Words on White by Lynn Woollacott

Words on White
by Lynn Woollacott

The soft winter snow
submits to sighs of weaving wind
between the silver cloaks of wood,
silhouettes of seasoned boughs layered
by the sequence of the soothing song.

It sits on the signpost coating
the symbols with white signature.
Observer to the yield from the sky
she smiles at the sparkle
of the footpath swathed in white,
and stops her wordsmith wanderings
to stand in stillness for awhile
and watch the gentle drifting snow.


Book Review: Sometimes When I’m Sad by Deborah Serani

Book Title:  Sometimes When I’m Sad by Deborah Serani
Category:  Children’s Non-Fiction (Ages 3-7)
Genre:  Children’s Picture Book
Publisher:  Free Spirit Publishing, 40 pages
Release date:   April 2020
Content Rating:  G.  Rated G.

Book Description:

“Sometimes When I’m Sad” is a sensitive and supportive story to help young children recognize and cope with sadness. Written by psychologist, Deborah Serani, Psy.D. and illustrated by Kyra Teis, this award-winning children’s book is also an invaluable resource for parents, teachers, caregivers and other mental health professionals. “Sometimes When I’m Sad” has been endorsed by Jo Frost, The Supernanny and pediatric depression expert, Dr. Joan Luby.

Buy the Book:
Free Spirit Publishing
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Indiebound ~ Walmart

My Review

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

This is a great book for all children. It explains in terms they understand how sadness or even depression may feel and how to handle it. The illustrations are colorful, and anyone can look at them and know what the people are feeling.

At the end of the book is a section for adults about helping children to deal with sadness. It explains how to spot it in children of different ages as well as ways to reduce sadness in children. There is also a list of resources that can be helpful.

Sometimes When I’m Sad is a great book for children to read and learn about dealing with sadness, but it is also an important resource for caregivers to help children to deal with it.

About the Author

Deborah Serani, Psy.D. is psychologist in practice over 30 years. She is also a senior professor at Adelphi University and has been published in academic journals on many psychological subjects. Dr. Serani is a go-to expert for psychological issues. Her interviews can be found at ABC News, CNN, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Reader’s Digest, The Washington Post and USA Today, and affiliate radio station programs at CBS and NPR, just to name a few. She is also a TEDx speaker and has lectured nationally and internationally. Dr. Serani has worked as a technical advisor for the NBC television show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – where a recurring character, Judge D. Serani, was named for her. Dr. Serani is an award-winning author, writing about psychological topics in many genres.

Connect with the author:  ​​website ~twitter ~facebook ~ goodreads

Follow the Tour

Jan 4 – The Adventures of a Traveler’s Wife – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M MAD
Jan 5 – Splashes of Joy – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M MAD
Jan 5 – Kam’s Place – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M SAD
Jan 6 – Splashes of Joy – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M SAD
Jan 6 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M MAD
Jan 7 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M SAD
Jan 7 – Kam’s Place – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M MAD
Jan 10 –Books, Tea, Healthy Me – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M MAD
Jan 10 – Rockin Book Reviews – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M MAD
Jan 11 – Bound 4 Escape – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M MAD
Jan 11 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M SAD
Jan 12 – Pause for Tales – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M MAD
Jan 12 – She Just Loves Books – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M SAD
Jan 13 – Pause for Tales – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M SAD
Jan 13 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M MAD
Jan 14 – The Adventures of a Traveler’s Wife – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M SAD
Jan 18 – Bound 4 Escape – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M SAD
Jan 18 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M MAD
Jan 19 – Rockin Book Reviews – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M SAD
Jan 20 –Books, Tea, Healthy Me – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M SAD
Jan 21 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M SAD
Jan 24 – She Just Loves Books – book review of SOMETIMES WHEN I’M MAD

Book Review: World War II History for Kids: 500 Facts! by Kelly Milner Halls

Incredible World War II facts for curious kids ages 8 to 12

Kids don’t need long, boring textbooks to learn about history! Starting with the events that set the stage for war and finishing with its aftermath, World War II History for Kids helps them explore the past through interesting and memorable facts they can share with their friends and family.

Go beyond other World War 2 books for kids with:

  • 500 facts―This book teaches kids all about the heroism and horrors of World War II, one informative tidbit at a time.
  • The complete timeline―Kids will learn all about important people, places, and events from before, during, and after the war.
  • A leg-up on learning―These facts provide kids with a head start on the topics they’ll be covering in class, plus things they might not learn in school.

Help young learners better understand what happened during WWII with this engaging, fact-driven history book.


