A Wonderful New Review of Mariah’s Revenge!

I am excited to share a new review of my thriller/crime/mystery/suspense novel, Mariah’s Revenge! It is always thrilling to receive a new review of any of my books! Thank you, Mystery Fran! You made my day!

Mystery “Fran”
5.0 out of 5 starsMariah’s Revenge delivers suspense and mystery!September 17, 2019Format: Kindle EditionMariah’s Revenge
This was such a satisfying read! Many threads in the first book come together and play out, sometimes leading the reader down new roads while expanding on previous plot lines. It literally kept me on the edge of my seat! The main characters Mariah and Tony don’t disappoint in this harrowing conclusion to Hunting Mariah. Janice Spina is a master of suspense and mystery!

Here is the Book Trailer I created for Mariah’s Revenge. It was my first time to attempt doing one. I hope you enjoy it!

Mariah’s Revenge – Book Trailer by J.E. Spina/Janice Spina

If you haven’t read this book or the first book in this series, Hunting Mariah, please check them both out on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You will be hooked from page one of both of them. These books were Finalists in the Authorsdb First Lines Contests for that reason.

Authorsdb 1St Lines Contest Finalist
Authorsdb 1st First Lines Contest Finalist

Here is the Blurb:

This book begins where the first book, Hunting Mariah, left off. This suspense/thriller/crime novel will keep you turning pages as the tension grows. There will be twists and turns and some surprises. Many of the same characters will be in play to give support and encouragement to Mariah along the way.
A new man comes into Mariah’s life that reminds her of someone she wants to forget. He threatens to bring back the horrors that she and her family once endured. While the one she wants to forget suffers from a horrendous attack that puts his life in jeopardy.
Mariah must draw on her strength and resilience to survive danger at every turn. How much more can Mariah endure? How far will Mariah go to protect her family?

When I wrote the first book, Hunting Mariah, in 2014, I didn’t expect to write a sequel. After receiving requests from readers for a second story I completed Mariah’s Revenge in 2018.

Writing in this genre – thriller/crime/mystery/suspense is traumatic for me. I am used to writing children’s and MG/PT/YA books with sweet themes and life lessons. These books took a toll on me and I was relieved when they were completed. I have now received requests to continue with a series of books about Mariah. I have been toying with ideas since. I still don’t know whether I will do any more in this genre but I would love to hear from readers about this. Do you want to see more books about Mariah?

An insane killer, obsessed with blood and death, seeks revenge with those he perceives wronged him. He is now on the loose. His next victim may be Mariah.

Mariah has lost her memory. Will she remember what has transpired in her past? Can Mariah escape this deadly killer’s grasp. Will she finally be safe? Will the killer be apprehended?

Here is the Book Trailer created by Chris Graham akathestoryreadingape.

Thank you, readers, for stopping by to read this new review. I would love to hear from you about whether I should write more in this series. I appreciate your kind support! Keep those reviews coming, please!


Blessings & Hugs!


Posted in 5-star reviews, Amazon book reviews, AUTHORSDB FIRST LINES CONTEST FINALIST, crime/mystery/thriller, gripping suspense, Hunting Mariah, Mariah’s Revenge, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A New Beta is Here!

If you have been reading my blog since 2013 you will already know about our fish tanks and all the lovely fish we have. I have done several posts about our pets. Check out this post about their personalities.

We have had a lot of trouble with our little 3-gallon fish tank as I mentioned in a previous post here.

Here is the original tank with the peace lily on top. Evidently the fish were not getting enough oxygen from the plant and the PH was too low for them to survive. Alas, we lost many fish until we got the PH right and removed the plant. The plant has been transplanted to a new home in a pot. It is a beautiful plant and I did not want to throw it away.

Peace Lily on top of 3-gallon fish tank
Peace Lily with two beautiful blossoms
Tank with Lily and Neon Tetras and Sword tails before they met their demise.
Tank without lily and with a new handsome Beta named Bubba

My husband had to put in shells to help keep the PH at the right level for the fish. A little known fact to us. We just found this out from the fish store.

The saltwater tank has plenty of shells and live rock to keep the levels up and has plenty of healthy and happy fish. Even though we did almost lose our beautiful midnight blue trigger. He must have had an upset stomach because he disappeared behind the rocks for a few days. He resurrected himself after that and now we call him Lazarus!

Dark Blue Trigger in center eating seaweed in 95-gallon tank.
Dori and friends

We have two tanks of fish now (3-gallon and a 95-gallon) – down from four tanks at one time. They are a lot of work for my husband but he loves to do it and we do enjoy the fish. They are so relaxing to watch. A great way to unwind is by standing by the tank and gazing at them as they meander around the tank in a sinuous motion. Ahh!

