Thursday, February 23, 2017

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner Book Review

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner will be available for purchase on February 28! 

When God Made You is an inspirational book, designed to assure young children that they are indeed unique in his or her own way in God’s eyes.

The first thing that caught my attention about this book, and the reason why I wanted to read and review it in the first place, was the colorful, whimsical front cover. I LOVED that the cover illustration depicted an African-American girl – something we don’t see often in Christian-based books for kids.

Using simple rhyming verse, When God Made You lets children know just how special he or she is to God. There are very few (minor) challenging words, but this provides the perfect opportunity for adults to discuss the book further. I’m a great believer that books aren’t simply to be “read” to children – they’re excellent opportunities to have meaningful dialogue with children.

The author again interjects diversity with “Out of billions of faces from cultures, all races, people God made, from all different places, God knew your name.” This is an AWESOME message for children AND adults.

The illustrations are quirky, colorful and highly expressive.  The entire book is positive and encouraging. What more could you want from a children’s book? As an early childhood educator, mother, grandmother and caregiver I can highly recommend this book! Thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary ARC of this book!

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Spotlight on Honeysuckle Holiday by Kathleen M. Jacobs - BOOK GIVEAWAY

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Little Creek Books (May 11, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1939289904
  • ISBN-13: 978-1939289902


Honeysuckle Holiday centers on the life of twelve-year-old protagonist, Lucy. It takes place in the south, in the late 1960s. Lucy struggles internally to come to terms with her parents' sudden and mysterious divorce. She finds herself thrust almost overnight from a world of comfort and privilege into one of near marginality.

When Lucy’s mother hires a black woman to help her, the situation intensifies. As the story progresses, Lucy learns the mystery behind her parents' divorce and her father's uncharacteristic, almost unforgivable immersion in the KKK. Lucy comes to shed her unknowing racism, taking her beyond the ideals of youth, her love of books and the trappings of childhood knit closely to her very fiber. She learns to peel back the layers of human frailty (her own included) painful piece by painful piece, while struggling to hold on to the comforts of innocence. Honeysuckle Holiday is young adult, to adult reading.



Kathleen M. Jacobs’s work has appeared in regional and national publications. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Humanistic Studies, and has taught English and Creative Writing on the high school and college levels.

Kathleen divides her time between the Appalachian region and New York City. Honeysuckle Holiday is her first young adult novel. She encourages readers to connect with her on her website, and on Facebook and Twitter.


  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 20, 2017

Spotlight on MargolisPineoItalia Etsy Shop - Fine Italian Clothing for Women and Men

We have another Etsy shop feature to share with readers! MargolisPineoItalia sells stunning accessories from Italy. Shop owner Elizabeth Margolis-Pineo recently stopped by to chat with us about her business, her Etsy shop and her life.

Elizabeth Margolis-Pineo, aka Libby, says that her shop’s tagline “Italian Warmth for Maine Winters” says it all and she’s right. Anyone who has spent a winter in Maine knows the true meaning of cold! What better way is there to stay warm, toasty and fashionable than to wrap up with a luxurious Italian poncho, shawl or scarf?

With a combined art and design, and travel-writing background Libby contemplated starting a business in 2000 after the eldest of her three daughters went off to college. “My husband and I realized we could never travel again – unless we made a business out of it. So we began to hunt for something, anything, that we thought we could sell in our hometown of Portland, Maine,” Libby says. MargolisPineoItalia was the perfect answer.

Now, after seventeen years of designing and procuring high quality apparel, Libby continues to offer her clients the very best Italian garments available. All of our accessories are manufactured with the highest standards of Old World craftsmanship, which means a lot to us,” says Libby. “We strive to find authentic Italian styles, textiles and designs that will consistently appeal to our loyal customer base,” she adds.


Although the MargolisPineoItalia Etsy shop has been open for two years, Libby and her husband have been selling their beautiful garments via their website, as well as through several New England shops, since 2000. Additionally, MargolisPineoItalia sponsors a giant overstock sale every year, the week after Thanksgiving. Libby reports this yearly event is always packed. “We sell a lot of items at that sale. It’s become an institution. Portland is just small enough for a tradition like that to become a “thing” in a very short amount of time. It attracts an almost cult following!”Libby says.

There's no doubt that MargolisPineoItalia will be in business for many years to come. With an endless supply of unique handcrafted items, Libby and her husband are certain they'll continue to offer the very best in superior quality accessories. From the start, Libby says she and her husband quickly discovered that Italy has some of the finest woolen pieces on the planet - scarves, shawls, ruana wraps, ponchos - all made from beautiful blends of merino wool, cashmere, mohair, lamb's wool, camelhair, angora, alpaca, SILK and other luxurious blends.

"We began by buying a small number of very plain lamb's wool shawls and mufflers. In fact, we still carry them. We hope to have them in our line forever - they are our first born, if you will," Libby says. Inventory has steadily increased over the years and there's definitely something available for just about everyone - including men.

"Did I mention that we also have men's accessories? Well, we do! Men can choose from a delectable array of silk neckties, bowties (farfalle), fabulous knitted ties (very chic), silk foulards, mufflers, incredible socks and more," Libby is happy to add. 

Libby encourages readers to visit her Etsy shop, the MargolisPineoItalia website and her travel website. She's currently offering a generous coupon to Etsy users (SPRING10) so be sure to use it when making your next purchase!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Just in Time for Valentine's Day - Free Craft Book!

I just finished 41 Valentine's Day Crafts from Prime Publishing and boy was I impressed! The great thing? This book is currently free on Amazon. Grab it while you can and make a few Valentine's Day projects and gifts :) Here's my brief book review:

Just in time for Valentine's Day, this is a wonderful craft book that's filled with tons of heart-themed projects.

41 Valentine's Day Crafts includes plenty of simple craft ideas for gift-giving, home decor, jewelry-making, apparel and accessories. I've already completed a couple of projects and intend to do many more of them.

The materials needed to complete the projects are easily found in any craft store - most crafters probably already have a lot of them in their craft stash.

Each of the project instructions are clear and easy to follow. The accompanying photos are helpful and colorful. There are lots of projects that parents can do with their children. Highly recommended!

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Do It Anyway - In the Words of Mother Teresa

Come on...ya gotta love Mother Teresa. Her positive life continues to be an inspiration to us all! Just a little share, during this time of conflict, misunderstanding and fear. Be like Mother Teresa and do it anyway :)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Be Kind to One Another

© Susan Barton, DIY Mom Blog

With everything that's been going on lately and no matter which "side" you find yourself on, it's good to remember that we all have the option to choose how we interact with one another. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Book Tour Spotlight: Cry for the Mercenary by Gabriel Wright

Today, DIY Mom is sharing indie author Gabriel Wright's self-published crime novel "Cry for the Mercenary". Gabe is a hard-working family man, who runs his Harlem, NY business by day and writes novels by night. Gabe invites readers to check out the book sample on Amazon

   Print Length: 332 pages
   Publication Date: November 12, 2015
   Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
   Language: English
   ASIN: B017X442DQ


He was all they had . . .

In the face of a monster of a man, they were powerless. They couldn’t run, they couldn’t hide, they couldn’t fight. Every aspect of their lives were under his control. It was obedience or oblivion. When that monster of a man went down into a death spiral, he expected them to follow.

To break free they needed an outsider, a stranger, a mercenary. They found him.

With all his troubles, and all his flaws, they found him. With all his baggage, and even his reluctance, they cried for him. It wasn’t only a question of would he do it, but could he. It wasn’t only a matter of saving them, but of saving himself.


Gabriel Wright was born, and raised in NYC.  Originally from the borough of the Bronx, Gabriel attended college at the City University of New York (CUNY). Afterwards, he spent 20 years in a career as an IT Professional.  Gabe admits it wasn't exactly his dream job but he liked the work enough that he would've happily toiled away at it until mandatory (or forced) retirement.

Gabriel’s true dream job was being a writer.  It was always in the back of his mind, but it was always something that he thought he’d get around to eventually. Then a not so funny thing happened in Gabe’s IT career – he was laid off.  Although, sadly, it wasn't the first time, this time he took it as a sign that eventually had finally come.  Gabriel began to write and ultimately producing his first novel Cry for the Mercenary.

Gabriel Wright still lives in NYC with his family.  Along with writing, he’s also trying to make a success of his family-owned bagel shop in Harlem.

Gabe encourages readers to connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.