Tag Archives: pandemic

The Fifth Daughter of Thorn Ranch by Julia Brewer Daily (Book Review)

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Emma Rosales is the heiress to the largest ranch in Texas-The Thorn. All of the responsibilities of managing a million acres now fall into her fifth-generation hands.

A task Emma could handle with her eyes closed… if The Thorn was any ordinary property.

The Thorn is home to many things. Clear, cloudless skies. Miles of desert scrub and craggy mountains. A quiet disrupted only by whispers of the wind. And an ancient web of secrets that won’t let Emma out alive without a fight.

The Fifth Daughter of Thorn Ranch is a family saga as large as the state of Texas.

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from R&R Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Emma’s path in life has been set for her even before she could speak her first word. In every generation, the women in her family are in charge of running Thorn Ranch. Thorn Ranch has over 500 horses, 7500 heard of cattle, and crops. It has a million acres (1600 square miles) and spans eight counties. Life on the ranch is never dull. People work hard, but they also have time to “play.” Emma has impressed many people in the county with her shooting and riding skills.

When Emma went missing for two weeks, I expected a search party to be called out. I was perplexed why the workers of Thorn Ranch didn’t call her parents sooner. They waited until Emma had been missing for two weeks. This stunned me. I’ve never lived on a ranch or visited one, so maybe being gone (alone) for an extended time is standard practice.

When Emma stumbled upon a hidden tribe (The People) in the cave cliffs, they didn’t immediately help her home. They feared the outside world because they had lost so much from them in the past. Instead of going home, they informed Emma this would be her new home. Emma never stopped trying to escape, and her attempts caused her bodily harm. As the days progressed, The People became plagued with covid. Yes, the pandemic took root in the homes. Emma didn’t bring the sickness to them. It came from other “city” girls.

Covid brought fear to their tribe, and this fear caused the people to act harshly. You’ll need to read the book to find out the extent of their actions to appease their god.

If you’re a parent, your heart will break with each scene involving Josie searching for her missing daughter. Her tears will become your tears. Her sorrow will become your sorrow.

Will Josie ever smile again? Will her daughter ever come home? Read the book and find out!

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

About the Author

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Julia Brewer Daily is a Texan with a southern accent. She holds a B.S. in English and a M.S. degree in Education from the University of Southern Mississippi.

She has been a Communications adjunct professor at Belhaven University, Jackson, Mississippi, and Public Relations Director of the Mississippi Department of Education and Millsaps College, a liberal arts college in Jackson, Mississippi.

She was the founding director of the Greater Belhaven Market, a producers’ only market in a historic neighborhood in Jackson, and even shadowed Martha Stewart.

As the executive director of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi (three hundred artisans from nineteen states) which operates the Mississippi Craft Center, she wrote their stories to introduce them to the public.

Daily is an adopted child from a maternity home hospital in New Orleans. She searched and found her birth mother and through a DNA test, her birth father’s family, as well.  A lifelong southerner, she now resides on a ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas, with her husband Emmerson and Labrador Retrievers, Memphis Belle and Texas Star.

Julia Brewer Daily | Facebook | Twitter  | Instagram

 

 

 

 

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Sanity for Humanity in a Calamity: A Cartoon Journey of Our First Year through COVID-19 by Jon Bowerman (Book Review)

A comedic, illustrated, and unapologetic memoir to look back and remember our first unprecedented year of COVID-19, in a different light.

Yes, there were challenges, and there were also triumphs to be celebrated. This book surely doesn’t forget those. Along with each cartoon, comes a time-stamped reflection of whatever was flipping the world on its head that day. Some snapshots are happy. Some are sad. Some are hilarious. Summed up, it’s truly a diary of the coronavirus that everyone can relate to.

Everyone’s coping mechanism was different. Mine happened to be cartoons. As abruptly as our world came to a screeching halt, my foray back into drawing began. Art has always been my passion, but life got in the way for a decade.

To bring some humor and for my own therapy, I began cartooning in lockstep with the world changing daily. With nearly every week of the pandemic changing our cultural norms, I continued chronicling our evolution as a society. After sharing a few cartoons on social media and getting such a great response and momentum, the collection started to build.

Here we are, our first year of COVID-19 over, and I’m ready to share them with the world.

Keep this book on your coffee table, in the bathroom, or as a guidebook for the next (year of this) pandemic. A keepsake with perspective that all adults won’t soon forget.

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

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

 

Everyone has been affected by the covid pandemic. We felt it in our wallets. Store shelves dwindled down to almost nothing. We lost jobs and businesses because of it. Schools went to remote learning. Family members could no longer hug their child(ren). Worse, we lost families and friends to the virus. 

Jon Bowerman’s cartoons for Sanity for Humanity in a Calamity: A Cartoon Journey of Our First Year through COVID-19 made me smile. Barney the dinosaur’s mugshot was funny. Loved the nods to DC Comics (Batman and Bane). I loved ALL the pop culture references! 

There was one cartoon that was hard to read. Senior Defender-19‘s image was sideways with tiny lettering, which made it virtually impossible to read. I could zoom in on the pdf (author-issued copy), but I could not rotate the image. 

Covid Safety Tip #3 – Day 123 – One Sheet conservation Method: OMG, I spit out my drink, reading the instructions and looking at the figures A-F. Seriously, that one was funny as heck! 

Jon Bowerman was correct in people’s worry about how others would view someone wearing a mask. Were they being cautious, or are they contagious? He also spoke of how to wear one properly. FYI: It’s not helpful if you don’t cover your mouth AND nose. Just sayin’.

Jon Bowerman gave props to his wife during the remote-learning days. He also gave a shout-out to all teachers, showed his appreciation for all their work, and encouraged increasing school funding. I agree!

It’s hard to imagine speaking of covid, reflecting on what it’s done worldwide, and laughing or cracking a smile, but that’s precisely what Jon Bowerman has made me do through his witty text and funny cartoons. He brought lightness to a rather dark time. Thank you, Jon Bowerman. Well done! Oh, and I love the cover too! 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Author

A tech entrepreneur in marketing, Jon founded a non-profit focusing on increasing the mental health of children through art. Jon enjoys spending most of his personal time denying his kids more screen time, scrambling for par on the golf course, smoking ribs low and slow, and cracking open a beer.

Reedsy Link

 

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Awake with the Songbirds – Poems from the Pandemic by Kyrian Lyndon (Book Spotlight)

Content Rating:  PG + M. The book does allude to suicide in one poem and discusses grief and depression in some of the others. There may one or two words of profanity

 
 

 
“She has the ability to convey to the reader some of the most complex thoughts into words that truly reach our hearts.” — Love Books

“Her lyric voice speaks with careful observation and passion. In the narrative mode, she is masterful in reading life around her. Kyrian possesses the sensitivity, insight, and soul of the true poet. Her writing provides a primer on how to compose meaningful poetry.” — Lou Jones

 

 
 
Book Description:
 
This collection consists primarily of poems written during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time of loneliness and rumination.

Lyndon’s poetry stems from intense emotions that swing from one end of the pendulum to the other as she captures the agony of love and loss, along with innocent joy and lighthearted fun.

Each poem is an earnest response to life, love, and everything in between.

 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon
add to goodreads
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Author Kyrian Lyndon

 

Kyrian Lyndon is the author of Shattering Truths, the first book in her Deadly Veils series. She has also published three poetry collections, A Dark Rose Blooms, Remnants of Severed Chains, and Awake with the Songbirds – Poems from the Pandemic. Kyrian began writing short stories and fairy tales when she was just eight years old. In her adolescence, she moved on to poetry. At sixteen, while working as an editor for her high school newspaper, she wrote her first novel, and then completed two more novels at the ages of nineteen and twenty-five.

She is forthcoming about being a person with many years of recovery, as well as a trauma survivor. Throughout her journeys, she expressed her thoughts through poetry, embracing every challenge to triumph over adversity. In her conviction that learning, growing, healing, and evolving is a never-ending process, she remains as grateful for the dark days as she is for every flicker of hope and light. She considers herself a cheerleader for those trudging on against all odds in the hopes of living their dreams.

Born and raised in Woodside, Queens, New York, Kyrian was the middle of three daughters born to immigrants –her father from Campochiaro, Italy; her mother from Havana, Cuba. She has worked primarily in executive-level administrative positions with major New York publishing companies.

Kyrian loves nineteenth-century British literature, parallel universe fiction, and dark romanticism. She also enjoys music, art, history, fitness, and cooking.

 

connect with the author:

 
 
 

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Spirituality, Healing and Me by Ilana Estelle (Book Review)

Spirituality, healing, and me by Ilana Stankler

 
Everyday life has never been more challenging and it’s easy to lose sight of who we are and who we want to be. In Spirituality, Healing and Me, Ilana Estelle draws on her experiences of emotional, mental and physical disability to show how tuning into our spiritual side can improve well-being, heal our minds and set us firmly back on track.

