Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Grady Whill and the Templeton Codex - Book Spotlight


Join Grady and Aarush as they test the limits of their physical and emotional endurance…

By Carole P. Roman

Templeton Academy- the superhero high school is finally open!

The prestigious academy is recruiting the best of the best to enroll in its student body.

The school is as mysterious as it is exclusive.

Grady Whill thinks there is nothing special about him to make the grade.

However, his best friend, Aarush Patel has been selected and thinks Grady has the right stuff.

Even school bully, Elwood Bledsoe is attending.

If Grady is fortunate enough to be picked, his guardian has forbidden him to attend.

Will a family secret prevent Grady from becoming the superhero he was destined to be?

“Roman’s writing is excellent: portraying wonderful, complex characters. Narrated by Grady, the story reveals his kindness and humor. (“Aarush lived in a smart home as opposed to my stupid home,” he tells readers). It also illustrates the lovely symbiotic friendship between Grady and Aarush, who protect each other from trouble and ridicule…With the book’s many touching, funny, and edge-of-your-seat moments, readers will be cheering to hear more from Grady.” Blue Ink Review

“With a page-turning plot and exciting twists and turns, this book is sure to become a treasured favorite.”- Review by Book Excellence

“If I were to give a book to every young adult in this world, I would give them Grady Whill and the Templeton Codex by Carole P. Roman without blinking. I absolutely loved every moment of this uplifting and fascinating story. It’s filled with valuable life lessons, adventure, peril, and highly relatable and lovable characters.” Reviewed by Emma Megan for Readers’ Favorite

“Harry Potter meets Sky High. If you’re a fan of young adult stories where protagonists go to mysterious schools to train their superhuman abilities, don’t miss out on Grady Whill and The Templeton Codex.” Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Reader’s Favorite

“With a detailed descriptive narrative, great character development, and compelling dialogue, the author has created a story that will have young readers engaged to the very end.” Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Reader’s Favorite

Book Information

Release Date: July 18, 2022

Publisher:  Chelshire, Inc.

Soft Cover: ISBN:  978-1950080434; 286 pages; $10.99; eBook $8.99; FREE on Kindle Unlimited



Scarface Mountain – Present Day 

A BARELY COOLED LUMP of lava hardened under my  feet. One of my sneakers was stuck between two small  rocks in the solidifying mess. I stared at my foot in disbelief.  Instinct told me I should be a human torch, my legs nothing  more than toasted stumps. I glanced up, my heart beating  wildly. We were trapped on the side of the mountain facing our  school, separated by a burning sea of molten rocks.  

The world around me steamed, the lava staining the sky  burnt orange. Trees swallowed by molten rock looked like  skeletal hands emerging from a grave that glowed beneath the  blackened crust. I saw heat waves shimmering from the earth  but felt none of its intensity. I pulled fiercely, feeling my ankle  twist. Aarush steadied me as I nearly toppled over. He was 

shirtless, his back slick with sweat and covered with scrapes.  His fingers worked feverishly to free my foot. 

Overhead two helicopter-sized pterodactyls circled the  craggy summit. The wind from their leathery wings buffeted  the two of us. I think the air they circulated stopped the  patches of lava from cooking us alive, but what do I know? 

“We better get moving, Grady. Leave your sneaker. We are  risking getting burned by staying too long in one spot.” The  ever-practical Aarush reasoned as he pulled the velcro releas ing my foot. I wobbled, then fell to one knee. 

“Do you think they’re real?” I hollered to my friend over  the noise, pointing upward.  

“I’m not sure,” Aarush responded with a shake of his head.  “Right now I can’t tell the difference between fantasy and real ity.” The answer to that question was resolved when one of the  predatory birds spiraled downward in a dive. “We have to go  that way!” He waved to the lee side of the mountain, where  small brush fires dotted the hillside. “The lava appears to be  traveling in the other direction.” His hands moved to push  glasses up on his nose, only to realize they were long gone, lost  in our escape. 

“Look out!” Aarush hunched down as the wind from the  pterdactal’s wings fanned the area around us. “Oh yes, I’d say  they’re real!”

Carole P. Roman
is the award-winning author of over fifty children’s books. Whether it’s pirates, princesses, spies, or discovering the world around us, her books have enchanted educators, parents, and her diverse audience of children of all ages.

Her best-selling book, The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids: 800+ Jokes! has reached number one on Amazon in March of 2020 and has remained in the top 200 books since then.

She published Mindfulness for Kids with J. Robin Albertson-Wren.

Carole has co-authored two self-help books. Navigating Indieworld: A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing with Julie A. Gerber, and Marketing Indieworld with both Julie A. Gerber and Angela Hausman.

Roman is the CEO of a global transportation company, as well as a practicing medium.

She also writes adult fiction under the name Brit Lunden and has created an anthology of the mythical town of Bulwark, Georgia with a group of indie authors.

Writing is her passion and one of her favorite pastimes. Roman reinvents herself frequently, and her family calls her the ‘mother of reinvention.’ She resides on Long Island, near her children and grandchildren.

Her series includes:

Captain No Beard

If You Were Me and Lived in- Cultural

If You Were Me and Lived in- Historical

Nursery series

Oh Susannah- Early Reader and coloring book

Grady Whilland the Templeton Codex

Giggles Galore- Coming in December 2022

Mindfulness for Kids with co-author J. Robin Albertson-Wren

The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids; 800 plus Jokes! 1 and 2

Spies, Code Talkers, and Secret Agents A World War 2 Book for Kids

Navigating Indieworld- with co-author Julie A. Gerber

Marketing Indieworld- with co-authors Angela Hausman and Julie A. Gerber

Adult Fiction under the pen name Brit Lunden


The Knowing- Book 1- A Bulwark Anthology

The Devil and Dayna Dalton- Book 9-A Bulwark Anthology

Her latest book is the YA Grady Whill and the Templeton Codex.

Visit Carole’s website at or connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


Sponsored By:

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends No Waste Cookbook

Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends No Waste Cookbook
Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter
Publisher: Barbour Pub Inc
Release Date: September 30, 2022
ISBN: 9781636093857
Pages: 224


When times are hard, the family budget gets tighter.
Do you struggle with feeding your family as the cost of everything rises? This cookbook is designed to help.
New, from 
New York Times bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter, is a valuable cookbook for when times are hard and costs are on the rise. Amish and Mennonite cooks offer recipes and advice for saving money, stretching a meal, and eliminating waste in the kitchen. Over 270 recipes are divided into traditional categories from main dishes and sides to desserts and snacks. Encased in a lay-flat binding and presented in full color, home cooks of all ages will find this cookbook to be a wonderful addition to their collections.


New York Times
bestselling and award-winning author Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written more than 100 books translated in four languages. With over 12 million copies sold, Wanda's stories consistently earn spots on the nation's most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.

Wanda's ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.

When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at


Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends No Waste Cookbook is a treasure chest full of amazing recipes, Bible quotes, hints, sayings, and miscellaneous how-to's. The recipes are exactly what you'd expect from the Amish - down home comfort food that are not only delicious, but can be made with ingredients you probably have on hand. 

I was very pleased to find that not only are there the "normal" food recipes, but also included are one for making items like deodorant, bleach alternative, laundry soap, baby wipes, and other very useful miscellaneous recipes. I have tried a few and they work!

There is a wonderful canning/preserving section, but I will say that one must be aware that many of the Amish use the "old" ways of water bath canning meats and other low acid foods that is not recommended by the USDA. Meats that are water bathed in this book should now be processed in a pressure canner. Please do your research before canning any of these recipes. There is a free guide online that the USDA has put out called The Complete Guide to Home Canning. Am I saying not to use the canning recipes? Absolutely not. But do look up how to safely can the items. 

Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends No Waste Cookbook is a wonderful cookbook that should be a part of any kitchen. It is filled with some of the most mouthwatering recipes that many people associate with the Amish community. You'll find yourself pulling it off your shelf again and again. Yes, the recipes are that delicious!

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. I was not required to post a positive review - but one of my honest opinion. 

Friday, September 23, 2022

Mornings with God by Emily Biggers - Review

Mornings with God
Prayers and Devotions for Women
Author: Emily Biggers
Publisher: Barbour Publishing Inc.
Release Date: February 1, 2018
ISBN: 9781683222545
Pages: 192


Good mornings are guaranteed when you start the day off in prayer.
Dozens of faith-building prayers are accompanied by inspiring devotional thoughts and scripture selections—just for you. Featuring just-right-sized readings to fit into your busy morning routine and scripture selections from the beloved King James Version of the Bible, you’ll start your days off right with Mornings with God!


