Jan 182018

Fiona Maria Simon’s



Tour Begins November 13th!



In Gambling on Granola: Unexpected Gifts on the Path of Entrepreneurship, Simon shares a tale that is uplifting and inspiring but also raw and honest. This is a business memoir but also a love story―the love for her daughter, of a journey in uncharted waters, of the products and company she created, and of the continued challenge to follow her dream.

We see her growth and healing over fifteen years, as mistakes, weaknesses, and naiveté evolve into resilience, resolve, and inspiration. For Fiona, it started out as all new businesses do―with an idea. But her world quickly became more complex as she established her company, developed new product lines, forged personal relationships in a competitive environment, grew her business, and held onto her deepest values―all while raising her daughter, Natalie, as a single mom.


Genre: Memoir

Publisher: Terra Nova Books

Publication Date: January 1, 2018

ISBN-10: 1938288920

ISBN-13: 978-1938288920/center>
Pages 200



Fiona Maria Simon is a former journalist, travel writer, editor, and communications director of the Boulder, Colorado, Chamber of Commerce. She is passionate about developing healthy food products, writing, traveling the world, and inspiring and empowering others with her story. Lured by the adventures of entrepreneurship, she launched her own organic granola company and led it to success despite having no business background and simultaneously juggling the demands of being a single mom. Her book is a story of challenges, hardships, and triumphs, both personal and professional.

Connect with Fiona at these sites:



“Fiona’s story is both personal and transformative. She lays bare the hopes and anxieties, challenges, betrayals and lessons learned in creating her own business. From the mountaintops of a solar observatory where she was raised, to the struggles and triumphs, her story is like a path of granola crumbs leading the reader to understand how to succeed at any enterprise.”
– Jeff Kline, M.A. Ed., Chairman, Hispanic Communications Network, Washington, DC.

“Fiona Simon is an engaging storyteller and her narrative moves right along. It should inspire and motivate anyone who needs to remember the importance of persistence, belief in oneself, and vision in pursuing a goal. Her granola is good and so is her book.”
– Bob McCormick, Publisher, Editor, Author

I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Jan 162018

BAD LITTLE GIRL by Frances Vick
Published by Bookouture
Publication Date: Feb. 22, 2017
ISBN-10: 1786811219
ISBN-13: 978-1786811219
Pages: 325
Review Copy From:Personal purchase
Edition: Kidle eBook
My Rating: 3

Synopsis via GR

‘I’m not safe – you have to help me…’

Little Lorna Bell is from a notorious family on a rundown estate. Everyone thinks she’s a nasty piece of work. The schoolchildren call her a thief. But Lorna’s hair is matted, her shoes pinch her feet and school teacher Claire Penny can’t help herself; some kids just need a bit more support, a bit more love, than the rest.

As the bond between teacher and pupil grows stronger, Claire sees Lorna’s bruises, and digs to uncover the disturbing tale behind them. Heartbroken, Claire knows she has to act. She must make Lorna safe. Just when Claire thinks she has protected Lorna, a chance encounter brings enigmatic stranger Marianne Cairns into their lives. Marianne seems generous and kind but there is something about her story that doesn’t quite add up. Why does she feel so at home, and why is Lorna suddenly so unsettled?

Claire has risked everything to save Lorna. But what can save Claire from the shocking truth?

An utterly unputdownable and darkly compelling read that will have fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister, and Gone Girl absolutely hooked.

My Thoughts

This was the first book I have read by this author. I purchased this book back in Feb. 2017 after reading the synopsis.

I have to admit, I had a very hard time rating this book.

I was hooked within the first few pages. The story and suspense held my interest throughout the entire read. Then why was it difficult rating this book?

Claire Penny, a teacher in a primary school, suspects that little Lorna Bell is living in an abusive situation. After many attempts to have steps taken to investigate this situation by authorities, Claire takes a personal approach hoping to keep this child safe. Claire, as described in the story, appears to be a passive-aggressive individual IMO. The time frame is from the age of 6 when Claire first meets Lorna to the age of 10.

Without giving much away, for those who have this book in their TBR pile or thinking of purchasing it, I just felt that the situations in the book were unrealistic. That a child of 10 years old could be that manipulative to plan a lot of the scenarios in the book.

Did I enjoy the book? Yes, it was captivating but the story as a whole was highly unlikely.

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗


This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.

I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.

I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Jan 152018

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia of A girl and her books and is now hosted on its own blog.

According to Marcia, “Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Click on title for synopsis via GoodReads.

Sunday: THE FIX by Robert Downs ~ eBook from Author
Tuesday: THE WIFE BETWEEN US by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen ~ eBook Personal Purchase

Jan 132018

This year, one of the Challenges I signed up for is Blog All About It, hosted by The Herd Presents. The guideline is basically a blogging prompt challenge. Each month there’s a different prompt that you can interpret as you’d like then create a blog post around it. The 2018 list of prompts can be seen here on my Challenge Page. I will be posting for this Challenge on the 2nd Saturday of each month.

Why did I choose this Challenge? Well, if you have followed this blog, you know that I love Challenges, even though I may not complete all the ones I sign up for. I just find it to be fun. Another reason I decided to do this Challenge, is that I realized it has been ages since I have actually blogged, other than posting reviews, interviews, guest posts, giveaways, etc. Over the past few years, being busy organizing VBTs, I have slacked off with one of the main reasons I joined the Book Blogging Community. At the time, I told myself that I would create a blog just as a way to keep track of the books I read with a few notes on the specific titles. I was very lucky that I met Vicki from I’d Rather Be At The Beach who took me under her wing, mentored me and answered all my questions. I went back through my posts to see how it all began in 2009 with my first post, which can be seen here. And 8½ years later, I still thoroughly enjoy being part of this community.

This month’s prompt is: WINTER

Last Thursday, the East Coast had a bombogenesis! I have lived in New England my entire life and had never heard of this meteorological term, however, now that I have experienced it, I’m good!

As I sat on the couch reading, listening to the hurricane force winds and occasionally looking out the window watching the “Blizzard of 2018” dropping 12″+ of snow, I started thinking about how I felt about Winter from years past and what I thought about it now.

As a child, I remember sitting on the couch while it snowed, and waiting anxiously to see if the local news would announce that school would be canceled for the following day. It didn’t matter if there were a few inches or a few feet of snow or how cold it was, I was already making plans. Fun plans that would last hours or even days. As I look back, and maybe it was just a child’s perception, it seemed like we had more snow “back in the day”.

One of my no school, exciting Winter adventures, depending on the time of a storm, would be to go with my Dad as he plowed. I loved seeing how tall the mounds of snow he could make with that plow. And of course, he would always make the tallest one on our property. Does anyone remember the round red “flying saucers”? My sister, the neighborhood kids and I would spend hours going down that snow pile on our saucers.

We would alternate sliding down that man-made hill to make forts and snowmen in our yards, and of course, snowball fights. Hours and hours outside playing never even caring about the cold temperatures. We wanted to have fun every single second of that snow day!

Things have definitely changed over the years. I now watch the news and dread it if that 4 letter word, SNOW, is mentioned. I’ll admit, it is pretty when it does snow and I’m inside nice and warm, but those feelings last only a couple of hours.

I really don’t even have to listen to the weather reports anymore, I have my own personal weather barometer…..my arthritic bones. I have the ability to predict changes in the weather 2 days before it happens. The thing that I find funny is that I will tell my husband about my prediction in the coming days, and he usually comes back with “no it’s not, they (the weather people) are saying no precipitation.” I love saying, I TOLD YOU SO after the fact!

Not only am I not a fan of the snow storms of Winter, as I was as a child, this past week here in New England, it has been bitterly cold, with highs of 5-10 degrees and that is without the wind chill factor.

I also have a tremendous fear of going outside and falling when there is snow on the ground and it’s slippery. My last back surgical procedure was in 2014, a 3 consecutive day operation, being placed in a medically induced coma the latter 2 days, the placement of extensive hardware and months of rehabilitation, an operation that I would never want to go through again. To make it even scarier, on one of my post-op visits, the surgeon warned me and strongly suggested and recommended that I do not take the chance of going outside and risk falling especially since he did find some fractures from previous falls during the operation.

Instead of looking forward to being outside as a child, I now tend to hibernate as an adult. The only positive aspect of Winter, that I can think of, is being on the couch or in my recliner, a warm blanket, a hot cup of coffee and a great read! Now that is the type of Winter activity I can handle!!!

I keep trying to convince myself that Spring is just around the corner but not doing a very good job at it, when realistically I know we have a few more months of Winter. Good thing I have a huge TBR pile, probably higher than the snow mounds my Father would make with his plow!!!

I would love to hear your thoughts on Winter, now and when you were a child!

Next month’s prompt RED

Jan 102018

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

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I chose this book, which was a personal purchase and has been in my eReader for almost a year, to fulfill a few of my challenges, especially for The Monthly Keyword.

What did you recently finish reading?

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You may have seen quite a few books by this author posted lately. I am so addicted to this series.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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Both of these books are touring with PICT. THE FIX will be the first book that I will read by this author. THE FOURTH GUNMAN is another series that I absolutely enjoy.

What are your 3 Ws for this week?