Monday, November 28, 2022

Guest Book Review - Practicing Mindfulness: Emma Lou the Yorkie Poo's Activity and Coloring Book for Kids by Kim Larkins

Let Emma Lou the Yorkie Poo and her friends help your child learn and practice mindfulness skills in this highly interactive activity and coloring book. Emma Lou, with the help of Gigi the Ginormous Giraffe and all her friends, want to help children remember ways to be mindful. A variety of activities will help children sharpen their mindfulness skills. Children will: 
  • Follow a maze to Gigi's house 
  • Color in pictures to go with each lesson 
  • Learn a breathing technique 
  • Practice being present 
  • Try a crossword puzzle about feelings and much more! 
  • Have fun and remember to be mindful from start to finish! 
"This book will be a helpful tool for the therapist or school counselor who uses directive approaches. The activities are easy to introduce and scaffold mindfulness opportunities for children and their families. It can be used as a standalone intervention or integrated with other therapeutic approaches." --Theresa Fraser, CYC-P, CPT-S, MA, RP, RCT, CT, trauma, loss and attachment clinical specialist

"Through a variety of fun and insightful exercises, Kim Larkins' Practicing Mindfulness offers children the gift of cultivating awareness and the beautiful magic that awaits them in the present." --Aimee Ruland, author of Float: A Guide to Letting Go 

"An important and engaging resource! This book is a must-have for therapists, caregivers, teachers and anyone who hopes to share with children the gift of mindfulness. With playful, succinct dialogue and delightful drawings, this book will be cherished by children and adults alike!" --Jillian Kelly-Wavering, LCSW, RPT-S, author of My Grief is Like the Ocean 

"The Practicing Mindfulness activity book follows a progression of knowing how to become present, how our body sensations communicate with us and how to create compassion for ourselves and others. The simplicity of the activity book makes it accessible for different age ranges and is a space for creativity to shine. " --Lindsey Frank, M.Ed., president of the Coalition of Schools Educating Mindfully (COSEM), author of The Superpower of Your Heart 

Enjoy these beautiful excerpts...

Guest book review by Carly Louise Wilson
Practicing Mindfulness by Kim Larkins, is the perfect activity book for adults and children to be guided through understanding and working on emotions and feelings. Through carefully constructed chapters, cute illustrations and a range of fun and interesting activities, this book has everything needed to work through mindfulness and teach lessons about; gratitude, body sensations and about being in the present moment. It helps children delve deep into their inner thoughts and feelings and through a range of activities express themselves. A very clever and entertaining activity book, which I will definitely be going through with my son.


About the author
Kim Larkins is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice. For the past thirty years, Kim has dedicated her career working with children and families in the mental health and human services field. Most recently, Kim has worked in educational settings focused on the development of mindfulness skills in the classroom. Research shows that mindfulness in education improves attention, emotional regulation, compassion for self and others, and overall well-being for both students and teachers. Emma Lou the Yorkie Poo will introduce parents, therapists, educators and children to some of the many benefits of a mindfulness practice. 

Kim has a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Maine. She is also licensed in Maine where she works and lives. Kim has two adult children, Sarah and Theron and two grandchildren, Guyer and Giavanna. She enjoys travel, music, quilting, and the serenity and pleasures found in nature. You can contact her by email at or on Facebook
 You can also follow the author here...
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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Guest book review - Always Her Love (The Steeles at Silver Harbor) by Melissa Foster

Some fates are too tempting to deny… 
If you love single-parent romances, you won’t want to miss Always Her Love, an emotionally gripping, funny, and sinfully-hot story of forbidden love, with a much deserved and epic happily ever after. Fall in love on the sandy shores of Silver Island, home to coffee shops, boat races, midnight rendezvous, and the sexy, sharp-witted Steeles. They have a penchant for pranks, a passion for loyalty, and a trunk full of secrets. All Steele novels may be enjoyed as standalone romances. 

"I'm pregnant. It’s yours. I’m having it, and unless you want it, I’m putting it up for adoption.” Those were the words that changed Levi Steele’s life before he was even legally allowed to drink. There was never any question about whether he would keep his daughter, and eight years later, he doesn’t have a single regret. He owns a successful contracting company, he’s part of the Dark Knights motorcycle club, and Joey’s happiness is his top priority. None of that would be possible without the help of Joey’s beautiful and selfless aunt Tara, who’s going to be staying with them over spring break and who he’s been thinking about in ways he shouldn’t. But Tara’s older sister is Joey’s birth mother, and she’s the last woman the dirty-talking biker should want to get his hands on. 

Tara Osten has been crushing on Levi for as long as she can remember. He’s a loving father, a loyal friend, someone with whom she can always be herself, and six-plus feet of deliciously hard, tattooed muscle. At twenty-four, she’s finally realized he will never see her as more than his baby mama’s younger sister. It’s time to let go of her lustful fantasies starring Levi Steele and move on with her life. Step one: Buy her own place and start dating. Step two: Survive spring break without falling harder for the one man she can never have.

Available to buy from ...

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Audio narrated by Aiden Snow and Ava Erickson

"Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!" - NYT Bestseller Lauren Blakely​

"You can always rely on Melissa Foster to deliver a story that's fresh, emotional and entertaining. Make sure you have all night, because once you start you won't want to stop reading. Every book's a winner!" - New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Novak 

"With her wonderful characters and resonating emotions, Melissa Foster is a must-read author!" - New York Times Bestseller J. Kenner


Guest book review from Carly Louise Wilson
Always her love is the incredible sweet with heat read by a Melissa Foster. It is the fourth book in the Steele’s at Silver Island series, and was entertaining and hard to put down.

The book is about Levi, a man who is a single dad to an incredibly trendy and cool daughter Joey. Since becoming a father young, Levi has solely focused on his child, determined to provide for her whilst closing himself off to romance and relationships. Tara is Joey’s Aunt, and when she finds herself in a bind a needing somewhere to move, Levi automatically helps.

A small comment made by Levi’s brother develops wings and plants the seed they they should perhaps become more than the close friends they have always been. The more this thought remains rattling around Levi’s mind, the more he becomes warm to the idea, and it is the only thing he can think of.

Tara has had her own troubled past of being bullied, and when she is need of help, Levi and his daughter are always there. I love the chemistry of the characters in this book, and how real and genuine it felt. The connection is off the charts, their flirty exchanges exciting, and i couldn’t put it down.

It is a story of love, friendship and family, and it was easy to become invested in the characters, the island and the romance.

This book can be read as a standalone, or as part of an amazing series. It is perfect for those who love friends to lovers, single parent romances, and readers who are looking for a good series and book to delve into. Tara and Joey’s relationship was super sweet and I felt a real belief in them, they complimented each other well and their romance was perfect.


Tempted by Love (The Steeles at Silver Island, Book 1)
Enjoy heart-meltingly beautiful and toe-curlingly sexy romance in Tempted by Love, an emotionally riveting story about a man who has lost it all and carries a torturous secret, a divorced single mother who has everything to lose, and the little girl who helps them heal. Fall in love on the sandy shores of Silver Island, home to coffee shops, boat races, midnight rendezvous, and the sexy, sharp-witted Steeles.

Years ago, bestselling author Jack “Jock” Steele lost his girlfriend and baby in a horrific accident that drove a wedge between Jock and his family, keeping him from sharing a devastating secret. An aging philanthropist saved him from the brink of despair, and for a decade Jock cared for his ailing friend who became his family. Now his friend has passed away and left him a fortune—on the condition that he publishes another book. Jock is floundering, unsure how to rebuild the life he’d walked away from, much less find his muse, have another relationship with a woman, or even think about having a family of his own. But he can’t get his sweet, sexy new friend, single-mother Daphne Zablonski out of his head, and her adorable toddler must know something he doesn’t, because she wraps her tiny fingers around his heart and won’t let go.

Daphne has been through the wringer with her ex-husband and doesn’t believe true love is in the cards for her. Friends she can handle, but letting a man see her mom bod naked? Especially someone as strikingly handsome and unbelievably sexy as Jock? No, thank you. Besides, she has a toddler to chase after and enough fictional boyfriends to fill her lonely nights. If only her book boyfriends could make her body tingle the way one look from her mysterious neighbor does.

As Jock and Daphne’s friendship turns to something too tempting to deny, their lives take an unexpected turn. Can a man who has lost everything find redemption with a woman who has everything to lose? And then there’s that secret…

Available to buy from ...

