GHOST TOWNS OF THE WEST

Ghost Towns of the West by Phillip Varney and Jim Hinckley blazes a trail through the dusty crossroads and mossy cemeteries of the American West, including one-time boomtowns in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The book reveals the little-known stories of soldiers, American Indians, settlers, farmers, and miners. This essential guidebook to the historic remains of centuries’ past includes maps, town histories, color and historical photographs, and detailed directions to these out-of-the-way outdoor museums of the West.

Plan your road trips by chapter–each section covers a geographic area and town entries are arranged by location to make this the most user-friendly book on ghost towns west of the Mississippi.
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Piper Was Afraid – Kids Book and Plush Toy

kids book

What’s better then a cute kid’s book? One that comes complete with a stuffed animal of it’s hero, of course. Piper, an Irish Wolfhound, was afraid. Of other dogs, of storms- of pretty much everything. Big a dog as Piper was, he was just a scaredy cat. What will Piper do?

“Piper Was Afraid! Piper is the main character of the children’s book Piper was Afraid. He is a cute and cuddly companion that helps children be brave… especially at bed time. Piper comes with an adoption certificate as well as instructions on what to do if Piper gets scared! “Piper was Afraid” is based on a real Irish Wolfhound named “Inspirations Bagpiper of Blackwatch” or Piper for short. He is a rescue dog and was adopted by the owners of The Inn at Willow Grove in Orange, Va.”
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Peace, Bugs and Understanding – Cute New Kids Book

My son loves to be read to, and will hopefully be a big reader like his mom.  He likes pretty much anything, from the classics, to comic books, to “cute” books, and more. I’m glad he likes diversity in reading, hopefully it means he’s open minded. One of the latest books we have read is “Peace, Bugs and Understanding,” the newest children’s book by Gail Silver in her illustrated series beginning with Anh’s Anger.

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This books is about finding peace instead of anger, and encourages children to look inward and be calm when they feel anger. It deals with meditation on a child’s level- which I think is pretty cool, and timely for us since my son is about to start kids classes next month.  We both do yoga already, and I meditate, and feel this would be good for him as well.  Like his mother, he has some tendencies that this could help.  (Don’t we all, right?)  Maybe starting younger would be helpful.

This is a cute book, easy to follow, with relatable characters and problems.  We are going to find the first two books of the series as well so that we can read them all.

More About the Book

The newest (and final) installment in the series is “Peace, Bugs, and Understanding: An Adventure in Sibling Harmony.” Emotionally charged siblings experience harmony in lieu of rivalry when they discover Metta, a practice that has helped people transform anger into loving kindness for thousands of years. In addition to being an author, Gail is the founder of Yoga Child, a Philadelphia business that teaches children about yoga and inner peace.
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The Ideal Woman – New Book About Finding Oneself

The Ideal Woman, a new book by Roy Espiritu, is not about what you might think.  It sounds like it might be about looking for the woman that one finds ideal, or who the ideal woman is, or how to become the ideal woman.  Instead, it is one woman’s journey, torn between two worlds and two cultures, two countries and two lives, where she is often put on a pedestal because of her looks but then looked at sideways due to her heritage.  She is often forced to walk a fine line, and trying to find herself and what she wants for her life.

The book follows the life of a woman named Pearl and her family.  It centers on Pearl, but because of the importance of her heritage, her family is a big focus as well. Pearl has a Filipino mother and white father, which causes strife between both families, although both adore Pearl. Pearl spends her time mostly in the USA, but also spends plenty of it in the Philippines, where many people apotheosize her for her looks. One family fixates on her, and wants her for their son.  A courting process begins, and Pearl has to decide how she wants to live her life and what she really wants. How she “behaves”, dresses, thinks, acts, dresses, even her family’s history comes into play.
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At the Crossroad – new book

I recently finished reading the book At the Crossroad.   For me, it was a real page turner, hard to put down, with engaging characters and a good storyline. Perhaps I should stay “story-lines”, as the book follows 4 people.  All four are quite different from each other, yet their lives are intertwined deeply.  None of their lives go as planned or as you think they would- which honestly kept the book very interesting.  It also seemed realistic to me, no wild and crazy plots that made it seem implausible, and you find yourself genuinely interested in the characters and wanting the best outcomes for them.

