How One Young Woman Broke My Heart and Repaired It

Originally posted on When Women Inspire:

Sparkling Heart

A heart is priceless, as I found reading the book titled a picture is worth… (Photo Source: little*star, CC BY-ND 4.0, via Flickr)

I began reading a picture is worth… this week and my heart broke as I read the first personal essay written by a young woman named Aayilah. a picture is worth… is a book composed of a collection of personal essays written by US high school students; it is designed to be an education curriculum component along with photos, blogs and audio segments. The goal is to inspire learning in young people by encouraging them to share their stories, as well as to develop new ways of educating and connecting students. The story told by Aayilah of her life broke my heart and repaired it, all within one chapter.

Aayilah is a 15-year-old student who came to the US from Trinidad and Tobago to live with her mother…

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Review! Little Dead Riding Hood by Amie Borst and Bethanie Borst


Erik over at This Kids Reviews Books posted a fantastic review on the fractured fairy tale Little Dead Riding Hood by Amie and Bethanie Borst.

Originally posted on This Kid Reviews Books:

It’s October and time for some monstrously fun books! Here is one that is released today!


Little Dead Riding Hood

By Amie and Bethanie Borst

Illustrated by Rachael Caringella

320 pages – ages 9+
Series: Scarily Ever Laughter
Published by Jolly Fish Press on October 14, 2014

Scarlet Small was new in town. Her dad, Drac, is in the army, and they moved a lot. Scarlet was scared of her new school. It smelled of werewolf. It didn’t help that at her old school, she was friendless and ridiculed. A lot. Did I happen to mention that Scarlet Small and her “parents” are vampires? And that Scarlet is over a century old? In a 12-year-old body? So far, school is going great for her, until Scarlet meets Ethan. She is sure that he is the werewolf she smells, which is bad, because a werewolf’s bite is the only thing that…

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Talon, Come Fly with Me By Gigi Sedlmayer

Talon Come Fly With MeTALON, COME FLY WITH ME by Gigi Sedlmayer is a wonderful and inspirational story for adults and children alike.  It is the tender story of a girls love for the mighty condor, a vulture and nearly extinct.  Matica, who because of a genetic disorder is, at age ten, no bigger than a two year old. She lives in Peru and the Indians there fear her and refuse to allow their children to play with her.  Without friends and only her four-year brother as a playmate, Matica befriends two condors who eventually give her their egg to protect, nurture and eventually take care of the young hatchling to protect it from poachers.

This beautifully written story deals with disability and the fear of differences as perceived by others and a young girl’s love and devotion to the condors.  At times you will laugh, but you will always be amazed.  The book is the first in a series of heartwarming adventures.

I loved that Sedlmayer wove information about the condors into her story.  While reading TALON, COME FLY WITH ME, I learned a lot about condors that I would never have known otherwise. Though the main character is a female, the book is not gender specific in that Matica could just as easily been a boy. It is certainly appropriate for people of all ages, but I heartily recommend it to the 9-12-year-old readers.

To learn more about the author

Author’s blog – Talon, Family Book Series

Blogspot – Talon

Facebook pages – Gisela Sedlmayer or Talon

Twitter – @GigiSedlmayer

Goodreads – Profile Page

Amazon Author Page – Gigi Sedlmayer


Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Books-a-Million, Indie Bound, iBooks, Indigo, Google Books, Alibris,

Update from Josie

Whoa! Did you say I’m one year old today! No way!

It has been a busy year for me.  Being born was hard work, but here I am one year later – a big girl! My Grammie posted photos from my younger days on earlier posts, but she’s dropped the ball lately and hasn’t posted anymore pictures in a long time.  I will try to bring you up to date.

Let’s start with April. I had my baptism at a really old church where someone named George Washington used to go. Mommy and Daddy had a party for me before we went to church.  There were lots of family and friends there.

10269639_10202008148310479_1500935330284093046_n (1)


This is me with my Godparents and parents. Uncle Todd (Daddy’s brother), Daddy, Me, Mommy, Aunt Stephanie (Mommy’s sister)


Josie's Baptism 4-19-14

The next day was Easter so my cousin Mallory and I got to visit the Easter Bunny.10253776_10202008155190651_7413488021881451209_n


Sometimes in spring it was really warm so I could go out without a jacket, like on this day when I went hiking with my daddy.

All ready to go hiking with Daddy 4-13-14


Other times I had to be bundled up.

