Review Time: Featuring Coal River by Ellen MarieWiseman

Do you love Historical Fiction? This is one of the genres that I started reading after I retired. And, I love it. I guess what I really like most about it is that it usually contains some truth. Either the topic being discussed or the setting, and sometimes real people. Not to mention that reading about history is fun especially with added fiction.

I will let Amazon tell you  a little about Ellen and a little about the book. Then I will add my review because… well just because…. it is my blog after all. 🙂

About the Author:


Ellen Marie Wiseman was born and raised in Three Mile Bay, a tiny hamlet in Northern New York. Ellen lives on the shores of Lake Ontario with her husband, two spoiled Shih-tzus, and a rescued yellow lab. She loves to cook, travel, garden, watch movies and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

For more information about Ellen, please visit

And I will add that this area of upstate New York is absolutely gorgeous. I am not particularly fond of the winters up there, but the Spring, Summer and Fall can’t be beat. (says the somewhat partial New York Army Mom.)


Amazon Synopsis:

In this vibrant new historical novel, the acclaimed author of The Plum Tree and What She Left Behind explores one young woman’s determination to put an end to child labor in a Pennsylvania mining town. . .

As a child, Emma Malloy left isolated Coal River, Pennsylvania, vowing never to return. Now, orphaned and penniless at nineteen, she accepts a train ticket from her aunt and uncle and travels back to the rough-hewn community. Treated like a servant by her relatives, Emma works for free in the company store. There, miners and their impoverished families must pay inflated prices for food, clothing, and tools, while those who owe money are turned away to starve.

Most heartrending of all are the breaker boys Emma sees around the village–young children who toil all day sorting coal amid treacherous machinery. Their soot-stained faces remind Emma of the little brother she lost long ago, and she begins leaving stolen food on families’ doorsteps, and marking the miners’ bills as paid.

Though Emma’s actions draw ire from the mine owner and police captain, they lead to an alliance with a charismatic miner who offers to help her expose the truth. And as the lines blur between what is legal and what is just, Emma must risk everything to follow her conscience.

An emotional, compelling novel that rings with authenticity–Coal River is a deft and honest portrait of resilience in the face of hardship, and of the simple acts of courage that can change everything.

My Review:

One of the things I look for in a novel is description; I want to feel the characters, feel the setting, and most of all feel the story. In doing so, I feel like I know the author. No matter what the topic, a good author shows themselves in what they write! Coal River is one of those beautifully written stories.

As Ellen describes the area and the characters, I could actually feel the dirt on their feet and the black coal on their faces, not to mention the cuts and bruises on their bodies.

I can’t even imagine the lives that the miners and their families lived. With little food, clothing and coal to heat their homes, they got up every morning and went to work. The women stayed home as their husbands and children, as young as 5/6, went off to the very unsafe mines to work 10 hours every day! The stress of  whether or not they would return each night had to have been unbearable.

Once I got to the midpoint of the book, there was no putting it down. Page after page, I just wanted to see what happened next.

I noticed a few reviewers didn’t like the romance in the story! Well Gosh;  Emma is 19 years old, of course there needs to be some romance! It was written well and certainly wasn’t overdone.

And then there was the ending! I never saw it coming, but I loved it! If you want to read a good Historical Fiction with a few twists and an unexpected ending, then this is a book for you.  I highly recommend Coal River, and I am looking forward to reading more from Ellen Marie Wiseman. My rating, definitely 5 Stars… 

p.s. Along the way Emma does a few things that aren’t legal… I couldn’t help but to think about Robin Hood as I was reading. 🙂

I received this book while attending an online facebook party… Thank you Ellen for sending it to me, I really enjoyed reading and reviewing it.


As Always, don’t forget to:

LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH and by All Means, READ!



























Adult Coloring–Fun AND Good for You!

For those who like to color, there are benefits!

Reade and Write


I wrote a post today for Novel Spaces, where I post on the 22nd of each month. The post is all about adult coloring and it’s benefits for your mind and spirit. You can check it out here.