95-Gallon tank with our colorful fish (pets)

Here is our beautiful starfish, Red, preparing a clam for dinner.

Red sitting on a clam
Red hanging out on some coral

This starfish can twist himself up and slither through small areas and flip himself over and slide up on the inside of the tank to eat the algae. It’s fascinating to watch him. But remember he doesn’t move very fast. You may have to wait for an hour before you see him move far. But it is relaxing while you wait! Haha!

We look at him in the morning and then later in the day and he has moved quite far. He can open clams with his rough suckers all over his legs which he uses to grip and open. This time John gave him a cherrystone or hard stone clam and he is working at it a little every day for a few days. No luck yet.

The rest of the fish in the tank are waiting on him. They always get a little bit of pieces of the clam that manage to float away from the shell.

I hope you enjoyed learning about my fish (pets) and check out the other posts for some interesting information about tropical fish.

Thank you for stopping by. Please come back again real soon! Thank you for your kind support of my blog, books, and all the reviews you write and post on Amazon. Please keep reading and reviewing! We indie authors will love you for the reviews!


Blessings & Hugs!


Posted in fish tanks, peace lily, Pets, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Childrens – Abby and Holly series book 3 – Secrets of the Trunk by Janice Spina

Thank you so much, Sally Cronin, for featuring my book, Abby & Holly Series, Book 3 Secrets of the Trunk on your fabulous blog! I appreciate your kind support.

Sally is a wonderful support for all authors. She features these posts daily to help others to promote their work. She is a kind and unselfish author/blogger/nutritionist who goes above and beyond to help others. Thank you, Sally!

Please hop over to Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore and check out her post about my book and then look over all the lovely books and authors there. You will surely find some new reads to add to your TBR lists.

Reading Gives You Wings to Fly! Soar with Jemsbooks.com all year through! Happy Reading!

Blessings & Hugs,


Posted in Abby & Holly Series, Abby & Holly Series Book 3, Abby & Holly Series, Book 3 Secrets of the Trunk, award-winning author, award-winning series, Sally Cronin’s Cafe & Bookstore | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves #Childrens – The First Star by Janice Spina #Illustrator John Spina

Thank you, Sally Cronin, for sharing my new children’s book, The First Star, on your marvelous blog! You have been such a wonderful support to me and other authors by promoting our books on your blog. I can’t thank you enough!

Thank you, readers, for stopping by. Please visit Sally’s fabulous blog for some new books to add to your TBR lists today. She has some special posts that you will enjoy about health and wellness too. Enjoy perusing today!


Blessing & Hugs,


Posted in guest post, Jemsbooks for Life Lessons, Life lessons, New children's book, the First Star, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing Can Be Fun for Kids!

Here is a post I wrote in 2017 about Writing Can Be Fun for Kids! I hope you enjoy it and read, read and read again to your children and grandchildren.


I hear many times from my grand kids that writing is not fun. When I worked in a school system in Massachusetts the kids would groan when we asked them to write a story about their favorite things to do. They would sit at their desks with pencils in hand and stare at a blank sheet of paper.

Writing can come easier for some than others. It’s like anything in life. Some of us excel at sports, while others are spectators. Writing is like a sport only exercising your mind. The more you exercise your mind the easier it becomes to use it to expand your knowledge base.


I believe writing can be fun for kids if we make it so by starting early in schools. Kindergartners love to talk about their pets, vacations and toys. Why not ask them to tell a story about one of these? If we encourage our children to share stories every year in school they will learn how to write in a fun way.


This can be the beginning of a love of writing for children. It’s an important part of their lives to be able to express themselves in writing. Doors will open for positions that will require writing in their futures. If we encourage our children to strive to be whatever they want to be, they will succeed in life.


Did I mention when I was growing up I had three vocations to choose from as my favorites.

1. Nurse

2. Teacher

3. Writer

Well, you know which one I finally chose. But for several years I was in the medical profession as a medical assistant, secretary, and as an admittance clerk in a hospital.

My next choice #2 – I was employed for a few years in a school setting as a program assistant (aide) working with children with special needs, with those eligible for Chapter One Reading and Math, and as a substitute.

I then moved on to being a secretary where I practiced my writing, editing, and social skills. As a secretary you must be literate and know how to spell and compose sentences to say the least. Also, every letter that I wrote had to be perfect for they were a reflection of my office and the school system.

In my husband’s family and mine there are two teachers at the moment working in elementary schools. My husband, John, has a doctorate in Educational Administration. We are surrounded by learning. That is one of the reasons I try to encourage others to read and now also write with their children.

