Monday, June 29, 2015

Reading List for the Beach Update

Every time I am on the Outer Banks, retiring down here comes to mind. Not sure if it is in God's plan, but hopefully He will provide some direction in that regard.

Didn't get as much reading done on the drive down this year because I was really tired and needed sleep. I've been able to catch up since then, though, so I've read the following:
  • Dead Reckoning by Caitlin Rother (see my review here)
  • The Minimum Wage Millionaire by Bill Edgar
Moving on now to Out of Control: Why Disciplining Your Child Won't Work...And What Will by Shefali Tsabary, PhD.

Hope you are having a great week.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Reading List for the Beach

Our annual trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina has started. I like to use this time to catch up on my reading. The past couple of years I haven't read much on vacation because we had family here. This year, it is just the four of us and a friend, so hopefully I'll get more done.

My list for the beach is to finish Dead Reckoning by Caitlin Rother and read the following:
  • Love You Husband Love Yourself by Jennifer Flanders
  • Out of Control: Why Disciplining Your Child Won't Work...And What Will by Shefali Tsabary, PhD
  • '89 Walls by Katie Pierson
  • My Spouse Wants More Sex Than Me by Ruxandra LeMay, Psy.D.
  • Guilt Free Motherhood by Amber Kahn
  • Candy's Chocolate Kingdom by Nirit Littany
  • Ben's School Daze by Robyn Sims and Joanne Larcom 

What are you reading this summer?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mailbox Monday & Giveaway - June 22

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Wow! Hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day of school. Where did the year go? As I mentioned last week, I am glad it's over. I think we all need a vacation.

On a positive note, I've started reading a bit more and my last editing project for a client is done, so hopefully I will get some writing done soon.

This is a book I'll be reading for a book tour in August.

Angels, Angels, Everywhere is a non-denominational, multiracial book written in delightful rhythm and rhyme and accompanied by charming illustrations. The themes of constant support and unconditional love are designed to help children deal with everyday experiences in life.

By developing children’s faith in knowing that they are not alone and building their trust that they are consistently watched over, cared for, and loved, children will become empowered to deal with life’s challenges. The book also lets children know that angels are there in good times as well, sharing in their joy.

I also recently picked up the second book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, on audio.

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the summer after Harry’s first year at Hogwarts has been his worst summer ever… the Dursleys more distant and horrible than ever before. But just as he’s packing his bags to return to school, a creature named Dobby the house-elf announces that if Harry goes back to Hogwarts, disaster will strike. And it turns out, Dobby is right. Harry and Ron miss the Hogwarts Express, so they fly to school in a blue Ford Anglia, crash landing in the notorious Whomping Willow. Soon other worries accumulate: the outrageously stuck-up new professor Gilderoy Lockhart; a ghost named Moaning Myrtle, who haunts the girls' bathroom; the strange behavior of Ron's little sister, Ginny Weasley; rumors about the "Chamber of Secrets," a cavern buried deep below Hogwarts; and a magical diary owned by Tom Riddle, a Hogwarts student of long ago. Harry is also shocked to discover that he can speak Parseltongue, the language of snakes - a rare ability that Lord Voldemort also possessed - and that anti-Muggle prejudice exists in the Wizarding world, even affecting Harry's friend Hermione. But all of these seem like minor concerns when someone starts turning Hogwarts students to stone: an evildoer said to be the fearsome Heir of Salazar Slytherin, one of the founders of the school. Could it be Draco Malfoy, Harry's most poisonous rival? Could it be Hagrid whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one person everyone at Hogwarts most suspects: Harry Potter himself?

I posted a review of Bitter Bronx by Jerome Charyn last week at The Book Connection. Here's an excerpt from that review:

No stranger to Charyn's work, I eagerly signed up for this tour. His ability to evoke such strong emotions through his characters is second to none and his eloquent prose draws you in from the start.

These characters are flawed in such a way that you wish to close the book and tuck it away; but like the scene of a horrific accident, you can't help but peer into these people's lives as they struggle against poverty, greed, perversions, and organized crime. This is a world of war widows and mobsters, of insanity and depression, of a Bronx forever divided into north and south.

You can read the entire review here.

I am giving away a second copy of the book that the publisher sent to me. Please use the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to enter and win. Sorry, U.S. residents only. Good luck!

Hope you'll share what was in your mailbox too.

Giveaway Terms and Conditions:

* Winner must 18 years of age or older and reside in the United States.
* Winner will be notified by email and have 72 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be selected.
* Prize will be shipped by USPS.
* The Busy Mom's Daily is not responsible for items lost or damaged in shipment.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

As A Busy Mom Thinks - How Bullies Changed My Daughter

One of my daughters will graduate from middle school next week. It can't come soon enough. You hear how difficult these years can be on children--maybe even recall your own challenges at that age--but until your child is the victim of bullies, I'm not sure one can appreciate how much change happens at the middle school level. 

For years, my daughter held her head high. She believed in herself and her abilities. Her side of the refrigerator was covered in artwork she was proud of and notes stating, "I am awesome!" and "I rock!" 