Thanks for visiting!

Until next time,


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Choose To Be Kind or Not!


So I had a very enjoyable outing and I of course I ran into a couple of crazies out there! LOL! The first one honked his horn at the light because I took less than 30 seconds to make my turn! I prayed that God would give him a little more patience! Then, on my way home I stopped at a red light and the truck behind me drove into the rut to my right and took off like a crazy person! Maybe he didn’t know that the law states that you make a full stop, check for oncoming traffic and than proceed to make your turn! In about a minute I was right behind him! Silly boy! I prayed for him too!

Now the good stuff… a very kind lady was in front of me at Michael’s Craft Store, and she turned to me and said, “I am sorry, this is gonna take a few minutes” and I smiled and said that’s ok… I had my walker with me just in case I needed to sit down.. then she looked down and said, your boot is untied, may I please tie it for you so you don’t fall! For that I was very grateful, unless I am sitting, I can’t tie it! Then she turned to the clerk and said, please cancel what you are doing and ring this lady up so she can get home! Even though I said no no no, she did it! We chatted while the clerk rang me up and I told her I was going to make Valentines cards with my granddaughters. She got all excited and told me that she was a third grade teacher before she retired. She said of all the holidays including Christmas, this was the kids favorite. They loved exchanging those little valentines, and believe me, she said, they read every line.

As an aside to my story here, I’ll throw this in… In previous years I created a design and they copied it. This year, I bought a bunch of stuff and I am gonna let them create their own designs. It should be interesting to see what they come up with. I will have to post some pics when they finish!

That, my friends,  was a very pleasant outing at one of my favorite stores. But, that is not the end of my story. I stopped on the way home to pick up a drink and while I was walking toward the register (with several people in front of me), a second clerk opened her register and motioned for a man to come forward, he turned to me and said, you go ma’am. and I said, “no, no, you were here first” he smiled and said, “I am in no hurry, it will only take an extra minute.” So true an extra minute…. what’s a minute in a lifetime, I thought to myself. I smiled and thanked him and we both went on our way.

So, four people, two in a mad rush, and two showing kindness… You decide; take that extra minute to be kind or rush through your life as if every minute you delay will cost you something.

In my mind, the choice is very simple….. what I have learned over the years is that kindness goes a long way.. If you smile at someone today, I guarantee you will get a smile back… in the meantime, Don’t forget to:

Live, Love, Laugh and by all means Read!

Until next time!








A Quick Look at 2016 and Let’s Move On to 2017

Unless I have new readers, I don’t think I have to tell anyone that 2016 was not my best year! Writing about it is undoubtedly very difficult!

Having been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer just before Christmas in 2015, I began to prepare for what I knew would be a very long and difficult year for my family, my friends, and me. Actually, if I am going to be honest here, I planned for 6 months of difficulty, because I really didn’t expect to be here beyond June 2016! No, that wasn’t my doctor giving me a prognosis, that was all me trying to read God’s mind! Alas, he had other plans!

I am not going to write a play by play of the 9 months of treatments, pain and all that went on during that time, I will just say that it was not fun! And yes, I whined a lot!

So now I will skip to September; my last chemo treatment was definitely successful ! Lots of partying going on, well not really partying but definitely a lot of smiling! And on October 12 I received the good news that I was cancer free!!!! A day I will remember for a long time!

It’s actually Christmas Eve as I write this and I am still smiling! I am so grateful for the gift of life and I want to thank so many people! My many doctors for the skills that they work so hard to learn. So many nurses that I met at the doctors offices, the infusion clinic and the hospital. The compassion that they share is beyond incredible. An even bigger thank you to My family and friends, without all of you I would not be writing this today! I was listening to Delilah on the radio the other night and she was telling us to get off the computer and get out and about with real people!!! Well I am here to say she is wrong about that. I thank Facebook for allowing me to keep in contact with many folks that I would not have been able to during this very difficult time. Prayer travels far and if you allow it to, a hug can be felt clear across the country! For that, I am thankful.

