Monday, February 27, 2023

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday - Feb 27

Welcome to It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday.   


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.     

Welcome to the end of February. This last month flew by. Did it feel that way for you?

Last week, I visited my mother-in-law for a few days. This is my dog buddy when I am there.


This past weekend I took most of Sunday off and spent it cleaning up and cooking. The Lil' Princess will arrive on Friday for spring break, so I want to make sure I am ready for her. Travis is eagerly awaiting her arrival.


We had some snow on Thursday, and are expecting another storm tonight into Tuesday morning. The snow made for a lovely walk with Theo this weekend. I, however, am ready for spring.

In my reading world, I finished Ninja Selling. It covers the concepts I learned in the Ninja Installation from January. I am already a relational person, so this is helping me hone my skills and reminds me to bring value to my clients. 

As part of the Ninja path, we are encouraged to read something inspirational every day. So, I started with Billy Graham's, "The Cradle, Cross, and Crown." This is a short Christian devotional that I picked up on sale during's Christmas sale. I finished reading this one last week.

In the mornings, I am now reading from this John Maxwell book.

I am reading this book for my review on March 6.

I also pick up these from time to time.

Upcoming virtual book tours:
  • The Code by Sean Keefer - Mar 6 (review)
  • Path of Peril by Marlie Parker Wasserman - Mar 13

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Since I pay for the Audible Plus membership, there are dozens of books I can download for free. These are the books I added to my library.

Have you read any of these? Are there books on my list you would recommend? 

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Audible Book Review: Ninja Selling by Larry Kendall


For those seeking to build relational businesses, not transactional businesses; for those eager to provide value and solve problems for the people that they serve; for those seeking to rise above the crowd, there is Ninja Selling by Larry Kendall to lead the way.

Having taken the Ninja installation back in January, I knew I had to read Ninja Selling. The principles it teaches are meant not only to help you see your business in a different light, they guide you toward better work and life balance. 

Reminding the reader that TSW - The System Works - Kendall provides step-by-step instructions on how to bring greater value to your clients, going from selling to solving by asking the right questions and listening to the people you serve. This allows you to rise above the crowd, because you put the practices and systems in place to increase your productivity, be more helpful to your clients, and enjoy your life. Helpful appendices provide resources crucial to success, and the Afterword includes "The Ninja Prayer." 

Kendall has a smooth, calming voice, and his narration of Ninja Selling is what one would hear in any of his videos. His voice encourages the reader along, helping them to embrace a system that can truly make a difference if you follow the Ninja Path.

I am eager to continue along my journey. While I have always been a relational person, Ninja Selling has helped me fine-tune my skills. 

Highly recommended for business people everywhere!

Listening Length8 hours and 6 minutes
AuthorLarry Kendall
NarratorLarry KendallBrandon Arthur Release DateApril 27, 2020
PublisherLarry Kendall, Ninja LLC
Program TypeAudiobook

I purchased a copy of this Audible book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Book Spotlight: Kiss My Boots! by Jennifer Learmont



Setting out on an adventure to the USA with my best friend, we had no plans, no rules and no limits. It started in the wild 80's in Hollywood, LA and the spread across the '90's, fueled by drugs, sex, rock n roll. We met the people who later became famous actors, musicians, singers. I took some risks, made mistakes and lived through them; I was one of the lucky ones.

For 14 years I worked as a Dominatrix in Hollywood. 

I was a natural and loved the work. My clients included a US General, Top Surgeons, Politicians, High Court Judges and VIPs. There is a grey side to my work, and no one really knows what goes on behind the dungeon doors.

I married a charming, captivating Italian/American criminal and lived a dangerous life, involved in crime, drugs and crazy choices where I almost lost my life. My turning point came the day I walked into the Sanctuary of an Interdenominational Church. I loved it so much I joined the gospel choir and took up yoga. 

Now I was a dominatrix, yoga student singing in a gospel choir. 

Eventually, and exhausted, I returned to Australia permanently to set up my own yoga studio and started to build a new life away from a blurred past. I was a wild and fearless child with a kind compassionate heart and a determination to live my life to the full, regardless of any cost. 

