Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Review of Fire Men

Fire Men: Stories from Three Generations of a Firefighting Family

Author: Gary R. Ryman

Published: 2011

ISBN: 978-0-9822565-6

Publisher: Tribute Books

Book Website

Having served over thirty years in fire departments across three states, Gary R. Ryman brings a unique perspective to the firefighting experience.  The son and father of firefighters, Ryman ignites the fire, smoke, blood and fear spanning three generations of the “family business.”  He recounts his early days in upstate New York learning from his father, the department fire chief.  He describes the blazes he battled with a career and volunteer crew in the crowded suburbs of Washington, D.C.  He examines the mentoring relationship established with his son as they respond to the calls of a volunteer department in rural Pennsylvania.  Overall, Ryman shares both the personal and professional turning points that define a firefighting career.

When I heard about the book, Fire Men: Stories from Three Generations of a Firefighting Family, I wanted to review it because I have family and friends who either have been firefighters or still are.  I know it takes a very special type of person to be a firefighter, because they face danger every time they answer a call.  They truly are heroes.

In Fire Men: Stories from Three Generations of a Firefighting Family the author shares stories of going to the fire station as a young boy and learning early on what it means to be a firefighter.  There are stories of intense blazes, holiday calls, sirens blaring, car accidents, and rescues happening just in time that span throughout the three generations of this firefighting family.  Ryman doesn’t sugarcoat any of the stories.  He tells it like it is, sharing the mistakes as well as the triumphs. 

I think that anyone who is already a firefighter, anyone interested in becoming a firefighter, or anyone who enjoys reading memoirs will want to read Fire Men: Stories from Three Generations of a Firefighting Family.

Gary R. Ryman is the second of three generations of firefighters.  He has a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science from the University of Maryland and has been employed as a fire protection engineer for over twenty-five years.  He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in American History.  Ryman is married with two children.  His oldest son makes up the third generation of firefighters in his family, which makes him feel both old and young at the same time.


Monday, August 29, 2011

A Review of Repairing Rainbows

Repairing Rainbows: A True Story of Family, Tragedy and Choices

Author: Lynda Fishman

Published: June 2010

ISBN: 978-0-9866074-0-0 (Paperback)

Genre: Memoir

Blog Tour web site:

Repairing Rainbows website:

Lynda Fishman's Twitter:

Buy links:

At thirteen years old, Lynda’s life comes to a disastrous halt when her mother and two younger sisters are killed in a plane crash.  Her father, overcome by despair, simply continues to exist, in a state devoid of hope.  After burying a wife and two young children at the age of 44, the overwhelming responsibility of raising a daughter alone completely immobilizes him.

Teetering on that tender brink between childhood and adolescence, Lynda faces the responsibility of a father in a complete state of shock, a house to take care of and hundreds of decisions about how to proceed with their shattered lives.

In Repairing Rainbows she candidly describes the agonizing memories, deafening silence and endless hardships that are the fallout of incredible loss.  As we follow her through marriage, motherhood and her own spiritual journey, Lynda reveals her complex feelings of hope, anger, pity and determination.  Most importantly, she learns the crucial difference between “truly living” and the existence that is so often mistaken for being alive.

A true story, written by a woman whose normal and abundant life hides a terrible past, Repairing Rainbows is loaded with important lessons to help others overcome struggles and obstacles, and fulfill their lives.  It is a powerful, captivating, riveting and easy-to-read story that will undoubtedly touch the hearts of its readers.

Sunday, July 5, 1970 was a day that changed the life of a close, loving family.  It was the day that an Air Canada plane crash took the life of Lynda’s mother and two younger sisters.  It might as well be the day that Lynda’s father “died” too, because he lived in a constant state of shock and was unable to emotionally be there for his daughter.  There were no support groups for Lynda to turn to for help.  There was no one to put her in touch with people who had lost family in that Air Canada plane crash.  She felt so alone in her loss and grief.

I was only able to read a few chapters at a time, because reading about that tragic July day, the funerals and the years of Lynda growing up without her mother and siblings, was such a heartbreaking story.  There were times that I got teary eyed, so I was glad to have had the foresight to have a box of tissues on hand.

Repairing Rainbows is also a book about hope, courage, and digging deep within one's self to find strength.  Lynda knew that she had choices.  She could choose to let this tragedy consume her for the rest of her life, like it did her father, or she could choose to live the life that she knew her mother would want her to live. 

Towards the end of the book, Lynda shares about her experiences of meeting with a medium who helps her reach out to her family members on the other side.  Lynda learns that her family is together and that they are happy.  They are always with her.  She is able to finally find peace.

If you like reading memoirs, you will want to read Repairing Rainbows: A True Story of Family, Tragedy and Choices.

In 1970, when she was thirteen years old, Lynda’s life came to a disastrous halt when her mother and two younger sisters were killed in an Air Canada plane crash.

