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.”

Life’s simple pleasures

Happy Sunday to all! Right now, I’m looking out my window and admiring the beauty that’s lit by another sunny (but cool) morning. It’s just another example of life’s small pleasures that we may often take for granted.

Despite recent world events, there’s still plenty of good out there. Yes, there are those larger ticket items; family and friends, health, fun vacations, good food, and personal freedoms. But what about the little things? Here’s a list of the small things, in no particular order, that I’m personally grateful for. Things which may seem insignificant on their own but add up to a big morale boost. They’re everywhere, if you pay attention.

  1. The swish of the wind as it passes through the needles of an evergreen tree(s)
  2. The courteous driver who stops to let you turn.
  3. The smell of clean laundry- even better if you can dry it on a clothesline outside.
  4. The call of the Loon from the lake at sunset.
  5. The crackle and warmth of a campfire.
  6. Fixing that obnoxious squeaking door.
  7. The feel of a cool breeze kissing away the sweat after a hard day’s work.
  8. A smile.
  9. A belly-laugh.
  10. The first sip of fresh coffee.
  11. Good and full days that make you forget time exists.
  12. The scar(s) that are fodder for excellent stories.
  13. Sunrises/sunsets.
  14. The funny antics and quirks of pets.
  15. Rainbows.
  16. Rainstorms when you’re safely tucked in bed.
  17. Conquering procrastination and just “gettin’ it done.”
  18. Arriving safely at a destination.
  19. Impromptu adventures that provide a lifetime of great memories.
  20. The completion of every chapter that draws a WIP (work in progress) towards, “The End.”

Do any of these connect with you? Please feel free to add more in the comments.