Book Review: 5-Minute Focus by Dr. Tiffany Shelton Mariolle

Focus. Fast. Five minutes is all it takes.

It’s a fact: You can improve focus and concentration in just five minutes a day. Five-Minute Focus shows you how with smart, mindfulness- and neuroscience-based exercises so you can flex your focus—like a muscle—and get more done every day.

Get 75 quick, easy, scientifically-proven tips and tricks you can use to tackle stress at home, at work, in relationships, and beyond. Five-Minute Focus can help you live a more meaningful life through developing creative passion and personal connection to who and what matters most. Five minutes a day is all it takes. Take a deep breath. Let’s get focused.

This daily exercise book includes:

  • Focus fast—Discover what focus is, why it’s essential, and how to get focused fast—anytime, anywhere.
  • Practice makes perfect—You’ll get guidance on setting a schedule to find focus through actionable solutions to help speed up your performance.
  • Concentration-building solutions—Simple exercises like basic breathing techniques, meditation, and yoga can help build your concentration.

Sharpen your focus and boost your performance—in an instant—with Five-Minute Focus.


My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from Callista Publisher’s Club. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I don’t read many self help books these days because they often repeat the same idea in many ways and include a lot of extraneous info just to make their idea long enough to make into a book (in my opinion). 5-Minute Focus doesn’t do that, but, unfortunately, it was still a self help book that doesn’t help me.

5-Minute Focus teaches how to keep yourself focused when performing any task. It is written well, and it gives 75 exercises to help you do that. It does incorporate some meditation and exercises and some of the tips within the exercises can be helpful, but I don’t need to prepare myself to be an alert driver. And I don’t care what I do, a boring meeting won’t be less boring with tips given by anyone.

Those who haven’t learned how to de-stress or to survive tedious or boring tasks will probably benefit from 5-Minute Focus. Fortunately, it’s something I learned long ago.

Book Review: Wings & Broken Things by Trixie Silvertale

A crime with no eyewitnesses. A determined psychic sleuth. Will her search for clues take her where angels fear to tread?

Mitzy Moon is eager to test her expanding abilities. Although she’d love to look into the hit-and-run that struck down her favorite veterinarian, leads are slim to none. And before she can suss out a single tip, the advances of a charming green-eyed stranger provide a dangerous distraction.

Desperate for any hint, she goes undercover at the high school and lands on the wrong side of the law by lunch. And her “get out of jail free card” comes with the help of her meddling Grams, an interfering feline, and her alchemically inclined attorney. But when a gypsy curse puts her powers on the fritz, she may not be able to save everyone…

Can Mitzy juggle dating and sleuthing, or will a hex knock off more than her halo?

Wings and Broken Things is the third book in the hilarious paranormal cozy mystery series, Mitzy Moon Mysteries. If you like snarky heroines, supernatural misfits, and a dash of romance, then you’ll love Trixie Silvertale’s twisty whodunits


My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I read Fries & Alibis and Tattoos & Clues, the first two books in this series, and I really enjoyed them, so I was happy to read this book when it was available.

Mitzy Moon’s vet is a victim of a hit-and-run and, as usual, she’s determined to find out what happened. She has no leads to start with, but with a little help from her growing abilities and her amazing cat Pyewacket, she is able to begin her investigation.

Mitzy hasn’t been in town long since she inherited her grandmother’s bookstore, but she’s viewed as a local rather than an outsider. She’s finally found a home. It’s too bad her grandmother had to die before she finds a place to call home, but at least she’s getting to know Grams in her ghostly form.

The characters in this book are great. Mitzy is independent yet she appreciates it when her Grams sets boundaries. Grams in the ghost form is funny and must have been a force of nature when she was alive. The two men in Mitzy’s life are completely different. Rory makes it known that he wants Mitzy, but there’s something about him…I can’t believe she likes him as much as she does! The sheriff, on the other hand, hasn’t even asked her out, but she flirts with him endlessly, and he seems like a good guy. Much better than the sketchy Rory!

These books are quick and fun reads. I enjoyed Wings & Broken Things and definitely recommend it, as well as the other books in the series. I can’t wait for the next Mitzy Moon mystery!