I didn’t set any resolutions for 2016, but I decided I would definitely set some for 2017. Here they are!

1) I want to lose 20 pounds! That doesn’t seem like much but it will be difficult since I like to eat.

2) Exercise daily. That’s a tough one, but I will think positive.

3) Read 50-75 books. This should not be hard since it is what I love to do!

4) Get back to writing my blog!!! If not weekly,  Then biweekly.

5) last but certainly not least… remember and practice one of my favorite quotes, Live, Love, Laugh And READ!

That’s it for 2016, and  as I welcome 2017, please join me as I wish my family and friends a very Happy and Healthy New Year! Let’s make 2017 a year to remember! READY, SET, GO!

And don’t forget… to… Live, Love, Laugh And READ!


2016 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year background vector 6 (2)

Happy Thanksgiving from Reade and Write

There are some fun and interesting Thanksgiving facts on Amy’s blog… take a look, click the link to novel spaces to view it.

Reade and Write

rooster at HCSV

This was the closest photo I could find to turkey in my archives. 🙂

My monthly blog for Novel Spaces goes live today, so I’m sharing the link below. I hope you’ll click it, visit Novel Spaces, and enjoy the fun post about Thanksgiving facts.

Best wishes for a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

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Author Spotlight: Amy Metz, Part 2

Today on Reade and Write I welcome Amy Metz back to the hot seat. She’s been here before, back in June of 2015, to discuss her book Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction. She’…

Source: Author Spotlight: Amy Metz, Part 2

Please Share This Post!

Great book!

Reade and Write

House of the Hanging Jade cover with USA Today (2)

Friends, my third book, House of the Hanging Jade, is just 99¢!

It’s also a Featured Ebook Recommendation today on BookBub. That’s an honor and a big deal for an author, and I’ve watched my sales numbers climb today as a result of the book’s exposure from BookBub. I hope you’ll consider sharing this with your friends and family and that you’ll reblog this post so we can get as many eyes as possible on the sale price and promotion.

Here’s the BookBub link: 

Here’s the Amazon link:

Here’s the Barnes & Noble link:

Here’s the Kobo link:

Many thanks!


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Time for a Book Review! Stepping out of my Genre Again! I am very pleased to turn the Spotlight on Ronnie Allen!

It’s been a while since I have posted a book review on my blog. Have I not been reading? Don’t be silly, of course, I am reading, It’s my passion! And just so you know, I have been reviewing my books on Amazon (New York Army Mom) and on Goodreads (Sharon Aguanno). Not always both but definitely Amazon.

Having said that, I met a new author on Facebook a week or so ago. I found her to be quite interesting and grabbed a copy of her first book. With her permission, I am going to introduce you to her. Thank you Ronnie Allen.

If you click on her name, it will take you to her facebook page, but do read to the bottom before you leave and enjoy my personal discussion with Ronnie! I will share my thoughts about the first book in her series (The Sign Behind The Crime) and the interview will give you some insight into her personal life.

So, please meet Ronnie Allen



Gemini (The Sign Behind The Crine Series Book 1) Synopsis from Amazon:

His life is exactly the way he wants it to be—until he meets her…

Both psychic and clairvoyant, Dr. John Trenton is a forensic psychiatrist who has a wife he worships and a position as a department head at a hospital for the criminally insane in Manhattan. His patients—young adult men, who are some of the most psychotic and psychopathic criminals in NYC—enable him to live his life on the edge, just the way he likes it. Then he meets a woman who changes everything.

She is two days from accomplishing the revenge she lives for—until she meets him…

Stripper by night, school psychologist by day, Gemini obsessed Barbara Montgomery, makes a critical mistake and is committed for seventy-two hours of observation, where she risks it all in an unnerving escape. Furious with Dr. Trenton for interfering in her life, she is now determined to kill his wife and unborn child, along with everyone else who has ever caused her pain—real or imagined.

