Monday, May 12, 2014

Dear Friend by Cheri DeGroot


Title: Dear Friend
Genre: Non-fiction humanities
Author: Cheri DeGroot
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 60
Language: English
ISBN – 978-1-44016-146-9

 Are you looking for a way to meet new people from all over the world, make new friends, and help others? The solution is simple and affordable—become a pen pal. In Dear Friend, author Cheri DeGroot shares the joys and rewards of becoming a pen pal and provides tips on sharing friendships through handwritten letters. Based on fifty-three years of personal experience as a pen pal, DeGroot details how her lifelong passion for pen palling began and how her friendships with people from all over the United States have helped her through life’s good and bad times. This guide demonstrates the positive aspects of pen palling—from sharing news of family, hobbies and emotions to expanding their knowledge by learning about different cultures and different people. Stressing the importance of communication, Dear Friend reveals how becoming a pen pal can help those who are lonely to find friendship, love, and happiness through the power of the written word.

Purchase your copy:


  My book is a true story on how I started getting to know how to pen pal at the age of ten. It goes into detail how I started and how you can start to make new friendships, through pen palling. I also show how I started journaling at an early age writing my thoughts on paper, and seeing how  to work them out, and having a clearer picture, I show you how to do it in steps in my book. My book tells you about my Pen Pal Friendship Club which I started in 2001 and still going today. It is all over Canada for ages 18 to 90 years. I have another club called the Happy Birthday Club, I started it in 2006 it is still going today, it is Canada wide. We send one another a card on their special day showing them they’re not alone. They have friends who want to share their birthday with them. Some of pen pal friends wanted to share their views on pen palling. So I dedicated part of my book to them. They share friendships, life stories, hobbies and other interest. Today I have been pen palling for 58 years and just find it rewarding to have so many friends coming to my mailbox each day.


Cheri DeGroot loves writing letters and journals of her life. Pen palling helps her make new friendships by reaching out through written letters and by computer. DeGroot has initiated several pen pal clubs. She has three grown children and seven grandchildren and lives in Milverton, Ontario, with her husband, Joe. PUYB Tour Schedule A
May 5
Interviewed at Examiner
May 6
Guest blogging at Alumbo
May 7
May 8
Guest blogging at Angie's Diary
Guest blogging at All Inclusive Retort
May 9
Interviewed at Divine Caroline
May 12
Interviewed at Blirt
May 13
Guest blogging at A Taste of My Mind
Interviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
May 14
Guest blogging at As the Pages Turn
May 15
Interviewed at Review From Here
May 16
Guest blogging at Plug Your Book
May 19
Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
May 20
Guest blogging at I Heart Reading
May 21
Interviewed at Bent Over Bookwords
Guest blogging at The Writer's Life
May 22
Interviewed at Broowaha
May 23
Guest blogging at Makayla's Reviews
May 26
Interviewed at Between the Covers
Guest blogging at As the Page Turns
May 27
Interviewed at Newsvine
May 28
Interviewed at Literal Exposure
May 29
Guest blogging at 4 the Love of Books
May 30
Interviewed at The Zen Reader
June 2
Guest blogging at She Writes
June 3
Interviewed at Beyond the Books
June 4
Guest blogging at Allvoices
June 5
Guest blogging at Between the Covers
June 6
Interviewed at The Writer's Life
June 9
Guest blogging at Redroom
June 10
Interviewed at All Inclusive Retort
Guest blogging at Review From Here
June 11
Guest blogging at The Dark Phantom
June 12
Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz
June 13
Guest blogging at The Zen Reader
June 16
Interviewed at Literarily Speaking
June 17
Guest blogging at The Book Rack
June 18
Interviewed at Blogher
June 19
June 20
Guest blogging at Inkslinger's Opus
June 23
Interviewed at As the Pages Turn
June 24
Guest blogging at I'm Shelf-ish
June 25
Guest blogging at Literal Exposure
June 26
Book reviewed at Emeraldfire's Bookmark
June 27
Book reviewed at The Zen Reader

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Sitting Swing by Irene Watson

The Sitting Swing by Irene Watson

Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Loving Healing Press (July 16, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1932690670
ISBN-13: 978-1932690675
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches

Book Synopsis:

Irene Watson's pretentious life could go no further until she faced her past. Her moving and inspiring memoir begins at the end, in a recovery center, whe she has gone to understand a childhood fraught with abuse, guilt, and uncertainty.

Two distinct parts of the book look at abusive child rearing and the process of recovery years later. This story shows change, growth, and forgiveness are possible. It gives hope and freedom to those accepting the past and re-writing life scripts that have been passed down for generations. It's never too late to change your life, never too late to heal.

This book was truly an eye opener. Upon hearing of Irene's upbringing, I got tears in my eyes. My mother is not a whole lot older than Irene, and yet she had clothing bought for her and plumbing and electricity her entire life! She was the oldest of 6 children, but never felt neglected (maybe the first born syndrome was in play...even then). My heart broke for young Irene, constantly living in the shadow of a brother she never knew, and was never spoken of. She could do nothing right, yet had no freedom as both of her parents were afraid of what might happen to their daughter. Their fear may have led to their inability to show her the love she so desparately craved, and led to her seeking to find any way out of a miserable exsistence.

This books starts out with Irene enrolling in Avalon, a treatment facility recommended by her friends. She is leary from the very beginning as she looks up at the corner of the room and sees a video camera. There is no way she is going to consent to being videotaped, who do these people think they are? After dealing with Gilles for the first two weeks, she is ready to throw in the towel. She is not sure she believes anything that he is "preaching", it is the same old, same old and he is harsh and demeaning in his delivery. After the first two weeks his wife Liliane takes over the sessions and it is a different world. Gone is the harsh and demeaning lessons, and the love and support that Irene felt so lacking in the beginning of her stay comes shining through...that is until she has to do a scripted session about a conversation she envisions with her husband. Liliane has words with Irene, words that shock Irene but in the end lead her to the breakthrough she needed all along.

There were so many parts of this book that I could relate to. I have some people in my family that struggle with alcohol, and it is heartbreaking to watch. It also is the reason that I don't drink, something that Irene and I share. Don't get me wrong, I will have an occasional glass of wine, but do not enjoy being around people that have had too much to drink. I also can relate to the overprotective aspect of mothering...but I am the culprit. I don't seclude my daughters, but I do have a daughter with heart defects and there isn't a day that passes that I don't try to protect her just a little bit more than you might a "regular" child. I think the part that I could relate to the most was the Needs section from her stay at Avalon. After reading that I knew that this was my type of woman - it was exactly the way I thought of things.

This was an excellent book, and one I would recommend highly. Great job Irene, and I look forward to more from you in the future!

About the author:

Irene Watson holds a Masters Degree in Psychology, with honors, from Regis University in Denver, CO. Her life has taken her on many paths, with breakthrough results and exemplar growth, to find her authentic and true self. She lives with her husband in Austin, Texas. You can visit her website at