Tag Archives: Inspirational

YouTube Favorite Video Series: “Laura’s Prairie Summer” July, 2020 Recorded Live from Walnut Grove, Minnesota

Hi All,

I enjoy watching movies and TV Series based on books. I believe the characters have more depth and the plots more developed when books drive the creative process of screen play creations.

My featured YouTube Video series for COVID-19 2020 Summer is “Laura’s Prairie Summer”. It is free for a little while and I hope you take the time to check out the series from the banks of Plum Creek.

This series is is straight from Walnut Grove, Minnesota and features people from all over the US that have studied or read the Laura Ingalls Wilder Books and one interview in the series was from one of the actresses that started in the “Little House on the Prairie” TV Series. The play scenes include actors from the community.

Here are the links to the shows:

Laura’s Prairie Summer Episode 1

Laura’s Prairie Summer Episode 2

Laura’s Prairie Summer Episode 3

Laura’s Prairie Summer Episode 4

Laura’s Prairie Summer Episode 5

Laura’s Prairie Summer Episode 6

I hope I have all the links correct but if in doubt just search YouTube for Laura’s Prairie Summer and all the videos will come up for you.

It’s a well done series by local people in Western Minnesota in a small town where farming is the main source of income so anything you can contribute toward the efforts to keep the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum going along with the theater group will be appreciated.

The shows are for the whole family with new scenes included – every year the community puts on a pageant with an outdoor play that is very well done. Tune in and let the kids see entertainment for the whole family. Stay safe everyone.

Photo taken on a July 26, 2014 Trip to Walnut Grove, MN Book Signing event.
Photo taken on a July 26, 2014 Trip to Walnut Grove, MN Book Signing event.
I met Sarah Uthoff featured interviewee from “Laura’s Prairie Summer Episode 2” at this July 26, 2014 Book Signing event while waiting in line
I also met Alison Arngrim at the July 26, 2014 Book signing event in Walnut Grove, Minnesota she was featured in “Laura’s Prairie Summer Episode 5” this July 24, 2020.

Book Browsing Virtually

Hi All,

In these days of staying at home as the best option to survival for some. I was thinking of how much fun it was to go to a bookstore and search for my next adventure.

I found the Barnes and Noble website and realized I could remember the store experience as I used the website – the look and feel is so familiar to when I would stop in to shop it was like coming home.

I found my next summer reading selections:

“One Yuletide Knight” by Lindsay Townsend Lindsay Townsend Browsing Link

I choose this book for a little Yuletide adventure in July. It also features one of my favorite authors and a chance to meet many more in the shared author experience.

“Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” by Mary L. Trump Ph. D. This one is featured on the website Bestseller Link for Author Mary L Trump Ph.D. With knowledge comes power. I choose this after watching the interview on MSNBC Rachel Maddow’s show a special repeat of this interview is schedule for Sunday at 10 p.m. central time.

I’ve been interested in politics since my Grandma used to describe the fun she had attending the Republican State Convention in Des Moines, IA. She always had a smile and loved to read. She understood that to have a democracy all people need to be involved. Please vote responsibility this year, get the facts, go beyond what you see on TV and hear on talk radio. Research is what is needed to make the most of your vote.

“Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin” (New and Expanded Edition) by Fiona Hill. I remembered hearing her testify at the impeachment hearing. She has never come off as a partisan but as a public servant in her testimony and 60 minute interview she always kept to the facts and gave people credit for their ideas. She is a team player and one of the most knowledgeable people in US today on what Putin is all about. I’ve heard the most important thing anyone can do is get to know their enemy so I wanted to read Fiona Hill’s book. Fiona Hill browsing link

A good subject to know more about from an intelligent and well spoken professional Ms Fiona Hill.

“The SOUL of AMERICA The battle for Our Better Angels” by Jon Meacham a best selling author and historian.

I choose this book because I like Jon Meacham’s historical analysis of how US formed and where we are headed. He has good insights so I wanted to learn more.

All the books are on order and shipping out soon. Ms Fiona Hill’s book is available on the NOOK app and there’s an app for iPad, iPhone and Google play. Take a little bit of time to check out a virtual bookstore today. Happy reading.

Recommend “The Master Cook and the Maiden”

I just completed reading “The Master Cook and the Maiden”. The story was full of adventure and happenstance that led to romance and hope. I hope you take some time to learn of Alfwen and Swain as they meet and explore the purpose for their time on earth with all the beauty and danger that comes with living. 

I recommend reading Lindsay Townsend’s books. The reader travels back in time to a place full of magic and love.

To learn more about where to find books by Lindsay check out here website at: Www.lindsaytownsend.co.uk

Travel back in time as you stay safely in your home. Life is full of possibilities you just have to look for them.

A Chance to Support Childhood Cancer Research

I’m on the final stretch for collecting donations to help Masonic Children’s Hospital fight Childhood cancers. Here’s the info should you want to give:

Below is the link to my photos from the July ride. I didn’t make the whole trip but the donations will still go for fighting childhood cancer. If you don’t want to give on my ride website https://chainbreakerride.org/rider/1327

All donations are 100% applied to childhood cancer research.

Thanks in advance for considering giving to a great Children’s hospital.

All donations are due by October 12th.

https://photos2shareblog.com/2018/08/12/chainbreaker-ride-completed-for-me/

“Murder on the Hoof” by Kathryn O’Sullivan

Murder on the Hoof by Kathryn O'Sullivan

Murder on the Hoof by Kathryn O’sullivan

I recommend Kathryn O’Sullivan’s book “Murder on the Hoof,” Colleen McCabe #2

A mystery that kept me guessing until the very end. Well developed characters and plot make this book a great read.

I also like how Kathryn empowers women by placing them in non-traditional roles and portraying them as leaders of the community both personally and professionally.

“Murder on the Hoof” also has plenty of humor and well written dialog that makes reading easy. Hope you check out this author.

Also written by this author, “Foal Play” another excellent mystery the first book of the Colleen McCabe Series.

I Recommend Mary Balogh’s “A Secret Affair”

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Mary Balogh’s “A Secret Affair” gets 5 Stars from me.

More than a great romance story between a strong woman and man. This story covered some of the ills of the period and how two caring people were able to make a difference for those unable to improve their lot in life on their own.  Anne Flosnik does an excellent job bringing the characters to life with her narration on the audiobook.  Well done production.  Thank you Hennepin County library for providing the best selection of audio and ebook for any library of similar size.

Sincerely, 

Melissa Blanchard

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Minneapolis MN

Book Reviews Coming Soon

Hi All,

I haven’t forgotten my book reviews just have to make the time to write about the fantastic books I’ve read recently.

THE ROYERS OF RENFREW by Marie & Maxine Beckroyers

Just finished this book from a Nora Robert Book signing event and available at ttpbook.com at this link http://ttpbooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=TTPB&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=tBMM_ROYERS1

This is a wonderfully written account of one family’s experiences for one year living in the 1800’s in Pennsylvania USA.  Ups and down’s of growing up before there was indoor plumbing, electricity and hard wood floors.

I’ll write more about this book soon.  Catching up on all my blogs and finding it a pleasure to share my thoughts on the books I love to read.

All your comments are welcome.  Keep on reading and writing both lift the soul and spirit to learn, share and grow.

Peace,

Melissa Blanchard

“The Witness” by Nora Roberts

 

The Witness by Nora Roberts

Why read “The Witness” by Nora Roberts?

Consider a young girl, Elizabeth, finds out her Mother didn’t give birth to her for love but to make the best out of a sperm donor’s DNA.  Elizabeth finds herself at 16 a college student that has never been on a date nor has she ever been shopping with friends.  She has an opportunity to have a day shopping with a girl from her old high school and forging fake ID’s for them to go out to a popular club.

Elizabeth soon finds herself running for her life.  What comes next will change her life in ways she would have never dreamed possible.