My Review

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

This book has a lot of interesting facts about World War II as well as the times before and after the war. While all of the information is interesting, the more important things to remember are listed under Term to Know, Stat Fact, Person to Know, and Group to Know. Each important item is listed in bold letters.

I knew a lot about World War II, but I still learned quite a bit from this book. The funniest thing I learned is that there was an American Fat Salvage Committee that “asked people to save the fat left over from cooking rationed bacon. Fat was used to make glycerin, and glycerin was used to make bombs.” It’s an interesting and important fact, but the thought of saving fat tickled me.

Even though this book is for children ages 8-12, anyone would learn a lot about World War II from this book.

About the Author

For the past 30 years, Kelly Milner Halls has crafted high interest nonfiction books and articles for young readers. Known for quirky but well researched topics, Halls delights in drawing even reluctant readers into the realm of discovery through the explorations of dinosaurs, Sasquatch, UFO’s or dozens of other unusual themes.

She recently ventured into historic nonfiction, writing two new books about World War II–VOICES OF YOUNG HEROES and VOICES OF ORDINARY HEROES, MYSTERIES OF THE TITANIC and 19TH CENTURY AMERICAN HISTORY FOR KIDS. More, including ALL ABOUT HORSES will soon follow. She has applied the same conversational approach to these new projects she has always mastered in past projects. Kelly loves this new path, but promises more weird stuff is in the works.

Kelly makes home in Spokane, WA with two daughters, two rescue cats and a goldfish called FishTV. Before Covid-19, she did dozens of school visits, festival and conference events all over the country. Now she also uses Virtual Visits to connect with young readers.

Hopefully, traveling to meet kids at schools will return soon. Until then, Kelly Milner Halls will keep writing kid-friendly nonfiction books, sure to please.

For more about Kelly, visit her website, http://www.wondersofweird.com. Or email her at kellymilnerh@aol.com.

Excerpt from Bookmarked: How the Great Books of Western Literature F*cked Up My Life by Mark Scarbrough

A poignant, funny, and timely memoir that marries the intimacy and the sexual identity themes of Boy Erased with My Life in Middlemarch’s interest in the way literature shapes and influences our lives, written in the authentic Southern voice, deeply incisive wit, and with quirky but erudite observations evocative of John Jeremiah Sullivan’s Pulphead.

Mark Scarbrough has been searching for something his entire life. Whether it’s his birth mother, true love, his purpose, or his sexual identity, Mark has been on a constant quest to find out who he really is, with the great Western texts as his steadfast companions. As a boy with his head constantly in a book, desperate to discover new worlds, he can hardly distinguish between their plots and his own reality. The child of strict Texan Evangelicals, Mark is taught by the Bible to fervently believe in the rapture and second coming and is thus moved to spend his teen years as a youth preacher in cowboy boots. At college, he discovers William Blake, who teaches him to fall in love with poems, lyrics…and his roommate Alex. Raised to believe that to be gay was to be a sinner, Mark is driven to the brink of madness and attempts suicide. Hoping to avoid books once and for all, Mark joins the seminary, where he meets his wife, Miranda. Neither the seminary nor the marriage stick, and Mark once again finds himself turning to his books for the sense of belonging he continues to seek….

In the tradition of beloved titles like The End of Your Life Book ClubReading Lolita in Tehran, and The Year of Reading DangerouslyBookmarked tells a deeply personal story through the lens of literature. An examination of one man’s complicated, near-obsessive relationship with books, and how they shaped, molded, ruined, and saved him, Bookmarked is about how we listeners stash our secrets between jacket covers and how those secrets ultimately get told in the ways that the books themselves demand. 


Caution: A Preface

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: “I found myself in Middlemarch!” Or “Shakespeare saved my life!”

I call bullshit. Shakespeare never saved anyone. Least of all, me. Although I sure wanted him to. Ached for him to, somewhere in the marrow middle of my bones. And not only him but all the other literary lions, like William Blake, Charlotte Brontë, and Henry James, now dead and mounted on the wall of Western culture.

I got sucked in by their promises, the best things. A once upon a time that leads logically to the end. Characters who remain true to themselves, despite what the plot throws at them. And desires that can be—ta-da!—fulfilled. Or at least understood.

And something more tangible, too. Down in my soul’s basement, where the lights are dim and my hopes are laid away in boxes, I dreamed up a mad quest through the great books to find a home. To hear the crackle in a fireplace. To feel the weight of the covers at night. To breathe in and out all that’s human and loved.

Maybe I should have lowered my sights. Maybe only the main character gets home. Problem is, I’ve always felt like a minor one: the sidekick in a baggy sweater, the wiseacre two desks down. The guy who steps into a story, pushes it along in some vague way, and gets a one-liner as his reward: Years later, I heard he died in a car crash.