"A spectacular life journey of a woman filled by verve and passion for life and who found her place far from where she thought it was going to be...sensitively written and thoughtful reflection of an explorative youth...wonderful..." Tara, Indiebooks reviewer

Book Excerpt:

"One night, Steve and I were at home, smoking cocaine and, naturally, we ran out, which is the mist desperate feeling.  Steve went out to get some more, and he seemed to take foreverl  I was frantically pacing the floor for him to return.  I couldn't stand it any longer, so to take the edge off, I took some over the counter sleeping pills to relax my agitation.  Finally, Steve returned and quickly cooked up the cocaine.  I took one hit, and that's all I remember."

Publisher: Shawline Publishing, March 15, 2022 

Formats: Paperback, 170 pages, $7.42; E-Book/Kindle, 240 pages, $5.99; ISBN-978-1922594709 and ISBN-13-978-1922594709. 

Available for purchase at: as well as Walmart,,, Alibris,, and

Publisher web link:


Jennifer Learmont was born in a little town called Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, Australia, but grew up in Sydney, Australia.  She attended a variety of schools since her family moved here and there while she was growing up. Jennifer credits her mother, who was an opera singer, a concert pianist and very educated woman for her education.  “She was my teacher,” remarks the author.  Jennifer Learmont  maintains her home in Australia today.

Author Instagram page:

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Interview with Thomas White, Author of The Siren's Scream


Thomas White began his career as an actor. Several years later he found himself as an Artistic Director for a theatre in Southern California and the winner of several Drama-Logue and Critics awards for directing. As Tom’s career grew, he directed and co-produced the world tour of “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Coming Out Of Their Shells”. The show toured for over two years, was translated into seven different languages and seen by over a million children. Tom served as President and Creative Director for Maiden Lane Entertainment for 24 years and worked on many large-scale corporate event productions that included Harley Davidson, Microsoft, Medtronic Diabetes, and dozens of others. The Siren’s Scream is Tom’s second novel that follows up Justice Rules which was nominated as a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2010 Literary contest.

Visit his website at or connect with him at Twitter and Facebook.

Where did you grow up?

Tough question for me always. I was not a military brat but I’ve lived all over. Born in Lowell, MA. Went to grade school through 6th grade in Rockville, CT. Moved to Scottsdale AZ for 7th grade through high school, and I guess that’s where I consider to be my hometown. Went to Univ. of AZ for two years in Tucson and then finally moved to San Diego where my heart told me I was home. I lived in So Cal for 25 years until I was married with kids starting school and we moved to Spokane, WA for 20 years. I now live in Las Vegas. Whew!

That was a fact dump if ever I saw one.

When did you begin writing?

In the 90’s two things happened. The first, I began traveling all over the world for work as a corporate event producer. The second, the invention of the laptop.

My greatest motivating factor when it comes to writing is boredom. Sitting on a plane for hours on end became my fortress of solitude. I would open the laptop and start to write. It was random at first but soon I developed a storyline and then I had a manuscript and then I realized how bad it was, so I stuck it away for a decade. I wrote for work, video scripts and executive speeches, but it was hardly anything tremendously creative.

What is this book about?

About 490 pages. Just kidding.

The Thornton Mansion with the giant tide pool in the backyard has terrorized Santa Cruz for over a century. Throughout the years there have been dire and mysterious deaths connected with it. It is now Darcy Wainwright's turn to face the perils of the mansion. The mansion becomes her first sale as a novice realtor, and she becomes intricately and inevitably connected to the house and the pool.

It is the pool that beckons her, and it is the pool that would decide if she lives or dies.

What inspired you to write it?

I was sitting on a dock at a lake and there were fish swimming beneath me. A slight altercation between them sent one poor fish darting away and, as he did, he flipped over so that the rainbow underbelly was exposed. The image intrigued me and led me down the path of mermaids and sirens. But as we all know, the mermaid myth is as old as time, and I struggled with a new way to approach it. Awhile later, and I do mean a while, probably several years, I was at a family dinner with a particularly challenging sister and it occurred to me; do mermaids have families? Is there a siren lineage? Where do mermaids come from and how are they created?

