Tag: non fiction

Maid by Stephanie Land

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive
Author: Stephanie Land

Narrator: Stephanie Land
Published: January 22, 2019

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 17-24, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

“My daughter learned to walk in a homeless shelter.”

While the gap between upper middle-class Americans and the working poor widens, grueling low-wage domestic and service work–primarily done by women–fuels the economic success of the wealthy. Stephanie Land worked for years as a maid, pulling long hours while struggling as a single mom to keep a roof over her daughter’s head. In Maid, she reveals the dark truth of what it takes to survive and thrive in today’s inequitable society.

While she worked hard to scratch her way out of poverty as a single parent, scrubbing the toilets of the wealthy, navigating domestic labor jobs, higher education, assisted housing, and a tangled web of government assistance, Stephanie wrote. She wrote the true stories that weren’t being told. The stories of overworked and underpaid Americans.

Written in honest, heart-rending prose and with great insight, Maid explores the underbelly of upper-middle class America and the reality of what it’s like to be in service to them. “I’d become a nameless ghost,” Stephanie writes. With this book, she gives voice to the “servant” worker, those who fight daily to scramble and scrape by for their own lives and the lives of their children.

Jessica’s Review:

Stephanie Land’s memoir is written and narrated by the author.  I enjoyed that I was really hearing her personal story first hand in her own voice.  Land shows us the hard life of a single mom and the hard work she put in to take care of her daughter.  It also shows how difficult it can be to even get assistance from government programs, let alone to stay on them.

Most of the memoir focuses on her job as a maid and cleaning others’ houses.  It made me think about the people who clean our hotel rooms and that they may experience similar life difficulties.  (I can’t picture maids who clean homes, as we would never be able to afford one!) I hate to say it was ‘enjoyable’ to read about her working in the people’s homes. What I did not like at all was when she described putting on women’s expensive jackets and going through their personal things.  How invasive and wrong! 

The memoir has a happy ending, and I think it was the love of her daughter that kept her going through the very difficult times she faced.  This memoir leaves you thinking about many things, including not judging someone until you have walked in their shoes, which Land lets us do as she shares the story of her life as a maid.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Blog Tour: Walk Your Way to Better

Today I share my review for Walk Your Way to Better by Joyce Shulman. This book gets a 5 star review from me!

This blog tour is brought to you by WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR.

Book Description:

This is a book about walking your way to better. Everywhere you turn, people, podcasts and gurus promise a simple path to the life you want. But few of them work. Why? Because simply reading the words is rarely enough to call your heart and mind to action. This book is different. Each section provides a thought-starter, insight or story. But I don’t want you to just read it. I want you to read a section and then lace up your sneakers and head out the door. Because while walking, your brain processes in a unique way, enabling you to recognize the things that are truly holding your back and the changes you actually need to make. You will literally Walk Your Way to Better. Along the way, you will forge a powerful connection between your mind and your body. And bonus — you’ll feel better and become fitter.


Walk Your Way to Better: 99 Walks That Will Change Your Life
Author: Joyce Shulman

Published:  January 23, 2020
363 Pages
Genre: Motivational Self-Help
Publisher: Kibo Press

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Dates Read: May 16-26, 2020

Jessica’s Review:

This book accomplishes what it says: You really can ‘walk your way to better’. If you are thinking ‘a better what’?  The answer is A BETTER YOU.

Shulman gives us 99 short chapters and walks. These chapters can be read within a few minutes and consist of a statement to start you thinking, information/research or a story from her life that she deems appropriate to the topic she is directly talking to you about.  Now, after you finish a chapter go do as Shulman highly suggests and take a walk!  Walking helps the brain process what it just read. You may surprise yourself with the thoughts that may come to you as you walk!

This is not a self-help book about losing weight, though that could possibly happen if you walk after each chapter as Shulman intends.  By the time you are finished you feel accomplished and as if you know the author.   Shulman also encourages you to be interactive with the book, besides walking: write down your thoughts, answer the questions she poses in this book, etc.

