Monday, May 2, 2016

Win a SIGNED COPY of Ksenia Rychtycka's NEW BOOK "Crossing the Border"


Ksenia Rychtycka’s debut collection Crossing the Border illuminates moments of tragedy and triumph, personal discovery and disillusionment, spotlighting characters who, in one form or another, learn to move forward with their lives.

Stymied by the lack of progress and change in post-communist Ukraine, Valeriy the artist finds he is unable to paint. Anna is a lonely woman who attends strangers’ weddings to offer a curious gift. The arrival of a wayward parakeet during the 2004 Orange Revolution forces an elderly woman into action.

These nine stories—set in Ukraine, the United States and Greece—highlight universal conflicts and dilemmas, along with the uncertainties and complexities of change, and introduce a strong new voice in storytelling.


Ksenia Rychtycka was born in Chicago and raised in Hamtramck, Michigan, where she spent large amounts of time riding her bicycle through the Ukrainian- and Polish-speaking neighborhoods. Years later she backpacked through twelve countries in Europe and worked as an editor in Ukraine during the early years of the post-Soviet era. 

Rychtycka's story collection Crossing The Border is a 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist for Short Stories. Her fiction and poems have appeared in The Dalhousie Review, The Literary Bohemian, Wisconsin Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Yellow Medicine Review, The MacGuffin, Twenty Years After The Fall (Parlor City Press), and elsewhere. 

She lives in the Detroit area with her family and has an MA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. More information about her work can be found on her website. Readers can follow Ksenia via her Amazon Author Page, and connect with on Twitter and Facebook



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 22, 2016

We're Offering Custom Artwork and Graphics on Our NEW 2 Hearts Design Shop Website

If you're looking for custom designed artwork and graphics we've got exciting news! We're now offering these services on our 2 Hearts Design website at some very affordable prices. Please check us out and let us create something unique and artistic for you!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Book Lover Paper Butterflies - Create Butterflies from Salvaged Books

Isn't this the most adorable thing?! I saw this in a local arts and crafts shop and thought, "Hey, I can do that", so I did.

All I did was draw a butterfly shape on a scrap piece of cardboard to use as a template, then I folded one sheet of salvaged book paper in quarters to create four butterflies at one time, cut them out and tied the butterfly bundle with inexpensive twine. This idea combines my love of books, paper crafting and butterflies! Adorable and SUPER simple!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Book Review of "Forever My Little Girl" by Karen Kingsbury

Forever My Little Girl is written from a couple’s perspective. If follows the birth and growth of their little girl and all the milestones they enjoy along with her. From holding their baby girl, to first steps, playing sports, boys, joys and sadness, Forever My Little Girl will certainly tug at any parent’s heartstrings.

The illustrations in this book are lovely. They’re colorful and sweet. The short accompanying prayers sprinkled throughout the book are wonderful additions to the stories within.

This book would make a welcome gift to new parents or for parents to give to their daughter. The one issue I had was that it doesn’t take into account that not all little girls are the product of a two-parent home. I get that this is a Christian book, which is usually geared toward marriage and commitment, but not all children are raised by both parents. As a single mother, I would have loved to have been able to give this book to my daughter, but it definitely does not fit our circumstances. I mention this because judging from the title I wasn’t expecting a two-parent perspective. I think it would have been more appropriate to have titled this book Forever Our Little Girl.

4 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Love and Happiness by Ben Burgess Jr Romance Novel Book Tour Spotlight Stop

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Ben Burgess Jr. (April 23, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0988374544
ISBN-13: 978-0988374546


Karen has it all: a handsome husband, beautiful twin daughters, a lovely home and a great job. Karen also has a secret; she’s cheating on her husband, with not one man, but two. 

On the outside her life seems perfect, but on the inside Karen feels neglected, bored and unappreciated. Yearning for affection and excitement, she falls into the arms of first Raheem and then Tyrell. Out of fear of losing her husband and breaking up her family, Karen ends the affairs but things don’t turn out how she planned. When Karen’s dirty secrets are revealed she must fight to keep her family together. 

Chris is doing all he can to hold his marriage together. He loves Karen but she grows more distant every day. When she starts coming home later and later, he suspects she is being unfaithful. When Chris accidentally takes her cell phone what he finds changes their lives forever. 

When tragedy strikes, Karen must decide if she should sacrifice her happiness for her husband’s love, and Chris wonders if he should stay with Karen because he still loves her despite her infidelity. But if they do stay together, will they ever find love and happiness again? 

Sexy and relatable, insightful and inspiring, Love and Happiness shows us both sides of Chris and Karen's story, and reminds us that sometimes to have it all, you must first lose it all.





Ben Burgess Jr is the author of the award winning novels "Monster", "Wounded", the poetry book "Times Have Changed and Life is Strange" and the new novel "Love and Happiness" He is an active performer of spoken word poetry.

Ben uses his love of writing to inspire and influence youths to strive for what they believe in, and to never give up on their dreams. His poetry book "Times Have Changed and Life is Strange" and his novel "Monster" are currently used in schools on the lower east side of Manhattan.

Ben Burgess has a BA degree in Business Management, and a MA degree in Educational Leadership. He is the proud father of his daughter Jaelynn and is active in trying to improve urban neighborhoods and communities.


 Tour media kit provided by Susan Barton, MyBook Tour

Thursday, March 31, 2016

While Princesses Sleep Book Series by Emma Right is Charming, Wholesome Reading for Girls

Looking for wholesome stories that serve a dual purpose? Emma Right has written a lovely book series for young girls. The books are filled with mystery, suspense and teach youngsters about art and art history.

This is a set of books about the adventures of two little princesses that are geared toward young girls. Twelve year old Elle and her ten year old sister Belle live in Chadwick Castle. They’re looked after by their governess, Madame Lovella and their respective ladies-in-waiting. The stories are told in first person, past tense, which I greatly appreciated.

Book One begins with a mystery that the two princesses must solve. Elle has overheard a commotion in the castle and she’s worried about her mother the Queen. Elle had only caught snippets of conversation, but what she’s heard causes her enough distress to devise a plan that might just get her and her sister in trouble…or worse.

Renoir’s classic paintings accompany the text in Book One. They add a charming and appropriately Victorian feel to the books. The author has added a brief artist bio at the end of Book One. In fact, each book in the series is constructed in this manner. What a lovely way to introduce young children to art and artwork! In Book Two, Three and Four the mystery continues and features the works of Degas, William Paxton and Albrecht Durer. A crisis occurs in Book Four that is sure to keep youngsters in suspense.

Ms. Right has a wonderfully engaging style of writing. I loved that although the main characters are proper young princesses they still bicker like all sisters and get into trouble like ordinary little girls. This certainly makes Belle and Elle easily relatable to young readers.

The princess stories are absolutely charming and should appeal to even the very young child. Parents and grandparents can read to little ones and older children should have no problem reading these books alone. These are wholesome, timeless tales for families to share together!

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

Quirky, Cute and Funny - Book Review of "Finding Fraser" by K C Dyer

Are you looking for a cute contemporary romance novel? I just finished "Finding Fraser" by K C Dyer and I loved it! It's a quick read and filled with likable characters. My book review is below.

Emma Sheridan is on the cusp of her 30th birthday and she’s decided to do something daring. After selling everything she owns, she books a flight to Scotland in search of her very own Jamie Fraser – heroic hunk and star of the Diana Gabaldon's “Outlander” book series. Emma has been woefully unlucky in love and although she’s clearly venturing out of her comfort zone she’s determined to see her plan through.

Who doesn’t remember being almost thirty and trying to find ourselves? To a certain degree, I could relate to Emma’s end-of-twenties-crisis. Although my cusp of 30 included a knucklehead (ex) husband and three children, which leads me to my only real “criticism” of Finding Fraser. I found Emma’s character to be quite immature for twenty-nine. She was also overly na├»ve and slightly neurotic. Yet, Emma’s “quirky” personality made the story work so well that I was quickly able to go with it.

Yes, Finding Fraser was a little silly at times and the coincidences were a tad unrealistic, but it’s fiction and I honestly enjoyed it. There were a number of laugh out loud moments that managed to avoid being cheesy or slapstick. The author’s writing is wonderfully suited to this genre. The book flows nicely and the characters are well-developed. My favorite character was Jack. I found him absolutely charming and vulnerable. Morag was a likable, tough broad and Ash was a sweetheart. I wanted to slap Hamish and Sophia…Hamish for being such a big jerk and Sophia for being such a nagging shrew. So all in all I’d say I had no trouble at all connecting with the characters.

I would recommend this book even if you haven’t read any of the Outlander books. Finding Fraser doesn’t rely heavily on Diana Gabaldon’s books. In fact you don’t really have to know much at all about them. Ms. Dyer’s descriptive passages paint a beautiful picture of Scotland so that made it easier to understand the history and landscape. Worth the read!

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.