Friday, September 7, 2012

Make an Embellished, Denim Fold-Over Bag - Threads

Here is a great looking Threads Magazine website bag project. Make it in your own fabrics with your own embellishments to make it truly your own. Let's see some photos of your finished bag! Make an Embellished, Denim Fold-Over Bag - Threads

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Saving For Retirement by Gail MarksJarvis

Saving for Retirement without Living Like a Pauper or Winning the Lottery by Gail MarsJarvis, Updated & Revised, August 2012 ISBN 0132271907 Kindle Edition.

This is copy of my review for this book for the Amazon Vine program.

I wasn’t exactly sure what this book would contain, secrets for how to get the money to save so you don’t retire penniless, or would it be about investing strategies? It turns out to be a well written guide book to the basics of investing in the different retirement accounts available in the USA. I was impressed by this book and even though I have read many books on investing, none were as clear and simple to understand as this book. I learned quite a few things, including what a Roth IRA can do for you. Any other time that I have read about a Roth IRA I never understood why it had such appeal. One simple paragraph or two and I comprehended. That is a sign of a good “How-To” book. Make it simple enough that not only can the reader understand, but they can also put the advice into practice.

One of my favorite things in this book was the constant pushing to remind young adults that starting to save now in a 401K or IRA would over the long haul leave them with a tidy retirement fund of somewhere in the vicinity of $1,000,000. Yes, we are aware of inflation on that amount over 30-40+ years, but how much better to have that million dollars even if its spending ability has diminished, than no money saved at all? This is a book every parent should read and then give a copy to each of their high school age kids or college kids at the latest, so they can secure a future for themselves. I will be passing my copy over to my son to read and I anticipate some good conversations with him about the book and what investing plan we both should come up with. I’m so late in the game but financial problems have reared there ugly heads for me way too many times, but I do look forward to trying to get our finances earning the best they can.

For anyone who doesn’t understand the stock market, how to invest in their 401Ks and IRAs, this book will help you to not only understand but make wise choices because of the knowledge they have gained. A must read book for the baffled.

One thing I was very impressed about in this book, is that it was written without ever once saying this or that fund is ‘sexy’. Somehow over the last few years, the word sexy has come to replace words like great, fantastic, etc. Since stocks and investing are asexual, they literally can’t be ‘sexy’ and I’m glad that this writer knew that. Unfortunately this bad habit of some writers tends to feel like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.
I've been on disability for about 8 years now, so effectively I'm retired, but that doesn't mean I have a nice little nest egg and with my hubby 9 years younger, he has almost 20 years to 'retirement'. Do self-employed people ever actually retire? Well anyways, I still want to try to squeeze as much out of what little we have invested as possible before his body gives up entirely. This book gave me lots of good ideas and ideas for things that I want to investigate. I hope you get a copy and study it yourself.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Here is one of my latest reviews for Amazon. It is for the book Get Up to Speed with Online Marketing: How to Use Websites, Blogs, Social Networking and Much More by Jon Reed. ISBN 0133066274

As small on line sellers at, our world has been rocked by Google deciding that they will no longer show listing of items for sale for free in their search. As small sellers, we can't afford to pay the cost of the product just to drive someone to buy from us. So getting this book and reading it was like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Ideas! Good ideas. I ideas I can use! Techniques I didn't understand. I have never marked up and highlighted a book as much as this one. I couldn't believe how much my understanding of the different social media sites worked.
One of my frustrations with the internet over the years is these new, neat things like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. hit our computers but nothing ever comes with instructions manuals anymore. It is difficult at times to truly understand how to use these programs to the fullest. That is what I liked about this book was the understanding of the different social media sites and how they worked and how a person can use them to drive interest and customers to their business.

