Back To The Basics by Pastor Joe Quatrone

Pastor JoeI usually do not do a “review” before I read a book, but in this case I will make an exception, since I am familiar with Pastor Joe’s articles.  Most may already know Pastor Joe Quatrone, his blog by his name is found here:  Pastor Joe

I have been reading his blog now for over a year if not longer.  His passion for what God has called him to do began when he was involved in a tragic accident at age 14.  You can read his testimony on his blog.

Pastor Joe’s articles has reached out to many of us as we yearn to learn know more about God and to offer us hope in this chaotic world. 

I will be reading his book soon, have it downloaded and ready to go!  But with confidence I can recommend his book “Back to the Basics: A Guide For Christian Living”.

“Using simple language, you’ll find you don’t need a theology degree to understand these biblical truths, only a heart open to God’s Word. “Back to the Basics” is convicting with its introspective observations and promising with its practical applications. This affordable publication addresses intriguing questions; such as,

  • Why must there be consequences to actions?
  • What are the benefits of waiting for God’s will and how would I even know what that is?
  • How can I stand strong in my faith against society’s ungodly pressures?
  • How does my relationship from the past affect my relationship with God now?
  • Is there a secret to contentment?
  • How can I be secure in my salvation?
  • What happens when I die?

This short book is truly motivating and for this affordable price, it should be on every church library shelf and on every Christian’s Kindle. Get your copy here.

* If the Lord has touched your life in a special way through my writings, please share this book with your friends. Thanks.”

   { Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr }

My prayer is for all of us to grow closer to God as we find what God’s desire is for our lives.  Please share your thoughts on how this book has enriched your faith.


Book Review – Heart and Home

It feels good to be back on my computer (almost said typewriter!) writing down my thoughts and creating stories. Although like most of my projects I have about 5 ideas going around in my mind at the same time. I guess that is how God created me, with an over active imagination, like my favorite character in literature, Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gable who was always looking at life through her “scope of imagination”.

Heart and HomeOn to one of my projects – my latest book review, Heart and Home by Jennifer Melzer

Over the summer I was determined to get back into the habit of reading and I am now comfortably in a routine. I used to sit and read at a drop of hat, anywhere, anytime. Well, life gets busy, especially now as I still struggle with finishing everything that needs done. Through trial and error I now end my busy days in comfy clothes, all curled up in my favorite spots with my nose in a book.

One of my favorite summer reads was a book written by my cousin, Jennifer Melzer. She did an interview on my friends blog – Marcia Meara, you can find it here. …

Our family comes from a long line of story tellers. Imagination and writing is in our blood. If my father had written down all of his stories we would have been rich! So although he never made it to be a famous author, he did keep us rich in his stories or maybe I should say tall tales.

Jennifer lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter and dragons, “but dreams nightly she is laying on the beach watching the stars fall over the Atlantic Ocean”. Although our family are mountain people, there a few including my grandmother, Jennifer’s great grandmother and my daughter who love the ocean. Jennifer like the rest of the family is a story teller. Unlike those that came before us who would sit in front of the fire and telling tall tales, Jennifer sits at her computer for hours perfecting her craft as she tells her own fables.

Jennifer has a an imagination that would make Anne Shirley proud! She writes fantasy romance fiction, and as it says on her facebook page she “spins yarns woven from heartstrings”. I am proud of her accomplishments, although I do not normally read fantasy fiction I wanted to read her latest book which at the time was “Edgelanders“. While waiting for it to come out, I noticed another book she wrote, ” Heart and Home“, an endearing story of the area we live. So I chose to start off with that one.


Janice McCarty is a young journalist living in Pittsburgh when she gets the phone call we all dread. Her mother has suddenly passed away. She left her home in Sonesville, PA 8 years before and had seldom returned home. As she arrives she begins to feel out of place. While her friends married, had children, attended church suppers, quilting bees and a scrapbooking club, she had found a career in journalism.

Her plan was to make sure her dad was taken care of before she headed back to civilization where her job awaited her. Soon her life gets complicated by a former class mate and football star who had ambitions of his own. They kept bumping into each other in their small home town or maybe they were being thrown together by her mother’s restless spirit who, “leads her daughter down a path she swore she’d never take, and Chandra McCarty’s ghost has no intention of letting go until her daughter finally sees she’s more than just a byline, and home is where the heart is.”

You will enjoy this story about a young woman who comes face to face with her past only to realize that her past will soon become her future.

