Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book Review: Everwud – The Tree, The Boy & The Dog by Marilyn Dieckmann

Hi all,

I first met Marilyn Dieckmann, the author of Everwud, online on Twitter and Facebook, and was surprised to learn she lives not too far from me up here in the North Country. Although we have never met, I feel as if I know her like a friend, and I couldn't resist reading her novel. I'm so happy I did, it is as enchanting as I hoped it would be. Here is more about her novel and my review.


 Everwud - The Tree, The Boy & The Dog

Marilyn Dieckmann

Book Description:

Life isn't always fair, and if you're an orphan it’s probably worse.

Well, Joey is an orphan. His world is totally turned upside down the moment he sees a shaggy dog in the window at the animal shelter and exchanges a wagon-load of pop bottles for the dog.

But life is never that simple. Dogs are not allowed at the orphanage and a deal is made with Mister Tim, the kind man at the animal shelter that ultimately changes his life.

With his new friends, Joey rescues a fellow orphan from scoundrels who use an adoption scheme to gain cheap labor. and unlocks the secret to his birth. He discovers his mom is in fact a wood elf, and she was sucked back into her world the day he was born.

But that’s not all… there's magic too. Joey is the direct descendant of the mage of EVERWUD and will inherit pure magic one day.

Life couldn’t possibly have more surprises in store for Joey… or could it?

EVERWUD… where adventure begins.


Buy Everwud – The Tree, The Boy & The Dog on:

Buy Everwud – Book Two – Castles, Clowns & Potions:


My 5 Star Review:

I decided to read Everwud – The Tree, The Boy & The Dog by Marilyn Dieckmann, even though I knew it was geared toward children, because of all the intriguing Tweets Marilyn passed along on Twitter. She made it sound enchanting, magical, and lovely. And it is. From the very first paragraph, Marilyn had me hooked. She drew me into the story before I even realized what was happening. I had to know what happened next, and next, and next.

Everwud is not only a magical story, it is also fun and full of adventure. You can't help but like the main character, Joey, right away. He's such a typical boy, yet he really isn't, we soon learn. When Joey befriends a furry companion his life changes. He is caught up in an adventure he can hardly believe is happening to him. And he soon learns more about the parents he has never known and that he wasn't completely abandoned after all.

I would recommend Everwud to children ages eight and up. It's perfect for reading to your child at bedtime, for older children to read to themselves, or for adults looking for a little magic. And the best part about Everwud is it doesn't end with the first book. There are two more in the series.


About Marilyn Dieckmann:

To give credit where credit is due... I would say it was my husband's idea for me to write a book. I absolutely LOVE to read, and devour books every chance I get. The fact that I create magical fairy houses and make up stories for the inhabitants... well, it seemed like a natural step to take. I've made over 78 fairy houses and writing has now become a passion.

I'm a wife, mom, grandma and chocolate lover. Chocolate covered cherries are my all-time favorite candy, but any chocolate will do in a pinch!
Wine taster fits in here too!
I dream in full color and never ever think inside the box. As a matter of fact I don't think I own one of those box thingies.

We live in northern Minnesota where the seasons are well defined... winter and summer, with a brief glimpse of spring and fall in between. Our garden is spectacular even though the season is so short.

I've been a student, house painter, waitress, teacher (2 degrees), care-giver and worked in a lumber mill. However, like I told my sons... it's not necessarily what you do for a living (the job that pays the bills) that defines who you are.
It's what you do that brings you JOY.

My epitaph will read... she LOVED her family well!


Connect with Marilyn on:


I hope you will read Everwud to your favorite little adventurer!



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Maggie's Turn Book Blog Tour GIVEAWAY!

Hi all,

12/1/13 - Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. The winners have all been chosen and notified. They are:
Summer - $100 Amazon Gift Card
Maggie's Turn Book & Bob Seger CD
Congrats to all the winners!
11/29: This Giveaway is now over. Thank you all for entering. I will announce the winners as soon as they have been contacted. :) 

MAGGIE'S TURN is going on tour November 4th - 29th, and in celebration of this, I am having a fabulous GIVEAWAY EVENT. The giveaway starts TODAY and runs through the blog tour until November 29th. You have multiple ways to enter, so enter today!

First Prize:  $100 Amazon Gift Card (U.S. Dollars)(Open Internationally)
Three Second Prizes: Three people will win a signed paperback copy of MAGGIE'S TURN as well as a CD of Bob Seger's Greatest Hits, the soundtrack to Maggie's Turn.
(U.S. Residents Only)
Enter now! Who couldn't use a $100 Amazon Gift Card just in time for holiday shopping?
And be sure to follow the MAGGIE'S TURN BOOK BLOG TOUR starting November 4th. Click here to see the TOUR SCHEDULE.

Enter using the Rafflecopter below. (Starts 10/16 at midnight)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 11, 2013

Book Review: The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski by Samantha Geimer

Hi all,

I've always had an interest in the Manson Family murders that occurred in 1969 and have read almost every book and watched pretty much every documentary on it. Actress Sharon Tate, wife of Producer/Director Roman Polanski, was killed by the Manson family that fateful night. She was eight months pregnant at the time. Eight years later, Roman Polanski was back in the news, except this time, he was the perpetrator. He was arrested for the rape of a thirteen year old girl. At that time, the public did not know the identity of "the girl". Polanski skipped the country and has, ever since, been unable to return to the United States. As the years went by, I'd see Polanski's name in the news every so often and wonder about the girl, now a grown woman, and how she felt every time he won an award or received attention when he was never punished for the crime of her rape. Well, now I don't have to wonder anymore. When I saw that she had written a book about her experience and how she's coped with the legacy of it over the past 36 years, I just had to read it. Here is the book description and my review.

The Girl:
A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski
Samantha Geimer

Book Description:

In this searing and surprising memoir, Samantha Geimer, “the girl” at the center of the infamous Roman Polanski sexual assault case, breaks a virtual thirty-five-year silence to tell her story and reflect on the events of that day and their lifelong repercussions.

March 1977, Southern California. Roman Polanski drives a rented Mercedes along Mulholland Drive to Jack Nicholson’s house. Sitting next to him is an aspiring actress, Samantha Geimer, recently arrived from York, Pennsylvania. She is thirteen years old.

The undisputed facts of what happened in the following hours appear in the court record: Polanski spent hours taking pictures of Samantha—on a deck overlooking the Hollywood Hills, on a kitchen counter, topless in a Jacuzzi. Wine and Quaaludes were consumed, balance and innocence were lost, and a young girl’s life was altered forever—eternally cast as a background player in her own story.

For months on end, the Polanski case dominated the media in the United States and abroad. But even with the extensive coverage, much about that day—and the girl at the center of it all—remains a mystery. Just about everyone had an opinion about the renowned director and the girl he was accused of drugging and raping. Who was the predator? Who was the prey? Was the girl an innocent victim or a cunning Lolita artfully directed by her ambitious stage mother? How could the criminal justice system have failed all the parties concerned in such a spectacular fashion? Once Polanski fled the country, what became of Samantha, the young girl forever associated with one of Hollywood’s most notorious episodes? Samantha, as much as Polanski, has been a fugitive since the events of that night more than thirty years ago.

Taking us far beyond the headlines, The Girl reveals a thirteen-year-old who was simultaneously wise beyond her years and yet terribly vulnerable. By telling her story in full for the first time, Samantha reclaims her identity, and indelibly proves that it is possible to move forward from victim to survivor, from confusion to certainty, from shame to strength.

Buy The Girl by Samantha Geimer

Amazon Kindle


B&N Nook


My 5 Star Review:

The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski by Samantha Geimer is simply riveting. Samantha shares her story, starting with a description of her home life to give you a background on her family, describing how she became associated with Roman Polanski, reliving that eventful day and evening that changed her life, then telling of her life afterward with great honesty. She doesn't paint herself as a helpless little victim or as a perfect angel. Nor was she a conniving young woman who, along with her mother, planned to snare Polanski in a trap so she could profit from it, as many people asserted. Samantha was raped by a man over thirty years older than she was, and all she wanted was for justice to be served and then to move on with her life. Unfortunately, she got neither.

Roman Polanski skipped out of the U.S. before he was sentenced for the rape and has since been a fugitive from justice. But he hasn't exactly been hiding out. He's worked, made movies, and even won awards for his work. When he was nominated for an Academy Award for best director for his movie The Pianist in 2003, the "artist" community was actually outraged that he wasn't able to return to the U.S. for the award ceremony just because of a rape he'd committed 25 years earlier. Again, years later, he was arrested in Zurich, Switzerland for the outstanding warrant when he tried to attend the Zurich Film Festival where he was to win an award. Celebrities were up in arms about the arrest, conveniently forgetting that years before, Polanski had raped a young girl. And each time Polanski was in the news, Samantha was bombarded by the press for her opinion on the matter, instead of being left alone to live her life.

Samantha explains all of this in her book, as well as all the nitty gritty details of her life, good and bad. She doesn't whitewash anything about her life. She also explains why, after years of trying to stay out of the spotlight, she finally came forward to tell her story. It's an interesting story to read, and it's refreshing to finally hear her side of the story after years of blatant lies fed to us by the media. If you enjoy true life stories, you will enjoy Samantha's story.



Thursday, October 3, 2013

Book Review: Sisters in Love (Love in Bloom: Snow Sisters Book One) by Melissa Foster

Hi all,

I recently read Melissa Foster's latest novel, Sisters in Love which is the first in the Snow Sisters series. I had bought it when it first came out and was happy to see when it hit the top 100 in the Amazon paid store when Ms. Foster ran a promotion for it. When I purchased Sisters in Love, I expected a light romance novel. I was surprised to find it was much more than that. Here is a description of Sisters in Love and my review.


Sisters in Love
(Love in Bloom: Snow Sisters Book One)
Melissa Foster


Book Description:

Danica Snow has always been the smart, practical, and appropriate sister. As a therapist, she prides herself on making reasonable, conservative choices, even if a bit boring, and as part of the Big Sister Program, she has little time for anything more in her life.

Blake Carter is a player. He never gets bored of conquering women, and with his sexy good looks and successful lifestyle, he has no trouble finding willing participants. When his friend and business partner dies in a tragic accident, he suddenly, desperately, wants to change his ways. The problem is, he doesn’t know how to stop doing what he does best.

When Blake walks into Danica’s office, the attraction between them is white hot, but Danica isn't the type to give into the heat and risk her career. Danica’s desire sets her on a path of self-discovery, where she begins to question every decision she’s ever made. Just this once, Danica wants to indulge in the pleasures of life she’s been so willingly ignoring, but with her Little Sister in turmoil and her biological sister’s promiscuousness weighing heavily on her heart, she isn’t sure it’s the right time to set her desires free.

My 5 Star Review:

When I purchased Sisters in Love by Melissa Foster, I expected a lighthearted romance, but as I began reading this novel, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the story was much more than that. While at its core, Sisters in Love is a romance (sometimes even steamy), the characters and the story has a depth you don't usually find in lighthearted romances. The main character, Danica Snow, is a strong woman who is very straight laced and work orientated, quite the opposite of her younger sister, Kaylie, who parties and jumps from man to man. As Danica's life unfolds, we find that she is also a very caring person as she spends time with a troubled teenaged girl, Michelle, as part of the Big Sister Program. The same is true of Blake Carter, who at first we believe to be nothing but an egotistical playboy. However, as events occur, we find there is a heart and soul below the showy exterior. When Danica and Blake meet, the attraction is mutual, but there are many barriers they each must break down before they can give in to those emotions.

I really enjoyed this first novel in the Snow Sister's series. The characters are complex, likable, and well developed. The storyline kept me interested and reading so I could find out what happened to each of the characters. If you enjoy a romance novel with depth, heart, and soul, you will enjoy Sisters in Love.

Buy Sisters in Love:

As of this writing, Sisters in Love is only $0.99!

And the best part is you don't have to wait to read book two in the series because it is already out. Look for:


I hope you will pick up a copy of Sisters in Love and give it a try.