As a young teen, Lynda made a conscious decision to become happy and to lead a fulfilled life.  Lynda chose to live.  She was committed to learning, growing and making a difference.  Determined to find meaning and purpose in her life, she managed to muster up the courage and strength to dream big, to be idealistic, to strive for more, and to live a meaningful life where she could make a difference in he lives of others.

Lynda Fishman is a trained clinical social worker who has spent over twenty years as a camp director.  In the early 90s, Lynda was one of the first camp directors in the Toronto area to incorporate children with special needs into mainstream camp life.  Lynda has devoted a lifetime to organized camping and is passionate about the positive role of camping in a person’s life.  She is the owner and director of Adventure Valley Day Camp.

Lynda is a motivational and inspirational speaker and facilitator.  She has published articles and training manuals on leadership, teamwork, bullying, trust, childhood health and wellness, communication and customer service.

Lynda’s husband, Barry Fishman, has his own amazing story to share, having been orphaned at age 17 and left alone to care for his brother with special needs.  Lynda and Barry met as teenagers and have been together since then.  They have three grown children, and the whole family is heavily involved in supporting children dealing with tragedy, cancer or other life-threatening diseases, fund-raising and charity events.

Barry has spent his entire career working in the health care and pharmaceutical company.  Teva Pharmaceuticals.  Barry serves on the Board of Directors of the Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Lynda is a woman of action.  She has incredible enthusiasm for life.  She is persistent, focused and faithful to her dreams and goals.  She is willing to work for everything with patience, optimism and determination.  She finds ways to be grateful and positive.  Lynda goes out there and does what she has to do with a CAN DO attitude of gratitude, positivity, compassion, and honesty.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Interview with Deb Scott

Deb Scott, author of The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue - Turning Your Upside Down World Right Side Up! is a motivational speaker, certified professional coach, radio host, and award winning author. 

Deb has battled depression, other's alcoholism, a dysfunctional family, sexual abuse and religious doubts and has emerged on the other end as a happy, successful executive who trains others to follow her path to happiness.  She now teaches others the same life-changing techniques that enabled her to overcome these challenges. 

A biology major in college, Deb became an award-winning sales and leadership specialist.  With 20 years of background in cardiac surgery sales, she now applies her sales and business background to motivational speaking and consulting.  She speaks and writes about how you can turn things around whether you're in sales, marketing, advertising, hiring, or team-building.

Hi Deb.  What was your main reason for writing The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue?

It was the book I needed to read but could never find!  I knew something was wrong, but couldn't find out what it was, or how to fix it.  I felt alone and without hope.  If someone feels like giving up because they feel as if they've tried it all - don't!  The Sky is Green is a whole new way of thinking. 

What kind of research did you do for this book?

A lot, but it was ongoing for years.  Having been a biology major in college, I love research, data, and studies.  I tried to offer support statements and credibility to the content with facts.  Of course, people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.  I care because I've lived what I write about.

The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue has a really nice cover.  How much input did you have in the cover art?

Not as much as I wanted!  I learned ideas in the mind don't always translate effectively in graphic arts.  I originally wanted the sky to actually be green, and the grass of the rolling hills to be blue, but the result looked more like a science fiction thriller.  We had to make the paradox in the readers mind against the visual, to create pause and curiosity.

What is different about The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue from other motivational, self-help or recovery books?

A sense of humor for one!  Self-help can be a tough topic to discuss, often difficult because the subject matter is serious business.  Enjoying the process is key for me, and something I wanted readers to experience on the journey through all pages.  That, and lots of stories, quotes, exercises, and outside resources make it more than just a book, but I hope a companion reference guide used frequently. 

What do you hope readers will take from your book?

The best is yet to come, enjoy being uniquely yourself, and don't give up 5 minutes before the miracle.  No matter what sorrow, pain, or suffering you have endured or could be currently battling, there is always a greater good which can come from any bad if you have the right tools.

Do you have any favorite quotes?

My favorite, which I always close my radio show with is by Oscar Wilde; "Be yourself, everybody else is already taken!"

What is your marketing plan for The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue?

Social Media has been terrific, having won 2 national book awards has helped credibility, and of course book reviews like yours have been a blessing.  I think people read what they trust to be true, making endorsements critical. I have done over 50 national radio interviews on the book, which has been a lot of fun.

Can you share about any projects you are currently working on?

Call in Coaching launches in September, the Motivation Marathon Fallathon is coming up in October, and I have an E-Book on Happiness coming out in November - so lots going on! 

In what ways can people contact you?

Deb, is there anything else you'd like to share?

Don't give up, believe in your dreams, keep the faith, take time to laugh, want what you already have, be grateful, give away lots of love everyday, and smile.

The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue

Author: Deb Scott

Published: December 2009

Publisher: AuthorHouse

ISBN: 978-1-4490-4479-4 (Paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-4490-4478-7 (Hardcover)

If you missed my book review post of The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue, then go to to check it out.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Review of The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue

The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue
Turning Your Upside Down World Right Side Up!

Author:  Deb Scott

Publisher:  AuthorHouse

Published:  December 2009

ISBN:978-1-4490-4479-4 (Paperback)
ISBN:978-1-4490-4478-7 (Hardcover)

Do you want to be happy?  Of course!  We all want to be peaceful, purposeful, and experience authentic, lasting joy.  The Sky is Green and The Grass is Blue (, offers fresh, fun, and surprising ways to live in lasting happiness.  All ages will enjoy learning how to transform ANYTHING bad into a diamond you LOVE.  Ready to receive a powerful and effective mind vitamin to be happy?  These pages were written for you!

Have you ever struggled financially, experienced grief, or been betrayed by someone you trusted?  Have you ever asked yourself why bad things keep happening to you?  Are you looking for the light at the end of the tunnel?  Do you want to be happy?  If you answered yes to even one of these, then The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue – Turning Your Upside Down World Right Side Up! is definitely the book to read.

The author, Deb Scott, understands the everyday and not so everyday struggles that affect our emotional, mental, and spiritual health, because she has dealt with them herself.  In openly sharing her life, she makes it easier for the reader to know that they are not alone.   She shares helpful advice and exercises that make the reader stop and think about their life.  There are lots of great quotes, inspiring stories, and wonderful examples that all tie in together to get the most out of what the author is sharing with her readers.  There are also links to check out for further learning.

I’ve read self-help books that have left me confused and feeling like I’m no better off for reading the book.  That is not the case with The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue.  The author shares things about herself and her life experiences in a way that made me feel as if I were sitting down and talking with her.  The book was easy to read and understand at all times.  I enjoyed doing the exercises found throughout the book.  They made me stop and reflect on my life and how making even small changes in my thinking could make my life more positive.  The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue is not just a book, but a personal journey.

I highly recommend reading The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue - Turning Your Upside Down World Right Side Up!  By the time you have finished reading the book you will feel less burdened and much happier because of the new way you look at things. You will be more empowered to handle anything that is thrown at you, because you will have the available tools to turn life's negatives into positives. 

Deb Scott is a motivational speaker, certified professional coach, radio host, and award-winning author.   She specializes in working with individuals, businesses, and corporate environments, transforming ineffective group and personal dynamics into high-powered, successful, dynamic individuals and teams.  A biology major in college, Deb became an award-winning sales and leadership specialist.  With 20 years of background in cardiac surgery sales, she now applies her sales and business background to motivational speaking, coaching, and consulting.  She speaks and writes about how you can turn things around whether you’re in sales, marketing, advertising, hiring, or teambuilding. 

The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue – Turning Your Upside Down World Right side Up!  Is Deb’s debut book.  Already a finalist winner of two National Book Awards for Best New non-fiction (USA Book Awards) and Best in Motivational books (INDIE Next Generation Awards), this book is changing lives!  Deb is a frequent media guest and contributor to a variety of national magazines, and radio host of the exciting new BlogTalkRadio show “The Best People We Know Radio Show!”

Deb can help you turn your challenges into celebrations today.  Visit

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Blog Jog Day

Although my blog is not participating in Blog Jog Day, I am planning on visiting many of the blogs who are.  What a great way to show support to your fellow bloggers. 

Last year, during Blog Jog Day, I made stops at many of the blogs and had a fun time meeting new bloggers.  Many of the bloggers had fun contests that could be entered.  I was a winner of a few prizes last year. 

Stop by the Blog Jog Day blog at where you will find the list of all the blogs who are participating in Blog Jog Day today.

If you like finding new blogs, meeting new bloggers, and like the possibility of entering contests, then be sure to check out the blogs participating in Blog Jog Day!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Giveaway Winners - Last of Christmas in July Giveaways

First I'd like to thank everyone who participated in Christmas in July.  I'd also like to thank everyone who stopped by to read the posts and for all the great comments that were left.  It has been a busy, but fun month! 

Now on to all the winners...

Christmas in July Winner #31 - provided by Jennifer Gladen
(A paperback copy of A Star in the Night written by Jennifer Gladen)

The winner is Marlena Cassidy! 

The End of the Month Grand Prize Giveaway
(A $5.00 MuseItUp Bookstore gift certificate)

The winner is Hotcha12!

Misc. Giveaway #1
($2.00 MuseItUp Bookstore gift certificate)

The winner is Karen Cioffi!

Misc. Giveaway #2 - provided by Chelle Cordero
(pdf copy of Celebrating Earth Day 2011 Anthology)

The winner is Shannon Mawhiney!

Misc. Giveaway #3
(Strawberry Magnetic Memo Pad - 60 sheets)

The winner is lionmother!

Misc. Giveaway #4
(Strawberry Memo Pad - 90 sheets)

The winner is Sharon K. Mayhew!

Misc. Giveaway #5
(Book markers)

The winner is Beverly Stowe McClure!

Misc. Giveaway #6
(Book markers)

The winner is J Q Rose!

CONGRATS to all the winners!

I will be in contact with the winners about getting their prizes to them.


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