Anyone that has followed my reviews knows that I'm a KJV only gal. Imagine my delight when I found that this devotional uses the King James Version!! A big YAY! on my part.

Mornings with God is a lovely devotional for women that has an easy format -  The title of the day's focus, a prayer, then a small devotion, and then to finish it all off, a Scripture verse. This is a devotional that you can spend just a few minutes on, or use it to focus on as a morning reading/study. It's a great starting point to continue with for studies. Have a notebook and pen handy and you can write down your thoughts about the devotion for the day, or maybe you were led to search deeper and you can record your findings.

I love the simple format. It's concise and has a ton of potential. Sometimes the short devotional is something to think on throughout the day, sometimes there's questions and sometimes there's a reading "assignment". There are many times I'd start with the devotion and end up reading and getting into a more in-depth study. 

Mornings with God is written specifically for women. It's a lovely devotional that will start your day of right. Keep a notebook or paper and a pen handy and take notes when you want to remember something or if you had a thought or idea. You'll be surprised to find how much you get from this little book of devotions!

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. I was not required to post a positive review - but one of my honest opinion. 

Star of Wonder by K. Lynn Smith - Review

Star of Wonder
A Sweet Victorian Holiday Novella
Author: K. Lyn Smith
Release Date: October 27, 2022
Kindle Format
Pages: 108


Will merry hearths and mistletoe thaw this pair before it’s too late for a second chance at love?

A soldier returns to claim the lady of his heart before she marries another in this frosty Victorian Christmas romance.
The captain
Andrew Grey has long wished to make Aster Corbyn his, but a lady who’s always been surrounded by brilliance, from her astronomer father to her artist mother, doesn’t deserve mediocrity. So Andrew sets out to achieve, if not brilliance, at least a proper shine, and he asks her to wait for his return. Aaand wait. Then he receives the unwelcome news that Aster has gone and betrothed herself to another.
And his lady
At six and twenty, Aster Corbyn thought she’d have married Andrew Grey long before now. But his letters have grown less frequent and she’s grown more impatient. After years of watching their star across an ocean of disappointment, she’s given up on him just as he’s apparently given up on their dreams.
When a St. Nicholas Eve snowstorm thwarts her travels, Aster finds herself stranded with her old friend, who is recently—and quite unexpectedly—returned from India. And to her irritation, Andrew is just as carefree and irreverent as she recalls.
Will merry hearths and mistletoe thaw this pair before it’s too late for a second chance at love?
Star of Wonder is a complete story featuring a new generation from the Something Wonderful series. Fans of the series will enjoy this peek into the families of Harry & Celeste (The Astronomer’s Obsession) and Julian & Charlie (The Physician’s Dilemma) while new readers will love this stand-alone tale featuring an independent heroine and flawed-but-lovable hero.

Award-nominated author K. Lyn Smith writes sweet historical romance with swoony heroes. Sometimes a pig or two. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her own swoony hero, and when she’s not reading or writing, you can find her cooking with family, traveling or watching period dramas. And space documentaries. Weird, right?


Romances are usually not my thing, but there are times I just want to curl up with a nice cozy story that takes place around the holidays. Now that the days are becoming cooler, I am getting in that mood again. 

Star of Wonder is a sweet novella that takes place in Victorian England with the likeable characters, Aster and Andrew. Childhood friends, they both grew up and chose different careers, Aster, a teacher and Andrew, a voluntary member of the military. 

The book starts out with letters and sets the stage for what is to come. A lost letter, a tragedy and a snowstorm all fit together to make a sweet holiday story that was both easy to read and clean but still had a few adult type innuendos that were humorous. 

Star of Wonder is a quick read that rivals any Hallmark Channel Christmas movie. That's a good thing - because it was exactly what I wanted!! If you are in the mood for a nice clean holiday romance, then this is the read for you!!

I received a copy of this book through BookSirens. I was not required to post a positive review - but one of my honest opinion. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

The Maze - Review

The Maze
John Corey #8
Author: Nelson DeMille
Publisher: Scribner
Release Date: October 11, 2022
ISBN: 9781501101768
Pages: 432


#1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille returns with a blistering thriller featuring his most popular series character, former NYPD homicide detective John Corey, called out of retirement to investigate a string of grisly murders much too close to home.

