Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve Reflections

As this year winds down to a close, I would be completely remiss if I didn't stop and reflect on this past year. It's definitely been a whirlwind and I can't believe it's almost over. Life is marching on and I don't want to miss another minute of it.

I had so hoped this last year would have been a great year, but as a whole, it was less than expected. I think it is because I put so much of myself out there that once again I stretched myself too thin and was not able to complete some of the projects I wanted to do for myself.

As my husband said the other day, "I don't make the list." What a hard slap in the face that was! I don't make the list. Why is that? Because I don't put myself first. I spend so much of my time doing things for everyone else, life is just passing me by. This is a huge lesson to learn and one that I intend to fix.

My day job has been interesting, rewarding, and at times, all consuming. The more I learn and get comfortable with my duties, the more efficient I become. So with the new year just around the corner, I intend to stop and smell the roses.

My wish for all of you, is to participate in life. Enjoy everything it has to give to you. Celebrate all there is and love with all your heart.

Wishing you a fabulous 2014!


 



Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todayswritingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Eve Meltdown

Yes, I am not proud to admit this; but I did have the unthinkable, a meltdown, on Christmas Eve no less. I would just like to say that it is not totally my fault. Here's my story.

I got home early from work (Yay! A Rare Phenomena!) After a two quick stops; one for birdseed and the other for stocking stuffers and some nosh for the evening,  I was home by 3:00pm. This is unheard of for me, especially lately. The hubs was surprised to see me. In fact he said, "What are you doing home so soon!" It was almost like he didn't want me there for some reason. 

The night progressively got worse after that. 

Apparently he didn't feel well and I was automatically suppose to know that. Unfortunately, I didn't since he was basically uncommunicative. Apparently, he was almost peeved at me because I didn't make his Christmas cookies when he wanted them. Once again, he didn't say anything and just sat there looking annoyed.

Sorry, but I am exhausted. I've been going nonstop for the last three months without a break. Taking six weeks off from work was not a vacation. I might not have been working at my job, but I was working 24 hours a day for six weeks straight as a caregiver. I don't care what anyone says, that is work; probably the hardest work I have ever had to do. (For all you caregivers out there...you rock! I don't know how you do it day in and day out. Thank you for all that you do...every day!)

Anyway, by this time, I was getting very upset so I badgered him until he finally told me what was wrong (besides the fact that he was completely congested). He said that he was getting really tired of being "last on my list." I completely lost it! Yes, I lost it!

How was I supposed to respond to that?!?!? Thanks for making me feel like a big loser! It's not like I am doing anything extra, I've just been working an extreme amount of OT and have had no time for anything personal. He's off for three weeks and I am suppose to do everything? Seriously, I've barely had time to take a shower and go to the bathroom. I finally colored my hair after almost three months (BTW...I looked like hell with grey hair...uggh!) 

I told him all this and he said that he knows and went on to say that "You're not even on your list." Needless to say, I was completely hysterical by this time. While I was crying, I told him I hadn't even done half of the stuff I normally do this time of year. I was at a minimum three month behind on all my holiday stuff. At the rate I was going it would be St. Patrick's Day before the Christmas cookies would be finished. 

Not to mention the fact that my writing was virtually non existent, my craft projects were stacking up to the ceiling and the general state of the house was an embarrassment. I think I've made enough sacrifices here. I need time for myself but I don't think it's going to get any better for the next three months. I was just going to have to find a way to put him at the top of my list, even if it meant that I would have even less hours to sleep.

With my Christmas Eve Meltdown and his not feeling good and general crabbiness, we ended the night eating nothing and going to bed. Needless to say, I got up early this morning, did the dishes and made his Christmas cookies and a pot of coffee. I think I got about five hours of sleep...maybe.

