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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Michelle DelPonte reviews "The Vines We Planted" by Joanell Serra

Thank you WOW! Women on Writing for including us as a blog stop on the book blog tour of Joanell Serra's The Vines We Planted- it truly is a pleasure!



Review By Michelle DelPonte:

As a busy mother of two, I seldom get the chance to read. I enjoyed reading The Vines We Planted - I could not set it down!

Uriah loses his wife. Mourning her death, he finds comfort in a horse, whom he believes captured his deceased wife’s spirit. Dealing with the loss of his wife, learning to trust and open his heart again is an exceptional feat. Then enters his first love, Amanda, who left him brokenhearted. Determined not to let her in enough to break him again, Uriah proceeds with caution.

As if love, loss, and learning to love again is not enough, this book touches on secrets, forbidden love, illness, loyalty, honesty, immigration status concerns, adoption, and so much more. Each character developed fully, with such details, you are sitting at the table with them. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to read. The Vines We Planted is a quick read, as you will get hooked right away.




About the Book:  
In the heart of the California wine country, secrets seem to grow on the vines that Uriel Macon’s family have tended for generations.

Uriel, the winery’s young widower, steers clear of complicated relationships. He prefers the lonely comfort of his vineyard and his horses, until he is reminded of his love affair with Amanda Scanlon; a relationship that ended when she abruptly left the country years ago under a cloud of mystery.

When Amanda returns to Sonoma because of a family crisis, she tries to mend the broken relationships she left behind. In addition, she seeks the truth about her parents’ complicated history and her own parentage.

But Amanda’s unveiling of the past has devastating consequences. In the midst of California’s beautiful Sonoma Valley, the Scanlon family struggles to overcome harsh realities with dignity and grace.

Both Amanda and Uriel stretch to take care of their families, which are facing immigration issues, marital crises, and loss. While navigating these challenges, the couple must decide if they trust themselves to love again, or to finally let each other go.

A Sonoma local, author Joanell Serra’s debut novel is captivating, poignant, and uplifting, demonstrating how seeds planted long ago continue to grow. Sometimes into a strangling weed, sometimes offering a bountiful harvest.

Paperback: 288 pages
Genre: Fiction/Literature
Publisher: WiDO (May 8th 2018)
ISBN-10: 1947966022
ISBN-13: 978-1947966024

The Vines We Planted is available for purchase in print and as an ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound.



About the Author:

Joanell Serra, MFT lives with her growing children, husband and dogs in the lovely Sonoma Valley.

After years of publishing short stories, essays and plays, The Vines We Planted is her debut novel. She can be found polishing her second novel at a coffee shop, sipping a perfect Cabernet in a Sonoma winery or at her website: www.JoanellSerraAuthor.com.

Find Joanell Online:

https://www.facebook.com/Joanellserrauthor/

https://www.instagram.com/joanellserraauthor/

http://joanellserraauthor.com/author-blog/



---------- About today's reviewer:

Michelle DelPonte is a busy mom and health care worker. Her two sons are the focus of her life and she works diligently to raise awareness about autism in the community. She loves reading, anything to do with history and geocaching just to name a few of her many hobbies. Michelle, her husband Ben and their two sons Sebastian and Asher live in Manitowoc, WI on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan where they enjoy walking and biking on the Mariner’s Trail and spending time at the Library.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Now Booking - WOW! Women on Writing book blog tour of "Rose Colored Glasses" by JoAnn Simon

It’s raining here in my corner of the cornfield and I’m happy to say all is well with the family!

Take a look at this wonderful memoir by JoAnn Simon and please let me know if you'd be interested in participating. If you would like to participate, I need to know the following:

1) What date (between 7/23-8/23) would be your first choice?

2) What date would be second choice?

3) What type of copy would you like? (if e-book, please include your email, if print copy I'll need your physical address)

4) What is the url for your blog where you'll be posting your review? (please plan on posting to Amazon and Goodreads as well please and thank you)

Jo Ann Simon's

WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR

OF

“Rose Colored Glasses”


Tour Begins July 23rd !



A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Hope




Paperback: 288 Pages

Genre: Memoir
Publisher: WiDO Plublishing (May 29th 2018)

ISBN-10: 1947966049
ISBN-13: 978-1947966048
Amazon Link: click here





Dear Tom,
I'm back on Anna Maria Island... missing you.
But walking down these beautiful beaches reminds me of us and makes
me feel a little less far away from you. And that encourages me as I am writing our story.
Hopefully this will help other people who are feeling our pain too.
I love and miss you every day, darling.
Love,
Me

When he first saw me, Tom said that he would spend the rest of his life with me. To my surprise, he actually did. He was the love of my life. We shared a story that felt like a dream. Every moment was an adventure... and then Tom became ill.As his mysterious symptoms persisted we were hurtled through a maze of fear, tests, doubts and sorrow. But while doctors toyed with diagnoses- Lyme disease, ALS- we filled each day with joy, hope, good food, wine, music and travel.Even when death came to crush our storybook romance, we found that the human spirit is greater than the frailties of the body, greater than suffering and grief.

From the fateful tick bite on Block Island to central nervous system failure, to healing my grief and loss, I stayed afloat, upbeat, and connected to Tom through devotion, true love, and by donning my own special pair of rose-colored glasses.



About the Author:


Jo Ann Simon, a corporate executive, is a lifelong nutmegger, living in various locations in the Nutmeg state of Connecticut. She is a constant traveler, exploring the world including her favorite country, Italy. When she is not traveling, Jo Ann loves spending time with her family, friends and her seven grandchildren. Her day job running a company, painting fine art, gardening and writing fill in the blanks of her life. Palm trees are essential in her personal landscape with beaches to match.





Find JoAnn Online:


Website: https://www.joann-simon.com/



Twitter: https://twitter.com/ForgetMeNotJoSi



Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joannsimonauthorpage/







Guest post options to choose from are:

I don’t have these just yet….





----------Blog Tour Dates

Monday, July 23rd @ The Muffin
Stop by for an interview and book giveaway!
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

Tuesday, July 24th @ JoAnn's blog (Crystal Otto's review)

Wednesday, July 25th @ Bring On Lemons with Michelle DelPonte

Thursday, July 26th @ Beverley Baird's review

Friday, July 27th @ Guest Post at Choices - "Seeing Art Through the Artist's Eye"



Monday, July 30th @ Cathy Stucker Interview

Tuesday, July 31st @ Nicole Pyles - Review

Wednesday, August 1st @

Thursday, August 2nd @ Guest Post at Kathleen Pooler's Blog - "Simplicity in Life" and link to Kathy's review

Friday, August 3rd @ Shirley Mellis - Review



Monday, August 6th @

Tuesday, August 7th @ Bring on Lemons - author spotlight with link to Crystal's review

Wednesday, August 8th @

Thursday, August 9th @

Friday, August 10th @




Monday, August 13th @

Tuesday, August 14th @

Wednesday, August 15th @

Thursday, August 16th @

Friday, August 17th @


Monday, August 20th @

Tuesday, August 21st @

Wednesday, August 22nd @ Beyond a Trauma - review by Linda Appleman Shapiro

Thursday, August 23rd @ Bring on Lemons with review by Cathy Hansen

Book Review: Catch a Dream by Wendy Brown-Baez

Huge thanks to Nicole Pyles and WOW! Women on Writing for the invitation to participate in this book blog tour and write this review!

About the Book

A woman’s healing journey begins in a country embroiled in relentless turmoil. In Israel, the first Intifada has just begun. Palestinian frustration for a homeland erupts in strikes, demonstrations and suicide bombings and Israel responds with tear gas, arrests, and house demolitions. Lily Ambrosia and Rainbow Dove arrive in Haifa with their children on a pilgrimage to sow seeds of peace. Lily’s fascination with Jewish culture inspires her to dream she can plant roots in the Holy Land. She falls in love with the land itself, with its people, and with Levi, a charming enigma, dangerous but irresistible. Eventually she is fully immersed in Israeli life, earning her way as a nanny, hanging out in cafes with friends, and attending Yom Kippur in the synagogue. Her son rebels against the lifestyle she has chosen and war with Syria looms on the horizon. Will she be able to stay? What does she have to give up and what will she be able to keep?

Print Length: 208 pages
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: BookBaby (April 9, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1543925561
ISBN-13: 978-1543925562
ISBN: 9781543925579
ASIN: B07B9CN9HH

Catch a Dream is available in print and as an ebook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound

Book Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

I have never left the country and have no plans to do so. Maybe once the kids are grown and the farm is a little bigger, but for no particular reason the opportunity hasn't arisen just yet. I always enjoy photos and stories when my friends travel. A friend recently went to the Holy Land during Christmas no less, and her blog posts about the adventure definitely made it seem like a worthwhile adventure. Maybe there's hope for me yet! 

