Meet Guest READER Michelle Clements James

macjam47:

The wonderful Chris the Story Reading Ape featured me on his blog http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com.

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog..... An Author Promotions Enterprise!:

I am a reader, not a writer.  So why am I blogging?

Michelle Clements JamesI am a reader, and I blog about sharing the books I love whether romance, historical fiction, chick lit, biography, memoir, fantasy, classic, contemporary fiction, and children’s books.  What I will never read are thrillers (I even hid behind a pillow during JURASSIC PARK). My blog is a place to talk about current reads, and many of the wonderful books I’ve read over the years, as well. Occasionally I throw in a post about my family. I recently participated in the A to Z Challenge to write a post every day during April. I invite comments and recommendations to all posts.

A bit about me…

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio and raised my children here as well. I went to college at the University of Cincinnati and majored in Geology with a minor…

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Masterpiece

macjam47:

Enjoy these beautiful words from my dear friend Morgan.

Originally posted on booknvolume:

Masterpiece 1

How Truly Beautiful is this world. How Rich in Colour, Texture, Light, Shadow, Shades and Hues both Vivid and Pale, Stark in contrast and Harmonious in their blendings. Each day the golden shimmering orb of pale and violent splendor raises his head and Smiles down upon us, glistering and, sometimes, glowering in Radiant Grandeur, waiting for us to See, to pause, to raise a hand in Breathless Wonder beneath its superior glow and stand, for a moment, Transfixed.

Masterpiece 2

Each evening the luminous moon in subtle beauty slips delicately from her ebon shroud and Sings a song of ethereal Enchantment. Gentle and patient, she glides in regal effortless flow across the bejeweled spangle, her silvery luminescence a Gift to all who lay aside their restless haste, if only for the briefest of moments, to Gaze upon her shimmering show.

Autumn Mountain Foliage

The Earth is Filled to overflowing with verdant greens, supple yellows, resplendent…

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Spare Change By Bette Lee Crosby

Spare Change
Ethan Allen Doyle had a tough life. His mother was so wrapped up in herself, and his father had a mean streak. He had more on his plate than any eleven-year-old should ever have, and then, he witnessed a brutal murder. Fearing for his life, he takes off in search of his grandfather, known only to him by the Christmas cards he received.
Olivia Westerly is settled into her single life when she meets Charlie Doyle, who sweeps her off her feet. Her married life quickly takes a turn to the unexpected, and Olivia was forced into a situation that causes her to re-evaluate her life. Through various events, the most important of which is having the care of Ethan Allen forced upon her, she finds all of her preconceived notions of the kind of person she is, are no longer applicable.
SPARE CHANGE is a murder mystery. The storyline drew me in quickly with its superstitions, mystery, romance, friendship, humor, and its flawed characters that are so realistic that every reader can find them believable. The story moves quickly and is told from several different points of view. It’s about how we deal with life’s challenges and the power of love in changing who we are.
When I first started reading SPARE CHANGE, I thought I wouldn’t like it very much, but once into a few pages, I was captivated by the story, the writing style, the author’s voice, and the characters. I am amazed that so much emotion, mystery, and story is found in just 280 pages. It is a book I heartily recommend to all readers in every genre. I look forward to reading more of Bette Lee Crosby’s work.
According to Amazon, SPARE CHANGE is their number one bestselling historical mystery and the winner of five literary awards.
You can find out more about Bette Lee Crosby on these websites:

 

Her website – Bette Lee Crosby Words, Wit & Wisdom

Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

Buy SPARE CHANGE and Bette’s other books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells, BooksAMillion, or your favorite Indie bookstore.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

LOVE ON MIMOSA LANE by Anna DeStefano

Love on Mimosa LaneLOVE ON MIMOSA LANE is more than just another romance.  It is about the foster care system, alcoholism and the toll it takes on family life, and about bullies. It is a book filled with interesting characters, some to love, and one not so much.  The descriptions are rich and the story moves quickly.