A mere three years later, she's a totally different person. She believes she's ugly, overweight--though she's not, will never have a boyfriend, and is untalented. This is all thanks to the bullies who have convinced her their words, not mine, are true.

I long for those days when she confidently strolled through the house as if she owned it. I miss those days when I believed her opinion of herself was high enough to weather the storms of middle school with their mean girls and popular boys who don't talk to you unless you are a size two with perfect skin and hair. I never expected my child to be threatened and called names I didn't even know the meaning of when I was that age. And as parents in this age of technology, we know the bullying does not stop at school. It continues via text and social media.

Two major incidents this year brought it all to a head (one I can't talk about here). Then the consequences hit me this weekend when our family was supposed to attend a graduation party. My girls got there first. The minute my middle schooler caught sight of one of the guests--a bully from school--a panic attack seized her. She called me from her cell phone, but she was such a wreck she could barely speak. I thought she was having an asthma attack. What was supposed to be a nice day with friends ended up being a day where my daughter hid in her room watching NetFlix, because no amount of words from her parents could convince her she would be safe at the party.

As someone who was also bullied, I understand what she's going through. But I only felt fearful once that someone would truly act on their words. My daughter's bullies have been physical. They have been hurtful. And honestly, I don't know if there is a way I can help my child gain back what they stole from her: her confidence and her self-esteem.

Please pray for us.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Guest Blogger: Russ Colchamiro, Author of Genuis De Milo

Best pals Jason Medley and Theo Barnes barely survived a backpacking trip through Europe and New Zealand that — thanks to a jar of Cosmic Building Material they found — almost wiped out the galaxy. But just as they envision a future without any more cosmic lunacy:

The Earth has started fluxing in and out of existence, Theo's twin girls are teleporting, and Jason can't tell which version of his life is real.

All because of Milo, the Universe's ultimate gremlin.

Joined by the mysterious Jamie — a down-and-out hotel clerk from Eternity — Jason and Theo reunite on a frantic, cross-country chase across America, praying they can retrieve that jar, circumvent Milo, and save the Earth from irrevocable disaster.

In author Russ Colchamiro’s uproarious sequel to Finders Keepers, he finally confirms what we've long suspected — that there’s no galactic Milo quite like a Genius de Milo.

• Genius De Milo is available at Amazon.
• Pick up your copy at Crazy 8 Press.
• Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

    Why Should a Busy Mom Read Genius De Milo?

    In my humble if not biased opinion, there are many reasons why a busy mom should read Genius de Milo. Hey … I said my opinion was biased!

    Of course, you’ll have to enjoy wild and wacky sci-fi comedy adventures that take you places you’ve never been before. So assuming that sounds good to you … there’s a character in the series, Lilly, who starts off in the first book, Finders Keepers, in her mid-20s, running from herself, allowing others to use and manipulate her, trekking half-way around the globe to serve someone else’s bidding.

    But in my latest novel Genius de Milo, Lilly is almost 30, and a single mom, trying to put her life together, worried about being a role model for her three-year-old son, Benny.

    In particular there’s a sequence where Benny is at the playground, and he has a friend, who, even at their age, is already a bully. Lilly doesn’t like this kid, and wants to intervene when the two boys mix it up on the jungle gym, but she holds back. She gives Benny the space to negotiate with this bully.

     Here’s an excerpt:

    It’s the one thing they never tell you, Lilly thought. That as a parent you live in constant fear, on emergency room alert. That in every nanosecond the worst possible outcome for your child could be just another nanosecond away. I could be inches from Benny and still it might not be close enough to catch him. I can handle his bumps and bruises, but what about when it’s worse? When there’s real danger? When the damage could be permanent?
    But if I never let go, if I never let him roam, will he just run away from me, anyway?

    No spoilers here, but things go far better for Benny than Lilly feared might unfold. The sequence is telling for Lilly, because it reveals both who she is — as a woman and a mother — and who she is still striving to become.

    I’m a dad myself, so I can relate as a parent, at least. I often watch my wife as she relates to my children, and think about what that’s like for her, and how I can implement the best parts of her parenting into my own.

    Genius de Milo is not in any way a serious treatise on raising children, but this sequence — in the middle of all the crazy sci-fi shenanigans that take place throughout the novel — is one of my favorite in the series.

    To me, the humor and fun of Genius de Milo works best because there’s real life mixed in. And for a busy mom looking for a smile amongst her hectic life, what better distraction can you ask for than an adventure that both touches upon your own life while transporting you to another?

    Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure Crossline, the hilarious scifi backpacking comedy Finders Keepers, and the outrageous sequel, Genius de Milo, all with Crazy 8 Press.

    Russ lives in West Orange, NJ, with his wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ is now at work on the final book in the Finders Keepers trilogy.

    As a matter of full disclosure, readers should not be surprised if Russ spontaneously teleports in a blast of white light followed by screaming fluorescent color and the feeling of being sucked through a tornado. It’s just how he gets around — windier than the bus, for sure, but much quicker.