In his dazzling #1 bestseller, Plum Island, Nelson DeMille introduced readers to NYPD Homicide Detective John Corey, who we first meet sitting on the back porch of his uncle’s waterfront estate on Long Island, convalescing from wounds incurred in the line of duty. A visit from the local Chief of Police results in the legendary Detective Corey becoming involved in the investigation of the murders of a married couple who were scientists at the top-secret biological research facility on Plum Island.

Fast forward through six more bestselling John Corey novels and The Maze opens with Corey on the same porch, but now in forced retirement from his last job as a Federal Agent with the Diplomatic Surveillance Group. Corey is restless and looking for action, so when his former lover, Detective Beth Penrose, appears with a job offer, Corey has to once again make some decisions about his career—and about reuniting with Beth Penrose.

Inspired by, and based on the actual and still unsolved Gilgo Beach murders, The Maze takes the reader on a dangerous hunt for an apparent serial killer who has murdered nine—and maybe more—prostitutes and hidden their bodies in the thick undergrowth on a lonely stretch of beach.

As Corey digs deeper into this case, which has made national news, he comes to suspect that the failure of the local police to solve this sensational case may not be a result of their inexperience and incompetence—it may be something else. Something more sinister.

The Maze features John Corey’s politically incorrect humor, matched by his brilliant and unorthodox investigative skills along with the surprising and shocking plot twists that are the trademark of the #1 New York Times bestselling author, Nelson DeMille.


I had heard lots of good things about this series, so when it came up for review, I was excited to read it. I haven't read any of the series before, so I was jumping in with book #8 with the idea that I'd be missing some backstory, but I was not ready for what I jumped into.

The main character, John Corey, is a crass, foul-mouthed, over-the-top, sexist homicide detective. Even worse, is this book done in first person, so there's no way to even try to ignore his character since you're in his head at all times. Yes, if you haven't noticed, I don't like the character at all.

The mystery part of the book was not what I would call great either. What can I say besides this book wasn't for me in all aspects?! I'm not one for swearing, sexual content or just overall lewdness, so I cannot in any way recommend this book. After reading it, I felt like I had to wash my eyes and brain out - yes, it was that offensive to me. If it wasn't for the commitment I made to read and review, I would have dumped this book after chapter 1.  

Worst part, it has no place here on my blog, except as a warning that this book is full of everything I do not stand for. It's extremely offensive and even though I've been assured by other readers of the series that the earlier books are not like this, I won't be reading any of them to find out if that's true! 

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. I was not required to post a positive review - but one of my honest opinion. 

Hungry Is a Mighty Fine Sauce Cookbook - Review

Hungry is a Mighty Fine Sauce Cookbook
Author: Shellie Rushing Tomlinson
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
Release Date: October 1, 2016
ISBN: 9781634097826
Pages: 224


Hey y'all!  Come on inside! I want you to meet my family~

I’m Shellie. . .a Jesus loving, story stacking cook known as The Belle of All Things Southern. I'm having something of a family reunion, and I’m inviting all of you to join me--from close friends and second cousins, to my loyal radio listeners, beloved readers, and anyone else who stumbles across our get-together!  
My specialty is delicious food born from a legacy of love and southern heritage, broken down into simple steps anyone can follow. Whether it’s my Bodacious Black Bean Salad or Fresh Veggie Frittata, Spicy Sausage and Crawfish Spread or Fudge Nut Muffins, my recipes will satisfy your hungry group and keep them coming back for more. Hungry is a Mighty Fine Sauce is a collection of lip-smacking, rib-sticking dishes served with generous helpings of conversation because I truly believe the best meals come with a story. 

Featuring dozens of tried-and-true recipes complemented by entertaining stories, your hunger--and your craving for humor--are sure to be satisfied! Eye-catching photos, guaranteed to make your mouth water, are included throughout. . .sure to be a much-appreciated gift or centerpiece on your very own kitchen countertop.


Hungry is a Mighty Fine Sauce Cookbook is a truly readable cookbook. This cookbook is pure Southern and is a true treasure! It is full of stories that are absolutely entertaining and the way it is written, you can just hear the stories being told around the kitchen table while you are sipping a sweet tea. I have spent more time than I'll ever admit to looking for a recipe for dinner and then finding myself reading the cookbook. Oh, the stories!  I will never, ever hear "This Little Light of Mine..." without thinking of the little Boy Angel Cullen. OH MY!!! I laughed so hard I had tears rolling!

