Category : Just Conversation

26 posts

I’m just going to leave this here.  My heart is full to overflowing at this way of honoring a woman and a dream.


mothers-day-ecard-free-4Happy Mom’s Day to all of the amazing mothers out there – especially those in the writing, reviewing, reading, blogging world.

An extra “hug” to all of the moms of kids with what the world calls “special needs” – we who love those kids know that they are simply ours and we love them in any shape or form that God gave them to us in.

Today, my adult “kid” will take me and my best friend and her son out for our traditional Mother’s Day event.  We head into the beautiful mountains of Western Pennsylvania to a ski resort called Seven Springs where there is no longer snow, but there is the most amazing Mother’s Day brunch.  We will shop in a fantastic bakery and pick up  some Buckeyes (sinfully delicious peanut butter globs dipped in chocolate) and some pepperoni bread.  Then head to the local butcher where we’ll pick up some of the best cuts of meat around and store them in the freezer to enjoy the rest of the year.  There are tons of local artists’ shops where I’m certain we will find another hand made wooden piece of furniture (a tradition) and whatever other treasures catch our eyes.  It will be a day spent with my family and those two other people who have become the family of my heart if not blood.  It will be a fantastic day, we’ll return home stuffed and broke – but happy and blessed to have spent one more special Mom’s Day together.  It’s the memories that matter the most.

But before we head out for that precious day, I’d like to share some “mom” thoughts with you, my online family.

I’ve been a daughter and I’ve been a mom, so I guess I’ve seen the world from both sides now.

The most difficult job I’ve ever had was being a mom.  The absolutely most rewarding job I ever accepted has been being a mom.  Again, both sides of the coin.

Not every mom is a perfect mom – but I believe we (for the most part) try our best to be the kind of mom our kids need most.  I have said “I hate you” to my mom.  I have heard “I hate you Mom” from my son – and now I understand the heartbreak I handed to my own mom when, in teenage anger I delivered that strike to her heart.  And even though as an adult I know she knew that I didn’t really mean it – words cannot be unsaid.  So be careful with words, they really can wound sometimes.

I think the most precious words I ever heard were from my son when one day out of the blue he said “I love you, Mom.  Thanks for not giving up on me.”  As if I ever could or had.  But hearing the emotion was priceless.

It’s not a smooth sailing kind of life, there are plenty of stumbling blocks along the way.  But it is so worth every single moment.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you.  The world might think it’s just one day out of the year – we know better.

And to my own mom who has been gone from my daily life for years now, but never, ever far from my heart or thoughts – I love you, Mom.

If Roses Grow In Heaven

The Power of ListeningSelf-Help

What makes a good listener?

In this book are a variety of tried and true exercises to benchmark where you are as a listener. Discover the power of being a good listener in the six benefits of being a good listener. Take part in the eighteen concrete activities to become a better listener, plus learn fourteen things to avoid when listening to someone. Of extreme relevance is Chapter 7: Listening Challenges in the Digital Age and how to Overcome Them. One of the first casualties of the digital juggernaut is the art of effective listening and writing. Instead of communicating with people face-to-face, we are reading texts, e-mails, and social media updates. This is a book that can be referenced again and again as you continue your journey of becoming a better listener.

I don’t normally review Self-help books here.  Yet the family and I had been having discussions lately about the lack of listening, really listening to what each of us is saying.  When I saw this available on NetGalley I thought, perfect timing – let’s see what I can learn about listening.

I enjoyed reading this book.  I came away with some insights into focusing better on actually listening instead of simply hearing someone talking at me.  One major plus was that this book didn’t “talk down to me” as so often happens in Self-Help books, at least I’ve found that often.  While I found it interesting, I think the first line of the synopsis is very telling:  In this book are a variety of tried and true exercises…

Honestly, I came away with the knowledge that I already “know” how to listen for the most part, the fact that I allow distractions to interfere with what I’m thinking someone is saying to me is what I need to hone in on.  Reading The Power of Listening will definitely help you pinpoint those areas where you  need some work.  Yet, it’s more of a reinforcement of what we already know.  To really listen to someone you need to focus on them and only them.

*I received an e-ARC of The Power of Listening from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.

Cover Characteristic memeThe ladies at  Sugar and Snark  are hosting a Cover Characteristic meme.  Weekly a subject will be chosen and we search for book covers related to that week’s pick.  Why not?  I certainly have tons of book covers in my files (and I know how to find more *wink*).

This week’s choice is Black Covers.   Hmmm…. black covers.  This one had me stumped for a bit.  So I dug through my cover files and found I actually had more than I first thought.  Now to narrow them down to 5.  I’ll try, but I always end up with more.   (I ended up with more – a couple might be a bit iffy on the totally black, so I hedged my bets)  *wink*

My Choices for “Black Covers”

Archeron skA Quick BiteBroken (Lost)ReftBlk bittenBlk wicked nights

Domestic Violence touches thousands of women (and men) every single day of the year.  Stacy Eaton’s new release, Barbara’s Plea gives a voice to victims of abuse.  It is a powerful story.  It will touch you, it will educate you to the realities of daily life for so many people.  It is a story that needs to be told.  I hope you will find a copy and read it.  It could change a life.

I had the privilege of reviewing an e-ARC of Barbara’s Plea.  Here is a link to that review.



Taking Control TBR 15Since it’s now mid-afternoon where I am, and with the possibility of one or two more things to go up on the blog later ~~ I think it is safe to call this month of March a Wrap.

This month has been so full and such fun.  Bloggiesta,  Take Control of your TBR Pile, starting on Twitter, setting up a KB Facebook page, so many reviews and memes.  Getting amazing comments, upping my own commenting a lot was one of my goals or ongoing goals I should say.  Setting aside a certain amount of time each day has helped me achieve that one.

Scheduling has become more important than ever.   (running 3 book blogs has made that so very clear)  And yes, I probably am just a touch crazy.

Next month Keeper Bookshelf will start taking part in some Cover Reveals and Launch Blitz Promotions… not too many, but time to get the feet wet and start.

I am very happy with myself for sticking with my renewed love and work on this blog.  I love this community and I enjoy each and every day that I sit down to work on one of the loves of my life… books.

I did manage to get a lot of my TBR pile read – and no, I didn’t keep close count like I should have but honestly I wasn’t looking for a reward, it was a goal that I wanted so taking part in the Take Control of your TBR Pile was great motivation for setting aside a month devoted to that.

So, next up… on to April.  Already full of scheduled reviews, I know there will be spur of the moment reads and reviews – I cannot seen to be able to log into NetGalley without checking out the new novels.  *rolls eyes and laughs*  I’m such a sucker for a new book.  I don’t know yet how much more than this month I’ll accomplish but I do know one thing — at the base is enjoyment of the novels I read and review, the fun of the blogs I visit each day and the sense of being part of a community that is so diverse yet united in one thing — our mutual love of the written word.

Here’s to an amazing April.  🙂

blue eyesToday has been weird.  Not to bore anyone with non-book blogging stuff – but it’s just been a weepy, world crashing in kinda day.  You ever get those?  I hate them – but have learned to just get through them.

So instead of the million things I “should” be doing on my blogs – I’m going to go play World of Warcraft and crush things for a couple hours.  Get my mind off of everything family and book related.  My non-book version of running away from home for awhile.

The stuff that needs done – for once can wait 24 hours.  It’s the first time I tossed in the towel since restarting this in January.  I need a day off.

book pileNo, seriously, I’d really like to know.

While I’ve been blogging for several years, I’ve really only concentrated on reviews.  I’d like to take the next step and get involved in a Release Blitz or Book Tours or even just a Cover Reveal to start.

And I’m not ashamed to say that I’m still learning about these parts of book blogging.  But, I am starting to get offers and I really don’t want to fall flat on my face.  So, I’m asking anyone who wanders by my blog this simple question.  How have these things helped your book blogging?    And should you feel like giving some tips or additional information… I’m all ears.  🙂

Cover Characteristic memeThe ladies at  Sugar and Snark  are hosting a Cover Characteristic meme.  Weekly a subject will be chosen and we search for book covers related to that week’s pick.  Why not?  I certainly have tons of book covers in my files (and I know how to find more *wink*) so this will be my first week joining in.

This week’s choice is Gardens.  Show off your favorite book covers with Hair…hmmm.  Follow the links above to join in too.

There are so many possibilities – and I toyed with the idea of searching out Fabio’s old book covers *whistles innocently with a wink* – but I was kind.

But I did indeed find some very beautiful covers featuring beautiful, flowing hair.  Check these out.

There are 2 covers here that are due out in April.  But I find it intriguing to see the beauty and artistry of how hair strands can be woven to create something quite beautiful… even fire hair.

hair 1hair 2firehair 3purple hair 4hair 5hair 6hair 7



“Everything I know I learned from dogs.” — Nora Roberts