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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:

Find Joanell Online:

---------- 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



“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.

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:




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!

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

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:







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