As this holiest of nights comes to a close, I hope you all had the merriest of Christmases! I've just finished baking some goodies for the neighbors and cleaned up the kitchen again for about the fifth time today. Don't worry! I made 4 dozen cookies for the hubs so he should be good for at least tomorrow. As for me, I'm going back to work in the morning, resigned to the fact that I am going to live in a perpetual state of exhaustion for the next three months. 

In the meantime, I am going to try to fit "me" somewhere on the list whenever I can.

Wishing you moments to make time for yourself,
 

Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todayswritingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Preparations

I've been slowly putting out my decorations for my favorite holiday of the year. It seems like it gets harder and harder for me as this special time comes 'round. Not enough time or ambition or simply that I just don't care. I'm about three weeks behind right now.

This year, though, I was actually able to do more than I had intended. I put up several trees. A 6' one in our bedroom, my Charlie Brown tree, a 3' tree downstairs and my advent tree. Pretty impressive if I do say so myself! The tree in our bedroom has all my special ornaments, including my Barbie and Santa collections. There are several lighthouses, snowmen, old fashioned Beach Cars and even Hogwarts Castle! This is the first time in years that I have been able to put up so many trees and I am exhausted because it is a lot of work

I also found all of my Snowglobes. I can't believe I have over 12 of them! I thought I only had a few. I guess I forgot about a couple of them...more like 10!

I still have a bunch of things I want to do, but if I don't get them done then...oh well. I can only do so much and there are only so many hours in a day.
 
Today I prepared the cookie dough to bake some cookies. Didn't actually start the cookies, but I did get the dough mixed and its rolled into tubes and ready to be baked.That starts tomorrow after work. 

In the meantime...I am exhausted from all the Christmas preparations. I do a little bit every day. It's just easier that way.  At least I got my cards done and mailed and my packages shipped. Edward's packages are wrapped. I can't ask for anything better than that. At least today. Right now though, I am super tired and need to call it a night.

Wishing you moments to enjoy your Christmas preparations!
 

Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft, at todayswritingwoman@hotmail.com.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Replace old Christmas Decorations with new ones from Sears and Kmart

For those of you who need to replace those old or broken lights or other Christmas decorations, now is the time to take advantage of online shopping conveniences, especially those that are being offered by Sears and Kmart. 

I realized that after over a decade of collecting various Christmas lights and other decor, that some of my stuff was either broken or simply outdated. I want some new lights and other things that fit my tastes better. So out with the old and in with the new. It was very cathartic, purging all old items. Now I can get some a few of those great LED lights that use less energy (always a plus), and I can just sit in front of my computer and order them online at Sears or Kmart.

Best of all, both Sears and Kmart offer $10 back in points when you spend $59 and free in store pickup, letting you earn more points while shopping thousands of gifts online in the comfort of your own home before picking up your items in store in 5 minutes guaranteed (or whenever you're ready). 

No fuss, no muss and I can pick up my order without worrying if the items I need are going to be available. Totally worth it!

Learn more at Sears: http://bit.ly/HL896 and Kmart: http://kmrt.us/1bmIoR.

Happy Holidays!
 

 







"Presented by Mami Innovative Media, this is a sponsored post on behalf of Sears and Kmart. 
 All opinions expressed here are my own.” 

Christmas Purge

Well, I finally did it. I finally went through the 20+ boxes of Christmas decorations and ornaments and did the big purge. It was very cathartic. Three hours and two lungs full of dust later, we finally managed to whittle the pile down to less than half the boxes we started out with. The husband is happy because we have more room in the garage. I am happy because I can finally move some of the stuff I've been storing in the house out to the garage. 

Best of all, I can actually have my own tree decorated with all my special ornaments that I have been collecting for years. All my Hallmark Special Edition Series ornaments...sigh...I've been waiting for years to do this!

I don't feel bad about the purge, my tastes have changed and I only kept the stuff that really meant something to me. Everything else went to Goodwill as a donation so someone else can enjoy it for awhile. Also, I get to start collecting new stuff that is more in line with my current taste. I think I need to go shopping...online of course!

