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A Midlife Voyage to Transformation by Donna Roe Daniell (Book Review and Author Interview)

A MIDLIFE VOYAGE TO TRANSFORMATION by Donna Roe Daniell

 
Can You Step into Your Power and Birth a New You at Midlife?

YES! Midlife, and the major events that encompass the ages of 35-65, can be devastating or powerful for women. But we can choose to be awakened at this powerful time of life. This memoir is the story of Donna Daniell’s healing journey through the five stages of the midlife voyage-Lost at Sea; Finding a Mooring; Deep Diving; Rebirthing; and the New You-to find self-love, resilience, and feminine wisdom. It is also a roadmap for other women on the midlife journey, charting a course that transmutes challenges into inner rebirth and stepping into the power of the Wisewoman.

​FIND YOUR OWN INNER STRENGTH – TAKE THE VOYAGE TO TRANSFORMATION!

 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
A Midlife Voyage to Transformation touches upon many aspects of Donna Roe Daniell’s life: postpartum depression, divorces, ADHD, career, and family heartache.
 
First, as a mother with two ADD children, I can attest to their brightness. Some teachers see these children as destructive, but their brains are working at max speed and need continuous stimuli. Like Julian, my son picked up music. My daughter loves art. 
 
Donna was overwhelmed often, and who could blame her—she had a lot on her plate. Peter, her first husband, checked out on her (physically and emotionally). He wasn’t an active parent or spouse. How and when he told Donna the marriage was over was cold. 


When Donna married Brett, I thought she’d finally found her one true love. I was shocked at the completion of their marriage. He appeared to be the dad Julian needed and the spouse Donna deserved. 


Donna, through all her emotional turmoil, discovered how to love herself. She found strength in mind and body. Heck, she climbed Kilimanjaro, and that is no easy feat. 


I hope that Donna and Julian’s relationship continues to be close. I wish her luck in her yoga teachings and the next chapter of her life. She seems ready, willing, and able to tackle any obstacle (mentally and physically). 


In summation, A Midlife Voyage to Transformation will inspire women to find their true happiness, regardless of relationship status. It might motivate some people to test their strength and try a task they’ve only dreamed of.


 Believe in yourself. Love yourself. And remember, you control your fate.

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

 

BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon
add to goodreads

 

 

Meet the Author:

Author Donna Roe Daniell

Donna Roe Daniell is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Colorado and has had a private practice in the Boulder/Longmont area since 2005 called Balance Your Life Coaching & Psychotherapy. She has offered family therapy and individual trauma treatment using mind/body trauma tools such as mindfulness, yoga and IFS through her psychotherapy practice. Since 2015, she has focused her coaching practice for women in midlife on unique programs to specifically empower women going through major midlife challenges to grieve and rebirth themselves through the 5 stages of her Midlife Voyage to Transformation. Today, through her website, Donna offers on-line courses, Talks and live workshops, mp3 guided practices to support this book, and adventure and mindfulness retreats in nature for women wanting support to wake up, become unstuck, and find a transformative healing path through life’s challenges.

 

 

What was the most difficult part about writing your memoir?

Figuring out how and where to end it.   I wasn’t sure how to show my “transformation” other than in showing how I lead women’s retreats for women in transitions.  But, in the process of showing and creating that, I was continuing to develop new tools for continuing my developmental process as a “Sixties Woman” which I also felt was another chapter and an important part of my rebirth into my fuller wisdom and power.  I left this out, ultimately and just showed the power of “nature practices” in the Afterward. 

 

How did you choose which stories in your life to write about?

I let my heart guide what I wrote about.  First, I wrote those first stories about my ancestors (my Great Aunt Bob and my Aunt Pat) who had influenced me to be more adventurous and find who I was as a young girl, teen and young adult.  Then I wrote about my special sister Marjorie’s death and how that impacted me. That led me to my wonderful leap-experience of moving to Colorado at 24 and meeting my Aunt Bob’s best friend Eleanor Bliss who still lived in Steamboat Springs where I moved.  Eleanor invited me totally into her life and I’ll never forget the impact that had on me.  Then, I wrote about my first marriage, the joy of raising Julian, and the divorce.  Then I had the perspective of what was missing in my childhood and how I found it in my move to Colorado.  The rest of the stories and learning flowed from this. 