    His latest book is the science fiction novel, Genius De Milo.
    For More Information

    Thursday, June 4, 2015

    As a Busy Mom Thinks: Review of Grace of Gratitude Journal by Deborah Perdue

    It's been a while since I've been able to write a review. Life is hectic. Time is short. I had a chance to sit down lately with this lovely journal I received from Deborah Perdue, though, and it brightened my day.

    This beautifully designed journal has glossy pages to help remind you what you are grateful for. Stunning artwork from Tara Thelen blends nicely with Perdue's inspiring text to create a lovely journal you will enjoy picking up over and again. The pages you can write on have a date line and plenty of space for you to jot down what you are grateful for on any given day. What a wonderful way to count your blessings. 

    Though the copy I received had its spiral-bound cover placed on backwards and upside down, I will definitely enjoy penning my thoughts on its pages. 

    Currently in stock at Amazon.

    I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

    Monday, June 1, 2015

    Mailbox Monday - June 1

    Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

    Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

    Oh, what a crazy life I live. Work is keeping me so busy, I rarely have time for anything else--even reading. That said, I read my favorite authors as often as I can.

    Recently, I received two copies of Jermone Charyn's Bitter Bronx short story collection. I became familiar with Charyn's work in The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson and Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil. Since then, I've read several of his titles.

    Brooklyn is dead. Long live the Bronx! In Bitter Bronx, Jerome Charyn returns to his roots and leads the literary renaissance of an oft-overlooked borough in this surprising new collection.

    In Bitter Bronx, one of our most gifted and original novelists depicts a world before and after modern urban renewal destroyed the gritty sanctity of a land made famous by Ruth, Gehrig, and Joltin' Joe.

    Bitter Bronx is suffused with the texture and nostalgia of a lost time and place, combining a keen eye for detail with Jerome Charyn's lived experience. These stories are informed by a childhood growing up near that middle-class mecca, the Grand Concourse; falling in love with three voluptuous librarians at a public library in the Lower Depths of the South Bronx; and eating at Mafia-owned restaurants along Arthur Avenue's restaurant row, amid a "land of deprivation…where fathers trundled home…with a monumental sadness on their shoulders."

    In "Lorelei," a lonely hearts grifter returns home and finds his childhood sweetheart still living in the same apartment house on the Concourse; in "Archy and Mehitabel" a high school romance blossoms around a newspaper comic strip; in "Major Leaguer" a former New York Yankee confronts both a gang of drug dealers and the wreckage that Robert Moses wrought in his old neighborhood; and in three interconnected stories—"Silk & Silk," "Little Sister," and "Marla"—Marla Silk, a successful Manhattan attorney, discovers her father's past in the Bronx and a mysterious younger sister who was hidden from her, kept in a fancy rest home near the Botanical Garden. In these stories and others, the past and present tumble together in Charyn's singular and distinctly "New York prose, street-smart, sly, and full of lurches" (John Leonard, New York Times).

    Throughout it all looms the "master builder" Robert Moses, a man who believed he could "save" the Bronx by building a highway through it, dynamiting whole neighborhoods in the process. Bitter Bronx stands as both a fictional eulogy for the people and places paved over by Moses' expressway and an affirmation of Charyn's "brilliant imagination" (Elizabeth Taylor, Chicago Tribune).

    Endorsements and Reviews:

    “[Jerome Charyn] is to the Bronx what Saul Bellow, early in his career, was to Upper Broadway—bard, celebrant, mythologizer.” — Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

    “Sharp-edged short stories…Charyn’s narrative sleight of hand is wonderfully at play…. Despite the hard edges, and there are many, a rich sweetness flows just below the surface of Bitter Bronx.” — Wendell Jamieson, New York Times Book Review

    “It is no small achievement to be the Babel of the Bronx.” — Leslie Epstein, New York Times Book Review

    “Jerome Charyn is one of the most important writers in American literature.” — Michael Chabon

    “Jerome Charyn is merely one of our finest writers, with a polymorphous imagination and crack comic timing. Whatever milieu he chooses to inhabit, his characters sizzle with life, and his sentences are pure vernacular music, his voice unmistakable.” — Jonathan Lethem

    “Charyn, like Nabokov, is that most fiendish sort of writer—so seductive as to beg imitation, so singular as to make imitation impossible.” — Tom Bissell

    “Jerome Charyn''s Bronx is a landscape of magic and passion. With…American yearning and a stage full of unforgettable characters.” — BookPage

    “Grifters, gangs, vamps, and lost souls pursue gritty lives in ‘the brick wilderness of the Bronx’ in this collection of tales by a veteran storyteller and native of the New York borough…. Charyn''s staccato style is full of jolts, surprising observations, and turns of phrase. It works well with the rough struggle for survival and success….” — Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

    “Tough on the outside but tender at heart, the 13 stories in this volume serve as a nostalgic elegy to the Bronx of the past…. Mixing equal parts grit and charm, there’s no need to have set foot in the Bronx to enjoy these stories.” — Publishers Weekly

    Look for a June 19 review of this book at

    What did you receive in your mailbox?