I have not yet read any of Jennifer’s other titles, but they are on my list. Jennifer’s writing style, imagination and attention to detail has me anticipating reading her other titles. I hope you enjoy her books too and please leave a comment with your review as well.

You can find her list of books on Amazon by clicking here – Heart and Home

Her latest book is Sorrows Peak –  is also available on Amazon

Swamp Ghosts by Marcia Meara – book review

Swamp GhostSwamp Ghosts by Marcia Meara

I would like to introduce Marcia Meara. She is a native Floridian and lives in the Orlando area. She enjoys reading, writing, and the great outdoors which she includes in her writing. She also has 2 dachshunds which is something else we have in common.

Marcia has two other books under her wing, “Wake-Robin Ridge”, which is available on and her book of poetry Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love”.  Marcia will soon be working on “Hunter”, the sequel to Swamp Ghosts, but is currently focusing on the sequel to Wake-Robin Ridge, which features a ten-year old boy making his way alone through the wilderness of the North Carolina mountains.

Marcia has two blogs Who’s Your Granny, primarily focusing on gardening & wildlife, or Bookin’ It, which is all about books…  “reviews, cover art, authors, literary quotes, and anything else related to the world of readin’ and writin”. Personally I can tell you I have learned quite a bit from Bookin’ It.

We have become friends through the wonderful world of blogging. I had the privilege to be one of her beta readers, giving her feedback as the story of Maggie Devlin and Gunnar Wolfe progressed.   Actually I was captivated when I first read the prologue:

“The car bumped and rocked as he drove down the rutted dirt road, steering by a wash of silver light from the gibbous moon. Only a few more days until it was full, making the road nearly as bright as it would be by day, but not tonight. Tonight, there was just enough light to see that the way ahead was clear—except for the tall grasses and weeds, indicating no one had driven this way in a long time—and that was all the visibility he needed. There was little chance of meeting anyone out here along such a remote stretch of river, but he wasn’t going to tempt fate by turning on his headlights. Not with what he was carrying in his trunk on this summer night.”

Swamp Ghost is full of suspense and romance which takes you deep into the swamps of Florida. If you like CSI, Agatha Christie and Mary Higgins Clark you are sure to enjoy Swamp Ghost.

Maggie Devlin is the owner of Eco Tours who meets Gunnar Wolfe a wildlife photographer whose newest project is to shot the rarest birds of Florida’s wetlands. He hires Maggie to take him into the remote rivers of Central Florida in search of that one photo opportunity that will make his name known in the photography world. Little did they know when they first met they would not only find romance but a serial killer on the loose.

Marcia’s book is balanced by the right imagery of suspense and romance to keep us interested and on the edge of our seat. Marcia sticks to the facts to get her point across and encourages us to use our imagination that puts us right into the book along with Maggie, Gunner and the true to life characters of Riverbend

A Serial Killer, Mystery, Suspense and Romance is what you get when you read Swamp Ghosts. Just when you think you have figured it out there is another twist and a surprise turn that will lead you down a different path into solving the crime. The book will keep the most ardent CSI fan guessing.

If you are looking for a book to keep you on the edge of your seat then this would be it for your summer reading pleasure.


The Bond by Paula McCoy Williams

The Bond
The Bond by Paula McCoy Williams  also available on kindle

The Bond by Paula McCoy Williams ~
Although based a true story of courage through cancer, it is a fictional story about a young lady named Adele. This story can be about you, your mother or friend. Many of us either know someone who has had cancer or we have ourselves are survivors of cancer. Each one of us has a story to tell. Each story will make us cry and laugh. Each story will bring back our own memories of what we or our loved ones had or is going through. Each story will also bring us hope.

“The Bond”  is a novella about a young woman Adele who had everything going for her when she hears those words, “you have cancer”. The story is about her journey through hearing those dreadful words and about her struggles after she is diagnosed to eventually the end of her journey when she finds hope.

Whether you or someone you love is going through cancer or you are in a difficult situation, I hope by reading “The Bond” you will find the strength you need to get through the difficult days and find the hope to build a new life as a survivor.

I met Paula through Chemo Angels (click on the link for more information on this wonderful organization that serves cancer patients around the world) and we have become fast friends. I asked her to write a little something about the book and about what gave her the inspiration to write it.

“The Bond is a story about a substitute teacher, Adele that enjoys a strong bond with her students and her life with her husband and her dreams. It is about her struggles through a lot of illness before she is finally diagnosed with breast cancer.