I recently had the opportunity to read Catch a Dream by Wendy Brown-Baez and she took me to the Holy Land and I didn't even need a passport (maybe that's why I have no desire to physically leave the country when these amazing authors can do the traveling for me)! Brown-Baez took me along through her spiritual journey with her words, but she also did such a beautiful job with her imagery and detail about the country itself that I felt I was right there with her. My feet feel as though they've walked the path. This is a testimony for what a great storytelling and author Brown-Baez is. 

Whether you are a spiritual person, someone who is curious about other cultures, or simply someone who enjoys a good book, you'll want to pick up a copy of Catch a Dream by Wendy Brown-Baez. This book will not disappoint. It is very well written and you can tell much time and effort went into editing. Reading a book written by a writing instructor never disappoints! This is a great read! 

About the Author


Wendy has facilitated writing workshops since 1994 including at Cornerstone's support groups, the Women & Spirituality conference at MSU Mankato, Celebrate Yourself women's retreats, All About the Journey healing center, The Aliveness Project, Unity Minneapolis, El Colegio High School and Jacob's Well women's retreat. Wendy received 2008 and 2009 McKnight grants through COMPAS Community Art Program to teach writing workshops for youth in crisis. The project at SafeZone and Face to Face Academy developed into an art installation
showcasing their recorded writings. When it was noted that students' reading scores improved, she was hired as Face to Face's writing instructor.

In 2012 she was awarded a MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant to teach writing workshops in twelve nonprofit arts and human service organizations. She continues to teach at Pathways: a healing center, in MN prisons, and in community spaces such as public libraries, yoga studios, churches, and cafes.Wendy has taught memoir at MCTC continuing ed and through Minneapolis community ed.

In addition, Wendy has managed shelters for the homeless and visited incarcerated teens. She is trained as a hospice volunteer and as a facilitator of Monologue Life Stories. Wendy studied alternative healing, ceremony, and spiritual traditions with Earthwalks for Health and lived in Mexico and Israel. She has collected wisdom teachings from these diverse cultures, as well as written memoirs of her adventures.

You can find Wendy Brown-Baez at:

Website: www.wendybrownbaez.com

Blog: www.wendysmuse.blogspot.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/wendybrownbaez

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2799802.Wendy_Brown_Baez

Facebook: www.facebook.com/wendybrownbaez.author

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/wendybrownbaez

Upcoming Blog Stops:
June 22nd @ Strength 4 Spouses
Stop by Wendi Huskin’s blog where she shares her thoughts on the book Catch a Dream. A must read for your upcoming summer vacation!

Keep up with more stops on this tour on Twitter @WOWBlogTour



Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Cathy Kirby Contino Gives "The Pinochet Plot" by David Myles Robinson 5 Stars!

About the Book...

Successful San Francisco attorney Will Muñoz has heard of the brutal former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, of course, but it's not until he receives his mother's suicide letter that he has any inkling Pinochet may have had his father, Chilean writer Ricardo Muñoz, assassinated thirty years earlier.

Her suspicions spur Will on to a quest to discover the truth about his father's death–and about the psychological forces that have driven his mother to her fatal decision. His journey takes him deep into unexpected darkness linking his current step-father, the CIA, drug-experimentation programs, and a conspiracy of domestic terrorism. The Pinochet Plot is not just a story of a man seeking inner peace; it is also a story of sinister history doomed to repeat itself.

Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Terra Nova Books (May 1, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1938288203
ISBN-13: 978-1938288203

The Pinochet Plot  is available for purchase in print and as an ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

About the Author:

David Myles Robinson grew up in Pasadena, CA. He holds degrees from San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco School of Law. After practicing law for thirty-eight years in Honolulu, Hawaii, he retired with his wife, former Honolulu judge Marcia Waldorf, to Taos, NM. Robinson is the author of three previous novels: legal thrillers Tropical Lies and Tropical Judgments, and Unplayable Lie, a golf-related suspense novel.