Bundled up 3-6-14


In May, we moved clear across the country to Oregon because my Daddy is a Lieutenant in the Coast Guard and that was where they sent him. On our way from Virginia to Oregon we stopped in Ohio to visit our family.

Ryan Megan Josie 4-14 edit


We also stopped at some pretty interesting places along the way to Oregon.

Mt. Rushmore National Memorial 5-16-14 - aMt. Rushmore

Ryan Megan Josie - Badlands National Park 5-16-19

Badlands National Park

Megan and Josie at Yellowstone National Park 5-18-14

Yellowstone National Park

Megan and Josie on Gondola Ride over Spokane Falls 5-19-14

A gondola ride over Spokane Falls


In June we came home to Ohio for my aunt’s wedding.  This was the first time I rode on a plane.

All ready for 1st airplane ride - Portland OR to Chicago 6-19-20

Daddy had a cheese Coney when we got to Cincinnati.  I tried to get his cheese, and as you can see I succeeded.

It's Skyline time Josie 6-19-14

I got to stay at Grammie and Grampie’s a lot because Mommy and Daddy were in the wedding and had a lot to do.  We had lots of fun!  I was so happy to see Grammie, I just had to give her a big kiss.

Loving Grammie 6-20-14 - d


Shopping with Daddy at The Home Depot is okay, but I’d rather shop for toys.

Shopping at Home Depot with my Daddy 6-5-14

I got all dressed up in my red, white, and blue for the 4th of July.

4th of July Firecracker 7-4-2014

Mommy and Daddy took me to a parade and a clown gave me a big red nose.

At the Astoria Regatta Parade - a clown gave Josie a clown nose 8-9-14 - Copy

I have a dog named Riley. She is a good dog.  I really love her, but she thinks I’m a pest.  I just want to love on her and share toys with her.  I even share my food with her. When Daddy’s ship comes in, my Riley dog and I have lots of fun with Daddy.

When Daddy puts my toys together, I get to help him! I’m a very good helper.

Helping Daddy put my wheelbarrow together 8-8-14Somebody likes her new wheelbarrow 8-9-14


I love to go to the beach and play in the sand.  Sometimes I even eat it…

I  promise, I didn't eat the sand! 7-1-14

Or fall face first in it…


Where we live now, I have a playroom.  My mom cleans it up and puts all my toys away. Silly Mommy, doesn’t she know I’m going to take them all out again?


Daddy couldn’t be here for my birthday, but my cousin Brynn, Aunt Stephanie and my MawMaw and PawPaw came to help me celebrate.

photo 3 photo 4

Birthdays are fun, but are stressful too!

photo 1


Brynn and I had fun together and even dressed alike.Josie and Brynn - Josie's 1st Birthday


I’m ready for cake! How about you?

Josie 1 yr old Josie's Cake

Josie eating cake 1 Josie eating cake 2 Josie eating cake 3

Happy Birthday Josie! Grammie Loves YOU!

NEST By Esther Ehrlich

NestNaomi Orenstein (known as Chirp because she loves watching birds and can tell you just about anything about them) and Joey Morell live across the street from each other.  Joey has two older brothers who have bad reputations, and Naomi is afraid of them and a bit afraid of Joey, even though they are in the same grade. They are as different as night and day, or so they think. But as the story unfolds, they have a lot in common.   They are very bright students, and they both live under difficult circumstances.

This is a story of tragedy, hardship, love, and friendship.  It is about a camaraderie born of trust and a need to connect with someone who understands.  The plot and characters are both well crafted. The characters are true to life. Chirp and Joey could easily be the kids down the street.

When I first started reading Nest, I wasn’t sure it was going to be a book I would enjoy. As I got to know Chirp, I found I wanted to know more about her, why she and Joey seemed to have a connection, and how Chirp, with Joey’s friendship, learned to come to terms with the way life had changed for all in the Orenstein household. It was a book I couldn’t put down.

Nest is for ages 8-12, but I would recommend it to anyone age 8 – adult. It deals with some tough subjects such as illness, death, and abuse, and the unlikely bond of friendship that was formed by two children living under different circumstances. It is a heartwarming and unforgettable story.

