Saturday, October 25, 2008

CHAOS TO CALM:  The Moms-of-Multiples' guide to An Organized Family
By Tonia Tomlin

The author is the mother of twin girls, Peyton and Sydney.  The book is based on research as well as her "real world life experience" raising multiple children.  

There are tips, ideas, strategies, techniques and plain old fashioned advice for expectant and new parents .  The book is not only useful for the parents of multiples but would be useful to anyone with a young child.

There are 11 separate chapters discussing everything from preparing for the multiple birth to baby safe space to birthday parties.  It is a treasure trove of information.  Have a look at the valuable organizing information chapter with forms  to use for interviewing caregivers,  a daycare shopping guide, pool policy, and a budget.  Additionally, there is a CD included in  the back of the book that contains the forms for you to use.  

Tonia is a professional organizer and founder of her own business called Sorted Out, an organizing service providing a wide range of consulting and organizing services.  Tonia brings her expertise to the book.

Looking for the perfect shower or holiday gift for someone expecting a multiple birth?  Look no further.  Anyone who receives a copy of this helpful, valuable book will thank you over and over.  I think it's just great.  What do you think?

hear the interview

By Barbara Bretton

The play on words in the title gives the reader a hint about this interesting, humorous, "magical" book.

The action takes place in the picture perfect New England town of Sugar Maple, Vermont. All that perfection hides a very interesting secret. The towns inhabitants are all magical creatures - warlocks, sprites, vampires, witches, etc.- except for one half human named Chloe Hobbs.

Chloe's magical mother and human father were killed when she was a child. She has spent her whole life in Sugar Maple and knows all of the town's secrets. Even though Chloe is half magical, she has no powers and that's a problem. Her ancestor cast a protective spell on the town that has kept the town's inhabitants safe for hundreds of years, but when the murder of a mysterious outsider happens within the town's city limits, everyone knows the end of the protection is near unless Chloe can do something!

The murder brings a handsome, very human police detective,, Luke MacKenzie and sparks literally begin to fly. Chloe falls in love and into danger. She finds herself way in over her head as the "plot thickens!"

I really enjoyed the novel. It's a great escape as well just fun to read. What do you think?

hear the interview

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Dallas Book Diva interviews Deborah Crombie,
author of Where Memories Lie. See the Diva's review
and listen to the interview.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

GETTING YOUR SECOND WIND:  Motivation Is The Power Source Fueling A Healthy Lifestyle
By Jan Tilley

There is a quote that comes to mind.  Oliver Wendell Holmes once said "The human mind, once stretched to a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions."  This book is all about stretching;  your mind, your body, you comfort zone, and your boundaries.

A combination of a personal story and sound advice fill this valuable little book.  In the chaotic times we are living in, if we don't take care of ourselves, we will be adding illness to the stack of things with which we have to deal.  

Become an Adventurer and a risk taker, advises Tilley.  "Being adventurous means learning to live with your eyes and heart wide open to challenge and adventure."  She doesn't mean we should all try to be Indiana Jones, or does she?  If you've always been intrigued with archeology, why not volunteer to help with an archaeological dig?  If you don't do those things you have always wanted do now, when will you find the time, the money, the opportunity, etc.?  

Since Jan Tilley is a nutritionist, there is a lot of good information about health and weight in the book.  How can you be an adventurer is you're not healthy?  The book encourages the reader toward a healthy lifestyle.

I enjoy reading books that encourage me and also give me "real world" ways to make things happen.  I found this book inspirational and grounded.  What do you think? 

hear the interview

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

ADDICTED TO STRESS: A Woman's 7 Step Program To Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity In Life
By Debbie Mandel

Women deal with different stressors than men. Women seem to rush from one activity to another with no time for themselves for any kind of rest or relaxation. They juggle enormous responsibilities, but where is all of this pressure coming from? Research shows that the presence of so much stress i our lives has become so familiar, we are actually uncomfortable if we don't have it. What's up with that? Women have become "addicted" to their stress!