Will this naive girl survive into womanhood?  If so, what sort of life will she have?

All this and more will be answered by Nora Roberts as the story unfolds.  You’ll discover what happened to Elizabeth, her Mother and the Federal Agents assigned to protect Elizabeth or is it to prosecute?

“The Witness,” kept me guessing.  It is a snapshot of a girl left on her own with no guidance and the trouble that finds her.  A Mother’s love is important and this story shows why on so many levels.

The adult Elizabeth finds she still has things to learn about finding and keeping love between a man and a woman too.  She has to find the courage and wisdom within herself to pursue the man of her dreams while staying safe from the men from her nightmares.

Nora brings all the characters in this book to life from the shy and bookish Elizabeth to the sterile, demanding and unfeeling Mother you’ll find those you love and those you will love to hate in this adventure of the heart.

There are very few writers that could bring a character like Elizabeth to life, but Nora Roberts does it beautifully.  From the style of Elizabeth’s hair to the experience of wearing her first pair of heals, you will not be disappointed.  This is a definite re-read for me.  So much detail needs to be savored.

I hope you pick up “The Witness” by Nora Roberts and see for yourself what makes this coming of age story a suspenseful drama full of mystery and hope.  You can get the book in the following formats at the links below:

http://www.audiobookstanddl.com/9B656443-488B-4EA1-813A-6E319CB89573/10/119/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=9C9FA007-8C8F-4C14-A40E-19C9E8FDCAE4

http://ttpbooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=TTPB&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=1WITNESS

If you buy with the second link you can ask to have it signed by the author and its on clearance for $10.00.

I also enjoyed the audiobook performance by Julia Whelan.  She brings out all the emotions of the characters in her voice tone and reading style. Lovely job, Julia, thank you.

“The Ornament” by Zeke Changuris

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What sets “The Ornament” by Zeke Changuris apart making it a must read novel for all ages?  This is the journey of a young photojournalist striving to be the best when the woman of his dreams starts working at the same TV news station.  The courtship of Amy and Sam is full of all the detail of what goes into being a good news anchor and photojournalist along with all the personal struggles these two face living life.

Zeke shows us how a single frame of video captures the emotions of a moment out of time.  He brings to sharp focus all that goes into being human from dating, marriage and finding the courage to say what’s in you heart to a woman you’ve loved all your life.

“The Ornament” allows us to see inside the TV news profession in a whole new way.  Zeke details the ups and downs in a news anchor’s and photojournalist’s personal as well as professional life.  The journey takes us to Hagerstown, Maryland  to Operation Freedom in Iraq and back to Washington, DC.

Zeke Changuris writes from the heart about a profession he loves and how hard it is to find and keep true love.  Zeke’s characters are easy to imagine as well as the places they inhabit.  Vivid descriptions as only a photographer can capture are brought to life in Zeke’s dialog and narrative.  Beautifully and poignantly written.

Reading to me is finding something new about the human condition that is both inspiring and helps me see myself a little more clearly.  “The Ornament” does this and more.  It pulls the emotions out of me.  I feel for Sam and I have a better understanding of what a man experiences as he travels through life.

Thank you, Zeke Changuris for sharing these beautiful characters with me and all readers that enjoy a story that celebrates living life to the fullest.  Keep on writing from the heart, Zeke, you have a gift to not only bring characters to life off the page but to also share the complex emotions that make up each and everyone of us.

I bought my copy at the following link:  http://ttpbooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=TTPB&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=ZC_ORNAMENT

From Turn the Page Bookstore Cafe at a Nora Roberts sponsored book signing event.  I hope you all take a few minutes to check out this book and order from TTPBooks.com a safe and secure way to get books quickly and in great condition all over the world.

“The Ornament” is a must read book for our time for all ages.  My book reviews are my own.  I only strive to help readers find books that I’ve enjoyed and found some new insights into the human condition.  Comments are welcomed.

Shark Eye View

Love how you capture each moment Maria Brinkley thanks for sharing.