After considering the perceived differences of mermaids, the beautiful vixens of the sea with their puka shell bras and soft flowing hair, compared to sirens who viciously lure sailors to their death, a story began to emerge that answered a lot of the lineage questions and led me to a fresh perspective of these mythical creatures and I discovered a possible answer on how they came to be.

How is it similar to other books in its genre? How is it different?

Well, its similar in that there is an ominous evil that pursues our heroine. Imminent danger is always around the corner. The origin of this evil I believe is unique in that the story is not set in the ocean and the origins of the siren are quite different from mythology. I have also been told lately that it is quite sensual, sexy. I never intended that but there it is.

What is the most important thing readers can learn from your book?

Don’t get impregnated by your brother-in-law and then kill your sister. Bad karma all the way around.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

What is up next for you?

I wrote a screenplay that was never produced a while back, and I have recently discovered that it will make a wonderful novel. It’s an amazing experience writing in the two genres. In a screenplay, you write action and dialogue. All the scenic elements, the costumes, the character’s movements, everything visual are left to others on the creative staff. Now, I get to go back and write it the way I would have directed it with the vivid descriptions and character motivations that are in my head and not on the page.

Book Information

Release Date: October 5, 2022

Publisher: Savvy Books

Soft Cover: ISBN: ‎ 978-1088067819; 480 pages; $21.14


Barnes & Noble:

Purchase your copy at the author’s website: 

Monday, February 20, 2023

Book Review & Giveaway: Family Gatherings at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard


Lester Lehman's past collides with his present in this fun and heartwarming story that brings two members of the Promise Lodge community together. 

Family Gatherings at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard finds the Promise Lodge community welcoming family and friends to celebrate weddings. But getting married again is the farthest thing from Lester Lehman's mind. Then enter two women from his past, and his quiet bachelor life is anything but pleasant.

Marlene Fisher came to Promise Lodge with her twin brother Mose for a fresh start after the deaths of their parents. Marlene's past plagues her, and she believes she is not meant to marry. 

But Marlene's witty quips about Lester's predicament disarm him, and he begins to think of a shared future. Scripture holds the key for this couple who may learn that love is kind and patient. 

This is my favorite Promise Lodge novel yet! It makes me want to go back and read the series from the start. 

I've always enjoyed how Hubbard writes Amish fiction from a feminist perspective, and the Promise Lodge series is the finest example of her work. The Bender sisters left their former community because of an oppressive bishop, and the continued success of their Amish community at Promise Lodge is a testament to the love, faith, and friendship that flows through every aspect of their lives. That's why it is such a riot to see Agnes Plank and Elverta Horst create such havoc as they pursue Lester. While the residents of Promise Lodge have faced adversity, they don't often come across such antics. And the way the Promise Lodge community considers everyone's feelings as they deal with the issue is a true display of their beliefs. 

With Family Gatherings at Promise Lodge, Hubbard provides fans, new and returning, with a fabulous story grounded in faith that brings two people together who thought love was in their past. And proving she is not afraid to tackle tough issues, Marlene's story is both heartbreaking and thrilling. 

Hubbard remains one of the most masterful storytellers in the Amish fiction/romance genre. I look forward to spending more time with the Promise Lodge community when the next installment, Hidden Away at Promise Lodge, arrives this summer. 

Read an excerpt:

Fully awake now, Lester swung his feet to the dock. When he could get a word in edgewise, he needed to deflate Agnes’s high-flying hopes in a hurry, because in her vivid imagination, she was already standing before the bishop with him, repeating her wedding vows. As he opened his mouth to speak, however, another urgent female voice hailed him. 

“Lester! Lester Lehman, it’s me—your Elverta!  I read about Gloria’s wedding in the paper, so it seemed like the perfect reason to come and see you!” 

Lester moaned. His sense of freedom, peace, and unencumbered living had just hit another serious snag. 

