Review of Linda’s Midlife Crisis, by Toni Pike

I’ve been absent on the blogosphere lately, my apologies to everyone who’s posts I’ve yet to read. I promise that I will
catch up. Between starting a new job, an online course, writing, and well, everything else, time is a precious commodity.

Today I have the pleasure of reviewing, Linda’s Midlife Crisis, by Toni Pike. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

What’s it about?

How does a fifty-year-old woman start a new life?

Meet Linda Lockwood: fifty, fat, frumpy and bullied by her horrible husband Ron and the vile students and principal at the school where she teaches English. But her life is about to undergo a total transformation.

Linda suffers a breakdown after a traumatic classroom incident, and that brings out the worst in Ron and devious principal, Wayne Forsythe. Then she is rocked to discover her husband has a shocking secret.

With her own determination and the help of friends and family, she starts to turn her life around. She begins to succeed, but there are still some more surprises in store Linda.

My View:

This is a classic, “rags to riches,” tale that does a wonderful job of creating sympathy for our down and out protagonist.

Though her circumstances have never been ideal, the bullies in Linda’s life push her to the edge with a series of offenses ranging from indifference to downright abusive. Battered and bruised (figuratively), Linda’s self esteem slides to a new low. The future is bleak.

Fortunately, she’s blessed with a strong cast of supportive family and
friends. They lift her up, infusing her with the courage to rise before the
bell rings. Linda begins to take calculated risks and discovers a new life that
she’d never dreamed was possible. When the past raises an ugly head, she
quickly banishes it with her newfound confidence.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who relishes stories about overcoming
massive obstacles to win a second chance.

Meet Toni: 

Toni Pike is a multi-genre author who enjoys writing page-turning fiction for adults, hilarious books for children, and non-fiction. She also loves travelling and being with family and friends. She lives in Australia and firmly believes that coffee and long walks are an essential part of any day.

Do you like books that you can’t stop reading? Pike is the author of LINDA’S MIDLIFE CRISIS, DESOLATION BLUFF, DEAD DRY HEART and The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series: THE MAGUS COVENANT, THE ROCK OF MAGUS, THE MAGUS EPIPHANY and HOLY SPEAR OF MAGUS.

The Brody Cody Series is for children aged 6-9: BRODY CODY AND THE STEPMOTHER FROM OUTER SPACE and BRODY CODY AND THE HAUNTED VACATION HOUSE.

She’s also the author of two non-fiction books. THE ONE WAY DIET is a no-nonsense guide to losing weight. HAPPY TRAVELS 101 is a short book of travel tips with advice for anyone who wants to travel overseas.

Connect with her and grab your copy:

Amazon Website Instagram

Ramblings of a pale-fingered, “Green Thumb.”

These days, I’m expanding my horizons and have been working with a local company that designs and maintains some lavish gardens. Being a greenhorn means that my green thumb is a very light shade of whitish. Needless to say, my question to answer ratio is drastically unbalanced, but hey, I’m loving the journey.  

One of my biggest concerns is mistakenly yanking out a prized flower. A challenge made even harder as most plants haven’t flowered yet.

So, to avoid trouble, I’ve done my level-headed best at recognizing and retaining the appearance of different leaves and seedlings. I’m slowly learning the proper names, but for those that I don’t, I have a “highly specialized” classification system.

Here goes:

A Something: No idea what it is. Yes, there’s something sticking out of the dirt, but I am unable to determine whether it is a weed or a flower. I need to go and ask.

A Thing: Hands off! Still have no idea what the heck it is, but this is a no go for a pull. Yes, I was told what it was, but can’t remember the name.  

Not a thing: Grip and pull! It’s either a weed, a nasty intruder, or the owner just wants it gone. I’ve already been given the green light by the experts, but I forget the name.

Yes, okay, now you’ve been given the code, no red pills required if you are captured by the enemy, though I’m not sure who that could be.

Anyways, I thought it might be fun to create a fictional account of how things might go if I was gardening at home and left to my own destruction.

“Doh! What did I just pull out?”

“Dad? Dad! What did you just shove into your pocket?”

“Oh, um, just a few somethings.”

“Oh no! No! No! Those were Mom’s favorites! I can’t believe you did that! Mom! Mo—”

“Shush! Alright it was just a few things, look, they’re not a thing, really.”

“Not a thing? They’re everything! Those were five orchid seedlings!”

“Really? These grassy things? They looked like weeds.”

“Nope! Definitely somethings and more that, they were a thing! Even in your garden speak.”  

“But how was I supposed to know? None of them even had petals yet. Please tell me these weren’t those reddish, yellowish, and black, weird shaped—”

“Lady’s Slipper Orchids. Yes, the seeds she pointed out at the garden store, and said that she couldn’t wait to see bloom.”

“Look, can we make a deal or something?”

“I’m listening.”

“Well, what if we say that this was the work of a vole.”

“A vole? Is that a thing?”

“Sheesh, kid! You want to hear my proposal or not? Yes, a vole is a thing. It tunnels underground, and sucks down plants from their root. Just like spaghetti. A pack of them are called Doozers. Oh, and they love radishes, too, so we need to watch out for that.”

“Google . . . what is a vole?”

“Ah sheesh! Should have known you would’ve brought that thing out here.”

“A vole is a small rodent about the size of a mouse that dwells primarily above ground. Voles sometimes use tunnels created by moles to feed on plant structures underground. Voles—”

“Oh, shut that silly thing off, would you? See? Even Google agrees with me.”

“Okay, I’ll go with it. But you do the talking, and maybe you should leave out the ridiculous reference to Fraggle Rock.”

“Huh? How’d you know about that show?”

“YouTube. You’re aware that there are more things on there, than just tutorials on how to repair car thingies.”

“Touché.”