Law is a bad-boy type with a soft heart that he guards closely.  His past and his divorce from Libby have left him afraid to trust anyone, His desire to protect his daughter Chloe from the ugliness of his divorce, her mother’s drunkenness, and the rumors about his life, have caused him to build a wall around himself.

Kristen, the assistant principal at Chloe’s school, is dealing with her own demons, but recognizes the personal battle Law is fighting. She recruits him to help Fin, a foster child who is troubled and lonely, to play soccer.  The deal is that if Law helps Fin, she will convince Fin to recruit Chloe, who loves soccer but was convinced by her mother, that rather than playing soccer, she should concentrate on being like the popular girls.

There is, needless to say, a romantic attraction between Law and Kristen, but neither can get beyond the wounds of their pasts to let love in.  They both grew up in dysfunctional families where love was rationed out, rather than given freely.

This story has a lot going on in it, but it is expertly pulled together by DeStefano.  I loved that there were so many loose threads that needed to come together before the book’s end. There was a lot to pique my interest.  The characters were well crafted, and I fell in love with them right away.

This is the third book in the Seasons of the Heart series. I have not read the other two yet, but I felt this book could stand on its own without reading all of them. I would definitely recommend LOVE ON MIMOSA LANE to anyone who doesn’t mind a bit of romance, but enjoys reading books that touch on some of society’s sad issues.

To learn more about Anna DeStefano, check out her webpage Anna DeStefano, her blog Anna DeStefano, on FaceBook, Twitter, and on Pinterest.

Purchase the book on  Amazon,  Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Powells, or your favorite Indie book store.

Fun Books for Little Ones

There is nothing like having a young child crawl up in your lap for story time.  The best books of all are those chunky little board books that are just right for chubby hands.  The colorful illustrations help a child to make the story her own by encouraging her to “read” the story to you.

 

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You SeeBROWN BEAR, BROWN BEAR, WHAT DO YOU SEE?

By Bill Martin Jr./Eric Carle

BROWN BEAR, BROWN BEAR, WHAT DO YOU SEE? is a classic storybook with colorful pictures of different animals. The book is set to a jingle, and introduces young children to various colors.

“Green Frog, Green Frog, what do you see?

I see a purple cat looking at me.”

 

MOO MOO, BROWN COWMoo Moo, Brown Cow

By Jakki Wood

Colorful pictures of animals and a delightful story, MOO MOO, BROWN COW is loved by the youngest “reader”. Each animal is asked by a kitty if they have any babies. The counting story introduces sounds animals make and the kind of babies they have, as well as colors.

“Cluck cluck, orange hen, have you any chicks?

Yes kitty, yes kitty, six noisy chicks”
I love You MoreI LOVE YOU MORE

By Laura Duksta

Duksta’s flip-sided book, with colorful pictures that appeal to young children, I LOVE YOU MORE are a story about how much a little boy loves his mother.  When you reach the middle, just flip it over and start at the back for more ways he loves his mother.

“I love you higher than the highest swing ever swung.

I love you sweeter than the sweetest song ever sung.”

 

BIG DOG…LITTLE DOGBig Dog - Little Dog

By P.D. Eastman

BIG DOG…LITTLE DOG is a colorfully illustrated book of opposites written in story form.

“When they walked in the rain,

Fred was wet…

and Ted was dry.”

This book is sure to delight young book lovers.

 

The Nose BookTHE NOSE BOOK

By Al Perkins

Charming and colorfully illustrated, this is a book of noses and the jobs they do every day. They come in every size, shape, and color.  This book will bring giggles from young readers.

“I see a nose on every face.

I see noses every place!”

 

Next time you’re at the bookstore, check out some of these darling board books for the little ones in your life.

Fun With Family!

I apologize for the recent lack of reviews, but that will be rectified shortly.  Meanwhile, I will give you a glimpse into the fun my husband and I had with our oldest son and his family.

Last week we drove to Boston. It was a long, but particularly enjoyable ride. We took I-90, which is a toll road through Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts.  Toll roads are definitely the way to go.  There was some semi-truck traffic, but not nearly as many as we encountered on regular interstate highways.

