Friday, November 19, 2010

Book Review: Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie

Book Review: Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie

What a fun and happy book. Who would have expected a romance/ghost story to be so great. Not too scary, a menagerie of characters that are great to know.

Two kids - Alice and Carter seem to be having issues with their nannys. Their father had died leaving them in the care of his cousin - North. North has his own problems. Andy is his ex-wife who has tried to move on but can't seem to. Andy agrees to go help out with the kids and what ends up happening is a raucous ghost story with a bit of love too.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Book Review: My Give a Damn's Busted

My Give A Damn's Busted by Carolyn Brown 

Larissa is a hard working strong female who is used to being in charge.  She runs the local Honky Tonk. She has come become the one in charge because the other women who ran things - have found love. But Larissa is definitely not looking for love - or anything to do with a man.

Into her life walks Hank Wells. He definitely knows how to start things off with a bang (or should I say crash). He isn't what he seems to be and has ulterior motives to walking into Larissa's life. But when he falls for her it is all over.

Thoughts:  What a fun and flirty country romance. I love a strong heroine and I love when a man can't help but fall for her - no matter what he tries. Makes me think we should pick up the other books in the series just to see how they found the loves of their lives (I believe this is book three). 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Book Review: Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning

Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning (Sinners On Tour)

Myrna Evans has a history that she would rather forget. And when she comes across Brian Sinclair the lead songwriter and guitarist she figures what can it hurt to jump into something new. Of course it never works out exactly how you plan. A quick flirtation can become something a lot more.

Thoughts: This is the first book that I have read in this genre. Where it has a touch in the contemporary romance - but then add to it the erotic. It is interesting. While many of the erotic books that I have come across have a touch of the fantastic in it. (Then again some people might think hooking up with a rock star is totally fantastical).

The story line definitely kept me interested and wanting to read a little more and if you want the extras of the erotic - this is the book for you. In terms of what I like the best - I think I will stick to the crazy words that are far away from reality. Sometimes these books seem to be a little too like life - not mine - but what I think others live with - and at this point in my life I like using books to get away.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Manners on the School Bus and Manners on the Playground

I personally found these books to be interesting and educational and couldn't wait till my son was old enough to really get what these books were about.

Well I didn't have to wait that long to see them in action. I recently had my four year old niece over and she found these books on the shelf and couldn't stop having them read to her. She loved them. Over and over she had us read them and every time when we asked her questions she got it. These books definitely taught her some lessons that I know she will take advantage of when she goes to school in the fall.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Book Review: Witch by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Witch by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

This book is supposed to be a young adult book of witches and warlocks. And while I believe that teens will find this interesting as an adult I do as well (which is why I probably like this genre so much). This is the story of Holly Cathers whose parents and best friend die in a tragic accident. She is then shipped off to be with her Aunt MarieClaire.

The thing is Holly's life isn't what she thought it was. In reality she is a witch and a love in a previous life has destined her and her family to tragedy. Her true love is her families arch-enemy a Deveraux.

Can Holly with the help of her cousins Amanda and Nicole stop whatever is going to happen from happening?


When I started this I didn't know if I would like it. The idea of the whole group of them being evil (and the Deveraux's essentially being satanists) seemed like it would be hard to associate positive feelings with the book.  Add to that a quick search turning up a bad review - and the taste in my mouth was bad.

The thing was though that in the long run - it had me interested. I am interested enough to know what is going to happen with Holly and Jare that I keep coming back for more and am now on the second book - Curse.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

All August We Review It- You Win It!

Win a copy of Backseat Saints! 

Rose Mae Lolley is a fierce and dirty girl, long-suppressed under flowery skirts and bow-trimmed ballet flats. As "Mrs. Ro Grandee" she's trapped in a marriage that's thick with love and sick with abuse. Her true self has been bound in the chains of marital bliss in rural Texas, letting "Ro" make eggs, iron shirts, and take her punches. She seems doomed to spend the rest of her life battered outside by her husband and inside by her former self, until fate throws her in the path of an airport gypsy—-one who shares her past and knows her future. The tarot cards foretell that Rose's beautiful, abusive husband is going to kill her. Unless she kills him first.

Hot-blooded Rose Mae escapes from under Ro's perky compliance and emerges with a gun and a plan to beat the hand she's been dealt. Following messages that her long-missing mother has left hidden for her in graffiti and behind paintings, Rose and her dog Gretel set out from Amarillo, TX back to her hometown.  Two winners will be chosen in August.  To enter please send an email to

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Green Pieces: Green From the Pond UP

by: Drew Aquilina
Green Pieces is a delightful romp in another world.  Well, to be exact it is a pond, not another world.  I have always like comics geared towards adults that were a mix of easy sass, with a deeper meaning thrown in.  This book reminded me of some of my favorites, Tom Tomorrow, Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side.   The four main inhabitants of the wetland find some new some new and humorous adventure every day.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Win an audiobook copy of Delivering Happiness

A great summer business read!  To enter send an email to with Happiness as the subject title or respond to this post. Up to three winners will be chosen by 8/9/10.

Product Description:
Zappos CEO Hsieh offers a compelling account of his transformation from callow Harvard student entrepreneur through his years as a dot-com wunderkind to the creator of a formidable brand. Interest might flag as Hsieh, fresh off selling his Internet company LinkExchange to Yahoo in 1999 for $265 million, kvetches about lacking fulfillment. But as the tech boom bursts, and Hsieh confronts his dwindling investments, his story comes alive. As the funding for his incubator companies dries up and one of his most promising startups,, a shoe retailer, seems doomed, Hsieh blossoms into a mature businessperson, slashing expenses and presciently making customer service the essence of the company's brand. The story becomes suspenseful as Hsieh recounts the stress of operating in survival mode, liquidating his assets to fund the company in its darkest days and seeking out an 11th-hour loan. By the time Zappos is acquired by Amazon for more than $1.2 billion in 2009, Hsieh and his team had built a unique corporate culture dedicated to employee empowerment and the promise of delivering happiness though satisfied customers and a valued workforce. An uplifting tale of entrepreneurial success, personal growth, and redemption.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

I am in the middle of Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin and it has prompted me to try and think about some questions. Which is worse - an affair of the heart or a physical affair? If it gets to the point that it is both - does that mean there is no going back? Is the affair the fault of the people in the marriage - or the other woman/man? Does the fact that it means that there are problems in the marriage mean  that both are to blame or just the one that sets outside the marriage?

I have to admit this book has me hooked. It is hard when you like both the "other woman" and the person who seems to be wronged. Even the husband at times is likable - but I am biased and think at times he is manipulative - he doesn't have the right to blame someone other than himself when he has already started moving on without talking things through with his wife.

So what is your answer to those questions?

Mine? When I was in college I had very strong feelings about cheaters. They physically made me sick. And it wasn't because anyone in my family had been affected by them. I just didn't understand. And then some things changed. I saw people I knew in situations and had my own issues with people who had told me they weren't in a relationship but were. And I loosened up a bit about things. I think it isn't as black and white as people would like it to be. In terms of me - I don't know if I could mend a relationship when there was either an affair of the heart or a sexual encounter. It might be possible - but it would require a lot of work on both people's part and I don't know if my heart would be in it. Who is to blame - the person who does the cheating. No matter what brought you to that point - the person who is involved with  someone and can't face ending things with them before moving on is to blame. Does that mean they are a bad person? No - but if it requires fault then it is more their fault. The other woman/man are not to blame because it isn't their relationship that they are ruining. They have nothing invested. Again do I think it is a nice/moral/good thing to be the other person - no.

I would say the one thing that I see some people really disagree on is - if you cheat -should you tell the person you are with or not? Especially if you want to move on and make things work. Some would say that it is better to not tell them. Why punish them when they did nothing. Especially if you are stopping. Others say you need to be totally truthful to make things work. I think I am of the truthful thing. I compare it to a problem like stealing. If the people around you don't know that you have problems with it - they won't be aware of the signs. And by the time they notice (if ever) it might be too late. Additionally cheating can be somewhat of a health issue as well. You have a right to know if it is happening.

But I am sure there are lots of other perspectives out there. Tell me about yours.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Author Article: Infatuation or Love

The Infatuation or Love Quiz

 By Sherrie Dillard,
Author of Love and Intuition: A Psychic's Guide to Creating Lasting Love

Our intuition is constantly bombarding us with unspoken intuitive messages about others, especially those with who we share a romantic interest. But how do you know what the intuitive feelings, sensations and mysterious messages really mean?
You may for instance, feel drawn, almost magnetized to another and are not sure why? Has a certain someone ever walked into the room and your stomach churns and your palms sweat? Or you wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of a dream about your partner? Even though you have not yet spoken to one another, every time the new hire passes your desk your heart races and your body trembles, why? Have you ever felt that your boyfriend was being dishonest but disregarded the feeling because you had no proof or evidence to back it up?
Everyone has innate intuitive ability and even when you ignore or suppress it, your intuition is always at work. Although it may seem hard to understand, spontaneous and even confusing, with a little focus and practice your intuition can become a powerful relationship ally.
To receive the most benefit from your innate intuitive sensing, pay attention to how those sometimes subtle and sometimes not so subtle intuitive messages emerge. You may for instance, receive intuitive impressions in your body as a "gut feeling" or tingles of shivers up your spine. I had a friend who pays attention when she gets what she call goose bumps up and down her arms. This is to her a sign that her intuition is trying to tell her something. Some people get immediate mental thoughts and impressions about others. While some may be empathetic and feel what a loved one feels even when they are miles away. Your intuition might surface in your dreams and even in your daydreams.
Once you are more familiar with the way that your intuition most often emerges, you can begin to decipher the meaning and message behind those feelings, thoughts, sensations and impressions. This is not always easy, especially at the beginning of a relationship when you are hopeful, excited and stimulated by the prospects of a new love. The rush of energy, the tingling and the inner sense of connection that you might be feeling does not always mean that you will have a positive fulfilling relationship with him or her. Your intuition may be sending you a message that you have just met a true partner it might also be signaling you to run the other way.
The following questions will help you to discern the unspoken intuitive messages that often accompany the beginning of a relationship.
1. When it comes to a romantic or potential romantic partner which statement is most true?
a. I feel relaxed, safe and can be vulnerable and completely honest when I am with him or her.

b. I have a nagging sense that something is not right and not adding up

c. We have a highly charged emotional connection
2. When I am in my partner or potential partner's presence or even when I think of him or her my body:
a. relaxes and I feel a sense of calm

b. tightens and I feel tense

c. I become intensely sexually stimulated
3. I want my intuition to help me to:
a. increase my ability to feel and express love

b. figure out what my partner is thinking or feeling

c. alert me as to when my partner is lying or deceiving me

4. I have had sudden moments that seem to come out of nowhere where:
a. I feel my heart expanding with love and compassion

b. feel as if I need to have sex with my partner to assure that we are close

c. have an impending sense of doom

5. When it comes to my romantic relationship my inner voice is telling me to:
a. trust and let go of outcomes

b. take care of myself

c. heal my past emotional wounds

If you answered most questions a, Your intuition is signaling you to the start of a healthy and loving relationship. Keep listening to the inner promptings that are encouraging you to grow and evolve. Love is an active participatory journey. The more self aware, honest and forgiving you are with yourself the more able you will be to give and share with another. Love does not happen to us. Instead as you engage in the process of listening within and honest communication with your partner the stronger the love bond will become.
If you answered most of the questions b, your relationship may be more infatuation than love. The relationship may be exciting, energizing and fun but it may not have the true love potential that you are looking for. If you find that you feel increasing off balance, tense or sense that something feels "off" or "not right" about the relationship, trust your feelings even if you do not have tangible evidence to support your intuition. Increase communication with your partner, ask the tough questions and be honest about whether or not the relationship is able to support your core needs and desires. Listen to your inner voice and trust its guidance, even if does not tell you what you want to hear.
If you answered most of the question c, your relationship may cause you more pain than joy.

When you find that your intuitive attention is focused more on your partner than yourself you may be heading into a co-dependent relationship. Co-dependence is an insidious emotional cycle where your happiness and sense of well being is dependent on the moods and feelings of your partner. In a long term co-dependent relationship you run the risk of losing your sense of inner power, self worth and self esteem. If you are in this kind of relationship, take time to tune into your intuition. Listen to the wise and loving voice within as it will guide you toward taking the necessary steps to heal and move forward either in or out of the relationship.

Your intuition is always at work. It is an innate and invaluable sense that when listened to can help you maneuver the often tricky waters of dating. Your intuition can signal you as to the beginning a fantastic relationship or it can warn you of potential heartbreak. To make the most of intuitive guidance, spend time in silence, breathing, relaxing and allowing the inner voice to emerge. Trust and act on what you receive. Know that when you do you will be lead to a supportive and loving relationship.
© 2010 Sherrie Dillard, author of Love and Intuition: A Psychic's Guide to Creating Lasting Love
Author Bio
Author of the bestselling Discover Your Psychic Type, Sherrie Dillard has been a New Thought pastoral counselor, professional psychic, medium, and teacher for over twenty years. She has taught classes and workshops, both nationally and internationally, on the life-enhancing aspects of intuition development. Her writing has also appeared in New Age Journal and on and  For more information please visit and follow the author on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Well-Read Commuter Reviews: Private

By James Patterson

You could say that former Marine and Afghanistan War Hero Jack Morgan has a lot on his plate. At the helm of one of the world’s most elite investigative firms, Private, his team is tasked with helping the LAPD find a serial killer stalking high school girls. He is also juggling an office romance that is on the rocks, a multi-million dollar NFL betting scandal, an evil twin brother and his best friend is a murder suspect.

That sets the scene for the latest James Patterson novel. This was one of my first James Patterson novels and it surely won’t be my last. The book was excellent and Patterson certainly must deserve his following. There was a complex storyline which can be tricky when listening to it as an audiobook while driving. However, the story was developed in a way that held your attention and the multitude of characters were richly developed and interesting. There were several places where Patterson could have turned to cliché cheap thrills, but that never happened. It was a nail bitter and I found myself more than once backing the audio up if I was interrupted because I didn’t want to miss a single minute. I haven’t been this sad to see a piece of fiction end since last summer’s The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly. This book is six CDs and was just the right length for a good summer driving book. It was excellent and I was sad to see a couple of reviews trashing it. I don’t read a lot of fiction so something has to be just right to work for me and this was great.  The audiobook is excellently narrated.

Monday, July 12, 2010

July Book Giveaway- Our Summer Cleaning= Your Summer Reading

We have over 20 books to give away this month! To enter e-mail your address and the books you are interested in winning to Winners will be announced all month. Our summer cleaning equals your summer reading!

Julie & Julia Product Description
Julie & Julia is the story of Julie Powell's attempt to revitalize her marriage, restore her ambition, and save her soul by cooking all 524 recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I, in a period of 365 days. The result is a masterful medley of Bridget Jones' Diary meets Like Water for Chocolate, mixed with a healthy dose of original wit, warmth, and inspiration that sets this memoir apart from most tales of personal redemption.

The Guild Gene Product Description
Diana Raab will write anywhere about anything to not only rid herself of childhood "ails" but to enjoy herself completely, even poking fun at her foibles. She takes a close and courageous look at all her life's experiences, and in so doing, shares her wisdom and forgiveness of self and others with a raw honesty that is both refreshing and inspirational. Her poems are, as she writes of her ancestors, "bright candles trembling in their own wax." The Guilt Gene is a prism with a hundred facets offering glance and glimpse and deep seeing into encounters with love, loss, longing, and epiphany. From an author who has taught us the power of memory and story, these poems take us along the road from a World War II typewriter to the eyes of an old dog. Poetry here reminds us to heed what calls to us daily.
The Guilt Gene, Diana Raab's second book of poetry, has the straight-forward confessional tone that distinguishes her best work whether in prose or poetry. Eschewing high flying metaphor and dressed up formality, she confines her subject matter to her inner life and her journal-keeping voice and makes her poems through an emphasis on the line. Her poetry does not pretend to have figured things out; rather, this work is her process of figuring them out, of sorting her past and contemplating her present. The best of these poems derive their beauty from a disarming frankness and a heart that is open, willing to find a personal truth and say it .

Sunday, July 11, 2010

More FREE Books in the July Book Giveaway

We have over 20 books to give away this month! To enter e-mail your address and the books you are interested in winning to Winners will be announced all month. Our summer cleaning equals your summer reading!

Your Best Body Product Description

Each of us is unique. We were all born with a specific body type and body shape based upon our genetics. Although we can't change our genetics, we can take charge of our shape by "specific body shape blueprint training." To do this we need to understand our individual shape and put together a workable and enjoyable fitness plan to achieve the best version of ourselves that we can. Your Best Body Now is a new and unique way of discovering the best fitness plan for your individual body shape and will change the way you see yourself and your body for life.

What Sex is a Republican Product Description

What Sex Is a Republican? takes a look at the political game from behind the curtain with one intention: to call on each of us to serve in our local, state and federal governments. The principles of republican government have been lost on the money changers in our state and national capitols. There is only one way to change that. We the people must take responsibility for what our government has become while we weren't looking.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Win an audiobook copy of The Lion

Enter to win a great summer read- The Lion!  To enter send an email to with The Lion in the subject title.  Up to three winners will be chosen by 8/1/2010.

Asad Khalil (aka "The Lion"), the ruthless Libyan terrorist who menaced ex-NYPD cop John Corey in The Lion's Game (2000), returns to the U.S. 18 months after 9/11, bent on finishing old business in DeMille's fast-paced fifth John Corey thriller (after Wild Fire). In Los Angeles, Khalil dispatches the last of the eight American pilots who dropped the bombs that killed Khalil's family in the historic 1986 raid on Tripoli. In New York City, a daring encounter with Corey, a member of the federal Anti-Terrorist Task Force, and Corey's FBI agent wife, Kate Mayfield, who's also a member of the ATTF, sets the stage for the mano a mano struggle both Corey and Khalil crave. DeMille splices gripping action scenes with accounts of Khalil's horrifically inventive attacks and the ATTF's futile countermeasures. While Corey isn't much more appealing than his foe, those who enjoy starkly black-and-white battles between good and evil will be satisfied.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Delivering Happiness: The Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose

By Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay)

Audiobook, read by author

Would you pay a new employee $2,000 to quit or make company culture your organization’s #1 priority? What about randomly sending an employee flowers or insisting that your vendors let YOU treat them to dinner? Would you fall out of your chair if I told you that reading a business book by a CEO will make you want to be a better person?

The motto of might be delivering happiness, but this book by the CEO of Zappos delivers, period! I really liked this book and had to listen to the entire selection in one day.

The book details Hsieh’s early years, growing up in California in a strict and close knit Asian family where he started various small businesses and faked his way through forced piano and violin lessons. It goes on to follow him through his Harvard graduation and his first big business, Link Exchange. The business made him a multi-millionaire when he sold it to Microsoft for $265 million when he was in his early twenties. Hsieh sought to keep his tribe of friends from college together through the early dot com days and the craziness of the late nineties. Keeping his tribe together (they even all bought lofts in the same building) would lay the foundation for the revolutionary way he would look at customer service and corporate culture while at the helm of Zappos.

Using his Link Exchange monies Hsieh became an investor and later the CEO of and would eventually steer the company to over a billion dollars in sales. What is really inspiring is the way Hsieh forever changed the way corporations look at branding. Long gone are the days when a company can draw a logo and spend truckloads of money advertising to tell consumers what their brand and image is. With the pace that modern information moves, your brand emerges from the company culture that you create. The whole book was fantastic.

The only thing that was off for me was the author dedicates the book to his eleven year old daughter and mentions his parents three times in the book, but otherwise the book is void of any family references. There is no mention of his daughter being born, or adopted if that is the case. There is no mention of a marriage, a bad date, a first date, a kiss in college. It is all wiped clean as if by a court order. While you might not think this has a place in a business book, for most adults balancing career and family is an ongoing daily struggle.

I am always interested in how the brightest and best minds in business attempt to have it all. Hsieh also really promotes a work culture of employees socializing after hours. It is encouraged at Zappos and Tony even flew the entire team from San Diego and Kentucky in for an all expenses paid weekend in Vegas in the early years of the company. Some of the company’s innovative ideas came while having a few beers with co-workers during happy hour or on the golf course. I was a little further curious because such robust socialization, while fun, can wreak havoc on marriages and relationships. I wondered again how it was all balanced.

More FREE Books in the July Book Giveaway

We have over 20 books to give away this month! To enter respond to this post with just your first name and then e-mail your address and the books you are interested in winning to Winners will be announced all month. Our summer cleaning equals your summer reading! Whether you are traveling, on a staycation or haven't had a vacation since Clinton was in office, try some new authors and enjoy some great summer reading on us.

The Gathering Storm Product Description

Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle, looms. And mankind is not ready.
The final volume of the Wheel of Time, A Memory of Light, was partially written by Robert Jordan before his untimely passing in 2007. Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling author of the Mistborn books, was chosen by Jordan’s editor---his wife, Harriet McDougal---to complete the final book. The scope and size of the volume was such that it could not be contained in a single book, and so Tor proudly presents The Gathering Storm as the first of three novels that will make up A Memory of Light. This short sequence will complete the struggle against the Shadow, bringing to a close a journey begun almost twenty years ago and marking the conclusion of the Wheel of Time, the preeminent fantasy epic of our era.
In this epic novel, Robert Jordan’s international bestselling series begins its dramatic conclusion. Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, struggles to unite a fractured network of kingdoms and alliances in preparation for the Last Battle. As he attempts to halt the Seanchan encroachment northward---wishing he could form at least a temporary truce with the invaders---his allies watch in terror the shadow that seems to be growing within the heart of the Dragon Reborn himself.
Egwene al’Vere, the Amyrlin Seat of the rebel Aes Sedai, is a captive of the White Tower and subject to the whims of their tyrannical leader. As days tick toward the Seanchan attack she knows is imminent, Egwene works to hold together the disparate factions of Aes Sedai while providing leadership in the face of increasing uncertainty and despair. Her fight will prove the mettle of the Aes Sedai, and her conflict will decide the future of the White Tower---and possibly the world itself
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Author Article: Great Places to Score a Discount Designer Handbag

By Dorothy Howell
Author of Shoulder Bags and Shootings: A Haley Randolph Mystery
You don't have to dress less-than-glam during these hard economic times -- not when shopping centers and Internet sites are flush with places to snag a genuine designer handbag at a deeply discounted price.
Stores selling discounted handbags range from small, intimate vintage and consignment shops to large department stores, and even larger outlet malls. Internet sites offer a wide range of styles, colors, and designer names. The Premium Outlets and the Tanger Outlets far and away have the largest concentration of discounted designer merchandise. Along with handbag stores such as Coach, Judith Leiber, Kate Spade and Dooney & Bourke, you'll find a fantastic array of designer stores. Michael Kors, Liz Clairborne, Prada, DKNY, Gucci, Calvin Klein, Burberry, along with many others, carry everything from clothing to shoes, and a sampling of their handbag lines.
The Premium Outlets have over 40 locations nationwide, along with malls in Puerto Rico, Japan, Korea, and Mexico. Tanger Outlet has over 30 locations in the U.S. Both offer AAA and AARP member discounts. Join their VIP Club and visit their Web sites for coupons and special offers. Check out their seasonal sales weekends and national promotions for extra savings in addition to everyday discounts.
First, and in some cases, second quality merchandise is available. You'll have to bring along a magnifying glass to find flaws, though. Most are detectable only to the factory-trained eye.  These outlet stores are great places to shop. There's no digging through clearance bins or blowing the dust off of merchandise that's been sitting around for months. The stores are immaculate, the shelves are orderly and well stocked. The staffs are knowledgeable and helpful, the same as you'll find in their retail stores. Many times, after making your selection, the clerk can bring you a "fresh" bag from the stock room. Care is taken to wrap your treasure in the store's signature tissue paper, and deposit it into their trademark shopping bag.

Discounts typically run 20% to 40% off the MSRP, with deeper cuts of up to 65% off of sale and clearance items. Many of these stores offer a full guarantee on their products, plus a money back return policy. But, as with any store, ask before you buy. Keep in mind that these outlet malls are huge, so wear comfortable shoes and plan for a full day of shopping.  Great bargains can be found in retail giants such as Macy's and Dillard's Department Stores. These discounts are usually offered seasonally so you'll have to watch for them. The selection of these bags will be limited, but you can expect to pay from 20% to 30% off their retail prices.
Leading discount department stores such as Ross Dress For Less, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls offer designer handbags. The selection varies. You might find a Diane von Furstenberg, Betsy Johnson or a Fossil bag mixed in with their non-designer bags. Merchandise varies from location to location. These are no-frills stores. If you don't mind digging for a good deal, you can expect to save 20% to 60% off of department store prices.  Some of the most sought-after designer brands are offered at Websites such as Rue LaLa and Gilt Group. These sites offer members-only pricing on luxury brands, usually for a limited time. Shop early. Expect to pay sales prices of up to 70% off retail.

The website e-bay, along with many other online sites, offers designer handbags at considerable savings. The selection is wide and varied. New as well as used purses are available. You'll have to pay shipping costs, in most cases, so take that into consideration when looking at their prices.  Consignment stores and vintage shops are also good places to find a handbag at a low price. Keep in mind these purses are gently used. Designer names and selection will vary widely. Inventory fluctuates so it's good to check back often. Savings can be considerable.  No matter where you choose to shop for your designer handbag, it's important that you can distinguish a genuine bag from a knock-off. Read product descriptions carefully. Do your homework. Know the tell-tale signs of a counterfeit bag. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

There's no need to deny yourself the joy of sporting a designer handbag when so many places offer great merchandise and outstanding discounts to the everyday fashionista. Get out and see what's available. Shopping for your new bag is half the fun!

© 2010 Dorothy Howell, author of Shoulder Bags and Shootings: A Haley Randolph Mystery
Author Bio: Dorothy Howell, author of Shoulder Bags and Shootings: A Haley Randolph Mystery, was inspired to write Handbags and Homicide by her crazed obsession with designer purses. She lives in Southern California, where there is, thankfully, no rehab program for handbag addiction, and is hard at work on her next Haley Randolph mystery. Visit her Website at
Follow the author on Facebook.

More FREE Books in the July Book Giveaway

We have over 20 books to give away this month!  To enter respond to this post with just your first name and then e-mail your address and the books you are interested in winning to Winners will be announced all month.

The First Thirty Seconds offers suggestive prompts for improving the management of one's behavior, thoughts, emotions, and relationships. It is presented in a unique format juxtaposing a relevant concept with a suggestion for further reflection. The result is a book that is effective as a personal growth resource and a library of thoughtful guidance.

A woman's travel through grief and finding hope while dealing with unexpected loss. 

Does a mysterious manuscript, discovered by chance in the library of a Burma's monastery, contain the oldest thriller story of Southeast Asia literature? In the far east of the Indochina peninsula during the Ninth Century A.D., young Prince Asaka fights against the intrigues of the Khmer Court. A son of the Khmer King is found assassinated: why would somebody want to accuse an innocent poor slave of such an important crime? Our hero, also involved in the crime, as owner of the slave as well as more directly, manages to extract himself and to identify the true culprit, thanks to the help of two friends. Twists and turns are abundant in the story; and in the final hearing, although according to the canons of Anglo-Saxon law the development of the latter is unusual, we do find the Public Prosecutor and the Defense Attorney, with abundant cross-questioning ante litteram of the testimonies, documentary proof as well as circumstantial. Not a classic thriller, but rather a mixed genre of police, adventure and spy-story.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

More FREE Books in the July Book Giveaway

We have over 20 books to give away this month! To enter respond to this post with just your first name and then e-mail your address and the books you are interested in winning to Winners will be announced all month. Our summer cleaning equals your summer reading! Whether you are traveling, on a staycation or haven't had a vacation since Clinton was in office, try some new authors and enjoy some great summer reading on us.

Wake Up! You're Never Going to Look Like That Product Description:
Through humorous life stories, clever anecdotes, and brutally honest reality checks, this award-winning former syndicated newspaper columnist takes on the mass-media-driven myth that we should all be striving to achieve the perfect body. 'Wake Up' is an optimistic testimonial that weight loss success belongs to those who understand how to deal with the chronic state of starvation that anyone who diets has to deal with, and that slow and steady works while a quick fix produces failure and disappointment.

Whatever happened to Cinderella after the ball?  Did she live happily ever after with her prince?  Greenberg puts together a short read that women of all ages on their journey to happiness can enjoy.

Conflicts with Interest Product Description:
T.R. Morgan, a seasoned building professional, finds himself entangled in the combined corruption of the high profile law firm that is attacking him and the insurance companies that are supposed to defend him. Still enduring the painful memories brought on by the tragic death of his wife, he soon finds out, nothing involving lawyers and insurance companies happens quickly. Instead of resolution, T.R., unwittingly enters a world of human trafficking, drugs, and illicit sex taking place behind the scenes. And his story comes forward to an explosive climax that no one could possibly foresee, least of all T.R. himself. This suspenseful tale of contemporary fiction is packed with enlightenment and high-stakes characters; provoking thought on a new subject in a new light.

How to Be a Hero to Your Kids:
You don't have to be a super-parent to be a hero to your kids. All it takes is love, motivation and a workable plan. Josh McDowell and Dick Day offer a six-point, biblically-based plan for positive parenting that will set you on the path to being a hero to your child.

Solace Product Description: There is no more stressful and traumatic experience than coping with the death of a loved one. There are various stages of grief and loss, which often take months or even years for many people to overcome. But with the right guidance, readers can learn to lessen the pain and live happy lives. "Solace" provides soothing comfort and hope for those who are suffering. As an award-winning bereavement expert, Roberta Temes believe all of us experience and process grief in our own way. Here she helps readers through the stages of grief, tells them when they should worry, helps them consider the pros and cons of bereavement groups and counselors, and shows them how to use visualization to help the healing process. Featuring anecdotes drawn from her bereavement practice so readers may learn from the experiences of others who have also gone through and struggled with loss, "Solace" is also filled with comforting affirmations, quotations and words of encouragement. Dealing with loss is never easy, but this book provides a calming companion to help readers through their mourning and begin enjoying life again.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Question: Family Ties

Family Ties by Danielle Steel

Just started Family Ties by Danielle Steel. I thought I would be excited about it. It seemed like my kind of story. But I have to say I am only a chapter or two in it and am disappointed. I wanted to see more about her raising the kids -  not have them jump to being in their twenties.

So what do I do? Continue to read it - or call it a day? What do you do?

More FREE Books in the July Book Giveaway

We have over 20 books to give away this month!  To enter respond to this post with just your first name and then e-mail your address and the books you are interested in winning to Winners will be announced all month. Our summer clean up equals your summer reading! Whether you are traveling, on a staycation or haven't had a vacation since Clinton was in office, try some new authors and enjoy some great summer reading on us.

Selfless Product Description

In 1980 s Pittsburgh, Jonathan Schwartz's carefree life is under assault. His sisters seem intent on doing him irreparable psychological harm. There s Nadia, with her unfathomable Machiavellian schemes, and Olivia, tease and temptress, whose beauty wreaks havoc among his friends. And his Holocaust survivor grandparents? There are no words. When his father, the acclaimed writer, is accused of stealing the books that made him famous, Jon's family implodes once and for all, and he must set off in search of what has been lost. His is a journey that ultimately requires him to find more than answers. It requires him to find himself.

Gold Digger Nation Product Description:
Gold Digger Nation by Hal Roback urges readers to rethink marriage and cohabitation. He articulates the horrible scenario that our Gold Digger Laws could possibly mean not only in divorce but in marriage, as well. Roback fills the book with insights and advice for anyone contemplating a more permanent relationship, as well as a heartfelt letter to sons and daughters everywhere. Provocative and informative, Gold Digger Nation is sure to make anyone think twice before signing a marriage license or a lease.

Met with Red Ties Product Description:

Men with Red Ties is a fascinating up-close account of the women who nightly create the glittery illusions of male fantasy, and the world of power, perversion, money, and lust they inhabit. With irony and biting wit, Palikarpava tells the story of these women who strut and sway to the music by night, and wake in the morning to resume their lives as young immigrants trying to make it in the city, yearning for home, and chasing already broken dreams. Meet Alina, Lena, and Alexa, pretty playthings who outwit their clients, while catering to—and seeing through—their status. Behind the scenes, their musings reveal them as complex, yet vulnerable, women ever aware of the absurdity of their work, and the underlying boredom and unhappiness of the men they serve. Ripping the curtain back on the glamorous world of elite strip clubs, the author reveals the hidden plight of young women bound by friendship and desperation, struggling to find themselves amidst the corrupting glare of the stage lights.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July Book Giveaway- Our Summer Cleaning= Your Summer Reading

We have over 20 books to give away this month! To enter respond to this post with just your first name and then e-mail your address and the books you are interested in winning to Winners will be announced all month. Our summer cleaning equals your summer reading!

Stressed in Scottsdale: With the absurdities of desert living set in her literary cross hairs, Fine once again skewers some of Scottsdale's finest while her protagonist, Jean, tries to find sanity in a world where it rains dirt and blind sheep fall off mountains. Modern living isn't for sissies and Fine addresses the deeper issues of the environment and political corruption as she couches them in laugh-out-loud lines.

The Randolph Women and Their Men paints a rich and vivid portrait of post-Revolution life in the South on the scale of Gone With the Wind--only this story is true. A professional historian, Ruth Doumlele has cleverly woven the many lives of the famous and infamous of that time into one seamless narrative. While the Randolphs hold center stage, their exploits bring them together with those influential people--such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Madison--who determined our nation's legacy. Not only does Doumlele bring to life the significant event of those turbulent years, she also provides a scintillating view of the private lives of the privileged. Incest, betrayal, unrequited love--this book reveals the sometimes shocking, often poignant, always fascinating details of these remarkable women and their men.

The Spirit:

Monday, July 5, 2010

July Book Giveaway- Our Summer Cleaning= Your Summer Reading

We have over 20 books to give away this month!  To enter respond to this post with just your first name and then e-mail your address and the books you are interested in winning to Winners will be announced all month. Our summer clean up equals your summer reading! Whether you are traveling, on a staycation or haven't had a vacation since Clinton was in office, try some new authors and enjoy some great summer reading on us.

Playing House Product Description

When Playing House appeared in 1973, Publishers Weekly hailed it, “A probing descent into madness that will fascinate the same audience that appreciated I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.” This nationally bestselling story of one woman’s struggle with the lasting effects of a childhood sexual relationship with her brother shocked American readers; it remains a literary work of enduring quality and value. In his foreword Philip Roth writes, “The traumatized child; the institutionalized wife; the haunting desire; the ghastly business of getting through the day – what is striking about Wagman’s treatment of these contemporary motifs is the voice of longing in which the heroine shamelessly confesses to the incestuous need that is at once her undoing and her only hope.”

An interesting book on unique cost-saving ideas when planning a wedding. 

Apostate Theory Product Description: America’s pending withdrawal of its military from the Middle East in the wake of the Apostate’s promises and congressional demands, has made the fishing ports at Marka, Somalia on the shores of the Indian Ocean, and the Port of Sudan on the Red Sea, the locations of choice for the new Muslim terrorist camps. It does not matter what you or I believe. What does matter is what the world of Islam believes. The Americans spit in Allah's face when they chose the Apostate over the woman. Men are flocking to the camps to avenge Allah and His Messinger. In order to assimilate the refugees into mainstream America there would be religious concessions in America's schools and workplaces. Secular laws pertaining to marriage, divorce and criminal punishment would be reviewed to accommodate the growing communities. The Twin Towers will no longer be America's worst nightmare.

July Book Giveaway- Our Summer Cleaning= Your Summer Reading

We have over 20 books to give away this month!  The first three books are: Millionare's Son, Easy Money and Home Before Dark.  To enter respond to this post with just your first name and then e-mail your address and the books you are interested in winning to  Winners will be announced all month.  Our summer clean up equals your summer reading! Whether you are traveling, on a staycation or haven't had a vacation since Clinton was in office, try some new authors and enjoy some great summer reading on us.

The Millionaire's Son  Product Description
Just when you thought money buys everything!
Born a star to his mother, a young man's life becomes entangled in a web of misfortune and sacrifices he is not yet ready to make. While being raised in the violent slums of Washington D.C., a young man by the name of Whiteboy tells his story about his life and the struggles he endures along his tiresome journey. Amongst friends hides many close enemies, as the hour glass drains so does much of his steam trying to cope with tragedy and triumph in days time. Whiteboy the son of a successful businessman who has earned millions throughout his life without seeing one dime from his father or spending much time with him, the male role models become apparent when the streets come calling to Whiteboy! Living in a shack with his single mother struggling he tries to make life easier by being the man of the house even though he has a police record, his hustle and grind never stops! "The Millionaire's Son" is a touching account of a young man's journey inside of the hood, despite being the son of a millionaire. A life story worth reading! When hood banging meets the political side of the streets? The Millionaire's Son Screams!

Easy Money Product Description:

"I'm tired of being broke," Skip shouted. "We've got to make some money. And I'm not talking about flipping burgers kind of money." Skip was a high school graduate living in an upscale community.
Skip's partner in crime "Greg" was under constant surveillance. "All the fine women like brothers with cash," Greg uttered as he inhaled on a joint. He was a part time cashier working at a fast food restaurant.
"Weed," Skip commented. "We can sale marijuana and make some quick cash. It's not like we'll be selling hard drugs. It's natural; weed comes from the earth." Greg was intrigued with the possibilities.
Greg and Skip proceeded on their mission to sale drugs. Find out whether or not they can sale drugs without getting locked up. Will they be able to lure the women of their dreams with the fast cash? Or does life have something completely different in store for them.

Home Before Dark Product Description:
Psychologist David Treadway reacted with shock when diagnostics revealed his stage 4 lymphoma; he was “riddled with cancer.” But the journey “in two parallel worlds”—of medicine and marriage—that his wife Kate, a doctor in the hospital treating him, underwent most distinguishes their account of catastrophic illness initially written, at David’s urging, by Kate and their sons Michael and Sam in 2006, the first anniversary of David’s diagnosis, when recurrence and bone marrow treatment likely loomed.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Recipes That Make You Feel Better
By Judith J. Wurtman, PhD and Nina T. Frusztajer, MD,
Authors of The Serotonin Power Diet: Eat Carbs -- Nature's Own Appetite Suppressant -- to Stop Emotional Overeating and Halt Antidepressant-Associated Weight Gain
There are some evenings when we all wish our Moms were in the kitchen cooking a meal that would make us feel better. We are too old to be fretting over a bad test grade or nasty remark from someone on the playground but being grown up doesn't mean we don't need comfort when we return home.
Fortunately, it is really easy to prepare a dinner yourself that will calm you down, soothe away your stress and turn down that chatter in your brain about what went wrong with your day.
Comfort dinners work because if they have the right components, your brain will make the calming , feel-good chemical, serotonin as soon as the food is digested. And that means that by the time you put the dishes in the dishwasher, the troubles of the day will be forgotten.  Serotonin is made when you eat any sweet or starchy carbohydrate (except the carbs in fruit). Carbohydrates set in motion a process that brings an amino acid called tryptophan into the brain. When tryptophan arrives, it is immediately converted to serotonin. And serotonin immediately makes you feel better.  Only two rules must be followed if your comfort dinner is really going to comfort:
Keep the protein portion of the dinner to a minimum. No more than 1-2 ounces. This is because protein interferes with tryptophan getting into the brain. Keep the fat portion of the dinner to a minimum. No more than two tablespoons of olive oil, butter, high fat cheese or cream. This is because fat slows down digestion and will make you wait too long to feel comforted.  Here is an easy to  prepare, tasty and comforting dinner recipe. Enjoy!

Pasta with Meat and Mushroom-Tomato Ragu
This is a simple and delicious dish made with a mushroom sauté. The pasta and mushrooms take about the same time to cook, so the dish should be ready 12 minutes after the water boils for the pasta.
Rigatoni or any short pasta, cooked according to package directions
Women: 1 cup/Men: 1½cups
Olive oil cooking spray
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ pound mushrooms
Lean ground beef or turkey
Women: 2 ounces/Men: 4 ounces
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning or several fresh basil leaves
1 cup low-sodium reduced-fat or fat-free jarred tomato sauce
1 tablespoon low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese with sun-dried tomatoes
Place drained pasta back into the pot. Set aside. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray, add the oil, and warm over medium-high heat. Sauté the garlic, mushrooms, and ground beef or turkey for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft. Add the pepper, sugar, and Italian seasoning or basil and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring several times. Add the mushroom mixture and tomato sauce to the pasta and heat until warm. Put in a large bowl and sprinkle with the cheese. Serve with Lemon Garlic Spinach.
Makes 1 serving
Per serving (women): 473 calories, 30 g protein, 65 g carbohydrates, 13 g total fat, 8 g dietary fiber, 772 mg sodium
Per serving (men): 649 calories, 44 g protein, 81 g carbohydrates, 19 g total fat, 9 g dietary fiber, 814 mg sodium

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Well-Read Commuter Reviews: The FUNminute Manager

By: Bob Pike
Is a fun work environment—one that lifts people’s spirits and reminds them of their value to their managers, their organization, and to each other— a primary need for employees? Can such a work environment improve employee attendance, moral and productivity and reduce turnover? Have you ever had a manager that asked you if you were having a good time? Does the mere thought of a manager one of their employees that make you laugh? If you have ever had the misfortune of working in an office where everyone goes through the motions of the day like a 9-5 version of Night of the Living Dead and you can barely motivate yourself to get out of bed in the morning, you shouldn’t be laughing.

In the FUN Minute Manager, Pike takes us through a fable of a manager seeking to retain his top engineering talent by making the workplace more fun. The journey takes him through a nuclear power plant and a hospital with a busy trauma ward to learn how those organizations make the workplace fun. Is it even more laughable or slightly concerning that a power plant should be a fun place to work? To prevent employee burnout (which can reduce concentration and lead to deadly mistakes) these are actually perfect examples of places that can apply the Fun Minute Manager techniques. Managers of small and large organizations will find tips and tricks they can take to heart and apply today. The goal of this book is to keep your talent happy, motivated and producing. This book is a quick and easy read.

Bob Pike has developed and implemented training programs since 1969. His resume is beyond impressive. In 2007 he was voted one of the twenty most influential training professionals by Training Industry and received ISA’s prestigious Thought Leader Award. Pike has worked with such organizations as Pfizer, Upjohn, Hallmark Cards Incorporated, and IBM.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

WIN a copy of The Tax Deductable Wedding

From the Back Cover

Some 2.4 million weddings occur annually in the United States, today’s average bill being upwards of $25,000. And, nowadays, only about one in four have parents paying for the whole thing. While the numbers vary considerably, there is one almost universal truth: pre-wedding finances look very different than post-wedding finances. Indeed, many couples go into long-term debt, turning wedding bliss into marriage blues faster than a bride can throw her bouquet.

But this needn’t be the case! In The Tax-Deductible Wedding, Sabrina Rivers gives you practical advice for producing a dream wedding the tax-deductible way. Did you know that a wedding or reception held at a museum, national park, or even a zoo can mean a big tax deduction? Or that you can seek sponsors? (Really!) Rivers not only discusses the how-tos, but also gently guides you through the entire process—and even includes a section on tax-deductible honeymoons! Replete with tips, anecdotes, Q&A sessions, checklists, resources, and more for today’s cost-conscious wedding planners, The Tax-Deductible Wedding is one handbook no couple can afford to be without. Just reply to this post

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Author Article: How Stepmothers Can FInd a Good Therapist

How Stepmothers Can Find a Good Therapist
By: Rachelle Katz

At least three times a week, stepmothers email me requesting a recommendation for good therapist where they live. Usually, I don't know anyone in their area but I give them a list of questions to ask therapists before they finally select one with whom to work. Finding a good therapist requires some detective work. You need to find out some basic information to make sure you and a therapist share similar philosophies and goals. This will ensure that your experience in therapy helps rather than harms you.
Particularly with regard to stepmothers, many mental health professionals hold outdated ideas about step-families, the most prevalent one being that "blending" is the ideal goal. If a stepmother complains that she feel like an outsider in her family despite numerous attempts to bond with her stepchildren, too many therapists will suggest that she keep trying to establish a relationship with them. This can be an exercise in frustration and futility as "blending" does not occur for most step-families, and is not a necessary requirement for their overall happiness.
Other therapists unconsciously accept as true the cultural stereotype that stepmothers are to blame for all the family's problems. They lack an understanding of the real challenges faced by stepmothers, and their ignorance and insensitivity may influence how they work with you. More than likely, you will waste your time and money. A bad experience in therapy may taint you from trying another therapist, and prevent you from getting the help you need and deserve.
I have been appalled by some of the bad experiences some stepmothers have had with therapists. In one of the monthly support groups I run, one* of the stepmothers shared that she, her husband and 21 year old stepdaughter went to a family therapist for help. They were struggling to get along in her small one bedroom apartment. The stepdaughter was thrown out of her dorm for physically assaulting her roommate and needed to move in with them while attending college, and was sleeping on the living room couch. She was asked to not play the TV or radio after 1 a.m. to prevent awakening her father and stepmother. She refused to, or was unable to abide by this request and repeatedly disturbed her father and stepmother in the middle of the night. When they would politely ask her to turn off the TV or radio, she would have a tantrum (that would last for hours). When the family discussed this in therapy, the therapist felt that the stepmother was being unreasonable by asking for some peace and quiet, and should be more understanding of her stepdaughter who was still affected by her parent's divorce, more than 15 years ago. This trauma, the therapist explained, prevented her from channeling her emotions maturely.
The belief that children are victims of divorce is both common and completely accurate. It is true that many children are traumatized by divorce, but this is an explanation rather than an excuse for their misbehavior. It is unacceptable for a 21-year-old to have a temper tantrum when she doesn't get her way. Adult temper tantrums are indicative of a bigger problem, one that was being ignored by both the therapist and her father. As long as his daughter was doing well in school and abstained from alcohol and drugs, he was satisfied with her behavior. He wasn't concerned by the fact his daughter could not keep friends, got into physical altercations with them, and was fired from all of her jobs. His passivity regarding his daughter's problems prevented him from acknowledging his wife's frustrations and taking them seriously.
Not only was the stepmother disturbed by her husband's stance, she was astonished that the therapist did not support her need to get a good night's sleep since she was the only one in the family with a job. If she lost it, all of them would be homeless. The therapist did share with the family that she was a stepchild and never had a good relationship with her own stepmother. This factor probably contributed to her over identifying with the stepdaughter to the detriment of the stepmother. At her wit's end, the stepmother was considering divorce; the only viable option in an otherwise untenable situation. This situation did not have to escalate to this crisis level if the family therapist was more sensitive to the stepmother's needs.  To get the most out of therapy, you can screen for a stepmother savvy therapist by asking a few key questions, such as:
• What kind of, and how much experience have you had working with step-families?
• What training have you had that is specifically related to step-family issues?
• Are you a stepmother? If the therapist feels this question is too personal, explain that you are experiencing challenges as a stepmother and prefer to work with someone who truly understands the dynamic.
• Have you been a stepchild? Do you have a stepmother? If so, what kind of relationship do you have with her? If the therapist shares that she has had a negative one, ask the therapist if she can separate her own experiences when working with you.
• Do you believe that it's necessary and desirable for step-families to "blend" over time? If a therapist upholds that "blending" is customary in step-families and is the ideal objective, ask what he or she recommends if it doesn't happen. If they recommend that you continue to try to achieve this goal, call someone else.
• Don't forget to ask the basic questions: are you licensed, what is your fee, and if the therapist is covered by insurance.

Unfortunately, you are not guaranteed to find the right therapist by just asking these questions. Only a consultation will give you the information you need to determine if you feel comfortable collaborating with the therapist to help you achieve greater happiness and contentment.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Author Article: How I Stopped "Waiting for Jack"

By Kristen Moeller,
Author of Waiting for Jack: Confessions of a Self-Help Junkie: How to Stop Waiting and Start Living Your Life.

The first time I met Jack, I ripped a hundred-dollar bill out of his hand.  On a cold winter day in Denver, I waited in line to see one of my heroes, Jack Canfield, the coauthor of the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series and the author of The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.  Where I wanted to be was a version of what Jack had become -- an author, a speaker, an inspiration to thousands of people. He was the whole package -- successful, kind -- a visionary for what is possible in the world. I thought, "If I can get to know him, I will become that."

When I saw the opportunity, I grabbed it. Literally. During his presentation, Jack reached for his wallet, pulled out a hundred-dollar bill, and said, "Who wants this?" Hands shot up in the audience; people leaned forward to see whom Jack would choose. But I leapt up, ran up the stairs to the stage, and grabbed the bill from his hand. As I was launching myself in the air, thoughts raced through my mind -- was I about to be humiliated in front of 800 people? Would they call security and haul me from the stage? But my desire for bold action was louder than any voice of doubt.  As I plucked the bill from his hand, he turned to me and said, "Yes, that's it! We can't wait around for the opportunities to come to us. We must take action to create what we want!"
After his talk, I waited in line to formally meet Jack and boldly asked for his personal e-mail address. Over the next several months, I sent him lengthy e-mails sharing my vision and dreams. He kindly e-mailed back one-liners of encouragement such as, "Keep thinking and playing bigger; it's much more fun that way. Love, Jack." Then my life got busy with other things. I lost sight of my inspiration and I stopped e-mailing Jack.
A year later, my dreams had grown stale. I had this idea if I got back in touch with Jack, he might just provide the perfect, inspiring nudge I needed. I was looking for something that would spur me into action, like a giant arrow that would show me the way.  I emailed him, and then emailed him again -- but got no response. As I sat down at my computer to check my email for the fifth time in 15 minutes, I suddenly woke up.

What was I doing?  I was waiting! And this time I was waiting for Jack. I realized waiting was a behavior that began when I was a little girl. I waited to be older -- surely freedom would begin when I had my first boyfriend, first kiss, got my drivers license, graduated from high school and went to college. Then I waited to know what to do with my life. I had always waited, thinking the great prize of life was just around the corner. And I had started to believe Jack was the answer; that knowing him would provide something I thought I was missing internally.
I remembered the crowd, most likely desiring that hundred-dollar bill, while they sat glued to their chairs. What were they waiting for? An Oliver Wendell Holmes quote ran through my mind, "Many people die with their music still inside them." Instantly, I knew I needed to do something about all this waiting. The inspiration came like lightening: I was going to write a book! A book about waiting and call it "Waiting for Jack!" Instantly, ideas and chapter titles came to me.
It all sounded good but then reality hit, I was writing a book. . . . Some nights I cried and wanted to give up; others I celebrated my courage. I wrote, re-wrote, ripped it all up, burned what was left and started over. I hired editors, changed directions then changed back. I danced in the moonlight and curled up in a ball on the floor. I told everyone I was writing, and then wished I hadn't. I grew, contracted, then grew again, stretching further than I ever thought possible.
Fortunately, I have surrounded myself with a life of personal development and I have access to all the tools anyone could ever want. I know I can "feel the fear and do it anyway". I know how to take action. I know how to move forward even when every molecule in my body tells me to stop.
We all have a "Jack" for whom we wait -- whether it's a person, a place or a thing. We falsely believe the gifts of life are just around the corner; that anywhere is better than here; that one day we will arrive and everything will be okay. So we don't try, we give up, we sell out, we forget who we are. We are afraid to succeed, afraid to fail and afraid to say we are afraid. But as Wayne Gretzky said: "You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take!" So I stopped waiting and I wrote.  Three years later, Waiting for Jack is a best-seller on Amazon! I have grown in ways I never expected. I know that I am capable of so much more than I ever knew before.  Now I ask you, what are you waiting for?

© 2010 Kristen Moeller, author of Waiting for Jack: Confessions of a Self-Help Junkie: How to Stop Waiting and Start Living Your Life
Author Bio
Kristen Moeller, MS, is the bestselling author of Waiting for Jack: Confessions of a Self-Help Junkie: How to Stop Waiting and Start Living Your Life. As a coach, speaker, and radio show host, Kristen delights in "disrupting the ordinary" and inspiring others to do the same. She first discovered her passion for personal development in 1989 after recovering from an eating disorder and addiction  Kristen is also the founder of the Chick-a-go Foundation -- a not-for-profit that provides "pay it forward" scholarships for life altering training programs reaching people who otherwise cannot afford such opportunities.  When she is not actively making a difference in the world, she thrives in the beauty of Colorado and enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, riding her horse or just spending time reading or relaxing in her magical, solar-powered house on the side of a mountain with two large dogs, an ornery cat and her best friend and husband of 15 years.For more information please visit and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

The Well-Read Commuter Reviews: Throw Out Fifty Things Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life

By Gail Blanke

Can throwing out the stuff that is cluttering up your closets, medicine cabinets and basement lead to a complete revelation and the discovering of your true self? Motivational life coach Gail Blanke thinks so and she wants to prove it. Blanke set up her new book, Throw Out Fifty Things- Clear The Clutter, Find Your Life, in a format that is easy and fun to use. The book starts with a room by room clean out guide with a tally sheet and instructions to help you decide what to keep, what to pitch and what to donate for every room. There are some really fun and modern tips to help you clean up safely and without incurring the wrath of others. One of her rules is don’t throw out other people’s stuff as it can really make them mad. Having incurred my husband’s wrath on more than one occasion, I can completely agree. She also gives you tips on how to dispose of things like old medications in an environmentally friendly fashion, recycling goals and fun ways to donate items to charity. The second half of the book gets into some personal development and talks about letting go of regret, the need to be a people pleaser and finding the person that you were meant to be now that your physical and mental space is not cluttered with unnecessary ideas and unwanted items. This book is no holds bar and the final word on letting go and moving on.

