Tuesday, September 30, 2014

READ PINK In Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Read Pink® in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Support the Next Chapter in Innovative Research

Penguin Random House Marks Five-Year Partnership Milestone and $125,000
in Donations to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®

What’s black and white and pink all over?  The initiative by Penguin Random House called Read Pink® in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October)!

I agreed to participate in this blog tour because, like most women, I know many women who have been diagnosed by Breast Cancer. Two of my mom's sisters have had breast cancer. Both are survivors thanks to the great amount of research that has been done as well as early detection.  Regular self-checks and mammograms are great ways to stay in touch with your body and monitor your breast health. My annual mammogram is due in November and you can bet I'll be going.  

Today the scientific community has left behind the “one-size-fits-all” breast cancer treatment to emerge with targeted, more effective therapies. As a result, after remaining stagnant for more than 50 years, the death rate from breast cancer has decreased by 30 percent. The Read Pink® initiative by Penguin Random House is proud to be part of this exciting new chapter in the fight against breast cancer, supporting the bold research of The Breast Cancer Foundation® (BCRF), while leveraging its passionate readers to help increase awareness and education about the disease. This literary embrace of a life-saving cause has resulted in nearly 1.5 million best-selling novels shipped with Read Pink seals and information about BCRF across all five years of the promotion.

Penguin Random House is thrilled to partner once again this year with BCRF, as 91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF is directed towards breast cancer research and awareness programs.

The $25,000 donation that Penguin Random House contributes, regardless of sales, provides vital funds to support the mission of BCRF.

The Full List of 2014 Participating Authors:
Jojo Moyes, The Last Letter from your Lover
Karen White, The Time Between
Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness
Jennifer Chiaverini, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker
Beatriz Williams, A Hundred Summers
Wendy Wax, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey
Catherine Anderson, Perfect Timing
Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand
Janet Chapman, The Heart of a Hero
Lisa Gardner, MacNamara’s Woman
Jayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Penguin Random House’s Read Pink® editions, we are featuring a few participating authors and what Read Pink® means to them…

Beatriz Williams (2014 Read Pink® Spokesperson), A Hundred Summers
“Every life lost to breast cancer leaves behind a hole that can never be filled again: a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, an aunt, a grandmother. I’m so grateful for organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation for their efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease, and honored to support breast cancer awareness, detection, and research through Penguin’s READ PINK program in 2014. With your help, we can move closer to the day when breast cancer leaves behind only survivors.”

I read A HUNDRED SUMMERS last September and I highly recommend this book. To see my review, click HERE.

Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness
“To all the moms and daughters, wives and sisters, lovers and friends, Read Pink is here for you and yours. Help support breast cancer awareness and the strong, brave women who fight or will fight this disease and Read Pink in October.”

Karen White, The Time Between
“Since 1989, death rates from breast cancer have been decreasing due to earlier detection and improved treatment because of the efforts of organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Books have always been an important part of my life, and I am honored that my book will be part of Penguin’s Read Pink program that supports breast cancer awareness and research through reading. It is my greatest hope that through efforts like this we might find a cure within my lifetime.”

in January and you can see my rave review, HERE.

Jayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes
“This is the time of year when we celebrate the progress that has been made in the battle against breast cancer and acknowledge the work that lies ahead. No, we aren't there yet. There's a long way to go. The greatest weapon we have to fight this disease is research and research costs money. That is why this breast cancer awareness campaign is so important and why I am proud to participate.”

Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand
“I’m so thrilled to be part of the Read Pink effort to help raise awareness and funding for breast cancer research. I hear frequently from romance readers who tell me my books and those of other romance authors have helped them get through breast cancer treatment. I want to hear from fewer of them in the future. I want to hear they took our books on fabulous vacations rather than treatments. Please Read Pink in October to support all the courageous women fighting this disease and to fund critical research. Thank you for Reading Pink!”

Catherine Anderson, Perfect Timing
“I am so delighted to be included in the Read Pink campaign again this year with Perfect Timing being featured, along with so many other great books, to raise funds for breast cancer research. I can remember when a diagnosis of breast cancer was often equivalent to a death sentence. Nowadays, the survival rates have increased greatly, and I personally know women who have prevailed over this terrible disease. Sadly, I’ve also known a few women who lost the battle. So I call upon all of you to join ranks with me and countless other women in a war to defeat breast cancer. ‘Read Pink! Buy books bearing the Read Pink logo as gifts for the women you love.’ By standing together as sisters, we have it within our power to make a huge difference!”