“What’s going on you two? You look like you’re up to something.”

“Busted.”

“Sucks to be you too. I was gonna’ buy you a thing, but now you’ll get nothing.”

Review of A Conflicted Heart: A Daughter’s Quest For Solace From Emotional Guilt, by D.G. Kaye

Well, we finally have the first hints of spring here, after getting pounded by snow several days ago, the temperatures are in the pluses and the snow is turning back to its original state.

I’ve just finished reading a true story about the life experiences of fellow author, D.G. Kaye. What are my thoughts? Keep reading and I’ll share them with you. 🙂

The Deets:

A Lifetime of guilt — What does it take to finally break free?

Somehow I believed it was my obligation to try to do the right thing by her because she had given birth to me.

Burdened with constant worry for her father and the guilt caused by her mother’s narcissism, D.G. Kaye had a short childhood. When she moved away from home at age eighteen, she began to grow into herself, overcoming her lack of guidance and her insecurities. Her life experiences became her teachers, and she learned from the mistakes and choices she made along the way, plagued by the guilt she carried for her mother.

Conflicted Hearts is a heartfelt journey of self-discovery and acceptance, an exploration of the quest for solace from emotional guilt.

My Thoughts:

If there was ever a story that gives a perfect example of peeling away the protective layers in which many of us enshroud ourselves, you’ve just found it.

D.G. courageously shares her story of being raised by an emotionally, and often physically, distant mother and the damaging consequences. I think most of us read stories to connect with the characters, and I found myself highly engaged with the younger D.G., as she tries to navigate through the emotional turmoil of her mother’s rejection; no child should ever have to go through that.    

In spite of her mother’s alienation, D.G. does find strong supporters, within her family and in romantic partners. The reader cannot help but feel relief and joy every time these people turn up in her life.

I grew to admire D.G.’s resilience, kind heart, and appreciated her brutal honesty. The pages are choc full of valuable life lessons.

Life is rarely fair, but there are bright spots that we can soak up, and D.G. is certainly one who has learned to do just that. No one is spared from disappointment and varying degrees of trauma. We all need to find our ‘people’ who will support us.

I recommend this book to anyone with a pulse.  

I’m giving this book, FOUR STARS!  

Please note that I only post reviews on books I deem four or five stars. Life is short and if I don’t like a book, I simply won’t finish it.

Meet D.G. :

D.G. Kaye was born and resides in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Conflicted Hearts – A Daughter’s Quest for Solace From Emotional Guilt, Meno-What? – A Memoir, Words We Carry, Have Bags, Will Travel, P.S. I Forgive You, and her newest release – Twenty Years: After “I Do”. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer and writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

Kaye writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and the lessons that were taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome some of the many obstacles that challenged her. From an emotionally neglected childhood, to growing up with a narcissistic mother, leaving her with a severely deflated self-esteem, D.G. began seeking a path to rise above her issues. When she isn’t writing intimate memoirs, Kaye brings her natural sense of humor into her other works.

D.G. began writing when pen and paper became tools to express her pent-up emotions during a turbulent childhood. Her writing began as notes and cards she wrote for the people she loved and admired when she was afraid to use her voice.

Through the years, Kaye journaled about life, writing about her opinions on people and events and later began writing poetry and health articles for a Canadian magazine as her interest grew in natural healthcare. Kaye became interested in natural healing and remedies after encountering a few serious health issues. Against many odds, D.G. has overcome adversity several times throughout her life.

D.G. began writing books to share her stories and inspiration. Her compassion and life experiences inspire her to write from the heart. She looks for the good and the positive in everything, and believes in paying it forward.

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return, Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

D.G.’s Favorite Saying: “Live. Laugh. Love …and don’t forget to breathe!”

When D.G. is not writing, she’s reading. Her favorite genres of reading are: biographies, memoirs, writing and natural health. Kaye loves to read about people who overcome adversity, victories and redemption and believes we have to keep learning–there is always room for improvement! She loves to cook, travel, and play poker (when she gets the chance).

Connect with her and purchase your copy:

Website Goodreads Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Amazon.com

Cassie’s Wishes

This was originally posted back in April of 2021. As I sit here today, thinking about what’s going on in my nation’s capitol (Ottawa, Canada), just a few hours drive from here, I thought it could use a reposting.

Cassie took a deep breath and blew her wishes into the wind. It was getting dark and Mommy wanted her home for dinner, so she got up and watched them drift into the sunset. Satisfied, Cassie went home, washed up, and sat down at the table.

“So, Miss, what did you get up to today?” Mother smiled.

“I blew some wishes out into the world.”

Mother handed Cassie a plate of spaghetti, her favorite, and winked at her. “I’d ask you what those were, but I know that takes away their magic.”

Later, as Cassie laid her head against the soft pillow, listening to the crickets and the hoot of Chester, the barn owl, she prayed that her wishes would find the right people.

As Cassie, slept, a great wind picked up and blew those wishes around the globe, over miles of ocean and into every country of the world.

One landed the shoulder of a grieving father, as he stood at the graveside of his ten year old daughter who’d died from leukemia. An inexplicable peace began to fill his heart.

Another drifted past an ICU nurse, as she left the hospital, exhausted and discouraged from a never ending battle against COVID. Hope renewed some of her energy and lifted her spirits.

One landed in the lap of a little girl, as she sat in threadbare clothes, eating the last meal she’d have for awhile. Her rumbling belly ceased and her heart was filled with the promise of a better tomorrow.

One landed on the uniform of a police man. The years of service for his community, had lately seemed to be overshadowed by the horrific actions of a few, and the media relentlessly pelted them with negative stereotypes. He felt his discouragement fade.

The last wish will land on you, wherever you are, and whatever you are going through. It will give you strength and resilience.

Cassie woke the next day, to a better world.