 As the national newspaper for Plain communities, the Budget was a wonderful way to keep track of far-flung friends and kin, but he suddenly wished that Gloria—and Rosetta Wickey, their community’s original scribe—hadn’t been quite so descriptive in detailing the Lehman family’s relocation. The tiny town of Promise, Missouri was out in the middle of nowhere, yet Agnes and Elverta had apparently followed every line of the newspaper’s weekly reports right to his doorstep. 

As Elverta Horst, dressed in deep green, strode toward his dock, her tall, skinny, ramrod-straight body reminded Lester of a string bean. He knew better than to express that opinion, of course, because the woman he’d broken up with to begin courting his Delores had never been known for her sense of humor. 

“Wh-who’s this?” Agnes asked him under her breath. 

Never one to beat around the bush, Elverta stopped a few yards from the dock. She glanced at Lester before focusing on the flustered woman beside him. “And who might you be?” she demanded with a raised eyebrow. 

Lester answered as indirectly as possible, because he knew these women would soon find out every little thing about one another. “Elverta, this is Delores’s best friend, Agnes Plank. She lives down the road from our former home in Sugarcreek,” he explained hastily. “And Agnes, this is Elverta Horst—” 

“And I was engaged to Lester before he took up with Delores,” Elverta put in purposefully. “First loves are often the strongest, ain’t so? The flame may flicker through the years, but it never really goes out."

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Zebra (February 21, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1420154397
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1420154399

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Narrated by: Susan Boyce 

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I received a free Netgalley copy from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday - Feb 20

Welcome to It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday.   


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.     

Well, here we are at the beginning of a new week and closing in on the end of February. Hope you've had a great year so far. I can't believe we are already nearing March. 

Right now, we are in the middle of awards season, so it is the perfect reminder for how blessed I am to be able to help people along their home ownership journey. The annual conference is at the end of March, but I won't be traveling to Las Vegas this year. 

I am eager to find time in my schedule to write. Admittedly, I haven't had that urge in a while. With my schedule due to change once my mother-in-law comes to live with us, I'm not sure it is the best time to add another activity in, but I'll contemplate how to do it and go from there.

In my reading world, I finished this book. You can find my review here

I started this one on Audible. I took this course and am reading the book to help me stay focused.

I also opened this one over the weekend.

While out driving with the hubby on Saturday, I started this one.

Look for my review today of Charlotte Hubbard's latest Promise Lodge novel. 

The review for this book is due March 6.

Upcoming virtual book tours:
  • Family Gatherings at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard - Feb 20 (review)
  • Interview with Thomas White, Author of The Siren's Scream - Feb 22
  • Kiss My Boots by Jennifer Learmont - Feb 23
  • The Code by Sean Keefer - Mar 6 (review)
  • Path of Peril by Marlie Parker Wasserman - Mar 13

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

My physical mailbox remained empty this week, but I grabbed two books on Audible. 

I have a hardcover version of Atomic Habits, but I think I will read the Audible version faster. What I had read previously, I enjoyed.

That's it from me this week. Hope you are reading some great books, too!

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Audible Book Review: Mastery by George Leonard


I wasn't sure what to expect of Mastery, but it came recommended to me. Drawing on his Zen philosophy and expertise in Aikido, Leonard explains the importance and process of mastery. The Master is the life-long learner, the one who gets on the path and stays on it. The book discusses how society looks for the quick-fix and how we are conditioned to value "results, the prize and the climactic moment," but not the continued practicing to master the skill. 

What a fascinating and powerful book! Broken down into three parts, Leonard draws the reader in with his conversational style. The only area I struggled with is where the author relied heavily on his martial arts expertise. Still worth reading and referring back to time and again to keep one focused.

The narrator on the audio book was great, which can make or break a book for me. The chapter headings were messed up between what the actual chapter was and what showed on my screen. There are 14 chapters, but my audible screen showed 18. The author's narration was, however, correct. 

If you are seeking a book that honors the process and not just the results, Mastery is for you.