I was given this ARC by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

To find out more about the author visit

Web page – Esther Ehrlich Author

Facebook – Esther Ehrlich, Author page

Twitter – @EstherEhrlich

Goodreads – Esther Ehrlich page


Buy the book on, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, iBookstore, Random House


What I Thought I KnewAlice Eve Cohen’s memoir is honest, deeply moving, and at times humorous.  At age 44, Alice is happy with the way her life is going. Divorced, she has found Mr. Right and is headed down the path to marriage. Her adopted daughter is thriving, and her career as a storyteller and performer is flourishing.  What more could she want? She was settled into the life she wanted when suddenly she started experiencing mysterious symptoms.  After a visit to her gynecologist, the doctor told her she was going through menopause. She had a hard belly and eventually after x-rays and months of other tests, she had a CAT scan. Her diagnosis was a shock. She was six months pregnant, was a DES daughter who would undoubtedly deliver her baby early, and she had no prenatal care up to now.  She had been on medications and there was a possibility the baby would be born with problems.

How could she be pregnant?  All these months the doctors had been telling her she was depressed, menopausal, anemic, preoccupied with the possibility of having cancer, and she was supposedly infertile.  She was high risk and no doctor wanted to take her on as a patient because of the six months she had no prenatal care.

Alice considers all of her options, openly and honestly.  She is genuine and straightforward and doesn’t hesitate to describe exactly how difficult it was for her to make the decision she did concerning her baby. It is hard to talk about her story without giving too much away so I will leave it here.  It is a book you won’t want to put down.  I recommend this as a five-star book.


To learn more about Alice Eve Cohen visit

Her webpage – Alice Eve Cohen

Facebook – Alice Eve Cohen Page

Twitter – @AliceEveCohen

Goodreads – Alice Eve Cohen



Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells, BooksAMillion, or your favorite local bookstore

In Rhapsody


Here is another amazing and beautiful poem by my friend Morgan over on BooknVolume.

Originally posted on booknvolume:

in Rhapsody

In Rhapsody, like Diamonds

Glittering in the Waning Light of Day,

Time does Sparkle and Scintillate

In Your Presence,

While the Hours Shift,

And Midnight turns,

The Palest Moon and Transcending stars,

Ask only for Your Smile,

Like a Rhapsody of Diamonds.

Beautiful Photograph found on Pinterest. Credit Acknowledged to the Amazing Original Photographer.

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No One Could Have Guessed the Weather by Anne-Marie Casey

No One Could Have Guessed the WeatherNO ONE COULD HAVE GUESSED THE WEATHER had its good points and bad. I loved the story of the four women and the friendships they formed while they juggled the responsibilities of work, home, children, and the difficulties those duties encompassed.  While Lucy struggles at first with the down-sizing of every aspect of her life, she is the one who is the strongest character.  Julia, who is stressed out to the point of leaving home and family, works hard at figuring out how to make her life less demanding. Christy is a trophy wife to a much older man and has everything, but yet is not really happy with her marriage. Her husband uses his money to control her. Christy was definitely the weakest character. Robyn just works at getting by day by day, and becomes stronger with time.  The link among these women is the commonality of their situations; the problems they face individually are the same.

There was a lot of time spent developing the characters, which I normally love. However, Casey didn’t get into the plot until half way through the book. I kept waiting for the four women to connect and it just didn’t happen soon enough for me.  I love reading and rarely find a book I don’t like, but I struggled to finish this one.  I give this one three stars.

Find more about the author on

Webpage Anne-Marie Casey

Facebook Anne-Marie Casey, author

Goodreads Anne-Marie Casey



Barnes and Noble




Your favorite local bookstore


I received this book from Library Thing Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.

The Meryl Streep Movie Club by Mia March

The Meryl Streep Movie ClubTHE MERYL STREEP MOVIE CLUB, debut novel by Mia March is the story of a family who think it is all they can do to tolerate each other during Thanksgiving and Christmas, the only times they get together. When Aunt Lolly decides to call everyone home for an important announcement, sisters Isabel and June, their cousin Kat, and Aunt Lolly discover that their misconceptions about each other are just that.    You will be amazed at the artful way the author brings the characters to life, as they discover themselves and come together as a loving family discussing each Meryl Streep movie’s message on movie night.  I much prefer to read than to watch a movie, so I wasn’t sure this book was for me. I’ve only seen one Meryl Streep movie (“Out of Africa”) and couldn’t imagine how those movies could form the basis for the book. I was astounded! I had it all wrong. They didn’t form the basis for the story, they enriched it. This was truly an enjoyable read. Check it out!

Find out more about Mia March.

FaceBook author page Mia March

Twitter @March_Mia

Goodreads Mia March



Barnes and Noble



Your favorite local bookstore