 

Why did you decide to write a memoir instead of a guidebook for midlife? You say this is a guidebook and a memoir.  Why? 

I wanted to use more coaching terminology and make it more of a self-help book for women in midlife.  My editor suggested that might be my second book, but it would be too distracting to the stories as I had lain them out so far. I took her advice, but I still feel there’s so much more I want to say about midlife and what I have learned from riding the waves and learning from each painful loss.  Now, looking back, I think I portrayed more in “showing” rather than “telling.”  What do you think?

 

How did your Therapist Part come out in the writing of your memoir?  Other parts of you?

She guided me when I was writing the IFS chapter(Chap. 6) and shared her experience of learning the model and how it liberated my work as a psychotherapist.  But I wrote most of this book from my Self-Leader who compassionately was holding and tenderly inviting all my other parts to come out and share their truths.  This is the outcome of deep IFS work: To learn how to lovingly embrace, invite, negotiate with, and compassionately witness your parts daily from a deeply loving parental place (SELF LEADERSHIP) so they are free to be alive fully in your life.

 

 

How did you deal with the deeply emotional conflicts & feelings of your relationships over and over again in order to write about these events for others?  Was it healing or re-traumatizing?

It was sometimes healing and sometimes re-traumatizing.  It depended on what Part was coming forward when I was writing and how I worked with her.  In trauma therapy we learn that talking and relating the same painful story over and over again actually re-traumatizes you and drops the trauma deeper into your nervous system.  It’s better to tell your story from the actual parts who experienced the traumatic experience and now hold the pain. For example, when I was writing about my divorces, I tried to let my “angry wife”  and “mother” parts speak a bit, and then show how I worked with, comforted them or dialogued with them, from my Self-Leader.  In the first 6 chapters, I really dropped into speaking from many of my parts knowing I was choosing to give them room and attention that they needed to tell their stories.

 

 

I hear writers often say that the book wrote itself in some way, that the writing process took on a life of its own.   Did that happen for you in writing this memoir?

Yes, as I spoke about this earlier, the second half of the book wrote itself because I realized it was leading me to something I needed to learn about  my relationship with my mom.  I had to relive and re-feel my mom’s death and her experience with bringing in compassion to herself, through Melissa, her powerfully loving caregiver, so that I could find some sense of letting go or forgiveness to flow.  This process helped my own self-compassion to grow enough so I could face and allow the paradoxical grief and joy that I was feeling about so many things: choosing to end my second marriage, my son’s distance from me, and being released by my mother finally.  Each time I got stuck, I just went back to my heart and what it was showing me about how to keep loving, allowing grief to flow, and staying open to it all. 

 

What is your next project?

I think I want to tell the stories of women on the self-compassionate healing path through grief. Their stories of how grief works in and through them and how they come out on the other side.

I want to talk about how we Crones or Wise Women of this moment are called to do this grief work and how to find our wholeness through deep eco-dharma practice:  Inner and outer work.

 

connect with the author:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Off Broadway: A Marriage Drama by William A. Glass (Book Review / Author Interview)

OFF BROADWAY: A MARRIAGE DRAMA by William A. Glass

 
Cindy and Dave Knight got married too young. Several years later they are trying to make the best of it. He is a salesman on the fast track with a prestigious corporation. She is the indispensable assistant to a prominent Broadway producer. They own an apartment in Manhattan and enjoy knocking around the city together. However, Dave’s erratic behavior and career obsession strain the relationship. Can it be saved?
 
 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Before I begin my review, I would like to note the content rating: PG-13 + M. Off Broadway: A Marriage Drama by William A. Glass contains some profanity and has mature themes, including drug use (pot), adultery, and sexual situations. There are no graphic sex scenes. 
 
One of the first encounters that dealt with a mature scene happened when Cindy and Dave met up with the friends Phil and Susan. As their evening progresses, Phil informs the other couple that he and Susan had an open relationship and wants to swing with them. Dave isn’t up for swapping, but that doesn’t stop him from getting handsy with Susan. I could sense from that encounter that he doesn’t have an issue being with another woman, but I don’t think he wants his wife with another man. That’s a realistic scenario. 

Dave and Cindy’s marriage troubles are prevalent throughout the story. She hates his forgetfulness, his erratic behavior, and his messiness. I wasn’t surprised she told him she hadn’t loved him in a very long time because she yelled a lot at him. The break-up scene in the restaurant was rough. It would’ve been an awkward scene to witness if it occurred in real life. 


Marriage component aside, let’s discuss Dave’s sales career. 


As a consumer, we take for granted how our favorite items get on a store shelf. When Dave went on sales calls, we saw the behind-the-scenes aspect of how stressful and competitive product placement can be. We also witness what happens when a salesperson drops the ball on product placement. And how many hours (on and off the road) they put in each week. I was astounded to read how many demos a salesforce organizes in one weekend! 


Off Broadway: A Marriage Drama read as a dated piece. For instance, Dave went nuts on a cigarette vending machine. I don’t think I’ve seen one of those in several decades. 


The “drama” was not limited to his marriage with Cindy. It happened between Dave and his father (Knight) and during his time with UpTempCo, LLC. Plus, the people around him (family and business associates) were also waist-deep in their own drama. If you love drama, then you’ll love Off Broadway: A Marriage Drama.

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author William A. Glass

 
William is a retired business executive now living in South Carolina with his wife, Bettina. She teaches high school German while Bill is the soccer coach at a small college. Their three sons, Alex, Robert, and Gordon have all graduated from college and moved away to pursue careers. Now Bill and Bettina enjoy long walks with their dogs. When the weather permits, Bill commutes on his motorcycle. “It’s like taking a roller coaster to work!” he enthuses.
 
 
 
 
Kam:  What is your favorite childhood memory involving books?     
Bill:     I memorized a Golden Reader called ‘Grey Squirrel’s Party’ after having it read to me so often.  At age five, I figured out that the letters under the pictures were words and deciphered them.  Because of that, I was reading ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ by age eight.

 
Kam:  Did you always want to be an author while you were growing up?
Bill:    My only ambition growing up was to get out of school, then move as far from my family as I could.

 
Kam:  If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Bill:    Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

 
Kam:  What is your most unusual writing quirk?
Bill:     I’m a college soccer coach and much of my writing is done on the team bus traveling to games.  
    
 
Kam:  What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?
Bill:    Whiskey

 
Kam:   If you could tell your younger writing self, anything, what would it be?
Bill:     Put your pen down and go fishing.

 
Kam:  What book do you feel is under-appreciated? How about overrated?
Bill:     Most under-appreciated: Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant; Most overrated: The Naked and the Dead.     
                      

 
Kam:   If you could dine with any literary character, who would it be and why?
Bill:     Mrs. Waters. 

 
Kam:  What’s one movie you like recommending to others?
Bill:     Paths of Glory directed by Stanley Kubrick

 
connect with the author:
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The Clever Toad: The Race by Danny Wilson (Book Review)


Thomas Find, a toad, has known Princess Tina, a frog, his whole life. The two grew up together and fell in love. But Tina’s father, the King, does not approve of Tina marrying a toad, even if he is a well-respected, hard-working toad like Thomas. So the King chooses two frog suitors for his daughter. Thomas refuses to give up his true love though, so he seeks a way to win her hand. When he comes across an old marriage law, he thinks he just may have a chance, but it will take careful planning and a bit of creativity. Thomas is willing to try anything and so the king agrees to a race for his daughter’s hand in marriage, and the race is on.

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

The Clever Toad: The Race by Danny Wilson is labeled for baby – 12 years on Amazon. Some story components should work for each birth year within that wide age bracket. For example, babies and toddlers will enjoy the fun, colorful frogs and toads. The text, however, is more suitable for pre-k and up.