I drew my inspiration for the character Adele from my own experience while I was working as a substitute teacher and the strong bond I developed with the students with learning disabilities. It was my experience I put into Adele who could understand her students, like I did mine.

The character is based loosely on my husband and my own experience with breast cancer. I did have a bit of trouble being diagnosed with breast cancer after going through a great deal before finally getting diagnosed. I also went through a rough time with treatment.

The idea about helping others with a gift box of things that they need while they are going through cancer is something that I have been thinking about for a long time. It is something that I long to do as I long to find a way to help others going through cancer and the little things along the way mean so much. I don’t have a way to take on that kind of project yet but it is on my list of something that I want to be able to do.

Writing verses for cards is another thing that I long to do. I love to write and have loved the written word since I was a kid. I dream of being able to craft something that will bring sunshine to someone’s day whether you are going through cancer or just going through a difficult time.

It is my hope that the readers will be able to understand how important it is for kids to bond with their teachers and also how important it is to keep seeking medical attention if you feel that something is not right with your body. Time is of the essence and it could mean that you will get diagnosed at an earlier stage if you listen to your body.

One final thought, cancer does change a person but that doesn’t mean that just because someone is going through cancer, they don’t need their friends. Adele found out just what true friendship is when she needed her friends close to her during this time. Both Adele and her husband found that their good support system would be essential for Adele to become a cancer survivor.” By Paula McCoy Williams


The Pursuit of God

Pursuit of GodThe Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer                                                 1948

This book came highly recommended by several friends.  Although I knew who A.W. Tozer was I never read his books, I am not sure why other than I thought his writing might be dry and out of date.

What finally got my attention was the subtitle, “The Human Thirst for the Divine” and the first chapter “Following Hard After God”.  When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I found a new passion for God.  The more I read the more I wanted to learn.  The more I find answers the more I want to seek after God’s Truth.  When I read in chapter 1, “…in Him we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing.” that I knew it was time to pursue God and to be led to a closer relationship with God.

It is not a large book only 121 pages, that said, it took me a longer to read than I thought, not because it was dry and out of date, it was because the book revealed to me a longing that I thought I had lost. Reading this book helped me to rediscover the passion I had when I first gave my life to God. I had found myself re-reading parts of the book, highlighting passages and writing notes.

On the back cover it says, “The Pursuit of God will draw you into a deep, abiding relationship with the One who ‘nourishes the soul’. …and exposes the roadblocks that keep us from fully knowing God, reveals our responsibility of the pursuit, and ultimately leads us into the very presence of God Himself.”  If your soul needs some nourishment, like mine did or if there are roadblocks in your life that are keeping you from a deeper relationship with God, then I recommend this book. 

If you have already read the book share your comments with us.

“As we begin to focus upon God, the things of the spirit will take shape before our inner eyes. Obedience to the Word of Christ will bring an inward revelation of the Godhead (John 14:21-23).  It will give acute perception enabling us to see God even as is promised to the pure in heart.  A new God-consciousness will seize upon us and we shall begin to taste and  hear and inwardly feel God, who is our life and our all.  There will be seen the constant shinning of “the True Light, which light every man who comes into the world” (John 1:9).  More and more, as our faculties grow sharper and more sure, God will become to us the great All, and His presence the glory and wonder of our lives.” 

“The voice of God is a friendly Voice. No one need fear to listen to it unless he has already made up his mind to resist it.”

 {quotes from The Pursuit of God}

The Little Women Letters

 The Little Women Letters by Garbielle Donnelly

The sub-title reads, ” A new generation of sisters”.  As I read the book I could almost see Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy in today’s world.  But instead it is the story of Jo’s granddaughters, Emma, Sophie and Lulu ~ a new generation of sisters.

Lulu finds a collection of letters written by her great – great grandmother Josephine March.  As Lulu sisters find romance and a career, Lulu seems to be heading nowhere.  As she reads Jo’s letters she is drawn to the past as she discovers what her future may be.

Although I am the youngest in my family, I felt drawn to Lulu, like I have always been drawn to Jo.  Is it because I too have always been restless moving from one thing to another, not quite knowing where I fit in?  The more I read I saw Jo in Lulu and I saw both Jo and Lulu in my own life.  Lulu found “solace and guidance” from  Jo’s letters and I found encouragement  from Lulu and strength from Jo’s life from remembering her life in “Little Women”.  Just as Lulu will find her place in her life, I am learning to rebuild my life and finding new purpose for my own life.