Wishing you moments to purge the old stuff!
 

Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todayswritingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hate Crowds? Shop Sears & Kmart Online and use their In Store Pickup Program

Did anyone go shopping today? It was absolutely crazy out there! The stores were insanely crowded with people everywhere...in the parking lot, in the aisles, and at the checkouts. I love shopping...but not at the store anymore. 

I love online shopping much better!

This Christmas, do yourself a favor and shop online at Sears and Kmart.


Both Sears and Kmart offer $10 back in points when you spend $59and free in store pickup, letting you earn more points while shopping thousands of gifts online in the comfort of your own home before picking up your items in store in 5 minutes guaranteed (or whenever you're ready). 

Shop online whenever you want and pick it up whenever you want. And best of all, you can send someone else to pick up your order if you're not able to get it yourself! 

Learn more at Sears: http://bit.ly/HL896 and Kmart: http://kmrt.us/1bmIoR.



Happy Holidays!
 





"Presented by Mami Innovative Media, this is a sponsored post on behalf of Sears and Kmart. 
 All opinions expressed here are my own.” 



The Repo Man comes to Walmart this Christmas Season

Most of my Christmas shopping was done online this year. It was far easier and saved me hours of headache and sour feet. Unfortunately, there are moments when I really have to go to the store...like today.

I've been shopping a Walmart for years. Now I know many of you might have issues with this place, but I don't. I save thousands of dollars by purchasing items here that are available at other stores. It's close to my home and it works for me.

When the economy was in the toilet, I saw a real change in the clientele shopping at Walmart. People with big fancy SUVs, cars and trucks started shopping here right along with the rest of us. All those years these people turned up their noses to this place and now they're shopping at the same store they gave the big thumb to...I knew someday it would come around.

Today was that day.

The hubs and I went to Walmart to pick up a few things. Just a quick in and out...ummm, no. In any case, we split up and each got what we were after. While I was in line, my husband came to find me as he had already checked out and put his stuff in the car. He told me that he just saw someone's really nice, expensive BMW getting repo'd in the parking lot.

Oh well...even the wealthy have bad days. I guess that's why they were shopping at Walmart. They couldn't afford their expensive car payments. I hope they didn't mind waving goodbye to that fancy car 'cause it looks like the Repo Man is going to have a Very Merry Christmas this year!



Wishing you opportunities to savor the moments!
 


Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todayswritingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

2013 Holiday Timesavers: Shop Kmart & Sears Online and Use FREE In Store Pickup

The Christmas holidays are a stressful time of year. And if you're like me, a busy woman with a lot of responsibilities, you probably don't have much time to shop at the mall or get in the car and traipse from store to store to find those holiday gifts. I am a great multi-tasker and always looking for ways to save time. One of the best ways I have found to do this is through online shopping. I can sit in front of my computer, anytime day or night, and shop to my heart's content. How is this a time saver? I can shop thousands of items without having to go up and down aisles or travel from store to store without having to deal with traffic during this hectic time of year.


There are so many great advantages to online shopping. Both Sears and Kmart offer $10 back in points when you spend $59 and free in store pickup, letting you earn more points while shopping thousands of gifts online in the comfort of your own home before picking up your items in store in 5 minutes guaranteed (or whenever you're ready).



Nothing could be more easy than this. No dealing with the crowds and no waiting in long checkout lines. And I can pick up my items from either store when I have to go out and get more butter or red and green sprinkles for my Christmas Cookies. I save time by combining stops while doing errands, especially since I know exactly what I am picking up! Ease your stress this holiday season and do your shopping at Sears or Kmart and take advantage of the free in store pickup.

Learn more at Sears: http://bit.ly/HL896 and Kmart: http://kmrt.us/1bmIoR.


Looking forward to sharing more great ideas this holiday season!
 