If you are active on Twitter, you can join in the conversation about these books with their authors and publishers. I plan to do my share of tweeting during October. You can find me @SincerelyStacie  

Mark your calendars and remember to join in the conversation with @BerkleyRomance and @PenguinGroupUSA on Twitter in October.  Make sure to use the hashtag #ReadPink!

For more information about the Read Pink initiative and to view a complete list of the participating retail outlets, please visit penguin.com/readpink.

Many other bloggers are supporting this initiative. The complete tour schedule is below. Be sure to stop by and say "Hi" during their tour stops. 

Read Pink® Blog Tour Schedule
Please support the blogs taking part in this special, Read Pink® Spotlight Tour!

October 1 – Exclusive guest post with spokesperson Beatriz Williams on LizandLisa.com
September 22                                   Cheryl's Book Nook; The Readers Den; Gone with the Words;
                                                             Pretty Sassy Cool
September 23                                   Reading Reality; You Gotta Read; Adria's Romance Reviews
September 24                                   Kimberly Faye Reads; Nicely Phrased; I Smell Sheep
September 25                                   Romance Junkies; To Read or Not To Read
                                                        A Southern Girl’s Bookshelf
September 26                                   Cindy's Love of Books; Chick Lit Plus; The Book Reading Gals
September 29                                   LitChat; Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf; Chris Book Blog Emporium
September 30                                   Reality Bites! Let's Get Lost!; Grave Tells; Britt's Book and Life Blog;
                                                             Sincerely Stacie
October 1                                            Cocktails and Books; The Reading Nook Reviews; 2Bookaholics;
                                                               Wit & Sin; Raw Books
October 2                                            SOS Aloha; Bookish Things & More; Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads
October 3                                            Dew on the Kudzu; Peace Love Books;
October 6                                            My Book Addiction and More; Book-alicious Mama;
October 7                                            A Dream Within A Dream; Thoughts in Progress; Mundie Moms
October 8                                            Flirty and Dirty Book Blog; Readers Live A Thousand Lives;
                                                              That's What I'm Talking About
October 9                                            Book Lovin' Mamas; Lori's Reading Corner; The Book Reading Gals
October 10                                          Supernatural Snark; Once Upon a Twilight;
October 13                                          Fallen Angel Reviews; Parajunkee's View; As I Turn the Pages
October 14                                          Reading in Black & White; Keepin It Real Book Blog
October 15                                          ABCD Diaries; Fictional Candy; Paranormal Book Club
October 16                                          Sexy Bibliophiles; Book Sniffers Anonymous;
October 17                                          Wicked Lil Pixie; The Book Swarm; Addicted 2 Novels;
                                                               Stephanie’s Book Reports
October 20                                          News & Sentinel, “Book Nook”; The Reading CafĂ©
October 21                                          The Book Bellas; The Book Cellar
October 22                                          The Novel Life; My Book Muse;
October 23                                          Rock Stars of Romance; Silver's Reviews; Journey of a Bookseller
October 24                                          Sunshine & Mountains
October 27                                          Bewitched Bookworms; Ramblings From This Chick
October 28                                          Reading in Pajamas; Turn the Page
October 29                                          Michelle & Leslie's Book Picks; Stuck In YA Books;
October 30                                          Fang-tastic Books; No BS Book Reviews; Marie’s Cozy Corner
October 31                                          In Shadows; Love Romances & More

Monday, September 29, 2014

Author Meet and Greet Event

On Sunday I attended a Author Event at Fireside Winery near Williamsburg, Iowa. 
I had previously written an article about this event for The Gazette
You can see that article HERE

This event was the brain-child of Iowa author, Grace Augustine. She wanted an event to allow Iowans to meet local and even National authors and offer a way for independent authors to get their books in the hands of readers. Augustine also wanted a way for local authors to network with each other. The local winery seemed like the perfect place to host the event. Everyone knows books and wine go together like chocolate and peanut butter! 

I had a great time sipping wine and chatting up all the authors.  There were children's and YA authors as well as authors who write romance, fantasy, and thriller type of novels.

I love having the opportunity to share Iowa authors with you 
and I'll be sharing about the books I picked up yesterday in future posts.

It was a beautiful afternoon at the winery, 
with great music playing in the background.

There were plenty of books to pick up,
 all personally autographed.