Shulman does say that not every chapter will ‘speak’ to you and this was true for me.  I am not a mother, and Shulman is and she wrote about her children a lot in the chapters.  So much so I started to think I was not the target demographic for this book and then… BAM… I read a chapter that ‘spoke’ to me and changed my thoughts on this book.

This book is for every woman to read.  Read it and also walk your way to better!

Walk Your Way to Better is available to purchase now on Amazon.com.

About the Author:

Joyce Shulman, founder and CEO of 99 Walks and Macaroni Kid reaches millions of moms each month with hyper-local and national e-newsletters and websites, social media content, video and her Weekly Walk podcast. Having created a one-of-a-kind digital platform, she connects families to the wonders of their own communities and inspires women to chase their dreams and crush their goals.
Her most recent endeavor, 99 Walks, is on a mission to combat loneliness and improve fitness through the simple act of encouraging moms to walk together. Her mission? Nothing short of getting a million women walking.

Throughout her two decades as an entrepreneur, Joyce has guided SAHMs, teachers and even MBAs to success. Joyce shares how moms need to “take care of mama bear” and avoid the “martyr mom syndrome.” Her experience in business and leading mompreneurs makes her a coveted speaker where she shares tactics for beating burnout, fueling creativity, goal crushing, how walking can fuel productivity and performance, and more.

Joyce received her Bachelor’s in Business Management from the University of Maryland and her Juris Doctor, Cum Laude, from St. John’s University School of Law. After law school, she spent more than a dozen years as a New York City lawyer where her practice focused on complex commercial litigation.

A self-confessed idea junkie, in 1998, Joyce abandoned law firm life to liberate her entrepreneurial spirit and focus on the things that are most important to her: family, community and empowering women to chase their dreams.

Contact Joyce:
Instagram @joyce.r.shulman
Twitter: @joycershulman
You Tube

You can find the whole blog tour here:

May 25th @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Grab your coffee and join us in celebrating the launch of Joyce Shulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better. You can read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book. http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

May 26th @ Karen Brown Tyson’s Blog
Stop by Karen’s blog today and you can read a guest post by author Joyce Shulman about how you become inspired to write a book.  https://karenbrowntyson.com/blog/

May 28th @ One Sister’s Journey
Visit Lisa’s blog today and read her review of Joyce Shulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better.  https://www.lisambuske.com/

May 30th @ One Sister’s Journey
Stop by Lisa’s blog again today where you can read a guest post by author Joyce Shulman where she talks about why do women need to take care of themselves. A timely post in this day and age!  https://www.lisambuske.com/

May 31st @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Visit Anthony’s blog today and read his review of Joyce Shulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better. https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

June 2nd @ Lady Unemployed
Visit Nicole’s blog and read Joyce Shulman’s guest post about beating brownout (the precursor to burnout). https://ladyunemployed.com/

June 5th @ Wellness Connection Utah
Visit The Wellness Connection today and read thoughtful insights into Joyce Shulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better.  https://www.wellnessconnectionutah.com/blog

June 6th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Stop by Anthony’s blog again where you can read a guest post by Joyce Shulman on how walking can help with loneliness.  https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

June 8th @ Reviews and Interviews
Visit Lisa’s blog today and read her interview with  Joyce Shulman, author of the book Walk Your Way to Better. http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

June 10th @ Bookish Tay
Stop by Taylor’s blog today and you can read her review of Joyce Shulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better.  https://tayepperson.com/

June 12th @ The New England Book Critic
Visit Victoria’s blog today and read her insights into Joyce Shulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better.  http://www.thenewenglandbookcritic.com/

June 13th @ Simply Nourished Wellness
Visit Stephani’s blog today and you can read her review of Joyce Shulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better. https://www.baconandwhippedcream.com/

June 15th @ Jessica’s Reading Room
Visit Jessica’s blog today and make sure you read her review of author Joyce Shulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better.  http://jessicasreadingroom.com