Trailer for the first book

About the Author

Trixie Silvertale grew up reading an endless supply of Lillian Jackson Braun, Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew novels. She loves the amateur sleuths in cozy mysteries and is obsessed with all things paranormal. Those two passions unite in her Mitzy Moon Mysteries, and she’s thrilled to write them and share them with you.

When she’s not consumed by writing, she bakes to fuel her creative engine and tends to her herb garden.


Book Review: Drywall by Joe Carter

The second installment of the Marshall T. Trowel series focuses on Marshall T. and his family of tools as they drywall a house. Children will see the benefits of a career in the trades and the importance of practice, patience, and dreaming big.


My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Drywall is the second book in the Marshall T. Trowel and Family series. This series is an effort by the author and his daughter to encourage children to consider trades-based careers. Along with explaining each trade in a fun way, each book has an inspirational theme.

There are several tools needed for putting up drywall and each is given a name such as Tim Texture Sprayer or Mary Mudpan. The illustrations show what the tools are doing as the process is explained. They’re cute and colorful!

The lesson of this story: “You can be anything you want to be! If you practice and practice, you’ll be able to reach your goals, too!” I think this is an important lesson for children to learn, especially nowadays.

I like these books and plan on keeping them to read to my grandson when he’s a little older. He’s only 7 months old but he was here today and enjoyed looking at the colors in the book. The author was kind enough to send the first book in the series, Concrete, for me to read to my grandson as well. They make a great set!

One of the illustrations

About the Author

JOE CARTER is the husband to his wonderful wife Janelle and the father to three fantastic children: Michael, Hanna and Samuel. Joe grew up in the small, northern Iowa community of Hanlontown. He graduated from North CentralManly High School and later, Iowa State University with an Industrial Engineering degree. Joe worked as an engineer for General Motors and Rockwell International before he began a long career with MARSHALLTOWN, a U.S. manufacturer of high-quality construction tools.

Between times of working as an engineer, Joe graduated from law school at the University of Arkansas and practiced law with Strong and Associates in Springfield, Missouri. He returned to MARSHALLTOWN and moved to Marshalltown, Iowa. In 1998 Joe became the president of MARSHALLTOWN and later added CEO to that title.

Joe met the love of his life, Janelle Andersen, at Iowa State University where she also graduated with an Industrial Engineering degree. Janelle worked for General Motors, R.R. Donnelley & Sons, and MARSHALLTOWN. Today she works on the local school board, special business projects, and the Board of Directors for Farmers Savings Bank.

About the Illustrator

HANNA CARTER is an illustrator and graphic designer. She grew up in Marshalltown, Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She moved to Oregon after college in 2016.

Hanna has loved both books and drawing for as long as she can remember. In fact, her first job was at the Marshalltown Public Library, where she spent a lot of her time leafing through children’s books. She’s pretty psyched that she got to make her own books with her dad.

Hanna has worked on editorial illustrations, book covers, animations, comics, children’s books, brand merchandise, and exhibits her artwork in galleries. She makes illustrations and animations about food-related things for the Los Angeles Times, VinePair, and other publications.

Hanna lives in Portland, Oregon with her boyfriend, Chris and many, many books.

Book Review: Horses! A Coloring & Activity Book for Kids by Valeria Deneen

Giddy up! And get started on these awesome horse activities

Saddle up for an activity book of over 60 pages full of coloring and games about horses for kids ages 4–8. Children can use their imaginations to bring the horse pictures to life with their favorite colors. Gallop through mazes, connect-the-dots, and more―there are interesting facts about horses for kids at every turn. Fun is waiting, so come along for a ride!

This coloring book of horses for kids includes:

  • Blue ribbon breeds―Learn about all kinds of breeds, from strong Belgian draft horses for heavy farm work to little Caspians for kids to ride.
  • Leaping into action―See all the different jobs and activities horses can do. For instance, miniature horses can be service animals for people with disabilities!
  • Activities galore―Jump into a variety of activities about horses for kids: mazes, dot-to-dots, word searches, spot-the-difference, and plenty of pages to color.

With tons of activities about horses for kids, this book will provide hours of fun for any horse-crazy child!