Or maybe I asked so much from the great books because of my upbringing. When I was ten, my parents left the Southern Baptist church. “It is too liberal,” they said, seemingly in unison, a plainsong truth-telling that led us to the upland pastures of American fundamentalism. Letters were sent. Ministers were challenged. Friends were lost.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t latch onto the great books because they were forbidden. I never once read under the sheets with a flashlight. Oh, sure, I had to skip the sex scenes and turn a blind eye to the notion that a liberal could be the good guy. Authors! What can you do?

But nothing could befoul us. We were the true believers. We interpreted the Vietnam War, Nixon, and everything else as a story, a plot, rushing toward the apocalypse. The world sinned, it burned up, and we got out alive. Time was a straight line.

Once I started reading, I discovered that novels, stories, plays, and even poems were alternate timelines, descending and ascending like a grid. They even got to the same places we believed in: just deserts or happily ever after. For a long time, I wanted to homestead on that scaffolding, even though it kept coming apart and slamming to the ground. I just wasn’t myself without a book in my hand.

Then I wasn’t myself with one. Over time, books stopped being words outside my skin and became shadowy bits inside my brain, alternate versions of me, telling their own stories. I morphed into a bizarre body of shredded volumes, stalking the far country of my imagination. That’s how I saw a long-dead poet manifest in front of me one night. How I got a job fishing monks out of gay bars. And ultimately why I tossed the person I loved over the cliff of insanity in a hail Mary! attempt to save my own brain from dissolving like a cheap paperback in a deluge.

All of which is to say, be careful what you read. It can fuck you up, too.

But don’t worry. There’s a truth beyond the great works of Western literature. Life may seem linear, forceps to tombstone. Instead, the cosmos is round and elastic, spiraled and helixed. Atoms, galaxies, your DNA—they spin and come back around. I got out from under literature’s curse. You can, too.

So this story is a comedy, like Dante’s, if not so divine. But there’s no good news without the bad, which is part and parcel of it. In books, in life, even in the old poet’s journey across the universe, the way up starts with the way down.

Copyright 2021 by Mark Scarbrough. Propertius Press All rights reserved.

About the Author

I’m half of the NYTimes bestselling cookbook writing team behind over thirty cookbooks, including THE INSTANT POT BIBLE, THE ULTIMATE COOKBOOK, and THE ESSENTIAL AIR FRYER COOKBOOK. I’m (recently!) a memoirist, too, with BOOKMARKED: HOW THE GREAT WORKS OF WESTERN LITERATURE F*CKED UP MY LIFE. I host two literary podcasts: WALKING WITH DANTE, the only slow-walk through Dante’s masterwork COMEDY; and LYRIC LIFE, a podcast about lyric poetry. I also co-host COOKING WITH BRUCE AND MARK, a podcast and YouTube channel with his husband, Bruce Weinstein. A former academic, I now teach eight-week literary seminars across my part of of the world on Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Emily Dickinson, and more; and I lead two book discussion group, one online with multiple sessions and an international membership. I find my peace with two collies on acres in very rural New England. 

Website http://www.markscarbrough.com
Twitter https://twitter.com/markscarbrough

Book Review: The History of the Constitution by Lisa Trusiani

Discover the history of the Constitution―an introduction for kids ages 6 to 9

On September 17, 1787, 39 delegates signed the Constitution of the United States into law. These four pages of rules would define how the United States government worked and serve as the foundation for all the rights that we enjoy today. This colorfully illustrated story takes kids on a journey through the writing of the Constitution, how it was amended with the Bill of Rights, and the ways it still shapes life in the United States.

This exploration of the constitution for kids features:

  • A visual timeline―Kids will easily understand important details of the Constitution’s history with a timeline that covers everything from the writing of the first draft to how it has influenced modern Supreme Court rulings.
  • Core curriculum―This book teaches kids about the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How behind the Constitution, then tests their knowledge with a quick quiz after they finish.
  • Lasting changes―Kids will explore thought-provoking questions that help them better understand how the Constitution protects them and their rights.

Introduce kids to the Constitution with this history book for early readers.


My Review

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

This introduction of the Constitution for new readers has a lot of good information. It starts with the colonies, the Revolutionary War, and the Articles of Confederation. It explains that after the Revolutionary War was won that the Constitution was needed to make the national government stronger and the state governments weaker so that they would actually be united.

The delegates at the Constitutional Convention got a lot done in just three months. They had to make compromises, such as the issue of slavery which was already a hot issue. They also came up with the three branches of government that we still have today. The Bill of Rights is also explained.

There are some extras in The History of the Constitution that will encourage children to learn. Some of the words are bold which means they are in the glossary in the back. There are also timelines and graphics called “Who,” “Where,” and “When.” Occasionally there’s an arrow with “Jump in the Think Tank” suggestions, which encourage children to think about what they might do in a given situation. There’s a quiz at the end as well as additional Think Tank questions.

There is a lot to learn about the Constitution and how it was made, and this book is a good start to learning about its history.

About the Author

Lisa Trusiani has written hundreds of comics stories and nonfiction books for children. Her work has received the iParenting Media HOT Award, National Parenting Center Award, NAPPA Parenting Publishing GOLD Award, several Parents’ Choice Awards, and the Lupine Honors Award from the Maine Library Association. She is happiest writing for children and spending time with her family and friends. Lisa feels completely at home in her birthplace, the great state of Maine; her father’s ancestral village, San Polo dei Cavalieri, Italy; and her heart space, Maplewood, New Jersey.

About the Illustrator

Isabella Grott was born in 1985 in Rovereto, a small town in northern Italy. As a child, she loved to draw and play outside with Perla, her beautiful German Shepherd. She studied at Nemo Academy of Digital Arts in the city of Florence, where she currently lives with her cat, Miss Marple. She works digitally but also with traditional tools, such as pencils, watercolors, and crayons. Isabella loves traveling, watching movies, and reading—a lot! In fact, if she hadn’t become an illustrator, today she would certainly be a librarian!

Book Review & Giveaway: Happenstance Farms: A New Home by S. McMichael

Book Title: Happenstance Farms: A New Home by S. McMichael
Category:  Children’s Fictions (ages 3-7), 32 pages
Genre:  Children’s Picture Book
Publisher:  Ek-9 Solutions & Services, LLC
Release date:   January 2022
Content Rating:  G -Suitable for everyone.

Book Description:

Change can be difficult, especially for Savanna. When she gets a new trainer at a new barn, she can’t help thinking about how much she’ll miss Colts & Company. More than that…she’s a little scared. What will happen when Savanna swallows her fear and takes a chance on Happenstance Farms?

A fun, relatable story about a girl and her pony, your child will love keeping up with the adventures at Happenstance Farms. With charming characters, lots of laughs, and social-emotional learning, this book is the perfect addition to any home or classroom library.

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

My Review

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

Savanna is going to visit Happenstance Farms for the first time. Her trainer moved so they had to find a new home for her pony where Savanna could continue training. At first, she’s apprehensive but once she meets her new trainer and she makes a couple of new friends, she thinks she’s going to like it here.

It’s fun to watch Savanna get to know Happenstance Farms. The illustrations in this picture book are gorgeous, and they bring the story alive. The colors are rich and vibrant.

There is also a lesson to be learned in Happenstance Farms: A New Home that even though change is scary, it is important to face it and take a chance because change is often good.

Savanna and her pony, Coffee

About the Author

McMichael serves as the Senior Manager and Information Technology Business Partner for Training Solutions and Global Training Systems & Services in Boeing Global Services. She is a disabled veteran with more than 16 years of domestic and international experience in air traffic management and operations.  

McMichael holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, a master’s certificate in project management, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Southern Illinois University.  She is a recipient of The
Boeing Company CTO Technical Excellence Award, Women of Color in Technology
“Rising Star” award, U.S. Air Force Air Traffic Training Achievement Award, and the International William A. Parenteau Memorial Award from the Air Traffic Control Association.  McMichael serves on the Advisory Board of SSM St. Charles Health Center, and the Missouri Hunter Jumper Organization board.


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Follow the Tour

Jan 11 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 11 – Character Madness and Musing – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 11 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 12 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Jan 12 – Splashes of Joy – book review / giveaway
Jan 13 – @bujos_n_books – book review
Jan 13 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Jan 14 – @jayme_reads – book review
Jan 18 – Sandra’s Book Club – book review / giveaway
Jan 19 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
Jan 19 – @twilight_reader – book review
Jan 20 – Older & Smarter? – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 20 – The Phantom Paragrapher – book review / giveaway
Jan 21 – Reading is My Passion – book review / giveaway
Jan 21 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – book spotlight
Jan 24 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 24 – Books for Books – book review
Jan 25 – Kam’s Place – book review
​Jan 25 – icefairy’s Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
Jan 26 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 26 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 27 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 27 – The Adventures of a Travelers Wife – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 28 – Lisa’s Reading – book review / giveaway
Jan 31 – Westveil Publishing – book review / guest post / giveaway