Book Review: The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett

The Road to Paradise (Shadows of the Wilderness #1)The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (June 6, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735289549
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735289543

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

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Sharing Friday Fun and Family Friendly Post from Nancy Quinn! Enjoy!

New concepts by Nancy Quinn 

We had experienced many new concepts since leaving city life behind and moving out west. Conversations now focused on matters that I never thought would cross my lips—horses, cows, horseshoes, supplements, small farm animals, and wild animals. Weather also was a big topic, as well as how to protect yourself and your homestead from it. We learned about growing fruits and vegetables and, of course, we experimented with various means of dealing with the dreaded varmints, especially the chipmunks and squirrels who regularly threatened them.

The wildlife that lived on my place loved me. Each time they saw a new plant in the yard or in a pot, they assumed the buffet line was open. Deer, chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits relished every flower I set out. It was so frustrating. They should have been satisfied with the bird seed they raided out of the feeder every day, but no, they were glutinous to a fault.


One particular chipmunk, a rather industrious fellow, climbed inside the long plastic tube of the bird feeder, and ate so much seed, he became too fat to climb out again. I discovered his plight when I went to refill the feeder and saw one eye smashed against the plastic cylinder, blinking at me. I was so startled I nearly dropped the feeder on the ground. I shook it vigorously upside down, trying to get him out, but he barely budged. Kobi stood by, anxiously licking his chops in anticipation. I removed the top from the feeder and gave it one last huge fling. A furry torpedo flew past the dog and plopped to the ground, rolling. As soon as he stopped rolling, he righted himself and scurried to the shelter of a nearby tree. He was too fat to run very fast, and though Kobi pursued him, he managed to dodge safely about and made good his escape. I thought that was the end of it until a few days later I found him again stuck in the feeder. Apparently, he had to lose some weight before he was thin enough to climb back into the tube. Some chipmunks never learn.

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Bedtime Chats: A summer ritual at the Summer Cottage

The end of the school year means the seven-year-old moves into Grandma’s bedroom for a few months.  With this summer cottage atmosphere, there are long talks into the night.
Here is a sampling of tonight’s conversation between Sarah and Grandma.

G. Let’s go to sleep. We have to get up early.

S. Wait! What’s your favorite fruit?

G. Bananas.

S. I knew you were going to say that. Mine are grapes.  What’s your second favorite?

G. Grapes are my second favorite. What is your second favorite?

S. Bananas! What’s your next favorite fruit?  I hope it isn’t that fruit that stinks!

G. What fruit stinks? I think my next favorite fruit is Watermelon.

S. Same.

G. What fruit stinks?

S. I can’t think of its name.  What is your least favorite fruit?

G. Limes, they are too sour for me.

S. Same.  Well, actually my least favorite is grapes with ranch.

G. Laughing out loud, eww grapes with ranch?  You’ve tried that?

S. Laughing louder, Yes! It was the worst. What’s your next favorite Fruit?

G. Mango. I love mango.

S. Oh no, Grandma, that’s the fruit that stinks.

G. No way! Mangos smell good! But I also love Kiwi.

S. Same.  Wait, what do they look like?

G. Green with little black seeds.

S. Oh yes, I like them but I do not like avocados.

G. You don’t like avocados?

S. Or guacomole, it is made from avocados.

G. I love apples, applesauce, and apple butter!

S. Applebutter? What is that?

G. It is a sweet thing your Aunt Casey knows how to make.

S. hmm

G.Goodnight Sarah! I love you!

S. Goodnight Grandma. You know I love you, right?

G. I know you do! You know I love you too, right? Sweet dreams!!

Nodding, Sarah grabs my hand and sleeps holding it until I got back up to write this.

Summers are good.  Much better than grapes with ranch.

Finding my Childhood in an Antique Store!

This weekend was the Beer Cheese Festival in Winchester Kentucky.  If you are like me, until I moved here six years ago, I had never heard of beer cheese.  After I moved here I wasn’t game to try it for several years. Then I found a garlic beer cheese and I broke down and gave it a try. It was great with salty crackers. So each year we go down to the main street and walk up and down the historic district wandering in and out of antique shops, boutiques, and gift stores.

We had wandered into a little shop really close to the courthouse and that’s when history started calling to me.  There on the top shelf was a doll house I had when I was a child. Complete with designed nursery walls, wallpapered kitchen, built in fireplace, and the wobbly tin frame. Want to see what I am talking about?  Take a look!  Modern 60’s family home made from tin.

Want to see what I am talking about?  Take a look!  Modern 60’s family home made from tin.




After finding the house, what else did I find in that same antique shop? The little stove and refrigerator my sister and I played with as very young children.  These appliances kept us busy for hours and we even had a little sink that went with the set.

As we leave that one antique store, I figure I am finished with my leisurely stroll down memory lane, but I found that not to be the case.  We only went two shops down and once again, I was confronted with memories of New Year’s Eve, birthday parties and summers on the farm with my grandparents.  Ten to one, my baby brother had the ship or the truck.  I know he had a metal pedal car. He wrecked it really badly one time careening down a hill.  I went racing up the hill and told my mother, “Ray’s head is all gunky.”  She almost fainted when she saw him and his road rashed face.

Metal noisemakers and toys anyone?


Angie, my daughter and I were given a few looks when I picked up the bell noisemaker and clanked it a few times.  Oh, the feels were strong on hearing that metallic ring.


Wandering over to the other side of the shop, Angie says, “Hey, I used to play with one of these at Aunt Cheryl’s house.”  We were really going old with these next two toys. They were items my grandparents collected and we cherished.  We are out of the tin and aluminum age, we are going back to the iron age. Meet the iron toys!

The stove with its little iron skillets and pots are no doubt still at my sister’s house entertaining her grandchildren just as they entertained my daughter and her children 30 years ago.  The ice wagon, however, resided in my house. In fact, the one we had, contained two little children peeking out the back end of the wagon.  We called them Hansel and Gretel because of her long braids.

To finish the afternoon of my antique childhood, we jumped to the mid-seventies and I was able to wow my grandson with the modern and brand new technology which allowed me to learn to type at the speed of sound. (I am including all the backspacing and erasing in the speed tests.) My thoroughly technologically groundbreaking machine.  The IBM electric typewriter with the ball strike and the ink cartridges.


I left the festival a little grayer, a little more droop to my step, and a little embarrassed that I am older than the invention of the computer.  Oh, yes! That was mentioned.

I might bemoan and joke about the antiques of my youth, but it was so nice to find these little living memories and share them with the family.  I know that one day, they will be strolling into an antique shop and will say, “Hey! I remember having one of these!”  It brings the long lost kid to the surface, to take a peek at what made them so happy such a long time ago.


9 Ways To Avoid A Humiliating Public Failure At Your Book Signing Event

This is an excellent article on planning a book signing. I am taking notes and planning my first event. I want it to be an upbeat fun experience, this looks like it would make that happen! Thank you, Dan Alatorre, for this post! I am sharing it!

Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

Your humble host. your humble host

You finally worked up the nerve to ask a real, live bookstore to have you sign books at an event!

Okay, you emailed them.

But they replied and now you have a signing event! Woo hoo!

Uh oh…

A real live event.With people.

Or worse, maybe with NO people.

I can hear your heart pounding from here. You’ve heard horror stories about signings. Nobody came. Nobody bought a book…


It can happen even if you DO plan. So what do you do? After all, for the most part you tend to be humiliation-averse.

Good thing I was here!

I have 9 tips for what you need to make your signing a hit, plus some bonus tips for before and after the event, and a few planning/social media suggestions.

The biggest thing to…

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Book Review: How Music Works by David Byrne

How Music WorksHow Music Works by David Byrne

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Reprint edition (May 2, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804188939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804188937

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Continue reading “Book Review: How Music Works by David Byrne”

Facebook and Goodreads Meld into one unified Group.

Today there is an active and ready for participation group on both Goodreads and Facebook.  These groups share a common name, Parents, Find Children’s Books and Authors. This is an excellent time to join up and look for new authors, old classics, fun series, and child appealing characters.


Let’s start with a few links to show where you can join in the fun.  On Goodreads, you may join the group here.  Now before you think this is just another crazy idea bunny from Vicki, I can assure you we already have over 20 members. They might be quiet now, but you know I will get them talking sooner or later, I am hoping for sooner.

topics of discussion

Facebook is newer and less formed, but it is there ready for occupancy. The paint is a little sticky and the grout is still drying, but we are open for business. So meander on into the Facebook group here.


So let’s talk about group plans on both sites.  We see this as a group that can share great books and new soon to be great books with children and their parents.  A chance to meet a few authors, order a signed copy of a book, ask questions of writers, readers, authors, publishers, and all genre specific.

Readers, meet your authors

This is not a spamming site where links will be posted on a daily basis running off readers with their sheer magnitude. There will be a book room where books can be listed, there will be an area for discounts, freebies, and giveaways. There will be an area for new releases.  So come on over to one of the two sites (read join both!) Share your skills in the children’s literature, early reader, chapter books, and child-friendly series.


What we need most at this point is word of mouth and sharing of the links. We are talking full out sharing, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google +, Reddit, Tumbler, and any other site you have seen parents, readers, and or authors lurking.  Help us make this a fun and totally interactive place for parents, readers, authors, and children at heart. And by all means, if you are a reader, writer, child at heart, then join us! We can’t wait to meet you too!