Friday 30 June 2023

LOSE IT FOR THE LAST TIME by Amy Newman Shapiro

Book Details:

Book Title:  Lose It For The Last Time 2nd Edition by Amy Newman Shapiro
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction, 240 pages
GenreWeight Loss, Nutrition, Healthy Living, Self Help, 
Publisher:  Snewman Media
Release date:  November 2022
Content Rating:  G for no inappropriate language, no violence, no sex.
Book Description:

When it comes to losing and keeping off the pounds, Amy Shapiro knows what works, what doesn’t, and why.

​In her completely revised and updated edition of LOSE IT FOR THE LAST TIME she incorporates the latest scientific research that has advanced our understanding of why we gain weight and the best practices for taking it off —for good. In addition, she introduces us to the technology that has changed how we exercise and track physical activity with tips on using it to our best advantage.

This new edition contains the same easy-to-follow plan for permanent and healthy weight loss that Amy has used successfully for many years in her private practice to help people like you win the constant battle against losing weight and gaining it back. She shares her secrets for successfully making small, sensible lifestyle changes, along with strategies for using a non-diet approach to lose weight.

Amy will make your dream of long-term weight loss a reality by:
  • Helping you lose weight in a nonrestrictive way that makes it easier to keep it off
  • Offering surprising, simple substitutes for replacing habits and behaviors that pack on the pounds
  • Showing how it's possible to eat fewer calories without going hungry or depriving yourself of the foods you love
  • Explaining how to dine out and enjoy party and holiday food without gaining weight
  • Demonstrating how to make exercise a part of your life without joining a gym or playing a sport
  • Providing practical, easy-to-live-with suggestions and techniques for staying motivated and focused on long-term success
  • Teaching you how to set realistic, measurable, and doable weekly goals
It’s time to get healthy and lose weight for the last time and stop yo-yo dieting and the health risks that come with it. Here are the answers for reaching and maintaining a healthy weight so you can experience the real health benefits of permanent weight loss.
Buy the Book:
Add to Goodreads

Guest Post by Amy Newman Shapiro: Are Your Liquid Calories Pouring On The Pounds?
If you aren’t careful, the added calories from your choice of beverage could cause unsuspecting weight gain.  If the scale has been slowly creeping upward and you don’t know why, take a look at what you are choosing to drink.  We all know by now that sugar packed regular soda (9 teaspoons for every 12 ounces) is no good for your waist (not good for your teeth or bones either).  But have you considered the calories in your coffee?  One 16-ounce light and sweet coffee can add 133 calories to your morning.  If you are a heavy coffee drinker, that’s almost 400 calories a day.  Over the course of one year, you have consumed enough calories to pack on 41 pounds.  If you enjoy a Starbucks mocha frappuccino daily, it takes only one a day.  You would have to walk about 3 ½ miles every day just to burn off those calories.
Fruit juice may also be a problem.  A 4-ounce apple gives you 60 calories compared to a common serving of apple juice with 110 calories.  Without the fiber, the apple juice may be less filling leading you to eat something solid with it.
Sports drinks like Gatorade may be important if you are engaged in 60 minutes or more of sustained physical activity.  But the average Joe needs water to rehydrate, not the electrolytes and carbohydrates found in sports drinks.
Energy drink consumption has also been on the rise bringing in unnecessary extra calories (and in some cases bringing irreversible damage to the teeth).
Alcohol intake may also be tripping you up.  A can of beer gets you 150 calories, a six-pack nets 900 calories.  The shot of vodka or gin gets you 55 calories but you have to add the juices or mixes you are adding to it to calculate the damages.
Portion sizes may also be the culprit.  Sodas used to come in 6 ½-ounce bottles, now a 20-ounce bottle is the norm.
So think before you drink:
Drink water, if you crave the bubbles, choose seltzer
Ditch the fruit juice and eat whole fruit instead
Low-Fat and Fat-Free milk are good choices for getting enough calcium in your diet along with other good-for-you nutrients
Can the sports drinks and energy drinks
Cut the portion sizes if you do choose to splurge on juice or soda
“Drink responsibly” no matter what’s in the glass
Eat today for a healthier tomorrow

Meet the Author:

Amy Newman Shapiro RDN, CDN, RYT200 is a registered dietitian, nutritionist. She holds degrees in both psychology and nutrition and is a certified personal trainer and a certified yoga instructor. As a professional speaker Amy promotes wellness in corporate, clinical, and private settings. She also offers wellness coaching and integrative and functional nutrition in her private practice based in Long Island, New York, where she and her husband reside. This is her fourth book.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads

Enter the Giveaway:
Win a signed copy of Lose It For The Last Time (2nd Edition)(one winner) (USA only) (ends July 1)
LOSE IT FOR THE LAST TIME by Amy Newman Shapiro Book Tour Giveaway

Friday 23 June 2023

INFALL (a Science Fiction Novel) by Herbert Hughes

Book Details:

​Book Title:  INFALL (A Science Fiction Novel) by Herb Hughes
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  365 pages
GenreScience Fiction 
Publisher:  Books From The Pond
Release date:  January 2023
Content RatingPG. There is some mild language and sex. The sex is stated, but not explicitly detailed. There is also some mild sexual innuendo and sexual jokes. One of the lesser characters is a noted ladies man.
Book Description:

What would you do if a naked alien materialized in front of you amid a ball of swirling winds and colored lights? Would you freeze, run away, scream, hit it, or try to communicate?

And what would you think if you discovered these aliens not only come from a different universe but are also far more intelligent than humans and vastly superior technologically?

Martin O’Brien leaves his native Ireland to chase the dream of love, but things go awry. Before he can return home, he becomes involved with the sudden appearance of aliens. This strange anomaly begins with a few “lightshows,” as the press dubs them, but quickly becomes a flood of millions.

The aliens call themselves Embrians. Human reactions range from murdering them for sport to using them for slave labor to worshipping them as gods.

Martin meets Jennifer Daniels, a pregnant young lady struggling to deal with her alcoholism. Together, they treat, harbor, and befriend a wounded alien named Vanya, but their kindness puts them at risk of being arrested.

Not all Embrians are docile and cooperative. Their leader, Vahlion, threatens to conquer America if his demands are not met. Because Embrians are so advanced, the threat is more than real. It is a certainty!

Martin, Jennifer, and Vanya are on a mission to save Earth, but how do you fight against aliens who have mastered entire fields of science that humans did not even know existed?
Buy the Book:
add to goodreads

Author Interview – Herb Hughes
Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
I was the kid always looking out the window or staring at the walls when the teacher called my name. It’s hard to answer when you have no idea what the question was because you were watching a video of one of your stories in your mind’s eye. Making up stories has always been a part of me.
It didn’t change when I entered the working world in adult life. In business meetings, I would often be on the other side of the galaxy when someone wanted me to respond to an issue. Over time, I learned a variety of diversionary tactics, such as saying: “I didn’t quite catch all that. Can you speak a little louder?” Or “I’d like to hear what [name of someone in the room] thinks about it first.”

I’ve heard some writers say they talk to their characters. Do you?
Oh, yes. Much of my waking day. And they are not shy about talking back and voicing their opinions. They even invade my dreams sometimes.
We occasionally argue with each other. I’ll play the video of a scene in my head, and if one of my characters doesn’t like the scene or something in it, they have no problem speaking up and registering their protest. They pester me during story development, before I type the first word, and continue throughout the dozens of drafts in the actual writing process. Since, at any given time, I have several novels floating around in my head, that’s a lot of pestering.
The good news is when the novel is complete, the characters in that novel immediately leave me alone.
The bad news is I usually think of two new novels while writing that one, so I’ve got two new sets of characters to create havoc with my thoughts.
It has been said many times that a writer should write every day. Do you?
This may sound like heresy, but my answer is a firm “No.” If you’ve ever worked in a JIT factory, you know that a bad component that gets by control can create a lot of worthless product in a hurry. It’s the same with writing. Some days you don’t have what it takes to create quality material. Since authors often have trouble cutting a manuscript, they can become “married” to something that is not worthwhile.
We’re all different, so the way we write is different. Personally, when the video starts rolling in my head, I’ll write. But sometimes the video player doesn’t turn on. When that happens, instead of trying to force it, I’ll clear my head by getting away from the project.
Other writers go about it differently. There is no “one size fits all” in creating a manuscript. But there is one thing that ALL writers should be doing. It is the single most important thing an author can do: Read. 
Read the good and the bad. And don’t forget the ugly. Read it all. Learn what to do from the good. Learn what to avoid from the bad. But read everything you get your hands on, fiction and nonfiction. Don’t just pigeonhole yourself in your genre of interest. Branch out. It WILL make you a better writer.

How did you do research for your book?
Before the internet, research meant going to the library to spend hours in the reference room or agonizing time going through the card catalog trying to find books to check out, books that may or may not help once you’ve lugged them home. The several hundred dollar set of encyclopedias at home was never enough.
Now we’ve got the web, a miraculous tool for writers. You simply open a browser window next to your manuscript to find synonyms or search the pertinent subject or keywords. If you need to read an entire book, you can order and download then start reading immediately without ever leaving your chair.
While research is critical for genres such as historical fiction, it is also important for other genres. Science fiction, even though it is primarily speculative, is no exception. For instance, while writing Infall, I researched technical facts, geographical facts (often going into street view to see the settings), and details such as local slang for Australia and Ireland. I love Ireland. I’ve been to the Emerald Isle several times, but I still needed research to help me use the local slang accurately.
The internet’s convenience is amazing, but there is a drawback: There is much misinformation on the web. Almost anything and everything is out there, whether there is any basis in fact or not. So verifying your research by checking multiple sites is always a good idea. After all, you don’t want to be the one spreading misinformation.

Infall has a unique idea for the evolution of universes, the pulsing of new universes from a single point every million trillion years. Is this a current theory? If not, where did it come from?
I am not aware of pulsing universes being postulated as a scientific theory, but so many ideas have been presented over the centuries that it may well have been theorized before I wrote Infall.
The idea just made sense to me. Think of throwing a rock in a pond on a windless day. The ripples start from the point where the rock enters the water and expand in all directions in concentric circles. Then the water becomes calm again. There are no more ripples until you throw another rock.
Now imagine that our pond is three-dimensional. The ripples that go out are concentric spheres.
The big bang theory states that the universe is expanding from a single point, the big bang. While they used to think that the universe would begin to contract at some point in the future, current theory suggests that the universe will continue to expand indefinitely, until entropy has reduced everything to an even distribution of atomic particles.
It’s not too hard a leap to think that another big bang will happen. Perhaps they happen on a regular basis, like the pulsing of a heart, but on a massive time frame, such as my arbitrary million trillion years. The universes would be so far apart that light from either the next younger or next older universe would not be detectible.
I am not saying that this is, indeed, how universal evolution works. But I’m not saying it isn’t, either. I am saying it works well for Infall.

If you could put yourself as a character in your book, who would it be?
In his 1755 A Dictionary of the English Language, Samuel Johnson defined “Lexicographer” as: “a writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge…”
Seeing something of myself in that definition, I developed a relationship with the term Harmless Drudge. (It’s my ESPN username, for instance.) So I consciously try to keep myself out of my characters for fear they might become too boring for my readers.
While I’ve modeled a few characters from fascinating people I’ve known over the years, most of my characters are created from imagination, with occasional bits and pieces of real people added.
And, of course, a little of me manages to sneak in there every once in a while. In which characters? I’ll never tell.

Meet the Author:

Author Herb Hughes worked in the computer industry for over two decades and then built a successful private business before retiring to write novels.

“I write in the present, but my stories are about the past and the future: historical fiction and science fiction. I find both fascinating.”

connect with the author: website facebook ~ goodreads
Enter the Giveaway:
Win a signed copy of Herb Hughes’ INFALL (one winner) (USA only) (ends June 30)
INFALL Book Tour Giveaway

Thursday 22 June 2023

Call Her Janie by S.R. Fabrico + Author Interview

Book Details:
Book Title:  Call Her Janie: A scintillating romantic suspense with a shocking twist by S.R. Fabrico
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+),  350 pages
GenreRomantic Suspense
Publisher:  S.R. Fabrico
Release date:  June 27, 2023
Content Rating PG-13+M. A few curse words. There are some intimate scenes, mostly left up to the reader's imagination.

Book Description:

Are you ready for a heart-pumping, page-turning journey of love, loss, and suspense? Look no further than S.R. Fabrico’s latest masterpiece, filled with gripping twists and turns that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
Meet Lizzie Levine, the unstoppable female executive at a top NYC marketing firm. Driven by the tragic loss of her parents, Lizzie refuses to let anything stand in her way – until a handsome, enigmatic billionaire named Gray Stone enters the picture. But when Lizzie discovers she’s pregnant with Gray’s child, she learns there’s more to him than meets the eye.
Desperate for a fresh start, Lizzie escapes to the serene coastal town of Southport, NC. There, she meets Josh, a charming local determined to help her heal and move on from her troubled past. But as Lizzie begins to rebuild her life, she soon realizes that her past is not so easily left behind. Someone with a sinister agenda lurks in the shadows, and Lizzie’s life is in grave danger.
With a writing style, that’s both eloquent and engaging, S.R. Fabrico takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions as you journey with Lizzie through the twists and turns of her life. Whether you’re a fan of suspenseful thrillers or heartwarming love stories, this book is a must-read. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in a world of passion, intrigue, and danger.