"Presented by Mami Innovative Media, this is a sponsored post on behalf of Sears and Kmart.  All opinions expressed here are my own.” 





Saturday, November 30, 2013

Finding Me

I finally feel like I am coming back. It has been a long road. I would do anything for my family, to the point of putting my own health at risk. But let's face it, when push comes to shove, family is family and that is what we do.

Now that I am back, I've spent the last three weeks and two days trying to find me again. You see, I put her aside for awhile and upon my return, I think she got lost somewhere between here and my parents home. With absolutely no ambition to do much of anything outside of work, I even have no desire to hang out with anybody except my husband. I'm not even going to the annual work holiday party this year. I just can't bring myself to go. 

Today is the last day of November, and I'm sitting here now, watching a new holiday movie called, The Christmas Clause. The main character in this movie reminds me so much of myself. Busy career woman who volunteers for everything and spends so much of her life letting things pass her by because she is so darn busy. That used to be me, until I had the largest wakeup call in the world. Since I've been home, I simply don't have the energy or even care about much of anything.



I will say that I managed to write four articles for my gig at Examiner.com. It was at the last possible minute before the deadline. They were wondering if I dropped of the face of the planet, even saying they might drop me if I didn't write something soon. I got it done...can't believe I actually remember how to use the uploading program! Suffice it to say,I think my writing mojo is starting to return. That's a good start to finding me again.


I feel like I've missed the holidays...didn't get to participate in Halloween for obvious reasons. Thanksgiving was really low-key...thank goodness for a husband who can cook. Tomorrow is December 1st and I can finally put up my advent calendar. I've been looking forward to that all year. Tomorrow I hope to wrap the presents I already have and take inventory of what else I need. I'm not interested in making this the "best Christmas ever", just wanting to do a little less...for real this time. 

I do want to put up my trees, I have lots of ornaments that have not been out of their boxes in years. This is definitely something I'm planning on doing later this coming week. The hubs is going to handle the lights. Other than that...I'm not sure what else I want to do. I've already started the Christmas cards...just need to finish the holiday letter which is going to be pretty basic. I'll probably bake a few things, but not much more than that.Less is definitely more this year. No Secret Santa, no excess...just me, my guy and some alone time...enjoying my movies, and relaxing in the joys of the season.

I am thinking about 2014. I've always made plans, but somehow they seem to fall apart. I know I always do too much, but I've lost so much of myself these last several months, I don't know what to do. I've come up with an idea though...


2014 is going to be the Year of Finding Me.


Wishing you moments to find out who you are,
 

Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todayswritingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

When Life Throws You Lemons...

...make lemonade. Unfortunately my mouth is full of canker sores and I'm tired of drinking it! I'm sure you've all felt this way a time or two so I don't feel very much alone in this regard.

However, I must note that we're officially knee deep in the "ber" months, my month long celebration of me didn't turn out the way I had planned, and my plans for the fourth quarter are officially in the toilet. So I've officially decided to throw in the towel and put my feet up for the rest of year.

On a brighter note, I was able to spend some quality time with my family, although it wasn't under the best of circumstances, it was still great to be with the fam...even if it was just for a little while.

Unfortunately things are still heading south. The car is in the shop and I cracked a tooth. I am facing two big expenses and have to deal with more pain. Is the universe trying to sabotage me? I have no idea, but I am beginning to wonder if hibernating for the winter might be a good idea.

Good news though! I didn't get into an accident on the drive home tonight in the pouring rain. Perhaps the universe is finally taking a little pity on me...one can only hope.

Wishing you moments to make your own lemonade.



Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todayswritingkingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

Don't Miss the Opportunity to Spend Time with the Ones You Love

Hello Friends and Followers of Today's Writing Woman,

I just wanted to let you know that I am still here. I know that I have been gone for several months, but I have a very good excuse for being away so long. You see, I was called unexpectedly on the morning of September 23rd by sister-in-law who informed me that my dad was in the hospital and that I needed to come home.

