What Is On Your TBR list?



I was wondering what everyone is reading and what you are also planning on reading. Summer is often a great time to catch up on our books, although the last few days have been a bit difficult with the heat wave and broken air-conditioning in our apartment unit. (We do have portable air-conditioners, so there are no worries.)

I am currently reading Eterenal by Lisa Scottoline, The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, and The Man In The High Castle, by Philip K. Dick.

On my To-Be-Read list are Weathering Old Souls by James J. Cudney & Didi Oviatt, Quichotte by Salman Rushdie, and The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles.

So I ask all of you: what are you reading and what is on your To-Be-Read List?

A Terrible Event At A Wonderful Coffee House


Taylor Roasted

Taylor Roasted CoffeeHouse, an extraordinary coffee house exists in Northampton, PA, a small town in  the northern part of the Lehigh Valley, PA.  It is one of my favorite places, and it feels like going to SoHo in New York City when I sit there with coffee and write. The atmosphere is friendly and artistic, and it is one of those places where people feel comfortable to sit by themselves, with others, or to have conversation with other patrons of the shop. Also, their coffee is the best I have ever had, and this comes from a serious lover of java!

Unfortunately, someone severely damaged the establishment, and I am quoting from their Facebook Page:

“The coffeehouse will unfortunately be closed for a while. In the middle of the night, someone extended the garden hose from the Uptown Park into our coffee roasters exhaust pipe and turned the water fully on. It completely flooded our roaster, a large portion of the upstairs area, and our basement. As we dry out, clean, and repair the shop, we will keep everyone updated on a reopening date. Thank you everyone for your continual support.”

The owners are wonderful people and friends of ours, and I hope that when they return to business, everyone will consider placing an order for their excellent coffee–and yes, it can be delivered!

End of the School Year, a Family Event


Here is another wonderful post from the excellent teacher, Jennie!

A Teacher's Reflections

“Gloria, we’re going to a castle.
It’s a party for the Aqua Room families.
You’re in charge of the picnic basket.”

“Are you having a fun ride in the wagon?
It’s a long ride up the hill.”

“Whoa!  What is this place?”

“It’s a castle, Bancroft Castle on Gibbet Hill.”

Children ran and played in the old castle ruins.
Families brought a picnic basket.
We ate ice cream, sang songs, and danced together to the Boston robots.

The highlight of the evening was giving families their child’s year-end portfolio,
a collection over each month of art, picture stories, writing, and photos.
For some children, writing their name was a landmark.
For others, it was detailed self-portraits and story telling.
For parents, it was priceless.

A final group photo captured everyone’s personality.
I love this photo!

Here is a video of families enjoying the evening.

Happy Summer,

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Chapter Reading Newsletter to Families


Please read this wonderful post from the excellent teacher, Jennie!

A Teacher's Reflections

My final newsletter to families at school, telling them how important reading aloud chapter books is to their children.  Hopefully this opens the door for them.

Chapter Reading
June 16, 2021

Chapter reading is one of our treasured moments of the day.  We bring to life the imagination, the world, and the past.  The anticipation of ‘what happens next’ stirs excitement every day.  Children listen and think.  They ask questions.  Ask your child, “At chapter reading where do you make the pictures?”  You will hear your child say, “In your head.”

When we finish a good book and then start a new one, emotions run high and low.  The end of a good book is so satisfying and pleasant, yet…it is over.  That is the wonderful roller coaster of reading.  And, with each chapter book we read, we ride that roller coaster again and again.

We have finished Little House…

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While The Bombs Fell by Robbie Cheadle & Elsie Hancy Eaton — A Review


while the bombs fell

This is a small book, only in length, but please do not be misled by its relatively short size. It is a wonderful historical read, and it is full of interesting and captivating details of life during World War Two as seen through the eyes of a child.

Robbie Cheadle and Elsie Hancy Eaton do a marvelous job of pulling the reader into the child’s perspective, who finds wonder and joy, even in this terrible historical period. I loved reading about how the family survived with what they had and still managed to maintain the important aspects of life regardless of the hardships of the time.

The details are fascinating, and the added recipes are delightful. If you are interested in history or a captivating tale, then I recommend this book highly!

I was enthralled in the story from the very beginning through to the end. I have tended to read historical accounts as told through the perspective of adults, and this book, narrated by a very young child, is a refreshing approach.

I give this book a 5 star review, and I hope you buy a copy and read it!

Please visit Robbie Cheadle’s wonderful sites:

Roberta Writes

Robbie’s Inspiration

Robbie Cheadle–Books/Poems/Reviews


Copy of Roberta Writes - independent pub 2 theme.

Quotations on Stories




“We owe it to each other to tell stories.”

                                                                         Neil Gaiman



“Fiction is the truth inside the lie.”

                                                                         Stephen King



“Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those last hours in the night when you can’t remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.”

                                                                         Tim O’Brien      



“In stories, we find the connection of all humanity.” 

                                                                          Charles F. French               

A Few Quotations On The Environment




“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”

                                                                Theodore Roosevelt



“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

                                                                Mahatma Gandhi



“Climate change is happening, humans are causing it, and I think this is perhaps the most serious environmental issue facing us.”

                                                                               Bill Nye


“Global warming is real, and the environment is in danger. Those who deny the overwhelming evidence about climate change are embracing ignorance. In order to bequeath a livable world to our children and grandchildren, we must do all we can to fight climate change now.”

                                                                                Charles F. French

The Bright Side of Darkness by J. E. Pinto



I want to thank Jo Elizabeth Pinto for her post about her book The Bright Side of Darkness.

I recently came across an intriguing prompt for authors interested in sharing their books. The prompt was, “Write a diary entry from the point of view of a character in your novel.”

As Alice Mills bends over the table in her cheery kitchen with the flowered wallpaper, intent on filling a page in her journal, the early morning sun falls across her graying hair. She wears a faded cotton nightgown, and a neglected cup of coffee has turned cold beside her.

September 8, 1986

This morning began like any other Saturday, except I must have been real tired because I didn’t hear Walter get up and go out to the pool. So he’d already come in from swimming laps and started the coffee before I made it to the kitchen. He was flipping through the local newspaper the way he always does. I was about to get him a lemon bar or two I’d brought home from the ladies’ tea at church yesterday, and then he saw something at the back of the paper that put him on a tear!

I couldn’t piece it all together, but it had to do with Rick Myers, the orphan Walter sent to the reformatory a few weeks ago. He came home awful broken up about it that night. The poor kid’s folks had died in a car wreck a few months back, and then to tragically lose his girlfriend while he was trying his best to keep her safe … it really was too much. But there had been alcohol in his blood, and he’d been driving recklessly, even if his reasons were justified. Sometimes being a judge is a heartbreaking job. Walter can’t bring home all the lost boys who need us, So he did what needed doing.

But something must have gone as wrong as it could go at the reform school, because all at once, my unflappable husband jumped up from the kitchen table like he’d been sitting on a mound of fire ants. He bolted for the bedroom, dialing up the head of the reformatory as he went, and the way he lit into that man, Alvin Kingston, well, I was glad to be safe in my own kitchen and not on the other end of the phone line.

Quick like a bunny, Walter came out of the bedroom in a white shirt and dress slacks instead of his bathrobe, still spitting nails about Alvin Kingston. He told me he was going to the hospital to deal with the Myers boy, so I know something awful must have happened. I made sure to settle him down–he needed to forget about Alvin Kingston and focus his attention where it really mattered.

Speaking of focusing, I better put aside this silly diary and get busy. We’ll probably have a new boy living with us again. The bedroom where my baby Arthur grew up never stays empty too long.

What is a family? For Rick Myers, a despondent seventeen-year-old who has just lost his parents in a car wreck, it’s the four teenage buddies he’s grown up with in a run-down apartment building. Fast with their fists, flip with their mouths, and loyal to a fault, the “crew” is all he has.

At least, he thinks so until he meets Daisy, an intelligent, independent, self-assured blind girl. Her guts in a world where she’s often painfully vulnerable intrigue Rick, and her hopeful outlook inspires him to begin believing in himself.

But when the dark side of Daisy’s past catches up with her, tragedy scatters the crew and severely tests Rick’s resolve to build his promising future. Fortunately, his life is touched by a couple with a pay-it-forward attitude, forged out of their personal struggle with grief and loss. Their support makes all the difference to Rick and eventually, through him, to the ones he holds most dear as they face their own challenges. The Bright Side of Darkness is a story of redemption and the ultimate victory that comes from the determination of the human spirit.

I was among the first blind students to integrate the public schools in the 1970s. In 1992, I received a degree in Human Services from the University of Northern Colorado. While teaching students how to use adaptive technology, I earned a second degree in 2004 from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Nonprofit Management. These days, I freelance as an editor and a braille proofreader.

As an author, I entertain my readers while giving them food for thought. In my fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, I draw on personal experience to illustrate that hope is always an action away.

I live in Colorado with my husband, my preteen daughter, and our pets.

To find out more about my books and me, please visit my Website at https://www.brightsideauthor.com.

Twitter: @BrightSideAU

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjepinto/

You can purchase her books on Amazon

Pinto with guide on autumn street(1)

Thank you again to Jo Elizabeth Pinto!

If any authors would like to publicize their books on my blog, please reach me by email: frenchc1955@yahoo.com

“Ladeez and Gentlemen, Children of All Ages…”


Please read this post! It is a wonderful lesson on how to teach!

A Teacher's Reflections

The circus came to town!  Children were excited to perform for their families on Zoom.  It was a grand finalé to a month of learning about animals, what happens behind the scenes in a real circus, and writing circus picture stories.

Here’s why all of these events are important to children:

Children like excitement and adventure, and animals.  If I can tap their interests, I have a ready-made foundation for learning.  We covered science and nature (what do the animals eat?  How do they travel and train to perform?), math (how much rope is needed to put up a circus tent?  How many gallons of food do the animals eat?), and geography (where is Japan, Hungary, and Spain, where many of the performers are from?). It is a long list of learning, and a good one.  Perseverance and determination is speckled throughout, much like sprinkles on ice cream.

How do…

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Special Offer on My Editing Services!


If you need an editor, please check out Michelle Saul! She is excellent and has a very reasonable price.


One of my goals for 2021 was to gain more clients for my freelance editing services. This goal has prove difficult to achieve so far, but I am determined to make this goal a success! So for a limited time, I am offering something special to first time clients!

From the date of this post (June 12th) until July 4th, I am offering new clients their first 10,000 words edited free of charge. This means that at my rate, new clients will receive $100.00 off their first piece that I edit! The only catch to this is that your piece must be over 10,000 words because I would still like to make some money for my time!

So if you’re on a budget, looking for your first editor (or maybe even a new one), then now would be a great time to consider me! Below I will link…

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