Great books for children of all ages – Lilly the Lash (repost)

I personally love the Lilly the Lash series . My friend Julie Woik is the author.  She is an absolutely amazing person with such a passion for true ideals like respect, compassion, caring, and responsibility. Each book has a lesson…with generosity at its core. Proceeds from her books go to agencies such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation , National Lung Cancer Partnership and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. Please visit her website where you can find links to lesson plans, Girl Scout activities and much more. Enjoy! Both my boys have!!

Book 1 – The Garden Gathering

Book 2 – The Toy Store

Book 3 – Ocean Commotion


Cherry Cheesecake Murder with Recipes – Recommended by Dee

On a bit of a contrast from Stephen King’s thrillers, Dee is reading Cherry Cheesecake Murder  by Joanne Fluke. It’s one of many lighthearted murder mysteries in the series of Hannah Swenson Mysteries …all revolving around baked goods.

Hannah Swensen and her bakery, The Cookie Jar, bask in the glow of Hollywood glamour when Main Street becomes a movie set. And although tensions simmer as the cameras roll, no one expects the action to turn deadly. . .until it’s too late. .

There’s no such thing as privacy in Lake Eden, but Hannah never thought things would go this far. Everyone has been telling her what to do ever since she got not one but two marriage proposals. Movie mania soon shoves Hannah’s marriage dilemma into the background and even gives her cat a shot at stardom. The Cookie Jar serves as snack central with Main Street rented out for the week. She stirs lots of fresh gossip, whipping up treats for cast and crew, including demanding director Dean Lawrence’s favorite–cherry cheesecake.

Everything’s on schedule until Dean demonstrates a suicide scene with a prop gun that turns out to be all too real. As filming continues, Hannah sifts through the clues, hoping against hope that the person responsible for Dean’s death is half-baked enough to have made a mistake. When it happens, Hannah intends be there–ready to rewrite a killer’s lethal script with the kind of quirky ending that can only happen in Lake Eden. . .

If  reading this book triggers your sweet tooth, the author has included 10 recipes for you to try 🙂


I just finished, Criminal: A Novel by Karin Slaughter. Wow, that was pretty intense and captivating.  I loved reading it from the different character’s points of view, including that of a female cop back when female cops weren’t accepted. If you like “CSI“, you’ll like this book. Be ready though…this book evokes a wide range of emotions including fear, horror, anger, disbelief and grief. Great pick BBB!

Duma Key – Recommended by Dee

My friend Dee just read and “loved” Duma Key: A Novel by Stephen King.

A terrible construction site accident takes Edgar Freemantle’s right arm and scrambles his memory and his mind, leaving him with little but rage as he begins the ordeal of rehabilitation. A marriage that produced two lovely daughters suddenly ends, and Edgar begins to wish he hadn’t survived the injuries that could have killed him. He wants out. His psychologist, Dr. Kamen, suggests a “geographic cure,” a new life distant from the Twin Cities and the building business Edgar grew from scratch. And Kamen suggests something else.

Edgar leaves Minnesota for a rented house on Duma Key, a stunningly beautiful, eerily undeveloped splinter of the Florida coast. The sun setting into the Gulf of Mexico and the tidal rattling of shells on the beach call out to him, and Edgar draws. A visit from Ilse, the daughter he dotes on, starts his movement out of solitude. He meets a kindred spirit in Wireman, a man reluctant to reveal his own wounds, and then Elizabeth Eastlake, a sick old woman whose roots are tangled deep in Duma Key. Now Edgar paints, sometimes feverishly, his exploding talent both a wonder and a weapon. Many of his paintings have a power that cannot be controlled. When Elizabeth’s past unfolds and the ghosts of her childhood begin to appear, the damage of which they are capable is truly devastating.

Dana Stabenow – Recommended by Susan

My friend Susan strongly recommends Dana Stabenow books, especially her Kate Shugak series.  She got the first one in the series as a free Kindle download and ended up reading the next 18 all in order.  You can read them separately but it makes more sense if you do them in order.  They take place in Alaska and Kate is an investigator and a native Alaskan torn at times with some of her traditional heritage.  She hunts and there are even some good cooking tips and survival tips.  But mostly you get so wrapped up in the characters you feel like you are part of the community.

There is a lot to discuss in them from relationships with kids, guys, friends, parents, your community and what you need to have a full and satisfying life.  Her constant companion is her dog named Mutt who is part wolf —but only part!  They are set in different locations around Alaska at different times of the year.  The plots are different, nothing contrived about them.  Thanks for the recommendation Susan!

English: Dana Stabenow, author

English: Dana Stabenow, author (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales

Last month I read this great book, Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales: A Story of Addiction
by Marni Mann. It chronicles a girl’s path towards heroin and the grip it takes on her life. It was truly intriguing. Working in the foster care system, I tend to just focus on the effects drug abuse has on the children. It was really interesting to see the other side…how it starts, how the addict absolutely loses control. It was very powerful and enlightening.

Also available on Nook

Update: I just found out there is a sequel coming soon…Scars from a Memoir!

Great historical read!

I’d like to showcase my friend Chris Pagliuco’s first book, The Great Escape of Edward Whalley and William Goffe: Smuggled through Connecticut.

The story follows the journey of Parlimentarians Whalley and Goffe, who, along with John Dixwell, waged war against Charles I during the English civil wars. When the king was killed in 1660 and Charles’ son took over, they were charged with regicide, and fled to the Colonies, leaving behind families and homeland, forever it turned out for Whalley and Goffe.

Pagliuco takes his readers crisply along on the journey, with a sense of urgency and pleasant readability… murder, intrigue, fugitives on the lam… bigtime heroes and bigtime villains.”

I’ve also posted his blog site under “Sites I follow”. For the historical buffs (and Connecticut natives) it’s a great find! Enjoy!