If you enjoyed Little Women you will enjoy this book.  It is a good summer book, something to relax with on a warm summer day as you allow it to transform you back into the lives of the March family.

The Real Jane Austin

I have recently finished Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin and was ready to write a review when Karen from All The Worlds A Stage wrote a nice review on the book “The Real Jane Austin”. Last year my goal to was to start to read the classics and so far my favorite has been Jane Austin. I have not read this book yet, but from other Jane Austen fans I know it is a must read. If you are not familiar with Jane, this sounds like a nice introduction into who Jane Austin was. So if you have never read Jane Austin and would like to read something new I would highly recommend any of her books or “The Real Jane Austin”. My favorite titles are Pride and Prejudice & Sense and Sensibility. Happy Reading!

THE ILLUSION by Frank Peretti

The Illusion by Frank Peretti

Frank Peretti is one of my favorite authors.  He takes you into the realms of angels, and fights monsters in the night in his other books. 

This book tells the story of the love between a man and woman – Dane and Mandy who are partners in a magic act, master magicians.  They have been married and partners for over 40 yrs when tragedy strikes~ “a car wreck that claims Mandy’s life—or so everyone thinks. Even as Dane mourns and tries to rebuild his life without her, Mandy, supposedly dead, awakes in the present as the nineteen-year-old she was in 1970.” 

Illusion is the story of how Mandy and Dane are reunited – Mandy at age 19 and Dane at age 60.  They mystery starts on page 1 and does not end until the last page. I don’t want to give too much on the story line, as you read, each page will bring you closer to solve the mystery and know the secret of the Illusion.

If you like a little mystery and suspense you will like the latest by Frank Perretti.  It is a perfect book for a cold evening, snuggling under a warm blanket and enjoying a hot cup of cocoa, tea or coffee.

Let me know how you enjoyed the book.  I give it 4 stars. 

The Story of a Common Soldier

The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War, 1861-1865 by Leander Stillwell

Leander was born on September 16, 1843 in Illinois and raised on his father’s farm.  When he was not yet 18 years old he enlisted in the Union Army on January 7, 1862 and mustered out with the rest of his regiment on September 8, 1865. 

He started as most men did as a private and by the end of the war he earned the rank of Second Lieutenant.  His autobiography begins when he enlists into the Union Army and tells an interesting story of life as soldier during the Civil War.

His regiment was assigned to guard railroads, and often they would ride the railroad and steamships traveling across the south to Shiloh, Corinth, Murfreesboro to Little Rock, AK. His description of the battle of Shiloh and his last engagement; a running battle with confederate cavalry as his unit tried to defend a supply train to Murfreesboro in December 1864, is an honest account of how one soldier observed it.

He eventually would be elected as a Judge in 1883 serving in the  Seventh Judicial District in Kansas.  To read more of his life after the Civil War you can go to this website: Leander Stillwell

Judge  Leander Stillwell
Born ~
Sept. 16, 1843
Died ~
Sept.10, 1934
{Pictures courtesy of Google search}

Promise Me (book review)

“Promise Me” by Nancy G. Brinker with Joni Rodgers

How A Sister’s Love launched The Global Movement To End Breast Cancer

Who has not heard of SUSAN G. KOMEN RACE FOR THE CURE®? Most of us know about the 3 day race that takes place each year all around the world to not only honor Susan G Komen but to keep a promise made by the sister her loves her. 

 “Promise Me” is a book of two sisters from the innocence of childhood, to their lives as young women, to their fight against breast cancer.  It is a book based on one promise from one sister to another to fight back. 

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 and I owe my life to women like Nancy G Brinker who promised her sister, Susan to “end the silence, to Promise to raise money for scientific research and to promise one day to cure breast cancer for good.” 

All of us that have been diagnosed share a bond with courageous women like Susan Komen, some are well-known like Shirley Temple Black, Betty Ford,  Bette Davis, and Ingrid Bergman. Most are not well-known like Evelyn W., Patricia A., Sherri W., Donna J., and so many others that have blessed my life with their courage and faith.

I would recommend this book to anyone whose life has been affected by breast cancer, either their own diagnoses or the diagnoses of someone they love.

For more information on the SUSAN G. KOMEN RACE FOR THE CURE® you can visit the website: