Kid Friendly Books – (Day 2)

There are hundreds of books written for children, however, how do you know which one is the right one?

In my opinion, if a book has a positive learning message for your child then it is definitely worth investing into. At the end of the day, your child takes inspiration, education, and notes from everything they see. Therefore, it’s vital that they exposed to the correct form of information.

One (Kathryn Otoshi)


This interesting book has minimal illustrations encouraging parents to expand beyond the dialogue. This book also talks about bullying and teaching anti-bully behavior.


You can grab this book by clicking on the image.




Short Book Reviews (April)

These short book reviews were kindly requested by Lean Stone Book Club.

Music History by Andrew Sullivan

Music history is a book written for an audience that wishes to discover the truth about its history. It is an excellent book, in my opinion, for music teachers, music institutes and universities that teach music as an introduction to their pupils

Besides covering the history of modern music, classical, jazz, and rock music; this book also educates you in what electronic music means, where pop music originated from and what moral, emotional, political, and cultural impact music has on humans.




Washington: US Presidents by William D. Willis

This book covers the presidency of George Washington, the founding fathers, the American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution.

I found the chapters to be short and felt that the book provided a small amount of information on the chosen presidents. There was no extraordinary reveal on the historical references made. In addition to that, one could easily find this material for free by just using wiki or Google. There is nothing novel about this book, and I failed to understand the point of why this book is even needed.



Middle Easter History by Raymond C. Nelson

This book is an absolutely perfect read for someone looking for real, authentic, and un-bias knowledge about the Middle East. Starting from the Sumerian’s to the Ottoman Empire, the book informs you of holy wars and cities that were conducted back in those days. Persians, people of Israel, and Egypt are among the list of discussions. I especially enjoyed reading on the influence West has had in the Middle East. I recommend this book to people that like to read on the topic in question.

Medicine by Joseph Hennis

I enjoyed reading this book because it provides sufficient information on current day medical issues such as cancer, obesity, nursing, and surgery. It also provides back story on the subjects mentioned and discusses vaccinations and the usage of antibiotics.

What this book could have benefited from were pictures. Medicine is an intense subject, and sometimes a tiresome topic to read. If this book is aimed at the general audience then some kind of a visual form of attention-grabbing would assist in keeping the reader interest.


Robert Germaux – Author Interview

Robert Germaux Author Interview

In your own words, please tell us about Grammar Sex and Other Stuff:


As I say in the blurb for the book, it’s one man’s take on life’s little moments, minor annoyances and unexpected delights.


This book is a change from your previous books. What made you change things up?


I’ve enjoyed reading a couple of local newspaper columnists for several years. At some point, my wife suggested I try writing some essays myself, with an eye towards having enough for a book. So to anyone who enjoys the book, you can thank Cynthia for planting the idea in my head.


So I have to ask…was including the word “sex” a deliberate attempt to grab the attention of potential readers? Oh, definitely, and the fact that you asked that question means it worked, right?


Actually a year or so ago, when I was writing my first guest post, a friend suggested I come up with a “catchy” title. Since I had used the expression “grammar sex” in “The Backup Husband,” I decided to use the term in the title of the post. Incidentally, that piece is one of the essays included in this book.


I love slice-of-life stories and Grammar Sex and Other Stuff certainly fits that category. How did you manage to recall all of your awesome stories? Do you keep a folder or do you just have an incredible memory?


I do have a good memory, but not that good. One thing that helped, especially with the essays related to vacations Cynthia and I have taken, is that I’m big on taking notes. When we’re on vacation, I take a few minutes every evening and jot down notes about what we did that day. After we get home, I use the notes to write what amounts to a daily diary of our trip. I put that diary with the photo album of the trip, and then we’ll get it out every few years and relieve all those wonderful moments. As for the essays that aren’t trip-related, anything I can’t remember on my own, I can usually get help from Cynthia or, in some cases, family members, especially my sister Barb, who’s become sort of our family historian.


Speaking of awesome stories, what do you think makes an interesting story?


For me, it has to be something that I can relate to in some way. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something I have personal experience with, as long as the author writes well enough to grab my attention. That pertains to fiction, but I also enjoy reading autobiographies.


What kinds of books are in your personal library?


I like detective novels, of course, but also other genres, anything that is well-written and captures my interest. I particularly enjoy stories that inform me about other countries and cultures.