My True Love (The Steeles at Silver Island, Book 2)
Embracing Her Heart (The Montgomerys Book 1) by [Foster, Melissa] Can a man who resents the hand he’s been dealt and a woman who spends her days grateful for every little thing find true love in each other’s arms—or are their differences stronger than both of them? 
Find out in this funny, sexy, heartfelt romance, and fall in love with Grant and Jules on the sandy shores of Silver Island, home to coffee shops, boat races, and midnight rendezvous.

Even war heroes need a little help sometimes... 
After spending years fighting for his country and too damn long learning to navigate life with a prosthetic leg, Grant Silver returns to Silver Island to figure out a future he couldn’t fathom without fatigues and a gun in his hand. He’d almost forgotten how a man could suffocate from the warmth and caring community in which he’d grown up, and if that weren’t bad enough, his buddies’ beautiful and far-too-chipper younger sister won’t stop flitting into his life, trying to sprinkle happy dust everywhere she goes. 

As a cancer survivor, Jules Steele knows better than to count on seeing tomorrow. She doesn't take a single moment for granted, and she isn’t about to let a man who used to be charming and full of life waste the future he’s been blessed with. She's determined to get through to him, even if it takes a few steamy kisses... 

Available to buy from ...

Caught by Love (The Steeles at Silver Island, Book 3)
Embracing Her Heart (The Montgomerys Book 1) by [Foster, Melissa]
He’s set on pleasure, but she’s all business. Sizzling chemistry and a surprising connection set this sexy love story in motion. But is it enough to last forever? Find out and fall in love on the sandy shores of Silver Island, home to coffee shops, boat races, midnight rendezvous, and the sexy, sharp-witted Steeles. 

Archer Steele is one of the leading vintners on the East Coast. He’s arrogant, aggressive, and has never been interested in settling down, which is what makes his hookups with his sister’s beautiful blond best friend, hair and makeup artist Indi Oliver, the perfect escape. But Indi’s toying with moving to the island, and when she ends their no-strings trysts to focus on her business, Archer isn’t ready to let her go…

Available to buy from ...

Releasing May 2023!
Wild Island Love (The Steeles at Silver Island, Book 5)
Sparks fly between a PR rep and an A-list actor who want nothing to do with each other.
Leni Steele might be looking for love, but she’s definitely not looking to be someone’s fake date. Especially not one of the most infuriatingly handsome and annoyingly cocky actors on the planet, Duncan Raz. But when the owner of the PR firm for which she works forces her to walk the red carpet on his arm, she has no choice. Neither wants to be there, much less with each other. They’re like oil and water, and he gets on her last nerve. But after a few tequila shots, that’s not all he gets on. What was supposed to be one date turns into a media frenzy they can’t afford to ignore, and Leni has no other option than to continue the ruse. All the fake kisses furtive glances, and seductive touches eventually start to feel very real. But Raz didn’t earn his A-list-actor status for nothing. Is he just doing what he does best? Playing a role? Or is Leni the leading lady in Raz’s real-life love story?

Available to buy from ...

Other stories set on Silver Island 
MAYBE WE WILL (Silver Harbor) -- Available in KU 
MAYBE WE SHOULD (Silver Harbor) -- Available in KU 
MAYBE WE WON’T (Silver Harbor) -- Available in KU 
SEARCHING FOR LOVE (Bradens & Montgomerys) 

About the author
Melissa Foster is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented, the perfect beach reads for contemporary romance and women’s fiction lovers who enjoy reading about loyal, wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines with complex relatable issues.

Melissa also writes sweet romance under the pen name Addison Cole.

Melissa enjoys chatting with readers and book clubs. Send her an email invitation to your next event!

Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.

Find Melissa on the following sites....
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Sunday, August 7, 2022

Guest book review - Shell House, Mindful Writers Retreat Series

A compelling new beach read from the authors of Mindful Writers Retreat. From new love to old love... even the love of a house plays host to generations of special events at Shell House. Beautifully situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Silver Lake, this magnificent home is the perfect setting for inner transformation and life-changing beach memories. From the Roaring '20s to modern times, the shifting sands lend a glorious backdrop to intrigue, bootlegging, a séance, an alien visit, and true love as precious as hidden treasure. 

Contributors include: Lorraine Donohue Bonzelet, Gloria Bostic, Deborah Hetrick Catanese, Jennifer D. Diamond, Judy England-McCarthy, Phil Giunta, Kimberly Kurth Gray, Hilary Hauck, Larry Ivkovich, Stephanie Keyes, S. M. Kraftchak, Cindy Moldovan, Amy Morley, Michael Morley, James Robinson, Jr., Larry Schardt, Carol Schoenig, Kathleen Shoop, Demi Stevens, Lisa Valli, Madhu Bazaz Wangu, Denise Weaver, and Michele Zirkle. 

Proceeds will benefit the Marine Education, Research, and Rehabilitation Institute of Delaware ( We hope that you love the collection, and that the funds we raise help to preserve the gift that Rehoboth is to all. 

Available at....

Enjoy these book excerpts...


Kathleen Shoop

June 21, 1925

Flora Daniels and Rachel Platt slept on chaise lounges by the sea, waves crashing in mesmerizing rhythm, salt and jasmine perfuming the air. Flora stirred, the wooden slats digging into her spine. The rising sun warmed her cheeks. Without opening her eyes she groped the sand for her hat and pulled it on. She swallowed anxiety and reminded herself that this would be the last time she took such a risk. The Shell House Soiree would bring enough lettuce for her to buy back her father’s farm, pay for her brother’s attorney, and more. She’d even begun to grow her hair out so she could easily return to boring old farm life without sparking the least curiosity from her old neighbors.

If only the booze had arrived on schedule she would feel as carefree as she needed to appear. Every other non-alcoholic detail for the party had been executed. She cheered herself with reminders that she’d never failed before. Yes, the boozy delivery was delayed. But better safe than stuffed away in the Big House and made an example of how bootlegging could go bad in a quiet, resort town like Rehoboth Beach.

“Morning.” The Shell House cook Molly’s voice and the scent of coffee came from behind Flora. She gestured to a third chaise. “Sit. Have a cup. What’s new?”

“Thank you,” Molly said, “but no. My family reunion.”

Flora swung her legs around and put her feet in the sand, reaching for a mug. “Oh, right. Yes. You leave this morning.”

“The servers you hired are already organizing in the kitchen, fluttering about the house, moving furniture for the band and…” Molly’s knuckles whitened as she gripped the second mug tightly.

Flora understood Molly’s concern. She was the primary caretaker of the mansion nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Silver Lake. “Mrs. Carpenter knows you’re not responsible for anything this weekend. Everything will be all right.”

Molly sighed and set the second mug in the sand near Rachel who sat up. 

“You little rosebud, you, Molly,” Rachel said. “You’re saving us with the best Joe I’ve ever smelled in my life.”

Molly nodded. “It was lovely to meet you both. Thank you for promising to be gentle with the house and for, well, I baked something special—not elegant like the foods you’ve selected for the soiree but… I felt the need to make one humble thing. Just some canned fruit and flour.”

Flora smiled, wishing she had more time to spend with Molly, the kind of friend she used to have. “You didn’t have to do that.”

“Well, loooooky there,” Rachel said.

Flora ignored Rachel, wanting to reassure Molly. 

Molly continued. “I’ll stow it in the pantry for when you need something different, when, you know, when a need reveals itself. I don’t know. It’s silly.”

“Sounds fabulous.” Flora wasn’t sure what Molly meant, but the lady had been so sweet and hospitable that she took the gesture to heart.

Rachel shook Flora’s arm. “Seriously, look at those jelly beans.”

Flora lifted her hat brim to see what Rachel was harping about.

“I think my heart stopped,” Rachel said.

Flora’s breath hitched. “I think the condition is catching.”

Two men in deliciously immodest bathing costumes sauntered toward them like jungle cats, wet skin glistening. 

Flora forced her breath to even out, confused, energized, curious as the gaze of the tall, dark heartthrob turned her inside out.



Larry Ivkovich

Celine Vranic stood at the window in the second-floor bedroom of Shell House, the doomed Carpenter mansion. The huge master suite’s luxurious furnishings, including a four-poster canopy bed, hardwood floor, twin bathrooms, and wood-burning fireplace, held no interest for her. She’d studied and sketched all the rooms multiple times in the last three days. Now, only the view of the moonlit coastline between Delaware’s Rehoboth and Dewey beaches riveted her attention. 

She turned as soft footfalls behind her broke the spell. “Ready, love?” Julia Boisseau stood at the doorway of the bedroom. “It’s time.” 

Time, Celine thought. That’s the irony, isn’t it?

The historic house and its acre of beachfront property had been for sale for over a year with no takers. A shame and a tragedy, everyone said, yet no individual or organization had been able to come to the mansion’s rescue, which was now slated for demolition. 