It is always exciting to visit our grandsons (and yes, of course, their parents too), and we always pick up where we left off the last visit, as if no time intervened.

Our first day there we took the train into Boston to meet our son for dinner.  While we were waiting, our oldest grandson found a new friend.

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My husband and our son at dinner

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Another day we walked the freedom trail. It was fascinating. We saw Paul Revere’s grave, house, and the North Church. Faneuil Hall, Boston Common, the Old Statehouse, the USS Constitution, Boston Massacre Site are among some of the fascinating stops on the tour.

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In front of the Maclaurin Building on MIT’s Campus

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Lunch at the Russell House in Harvard Square

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Harvard University’s Memorial Hall

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Visit to Newburyport, Massachusetts

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Like all visits, time flew by so quickly.  We had a wonderful time laughing, talking, and exploring together.  It was, as always, difficult to say ‘till next time.’

On the way home, we stopped at Niagara Falls and stayed on the Canadian side of the falls.  It was the first time we’d been back in nearly twenty years. The surrounding area has changed tremendously, but the falls remain the same awe-inspiring, powerful, and immensely beautiful spectacle as ever.

The view of Niagara Falls from our hotel room

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Raindrops

macjam47:

Touching tribute.

Originally posted on Maxima:

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Written: © Maxima 
When I was little
I used to run after the clouds
Begging them to pour
Thick raindrops
Onto the path I ran on
So the dust wouldn’t lift
Under my feet
And I loved
Being bathed by the warm raindrops
Being soaking wet
And then coming to my mother
I would pretend I got caught up

She would take a towel
Wipe off my hair gently
And say
As many kisses on your cheek
As raindrops in your hair

Raindrops are made of love
Of the rainy clouds queen
Love for the world
And you, my little one
And let them drop
All over you
So I can give you
A bunch of kisses…
Then she would give me
A glass of fresh milk

My mother was both
My mother and my father
Her soul was a treasure trove
Full of fairy tales
She would tell me

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As You, My Most Beloved One

macjam47:

Beautiful words always flow from Morgan’s pen (or keyboard) Enjoy and please visit her lovely blog and check out some of her other fabulous poetry.

Originally posted on booknvolume:

As You, My

Touch my hand with Your Enticing Warmth,
Draw me in like a Sweet Breath
Under the Blissful Balm of Starlit Night,
Where the Heavens Reach in spangled Glory.
Tapestry of Dreams,
Song of Echoes,
Stirring the Wandering musings of my mind
In Dizzy spells of Enchantment,
As You, My Most Beloved One.

Lean Near to me beneath this Shrine of Ancient Light,
Allow me to Gaze in Breathless Wonder
Into the Remarkable Depths of Your Lustrous stare,
Beguiled and Bewildered
By the Intoxicating Allure I See,
Unrivaled by the Wealth of Splendor
Spanning O’er our Heads,
As You, My Most Beloved One.

Press Your Perfect lips to mine
In the silhouette of Luminous Moonlight,
Undo my every notion with the Blush of Your Sweet Kiss,
And Listen to the Heartbeat of my Pure Elation,
Like the Mystical Symphony of Harmonious cosmos
Singing in Resplendent tones of Purest Joy,
Matchless in…

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How to Get your Kids to Read

macjam47:

What a fantastic idea for encouraging your children to become readers!

Originally posted on Nicholas C. Rossis:

GatewaySuccessStory-JeffGunhusFoil._V350981886_I found a lovely post on Amazon by Jeff Gunhus, and just had to share! Jeff details how he started his Jack Templar book series as a way to get his two young boys to read. This is what he has to say:

“My son Jack was smart and outgoing. He got great grades. But he liked reading books about as much as he liked walking behind our two yellow labs on clean-up duty. He was way more interested in movies, TV, video games. At first, I wasn’t too worried. But his vocabulary and writing skills began to slip. I decided to do something.

I created the Early Morning Book Club. That was my name anyway. To Jack, I’m sure it was the Early Morning Torture Club. The plan was that we’d get up early and Jack would read out loud to me for an hour. Luckily for him…

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