Authors from Tennessee and Washington even made their way to Iowa for the event.

Each of the authors were passionate about writing and were happy to share the details behind their story with me. I loved how there was a genre for everyone represented. 

These are the books I picked up today. 
Several others will be finding their way to my Kindle.

Photo Courtesy of Anna M Beeh Photography
Let me introduce you to the authors that were represented at the event:

Joanne Jaytanie - traveled from Washington to meet some Iowa readers. Jaytanie is a member of the Romance Writers of American and current President of the Peninsula Romance Writers in which Debbie Macomber is a member. Jaytanie's books are "not your mother's romance" and feature paranormal and romantic suspense storylines. 
To purchase Jaytanie's books, click HERE. You can also find Joanne on Facebook, HERE

Kim Law - traveled from Tennessee and her mom even joyed her for the ride. Her book covers catch your eye and have a fun, romantic feel. Kim told me if you are laughing one minute and crying the next, then she is doing her job as a writer.  If you are looking for a fun romance series, Kim has several for you to check out. To purchase Law's books, click HERE.
You can also find Kim on Facebook, HERE

Kathryn Daugherty, an Iowa author from Pella, has written her first book and is in the process of writing her second. She has also written several short stories. Her novel, A CASE OF HEARTS is romance but set in real life and I'm looking forward to reading it. It was a finalist in the Midwest Book Awards which I think is pretty awesome for a first time author. To purchase Kathyrn's book, click HERE.
  You can find Kathryn Daugherty on Facebook, HERE

Phillip Hall, an Iowa author from Marengo, writes mystery and suspense novels. I met him, his wife and adorable granddaughter at the event. I don't typically read the genre Hall writes, but I am intrigued by his book, MINIMAL.  If you are a fan of the TV show, Dexter, you should definitely check out this book.  If you would like to purchase any of Hall's books, click HERE. You can also find Phillip Hall on Facebook, HERE

Grace Augustine and I had the chance to meet a few weeks ago before the event and I found we have several things in common including our cats and their crazy behavior. We had a lot of laughs over a delicious Mexican lunch. Grace is also an Iowa author from Marengo and was thrilled to create this event. Grace writes romance for the "over 50" audience and has two books out with more on the way. To purchase any of Grace's books, click HERE.  You can find Grace on Facebook, HERE. 

Lori Lebda and Tami Bergeson, of Iowa, have together written several Quiz Books. Chatting with them, I found they have taken the craft of quiz taking seriously, working on their formulas so they match up with personality as well as appearance. Their books WHAT DOG ARE YOU and WHAT CAT ARE YOU are perfect gifts for the pet lover in your life. I had to get the cat one and look forward to taking the quiz myself. They have also written a YA book that is the first is a series that has teens searching for clues and fending off spirits to unlock a mystery. To purchase their books, click HERE.  

Wendy Siefken and her son Charles, of Iowa, have written books for the 10 and up age group as well as the older YA readers. Their writing began when Charles' high school principal challenged him to use his love of writing stories and write a story with all the basic subjects used. Charles found school challenging due to his dyslexia and this was a great way for him to learn and continue his love of writing. His mom was his advocate and helped the process along since he was still a minor. Since then, they have published a series for middle grade students that includes zombies and werewolves, but promises that it is nothing too violent. You can find Wendy on Facebook, HERE
To purchase Siefken's books, click HERE.

 Andy Allen, an author and teacher from Cedar Rapids, Iowa promoted his children's book SOGGY DOGGY. Allen wrote this book after their family dog had trouble swimming in the flooded waters during the Flood of 2008 in Cedar Rapids. I will be reading and reviewing this book in the next couple weeks. I am happy to report there will be a second book, with more of Norman, the dog, and his escapades coming in the next few months. If you would like to purchase a copy of STORMIN NORMAN - THE SOGGY DOGGY, click HERE.

Photo courtesy of Anna M Beeh Photography
Here I am chatting with author Andy Allen. Thanks to ANNA M BEEH PHOTOGRAPHY for taking such great photos from the event. 

Photo courtesy of Anna M Beeh Photography
Definitely check out Anna's photos. If you are in the Iowa City area and needing portraits for your senior, baby, family, wedding, etc, you won't be disappointed! 

I had such a fun time talking books with these authors. I hope the event allowed them to reach a new audience and they enjoyed the opportunity to share their books with others. Stay tuned, as I plan to review some of these books soon. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Mini Beef Ravioli Review

I have been reviewing products for BEST CHOICE Brands for the last several months.  I compare their product to a similar brand-name product and offer my opinion on which one is better. They will then be posting my reviews on their site and when they appear, I will share them with you here.  The cool thing is that you will always see my review, whether I choose the brand-name product or the Best Choice product. You are truly getting my HONEST OPINION. You can always see reviews of the Best Choice products from myself and other mom bloggers, by clicking HERE

I am always so excited to open up the box and see what I am reviewing next.   In our area, we can find Best Choice products at Alco stores and smaller independent grocery stores. Since I have been exposed to more Best Choice products, we have added several to our pantry, bumping out the regular brand-name products. Stay tuned for more product reviews from Best Choice. I think you may be surprised by our results.

This summer was the perfect time for our family to try out Mini Ravioli.  We were given Chef Boyardee Mini Ravioli and Best Choice Bite-Size Beef Ravioli to try. The kids were home for lunch, plus I had an extra teenager to feed. It was the perfect opportunity to taste test Mini Beef Ravioli. For our family, there was a clear winner. Click HERE to see who won in our taste test. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book Review: How to Write A Memoir in 30 Days By Roberta Temes, PhD

Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating and Publishing Your Personal Story

By: Roberta Temes, PhD

Published: March 18, 2014

Publisher: Readers Digest


Do you feel like you have a story to tell? 

Are you wanting to record the stories of your ancestors for future generations? 

Have you learned a life lesson and want to help others by sharing what you have learned? 

Are you looking to explore a career in writing?

Do you keep a daily journal?

If you answered "Yes" to any of the above questions, then I highly recommend you check out this book. In the most basic way, Temes walks you through the process of writing down your thoughts, recalling long-gone memories and giving you the framework for identifying certain aspects that will make your story one people will want to read.

First of all, the book offers different types of memoirs you could write including anything from an animal memoir to a travel memoir to one about your faith experience. By narrowing down your category, the author then takes you through a 30-day process of writing down your experiences. On Day One, you begin by writing just three sentences summarizing your life focusing on a time-period or experience that comes to mind. Just three succinct sentences for Day One. Each exercise after that gives you a writing task to accomplish. As you travel through the day-to-day process, you may uncover memories that you forgot or secrets you had buried. You may find that as you remember one memory, another will appear and so on. 

Besides the writing tips, Temes includes grammar instructions at the end of chapters.  Helpful tips including often misspelled words, use of commas, fancy words, and apostrophes can be beneficial to any writer. 

By the end of the the 30 days, if you have done all the steps, you should have at the very least, the beginnings of a memoir or manuscript that you can continue to work on. Once you have gone through some of the editing, the author even offers to read your memoir after you have done your final revising. That alone is worth more than the price of the book.  The end of the book discusses the process of getting your book published either through self-publishing or the traditional publishing route. The publishing section offers just a brief explanation of the multi-step procedure and glosses over the grueling and difficult process, but it at least gives you the highlights.    

If you are a high school or college student, write proposals or grants frequently for your job, or are just looking to start the writing process, I highly recommend this book. Even without doing the 30-Day writing process, you can gather plenty of helpful information to benefit you in whatever you decide to write.

Roberta Temes, PhD - source
Roberta Temes, Ph.D. is an accomplished author, editor and writing instructor, as well as a seasoned psychotherapist and psychology faculty member.  She lectures around the country at corporate meetings, medical conferences and health spas.  Dr. Temes has also written LIVING WITH AN EMPTY CHAIR and THE COMPLETE IDIOTS GUIDE TO HYPNOSIS.  Temes lives in New Jersey and Florida with her husband.  Temes loves being a mother and grandmother.  For more information, visit her website at http://drroberta.com/.

If you would like to purchase a copy of the book, click the photo below:

Thanks to FSB Associates for sending a copy of this book for review. This review is my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any way for this review. If you choose to purchase this book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting SincerelyStacie.com reviews. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Update: NEW Winner of MY MOTHER'S SECRET

I had so many people enter to win MY MOTHER'S SECRET. I wish I could give out more copies! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog to enter. I encourage all of you to read the book if you get a chance!

The winner has been chosen and she will have 48 hours to respond or I will choose a new winner.

Update: I had to choose a new winner since the previous winner never responded to my email after 48 hours.  

The winner is........................................................................................................................................ Deanna.

If you didn't win and would like to purchase a copy of the book, click the photo below: