What I Wish I’d Known: For Writers by H.D. Thomson – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

What I Wish I'd Known: For Writers: 100 Authors Reveal What They Wish They'd Told Their Younger SelvesWhat I Wish I’d Known: For Writers: 100 Authors Reveal What They Wish They’d Told Their Younger Selves by H. D. Thomson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In this book over 100 authors share their wisdom, words of advice, and experiences of becoming an author. Some share some very personal stories of how they overcame the obstacles and personal issues to get to where they are today. Many share their stories of how when they first started, they received stacks and stacks of rejection letters from publishers. Many authors recall how friends and family laughed at them or mocked them for wanting to become a writer. Yet, despite all the rejection and the mocking they never gave up their dream of becoming a published author.

Whether it be years ago, in a time prior to Indie publishing, when they were trying to find a traditional publishing house, or now with self publishing options so widely available, there is a lot to learn. These authors share their vast wealth of knowledge and give tips and pointers on what it takes to be an author. Not only are we offered support and words of encouragement, but we are able to learn from mistakes they may have made on their own personal journey.

Of course, the one prevalent theme throughout is to just sit your butt in the chair and write. Whether it is just for a few minutes, or even just writing one sentence, but just write something. They also give tips on finding the time to write when you feel that your life is just too busy. Beyond the words of encouragement are invaluable pointers on not just the writing process but the publishing process as well.

Throughout the book is the common theme of never giving up and of believing in yourself, even when others do not. No matter how many rejection letters you receive do not give up. No matter how many people mock you for your dream do not give up. No matter how little time you have in your day do not give up. No matter what, sit your butt in the chair, write, and never give up on your dreams. As numerous authors said throughout the book, as long as you are writing, you are a writer. Thank you for this book and to these authors for sharing your stories, advice, and words of encouragement, I feel truly inspired!

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Loretta’s Caterpillar (Loretta’s Insects) by Lois Wickstrom – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Loretta's Caterpillar (Loretta's Insects #4)Loretta’s Caterpillar by Lois Wickstrom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loretta loves to look out her window and watch all of the beautiful butterflies flying around. When she wakes up one morning and all of the butterflies are gone she becomes concerned. She goes outside to see what happened and finds a leaf with a tiny egg on it. The egg is from a Monarch butterfly and she is determined to take care of it and watch it grow. She protects the egg from a bird, a wasp and even a lizard as it grows and goes through metamorphosis. Loretta is thrilled when it finally turns into a beautiful butterfly and flies away to go through its migration journey.

I adore the stories that this author writes and find myself wishing that I had these books for when my children were little. Up until reading this book, my favorite book by this author was Bees in Loretta’s Bonnet. Now, I am adding this book at the top of my list of favorites. As with every book by this amazing author it is beautifully illustrated which really brings the story to life.

In all of this author’s books I learn something new and this one was no different. I was fascinated to learn that it took five generations of butterflies to migrate from the United States to Canada! I also learned the difference between a female butterfly and a male butterfly. I had no idea that there was a difference. Children of all ages will love this cute story about the life cycle of a butterfly from egg to metamorphosis to migration. I highly recommend!

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Apocalypse (Guardians of the Garden Book 2) by Theresa Pocock – Review by Ashley Johnson

Apocalypse (Guardians Book II)Apocalypse by Theresa Pocock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I did not read the first book of the series but I am going to now! This book had me hooked from the first chapter. I’ve read so many books this year that have been fresh and original. Usually with Fantasy books you get the same story over and over again but with this one was so different. I am ready for the next book and will definitely read the first one.

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