Now that I have read the book, I plan on going through it and setting up a plan of action showing which social media sites I will be using (or using better) and how we will use them. This thing with Google could really be weighing us down, but after reading this book I feel hopeful. Unless you already have a PR team in place and lots of money to drive customers to your business, this is a good book to read for the basics. Even if you have a PR team, this book could help you know what they are talking about. The only thing that I missed with the book is Pinterest came on the scene in the midst of the book being published and so it isn't mentioned in the book. I guess I will have to figure that one out myself. I highly recommend this book to anyone running an online business of any type.


NOTE TO THE AMAZON REVIEW TROLLS THAT LIKE TO DIS REVIEWS BECAUSE WITHIN 24 HOURS OF READING A BOOK LIKE THIS, OUR STORE HASN'T ACHEIEVED 1ST PLACE PLACEMENT ON ALL THE SEARCH ENGINES. I am not interested in your comments nor do I believe anyone else is. Online marketing involves work. We understand that. We will be working on our on line marketing along with everything else we do to run a business. This is a great book and will be helpful to many who read it. I know it will be helpful to us as we put many of its principles into practice.


Over the bit of time that I have been writing book reviews for Amazon I have been astounded by the rude people that tell me basically that I'm stupid because if the book was so great why is my store, Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts, not ranking #1 in searches. Okay, well DUH! It takes awhile to work through new ideas and get them into practice! However, I think this book would be a great one for anyone who is selling on line to read. I plan to put a lot of the ideas into practice ASAP!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Arctic Wargame by Ethan Jones Review Part 2

I reviewed Artic Wargame by Ethan Jones a bit ago and he asked me to let you all know that:

"I'm running a three-day promotion for Arctic Wargame. Readers can download their free Kindle copy during July 10-12 at this link: "

Here is your chance to pick up a FREE Kindle book! Don't miss out.

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks, to be published August 21, 2012, ISBN 125000621X
After having both the pleasure and honor to read and review Matthew Dicks first two books, I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of his next. I I had some moments of despair when it was published across `the pond' and we in the US had to wait. So I was very excited to yet again be offered the chance to review the advance reading copy of his book Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend. Matthew's work just gets better and better and this book is excellent. Perhaps it stands out as even more special to me because I have my own "Max" and got to see the astounding way he grew and learned even if it was with the friendly help from the imaginary friends on "his planet" from which he even gave us daily weather reports. It is obvious that Matthew understands the hearts and souls of those that are special among us. I think that is what makes his books so brilliant. His characters with so many of what are normally called flaws, he brings out the things that make them so strong and special.

There is no point in giving a book report telling what happened in the book as the author has done a very good job of that. Suffice to say the story revolves around, Max is a different type child, with parents that don't really understand him or how to help him, and Max's imaginary friend Budo. Much of the activity takes place at school as well. Budo is Max's voice in this book since Max rarely speaks.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone. It makes for a terrific read and most especially would help those who would like a greater understanding of an autistic or developmentally delayed child. This book brings into focus so much that this type of child `live on the inside'. The title of this book sounds like this would be a book for children and it is, but it also can hold an adult's interest. I could just see teacher's reading this book to their students just as Mrs. Gosk reads to her students.

Keep up the good work Matthew!!!
I have noticed something interesting as the early reviews from readers who received an actual copy of Matthew's book and those that received the book on CD. I have never liked listening to books on tapes and such, so when I was half through with the 9 CD set and had a chance to get the book to actually read, I jumped at it. Reading this author's work brings out so many of the subtle nuances that seem to be missed and even the different voices on CD aren't what the book itself would imagine them to be. For instance, Mrs. Gosk's voice sounds silly on the CD but when reading the book you can imagine it any way you want. Anyhow those 'readers' that accessed the story on CD have given it poor reviews, while those of us that got to read and wallow in the characters of Budo and Max are giving it stellar reviews. My suggestion, read the book!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Arctic Wargame

