Muddy Hands, Sudsy Hands Book Review

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. Affiliate links included.

Muddy Hands, Sudsy Hands cover

Muddy Hands, Sudsy Hands

Author: Christine Prill

Illustrator: John Konecyn

My Review

With the current emphasis on hand-washing and protection from viruses, we are reminded of what our mothers always told us: Washing hands the right way will help us to stay healthier and keep germs away from our mouth and face.

Muddy Hands, Sudsy Hands is a charming book for young children that will make a parent’s job easier. The story is about a little boy who loves to play outside and get dirty. His parents tell him that he must wash his hands before he eats. He imagines sitting down to his meal with dirt, mud, and germs on his hands. He realizes that this would be terrible.

The little boy washes his hands and his mother reminds him to count to twenty to get them good and clean. After washing and rinsing well, the little boy sits down to delicious pancakes.

The rhyming in the book is well written and the artwork is crisp and cheerful. The characters have very expressive faces and the backgrounds are lovely. Young children will really enjoy having this book read to them.

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Monet & Oscar Book Tour

Historical Fiction

Date Published: March 11, 2021

Publisher: Giverny Books

A young WWI veteran searches for his French Impressionist father through encounters with Claude Monet and some of that movement’s key figures.

About the Author

Joe Byrd’s BS in Journalism and MA in Communications degrees inspired him to become a pioneer in electronic publishing. As a McGraw-Hill editor, he developed one of the first computer publishing systems. In the rapidly developing PC software industry, he co-authored one of his two books using PC desktop publishing software, the first for a major publishing house. He developed the first technical support website in the software industry. In his fifty-year career, he published magazines, wrote research reports, and developed conferences in the US and Europe for the digital photography industry. He launched one of the first digital photography dot coms. This is his first novel.

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scar Bonhomme’s palms sweated as he crept from the warm kitchen filled with the spice-laden aroma of frying sausage mixed with the smell of aromatic, dark coffee into Monet’s yellow dining room.

He’d used what little money he had to purchase new work clothes for his first day on the job.  He twisted his still-stiff brown woolen cap between his sweating fingers as he glanced at his reflection in the picture glass to see if his pale skin betrayed his months in the military hospital. Did his slight frame and frail stature look well enough for rigorous gardening work? No one would believe he was once tanned, muscular, and robust. Did his prematurely greying hair and the red circles around his eyes reveal the trials he had endured at the front? Although thirty-four, he felt and looked much older.

Oscar summoned his courage pulled from somewhere deep inside himself as he had done when climbing out of the trenches and facing the enemy. “Bonjour, Monsieur Monet.”

No movement. The newspaper Monet held did not lower. The first salvo had fallen short.

He fired off another. “Bonjour, Monsieur Monet.”

Still no response. Second salvo, off-target.

Perhaps Monet was hard of hearing. Oscar added more powder and fired the third shot as he shouted, “Bonjour, Monsieur Monet.”

The paper lowered to reveal piercing black eyes and a long white beard stained yellow with nicotine. Monet resembled the newspaper photos Oscar had seen of him—short, stocky, and with an intense gaze that seemed to miss nothing around him. His hands with translucent skin and heavily veined looked muscular and tanned, as befitted a painter who worked mostly outdoors.

Monet stared at Oscar as if trying to remember who was this invader of his dining room and disturber of his early morning coffee. He wore an English herringbone wool suit buttoned at the neck, with just an inch of white ruffled shirt cuffs showing at the sleeves.

At last, he spoke. “Who are you?”

He sounded irritated.

Oscar drew in his breath and squared his shoulders to make himself look the part before responding with, “I’m your new gardener, Monsieur.” 

Monet frowned. “I don’t remember you. Who hired you? Why should I hire a gardener in the middle of the winter?”

Oscar stammered as he gathered enough breath to reply. “You… You did, Monsieur. Yesterday. At least, that’s what I was told.”

He gripped his newspaper tighter, shook his head, and frowned. “So, what are you doing in here? This isn’t the garden.”

Madame Blanche asked me to meet you here before dawn to carry your paintings for you.”


And with that, Monet raised the paper again, which left Oscar standing in the doorway, not knowing whether to stay or go.

Oscar stood twisting and untwisting his cap and wondering. Will he dismiss me, fall asleep, or will we start our day together? Could this cranky old man be his father? Probably not. But he might know him.

Since it was his first day on this new job, he remained to see what would happen next.