June 17th @ Bookish Tay
Visit Taylor’s blog again and you can read a guest post written by Joyce Shulman about how to keep fear from standing in your way.  https://tayepperson.com/

June 19th @ Coffee with Lacey
Stop by Lacey’s blog and read her review of Joyce Shulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better.  https://coffeewithlacey.com/

June 19th @ Second Wind Leisure
Stop by Terri’s blog today and read her review of Joyce Shulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better. You can also read a guest post written by the author about the power of yet.  https://secondwindleisure.com/

June 20th @ Cafeyre
Visit Karoline’s blog today and read her review of Joyce Shulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better. https://cafeyre.wordpress.com/

June 21st @ Simply Nourished Wellness
Visit Stephani’s blog again and you can read a guest post by author Joyce Shulman about the value of walking. Don’t miss it!  https://www.baconandwhippedcream.com/

June 22nd @ And So She Thinks
Visit Francesca’s blog today and read her interview with Joyce Shulman, author of Walk Your Way to Better. http://www.andsoshethinks.co.uk/

June 23rd @ The Frugalista Mom
Stop by Rozelyn’s blog today and read her review of Joyce Shulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better. https://thefrugalistamom.com/

June 24th @ Cathy C. Hall Writes Visit Cathy’s blog and read her review of Joyce Shulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better.  https://c-c-hall.com/

June 25th @ D-Mom Blog
Don’t miss Leighann’s review of Joyce Shulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better. http://www.d-mom.com/

June 26th @ Deborah Adam’s Blog
Stop by Deborah’s blog today and read her review of Joyce Shulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better.  http://www.deborah-adams.com/

June 27th  @ Deborah Adam’s Blog
Visit Deborah’s blog again today and you can read a guest post by Joyce Shulman about the commitment to women walking their way to better.  http://www.deborah-adams.com/

June 28th @ Bev A Baird’s Blog
Visit Bev’s blog today where she reviews Joyce Shulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better. https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/




Wanted! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom

Wanted! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom
Author: Heather Tekavec

Illustrator: Susan Batori
To Be Published:
USA: March 3, 2020

UK: March 5, 2020
32 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars
Date Read: March 1, 2020

Book Description:

Think animals are all well-behaved? Think again. These thirteen play dirty. But they’re about to get caught!

A fish who deceives her prey with a light dangling in front of her mouth? A bird who leaves her eggs in another bird’s nest to be raised? A monkey who shouts ‘Danger’ to scare away the others from the fruit? Meet some of the animal kingdom’s most wanted criminals! Slippery Slick, Queenie the Meanie, Lil’ Cupid — they’re all here in this hilarious book of animal case files that include rap sheets, mug shots, reports of criminal activity and more. All thirteen animals stand accused of playing dirty, but now that Detective X is hot on their trail, their criminal days may soon be behind them!

Author Heather Tekavec offers an original approach to investigating animal behavior, with a fun storyline built on hardcore facts. Paired with Susan Batori’s cheeky illustrations, this is a laugh-out-loud read that explores fascinating animal science. Each animal ‘criminal’ gets a spread that’s filled with facts about the animal’s characteristics, including distinguishing features, diet, life span, habitat and more, as well as a description of the animal’s ‘bad’ behavior and the reason behind it. This book offers direct STEAM links to life science curriculum, particularly lessons on the characteristics of living things. The underlying premise of the book also offers the opportunity for discussions on what it means to play fair in the world.

Jessica’s Review:

This is a highly entertaining picture book that the kids will love (and mom and dad too!) If your child loves animals they will love this book and even learn something about the different animals featured.

The illustrations really enhance the facts and fun to the book, going with the theme of these ‘bad animals’ including the last one who is the ‘Most Wanted’ and also has the worst crime….

The only critique I can give is that I would have loved a photo of the actual animal to go along with the illustrations so children can see what these creatures actually look like.

This one was a pleasure to read and review and many thanks to the publisher Kids Can Press for granting me an e-arc.

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK