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Monday, January 30, 2012

Still Coming by Joseph Flynn, & Birthday Gift to You!

Still Coming by Joseph Flynn
Rejected College Students say they are coming anyway!!
I gave this Kindle book Five Stars, and found it here at Amazon

I enjoyed this book, and found it plausible in today's technologically skilled world. A small group of techno-talented high school students rejected by the big colleges (Harvard, Yale, Princeton Stanford) find out why the colleges did not accept the brightest among them, and decide to retaliate, using their skills to create nerve wracking disturbances in this college town. The characters are believable, the setting is easy to visualize,  the behaviors of the adults is predictably true to form, and the climax is well worth the wait.

 Here's the Birthday Gift for All of You!

Go to Amazon for the preview but to CreateSpace for the discount !
 And because February is my birthday, I am offering my blog readers a chance to buy the paperback version of Multiple Sclerosis an Enigma at a special Happy Birthday discount of 50% ! Just go to Create Space,  Publisher's link: and at the checkout, enter this    Discount Code : ND67VUCJ
Then click the " apply discount" tab and you will see the reduced price.

February is a great month for reading indoors, or by a fire place at the ski lodge, or wherever you may be!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Editing Service Now Available !

I am a teacher. My degrees include a minor in English/Language Arts. I have a Master's Degree in Special Education, and with that, I was able to help struggling writers improve their spelling, grammar, word usage and punctuation.

My skills have developed over many years of reading and responding to student work, and in coaching students to develop clear and accurate writing skills.

I am offering an editing service for my fellow writers. I researched various pricing strategies, and have developed what I believe is a reasonable chart of per page cost. The service I found that estimates easily and quickly on a per page, per word basis can be found by searching the phrase "pricing for editing."  I encourage you to visit various services and enter your numbers, to check my pricing chart for comparison.

Basic Editing:
Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Consistent verb tense
Short Stories or Essays, Length 1 to 5 pages:
A per-page price of $10.00, with a page consisting of 350 - 450 words, font size 14.

Extended Editing:
Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Fluency, Replacing awkward phrasing, Monitoring for consistent tone, Word choice, Overall style suggestions
A per page price of $12.00, page length and font size as above.

Find your price in the chart below: (font size 14: 350 - 450 words per page)
# of Pages..... Basic Editing....... Extended Editing.........Time
1 - 5.............. $10/page..............$12.00.................24 hours
5 - 10 ........... $8.50 ..................$10.50..................48 hours
10 - 20 ..........$7.50....................$9.50...................72 hours
20 - 50.......... $7.00....................$9.00...................4 days
50 - 100 ........$6.50....................$8.50...................5 days
100 – 150 .... $6.00.....................$8.00...................6 days
150 - 200...... $5.50 ................... $7.50...................7 days.
200 + ........... $5.00 ....................$ be determined

You can email me at to discuss details.
Payment will be arranged via check and USPS.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Reading and Reviewing 19, Another Morgan Mandel Mystery

Killer CareerKiller Career by Morgan Mandel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Morgan Mandel's writing is clear, her characters are easily visualized and easy to follow, and her storytelling is spellbinding. Interweaving the thoughts of a writer who writes well enough to teach others the art with the mind of a megalomaniac so deeply disturbed that he doesn't recognize the reality of his fiction, Morgan takes us all on a journey into madness that is unforgettable.

The contrast between childhood losses being lovingly treated vs those ignored and mishandled is written with empathy and caution. The love story as a subplot is a quiet echo of those childhood losses and the right and wrong way to deal with such, allowing her characters to grow and move beyond childhood feelings toward mature relationships.

This is the second Morgan Mandel mystery that I've read, and I look forward to more. If you enjoy reading a master of the art of storytelling and following plots that reflect human needs and fulfillment, you will love her stories.

And Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigma, has another five star review:

5.0 out of 5 stars
A book for anyone with a disease without a cure.
January 19, 2012 (Denver)

This review is from: Multiple Sclerosis,an Enigma: Finding a diagnosis but not a cure (Paperback)
This book is a must for anyone with MS or a friend or family member of a MS patient. It gives insight into the everyday tribulations of this disease, but it is also a valuable book for anyone with a disease which has no cure and tends to be progressive, for it is a book that not only tells about MS, but how one brave person faces the hardships and frustrations of having such an illness. Being an MD I would highly recommend this book to patients suffering one of several such diseases.

To buy the paperback at CreateSpace

To buy the Kindle Edition

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Select, or not Select?

KDP Select Results

The above link is a researched article written to help Indie Writers (writers who self-publish and so must self-market) understand whether Amazon's new "Kindle Select" is the right choice.

Kindle Select is promoting its exclusive marketing by offering shared rewards to the participants. In return, the participants promise not to market their book anywhere else for at least the three month term. This exclusivity removes Nook readers, and authors using Smashwords, Lulu and other sites for a wider market.

What seems to be the crux of her research is that well-known authors had a positive experience; books of a genre with a widely varied reader base had a positive experience, and brand new authors were happily satisfied even with moderate success.

So I ponder, and I look at my titles. Each of them has a very limited, defined reader base. People who like poetry don't spend much money on Poetry Books, but browse, read and re-read their favorites. The buying audience for my two volumes of Teaching essays is probably the college students who are busy doing their practicums and student teaching terms; they are likely to have little money to purchase books in addition to those required by their professors. The book I wrote about the small town where I live has, logically, a small potential reader base.

My most recent book has a reader base of people who may have more interest and time to read, perhaps, but high medical expenses and wide access to free information on the internet. While I like to think that the title offers some validation and reassurance to newly diagnosed people with multiple sclerosis, reaching them from Amazon is a stretch without endorsement from the numerous websites featuring multiple sclerosis as a topic. I've sent free downloads to a few who might be able to endorse my book at a message board site for people with multiple sclerosis.

It has been said that using social media is the best way to spread the word about new books. I've set up a special Facebook page to share links with readers, and have named the page after my book, Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigma. But recently I've heard that some Facebook readers are annoyed with posts featuring marketing on a social media.

It's a fine line that self-published and so self-marketing authors must walk ... reaching out to share each other's books, asking others to share the links with their friend base ... all of this leads to an angry post that I read at Amazon this week: the claim that self-publishing Indie authors are egotistic and narcissistic.

I would remind that person that Indie Writers are just that ... self-sustaining, solitary workers who believe that what they have to share is worthwhile. It is not in their nature to reach out and ask for others' help, yet that is what they need to do most.

To that end, here are links to my six titles:

CreateSpace, the print on demand publisher of my books, and the best return to me as the author, with approximately a 70% return:

Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigma

Teaching vol 1 Education and Academics Essays

Teaching Vol 2 Stories Reflecting the Classroom

Poetry to Share Vol I Family

Poetry to Share Vol II Writers and Artists

Georgetown at the Turn of the Millennium

Amazon: Will also send Paperback for each, and Kindle for MS and Teaching I, II.

Author Page

Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigm

Teaching Vol I Education and Academics Essays

Teaching 2 Stories Reflecting the Classroom

Poetry 1 Family

Poetry 2 Writers and Artists

Georgetown at the Turn of the Millennium

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Memoirs of Beatrix Potter and her "little books"

I have long loved Peter Rabbit and his little friends in the wonderfully verdant imagination of Beatrix Potter. I've collected rabbit figurines in general, but treasure the few (two) that I have of her characters. I have a tiny version of Jemima Puddleduck, and a small Peter Rabbit music box given to me by a dear friend. When I saw these two hardcover books on sale in the "used" category at, I couldn't resist. Here are my reviews, predictably five stars each!

The Tale of Beatrix Potter: A BiographyThe Tale of Beatrix Potter: A Biography by Margaret Lane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a lovely story written by a lovely English Lady, wife of an Earl, and biographer to many other authors, and a novelist herself as well.

I particularly enjoyed the portions covering Beatrix Potter's childhood summers spent in Scotland, and her time enjoyed with her "grandmama" who allowed her to read in the family's literary collections.

That this biography was published by the Warne company, the same company that published Beatrix's "little books," just adds to the delight in owning this book. It is one that I will save for my own grandchildren, and their children.

Beatrix Potter: Artist, Storyteller and CountrywomanBeatrix Potter: Artist, Storyteller and Countrywoman by Judy Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is another biography of Beatrix Potter rich with the original sketches, watercolors, and family photographs that flesh out the sketchy public knowledge of her life. It is again written by an Englishwoman with some standing: Judy Taylor was invited by Frederick Warne , the publisher of Beatrix's books, to be a Beatrix Potter Consultant.

Taylor is also a novelist, and has studied Potter and her writings since a child herself. She has extended Potter's work into the late twentieth century, adding a baby book with Potter's little friends.

The writing is clear, but the illustrations and photographs are the heart and soul of this biography. I believe both of these books together honor the work and life of Beatrix Potter.

View all my reviews

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spunky Seniors, a Welcoming Group

I joined a new Facebook group this week, called Spunky Seniors. It's a group of people who are fifty or older, who want to share their talents and enjoy their successes together. I guess AARP started the notion of the age of fifty being a significant turning point in people's lives.

Which, I guess, is fine. I remember thinking, when I was twenty and my mother was fifty, that she was a senior citizen. We didn't really have grandparents that we knew into their old age. They had all passed before the first of us had married, and before I was ten. Grandfathers were gone before I was born, and one grandmother, my mother's mother, passed when I was five.

I remember her ... I remember her sitting in the little "cricket chair" that I still have and treasure for its memories. I remember her in the living room of our very busy house, her chair in front of the corner china cabinet that held my mother's special things, some odd china bowls, a large scenic sugar Easter Egg, and an Easter lamb made of curlicue vanilla frosting. I remember Nana's rosary beads clicking in her lap, her lips moving silently as she prayed, and her fingers reaching out to tickle me as I ran past her chair, giggling. It is one of the happiest, most carefree memories I have of childhood.

My other grandmother, my dad's mother, lived longer, but for more than a decade was in a nursing home, where we visited her now and then on a weekend. She was bedridden, and fairly silent. She died on a very cold week in January, a month before I would turn ten. I remember we stayed home from school the next day, the day before the wake and funeral, and my brother and I bundled up and went for a walk to the park. I can still hear my dad saying very sternly to us "If you are stopped by anyone and asked why you are out of school, just say "death in the family." I remember after her funeral finding the leftover thank you cards in the front hall on my mother's hope chest. They were literally "letters edged in black," with matching envelopes. I didn't ask permission, I just decided that I could write notes and deliver them up and down the street. Found out later, I was told sternly that I might have caused a heart attack for neighbors who would find such an envelope in their letter box. I remember feeling badly, and watching carefully for the next day or two, wary that a hearse might come down the street and pick up one of my neighbors. But none did.

Our parents were our oldest generation.

Now we're the oldest generation in our family. Parents, aunts, uncles ... all of our parents' brothers and sisters have passed, save one sister-in-law of my mother's. And of our generation, the numbers are beginning to dwindle. We've lost two brothers, one sister, and a number of first cousins on both sides of the family tree. Our own children, the next generation is now in the middle, and their children, our grandchildren, are reaching adulthood and beginning yet another generation. I am now a great-grand aunt. Any of my great grand aunts were never known to us, as they were back in Scotland, or in Canada. They were never known even to my parents' generation, their own grandchildren. Those who came here to America apparently never looked back after a few years. Perhaps there was nothing to look back to. A world depression dominated our parents childhood, and surely their parents, my grandparents, were busy trying to survive here with their children in America.

So I am more than happy to join such an upbeat, confident, creative and productive group as Spunky Seniors promises to be. Some are writers, some artists, and all are beginning to find time to pursue life's next passion. I am already a decade older than some of the members. I will share my excitement with them when a book is published, or a quilt is sold. And I will in time be the grandmother again, or the great grandmother, happily sitting in the little cricket chair, rosary beads clicking in my lap, and fingers twitching to reach out and tickle a little one dashing by.

Oh ~ Here's the link to Spunky Seniors!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reading and Reviewing 18: Morgan Mandel

Forever Young: Blessing or Curse (Always Young Series)Forever Young: Blessing or Curse by Morgan Mandel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I truly enjoyed this story, reading a few chapters each night just before falling asleep, and looking forward to my "story time" each night! Mandel's main characters are more than three dimensional,sharing their inner thoughts as the story develops. Her settings are very easily seen through the characters' eyes, and the story line itself is just far enough fetched to hold the reader's interest through the various twists and turns of the plot.

A loving wife, too soon widowed ... feeling both the loss of her husband, too soon after the loss of her mother ... and the loss of her home setting ... seemingly rescued by the Angel Man who's smooth veneer hides a smoldering narcissism ... her friends back home worrying at a distance... the various relationships ring true in the woman's life.

The ending is not an ending, but a tease. What will happen to Dorrie? What will happen to her child? Will she fall in love with her former flame? Will she continue to remain young? Will the Angel Man return in her future? Or will the Monster come after her?

The description of the following anthology, addressing the stories of more participants in the "Forever Young" experiment, doesn't address Dorrie's future ... perhaps a third title will follow?

View all my reviews

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy! Now FIVE Five Star Reviews on Goodreads & Amazon for Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigma

My most recent book has earned its FIFTH five star review at Amazon and Goodreads:

Here's the first review received:

Merita King(Southampton, United Kingdom) Dec 11, 2011

5 of 5 stars
Read in December, 2011

This book is a clear account of the author's own experiences. Terry takes us through each step of her journey in a detailed and straightforward way, without the 'pity me' overtones that such books so often contain. During the course of reading this book I felt that I really came to know Terry in quite a personal way, and that I like her for her strength and no nonsense attitude to her experience. She describes in plain detail each step on her journey through diagnosis and treatment and you cannot help but feel her frustration alongside her as she deals with each new crisis as she fights to find a way of coping that feels comfortable for her.

Anyone going through their own journey with MS will find an immediate connection with Terry. Her story can only serve to help others going through similar experiences who may be lost and anxious and frustrated at the lack of empathy displayed by the medical fraternity. Those who have loved ones with MS will find this book a valuable resource in helping them towards a closer understanding of those they live with and look after.


Here's the second review received:

Carol (Pennsylvania, USA)
Jan 13, 2012

5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Carol by: Ms Palardy's review
Recommended for: Anyone who has MS
Read in January, 2012, read count: once

Read your book and I have so many mixed emotions at the moment. Tears came to my eyes more than once. Terry you are such a courageous woman. All the trials and tribulations that were endured by both you and your husband are unbelievable. You stayed true to yourself throughout and never ever gave up. Never once did you forget about your students and the obligation you had to them as their teacher.This is excellent account of how MS can control one's life if you let it but once you begin to understand it's invasion adjustments may become acceptable. Wish I could have given a much higher rating, it deserves much more. For those whom have MS (Or knows someone with MS),I urge you to purchase this book.


And here's the third review received:

Terry (from Oklahoma, USA)
5 of 5 stars 1/16/12
Shelves: life-changers, nonfiction

Wow, this was an amazing book...

At this moment, I'm sitting here stunned.
Stunned because I've finally received answers I've needed for the longest time.
Stunned because I've connected to another soul with many of the strange, uncommon symptoms I've experienced, some since childhood.
Stunned because
I no longer feel alone with the monster known as MS...

This lady's story could be mine, or one of many others. She has successfully put into words, the things we wish we could say about the struggles associated with MS, but oftentimes, cannot express through mere words.

Mrs. Palardy has written an honest, painful, at times heartbreaking account of her journey through life, MS, and the assortment of medical testing and treatments. She has faced the issues in her life head on with courage, strength and personal fortitude. Terry is by no means a victim, but a slayer of this dragon. Her husband, a true knight in shining armor, stands strong by her side, supporting her, facing everything this ugly disease can throw at them.

This is an honest, important, inspiring, empowering book, which will help any one with MS, and will bring knowledge and a deeper understanding to the loved ones and friends of those with the disease.

Thank you Terry for this gift you have given. Your story and courage has made a difference in my life.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author for purposes of review. (Thank you Terry Palardy for the opportunity to read your book). I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


And here is the fourth review; this one is at Amazon:

This review is from: Multiple Sclerosis,an Enigma: Finding a diagnosis but not a cure (Paperback)
This brief book is much more than the title suggests. It is a love story, a family drama, an ode to having old school work ethic, and a moving description of dealing with chronic illness. Terry Palardy has put into print many of the experiences shared by people with a chronic illness: anxiety filled tests to determine diagnosis and progression, managing schedules and multiple doctors, maintaining personal standards at work and at home and the heart wrenching conversations trying to make sense of it all. Those who recognize themselves in her words will find the comfort of shared experience but equally important is the potential impact it may have in helping family and friends understand as well.

 The fifth Five Star Review: 

By "Otti" (Denver) -

    January 19, 2011
This review is from: Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigma: Finding a diagnosis but not a cure (Paperback) 
This book is a must for anyone with MS or a friend or family member of a MS patient. It gives insight into the everyday tribulations of this disease, but it is also a valuable book for anyone with a disease which has no cure and tends to be progressive, for it is a book that not only tells about MS, but how one brave person faces the hardships and frustrations of having such an illness. Being an MD I would highly recommend this book to patients suffering one of several such diseases.

To see the book at Amazon for a preview, click here

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weekend Wonderings ... on Readers and Writers

Goodreads Blog: My First Kindle Books
Spoiler Alert: This is not a children's picture book. This is just a silly post about my attempts at entering the world as an e-book author.

My first foray into Kindle Publishing is a comedy of errors, so far. I managed to miss the line where I was supposed to enter my name as the author (but, to be fair, I was logged in as myself on my author page, excuses, excuses...) and so my sister Ro, who had taken the photograph which I used on the back cover of the book, was listed as the only 'contributor' (read that, by default, author)of the Teaching Vol. 2, and my friend Floyd who had collaborated on one of the essays in Teaching Vol. 1 was then listed as the author by default.

I went back to the site, edited the files, and in error listed only Terry Palardy as my name ... which wouldn't then link the kindle version to the print versions (which carry Terry Crawford Palardy as the author.) I sent the editors at Kindle an apologetic email with pleas for help. We'll see what comes of it today! ♥

Update on My First Kindle Books (not a child's picture book series ... yet?)

I've followed the trend and lowered my Kindle books' price to $.99. What I've read on writers' Facebook pages is that listing a book for less than a dollar will entice readers to download it, even if only on impulse rather than in interest.

I have mixed feelings about this. A cynical comment was made that the American reader has become an entitled consumer, expecting writers to settle for much less than the writer feels the work deserves.

I'm a reader as well as a writer, and the comment made me stop and take a look at my purchasing habits. Years ago, Rick and I would drive 15 miles to spend an hour or two wandering through Border Books, he upstairs looking through their Woodworking shelves, and I down, enjoying a lovely mix of History, Biography, Psychology, Spirituality, and Mysteries that I called my "run-away readings." We would stop at the Bargain Books table, conveniently located at the checkout, and pick up a few more. It was not unusual for us to spend, collectively, at least a hundred dollars per visit and come away with perhaps as many as six or eight books. Of course, I had a full time salary then.

With the arrival of Kindle, and the closure of Border's, and my reluctant but medically-related early retirement, we have the perfect storm of change. My buying habits have been altered radically. The only bookstore within 20 miles of us is Barnes and Nobles, and I have an aversion to the place. Their setup prevents customers from browsing their database on a computer, and asking a clerk to browse for me just isn't "browsing." I'm delighted with the Kindle, and have in fact become spoiled with the number of free books, and $.99 books available. I stop and think twice before buying a $2.99 Kindle book, content to wait and see if it comes down in price.

Perversely, I will go to the Amazon Used booksellers for whatever paperback I want to buy ... and will often find that book for less than $1.00, and happily purchase "with one click." But in truth, that book arrives with the expense of $3.99 in shipping costs, putting the total well over the Kindle titles I am waiting to see go down.

The virtual book on Kindle does not have the weight and comfort of even a used physical book, and so seems unworthy of a heavier price.

It is good to understand myself as a consumer, changed by the limitations of a pension just over half my former income.

But as a writer, trying to promote sales to subsidize that reduced income ... I am humbled by the expected lower prices of a Kindle book, and am accepting the trend of American consumers feeling entitled to more for less. If more buy it at the lower price, the 30% royalty might generate more dollars. If fewer buy it at the $2.99 price, the 70% royalty may not amount to much.

What are your feelings on Kindle prices? Are you willing to pay a $3.99 postage fee for an inexpensive used paperback rather than buying a newer title on Kindle?

And yes, this is a polite marketing request that you consider my 99 cent Kindle books at Amazon, and if feeling rather secure and fortunate enough to have a full salary, perhaps buy a few in paperback as well?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Reading and Reviewing 17: A Vision of Sugar Plums

A Vision of SugarplumsA Vision of Sugarplums by Jennifer Blake

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story held my interest over a two day reading span (with other tasks between.) The character development was well done with both main and supporting characters coming to life in very short time. There is no hero in this story ... a somewhat villain dressed in rescuer's clothing, but found out and thoroughly scorned as result. The ending of the story was a bit idealistic, but that's what Christmas stories are!

I got this book as a free Kindle story; you can click here to find it.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Inflation, Supply and Demand for a Title

I've made a few changes to the book titled Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigma. A few long sentences have been shortened or broken up, my uncle Adam's name was mistyped as Abe and has now been restored, and a better description of those brownstones in Brookline has been added. And the beginning of summer has been corrected to the end.

Pulling a book to correct a few punctuation glitches would seem less than humble; the ancients would tell us that the gods expect and admire humility from man. A quilt often has a small mistake known only to the quilter ... and a book of 40,000 words might have one or two errors within.

But errors in content must be admitted and amended, and so I pulled the book from publication for a few weeks, in order to have time to go through it with the fine tooth comb one more time and fix what I could. As a self-published "indie" author who has print on demand, it is possible to do this without abandoning hundreds of printed books. The book is simply not available to the sellers until the new edited version is printed as a proof, and approved by the author again for distribution.

I wondered how Amazon would handle that ... would they remove my book from their online catalog? Would they leave on site and simply delay shipments? Curious, I went to the site, and saw the image above. Some brave bookseller in Florida had evidently requested a copy "on spec," without a buyer lined up. And so, the bookseller offered this one copy at the incredible price seen above - $93.46! Amazon, on the other hand, offers to buy back the earlier versions four people had purchased ... and are offering a remarkably small amount in return - $1.08.

I'm expecting the new proof in tomorrow's mail, and if after again going through it with a sharp eye, I find it acceptable, it will again be listed at $12.00. But that bookseller in Florida has a first print edition, and so I'm guessing his price will hold ... we'll see.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Reading and Reviewing 15: Thunder Struck Hero

Thunder Struck Hero - What's the voice of a dead rock star doing inside Max's head?Thunder Struck Hero - What's the voice of a dead rock star doing inside Max's head? by Babs Annsetti and Eric Seiden

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loving it so far ... great story, a few typos, not disruptive, though. As I've read on, the typos are far fewer, and the quality of character development is very rich. The author is able to work with both adult and teenage characters with credibility.

