – ex-boyfriends who don’t seem to know what ‘ex’ means, pesky younger brothers with unrequited crushes, but what Hadley didn’t anticipate was the out-of-the-blue return of the seriously hot boy-next-door, Will Carson. The boy who broke her heart when he skipped town two years ago.
Will may have shot up a foot and filled out (oh yes), but inside he carries the weight of guilt – for leaving, for coming back… Now he’s just passing through to tie up loose ends but it’s clear the old chemistry still crackles between him and Hadley. Trouble is, it’s built on two years of lies…
This summer might just be the best time of their lives, but is Hadley ready for everything to change – again?

My Impressions:
This was a great summer read book. It was pretty consistent with its pace and it had good character development with both the main and secondary characters.  Unlike some other summer books that I have read this one also dealt with some heavier topics on learning to let go of the past to move forward iwth your future. It also dealt with the issues surrounding forgiveness  and how not forgiving hurts you more than them. There were also quit a bit of relationship issues that were addressed in this book that help add to the plot  and the growth of the characters.

Will and Hadley were interesting to get to know. They were both flawed, and likeable characters. Hadley is the basic girl next door type, loving daughter, reliable friend and overall all American type of girl. She has a past like everyone else that she has to come to terms with before she can move on in life Will is the type of guy that everyone seems to love and that cannot do wrong. Will and Hadley are great except for the looming fears Will has over letting Hadley know about his past with his family.

Overall I enjoyed this book. For the most part it was a good read that I can recommend to others.
Thank you to the author for providing me with an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author: 

Please post your review by August 27

Putting Out the Fire: Nurturing Mind, Body & Spirit in the First Week of Loss and Beyond

  • Paperback: 84 pages
  • Publisher: Helian Press Books (May 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0996309926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0996309929
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.

The phone rings - your breath falls away - and each moment becomes a lifetime. The death of someone significant in your world can rewrite the scope and breadth of who you are. But in this exact moment of decisions, questions, family stress, and legalities, what do you do first and how do you cope? When author Claire M. Schwartz lost her mother suddenly when she was 24, she experienced this exact thought process. But with all the misinformation out there about Grief & Loss, and without tools that actually made her feel better, she fell apart. After 20+ years on her healing journey, and over two dozen more losses, she brings you the Truths that no one will tell you and the Tools to truly bring you support and clarity in the initial hours and days following a death. In this slim and personal book, you will learn: - How to practice Self-Care during this intense emotional time - The Ten Tall Tales of Grief & Loss ™ - the things we get told that may be well-meaning, but can be so hurtful and destructive - how to respond and plus compassionate ideas that will better support you - Who to trust and who to avoid, in the near-term and the long-term - How to manage funeral arrangements, the legal bits and all those details that can make you nuts, but must be done - Ways to celebrate your loved one, as well as what to do when the deceased was not so loved..... - What to focus on after the first week, and what to expect in the longer term We all experience loss in life - but what is very difficult to find is truthful advice that makes sense, and practical tools that anyone can use. This book tackles both, with compassion and clear practicality, with heart and with wisdom. There is no other book out there that focuses solely on this first, most-intense and exhausting period. It will support you when you need it most and get your healing journey started on the right foot.

 My Impressions

As a social worker I love getting the opportunity to review books that I can use to help other with. When I saw this book by Claire Schwartz, I knew I could not pass it up. Working with hospice patients I deal with patients, families and loved one's that are dealing with accepting loss both before and after death. Even though this was a short book, it was filled with great advice and information that was practical and insightful. No one wants to read a 300 page book on this topic. They want something short, to the point and helpful. 

No one really teaches anyone to deal with loss, until you are in the midst of it. By that point you want something real, insightful and practical as you navigate through one of the toughest parts of life. Ms. Schwartz understands this.   Covering topics such as self care, taking care of legal and business needs to the different behaviors you might see from others. I really appreciated the time the author spent on making sure that each individual knows that their emotions and feels are valid. It is ok to be angry, sad, fearful, etc. There is no "right" emotion to feel when you are grieving, what is important is that you are tru to yourself and that you can grow from and understand your feelings. 

This book was written in an easy to follow format that would be a excellent resource for both families experiencing grief and those who are trying to help them walk through that grief. 


Claire M. Schwartz is from the Detroit suburbs and comes from a place she calls The Dark Ugly™. She lived in a lovely town, went to a private school for gifted kids, and had cultured and educated parents. Yet Grief & Loss have followed her as long as she can remember - trauma, violence, & neglect - loss of safety and security, loss of confidence, loss of grandparents, friends and animal companions, loss of health, opportunity and sense of place in the world. The pivot point of her life was the sudden death of her mother in 1995, which changed her world forever. Yet recovery was painstakingly slow, wrapped up in misinformation, confusion and more pain. After years of therapy, failures and mistakes, her life's goal has been to find the answers that made no sense when her healing journey began. Now more than 20 years and 30+ losses on, she is bringing all that she has learned into one slim and powerful volume, in the hope that you suffer less than she did on her healing quest.

Claire holds a BA in psychology from the University of Michigan, is a Spiritual Counselor, Reiki Master Teacher, Certified Professional Coach and Interfaith Minister. She is happily married in New Jersey, surrounded by cats, great food and the best of friends.