I dropped everything I was doing, walked away from my job, threw some clothes in a bag, and made the incredibly long journey home to be there for my family during an incredibly painful time. My father, mother and brother needed me. Never in my wildest dream did I expect for this to happen, but it did and I was so glad that I was there.

The bottom line that family is family and when one of us needs help, we pull together as a family and provides the support that we need. I was glad that I was able to take the time to be there for my mine and grateful to be able to have the opportunity to take a Leave of Absence from my work. Spending six weeks with my family was probably the greatest gift I could give them since I have not been able to see them in recent years.

So if you get an opportunity to be with your loved ones this year, then I highly recommend that you do so.You just never know when you might not have the opportunity again.


Wishing you moments to be with your loved ones.
  

Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todayswritingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review.I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Blocked

I think I am experiencing what writer's typically refer to as being "blocked." It's like there is a big concrete wall up around my head squeezing it so tight that my thoughts cannot be translated into words and get onto the paper. Or in this case, out through my fingers onto the keyboard and up onto the monitor.

It's probably funny that I'm even saying this because I am actually doing right now what I said I couldn't do; letting words fall out of my mind and trickle onto this page. But in my mind, I'm not really writing. I'm just drilling a whole through the wall in the hopes that something substantive comes out and will sound good.

I've been blocked before, but never to this extent. It's almost like I don't care. And that is what scare's me the most. I have a multitude of writing projects to get done, but my psyche has been wounded somehow and I've lost the will to really dive in and swim in the liberation and creativity that writing gives me.

I've been told I should take a break, reduce the number of projects, and blah, blah, blah. While I have, it still has not helped to reinvigorate me enough to bust down the wall and get my a$$ in gear. I think the worst thing for me is the fact that I almost don't care, and I've never not cared. It's not in my nature "to not care." Either there is something in my subconscious that is hindering me from getting back to business, or God is trying to tell me something. Perhaps it's both. I don't know.

I can say that life events have not helped me at all. About all they've done is upset me to no end and made me seek out mind numbing video games. I feel exactly like I did several years ago when my life imploded. Seriously! I do not want to go back there. I wasted so much time back then, and I've worked so hard to get beyond that. Now I am right back where I was and knocking on the door that I had thought I slammed shut and thrown away the key.

So where does this leave me now?

There's a little voice inside me that just said, "Turn around and walk away." I just got the shivers.

I know I need to write a few articles, a dozen or so book reviews and work on a couple of secret projects, but maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But soon. I just think I need to get rid of my headache and a buy a sledge hammer to bust open that wall.


Wishing you moments to know when to walk away.
 

Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todayswritingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

TWW's Book Review: Dancing in the Moonlight by RaeAnne Thayne


RaeAnne Thayne has a special knack of making a story come alive and she does it again in Dancing In The Moonlight. We're back with the Daltons, this time with Jake, or shall I say Dr. Jake Dalton. The Daltons have been neighbors with the Cruz family for years. Jake and Maggie grew up and have been through so much together.

However, things are not okay with Maggie. She's been hurt and is somewhat bitter when she gets home. After everything who will want her now. What she doesn't realize is that Jake has always been there for her. She just doesn't realize it yet. All she remembers is that it's the Daltons that destroyed her family and took away her someone really important to her.

Now home, things are turned upside down. Between her mama and Jake, perhaps she'll be able to work through her issues.

Dancing in The Moonlight by RaeAnne Thayne deals with a number of highly sensitive issues including the loss of a loved one,  in a very caring way so as to not make light of the situation but to face it head on. What I like about Ms. Thayne's books is that they are believable. No drivel or trite story lines here. The characters are actually people who I would want to get to know.

I think I will be continue to read about the Daltons and can't wait to see what's going to happen next. Rating:

Wishing you moments of great reading!


Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todayswritingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

TWW's Book Review: The Single Daddy Club-Reece by Donna Fasano


I picked up this book not only because it looked interesting but also because I've another book by Donna Fasano and liked it. While this is part of a series of books, The Single Daddy Club: Reece is the only one I've read.

An easy read with a little mystery thrown in to make it interesting. I don't think I've ever read a book that centered around private investigation. In any case, this should be fun to discover why someone wants to stop Maggie from doing her job. 

With the help of her insurance agent, Reece, wait a minute?!!! With the help of her insurance agent? Yes, I actually wrote that! Out of some sense of duty, after he sees that her place has been ransacked, he provides a place of safety while she figures it out.

I found certain parts of the story to be a real stretch for me. I'm not sure my personal insurance agent would go so far as to offer up his home if I was in danger. More than likely he would find me a shelter or a hotel to stay in and then leave me to my own devices! In this day and age, there is too many instances of bad things happening to good people, so to let a stranger into one's home is not a good idea.

While the mystery portion of the book brought a little bit of excitement to the mix, the reader should really consider this book to be a real fantasy as I don't think it would ever happen in real life. Although the storyline might make for a television movie of the week...hmmm...I wonder if Ms. Fasano has ever thought of that! Rating:

 
Wishing you moments of great reading!


Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todayswritingkingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

TWW's Book Review: A Lost Witch (A Modern Witch Series: Book 7) by Debora Geary


I stumbled across Debora Geary some time ago because I was asked to review a paranormal genre book of my choice for another website. I took a chance on her because I wanted the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone. I have never been disappointed. In the final book of the Modern Witch Series, we are introduced to Hannah Kendrick, a lost witch who has  been institutionalized because she can't meet new people without collapsing in fear. 

The fetching spell, monitored by Nell, picks up on a signal of help Hannah has sent out over the internet, and nothing will be the same for Hannah ever again. She's been fighting to save her sanity for a very long time and perhaps this is her last chance. With the help of Nell and all of the family, Hannah will be able to beat the demons she has faced all of her life.

Like in previous Modern Witch stories, Ms. Geary is brilliant in finding the lost soul in need of help from the Witch Community held within the pages of these books. Each has pulled something out of life and told a tale in a way that is understandable and relatable, and well...modern. While many would not want to read about these things, the stories are not morbid, sad or even scary. They are exciting, invigorating and enlightening.

Since A Lost Witch is the final book in the series, do yourself a favor and take the time to reread them all because they all play off of each other. They are all well worth the read! Rating:


Wishing you moments of great reading!


Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todayswritingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Birthday Greetings!

Today is my birthday...I wait for this day all year. You might think I am bit crazy to want this day to happen, but I really do! I enjoy having this day all for me because I spend so much time doing things for others. But today...today is the day I do things for me...even though some might think that every day is just for me!

The last several years have been an adventure and while I want to enjoy every moment, these special days of mine are so treasured. 

So to my readers I just want to say thank you! Thank you for your kind birthday greets, your support, and your friendship and for allowing me to be a part of your day! I hope to bring you more fun and exciting things soon. But in the meantime, go out there and have yourself a great rest of your weekend. And remember, every day that you wake up is a brand new beginning! 


Wishing you moments to enjoy time for yourself.
 

Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todaysworkingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

Monday, August 19, 2013

TWW's Book Review: Bewitched, Bothered and Biscotti: A Magical Bakery Mystery by Bailey Cates


Since I enjoyed the first Magical Bakery Mystery, I decided to read the next one to see if I would still enjoy the characters and setting. I love coming "home" to books that have a continuation of characters, locations and even themes. I find it comforting. So much so that I just want to sink in and stay there awhile.

Katie is back with another mystery to solve and so are all the characters from Bailey Cates' first novel. This time we are given the opportunity to really get to know more about the guys in the book and why one of them shares a special kinship with Katie.

Now it's not like Katie has to solve anything, but if she didn't there would be no book. Move of her heritage is discovered and just a bit more of her parents is revealed.

So while Katie is learning more about who she is and how to deal with it, she has to figure out what's going on and pretty fast before things get out of hand.She will have help from her two male friends as well as her newly adopted coven and of course her Aunt Lucy and Uncle Ben. And let's not forget about Mungo! I wish I had a dog like him!

The author wasted no time in getting right to it and somethings I like that while others I do not. In terms of a mystery though, you need to get there pretty quickly, otherwise you'll lose the audience. Let's remember one thing though, not every book will be for every person. So while there are some readers out there that won't like this, there will be others that will. These types of mysteries are meant to be fun, cheeky and a stress reliever from life. Rating:



Wishing you moments of great reading!
 

Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todaysworkingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

TWW's Book Review: Brownies and Broomsticks: A Magical Bakery Mystery by Bailey Cates



If you're looking for something light and easy to read then you've found the right book with Brownies and Broomsticks: A Magical Bakery Mystery by Bailey Cates. I wasn't much for stretching outside of my comfort zone, but I found that these fun paranormal stories are just the ticket. Mix in a little mystery and I will keep turning the page.

Katie moves South to help her aunt and uncle with their bakery. Fresh from a broken engagement, this is her chance to start over. As a baker, this is the perfect opportunity for her. While her parents, well, let's rephrase that...while her mom isn't to keen on having her move there, Aunt Lucy and Uncle Ben are thrilled to have her at The Honeybee Bakery.

Gearing up for a the grand opening, they host the Downtown Business Association meeting lead by a most unpleasant woman. Thus starts the beginning of the mystery that Katie needs to solve. Without divulging any secrets, let's just say there are a host of characters that are going to make this really fun including:
  • two guys vying for her attention;
  • a cat who has a bakery named after it; 
  • a witch coven thinly disguised as a book club; and
  • a dog who doesn't like pet food and would rather eat from the table.
I do agree with other reviewers regarding the overuse of the words "Katie-Girl." By the end of the book, I was ready to kick the guy to the curb, regardless of how good looking he is. Perhaps if the author would have downplayed that a little, he would have come off a little less annoying. Nevertheless, it did not deter me from finishing the book and solving the mystery. While the antagonism between the two male suiters may seem a bit much, without it the story would probably have fallen a little flat in that department. 

I am intrigued by the fact that this is going to be a series of books with the same characters. I haven't had much luck with those but look forward to reading more. The ladies of the witch coven, along with Aunt Lucy are quite unique and with their own talents make for a more interesting read.
Of course the baked goods is what really had me interested and of course, sharing the recipes at the end of the book. I love that! Nice touch by Bailey Cates and I hope that she continues to do that for each of her future books. Rating:



Wishing you moments of great reading!


Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todaysworkingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

TWW's Book Review: Tea with Emma (The Teacup Novellas, book 1) by Diane Moody


Since I have never read Jane Austen, I have no preconceived notions about a story that references this book. However, the premise is intriguing. Inspired by teacups, the book is written rather cleverly. I won't give it away, but will say that it is an integral part of the story.

Two friends travel to England to do a tour of Jane Austen, and return home to Texas where one of them, Maddie decides she wants to open an English Tea Room. But first she has to get  past the cranky Englishman who they cross paths with on the way home and Maddie's grandmother.

The snarky attitude of Maddie's friend during the airport scene was hilarious, and truthfully, the Englishman got what he deserved. Read it...you'll love it.

Although the character of Maddie seems somewhat oblivious of her non-ability to be a "matchmaker", her sincerity is definitely there. She means well, but seriously can't help herself. I almost wanted to reach into the book and shake her. But since I couldn't, I just had to read on and you will too. Rating:


Wishing you moments of great reading!


Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todaysworkingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Joyful Time , Sunshine and Personal Projects

My birth month is passing by quickly. It's hard to believe that today is already the 13th of August. Only 12 more days until the big day. Actually, I should preface that with "only 9 more days until my other big day before the big day." You're probably wondering why the month of August is so important to me. It's because I not only was born this month, but I also got married this month; three days before my birthday actually. So, I have a double reason to enjoy this time of year!

I've been working especially hard at my day job. So busy these days and getting some overtime. It's nice because like many of you I could you the extra cash. My dad always said to "make hay while the sun is shining." Right now, the sun is shining very brightly, so I will do what I need to do and sock it away for a rainy day.

The only bad part is that I can't work on my own personal projects. Somehow, I'll just have to squeeze them in a little here and a little there. As usual, I am behind in that area, but it's all good. Can't be too mad at myself, because the overtime is allowing me to make a lot of hay! But the sun is really heating things up around here. Had to turn on my "EC" tonight just to cool things down


Wishing you moments to make some hay!
 

 

Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todaysworkingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

TWW's Book Review: Willowleaf Lane by RaeAnne Thayne

Charlotte's life is a lot different now than it was back then. No longer overweight and having to hide behind it, she's now healthier and a bit more content. Not a small feat since she is the owner of Sugar Rush, the local confectionery. However, on a quiet July afternoon, her life changes when Smokin' Hot Spencer Gregory walks through her front door. This guy is from her past and probably someone she doesn't want to remember because he stomped all over her heart back then. 

Within the pages of Willowleaf Lane by RaeAnne Thayne, I found myself relating to the Charlotte in more ways than one. Life as an overweight teen was painful enough but not having many friends and being an outsider made it even more painful. While I never had the opportunity to tutor the jock, I did have moments to daydream about the hunks in school and wondering what it would be like to be with them. Despite knowing that my heart would never be torn to pieces like Charlotte's was, I could definitely understand. 

I was happy to see differences in memory from each of the characters perspective. Would it be considered stereotypical? Perhaps, but the truth is that this is real and many readers will feel a kinship towards this theme. I, myself, often wondered if every girl went through moments like these or if it was just those of us were were not one of the "beautiful people." Seeing it in print has lead me to believe that I was not alone in this thought. I actually found myself tearing up a time or two when I was reading.

Willowleaf Lane combines the elements of sports, families, eating disorders and hometown heroes and although it would seem to be an insurmountable task to do so, Ms. Thayne seems to have pulled it off. The struggles for Peyton and trying to fit it, the closure to Spencer's troubles and the realism set forth in the return of a wounded war hero were very much on par with actual life. The "intimate" moments, however, didn't do it for me in this one. In fact, if the author had left out that part altogether I would not have minded in the least. For me, getting to know the characters and seeing them rekindle their friendship, and then perhaps providing a hint of romance at the end would have been enough.

I will admit that there are moments that could have been better developed to make the scenes more complete. I would have liked to seen something to bring more closure to such details as Spencer Gregory's daughter Peyton, the huge project he was undertaking, even a hint as to where the romance was headed for Charlotte and Spencer. Ultimately, when I got to the last page of the final chapter of the book, I turned it expecting there to be a epilogue...and I said, "Damn!" I found nothing as the book abruptly ended. I was a little bummed about it actually, and left to wonder if there will be any information about them to come in a future book.

While some readers may feel that this book is not the strongest of the series in terms of the romance, in Willowleaf Lane, RaeAnne Thayne does "hit the nail on the head" for several things:
  • Bringing out into the open the struggles that teenagers face during those difficult years and get them help if necessary;
  • Reminding us that sport figures are human, should be treated as such and not put up on a pedestal to be worshiped,
  • War veterans, whether wounded or not, need to be honored for who they are, given the opportunity to reacquaint themselves to civilian life, and adjust to their circumstances whatever those may be; and
  • Not every book has to be about sex. 
Wishing you moments of great reading!


Like anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at todaysworkingwoman@hotmail.com. I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!