This book is not only fun, but it has some mighty good recipes in it as well. One of the things I really love is not only is there an intro to the recipe, but many of them have comments in the instructions that make it feel like you are cooking with a friend or relative. For example, there was a comment of how the original recipe called for 1/2 cup of sugar, but the author's uncle made the recipe and forgot to add it in. The sugar was not missed, so from then on, it has been omitted when making it. Great to know - and love the omission since we really don't need all that sugar, right?

Sprinkled throughout the book are BELLE TIPs that are helpful and very useful hints, sayings and quotes and drop dead gorgeous photography. The recipes themselves are amazing - well of course they are, they are from a Southern Belle! I love Southern cooking and this book nails everything I love about it. Some of my favorite recipes are: Cajun Grits, Aunt Peggy's Chicken and Dumpling Casserole, Tomato Onion TART WITH Cornmeal Crust From Kitchen Belleicious, Brown Butter Maple Berry Skillet Cobbler From Kitchen Belleicious, and Aunt Debbie's French Market Doughnuts - just to name a few. 

I had originally gotten an eBook of Hungry is a Mighty Fine Sauce Cookbook from NetGalley to review. When it comes to cookbooks, if I find I really like them I'll go out and buy the book. This is one that I loved - so I added the comb-bound book to my collection (mine is a little different than the photo as it has a white comb binding). This book is one that is used a lot and not only for the cooking, but for the stories. I've read more stories and even the recipes to my husband or daughter than I ever thought I would out of a book, let alone a cookbook.

What it all boils down to is, Hungry is a Mighty Fine Sauce Cookbook is a must for anyone who loves to cook Southern food, read cookbooks, loves great recipes or just wants a great all-around useful and entertaining book. I love it and highly, highly recommend it! 

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. I was not required to post a positive review - but one of my honest opinion. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

From the Farmhouse Kitchen - Review

From the Farmhouse Kitchen
Authors: Dawn Stolzfus and Carol Falb
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Release Date: March 6, 2018
ISBN: 9780736971669
Pages: 224


Fresh, Simple, and Wholesome Recipes
From Our Family to Yours

From the farmhouse kitchens of mother and daughter Carol Falb and Dawn Stoltzfus comes a collection of over 150 delicious recipes plus charming stories of everyday life on an active, working dairy farm.

Let Carol and Dawn show you how easy it is to share farm-to-table goodness with your loved ones, even if you don't have your own garden...or working farm. Cooking should be more than just prepping food. When you prepare healthy meals using high-quality whole foods, you extend the love of Christ to others and bless them with your servant's heart.

From fresh salads to hearty entrees to tantalizing desserts, let these treasured recipes become part of your family's mealtime traditions and find joy in the simplicity of cooking fresh.


From the Farmhouse Kitchen is written by a Mennonite woman and her daughter and is simply a fabulous cookbook. It contains family recipes that are categorized by the seasons. Throughout the book are stories about life on the farm and great intros to the recipes. I had to chuckle at the intro to the recipe for Asparagus, Peas, and Pasta. It tells about their asparagus patch and I swear, I could have written that myself! I have things in my garden that are the same way!!!

This cookbook is one that I enjoyed sitting down and reading. I loved the stories and they made me miss the farm life of my youth. The recipes are delicious. Every one that I tried came out wonderfully! Some of my favorites from the book are: Chocolate Whipped Cream Cake with Chocolate-Covered Strawberries, Cheesy Noodle Broccoli Soup, Ooey-Gooey Granola Bars, Stuffed Zucchini, Deep Dish Pizza, Sausage Balls and Baked Beef Brisket. That's only a sampling of those that I love!

There is another neat detail to the book, and that is the instructions that are included to make your own deodorant and hand soap. Little treasures like this make the recipe book not only a little more fun but a little more useful than just straight up cooking!

From the Farmhouse Kitchen is a cookbook that is not only filled with delicious recipes, but the stories and DIY's make it something special and something you will find yourself turning to again and again. I know it has become one of my favorite cookbooks that is used a lot. In fact, while writing this review, I got really hungry for the Deep Dish Pizza. Guess what's on the menu for tonight?!

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. I was not required to post a positive review - but one of my honest opinion. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Sewn with Joy - Review

Sewn with Joy
Pinecraft Pie Shop Book #3
Authors: Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Release Date: September 1, 2016
ISBN: 9780736961349
Pages: 352


Sometimes Dreams Come Together
One Piece at a Time

Joy Miller wanted nothing more than to be a wife and mother—especially now that her relationship with Matthew Slagel, the bishop's son, was deepening. But when a television crew rolls into Pinecraft, Florida, to film a new show about the Amish, tension threatens to rip apart their relationship...and the entire Amish community.