Do you have a book genre/writing preference – fiction or non-fiction? Definitely fiction.


I loved writing “Grammar Sex and Other Stuff,” but I prefer writing about my private detective, Jeremy Barnes, or my police detective, Daniel Hayes, both of whom work in Pittsburgh. As soon as I sit down and start a new chapter about either Jeremy or Daniel, I’m right back in the world that I created for that book. I just lose myself in it.


Do you have any new books in the works?


Yes, I do. I’ve completed “One by One,” the next book about Daniel Hayes. It will be available not too long from now. And I’ll also be releasing at least one more Jeremy Barnes novel later this year.

How can readers connect with you?


You can always reach me at my Amazon Author Page. I love interacting with my readers.


Since you have now had several published books completed, what advice would you give aspiring authors?


The most important thing is to keep writing (and rewriting). Equally important is to find at least one person whose opinion you trust. Ask that person to read everything you write and give you an honest take on it. In my case, that person is Cynthia. She knows my characters, my writing style and, well, me better than anyone else in the world. When she offers a suggestion, I end up taking it 99% of the time.




Robert Germaux and his wife Cynthia live outside of Pittsburgh. After three decades as a high school English teacher, and now a good many years into retirement, he is beginning to have serious doubts about his lifelong dream of pitching for the Pirates. Grammar Sex and Other Stuff is Bob’s first non-fiction book. You can find links to his first three novels (The Backup Husband, Small Talk and Hard Court) at his Amazon Author Page.


Harkworth Hall by L.S. Johnson (Book Review #273)

Harkworth Hall is a late Georgian historical adventure novel that has hints of goth, romance, and thrill embedded into it. The story focuses on the lead heroine, Caroline whom is very smart, adventurous, and is likeable. Her situation in life is The author and kindly requested this review, and it is very easy to see how lost and stuck she feels having to marry. There is, however, a twist to this tale and that is what makes the novel very interesting. The secretary knows of a secret that changes everything for Caroline.

Although the story is short, it was well put together and was filled with an immense amount of content. It was very surprising to feel as gratified as I was, once I had finished reading this book. The literature style of writing is in a classic format adding to the texture of the theme, and it is action packed with romance and hidden twists, making it an ideal choice for a fast-enjoyable read.

There is a sequel to this book which made the ending more intriguing. It definitely provides something to look forward to and promises great potential for something as good as this one. What the work could improve on was its character development. Having said this, it did not take away much from the book since it was a short story.

I recommend this book to historical fantasy readers.

Written by Jeyran Main

This review was kindly requested by the author and

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“New Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies,” by Najmieh Batmanglij: A Review by da-AL


Novelist da-AL will soon release her book, “Flamenco & the Sitting Cat.” For more of her writing, visit her blog:


It’s the start of Spring and with it Persian New Year, the time of year that is among the happiest everywhere in the world. A time brilliant with hope, promise, and gratitude for overcoming the year behind us. Yeah! We have survived! All people can peacefully celebrate!

“New Food of Life,” by Najimieh Batmanglij
celebrates the past that brought about her marvelous food. Her book promises to keep Iran’s most sensual art alive. She packs in love in all of its forms. Within these pages lie poetry, tapestry, childhood memories, and practical advice on how to make these recipes your own.

Persian ‘tadig,’ crunchy rice.

Persian ‘miniature’ style painting of picnickers.

Colorful ‘miniature’ style paintings and lyrical poetry are interspersed among photos vivid enough to make me feel the aromatic steam on my nostrils as I experience crunchy rice (tadig), mountains of grains, pots of stews, platters of desserts, with all manner of drinks, staples including pickle and yogurt making instructions, and mixes for seasonings.

Platter of fresh herbs, feta, and nuts.

Without my husband, I might never have tasted simple elegance at its most sublime. Here Batmanglij features a splendid heap of fresh herbs that can include mint, fennel, parsley, watercress, and sweet basil. Alongside it, real feta cheese (not the miserly crumbled sort), and nuts soaked in brine.

Persian ‘Lubia Polo’ green bean stew with rice.

Tea gets its own chapter — marvelous Persian tea that’s best appreciated by eyes and nose from clear glasses that highlight color and scent.

Persian sweet fritters.

Batmanglij accomplishes much in this singular book! There’s illustrated explanations of holidays and traditions.

Persian poetry and painting.