As the killing spree continues, John is forced to use all his ESP, as well as his knowledge and expertise, to interpret this psychopath’s Gemini obsession and unravel her dark and murderous past. But can he track her down and bring her to justice—before she destroys his world completely?

My Thoughts:

Those of you who know me well, know that a Psychological Thriller is way out of my genre. I tend to read cozies to relax, and crime mysteries to keep my mind going. But wait! Maybe crossing over genres is what I really enjoy doing. Because lately, I have been doing a lot of it. And guess what? I am loving it!

Gemini, which is Ronnie’s debut Novel, is amazing! I happen to love a story that bounces back and forth in time. In this story it’s present and 3 years prior. It is very easy to follow since Ronnie indicates the time at the beginning of the chapters. It’s almost as though you’re reading two different stories with the same characters. In this case, the prior years build the relationship of two of the three main characters. I loved that.

A psychological thriller with clairvoyance and paranormal throughout? Before reading Gemini, I would have said, “not my cup of tea”… but after reading it, I am truly looking forward to reading the rest of the books Ronnie is offering.

So, the plot… Excellent, The characters…yes excellent, twists and turns… all over the place…excellent and the ending….well let’s just say I was on the edge of my seat in the last two chapters… I was talking out loud to Ronnie… don’t you dare, no, no, no… well my friends, I guess you will have to read it to find out!

In case you haven’t already guessed, I must reiterate…. I loved this book and highly recommend!

Enough of what I think, how about a little personal information about Ronnie: She was kind enough to answer some questions for me, so here goes:

Sharon: I know that for most authors writing is their Dream job! But if you were unable to write for some reason, what profession would you fall back on?

Ronnie: First, thank you so much for having me on your blog! Excellent question. Interestingly, I never really had my dream job. I decided when I was a teenager that I wanted to be an exotic animal veterinarian. My parents and my doctors went berserk because I was a severe asthmatic and I was told I’d be allergic to all of the animals. So in college I majored in psychology and wanted to become a psychologist so that I could psychoanalyze myself, then get rid of the asthma and then go to vet school. I had even applied to a pre-med program in the state of Washington. Well, that didn’t happen. But I did become a school psychologist and I worked in the position of teacher in the New York City school system for 33 years. I guess that was my destiny because I am truly an advocate of the child, and that as well is a focus in my novels. I also had my journey into alternative therapies and the mind-body connection. I will tell you that that as well helped me to help others. Now that I am retired from teaching since 2003, and began my novel writing journey in 2011, if I couldn’t do that, I would go back to my holistic healing practice and develop it in Florida. Oh and by the way, we’ve had animals our married life and I’m not allergic to any of them!

Sharon: If one of your books was made into a movie, and you could be an actor, which character would you play and why?

Ronnie: Actually in the late 70s I became involved in screenwriting and film and actually did some acting showcases in Manhattan. I would like very much for Gemini and Aries to go to film. Gemini I would like to see as a TV episodic, and Aries would make a great feature film. If Aries was to go to a TV episodic, Aries would be the first season, Scorpio would be the second. The titles would be changed. Since the focus is on the forensic psychiatrists, Gemini would be retitled Trenton’s Law, and Aries could be retitled Khaos Rules. Those who have read both books will understand the title change. Since you’ve read Gemini, let’s talk about that one. I can see Michael Weatherly, Nathan Fillion or an older Matt Boomer as Dr. John Trenton. And which character would I play? Barbara Montgomery, the killer in Gemini, of course. I actually had the same career she has in Gemini but mine was in the classroom. I love her aggression, not holding back on anything she says, though I’m not a murderer.

Sharon: If you were to compare your husband to any of the characters in your books who would he be?

I’d compare Bob to Dr. John Trenton, only physically. I married a jock and raised one.

Sharon: I happen to love your writing style, have you ever written a song? Or wanted to? If so, tell me about that song.

Ronnie: Thank you. No, I have never written a song. So many people need music to write. But I find when I’m in deep POV in the psychopathic mind, music is a distraction. I often write poolside, and I can block out children screaming in the pool, adults all around me talking, even that Marco Polo game, but music takes me out of the moment.

Sharon: Do you play an instrument? If so, which one/ones? Did you take lessons or learn on your own?

Ronnie: I used to play the violin, and I played from sixth grade all the way through high school. I was a first violinist in my high school orchestra. I stopped playing when I entered college. My lessons were only in school.

Sharon: If you decided to pick up and move any place you want as long as it’s in the U. S. where would you want to go?

Ronnie: I’m a born and bred New York City woman, who now lives in rural Central Florida. There are times I love it here, the serenity, no pollution, no potholes, living in the woods is totally relaxing and cleansing. I do miss the energy of the big city and the business world, as well as fashion, foods etc. So if I had the chance to move it might not be back to New York, because I do not miss the snow, but I would definitely move to a larger city in Florida like Tampa, or Boca Raton.

Sharon: If you could sit on a bench with someone living or deceased, who would it be and what would your first comment be?

Ronnie: Probably either James Patterson or Nora Roberts. Why? To ask them how they get ideas for the continued series making it new and fresh with each book. Since that’s what I’m writing, and I’m now on book four, Libra, I can see that can be a challenge.

Sharon: I am guessing that you love to cook, have you ever cooked anything exotic, if so tell me about it? 

Ronnie: OMG! Yes, I do love to cook! I don’t cook that exotic because my husband doesn’t like very spicy food. I’ve  recently gone gluten-free and I have a lot of my recipes on my Instagram as well as on my health and wellness page and my novelist page. Your readers  could follow me on Instagram at ronnieanovelist and they will be able to get all of my recipes, gluten-free and not.

Sharon: Is there anything else you want to share with your readers?

Ronnie: I truly appreciate my readers and have worked very hard and diligently to create books that I hope they will enjoy. I just signed the contract for the third book in the Sign Behind The Crime series, Scorpio. So what I would like to ask is if you read the books to please leave a review. Reviews help us authors immensely.

Sharon: Did I miss anything you really want to talk about? If so, here’s your chance!

Ronnie: I have some events coming up so if people are in the area I would love for them to come over and chat, even about writing and publishing and to ask their questions. I’ll be happy to help them. On October 29 I’ll be a vendor at the Paranormal Expo in The Villages, Lake Miona Rec Center, 1526 Bueno Vista Blvd. Sumpter Landing. The Villages, Fla. 32162. 10-4.

On Nov. 19-20, I’ll be at a Meet the Author event in Melbourne, Fla. Eau Gallie Civic Center 1551 Highland Ave. Melbourne, Fla. 32935.9:30-4:30 both days.

So there you have it, The Sign Behind the Crime Series by Ronnie Allen… I hope you enjoyed the interview and if you are in the Florida area, do stop by and meet Ronnie… I wish I could be there!

For those of you who suffer from Celiac or have just chosen to go gluten free, please follow Ronnie, she has an amazing background and offers lots of good information and tips for healthy living.

Thanks for stopping by, and

Don’t forget to Live, Love, Laugh and By All means READ!

Till next time!







How to Write a Review

Beautifully put, and let me add that it only takes a few minutes to write a review and if you’re reading from s kindle app, at the end of the book it gives you the opportunity to review it and the app does the posting. In other words, you don’t even have to go to Goodtrads or Amazon!

Reade and Write


Someone suggested to me recently that I should write a blog post about book reviews. It’s a great idea and I’m glad the person suggested it, because I’m always gently nudging (read: badgering, pestering) people to leave online reviews of my books and any other books they read.

Here’s why: especially on Amazon, the algorithm used to determine which books to promote is heavily based on the number of reviews a book has. In other words, the more reviews a book has, the more likely readers are to see it promoted by Amazon say, under “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…” or “Products Related To This Item…”

The reviews don’t have to be good, they just have to be there. Quantity over quality, if you will.

Quantity over quality is not generally a good thing, but it is a good thing for people who are hesitant to leave reviews…

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