“The Clever Toad: The Race” contains a great deal of text, so please keep that in mind if you are reading to a young child with a limited attention span.

If your child is just starting to read, the overall text used might prove difficult except for common words such as “and,” “the,” “make,” “ran,” “day,” “to,” and “out” etc. However, I think children (3-6) will love listening to the story being read to them. The frog race to win the princess’ hand in marriage was a cute theme. Bread will flies baked in it—not so much. However, I did eat cricket salsa once, and it was good. Oh, and cookies with bugs baked into them. Also good. FYI: I was at an insectarium where samples were served for the brave visitors. It’s not like I’m always collecting and eating bug-infused food.

Older children should be able to read all the text with no problem, especially 10-12-year-olds. They might think the images are too kiddish for them, though.

If you’re an elementary teacher and decide to share “The Clever Toad: The Race” with your class, there are plenty of challenging words that you can use for spelling or a glossary test. You might also consider having relay races outside. Maybe set up an obstacle course.

“The Clever Toad: The Race” by Danny Wilson is a book you can read for many years, which I liked. Many books are for a certain age, and then there are just collecting dust on a shelf. I think this book will be read time and time again. No dusting needed. 🙂

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

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Reedsy Author Link

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Cancelled Vows by Lauren Carr (Book Spotlight)


“The story moves at a rapid pace and has a bit of everything – romance, humor, and suspense with several other murders after the body is discovered. A few surprises along with the tension both at home and in New York. Carr does an excellent job of developing her characters and providing backstory while maintaining a quick pace. Well worth the sleep I gave up to get to the end.” – review by Christa Nardi, Christa Reads and Writes.

 

“‘Cancelled Vows is loaded with twists and turns and red herrings that will leave you guessing all the while you are flipping pages to find out what happens next. Take the phone off the hook and make yourself a big bowl of popcorn because once you get started you will not want to put this book down until you actually finish. This is a great murder mystery that is going to keep you guessing. I look forward to the next adventure.” – review by Vic’s Media Room.


 
 
Book Summary:
 
Police Chief David O’Callaghan and Chelsea Adams’ wedding day is fast approaching. Unfortunately, at the last minute, David discovers that there is one small problem to be taken care of before he can walk down the aisle—divorce his first wife!

Lauren Carr takes fans of the Mac Faraday mysteries to the Big Apple in this nail biting adventure. In Cancelled Vows, David, Mac, and Gnarly, too, rush to New York City to dissolve David’s marriage to an old girlfriend—and he’s got five days to get it done. When murder throws up a road block, it is up to David’s best man, Mac Faraday, and Gnarly, K9-in-waiting, to sort through the clues to get David to the church in time!

 
Buy the Book:   
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Meet the Author:
Author Lauren Carr

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Thorny Rose, Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, and Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across five fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!
 
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor. 

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, and virtual book tour coordinator for independent authors.  

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. 

She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

 
connect with the author: 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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“Old Loves Die Hard,” “Shades of Murder,” and “Blast from the Past” by Lauren Carr (3 Book Spotlight)

 
 
 
“The plot gave a touch of crime drama to this cozy without losing the cozy charm. … There is suspense and twists that keep the pages turning. … I think Ms. Carr is just hitting her stride and I suspect that we shall see each new book surpass the last.” — review by Ariel Heart, Mystery and My Musings

“As in any good who-done-it, there are red herrings and plot complications in Old Loves Die Hard and fans of mysteries and police procedurals will get a kick out of Lauren Carr’s books.” – review by David M. Kinchen, Huntington News

 

 
Book Description:

Old Loves Die Hard…and in the worst places.

In Old Loves Die Hard, Lauren Carr continues the rags-to-riches story of Mac Faraday, an underpaid homicide detective who inherits two-hundred-and-seventy million dollars and an estate on Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, from his birth mother on the day his divorce becomes final.