Joy is initially hired to sew costumes for the show, but she soon finds herself becoming increasingly involved in the production—a fact that upsets Matthew and his father. Yet the more Joy befriends the Englischer production crew, the more she senses God working in their lives through her. Can she turn her back on this opportunity to share God's love? Will she and Matthew somehow be able to stitch together their dreams for the future?

Experience love, heartbreak, and hope in this sweet story of two worlds uniting in unexpected ways.


Sewn with Joy is the third book of the Pinecraft Pie Shop Series. Although part of the series, the book can easily be read as a stand alone and the reader won't feel like they're missing out on anything.

The main character, Joy Miller is a very likeable person. She's sweet and humble and tries her best to do what is right. Her beau, Matthew Slagel, is a person that seems likeable enough, but he had a side to him I didn't care for - the human side that has a temper and cares too much for what others think and say.

Sewn with Joy deals with many issues and had a fantastic message behind it - not just a sappy Amish romance. I'm not sure if an Amish woman would have handled things the way Joy did, but I will say it made for a great story with lots of lessons about God, Christianity, forgiveness, love, and redemption. 

Some of the topics brought up were real but may be triggers for some, including suicide, abortion, and infidelity. The issues were handled well and the message was fantastic! This is a book that focuses a lot on God's forgiveness and coming to Christ. 

Sewn with Joy is a great book that will inspire you to possibly get back into the Word and to remember what sacrifices were made on the Cross. An excellent book with a message for all!

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. I was not required to post a positive review - but one of my honest opinion. 

One-Stitch Baby Knits - Review

One-Stitch Baby Knits
22 Easy Patterns For Adorable Garments and Accessories Using Garter Stitch
Author: Val Pierce
Publisher: Design Originals
Release Date: June 10, 2019
ISBN: 9781054801102
Pages: 144


Welcome your new baby to the world with lovingly knitted garments and accessories! This book is filled with easy-to-knit projects you’ll want to make for the baby in your life. Top knitwear designer and author Val Pierce presents 25 simple patterns for practical but adorable baby knits, from bootees to hats to blankets. Whether it’s a kimono-style jacket that you don’t have to pull over a newborn’s head or drawstring mittens that keep your little one from pulling them off, One-Stitch Baby Knits is full of thoughtful details that parents will love. Each and every one of these irresistible garments is made entirely with the garter stitch—the easiest stitch in knitting—making them accessible to beginners and quick and simple for more experienced knitters. Designed with small babies in mind, Val’s patterns can be readily customized to get exactly what you want in a garment that’s cheaper and sturdier than anything you’ll find in stores.


One-Stitch Baby Knits is one of those books that you will find yourself turning to again and again. It contains 22 patterns that are easy to construct and are based on just one simple stitch: the garter stitch. The garter stitch is one of those stitches that seemed to be overlooked because of it's simplicity, however there's no stitch that is as soft and squishy as well as absorbent (when it needs to be) as this stitch.

The author, Val Pierce, plays on this stitch to create some cute and beautiful items that would be welcomed by any new mother or mother-to-be. The items look more complicated to do than they really are, and the patterns are easy to read, follow and understand. The photography of this book is gorgeous and each photo calls out to you to make the item pictured.

Some of my favorite patterns are the Easy Burp Cloth, Bunny Earflap Hat, Sleepy Cow Hat and Drawstring Mittens (featured on the cover), T-Shaped Sweater and Simple Shoes, and the Geometric Blanket. I love how nicely they all work up and the best part is how simple they were to make! The Geometric Blanket is a little more fussy with the color changes and weaving all the ends in then piecing it all together, but the finished product looks so much more complicated than the blanket was! The Easy Burp Cloth is not the normal square cloth but one that has an interesting shape and also another that looks so much harder than it really is to make. Then there's the Cow and Bunny hats - absolutely adorable and not at all hard to construct.

One-Stitch Baby Knits is a book that needs to be added to anyone's library that knits for babies and new mothers as well as anyone who loves to make items to donate. This is a book that will be returned to again and again! 

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. I was not required to post a positive review - but one of my honest opinion. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

Whittling Workbook - Review

Whittling Workbook
Author: James Ray Miller
Publisher: Fox Chapel Publishing
Release Date: August 3, 2022
ISBN: 9781497102705
Pages: 112
Availability: Paperback and Kindle


The ultimate beginner-friendly project guide to whittling flat-plane carvings with a modern twist! Whittling Workbook is perfect for anyone seeking a range of easy wood carvings they can accomplish with just one knife – including roughing out. All you need is a block of wood and one knife to achieve any of the 14 wood carving projects featured within these pages! From a simple strawberry and a whimsical wand to a sailor, Martian, pig, and so much more, each project includes detailed step-by-step instructions to walk you through the entire process from start to finish. Also included are insightful overviews on basic carving cuts, painting and finishing techniques, safety notes, and how to join a carving community. Author James Miller is a recent college graduate and a protégé of decorated Scandinavian-style carver, Harley Refsal. James has been a regular contributor to Woodcarving Illustrated since 2010 and published his first book, Whittling Flat-Plane Animals, in 2020.


I bought a whittling/carving kit that had everything needed except for gloves and a strop. I opened the box, looked at the pattern and watched the video, but didn't begin as I felt somewhat intimidated by it. I just didn't feel comfortable as a beginner starting it. 

Then, quite by accident, I stumbled across the Whittling Workbook that was available for review. I jumped at the chance to request it and was thrilled at what I found. This book is a wealth of information! Perfect for the beginner, it explains in detail about tools, wood, how to cut the wood, how to finish the wood by painting, sealing, etc. Best of all, it also has some amazing step-by-step instructions for 14 projects including a hedgehog, grandma & grandpa, a sunflower and more!

Whittling Workbook is filled with very detailed photographs that truly help one on their journey to learning the art of whittling. I have been so inspired with what I learned that I picked up that kit and started to whittle! I'm not finished yet, but at least I gained the confidence to try thanks to Mr. Miller! I can't wait to finish my kit so that I can move on to the projects in this book.

If you are interested in trying a new hobby that is inexpensive and relaxing, I recommend you pick up a copy of the Whittling Workbook. It is the perfect resource for the true beginner and will give you all the information you need to start creating your own lovely pieces. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!! 

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. I was not required to post a positive review - but one of my honest opinion. 

Kitty Counts Her Blessings - Review

Kitty Counts Her Blessings
Author: Kat E. Erikson
Publisher: Kat E. Erikson
ISBN: 9780578999913
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, Kindle
Pages: 36


ONE blessing, TWO, THREE blessings, FOUR—Let me keep counting and go seek some more!

Children are experts at finding delight everywhere they look, even when life gets a little dark. Kitty Counts Her Blessings celebrates that gift—and shares a lesson in counting besides.
As the story begins, Kitty has no trouble counting her blessings, from the sun on her nose to the zing of the bees. But when rain threatens to spoil her fun, finding blessings isn't so easy. Then she remembers learning hide-and-seek, and suddenly joys are around every corner—and before long, so is her boy, ready to play and count along with her.
This cheerful, rhyming book invites children and the grownups who love them to seek the blessings in their own world.
How many blessings can your little one count today?


What at first appears to be a counting book, is so much more. Not only can you teach counting with it, but Kitty Counts Her Blessings, teaches a child to look for all the blessings in life. At the same time, it also reminds the adult who is reading this lovely book, to look for the blessings throughout the day even when it feels like there isn't any.

I have absolutely fell in love with this adorable book!! The whole theme makes you happy and want to smile, and the illustrations are just beautiful! What child would not want to snuggle with you while you read this sweet book to them?! And because this book is so adorable, you will love reading it to your child. 

A must for any parent who wants to not only teach their child how to count, but, also, to teach a child to look for the wonderful things in the world - their blessings!


Kat E. Erikson is a writer of children's fiction. Daydreaming and reading were her favorite pastimes as a child, and little has changed. She used to leave the last page of novels unread, so she didn't have to say goodbye to the friends in the story she'd grown to love.
Her love for animals started early too. While in second grade, she wrote her first "animal welfare" letter, asking a big company to be kinder to animals. And she's still at it, all these years later!
Kat published her first book, Pet-Friendly Francie, during the 100th Anniversary of American Humane's Be Kind To Animals Week and her second book, Dizzy Lizzie, for National Pet Month. Kat is also a graduate of the Resonance Science Academy's Unified Science Course, that highlights the divine connection we humans share with each other, our animal friends, Mother Nature, and the Universe at large.
Kat makes her home in Northern California with her rescue cats, Lizzie and Kimba, who follow her around like dogs and roll on their backs while she writes.

I received a copy of this book through BookSirens. I was not required to post a positive review - but one of my honest opinion. 

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Herbalism for Beginners by Indie Leaf Press

Herbalism for Beginners
A Practical Guide on How to Improve Your Health Using Inexpensive, Accessible Herbs
Indie Leaf Press
Publication Date: September 7, 2022
Pages: 350


How to use medicinal herbs to boost your health — let you and your loved ones stay healthy by being connected to nature

While conventional medicine is essential in treating many health problems, it’s reassuring to know that you can also find relief through natural alternatives such as medicinal herbs.

Are you interested in using medicinal plants, so you won’t have to depend on pharmaceuticals to remedy every minor ailment? 

Do you want to restore your vitality and improve your health in a natural way?

According to Healthline, at the beginning of the 21st century, 11% of the 252 most essential drugs were exclusively of flowering plant origin.

And the World Health Organization reports that 80% of the world's population is using herbs to address their basic healthcare needs

Aside from being inexpensive, herbs have also been used since the dawn of mankind.

Those herbs that add flavor to your food are actually potent in boosting your health and helping you combat different ailments… only if you know how to use them.

But how will you know which herbs help with your health concerns? You might be wondering how you can prepare, store, and consume them to maximize their health benefits.

You may even be thinking about how you can easily source them and choose only those of the highest quality.

Look no further because this book will show you the way. Inside, you will discover:

  • What herbs to use for some of the most common ailments — and how to use them for the best results and in a safe manner
  • Straight forward herbal formulations — with step-by-step instructions on how to prepare them for the best results
  • 46 herb profiles with suggested plant pairings, safety precautions, and the health issues they address
  • Why some herbal products on the market are ineffective — and how to choose high-quality herbs, as well as the best ways to handle and store them to maintain their medicinal properties
  • How to best extract the herbs' powerful constituents to make your formulations more potent
  • What factors to consider when evaluating the quality of a medicinal herb
  • How to safely source quality herbs if you don’t want to buy them from the health stores
  • 15 phytochemicals found in medicinal herbs that give them potency — and what specific health benefits they offer
  • What not to do when storing herbs if you want to prolong their freshness and flavor

And much more.

You don’t need any sophisticated equipment to create these remedies. You most likely have the necessary things at home already, such as a blender, a jar, and a wooden spoon – it can truly be this simple.

Nature already offers what you need to stay healthy – you just need to know how to harness its relieving power.


I was really impressed with Herbalism for Beginners. I wasn't expecting such a comprehensive book at such a good price. This book rivals the Herbalism course I took from a well known online school and I won't even mention how much I paid for that course! 

The book starts out with the basics and explains in depth all that one would need to know about starting using herbs, what tools are needed, definitions of all the terms one needs to know, information and photos of the herbs themselves, medical interactions, growing, preparing and even dosages! Seeing the dosages really pleased me, as that is something that is not normally found in most herbal books!

There are so many details in Herbalism for Beginners and even after all the courses I've taken and books on herbs and their usages that I've read in the past, I learned a lot from this book. I cannot sing praises for this book enough. It is well thought out, well researched, and truly made for the beginner to sit down and learn using it! 

I love that Herbalism for Beginners focuses on herbs that easily obtained. I've taken some past courses where I had to buy all the specialty herb that ended up costing a minute fortune and I still haven't used them all, except for those "special" preparations. This book focuses on things you may have on hand, grew in your garden or can buy at a reasonable price and be able to use them. Finally, someone who cares about the average herbalist!

I will say that one should always cross reference plants and herbs with other books by well-known and trusted herbalists. There is always a chance for an error as well as a possibility of not including everything you might need to know about a specific herb or plant. That's just a safety precaution that should be followed when learning about any new herb. I sit with many books around when studying a new herb that I will be using. There are times when there could be side effects with prescribed medications or medical conditions, so please take the time to know this before using something new. 

Herbalism for Beginners comes highly recommended and will definitely be useful to both the beginner as well as the seasoned herbalist. It really is worth its weight in gold!!

I received a copy of this book through BookSirens. I was not required to post a positive review - but one of my honest opinion.