Even a list of her mother’s interpretation of ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ foods — hot and cold, not to be confused with the dictionary definition of these words. In this case, they’re more akin to Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine interpretations of how they affect the body, not merely the taste buds.

This book is for anyone who loves globetrotting via food and anyone who loves a Persian.

Batmanglij has other cookbooks for all ages.

Author: da-AL of


Best Book Blogs of 2017

I am so happy to tell you that has featured my blog on their list of “The best book review blogs of 2017.”
This is a huge honor and I wanted to share it with my book lovers and loyal fans. Without your support, this would not have been possible. For authors seeking quality reviews and good book blog websites, this is like a treasure chest waiting to be explored.
Reedsy has a community of over 50,000 authors and offers many services in publishing.
Thank you for selecting me and happy reading everyone!


Chapter 4- Lesson 2- Infinitives



An infinitive is a verb phrase that almost always begins with ‘to’ and ends with a verb.


To have

To talk

To explore


Infinitives can be used as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs.


For example:

To dance was her greatest desire.


The way to act is through determination.


Here are some examples of some infinitive phrases:


To hope for a better tomorrow.


To forget all your fears


To walk into the sunset.


Written by Jeyran Main

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Happy First Day Of Spring

The first day of Spring also happens to be New Years (Noruz) for our fellow Persians. This traditional and historical celebration goes back to the Achaemenid times (555-330 BC). It has often been suggested that the famous Persepolis Complex, or at least the palace of Apadana and Hundred Columns Hall, were built for the specific purpose of celebrating Noruz. However, no mention of the name of Noruz exists in any Achaemenid inscription.It is no surprise then that this historical day comes along with many traditional and cultural proceedings.

Happy Persian New Year! and Happy First Day of Spring!



The Brotherhood By Shannon Condon Ward – Author Interview

  1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I knew I wanted to be a writer by the time I was in elementary school. When I reached college, I had the opportunity to explore different types of writing. It was then I decided I wanted to write fiction novels.


  1. What is your most interesting or craziest writing quirk?

I start every book on the first page and write straight through to the end. I never skip around with chapters. I want the story to unfold exactly as the readers are going to see it unfold.


  1. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book(s)? I found I changed things as I wrote. I had the basis for the story written in my head but as I put it on paper, things seem to evolve and the characters began to exercise their voices. It was exciting to see where the book flowed to.


  1. Which writers inspire you?

My three favorite authors are Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy and William Golding.  In their books, they all have the ability to wrap you in their story and keep you holding on to the final page.


  1. Anything else you would like to say about writing? Encouraging words for potential writers? The most important thing someone ever told me was to write for the love of writing. Don’t write to try and make money. It was the best advice I ever received.



The Brotherhood By Shannon Condon Ward

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Starting where Finding Magdalena left off, nineteen-year-old Maggie marries her fiancé, Mateo and moves to Milan for his new job and her scholarship at the famous Milan Conservatory.  She has barely settled in her new home when Maggie uncovers the Brotherhood, a secret organization and finds herself unwittingly involved in its sinister plans.  Along with Shep and the rest of his team, she leads the covert mission to bring the Brotherhood to its knees.

Once again, Maggie embarks on a dangerous journey that tests her mental and physical limits. Can she escape the Brotherhood’s long reach and survive?


About the Author

Born in upstate New York, I was raised in South Florida where I was exposed to a multicultural background. From the time I was in elementary school, I was writing prolifically in journals and poetry. I attended the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and graduated with honors. Life happens and it was necessary for me to put my writing aspirations on hold for a while. I still wrote poetry as time allowed, but as a single mother of three boys, there wasn’t much time. But time passes quickly and the opportunity presented itself for me to begin writing again. I developed the first story in Magdalena series, Finding Magdalena, in my head before I put anything down on paper. I had the storyline, well-developed characters and ending before I began writing. I also took the opportunity to travel to Spain and Italy to do location research. It was a labor of love. I self-published my first book in September 2015 and then it was republished in the UK by Austin Macauley Publishers. The second book in the series, The Brotherhood, came pouring forth like a waterfall. The characters, now old friends to me, seemed to take over and write the book themselves. I am currently working on the third installment of the Magdalena series and another book which is a different genre, one that deals with the relationship between three generations of women over three time periods.

For me, writing has always been a release, never work.  I hope that continues. When it becomes work, I will probably stop. Right now, just the idea that people read my work and find enjoyment in it is a thrill for me.


On Amazon:


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