So it was up to Celine and Julia. Celine had come up with a fantastic, unbelievable plan but, with Julia’s mystical help, Celine was sure it could work. 

“Not having second thoughts, are you?” Julia said. She and Julia married in 2013 when same-sex marriage became legal in their state. Julia was agelessly beautiful, despite her middle years. Her dark-brown skin was flawless, her youthfully trim, tall figure graceful beneath a long, blue sundress. Black hair tumbled about her shoulders in thin braids. 

Second thoughts? Celine ran a hand through short, graying, auburn hair. She glanced at the jeans, sneakers, and T-shirt she wore over her own still-slim body. Her “traveling clothes,” as it were. She dressed for comfort because, as Julia said, no one at the party in the 1941 timeline would even know Celine was present.

She’d be an astral-projected observer out-of-time, an unseen temporal traveler, one not trying to alter the past in order to change the future. Or inhabiting the body of someone in that timeline in order to act. Or trying to find out who really assassinated JFK, stopping 9/11, or discover the identity of Jack the Ripper. As tempting as all that was, they could only perform this ceremony once, the numinous energies being site-specific. 

Celine was determined to find something which had been hidden within the labyrinthine depths of Shell House decades earlier. A phone conversation with her grandmother six months earlier had been the spark…




Phil Giunta

Dewey Beach, Delaware

November 1983

In the chill of late autumn, Jenna wriggled her toes in the wet sand while gelid waves soaked the rolled cuffs of her jeans. She had driven to her family’s beach house in Delaware from the University of Maryland and arrived a few hours after sunset. No sooner had she parked her Fiero in the garage than she kicked off her Keds and rushed to the edge of the surf.   

“Knew I’d find you out here, garotinha,” a voice called. “Only you would stand barefoot in freezing water to stare at the sky. Just like when you were little.”

Jenna grinned at the familiar Portuguese diminutive for little girl, but her gaze remained fixed on the heavens as her family’s housekeeper, Rosa, trudged toward her with flashlight in hand. “It feels wonderful. You should try it.”

“No, thanks. This old gal can see the stars just fine from back here.”

“I might bring my telescope out to the patio tonight.”

“You’ll have plenty of time for it. Your mother called a few minutes ago. There was some legal problem with that big merger. Your father had to go into the office to help with negotiations.”  

Jenna kicked a clump of wet sand into the water. “Always business before family.” 

“Your parents and brother won’t get here until after midnight. Want me to stay until they arrive?”

Jenna sauntered up the beach and wrapped her arms around Rosa. “As much as I would love your company, I don’t want to keep you from your family the night before Thanksgiving.”

Rosa shrugged. “I’m only going to Dover to stay with my sister and her husband for the weekend. They’re doing all the cooking. A traditional Portuguese feast.”

“Sounds wonderful, but don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine tonight. I’m a big girl now, you know.”

“You’ll always be garotinha to me. Can I make you something to eat before I leave?”

“I grabbed pizza on the way.” 

“I don’t know how you college kids survive on junk food. Look, a shooting star!” Rosa thrust a finger toward the sky where a small white orb streaked through the constellation Pegasus. “Make a wish.”

“I’m not a kid anymore, Rosa.” 

“You were a lot more agreeable when you were.”

“That’s moving too slow for a meteor.”

“Maybe it’s a jet or a satel—” The orb turned forty-five degrees west and shot across the sky until it disappeared behind the trees. “Meu Deus!” Rosa gaped at Jenna. “Tell me that was a UFO.”

“Well, it was no jet or satellite and sure as hell wasn’t debris.”

“You can tell your family you saw an alien ship.”

 Jenna snickered. “I’m an astronomy major and a sci-fi nerd. They’d never believe me.”

“I’ll back you up.”

“I doubt that’ll help. You’ve been my partner in crime since I was five.” 

“True, but what else could it have been?”

“I guess we’ll never know.”

“I can’t wait to tell my sister about it. Anyway, the turkeys are in the fridge and the dining room table is set.”

“And I’m sure the place is immaculate as always. We’ll make sure it stays that way.” The women embraced once more. “Thank you for getting the house ready for us, Rosa. Safe drive to Dover and have a fabulous holiday.”

“You, too. Hose the sand off your feet before you go inside and no wild parties tonight, garotinha.”

“Just me, my telescope, and the stars. I’m sure that UFO was the craziest thing that’ll happen this evening.”