Reply to this post to enter our contest to win a free copy of the book!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Book Giveaway!

Book Give-Away June 7 - 14: Interview with Author Laura Lyseight and book give away! Laura has been a source of inspiration and great influence in the lives of many teenagers and children. Her burning ambition to see teens find and reach their full potential has driven her to write books to challenge, empower and enrich their lives beyond their own expectations. A private tutor and coach, and a best-selling author, Laura is mentoring teens to leadership and helping them create their own success stories. Visit and leave a comment if you’re interested in this amazing book.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book Review: The Finger Prince

The Finger Prince
By Peter Begley

A fun book for children that talks about all the little fingerprints that they make. Of course there is a bad guy that can't wait to eat them all up.

I enjoyed quite a bit the graphics with the fun finger prints and the various "finger people" they made. I will definitely be reading this to my son when he gets a little older.

One quick note - some books I would consider highly educational in nature. This is not one of them. It is more just a fun book for all.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Top Guilty Pleasure Books

What books do you have that you love - but don't want anyone to know you read?

Why do you try to keep it a secret?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

We Have a Winner for the Carla Collins', Angels, Vampires & D-Bags Contest

We have a winner! Thanks for participating! description:
In this candid confessional, comedian Carla Collins divides the world into the angels who guide us, inspire us, and save our butts; the sexy and trendy vampires who suck the life out of us; and the douche bags who constantly annoy, disgust and taunt us. With a fast wit, fake breasts and real heart, Collins shares her unconventional journey from a small steel town in Ontario, Canada to Tinseltown L.A. On this wild and revealing romp, she navigates her way through seventy-two imaginary friends, multiple fiancés, eight dogs, two marriages, and one topless grandmother. Her hard-earned life lessons will show you that by taking risks, embracing humiliation and tapping into the power of laughter, anything is possible--and everyone is manageable. Attract more angels into your life, control your vampires, and keep all the douchebags at bay. Angels, Vampires and Douche Bags is original, edgy, uplifting and laugh-out-loud funny.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Win a FREE copy of Anywhere- How Global Connectivity is Revolutionizing the Way We Do Business

A pill bottle helps health care professionals monitor patients taking medication. A vending machine reports its own inventory over a wireless network. A telephone speeds checkout by serving as a debit card in retail stores around the world. The future of the world—and business— is ubiquitous connectivity, the total interconnection of people, ideas, and products through a global digital network. As the network grows and the world of data expands, every citizen will have instant access to virtually anything he or she wants. Where is this network? Anywhere. And you must learn to use it to the fullest if your business is to thrive in the coming years. Are you moving fast enough? Reply to this post to be automatically entered to win this new release.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Contest Reminder!

May 24 – 31: Interview with Author Michele Ashman Bell for young adult novel “Summer In Paris.” I read it and loved it, so it’s good for adults, too. This book is about a 16-year-old spoiled rich girl who is sent to her cousins for the summer in Paris, Idaho. She never realized such a place existed! Feeling like she's been sentenced to three months in Hickville Prison, Kenzie is forced to get up at the crack of dawn, do chores, wash her own clothes, gather eggs, hoe the garden, etc. She feels like she's about to die until she meets handsome Adam White whose got a deep secret. This book is quite humorous and I found myself laughing out loud. Visit
and leave a comment if you’re interested in this book.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fitness Expert Says Michelle Obama’s Childhood Obesity Fight is Swimming Upstream Against the Gene Pool

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIFORNIA – While Michelle Obama’s admirable quest to fight childhood obesity is addressing the issues of better nutritional choices and increased movement for America’s youth, her campaign is missing the “elephant in the room” when it comes to many children’s struggles with obesity.

Michelle Pearl, ACE certified professional fitness expert, entrepreneur and author, insists that the issue of chronic genetic obesity also must be addressed because as many as two-thirds of America’s youth will otherwise remain unaffected by the First Lady’s current program. Pearl, author of Wake up! You’re Probably Never Going to Look Like That: How to be Happier, Healthier and Imperfectly Fit (ISBN 978-0-557-27290-7, 2010 Lulu, 131 pages, $14.95, struggled with morbid obesity throughout her childhood and adult life until she managed to lose over 100 pounds twice, and successfully keep the weight off the second time.

“For Michelle Obama’s well-intentioned campaign to be successful she must first expose as ineffective the erroneous messages and ill-conceived recommended weight loss methods that children and their parents are bombarded with throughout the media,” stresses Pearl. “Then she must include a component to teach families how to deal with the difficult side-effects of a lowered metabolism which children with chronic weight problems who cut back on their caloric intake will experience. And, finally, she will need to teach children and their families to have realistic body expectations to increase their perception of their own successes.” According to a Stanford University School of Medicine study, 67 percent of children suffer from obesity because they are genetically predisposed to. And, the study determined, the factor that puts children at the greatest risk of being overweight is having obese parents. “In other words, if you want to know how you might look in your jeans in 30 years, you might want to look at your genes,” says Pearl.

In the early 1980s, Dr. Albert Stunkard of the University of Pennsylvania found a comprehensive 20-year registry of Danish adoptees. The registry, originally maintained to determine if schizophrenia was an inherited disorder, also detailed the heights and weights of the adoptees, their biological parents, and their adoptive parents. Stunkard’s findings definitively showed that obesity stems from genetic influences, rather than environmental factors, because the adoptees ended up as fat as their biological parents, regardless of the size of their adoptive parents. “Trying to fix childhood obesity without making changes in the way the entire family looks at and handles chronic obesity,” adds Pearl, “is like trying to row a boat with one oar in a hurricane; it’s going to be pretty rough going and you can be fairly certain that only a slim number of passengers are going to make it.”

Pearl’s book Wake Up! takes on the mass-media-driven myth that everyone should be striving to achieve the perfect body and instead provides an optimistic testament that exercise and eating right will absolutely be life-changing. “But the message of the book,” stresses Pearl, “is that to become a success story before you jump in front of a camera for that coveted ‘after’ picture, you need to make a giant leap of faith and learn to rethink your expectations.” In Wake Up! Pearl discusses what she believes are the fallacies of the erroneous messages of fitness guru Jillian Michaels and the dangers of the game show The Biggest Loser which she also chronicles at In addition, Pearl interviewed seven Imperfectly Fit Superstars from across the United States and chronicles their success stories in Wake Up!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Well-Read Communter Reviews: Connected- The Surpising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives

By: Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD & James Fowler, PhD

Just how powerful are our personal social networks? Connected promises that it will forever change the way we look at one another -- and at ourselves. The author claims that happiness is contagious, your future spouse is likely to be your friend's friend and your friends' friends' friends can make you fat -- or thin. These are just a few of the startling findings of internationally renowned scientists Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler. In Connected, they present intriguing new evidence that our real-life social networks shape virtually every aspect of our lives.

How we feel, whom we marry, whether we fall ill, how much money we make, and whether we vote -- could everything around us hinge on what others around us are doing, thinking, and feeling? What does that mean for your business and how do you harness that power? Connected shows that our world is governed by the Three Degrees Rule -- we influence and are influenced by people up to three degrees removed from us, most of whom we do not even know! You’ll love this juicy read and you will love the coplex theories that are put forth by two PhD’s and the way that the make it accessable outside of a clinical setting. This is one of my favorite books that I have read this year. In the age of facebook and blogging, you will be surprised by the power of our human nature, social networks and realize that momma was right, you do have to watch who your friends are!