The outcomes are not what you would expect, the lives take them where you would not necessarily think they would- which is one of the reasons the book was so interesting.  Set at a time of military unrest, which seeps into the book but is not it’s major theme, the characters fight to find themselves, their place in the world, and to a sense of justice and happiness in a time when those are hard to find.

Tempting though it may be- do not judge this book by it's cover.  The cover is awful, so very unprofessional and poorly done- but the book itself, the writing is good.  The story is unique and compelling, you will be drawn to the characters.  Ignore the cover- read the book.

Tempting though it may be- do not judge this book by it’s cover. The cover is awful, so very unprofessional and poorly done- but the book itself, the writing is good. The story is unique and compelling, you will be drawn to the characters. Ignore the cover- read the book.

I, too, was hesitant to read this book after I saw the cover.  When I see shabbily done covers, it usually means “vanity press” or “self published” and that the book is going to be a hot mess, full of spelling and grammatical errors, and mostly a just the author strutting and fluffing his own feathers in print.  I am not a fan of most vanity press.  However- this book is NOT along those lines.  It is well written, and I truly enjoyed it.  This is one of those cases that you truly should not judge a book by it’s cover- literally.  Normally I would not dedicate time to discussing a cover, but I know I wouldn’t have given it a second glance had I not known what a good book it was, so I wanted to mention it.

About The Book

The decisions we make at every crossroad in our lives shape our destiny. In her first novel At the Crossroad, Olfet Agrama pens a romance/adventure book filled with passion, forbidden love, faith and power – – the perfect book to give that special woman for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.
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The Littlest Bunny Book- Review and Giveaway

As Easter hops closer, some of us want to get our own little bunnies in a festive mood.  What do you do in your house?  We decorate, bake, and of course, read lots of Easter books (and watch occasional movies, too).  One of the newest books I have found is “The Littlest Bunny”, which is really cool because it lets you choose your state or province and personalize your book that way.

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Each book in The Littlest Bunny Series features art and text created especially for a specific state or city, including all 50 states as well as cities in Canada.
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Stocking Stuffers for Dad

Looking for a few little “somethings” to stuff in dad’s stocking this year?  Check out these fun books that are sure to make him laugh- and be fun (and even useful) as well.

World Bottled Beers: 50 Classic Brews to Sip and Savour

book about beer

This is actually what the book looks like- a bottle of beer 🙂

“A delightful gift for any discerning beer drinker, this shaped book features 50 of the world’s best brews from Adams Broadside in the UK to US classics such as Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA and Sierra Nevada Bigfoot and the unmissable German lagers and wheat beers that include Ayinger Celebrator and Schneider Weisse. For each beer, a shaped bottle image is accompanied by detailed tasting notes and a list of other similar beers to try. Beers range from best bitters and IPAs to stouts and porters, Trappist ales and oak-aged brown ales to lagers and wheat beers. The author, Adrian Tierney-Jones, is an award-winning beer writer.”  The book is available for $10.72 at Barnes and Nobel.com.
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Southern Living- “What’s For Supper” 5-Ingredient Weeknight Meals cookbook review

I am not a creative cook.  At all.  What I am is good at following directions.

I live by my cookbooks- but some of them like to get all “fancy” on me, and during the week, who has time for that?  Really.  Not your average mom with kids, not your working parents- not many people.  Sure, you bust out the fancy cooking now and again, but for regular nights- you need something that is fast, easy, and that everyone will eat (but still has nutritional value and is good for them).

That’s why I love this particular cookbook- Southern Living’s new “What’s For Supper” 5-Ingredient Weeknight Meals compiles fast and easy meals for those busy weeknights spend doing homework, driving the kids hither and yon, and getting home from work later then we really wanted to (or in my case and the case of those who work at home, not getting it all done as fast as I had hoped to), and still trying to get the laundry done. This really is a “must have” for busy parents- yes, you can always play on pinterest or get your google on, but this is just so easy to have it all in one place for easy access- and the meals are so easy to prepare without having to have a culinary degree to make.  (Those books just make me nuts…I don’t have time to learn cutting techniques, I just want to get dinner on the table.)

If you are in the market for a new cookbook, want to try out some new recipes to shake up your dinners (hey, we all get in ruts), or just love to cook- try this one out, it has become a favorite in my house. (It really is fast!)  Pick yours up on Amazon or wherever books are sold.
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