Mac is settling nicely into his new life at Spencer Manor when his ex-wife Christine shows up—and she wants him back! Before Mac can send her packing, Christine and her estranged lover are murdered in Mac’s private penthouse suite at the Spencer Inn, the five-star resort built by his ancestors. The investigation leads to the discovery of cases files for some of Mac’s murder cases in the room of the man responsible for destroying his marriage. Why would his ex-wife’s lover come to Spencer to dig into Mac’s old cases?

With the help of his new friends on Deep Creek Lake, Mac must use all of his detective skills to clear his name and the Spencer Inn’s reputation, before its five-stars—and more bodies—start dropping!


 
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“Being favored by the rich and powerful often has its own drawbacks. Shades of Murder is another Mac Faraday mystery from Lauren Carr as she follows Mac as he finds himself once again the benefactor of yet another inheritance. A riveting mystery with plenty of twists and turns, Shades of Murder is very much recommended reading, not to be missed.” – review by William Buhle, Midwest Book Reviews

Shades of Murder is a fascinating, intricately woven mystery that has a number of engaging characters looking into two cases that would seem to have nothing in common. …This is a most entertaining entry in this series, made all the more so by the wonderful inclusion of Gnarly and Irving, Mac’s dog and Gates’s black and white cat, who meet during the course of the story.” – review by Mysterious Reviews


 
 
Book Description:
 
Question: What do you get the man with everything?

Answer: When that man is the heir of the late mystery writer Robin Spencer, retired homicide detective Mac Faraday, you get him cold case to solve.

In Shades of Murder, Mac Faraday is once again the heir to an unbelievable fortune. This time the benefactor is a stolen art collector. But this isn’t just any stolen work-of-art—it’s a masterpiece with a murder attached to it.

Ilysa Ramsay was in the midst of taking the art world by storm with her artistic genius. Hours after unveiling her latest masterpiece—she is found dead in her Deep Creek Lake studio—and her painting is nowhere to be found.

Almost a decade later, the long lost Ilysa Ramsay masterpiece has found its way into Mac Faraday’s hands and he can’t resist the urge to delve into the case.

A world away, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; former JAG lawyer Joshua Thornton agrees to do a favor for the last person he would ever expect to do a favor—a convicted serial killer.

The Favor: Solve the one murder wrongly attributed to him.

Joshua finds an unexpected ally in Cameron Gates, a spunky detective who has reason to believe the young woman known to the media only as Jane Doe, Victim Number Four, was the victim of a copycat. Together, Joshua and Cameron set out to light a flame under the cold case only to find that someone behind the scenes wants the case to remain cold, and is willing to kill to keep it that way.

Little do these detectives know that the paths of their respective cases are on a collision course when they follow the clues to bring them together in a showdown with a killer who’s got a talent for murder!

 
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Blast from the Past is a well-developed story full of intrigue that moves at a brisk pace. The characters are interesting, the villains varied, and the action is as quick as the humor. I have a feeling any of Lauren Carr’s mysteries would be pleasurable distractions, as well as entertaining.  Very Highly Recommended.” – Review by Lori L., Softly She Treads

“I must say, I truly enjoyed reading this book! I found myself waking up slightly early for work just to finish a couple chapters! Not only was this book captivating, I found myself laughing at Gnarly, the ever so lovable and rambunctious German Shephard! I look forward to reading the next book by Lauren Carr!” – Review by Debbie Hill, Miss Book Lovers

 


 
Book Description:
In this fourth mystery on Deep Creek Lake; Mac Faraday finds himself up to his eyeballs in mobsters and federal agents.

After an attempted hit ends badly with two of his men dead, mobster Tommy Cruze arrives in Spencer, Maryland, to personally supervise the execution of the witness responsible for putting him behind bars—Archie Monday!

Mac Faraday believes he has his work cut out for him in protecting his lady love from one of the most dangerous leaders in organized crime; but when bodies start dropping in his lakeshore resort town, things may be hotter than even he can handle.

Buy the Book:   
  Audible Amazon
BookBub
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Lauren Carr
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Thorny Rose, Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, and Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across five fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

 

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor. 

 
The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, and virtual book tour coordinator for independent authors.  
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. 
She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

 
connect with the author: 
 
 
 

 

 

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