Buy the Book:
Signed Copy
add to goodreads

Author Interview with S R Fabrico

Your book is set in Southport, NC. Have you ever been there? Yes, I have been there, and I love it. Southport is truly one of the greatest little quiet towns in the US. I highly recommend a visit.
How long have you been writing? I guess I have been writing for work for over twenty years. I have been writing novels for about five years.
What is your next project? I am currently working on book 2 of the Southport Series, Keeping Janie. I’m already several chapters in and having a blast as I continue the story and see where it goes. 
Where do you write? I converted my formal dining room that I never used into my official writing office. I absolutely love it. 
As you’re a mom writer, how do you balance your time? I have a full-time job and I am a mother of two incredible teenagers. Balance – ha! Who has balance? I write when I can. Often, I set writing deadlines to force myself to stay on track. Things can get a little crazy about six weeks before a book launch, but I am lucky that my kids and husband are very supportive.
What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done? I imagine many people may not think this is courageous, but I am terrified of heights. A few years ago my family wanted to do a ropes course that was 30 feet in the air. I struggled on one part pretty bad, but I did make my way through, and then actually did it a few more times.

Meet the Author:

S.R. Fabrico is a 16-time award-winning author. Her debut novel The Secrets We Conceal was published in March 2022. She has also written a series of sports journals for athletes, including the Amazon best-selling My Dance Journal.

A 25-plus-year professional in the business, marketing, and sports world has taken her to numerous places throughout the course of her life and provided countless life experiences. She is a World Champion Dance Coach, coach of the year recipient, and speaker and various conferences across the United States.

S.R. Fabrico works and writes from her home in Knoxville, TN, where she lives with her husband and two children. She appreciates the beauty of the mountains, but her favorite place to visit is the beach. She is a lifelong math nerd and enjoys good puns. When she isn’t writing, she likes to read books, wife hard, and mom hard.

connect with the author: website ~ twitter facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads

Enter the Giveaway:
Win signed copies of S.R. FAbrico’s CALL HER JANIE, THE SECRETS WE CONCEAL, and MY DANCE JOURNAL. (USA only) (ends July 1)

CALL HER JANIE Book Tour Giveaway

Monday 19 June 2023



Book Details:

Book Title:  Secrets of the Wild by Olivia Kent
Category:  Children's Fiction (ages 3 to 7), 38 pages
Genre:  Children's Book
Publisher:  Mascot Books
Release date:  March 2021
Content Rating:  G.  Suitable for everyone.
Book Description:

There is nothing more exciting than what happens deep in the woods. Aside from human eyes, the hustle and bustle of the wild will shock, awe, and captivate you deep into their world of the unknown. But be careful, because the creatures of the Earth are onto us, and they know much more about us than we know about them...
Buy the Book:

Amazon ~ B&N 

Meet the Author:

Olivia Kent’s vibrant personality shines through in her very first children’s book, Secrets of the Wild. Her creativity and true love for her characters developed into a funny and heartwarming story, reflecting her inner love for animals. Her passion for Earth’s creatures is being taken one step further as she continues her studies.

Enter the Giveaway:
Win a signed copy of SECRETS OF THE WILD by Olivia Kent (USA only) (ends July 1)

SECRETS OF THE WILD Book Tour Giveaway

Friday 16 June 2023

18 Golf Poems and A Recollection at the 19th Hole by Ronald B. Colby

Book Details:

Book Title:  18 Golf Poems and A Recollection at the 19th Hole by Ronald Colby
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction,  54 pages
Genre:  Poetry
Publisher:  The Colby Company  
Release date:   2022
Content Rating:  G for everyone.

Reviews for Ron Colby's novel, Night Driver, published by Rare Bird Literary, (January 2018):
“Colby has written a novel of relentless energy. While driving a cab at night, his main character hunts his wife’s killers through LA’s dark streets of dreams and nightmares. It’s tense, episodic, complete, and compelling. It’s quite a ride.” ― Francis Ford Coppola, director of The Godfather and Apocalypse Now

"Colby’s well-paced first novel takes the reader on a winding, exhilarating ride through late-1970s Los Angeles." ― Publishers Weekly

“Big news: Ron Colby’s Night Driver is a contemporary noir novel that deserves a place next to Chandler, Connolly, and Wambaugh. The story of a man who drives a taxi through the night streets of Los Angeles searching for his wife’s killers makes an exciting, original and hard-to-put-down book. Colby knows his turf, his characters and he gets everything right.” ― Michael Eliasauthor of The Last Conquistador

Tuesday 13 June 2023


Book Details:

Book Title:  A Daughter's Journey by Myra Lee Glass
Category:  YA Fiction (Ages 13-17),  132 pages
GenreYA Historical Fiction / Adventure
PublisherColeche Press
Release date:   Feb 2023
Content RatingG: Written for a high school school project :) by a highschooler
Book Description:

The year is 1938 and a family in the small South Carolina town of Beaufort faces serious adversity. After the birth of her long-awaited son, Mary Banks dives into a dark postpartum period, throwing her into a deep depression. Thinking that her sister, Rose, is offering her a helping hand, Mary leaves her family and goes to Boston in search of a medical cure, not to be heard from again.

​Where is Mary Banks? What has Rose done with the much-loved mother and wife of the Banks family? Finally, Mary’s 15-year-old daughter, Estelle can wait no longer. She gathers her wits and her courage and without a word, runs off to heroically rescue her beloved mother in faraway Boston. This is where the adventure begins……
Buy the Book:
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Author Interview with Myra Lee Glass
What I Think Makes a Good Story
I think what makes a good story differs for each reader and writer, but to me what makes a good story is the effect it has on me after I am done reading. Some books I can close, tell myself, “that was good.”, and then move on, but the books that keep me thinking about them for days, weeks, and sometimes months afterwards are the ones that I consider truly amazing. Maybe that book had a character that I really connected with, or maybe the way the author was able to connect different ideas and emotions together was astonishing. Everytime I finish a book, emotions either roll over me all at once, affecting my mood, forcing me to dissect every part of the book in my mind for ages, or I put the book back on the shelf and think about it every now and then. I listen to music so much, and even though it seems strange, I know a story was thoughtful and well planned if I can thoroughly associate a song with it. After reading “The Ballad of Song Birds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins, I listened to “I Bet You Think About Me” by Taylor Swift for weeks after, associating every lyric with every single scene in the book. After a good book, I can sit in my bed with my little pink journal, and write cohesive poems and songs about it.  If I can tell someone else that I wish I could erase my memory and read a book for the first time again, I know that book did its job of being an astounding story. 

Does Writing Energize or Exhaust me?
For me, both. I think any teenager can agree with me, that doing something when you HAVE to do it is a lot harder than when you WANT to do it. For example, maybe I thought to myself, “Oh, my room is looking a bit messy, maybe I should clean it later.” But then the moment my mom or dad asks me to clean my room, it becomes the last thing I want to do. That's what writing became for me. I could spend hours creating storylines and characters for fun in my free time,  but when deadlines and editing started to get included with that, it became a lot more difficult for me to get done. I would always remind myself that this is something that I actually enjoy, so I shouldn’t let a deadline that is built in to help me be my downfall. Some days, all I can think about is new stories, characters, themes, and ideas, while others I don’t think I muster up enough brain power to even write a sentence. If I am feeling exhausted but want to continue writing, I’ll blast music as loud as I can and type away. Music can put me in any mood. While writing my book, I would change genres based on the theme of the scene. I would blast Taylor Swift if I wanted the scene to be more lighthearted and inspiring, Hozier for a more sad scene, or even Green Day if I wanted the scene to feel angry and upsetting. Writing can put me in any mood, whether it is energized or exhausting, but I also have to decide when the right time to write was, and when the write time to relax was. 
Meet the Author:

Myra Lee Glass is a young adult author of A Daughter's Journey. She lives in Texas with her parents and sister.

Enter the Giveaway:
Win a $25 Visa Gift Card, courtesy of the author of A DAUGHTER’S JOURNEY (ends June 30)
A DAUGHTER'S JOURNEY by Myra Lee Glass Book Tour Giveaway

Friday 9 June 2023

The Pryce of Conceit by Kari Bovee


Book Details:

Book Title:  The Pryce of Conceit - An Historical Ghost Cozy Mystery by Kari Bovee
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +), 270 
Genre: Historical Ghost Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release date:   May 23, 2023
Content Rating:  G - Book has no bad language, sex, or violence on the page
Book Description:

Someone’s trying to frame this ambitious theater performer for murder. Can she get back to her adoring public and escape the noose?

1885. Arabella Pryce is struggling with heartbreak. And with her recently deceased husband’s will demanding she leave her celebrity behind and refurbish her namesake hotel in Colorado, the distressed actress is forced to board a westbound train. But she’s barely arrived at the haunted, broken-down lodge when the town beauty shows up dead in one of the rooms… and Arabella is named the prime suspect.