My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from Callisto Publishers. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Horses! is a book for children 4-8 years old. It not only has activities and many opportunities to color, but most pages have an interesting tidbit about horses. For example, on one coloring page of a horse that won the Kentucky Derby: “The Kentucky Derby is a famous horse race. It’s also called the Run for the Roses because the winner gets a blanket made of red roses!”

This activity and coloring book can be a source of hours of fun for children and they might even learn something while they’re having fun.

About the Author

Valerie Deneen is the founder of where she writes about what to do with kids, creative play for all ages, parenting tips & tricks, learning & educational activities for kids, craft ideas for tweens & school-aged children, and gardening with kids. Valerie is a speaker, creative play advocate, brand ambassador, television personality, and active Rotarian. Her work has been featured in Highlights High Five, Family Fun Magazine, PBS Parents, various morning talk shows, and several online publications. For creative play ideas sent directly to your inbox, visit Valerie’s blog at and subscribe to the weekly newsletter.

Book Review: Pain-Free with CBD by Alice O'Leary & Eloise Theisen

CBD is the path to healing―without a high

Many of us have become accustomed to quick-fix prescriptions for pain relief that mask symptoms, but there’s a safer, more natural solution: cannabidiol (CBD). Pain-Free with CBD gives you a look into the therapeutic benefits of CBD, including how it can decrease inflammation and provide relief for your painful condition―without the side effects.

Pain-Free with CBD offers guidance on choosing the best product, safely dosing, and finding the best method of consumption for you. Manage a variety of ailments including arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus―and even the health of your furry friends. Discover the history of this natural medicine and success stories of others who have regained their quality of life with the help of CBD.

Pain-Free with CBD includes:

  • Nature’s medicine―Explore an overview of your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and how CBD works to heal the body.
  • Quality choice―Learn how to select high-quality products using suggestions on top CBD brands, safety tips, and helpful how-tos for each delivery method.
  • Dosing guidance―Determine the right dosage for your needs and learn about possible interactions between CBD and commonly prescribed medications.

Discover how CBD can be the healing solution to your pain―one drop at a time.


My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from Callisto Publishers. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

If you’re thinking about trying CBD, this is a reference that would be extremely useful. It explains what CBD is, what diseases it has been used for, the different ways it is delivered into the body, and factors that are important to consider when choosing a dose.

The best thing in Pain-Free with CBD is a list of trustworthy places to purchase CBD online. Since it’s not regulated, it’s hard to know if you’re getting what you paid for. You learn what to look for on labeling, but having the list of companies is also very helpful.

Pain-Free with CBD is definitely a book that I recommend for anyone wanting to try CBD.

About the Authors

About Alice O’Leary-Randall

Once called “the first lady of medical marijuana,” Alice O’Leary Randall is a senior spokesperson for the medical cannabis movement, co-founded in 1976 with her late husband, Robert C. Randall, the first person in the U.S. to legally receive medical cannabis. For more than two decades Robert and Alice worked tirelessly to reform the prohibitions against cannabis. After Robert’s untimely death in 2001, Alice became a hospice nurse and later a grief counselor. She retired in 2012 and re-entered the medical cannabis field. She frequently writes and speaks on the issue. Working with Mary’s Medicinals of Denver she developed the Cannabis Primer series in 2015 and Mary’s Prime Time blog in 2017 ( She has served on the Board of Directors for American Cannabis Nurses Association and the advisory board for United in Compassion, an Australian medical cannabis organization. Her book, Medical Marijuana in America: Memoir of a Pioneer was first released in April 2014. Her most recent publication Pain-Free with CBD. Both titles are available on

About Eloise Theisen

Eloise is a board-certified adult geriatric nurse practitioner, president of the American Cannabis Nurses Association and co-founder of Radicle Health.

Book Review: A Christmas to Purr About by Patricia Fry

The Ivey family and friends agree to serve the hungry during the holidays, but not without serious consequences that require a little feline and equine intervention. Detective Craig goes missing, Rags is accused of grand theft and malicious mischief, Savannah is harassed and nearly arrested, Michael has a surprise reunion to beat all reunions, and Peaches facilitates a Christmas miracle. If you were touched by A Picture-Purrfect Christmas, you’re going to adore this story of struggle, strife, and fear overcome in the most unusual and loving fashion


My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This is the second Klepto Cat Mystery I’ve read. I recently read A Picture-Purrfect Christmas, and I plan on reading one more Christmas story about the Iveys, A Very Meowy Christmas, before December 25th. Each of these books stand on their own, but the more of them I read, the more I get to know the characters.