Here are the 7-steps in the program Mandel explains in the book:
Step 1: Be Aware of Your Own Stress Addiction
Step 2: Reclaim Your Identity
Step 3: Learn to Become a Healthy Narcissist
Step 4: Build a Healthy Body
Step 5: Cultivate Your Sense of Fun and Humor (A personal favorite of mine!)
Step 6: Jump-Start Your Libido (That means she talks about sex!)
Step 7: Reframe Your Thoughts (It really is all in your head.)

The book focuses on self-esteem, self empowerment, exercise, self-care, healthy narcissism, and renewing the humor in our lives. This is a terrific book. I not only enjoyed it, but really like many of the ideas and techniques. What do you think?

hear the interview

TAO NOW:  Daily Wisdom from Mystics, Sages, Poets, and Saints
By Josh Baran

The book is an interesting melding of philosophies from Budda to Alanis Morisette.  I found myself opening it at random and reading.

The bottom line is to live now, stop looking over your shoulder at the past.  In the introduction, Baran writes "Stop now and look.  It is in front of your nose.  In the palm of your hand.  In the light in your eyes.  In the taste on your tongue.... Nothing is required.  No new meditation practices, therapies, ceremonies or gurus.  No path.  Everything you need is already here, unfolding before you in every instant.  Right here, right now."

This is a small book that is invaluable companion for anyone seeking some calm or peace, regardless of spiritual experience.  You will see how this collection is unique and you can use it as a daily call to "presence" and to remind each of us that the only reality we ever truly experience is here and now.  Helpful advice in these troubling times.  What do you think?  

hear the interview

Monday, October 6, 2008

By Brad Meltzer

The plot for this novel is quite unique. Metzler spins a wonderful, suspense filled tale taking the reader into places they might never have gone.

The novel combines three seemingly unrelated events. First, the story from chapter four of the Bible, when Cain kills his brother Abel. This is the world's first recorded murder and the weapon has been lost in the mist of time.

Fast forward to 1932 when Mitchell Siegel is killed by two gunshots to the chest, leading his mourning, grief-stricken son, Jerry Siegel to create a bulletproof man and the world's first superhero, Superman. And like Cain's murder weapon, the gun used in this unsolved murder was never found.

Time travel once more to modern day Fort Lauderdale, Florida where Cal Harper works with the homeless. Picking them up, keeping them safe, and finding refuge for them. He is drawn to a park late one evening where he finds his estranged father bleeding from a gunshot wound. Cal rushes his father to the hospital and learns that the wound was made by the same gun that killed Mitchell Siegel. Cal and his father are stalked by a stone cold killer who bears the mark of Cain tattooed on his hand.

How do all of these seemingly separate events come together? That's the plot of this intriguing novel. The story behind the story is almost as interesting as the novel itself. What do you think?

Have a look at the website to find out how you can make a difference and help save the house where Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster created the real American hero, Superman.

hear the interview

SMALL PLEASURES:  Finding Grace In A Chaotic World
By Justine Toms

This small book is a treasure.  I found ideas and wisdom within its pages presented by telling stories.  

The book is divided into five major sections:

I admit I read the essays at random and went to the sections I thought would please me the most.  I found some surprising things!  There is an essay titled "Anger Has No Arms or Legs" that takes the Buddhist quote and applies it to a Star Trek episode to illustrate a point about negativity and anger.  I loved it!  

There's is another essay titled "Of Creeks and Spiders" that particularly caught my attention.  There is a tiny spider (genus Wendilgarda ...sounds like something from Harry Potter!) who spins her web and"glues" it to running water.  What?  How can that be?  Thought provoking to say the least.  

I came away with new ideas and perspectives from this book.  I have already recommended it to the participants in one of the many Stress Management classes I facilitate.  I like it when an author gives me something to think about that changes the way I view the world.  What do you think?    

hear the interview