Already feeling the sting of the community’s disapproval, she grits her teeth and works with a mischievous ghost to help prove her innocence. But with blood-stained evidence, handsome sheriffs, and libelous journalists turning her investigation into a dangerous drama, this determined thespian fears she’s missed her cue for survival.

Can she shine the spotlight on a killer before more than her reputation dies a horrible death?

The Pryce of Conceit is the suspenseful first book in The Arabella Pryce Historical Cozy Mystery series. If you like driven heroines, atmospheric settings, and dashes of humor, then you’ll love Kari Bovée’s lighthearted twists and turns.

Buy The Pryce of Conceit to put the guilty party at center stage today!

Meet the Author:

When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovée is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined in her award-winning historical Annie Oakley Mystery series, Grace Michelle Mystery series, and Pryce Murder series.

​In her past life, Bovée worked as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company, has written non-fiction for magazines and newsletters, and has worked in the education field as a teacher and educational consultant.

Connect with the author:  Website ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram
Enter the Giveaway:
Win a signed copy of THE PRYCE OF CONCEIT - An Historical Ghost Cozy Mystery - plus a $50 Amazon Gift Card (one winner / USA only) (ends June 30)

Tuesday 6 June 2023


Book Details:

Book TitleBest Buddies: What's in a Name? by Mother Melania Salem
Category:  Children's Fictions (ages 3-7), 32 pages
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
Publisher:  Holy Assumption Monastery
Release date:   December, 2022
Content Rating:  G - This is a children's picture book. It does deal with homelessness, but in a way that is appropriate for young children. There is nothing graphic and no bad language. 
Book Description:

What happens when a homeless dog befriends a homeless teen? Join them and find out!

Plus Mother Melania is giving away free pdf copies of her book via bookfunnel during this tour! Click this link to get yours

A Brief Encounter: What Johnny Taught Me by Mother Melania
I was walking briskly to catch my bus one evening, when I overtook a man who was meandering along.  Without much thought, I smiled at him and asked him how he was doing.  He turned to look at me, and that’s when I realized that he was homeless.  The look he gave me?  I still can’t describe it.  The closest I can get to it is a mixture of “Do you realize that I’m homeless?” and “Can’t you see I’m not doing well?” with a willingness to think that I might actually care about him in his plight.  
That look kept me from walking past him.  I asked if he needed something to eat, and he said yes.  Another two questions and I knew that his name was Johnny and that he would like to go to MacDonald’s.  So, we went there, and I told him to get whatever he wanted.  All he wanted was a Big Mac and a Coke.  I offered to get him more, but he refused.  I did need to catch my bus soon.  So, I didn’t get a chance to learn his story.  I said goodbye, he gave me a hug, and I went off to catch my bus.
And that’s that. I never met Johnny again, but I have never forgotten him and I hope I never will.  In that short encounter, I learned an enormous amount.  He taught me to see the person beside me, to be willing to think well of a stranger, to be thankful for the gift of the present moment.  Above all, he taught me how deeply loving and thankful a person can be in the most difficult circumstances.  Johnny, I hope I have picked up a few of your good qualities.  Wherever you are, thank you and God bless you!

Meet the Author:

Mother Melania is the Abbess of Holy Assumption Monastery in Calistoga, CA. She grew up in a house that always had tons of children around, her poor parents had to read to her till they were hoarse, and from the moment she learned to read, she always had her nose in a book. So, it was only natural for her to grow up to write children's books.

She has written three series of specifically Orthodox children's books - all in verse - which celebrate the high points of God's work of salvation in the Person of Christ. Her remaining series teach children the virtues in a fun, non-preachy way.

Fearless and Friends chronicles the lives of Fearless the Fireduck (think 'fireman,' except that he's a DUCK) and Charity the Church Mouse and their friends, who get in and out of trouble based on the wisdom (or lack thereof) of their actions.

The Adventures of Kenny and Scooter is a minimal-word series featuring six-year-old Kenny and his irrepressible Boston Terrier Scooter, who take turns getting into trouble and rescuing each other from their foolish antics.

​With all her books, Mother Melania is trying to celebrate virtue and God's saving work in our lives.

connect with the author: website 

Enter the Giveaway:
Win a signed copy of BEST BUDDIES: WHAT’S IN A NAME?, plus $25 Amazon Gift Card (one winner / USA only) (ends Jun 30)