Find David Online:

Website: www.davidmylesrobinson.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38825244-the-pinochet-plot

Twitter: @DMRobinsonWrite

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DavidMylesRobinson/


-----Review by Cathy Kirby Contino

The main character, Will is a lawyer and receives a letter from his mother. It turns out to be her very last as she was about to kill herself just after she wrote it. His dad was a famous writer, at least in Chile. His mom has always felt his dad was assassinated. His mom was a really good artist in her own right and the family never hurt for money. Will was only 11 when his dad was killed. This book held my interest losing it at times when it delved into politics pretty deeply. I liked the descriptions of his friends and co workers Cheryl and Travis. The descriptions of his upbringing were pretty interesting. The time his mother got a message and without telling him anything she just says get your things we’re leaving. And they up and move just like that.

...upcoming blog tour dates

Thursday, May 31st @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Fellow author Madeline Sharples reviews David Myles Robinson's latest novel The Pinochet Plot.
http://madelinesharples.com/

Keep up with the latest stops by following WOW! on twitter @WOWBlogTour.



About today's reviewer:

Cathy was born in 1952 and was the oldest child. Cathy and her two siblings grew up in a blue collar neighborhood. Her father worked in a tire and rubber factory and mostly he
walked to work. Kathy recalls it being a simple time and remembers money being tight. In 4th grade Cathy started wearing glasses; the stigma and teasing surrounding that time in her life resulted in her becoming quiet and shy. She eventually retreated into books and would go to
the library and get as many books as was allowed. Cathy still gets lost in books and enjoys reading a variety of authors and genres.

The Vines We Planted by Joanell Serra is an Engaging Page Turner - Book Review

Thank you WOW! Women on Writing for including us as a blog stop on the book blog tour of Joanell Serra's The Vines We Planted- it truly is a pleasure!

Today's reviewer would like to remain anonymous - but thank you to them for also placing this excellent and informative review on Amazon!


Excellent Amazon Review:

An engaging page turner from the first paragraph, this debut novel is packed with thought provoking and relevant themes such as family secrets, loyalty, forgiveness, grief, honesty, adoption, and trust. You will enjoy this quick and compelling read filled with complicated relationships, complex characters, romance, long-held secrets, wine, and horses.

Throughout the fast-paced story, Serra explores how the secrets of the past affect our lives and the challenge of facing life’s difficulties honestly. “He’d never learned how to weather the anger of someone he loved. Never been able to face their disappointment. He’d chosen to lie rather than confront, to avoid rather than reveal.” On many occasions, I felt that the author’s background.....her professional expertise in counseling, her insights into relationships, and experiences in working with families....added depth and authenticity to the story.

What I loved:
* Set in California wine country, the descriptions and visual images were special connections for me as a California resident.
* Complicated family stories and relationships always intrigue me.
* The theme of adoption is compelling because adoption touches my life....some of my fav stories have adoption themes.
* My experience as a teacher in a Title 1 school in SoCal helps me empathize with immigrant concerns, dilemmas, and hardships.
* Substantial themes are an important element in my enjoyment of a story.

What I’d Like You To Know:
* There’s a lot going on in this story! In one way, this makes it fast paced and unputdownable .....which I like....you will be dropped right into their complicated lives. However, there are many heavy themes to consider and several relationships to keep straight. (I liked the challenge!) Second, the story contains a few steamy romantic scenes and a sprinkling of f-bombs. Some readers might want to know this ahead of time.

Overall, The Vines We Planted is engaging, thoughtful, and well written. Recommended for fans of complicated family stories and important and relevant themes, and for fans of romance. Congrats to Joanell Serra for a terrific debut novel!


About the Book:  
In the heart of the California wine country, secrets seem to grow on the vines that Uriel Macon’s family have tended for generations.

Uriel, the winery’s young widower, steers clear of complicated relationships. He prefers the lonely comfort of his vineyard and his horses, until he is reminded of his love affair with Amanda Scanlon; a relationship that ended when she abruptly left the country years ago under a cloud of mystery.

When Amanda returns to Sonoma because of a family crisis, she tries to mend the broken relationships she left behind. In addition, she seeks the truth about her parents’ complicated history and her own parentage.

But Amanda’s unveiling of the past has devastating consequences. In the midst of California’s beautiful Sonoma Valley, the Scanlon family struggles to overcome harsh realities with dignity and grace.

Both Amanda and Uriel stretch to take care of their families, which are facing immigration issues, marital crises, and loss. While navigating these challenges, the couple must decide if they trust themselves to love again, or to finally let each other go.