Here is a review of a book by a new independent author, Arctic Wargame: A Justin Hall Novel by Eathan Jones. ISBN 1468152297 This book can be purchased as a Paperback or a Kindle download. Take your pick!
I was asked by the author to read his book, which I am always happy to do. I love to read and due to disability have a lot of time to read and books coming to my mailbox are always a happy event. Right before I was ready to read this book, Ethan emailed me to tell me that there was a short story he had written that was a prequel to the book that I could download and read on a Kindle. I didn’t own a Kindle but was happy to find I could download the reading app to my computers. I have been having a great time downloading some of my favorite old books and know as long as my computers hold up, even if I read every books on my bookshelf, I still will have access to books. I get fidgety if I don’t have something to read. I realize for some that the Kindle is old news but this was an exciting point in my week and I appreciate the push from the author to figure it out.
If you like, you can read Carved in Memory (A Justin Hall short story) before reading Arctic Wargame as it is a prequel to the book, but it is not truly necessary. It does however explain why our book opens up with Justin Hall sitting at a desk doing boring desk work instead of being out and about working as an operative for the Canadian Intelligence Service. So when an opportunity to go to the Artic circle to investigate ships in Canadian waters he and his side kick, Carrie, jump at the chance to go. This is where things get a little strange for American readers. While most of us know that Canada is “up there”, most don’t recognize it as a real country. During my 4 years of college in Canada, I learned that this really annoys Canadians when people act like they are the 51st state, which they aren’t. So to be reading a book where the main characters are wondering is the US is pulling a fast one on Canada was a bit of a strange experience. Or was it the Danish or the Russians? It was Justin and Carrie’s mission to find out and stop any terrorist threat if at all possible.
This book is a great combination of a suspense novel but also one that shows the pride that people have in their country. Also the pride and closeness those that live in small isolated villages far up north have with each other that most of us rarely see any more. I’m not going to give away the story, but it was a good one with different players and attitudes than usual. I trust the author will continue with his writing and hope that he grows his ability with each new book. I don’t think he has hit the big leagues yet, but I think he has the ability to get there. I would especially like to see more books based in Canada. I know I am really getting into a book when I take the time to pull out my atlas to fully understand where the action was happening. Although if I read too many of his books, I may just have to buy a Canadian atlas so I can track where the action is. I have found reading with an atlas by my side a real help to understanding the books I read.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Carved in Memory

If you have a Kindle and even if you don't, you can pick up this short story Carved in Memory (A Justin Hall short story) at Amazon June 12-14 for FREE. I don't have a Kindle but was able to download a Kindle App to read the story on my computer. This story is a short prequel to Artic Wargames which I will be reading and reviewing next! Check it out.

With my Kindle app I got three free books, one is Pride and Prejudice. Didn't expect that.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books

Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books
by Tony Reinke ISBN 978-1-4335-2226-0
A review of the book that I did for the Amazon Vine Program.

As someone that loves to read, it tends to be a bit frustrating when you get together with Christian people and other than their Bible (I’m making the assumption that they read them), they only seem to read "Christian" books. As if the act of picking up a non-Christian book and discussing it would be a bit on the sinful side. I have always disliked so-called Christian romance novels because they are written with dialogue that is totally unrelated to how people actually talk. Therefore, I was greatly interested in what Tony Reinke had to say about Christians and reading. The first good thing is that he is not only for Christians to be reading a variety of topics, they don't have to be the Christian romance novel drivel that many women tend to read or pretend to read. I don't really know as I can't wade through those books.

Then he goes on to not only encourage a reading plan but what types of books would be good to read and ways to make time to read (hint: turn off the TV), ways to share reading with your spouse and children. He encourages you to write in your books as long as you own them. Ways to learn and grow by reading the right kinds of books including books by the great theologians, fiction, fantasy, non-fiction books of every sort except for books such as pornography that you know before you pick them up that they have no redeeming value. His book is easy to read and comprehend. By following his guidelines you can better understand your Bible and God's purpose for your life and be educated enough that you can have a proper worldview. As your knowledge increases through reading, you will better be able to stand up and explain your faith to others.