Proceeds from this book will benefit the Marine Education, Research, and Rehabilitation Institute of Delaware, (, non-profit stranding response and rehabilitation organization dedicated to the conser­vation of marine mammals and sea turtles. MERR Institute, Inc. is authorized by National Marine Fisheries Service and the State of Delaware to be the official standing respondents for the Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles of Delaware. 

Rehoboth’s coastline and its waters provide food, recreation, housing, and oppor­tunities for millions of people, all of this use means we need to take even better care for the environment that lends romance, inspiration, joy, and relaxation.

Guest book review by Carly Louise Wilson
Shell House is a beautiful anthology collection of stories and poems by various authors centred around a particular theme of a shell house and place.

This read gives off a real summer vibe, which is perfect in time for the holiday season. I loved the differing viewpoints each writer has around the theme of the Shell House and the unique and captivating stories each of them tell. There’s stories of love, memories and you are transported to differing times to share in many precious and exciting moments.

If you have a busy schedule this book is great as you can read a short story or poem as and when, and still feel like you are immersed. The writing is entertaining and I love books like this where you can be introduced to new authors and reacquainted with others.

A really entertaining read and makes me think about what stories and memories the house i live in could tell. Perfect for all readers who want escapism, a lighthearted read and enjoy stories around love and friendship.

This book felt like a real passion project for the writers, and it really shone through.


Also available in the Mindful Writers Retreat Series...
Into the Woods
Short stories, poems, essays, music, and one walking meditation. Each piece is unique in tone and genre and the result is that the collection captures the fascinating, frightening, fun, healing, and fantastical wonder of time spent in the woods. 

Proceeds support the research and work of The Children's Heart Foundation. 

Featuring: Lorraine Bonzelet, Wende Dikec, Teresa Futrick, Selah Gray, Hilary Hauck, Eileen Enwright Hodgetts, Larry Ivkovich, Lori M. Jones, Kimberly Kurth Gray, Ramona DeFelice Long, Laura Lovic-Lindsay, MaryAlice Meli, Amy Morley, Gail Oare, Sherren Elias Pensiero, Kim Pierson, Cara Reinard, James Robinson, Jr., Larry Schardt, Linda K. Schmitmeyer, Carol Schoenig, Kathleen Shoop, Martha Swiss, Madhu Bazaz Wangu, Denise Weaver, Michele Zirkle.

Available at....

Over the River and Through the Woods
A holiday pastiche from the authors of Mindful Writers Retreat, sure to light your festive candles! From a Thanksgiving snowstorm that mends old feuds... to the family misunderstandings that fuel new ones... a quirky elf and some romantic stardust will get you ready to go Over the River and Through the Woods on a journey through time!

Available at....

Love on the Edge
Experience love's emotional gamut from the authors of Mindful Writers Retreat, sure to bring joy and bliss to your heart any time of year. From love in the time of war... to love at first sight and long walks in the snow... to sparks flying because of nosy neighbors... Love on the Edge reveals the essence and evolution of the human need for relationship, written in a time when we're all searching for deeper meaning and connection. 

With stories by: Lorraine Donohue Bonzelet, Jennifer D. Diamond, Abigail Drake, Judy England-McCarthy, Phil Giunta, N. J. Hammer, Kimberly Kurth Gray, Hilary Hauck, S. M. Kraftchak, Ramona DeFelice Long, MaryAlice Meli, Amy Morley, Gail Oare, Kim Pierson, James Robinson, Jr., Kathleen Shoop, Demi Stevens, Lisa Valli, Deborah Vita, Madhu Wangu, Denise Weaver, and Michele Zirkle. 

Proceeds benefit Allegheny Children's Initiative-Partners For Quality, Inc.

Available at....

Also available...
Writing Inspiration Through Mindful Walking
Romancing Your Muse Book 1
Walking is such a simple thing, but its addition to your creative habits is life-changing. 

Writing Inspiration Through Mindful Walking was written as an introductory guide to familiarize those attending Mindful Writers Retreats with the walking component of the event. When those ideas helped attendees far beyond the boundaries of the retreat, the content was expanded. 

Prompts encourage you to add walking into your current writing practice, and to experience the ways walking can fuel writing volume while also raising its quality. 

Poetry by Madhu Bazaz Wangu serves as the perfect accompaniment, a meditative lure to further inspire your writing life. 

Take the first step!

Available at....

Mindful Writers Retreat Authors 
The Mindful Writers retreat together several times a year in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. While there, they write books and come up with some wonderful stories. They share these in their anthologies.

Find the Mindful Writers Retreat Series on Facebook HERE

 Follow the tour

I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

Winners Prize - 
$50 Gift Card plus a Shell House ebook
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Monday, July 25, 2022

Guest book review - You Are So Much More: An Inspiration for Children Healing From Illness or Injury by Serena Tejpar (Author), Anoosha Lalani (Illustrator), Iman Tejpar (Illustrator)

Research has shown that building resilience in the face of adversity or challenges helps children and young people develop effective coping strategies and improve long-term outcomes across a spectrum of illnesses. You Are So Much More reminds children who have gone through or are going through an illness or injury, that they are indeed so much more. Trauma survivor and medical student Serena Tejpar shares a story of inspiration, reflection, and encouragement that can be read over and over again. 

"This book is so much more than a story, it is a message of strength and courage for children experiencing illness and hospitalization, for their parents and caregivers. The author refers to the reader in the first person and the narrative stimulates the internal resources of the child. Under the guidance of a caring adult, the book becomes a useful addition to children's recovery process." -- Isabella Cassina, MA, PhD Candidate, registered Therapeutic Play Specialist and international speaker, author of The Magic Home: A Displaced Boy Finds a Way to Feel Better 

"I am thoroughly impressed with the children's book, You Are So Much More. It is geared toward children experiencing long term hospital stays and reminds them that their illness or injury does not define them. While many outsiders often try to distract a compromised child with upbeat messages and avoid talking about the elephant in the room, Serena Tejpar acknowledges the child's situation, even all of the bad parts, and then puts into perspective that there is more to the child than their medical condition. She is both realistic and supportive. Tejpar creates a self dialogue with positive messages the child can use, reminding them of their strength, resilience, and bravery. I am pleased to read a book written by such a medical student. Her empathy will carry her far as she exercises her skills in the life work of healing others." -- Laurie Zelinger, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S, Board Certified Psychologist, author of Please Explain Vaccines to Me 

"As a Play Therapist I am constantly working with children with chronic issues. I loved how You are So Much More focuses on the child and not the illness. I found it to be sweet, encouraging, uplifting and compassionate way of encouraging children with chronic illnesses to cherish themselves and cope with their emotions as they heal. At a time where many families are facing illness and hospitalizations it is a timely message that I am excited to share with the families I work with." -- Jill Osborne, EDS, LPC, CPCS, RPT-S, author of Sam Feels Better Now! 

"This book is an amazing resource for children and families who are struggling with medical trauma. Within the pages, the reader will find messages of healing and hope which is truly important when we sometimes forget that sun can follow dark days." --Theresa Fraser, CYC-P, CPT-S, RP, MA, RCT, Trauma, Loss and Attachment Clinical Specialist, author of We're not all the same, But We're Family

From Loving Healing Press

Available to buy from...

Enjoy these excerpts!

Guest book review by Carly Louise Wilson
You Are So Much More is a beautifully illustrated children's book, giving and providing a voice to those who have suffered and are suffering with an illness.

It promotes enabling children to embrace and feel their true emotions during a difficult time , whilst also emphasising how they are also so much more than their illness. They have achieved and done things, and they can continue to live and enjoy more opportunities. It is removing a lot of stigma around children and many conditions and educating those who perhaps are not aware of how to communicate around such issues.

The pictures are captivating and the language concise to ensure children are kept entertained and transfixed, and as an adult I thought it was a really good book to help educate children like my son when he is older. In the back of the book there is further information and I liked how there was a snippet to explain the purpose of the book and how the idea arose for the author.

Healing is often a long and difficult process, and it helps to have reference material such as this to help guide people.

About the Author 
Serena Tejpar (she/her) is a medical student at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto with a Master of Science in Global Health and a Certificate in Narrative-Based Medicine.

Serena carries a passion for the intersection of health humanities and clinical practice. She was commended for her “commitment to improving the Canadian healthcare system and addressing inequities in healthcare systems worldwide” following her experience as a trauma patient after a near-fatal motor vehicle collision in 2015. 

She has received numerous awards and honours in recognition of her leadership, community service, and resilience including being named YMCA Ontario’s Young Woman of Excellence, Top 50 Emerging Canadian Leader, and a Young Director with G(irls)20.

You can also find the author here...

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