A Sonoma local, author Joanell Serra’s debut novel is captivating, poignant, and uplifting, demonstrating how seeds planted long ago continue to grow. Sometimes into a strangling weed, sometimes offering a bountiful harvest.

Paperback: 288 pages
Genre: Fiction/Literature
Publisher: WiDO (May 8th 2018)
ISBN-10: 1947966022
ISBN-13: 978-1947966024

The Vines We Planted is available for purchase in print and as an ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound.



About the Author:

Joanell Serra, MFT lives with her growing children, husband and dogs in the lovely Sonoma Valley.

After years of publishing short stories, essays and plays, The Vines We Planted is her debut novel. She can be found polishing her second novel at a coffee shop, sipping a perfect Cabernet in a Sonoma winery or at her website: www.JoanellSerraAuthor.com.

Find Joanell Online:

https://www.facebook.com/Joanellserrauthor/

https://www.instagram.com/joanellserraauthor/

http://joanellserraauthor.com/author-blog/



---------- Upcoming Blog Tour Dates


Later This Week @ BookWorm
Anjanette Potter reviews Joanell Serra's The Vines We Planted and shares her thoughts with readers at BookWorm!
https://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

Monday, May 14, 2018

Elizabeth Hansen gives "Crossing the Line" by Ellen Valladares 5 out of 5 stars!

About the Book:

Laura, who died thirty years ago, enlists the help of a tenacious high school reporter named Rebecca, who is very much alive. Rebecca, although skeptical and conflicted by her supposed encounters with a spirit, determines to learn the truth about Laura’s tragic death. As the clues unravel and their worlds collide, Rebecca finds herself at a dangerous crossroads.

Laura, now pulled back into everything she left behind when she died—her old high school and memories of her life and death—has been in training for this exact moment. And nothing means more to her than succeeding at her assignment.

It is her one chance to make sure that what happened to her does not happen to anyone else, and especially not to her new friend, Rebecca.

Paperback: 296 pages
Genre: Fiction/Young Adult Novel
Publisher: WiDO (March 2018)
ISBN-10: 1937178994
ISBN-13: 978-1937178994

Crossing the Line is available for purchase in print and as an ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.



About the Author:

Ellen Wolfson Valladares is an award-winning writer/author, workshop facilitator, community volunteer, and mother. A native Floridian, she grew up in St. Petersburg and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Florida. She has worked as an editor, public relations professional, and freelance writer. Her first book, a children’s novel entitled Jonathan's Journey to Mount Miapu, received several awards, including a Mom’s Choice Gold Award and the 2009 Coalition of Visionary Resources Visionary Awards Book of the Year award. She also has a meditation CD, entitled “Healing and Manifestation with the Archangels.”
Today, Valladares continues to work as a freelance writer. She also enjoys coaching high school students working on their college essays and helping other writers realize their dreams. She has been married to her husband, Manny, for 30 years and they have two sons, Gabriel and Michael, two dogs, Flash and Chili Pepper, and a crazy cat named Zelda. They live in Weston, Fla.

Find Ellen Online:

Website: http://www.ellenvalladares.com

Twitter: @ValladaresEllen

FB: @EllenValladares444

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3023698.Ellen_Wolfson_Valladares




-----Book Review by Elizabeth Hansen

I loved reading Crossing the Line. Ellen Wolfson Valladares drew me in from the first words, “Focus, Laura, focus.”

The book has an eerie chill from those starting words. Not a bad chill. The exciting chill of things to be uncovered, mysteries to be understood. And while it is eerie, it has a heart and soul. It is like The Lovely Bones, like that, but more modern. While The Lovely Bones is only told by the murdered Susie Salmon, Crossing the Line is told with the flair and voices of 2 beautifully developed main characters. It is very intriguing. I’ve always loved a book with unsolved murders, ghosts, and mysteries intermingled. This book includes all of that, and more!!!

I give it 5/5 for being such a good, and easy read. I hope to read more books by Ellen Wolfson Valladares.





5 out of 5...told with flair!







*****ABOUT TODAY'S REVIEWER*****

Elizabeth Hansen is 15 years old, and a freshman in high school. She loves to write stories and read. She also rides horses, figure skates, sews, embroiders, and bikes for fun. When she graduates from high school, she plans to study abroad in Germany, for the language, and Ireland for the ancient culture and mythology. She wants to become an author, writing adventure, and dabbling in manga.