I would highly recommend this book to any Christian adult that seriously desires a closer understanding of God and the world. The only thing that I think he missed in the book is study aides and I'm not meaning things like Cliff's notes. Over the last 10 years I have collected a small reference library which has helped my reading tremendously and includes a large dictionary (well actually my husband and I both have our own big, fat dictionary), a thesaurus, English to French, German, Spanish, etc. dictionaries, a US and world atlas, and if possible a good set of encyclopedias. Before you holler and say, "Hey that is expensive!", we were able, by going to library book sales and yard sales over the years, to get these reference works plus others for around $25 total. This way when you run into a word you don't know you can look it up. If a book mentions a famous person and you don't know who they are, look them up. If it mentions a place you don’t know where it is, look it up. You will be educating yourself and the information will stick in your mind and help you understand what you have read.

Reading has always been my favorite activity and my reading skills have given me a very broad base of knowledge that was useful in school and now as an adult. Even if you don’t like to read much, reading this book and following the advice in it, should start you on the path to enjoying reading more and gaining knowledge that you never thought was possible. If you have children in your home, following the guidance in this book will help you instill a love of books and learning into your children.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Jane of the Jungle by Jane Baskin

Jane of the Jungle by Jane Baskin ISBN 978-1-4620-0292-4 This book is available in Hardcover, Softcover and Kindle editions.

Most books can nicely fit into certain categories, but this book is not one of them. It has romance, adventure, science-fiction moments, suspense, mob-mafia characters, talking tigers, motorcycle gangs, and middle-aged main characters. Yet with so many different types of things going on, the book reads well and is highly entertaining.

One of the delightful things about this book is that the main characters are middle-aged swiftly sliding into old-age. They are starting to feel the effects of their age while in their minds they are so much younger and still want so much out of life. As someone that is middle age with chronic health problems that make me feel like I'm in my 80's most of the time, I enjoyed reading a book that has intriguing main characters in my age range which is a rare thing to find.

Jane is a fairly new widow. She has found that now that her husband has died leaving her a pile of unpaid medical bills, she is tired of her ER nursing job and wants something different in her life. So she walks away from her old life. Or to be more accurate, drives away in an old RV. And then her adventures begin. Since I am not the writer that the author is, I can't give a good blurb about what this book was about without it seeming absolutely silly, but the book was great fun to read. I get so tired of authors of novels that can only seem to write dreary, depressing books. I read books for entertainment and this book is certainly entertaining. It is also one of the first books that I have ever read that I thought could be made into a fun movie and have been trying to figure out who would be good at playing the main parts. As I mentioned before, the actors would need to be middle aged which I hear are hard parts to find lead roles for, actresses especially, at this age.

You should find this book to be a bit bizarre, a bit fun, interesting and very different to read. I hope the author writes a lot more books as it was a refreshing change to read such a fun book. This is a great book to read when you need an uplifting fun book when life has gotten you a bit down or you are in the midst of an arthritis flare-up like I was, as I have found that humor helps decrease the pain.

Oath of Office by Michael Palmer

Oath of Office by Michael Palmer ISBN 978-0-312-58753-6 Being Published in February 2012! It will be available as hardcover, Kindle and as an audio book on CD.

I was thrilled to get a chance to review this book before publication as I am a huge Michael Palmer fan! My first comment on getting to read this advanced reading copy of this great book is how wonderful it was to read an ARC without a bazillion spelling and other type errors. The book read well so I had nothing to distract me from reading and thoroughly enjoying this book.

As usual with most of Michael Palmer’s books, this book revolves around medical and political issues. In this book, it deals with genetic modification of food to increase yield and productivity, although it takes awhile in the book to figure this out. There are two main characters in the book. One is the President’s wife, Dr. Darlene Mallory, who is a pediatrician and has taken up the reigns of working to solve hunger and nutrition problems in the USA. The other being a part time ER doctor, Dr. Lou Welcome, that also works as a counselor for a Physician Wellness Organization that helps medical doctors overcome substance abuse. Dr. Welcome himself has an addiction to alcohol and had been sober for years and is now counseling other doctors. The book starts out with one of Dr. Welcome’s counselees going ‘postal’ after seeing a patient, and shoots all the patients and staff in his office and then shoots himself in the head.

Dr. Welcome rushes to the hospital where his friend has been taken to find that the staff treating him is doing so in a lackadaisical and unprofessional manner, including the neurosurgeon trying to remove the bullet in the patient’s brain in the ICU instead of the operating room. Also, an infiltrated IV lines, a respiratory technician that wasn’t careful monitoring his breathing or the respirator. Even with Dr. Welcome’s help, his friend dies. He is baffled as to why the staff had used such poor medical procedures in caring for his friend. Was it because it was a small town and they wanted him to die for what he had done or was it something deeper and stranger?

As the book continues, Dr. Welcome, keeps finding weird things going on with the people in the town where the shooting had happened including seeing a young man get his thumb chopped off while the chef was chopping carrot coins. Then discovers the young man keeps mutant termites that eat live mice for pets.

Meanwhile, the President of the United States’ wife is being contacted covertly for reason she doesn’t understand, but finds that talking to her husband about it only makes him angry, especially when speaking about the former head of the Department of Agriculture. In their trying to figure out what is going on Lou and Darlene meet and compare notes so to speak. They find that a grower has been growing and is about to export a huge amount of genetically mutated corn which the characters start to call Frankencorn as it is so different from normal corn growth both in the number of kernels in the ears and the amount of ears to a stalk of corn.

This is a thoroughly well written book about many issues that confront us today, especially the genetic work being done to increase crop yields without truly knowing how it will affect the people or animals that ingest the food. It also touches on the needs for physicians to have proper help in combating addictive behavior.  Also how politics have moved far beyond what our founding fathers would have planned for politicians to have uncontrolled power over others in our country. This was a very interesting and well-written book and I enjoyed reading it. I will be looking forward to his next book.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Decided to copy over my sewing blog post as I don'tknow how many readers overlap, but part of this blog is about books and reading so it is in line with the topics of this blog.
Last year (2011) was a rough one physically for me with a lot of pain and periods of discouragement. Then I found a devotional book at our local library book sale on seeing the gifts that God gives or brings our way. I read through that book twice during the year before passing it on to someone else that might find use for it. Over the month of December, which was a financial strain for us, I thought again about that book and my need to acknowledge the gifts that come my way. I wanted to focus on the good and not the bad that was happening in my life. Suddenly life just didn't feel as full of strain and problems when thinking about the good that was happening.

When Ron and Savannah came for Christmas he brought me 3 Sew Beautiful magazines that someone had given him to pass on to me. I hadn't seen them before as I don't have a subscription to this magazine as so many of the projects are for little girls that I don't have much opportunity to sew too much for. I was very excited to get these magazines and reading them helped to take my mind off the pain I'm in. Best of all I saw some neat ideas that I can hardly wait to try on the Little Dresses for Africa dresses that I make.  In one of the issues they even had a 'pillowcase' dress.

My next sewing 'gift' came in the mail today. A friend from one of my sewing digests wrote me and offered to send me 6 memory cards and a hoop to go with my second hand Janome 9000 or she was going to throw them out! I was so grateful for her generosity and she even refused to let me pay for the shipping!

Several weeks ago I had an author write me and ask me to read and review her book which I of course said yes to. Although I've been having a hard time reading this past week, this has been a fun and interesting book to read and I will be doing a review of it soon. And then today I received my second book gift. Michael Palmer sent me an Advanced Reading Copy of his book Oath of Office to read and review. Since he is one of my favorite authors, this will be a treat indeed!

I challenge you to keep track of the gifts that come your way so that on discouraging days you can think of the many blessings that have come your way. God indeed is good!