Listening Length3 hours and 37 minutes
AuthorGeorge Leonard
NarratorTimothy Andrés Pabon
Whispersync for VoiceReady Release DateMay 22, 2018
PublisherTantor Audio
Program TypeAudiobook
I used an Audible credit for this book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Menagerie by Judy Willmore

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

FranÇoise-AthÉnaÏs de Rochechouart de Mortemart had to have Louis, King of France, but his other mistresses stood in the way. Then she meets the very helpful sorceress and AthÉnaÏs gets her wish. But soon Louis hears tales of witchcraft and poison, a conspiracy spreading through his court—like the beasts in the Versailles menagerie, courtesans are clawing their way to his favor, and his bed. He orders Lieutenant General of Police Gabriel-Nicolas de la Reynie to investigate. Mysterious deaths mount while La Reynie presses on, hauling in witches, charlatans, and the nobility alike. Grimy fingers point to AthÉnaÏs, the King's mistress, with whispers of a black mass celebrated over her naked body. Then La Reynie discovers a plot to kill her.

Read an Excerpt

For Gabriel-Nicolas de La Reynie, the Poisons Affair began in such an ordinary way, routine. Or it should have been routine. La Reynie had been Lieutenant-General of Police exactly one day and here was a body. His first.

And he really had no clue what to do.

“Zut alors!”

La Reynie had been a judge with quiet chambers and a library filled with the classics, Greek and Roman philosophers always there to calm his mind and steady his hand. But then he was appointed to the newly created post by His Majesty, charged with transforming Paris from a wretched, stinking, dangerous place into a modern city. He had been studying, planning for weeks: clean the garbage out of the streets, catch the criminals, install lanterns to chase away the shadows and make the night safe. La Reynie’s predecessor, the Criminal Lieutenant, had been killed by robbers; then the Civil Lieutenant also died, quite possibly by poison. Now La Reynie had to replace both.

He was meeting with Sergeant Dupont to discuss the street lanterns when they were urgently summoned. “Poison!” cried the citizens, who led them to a scene of tangled bedclothes, stench of vomit and bloody diarrhea, the corpse’s face grimacing in agony. The black robed doctor was putting away his implements preparing to leave.

La Reynie glanced at the door—the weeping family had been exiled from the room—and asked, “Doctor, we were summoned here with a claim this death is suspicious. Do you believe that to be the case?”

The doctor gazed at the body, his wrinkled face a puzzle. “The symptoms are consistent with arsenic poisoning, but—”


He sighed. “If it was arsenic, the poisoner was very careless.”


“It could be arsenicum, rat poison. If arsenic is consumed on an empty stomach, symptoms are immediate and death soon. If taken with food, the signs are less immediately apparent and death delayed, but inevitable. I have heard that to avoid suspicion, arsenic should be administered over several weeks. The victim grows ill, and weak, and finally succumbs. The symptoms are not as obvious and the cause difficult to detect.”

La Reynie turned to Dupont. Surely, he would know how to handle this. “Sergeant? Your opinion?”

Dupont, portly and stolid, shrugged. “The relatives claim the widow was unfaithful, and besides, she detested her husband.”

“And that is all? No other proof?”

“This is the third suspicious death this month. Same symptoms.” He looked at La Reynie with an inquiring eyebrow as if to say, don’t you know what to do?

La Reynie turned to the doctor. “Is it at all possible to prove it was poison?”

The doctor sighed and looked at La Reynie with a condescending smile. “No, monsieur, not conclusively.” He shut his little bag and walked out.

La Reynie looked back down at the body. Merde. Should he warn the King?

Judy Willmore is a former journalist, then private investigator, and now a psychotherapist who practices in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her historical mystery The Menagerie was published in 2021 by Artemesia Press, and she is now working on a sequel.

The book is on sale for only $0.99.



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Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Favorite Book Lover Memes

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.    

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody! I hope your sweetheart will treat you extra special today. For this day celebrating love, Top Ten Tuesday has given us a freebie. So, I thought I would share with you my...

Top Ten Book Lover Memes
( I don't own any of these images. I borrowed them off the internet.) 

Have you seen any of these before? Which ones are your favorites?