August 28, 2014

Book Spotlight: CRACKS IN THE SIDEWALK by Bette Lee Crosby

Literary Awards for Cracks in the Sidewalk
Amazon Family Saga Bestseller
FPA President’s Book Award
Royal Palm Literary Award

Book Blurb:  A powerful story that is a heart-wrenching reminder of how fragile relationships can be. Cracks in the Sidewalk is based on a true story. 

Claire McDermott is a wife, a mother, a grandmother... Her only daughter is gravely ill... Her son-in-law is resentful and angry... Her grandchildren are missing...

After years of writing letters, hoping to find the children, hoping to bring them back, Claire receives a reply...a dog-eared gray envelope is stuffed into her mailbox, but will it bring hope or simply put an end to the waiting?

Can a single letter change the lives of four people? Claire McDermott and her grandchildren are about to discover letters are a journey of the heart which can ultimately deliver people to their destination.

Reviews for Cracks in the Sidewalk
  • Reviewed By Samantha Rivera for Readers' Favorite

    Elizabeth is a woman whose sole purpose in life is to be a good wife and mother. She has no care in the world but to accomplish these goals and she works hard at them despite the treatment she is given at the hands of her husband. When Elizabeth falls ill suddenly during her pregnancy with their last child, her husband determines to have nothing to do with her. Unfortunately that means her children (including her newborn son) will also have nothing to do with her. It's almost a year before Elizabeth is finally able to see her young children again, but even then things are not what they might seem in Cracks in the Sidewalk.

    Cracks in the Sidewalk is the type of book that you can't stop thinking about long after you put it down. Elizabeth is a woman that any woman would be proud to be. She is able to roll with the punches and even when people behave in a reprehensible way towards her she is incapable of truly hating them and can only feel sorry for the love they don't have. Her plight is one no mother would ever want to find herself in, but at the same time it is one that will draw you in. This is a heart-wrenching story but it is also a beautiful one of love and devotion and forgiveness. For Elizabeth's children and her mother it is also a story of miracles and of overcoming any obstacle life may put in your way. An excellent book by Bette Lee Crosby.
  • A moving, emotional story...when I read this book I felt so moved, I was crying at the end...writing flowed beautifully...depth of characters and insight kept me turning pages.-Bria Burton
  • A compelling story...Well written, with a realistic, compassionate telling, Cracks in the Sidewalk will bring readers into the family, happy to be a part of it.-Angie Mangino

Cracks will be on sale at all retailers.

August 25, 2014


DescriptionLosing Him, Gaining You is a refreshingly honest and uplifting guide through divorce. Based on research and her own experience, Corbin Lewars coaches her readers through tough territory with a direct, straightforward step by step approach to divorce. With inspiration and a large dose of humor, Corbin offers a way forward that will help others trust themselves and make wise choices for their new life. 


My Thoughts on Losing Him Gaining You by Corbin Lewars

If you're going through a divorce or have recently gone through a divorce and are looking for a book that encourages you to find your inner self, take yoga and "see the light," this book isn't for you.  Not that author Corbin Lewars doesn't encourage the reader to find herself and do things to help yourself (which might be yoga) but she gives you a no-nonsense approach to getting through your divorce and starting your life up, better than ever.

Losing Him Gaining You is a solid guidebook to cover every situation, both during and post-divorce and written by a woman whose parting while painful at times was not acrimonious.  Ms. Lewars instructs the reader on how to maintain a civil relationship with your ex, how to break the news to your child(ren), how to enjoy that love affair with pound cake (or whatever dessert tickles your sweet tooth) and how to navigate those sometimes choppy waters of dating after being out of that pool for years. 

As someone who has gone through a separation and divorce over the last year, I found Ms. Lewars' book to be a helpful resource.  It is a bit heavy in places and not something I could sit and read in one sitting but I finished the book feeling better about my place in life and with a renewed fervor for this new chapter in my life.

If you are going through a divorce or know someone who is, Losing Him Gaining You is a good choice to assist you or your friend in getting through an emotional time and back on track.

Book Excerpt
From Chapter 11: Your Body
Reacquainting Yourself With Your Body
You painted your bedroom a luscious eggplant color. You’ve taken a good look at your finances and figured out how you can make it through the next few months or maybe even year. You’ve reached out to other divorced women. You’ve taken some time to be by yourself and cry, rage, mourn, and consider your part in the divorce. Now, it’s time to take a look at your body.
 “What?!” you say.
That’s right lady, time to take it off. You’ve been looking at your emotional state, now it’s time to look at your physical state. I’m guessing I’m not the only one who’s had the occasional affair with a pound cake. There’s nothing wrong with that, I love a good treat. It’s only a problem if the chocolate bar became your way to cope, and way to not cope. When that happens, you’re no longer treating yourself, you’re ignoring reality.
Speaking of ignoring things, when is the last time you looked at your naked body? If you can’t remember, we’re in trouble. When you took a gander, did you groan or smile? Or was it all a blur because you were running so fast to put on your natty old bathrobe? Don’t worry, I won’t make you get rid of said bathrobe, but I will encourage you to stop hiding behind it.
To Purchase at Amazon

About the Author

Corbin Lewars is the author of Creating a Life: The Memoir of a Writer and Mom in The Making, which was nominated for the 2011 PNBA and Washington State Book Awards.  Her essays have been featured in over twenty-five publications as well as in several writing and parenting anthologies.  For the past fifteen years she has worked with other writers as a development editor, coach and writing instructor.  She lives in Seattle, Washington with her two children and very large cat.

Social Medial Links:
Twitter: @CorbinSeattle
FTC Disclosure:  Review copy of this book provided by CLP Blog Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.  In no way did the provision of this book affect the outcome of my review.

Check Out Other Tour Stops

August 25 – Two Children and a Migraine – Review & Excerpt

August 26 – Dishwater Dreams – Review & Excerpt

August 27 – Booknosh – Excerpt

August 28 – Ski-Wee's Book Corner – Excerpt

August 29 – Chick Lit Plus – Review

September 1 – Keep Calm and Blog On – Excerpt

August 9, 2014



Description:  Considered by many to be the most beautiful woman of her generation, Sharon Tate remains a fascinating pop icon and a poster child for the 1960s. What struck most about Sharon was her gentle nature and the sheer perfection of her face, but she was far more than just a beauty. The few films she made during her brief career, including Valley of the Dolls, Eye of the Devil, and The Fearless Vampire Killers, have secured her position as a Hollywood legend. Over forty years since her last film, Sharon’s spirit and charisma lives strong in the memories of those who knew her best, and her style continues to inspire the worlds of fashion, beauty, art, and film.

Sharon Tate: Recollection is a one-of-a-kind celebration of Sharon’s life and career, her influence as a fashion icon throughout the world, and in effect presents a sociological portrait of the 1960s—its youth culture, the sexual revolution, the rise of independent cinema, and Hollywood's changing studio system. In this impressive photo book, Sharon Tate’s story emerges through quotes and short essays—recollections—by her sister, Debra Tate, as well as by those who knew and have been influenced by her.

What emerges from these pages is a stunning tribute to an unforgettable life.

Highlights include:

A foreword note by Sharon's husband Roman Polanski.

An introduction and remembrances by Sharon's sister Debra Tate.

Previously unseen childhood photos from the Tate family album.

Original quotes and recollection essays written specially for this book by Jane Fonda, Kelly Osbourne, Bert Stern, Michelle Phillips, Patty Duke, Lee Grant, Elke Sommer, Joan Collins, Viva, Tony Scotti and Trina Turk.

Retrospective quotes by Truman Capote, Diana Vreeland, Richard Avedon, Dominick Dunne, Warren Beatty, Mia Farrow, Orson Welles, Barbara Parkins, George Harrison, David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner and Kirk Douglas.

Rare and classic photographs by David Bailey, Milton Greene, Philippe Halsman, Shahrokh Hatami, Terry O'Neill, Peter Basch, John Engstead, Peter Br├╝chmann, Neal Barr and Jean Jacques Bugat.

Never-before-seen or published images of Sharon in the classic film Valley of the Dolls, digitally reproduced from their original negatives and transparencies specially for this book by the 20th Century Fox Archive.

My Thoughts on Sharon Tate: Recollection by Debra Tate

"She was adoring and adored." - Michelle Phillips
Since picking up Helter Skelter, the first true crime book I ever read, I have had a fascination with actress Sharon Tate.  I'm sorry to admit that it started because of her horrible death but as I began to read more and more about her life - - slim pickings for many years - - and then watch her small collection of movies on cable and then as they became available on DVD, I became a fan of hers.

Sharon Tate may not have been the best actress (although she died before her full potential could ever be known) but this gorgeous woman touched so many people during her all too brief lifetime.  Never have I read anything about her being mean, rude or in the slightest bit cruel . . . quite a feat for someone working and residing in Hollywood.  Maybe you can write off the glowing memories in the immediate years after her death but with forty-five years having gone by today, the compliments and warmth remain.

Sharon's sole surviving immediate family member, younger sister Debra, chose to release a book with a plethora of personal family photos, publicity stills and casual shots celebrating her sister's life.  As Debra herself said "Sharon lived a magnificent life" and these beautiful pictures attest to that.  Sharon, rather than being presented as a victim, is instead showcased as both a fashion icon ahead of her time and a young woman devoted to her family and friends.  Viewing these photos I was struck by how little they are dated and how Sharon could easily be gracing magazine pages and fashion today.  They are absolutely stunning.

My favorite photo of Sharon with a beautiful quote by Yul Brynner
Debra has included backstory on many of the photographs, as well as personal recollections of her sister by co-workers and friends.  Sharon's widower, Roman Polanski, wrote the foreword as well as text for various other photographs throughout the book and despite what your personal feelings on Polanski may be, his words are touching, heartfelt and affectionate.  I loved reading the various memories and insight about Sharon, feeling it did nothing but help to cement her lifetime achievements.  Perhaps best of all were Sharon's own words, accompanying some of the picture, on everything from her career to beauty to her co-stars.

I commend Debra for creating this beautiful book, a fine addition to any library and a must-have for any Sharon Tate fan.   This book is exactly what it should be - - a celebration of an exquisite woman's life and the legacy that Sharon Tate so richly deserves.  If you're a fan of hers, or want to honor her on this sad anniversary, pick up your copy today.


Author Website

FTC Disclosure:  This book is from my own personal collection and was purchased by me.  I was neither paid nor compensated (ha ha) for this review.

January 24, 1943 - August 9, 1969