After one, two, three, four, five minutes with no response, he looked around the room. Yellow was the theme color. Even the chairs and light fixtures were Provence yellow, as his mother called it. Monet seemed obsessed with the color yellow and eating by the looks of the dining room with its multiple sets of dishes and an abundance of silverware.

The odd prints that hung on the walls disturbed him. They were most unusual and not yellow. He saw dozens of them depicting an assortment of Japanese people in native costumes through scenes of Japan. They reminded him of photos his Japanese friends in San Francisco had shown him. The prints featured plants and animals that he didn’t recognize.

Oscar scratched his head and thought, why would one of the world’s most famous Impressionist painters have these Japanese prints on his walls instead of his art or that of his colleagues?

Lying in the hospital, he had dreamed of what he would do when he was released. He never imagined he would work in one of the most famous gardens in France. This job was the start of his new life; he was excited and frightened to be here.

Curiosity was getting the better of him as he walked around the long table, examining the prints. Each one seemed more colorful and stranger than the one before, and someone had labeled every one with the artist’s name. He made a note to ask Monsieur Monet about the prints. They must have been significant to him if they were hanging in his dining room. Undoubtedly, he would have dictated the decoration of this space, the essential room for entertaining.

Finally, Monet’s hand emerged to crush out his cigarette in his overflowing ashtray. He lowered his paper, rose from his chair, and shuffled to the door.

“Are you coming?” he threw over his shoulder.

Caught off-guard while still staring at the prints, Oscar felt he was a puppy following its master and hurried through the door after him, down the steps to the garden, past the cart, and into the darkened studio.

“Put these in the cart and follow me.”

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American Valor Book Blitz


Historical Fiction, Military Fiction

Published: March 2021

Publisher: Seacoast Press

From the critically acclaimed author of An Irish Immigrant Story, One Man’s Mission and Three Steps to the Making of an Assassin, comes a new story of commitment, dedication, strength and perseverance.

The United States came out of World War II the most respected and admired country in the world.

That status was earned by the courage, commitment, and integrity of American families. American Valor is the story of one such family.

American Valor is on sale now at fine independent bookstores everywhere and online retailers.

About the Author

One of America’s promising new authors Jack Cashman’s fourth novel tells a story of an American families commitment to the ideals that have made their country the envy of the world.

Jack lives in Hampden Maine with his wife Betty near their sons Derek and Danny; their daughters-in-law Michele and Karen and their granddaughters, Katie, Sarah, Jackie, Carolyn and Brianna.

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A Tiger Named Lee Book Tour

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

A Tiger Named Lee by Sinead Murphy (Author), Shannon Cresham (Illustrator)

Lee is a tiny tiger who lives with his Mum in the safety of his treetop house. There he feels safe from the dangers of the dark jungle below. But one wild stormy night, Lee and his Mum are thrown to the ground and Lee is forced to face his fears in order to help her. A Tiger named Lee tells the story of a timid little tiger who refuses to leave his tree-top perch and go down to the jungle floor for fear of what may lie there. However, he and his Mum are thrown from the tree on a stormy night and the little tiger has to overcome his fears.

Author Bio
Sinéad Murphy is an Irish author, television Director, and filmmaker. ‘A Tiger named Lee’ is Sinéad’s debut picture book, published in 2021 by Tiny Tree Children’s Books. Sinéad wrote ‘A Tiger Named Lee,’ for her young daughter to show her that it’s normal to have fears and worries and that help is always there if you ask for it.

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My Review

A Tiger Named Lee will charm all young readers because of the adorable artwork in the book. Lee is a young tiger cub who lives in the jungle with his mother and brothers. His brothers are older and are very brave and bold. Lee, on the other hand, is small and fearful of almost everything. He loves to stay high in the tree with his mom.

He sees and hears the animals in the jungle and imagines how terrible and frightening they are. Then, something terrible happens. Lee and his mother are in trouble, but what will happen to them? Lee imagines the scary animals will frighten him.

The lovely rhyming book will be well-loved and your child will want this book read over and over.

While At The Altar

While at the Altar cover

While at the Altar by Pamela D. Smith

While at the Altar

by Pamela D. Smith

Genre: Non-fiction/ Christian/ Inspirational


Are you ready to become resilient, healed, and whole?

It is time to experience abundance in every area of your life by using prayer, forgiveness, repentance, and truth as the foundation for developing spiritual fortitude. Consistent prayer will increase your faith and usher you into a true relationship with God. A true relationship with God yields peace and abundance.

If you are ready to release the power of God into your life and circumstances, then this is the book for you. In this book you will learn: to pray fervently to release past hurt and pain, how to pray for your marriage, children, business, finances, attitude, and so much more. After reading this book you will develop spiritual fortitude, live in the freedom of whom Christ called you to be, learn practical steps to release past hurt and pain so that you can heal, boldly walk in your God-given authority, and develop spiritually.


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About the Author:

Pamela D. Smith is an Award-Nominated, Multi-Published Author, Prayer Warrior, Inspirational Speaker, and Mentor who was recently named one of 11 Women in Marketplace Ministry to watch in 2021. 

Pamela is also a Licensed Minister and Certified Life Coach who has dedicated her diverse pursuits to elevating the lives of women around the world. She uses her literary talent to evangelize and bring others into the saving faith of Jesus Christ. Her mission is to help women deepen their prayer lives and release past hurt and pain and live a life of purpose and abundance. As a Mentor, Pamela is sought out for prayer, inner healing, and guidance into divine purpose.  Her mentorship also includes helping self-published Christian authors navigate the publishing process and provides them with tips on how to use their book as a ministry tool.

Pamela has graduated from Louisiana Tech University with an Undergraduate Degree in Liberal Arts. She continued her education and received her Master’s in Business Management from AIU University.

Pamela speaks at churches, conferences, and to Christian women groups and book clubs. Her transformational speeches and prayers equip women to become resilient, heal, and whole as they learn how to overcome adversity through the power of prayer.

Pamela has been featured in several magazines, articles, podcasts, and blogs including Sheen magazine, N’style Atlanta, and Houston Style Magazine. To learn more about Pamela D. Smith visit her website at

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My Review

While At The Altar is a book written to help readers with their Christian walk. There are short chapters that focus on a topic that everyone deals with in life. Within each chapter the author discusses the topic or situation that we all can relate to. There is a prayer written in each chapter that gives the reader an example of how to pray about the situation or topic in their life. Next, we find a Declaration. This is a statement to claim in one’s life (or a mantra.) The last thing in each chapter is a Journal entry example. The author gives readers ideas on how to make the truth come alive by journaling their thoughts and Scripture verses that help to reinforce the thoughts. This book is a quick read, but the thoughts on each page will allow you to study more after the reading is finished. Although I have some theological differences with this author, I appreciate the book’s clarity and ease of use. I think many people will benefit from reading this book.

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Dark Days for the Tobacco Girls Book Tour

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.


Dark Days for the Tobacco Girls

Nothing will stop the The Tobacco Girls, not even war…


The Tobacco Girls cling together as they realise that the clouds of war are turning dark, the world is becoming more dangerous and their lives more unpredictable. 

Bridget Milligan’s big, happy family fragments when her siblings are evacuated to North Devon, then a letter from America further fills her with dismay.

Maisie Miles safe haven from both Eddie Bridgeman and her father is jeopardised and she is forced to move on, but where too this time? 

Phyllis Mason is struck down by tragedy and her life spirals downwards into despair until a new horizons beckons, but also perhaps great danger…

Regardless of the rationing, shortages and an ever-worsening situation, The Tobacco Girls all pull together and hope for better days to come.

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Author Bio:

Lizzie Lane is the author of over 50 books, a number of which have been bestsellers.  She was born and bred in Bristol where many of her family worked in the cigarette and cigar factories.  This has inspired her new saga series for Boldwood The Tobacco Girls, the first part of which will be published in January 2021.

My Review

This series is about three girls who are friends during the beginning of WWII. This group of young women all work together at a tobacco plant in England. Their job is to sort the tobacco and get it ready for processing. These young women have become great friends, but they are vulnerable. Girls who worked in the tobacco factories were considered a lower class than some.

One of the girls named Phyllis had recently married a respectable man when she found herself pregnant out of wedlock. Her new husband goes off to war and she is stuck living with his suffocating mother-in-law. When she loses the baby, the mother-in-law becomes even more intolerable. Phyllis realizes that she needs to leave after she finds out that her husband is missing in action and presumed dead.

The other girls, Maisie and Bridgett, round out the trio and have their own problems. Bridget is in love with a young American, who visited England, but has moved back home. The story tells much about their love lives and work lives. The book delves into the lives of many in the lower classes in Britian as the bombing raids begin to destroy the city of Bristol. Between family troubles and finding food to eat, the girls are having dark days. The book is rated PG13 for sexual content.

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