Ilana shows how focusing on values such as understanding, empathy, compassion, tolerance, kindness, creativity and acceptance can help us find our inner calm.

Packed with inspiring messages and real-life vignettes, Ilana’s book shows how spirituality can help us navigate even the roughest waters.
•Improve emotional balance and wellness
•Boost confidence and self-esteem
•Stay self-aware, grounded and patient
•Appreciate life and each other
•Accept changing circumstances
•Enhance positive emotions and personal healing

 

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Amazon.uk

B&N Indiebound ~ Waterstones
Book Depository
add to goodreads

 

 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book ToursI voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Ilana Estelle wrote a very straightforward book that dealt with many topics such as mental health, global warming, covid, achieving inner peace, and much more. Even though Ilana gave her opinion on various these subjects, in no way did Spirituality, Healing and Me come off as preachy. In fact, she made it abundantly clear spirituality and religion are not the same. You’ll have to read Spirituality, Healing and Me to read her explanation on each and how to become more spiritual. 


Many points were made in Spirituality, Healing and Me that I 100% agree with, and I’d like to share a few of those with you so you, the potential reader, can get a feel for the book and its content. 

  1. You don’t have to be religious to be spiritual. 
  2. Fearing death can cause a person to stop living life to the fullest. 
  3. Perform random acts of kindness without expecting anything in return. 
  4. Listen more. Be respectful. 
  5. We must value nature and help it to survive. Our existence depends on it. 
  6. Covid and the pandemic are real, and so is global warming. 

I also agree with Ilana Estelle’s “Natural Stress Remedies.” (read the book to view them)


I appreciate every passage that dealt with mental health. Our society needs to talk openly and embrace the mental struggles people face. As a person battling inner demons, I love how the world is no longer shying away from mental health issues. 


I encourage everyone to read Spirituality, Healing and Me by Ilana Estelle and start their journey to a more spiritual life. 

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


Amazon ~ Amazon.uk

B&N Indiebound ~ Waterstones
Book Depository
add to goodreads

 

 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
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Ilana was born with a disability she didn’t know she had until the age of 46, when through her medical notes she discovered she had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 2.

That discovery turned out to be a unique and life-changing experience that has forced Ilana to stand back and look at her life experiences differently. On her late diagnosis, Ilana set up her website The CP Diary and uses her experiences to explore her emotional and physical health, with an inspiring message advocating resilience and change.
Ilana likes to spend her days writing and blogging about anything that contributes to her health and well being. She is an animal advocate and is passionate about environmental issues. When she is not writing to tending to her blog, Ilana enjoys days out exploring the Yorkshire countryside. Ilana lives with her husband and their much-loved cat, in Yorkshire. Her grown up son and daughter both live in London.

Connect with the author: 

website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ pinterest ~ goodreads

 
 

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I Miss School by Ryan Reaves (Book Review)


“I Miss School” is written by a child, for a child. In this heartwarming and honest story, kids will understand that their feelings about the pandemic are normal and it is perfectly acceptable to feel a range of emotions related to not going to in-person school. The book instills hope for kids that brighter days are ahead.
 
 
 
 
 I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
I Miss School will strike a chord with young readers/listeners because many children have spent this year attending class from their kitchen tables. 


I Miss School touched my heart because these thoughts belong to a real-life six-year-old—a child who also happens to be the author. As a parent of a tween daughter, I know the lack of interaction has negatively affected my child. Like Ryan, she misses her teachers, eating lunch with her friends, and every fun activity they did at school.


This pandemic has been brutal on all of us, but especially young children. 


For so long, children could not hang out due to the fear of catching covid-19. Facetime and Zoom calls are nice, but most kids crave in-person interactions. 


I encourage all parents/caregivers of young children to sit down and read I Miss School with your little ones. Maybe they’ll share with feelings with you if they haven’t already. 


As I am writing this review, covid vaccines are not readily available for Ryan’s age group, but I hope it will be soon. I hate to see any child sad— real or in character form. As for the characters, the illustrations were beautifully drawn. I couldn’t locate the illustrator’s name, but whoever you are, I commend you on your artistic ability. 


Nice job, Ryan Reaves! You, my dear, are a superstar! 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Ryan Reaves
Six-year-old Ryan Reaves began writing her debut story “I Miss School” at five years old after yearning to return to her brick-and-mortar school during the covid 19 pandemic. She wanted to write the book for other kids, so they knew they weren’t alone in their thoughts and feelings and that we are all in this together.

connect with the author: instagram

 

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