The main character, Max, begins the story as a science/math honors student, with virtually no interest in the arts. When lightning strikes him for the second time in twelve years, he is suddenly occupied by a wandering soul who had been a rock star twelve years prior. The rock star influences Max to pick up a guitar and play, giving the concert of his life (or death, as it is).

I am purposely writing this review before I finish the story, because I am wondering how the author will reconcile Max's infatuation with the rock star's daughter, once the rock star leaves Max's body and finds his way to heaven.

I highly recommend this story ... it is enjoyable, readable, clean, wholesome fun that can be shared with your own inner adolescent and your adolescents.

January 10, 2012 I finished the book - great ending, all around!

You can see this Kindle book preview at this link.
View all my reviews

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Reading and Reviewing 14, a look back at Turnabout.

TurnaboutTurnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book about ten years ago, when my son was in a shared reading group, eighth graders and senior center readers. I loved the story, am amazed today to be living in what Haddix described as an internet society, where people shared their thoughts and lives openly with the public! She was ahead of her time in predicting that one.

I gave it a four because I cannot remember how it ended! The two women who were medically provided with a return to youth moved back through each stage of life but in a different decade, a different culture than they had the first time through. I think if it was a memorable ending, I would recall it. Though I, too, am reaching the stage where memories fade, decade by decade, starting with the most recent!

The book is recommended for school grades 6 through 10, but what made this reading delightful for me was knowing that my son and his classmates were sharing discussions of the book, and perhaps of life, with the elders next door. I would recommend this book for all ages who want to thoughtfully reflect on what we value now, and in the past, and perhaps yet ahead.

You can find this book at Amazon by clicking this link.

View all my reviews

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Reading and Reviewing 13: The Dorky Homemade Look (what else for 13?)

That Dorky Homemade Look: Quilting Lessons from a Parallel UniverseThat Dorky Homemade Look: Quilting Lessons from a Parallel Universe by Lisa Boyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very funny book, with practical tips for beginning quilters who will be relieved that a book allows for human mistakes. There is no perfection in the world of dorky quilts, but as the author, Lisa Boyer, points out, no one has ever cuddled with an heirloom quilt hanging in a gallery or packed away in acid-free tissue. I read this book long ago, and thought of including it only when I referred to it on my facebook page, Terry's Thoughts and Threads. Join me there - you'll find Daily Tips for quilting and/or writing. No pre-requisite skills required!

Oh - you can find this book at Amazon for less than $10.00. In fact, you can find it there, used, for a penny (plus shipping that makes up for the bargain price.)
But hurry, there are only 2 left in stock (or so it has said for many years!)

View all my reviews

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Reading and Reviewing 12 :Peggy Webb

Donovan's Angel (The Donovans of the Delta)Donovan's Angel by Peggy Webb

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love books with happy endings, and have grown to anticipate these when reading Peggy's books. This one is no exception. The two characters come to the relationship from very different backgrounds and experiences, but feel an instant attraction. The characters around them have a wet towel effect on their relationship, but it doesn't dim the spark. I gave this a four only because the third quarter of the book seemed almost endless, and I grew impatient. But the fourth quarter did not let me down. I would recommend this one for a long winter's night!

View all my reviews

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Reading and Reviewing 11

SunflowersSunflowers by Melodie Starkey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Sunflowers, Melodie Starkey has written a story that brings her characters to life, with all the challenges that life offers. Single male parenthood, tangled and negative family relationships, lost and then realized motherhood ... each character's demons and delights are very well cultivated in this poignant novel. Issues addressed through the story line are right to life, abandonment, parental rights, bipolar disorder, and economic disparity. The author deals with mental illness and its effects on individuals and families with empathy, knowledge, and depth. The children in the story are not just miniature adults, but true children, with their own set of emotions and perceptions. This book held my attention for a full day, as I could not put it down and needed to read to the end once started. I would highly recommend this book for readers interested in the many choices faced by ambivalent expectant parents and families facing mental illness.

View all my reviews