There’s a lot going on in A Christmas to Purr About! Detective Craig goes missing, and just when Savannah needs him the most. No matter where she turns, she’s being accused by crazy women for doing things she didn’t do. She’s being sued and harassed all while trying to get ready for Christmas. Oh, and she’s pregnant!

Although Savannah has a lot on her plate, she has family, friends, and pets to comfort her; although, I’m not sure how much comfort her cat Rags is. He’s always getting into mischief, but I think that’s because he’s so smart!

I enjoyed this Christmas story, which has a nice surprise at the end, and I look forward to reading the next one. I’m curious what mischief Rags can get into next time.

About the Author

Patricia has been writing for publication for over 40 years, having been fortunate enough to establish a career doing what she loves. Hundreds–maybe thousands–of her articles have appeared in over 500 different publications and she has published books on a variety of topics–grandparenting, local history, youth mentoring, journaling and many aspects of publishing and book promotion. After years of writing nonfiction, in 2012, she decided to branch out and try writing fiction and the Klepto Cat Mysteries were created.
The Klepto Cat Mysteries feature Rags, an ordinary cat with a most extraordinary habit–he’s a kleptomaniac. Currently, Patricia is producing anywhere from three to five books per year in both ebook format and in print. Read the Klepto Cat Mysteries and you’ll laugh, you’ll sit on the edge of your chair in suspense, and you’ll smile at the good-feeling you’re left with when you finish each book in the series. 


Book Review: Grasshopper Eye and the Lost Vial by Michelle Jester

Title: Grasshopper Eye and the Lost Vial
Author: Michelle Jester
Publisher: Yellow Duckie Press
Pages: 36
Genre: Children (Juvenile>general, Juvenile>social issues> feelings and emotions)

When the villagers first noticed that each of them had one item missing from their homes, they set out on a journey that ends with them finding something far more valuable than things. Go with Grasshopper Eye on a journey through friendships, feeling, and fitting in.

Amazon →

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free link. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Grasshopper Eye made a vial for everyone in his village to put their tears in. When on ogre steals all the vials, no one can cry and they start getting angry and depressed without their tears. When they find their vials, Grasshopper Eye’s can’t be found and everyone cries with him. I’m not sure why, but suddenly no one needs their vial anymore.

Grasshopper Eye and the Lost Vial teaches that it’s important to cry instead of keeping your tears “bottled up.” I’m not sure if this story and illustrations would keep the interest of a child, though. I do think they’d enjoy flipping the pages on the e-book.


Grasshopper Eye lived in a village deep in the forest. He made small vials that villagers could put their sad tears in.

He felt that letting sad tears fall down your face or wiping them away was a huge waste of something that took so much pain to make.

About the Author

Michelle Jester is the author of several novels that fall into the Coming of Age, New Adult contemporary romance, Social Issues, Women’s Lit categories. Michelle’s titles, published through RopeSwing Press, include The Funeral Flower, Love, Cutter, and Two Thousand Lines (due out November 21, 2019.) In addition, Michelle is releasing a children’s book, Grasshopper Eye and the Lost Vial, through Yellow Duckie Press on the same day as Two Thousand Lines. It is featured in the contemporary novel, however is a stand-alone publications for a younger audience.

Michelle also writes several professional and personal blogs, contributes articles for independent publications, and is the Editor-in-chief for Modern Grace magazine. In addition, she is a Media and Publishing consultant, photographer, and graphic designer.

In 2007, she received the Louisiana Distinguished Civilian Service Medal for her work with military and their families. She has served as Public Relations manager and volunteer to non-profit organizations geared toward helping Veterans of war and their families. Michelle is a self proclaimed hopeless romantic who lives in Louisiana with her husband, high school sweetheart and a retired Army Master Sergeant. Together they have a son, daughter, and daughter-in-law.


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