My oldest grandson is studying to be a teacher and my two middle-grade grandsons love to write. They have given me a copy of a book they have worked on a few years ago. I have yet to sit down with it to edit for them. Life has been so busy for me publishing and writing daily and keeping up with all the activities that go along with families. I will get to it one day.

My youngest grandson, four-years old, (now six-years old since this post was written and is in Kindergarten) is learning sight words now. He is excited to recognize letters and read words. My daughter reads to both of her children each night – at least three books. Of course all my grandchildren receive my books to enjoy. Reading my books has inspired them to want to write too. This makes me extremely happy and proud of them. You know the old adage, children do what they see.


Of course, reading is of the utmost importance at an early age. The more children read the better they will be able to comprehend other subjects in school. Please read to your children daily for their good health and your own.


Thank you for stopping by. I hope you will enjoy the good weather that is here in New England. I am thrilled that it is finally warm. I pray that wherever you like that you are having some fabulous weather. (Weather here in New England is now getting cooler but still beautiful.)


Jemsbooks have received 15 book awards, 3 finalists, and 5-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite Book Awards!


Stock up on summer reading for you and your children. School will be out soon! Happy summer reading! Http://Jemsbooks.com has books for all ages! All my books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online stores. There are also links to purchase all books on the right of this post under book covers.  (Since it is now getting into early fall – please stock up for the fall and winter months when you can curl up with a good book and soar to faraway places.)



Thank you for your kind support and all the lovely reviews! I love to hear from readers and fans. Contact me on this blog or at jjspina(at)comcast(dot)net.

Blessings & Hugs!


Jemsbooks at Book Signing
Posted in Adults and Teens, author, blogging, books, Books for all ages, books in rhyme, children's books, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series, Jemsbooks for all ages, Reading, Summer reading, summer reading for kids, Writing, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pray for the Families of the Victims of 911! WE WILL NEVER FORGET!

911 site 2019 in place of Twin Towers Photo from TV FOX NEWS

It is hard to believe that it has been 18 years since that tragic day in American history! Everyone remembers where they were when the Twin Towers were hit. It is a day that no one will ever forget. It changed us all but only made America stronger and bonded us together.

Photos from TV – FOX NEWS

Please take a moment out of your busy day to say a prayer for those who suffered and lost loved ones.

Photo from TV – FOX NEWS
Firefighters Remembering those lost in 911 – Photo from TV FOX NEWS
Firefighters Remembering those lost in 911 – Photo from TV FOX NEWS

Thank you for stopping by.

Blessings and hugs,


Posted in American tragedies, Anniversary of 9/11 tragedy, prayers for lives lost, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What does it mean to be an Indie Author?

Here is an old post I wrote in 2017. It is still relevant and important to all indie authors. I updated it and added a recent article from a local paper, Londonderry Times, on August 22, 2019 that features an indie author who made it! It’s not impossible indie authors out there! We still can do it and make it big! Keep plugging away and never give up!

Newer photo!
Old Photo!

I have been an Indie Author since 2013 and have often asked myself this question. What does it mean to be an indie author? There are many things that come to mind. Some of them are positive while others are negative.

1. I am my own boss.

2. I need to promote my work tirelessly.

3. I need to keep up with all social media.

4. I need to update my blog and website with my work often.

5.  I need to actively engage my target audience in order to sell books.

6. I need to do book signings and donate books to libraries and schools.

7. I need to actively gift books to readers with the hope of receiving reviews.

8. I need to do something in the form of writing every day to hone my craft.

9. I need to read, read and read some more about writing, publishing, etc. in order to keep fresh and relevant in my craft.

10. I need to read other authors’ work in order to learn more about writing and do plenty of reviews (writing) to improve my writing.

Everything I do is not only time consuming but can be tedious. Being an Indie Author takes a whole lot of energy in order to be somewhat successful. I am still working diligently to getting even just a little of that.

I do all this because I love what I do – writing for all ages. I do this because I want to encourage all ages to read, to realize the importance of reading and the multitude of benefits it provides.

I appreciate everyone who has ever purchased my books and written reviews. I appreciate the support I have received from all the fellow authors, writers, readers who have become my friends online. You know who you are. There are too many to mention here. It is because of you that I continue on this difficult road to publishing.

As long as I can physically continue to write and publish as an indie author, I will do so. I will also continue to support all my online friends in return for their tireless support.

I read an article recently about being an Indie Author. Here it is from a local newspaper proof that an indie can make it in this big wide world of books! Congratulations, Robert Napolitano!

What does it mean to be an indie author? It means that I can do whatever I want in whatever timeline I give myself or can choose to push myself to the limit. I can be who I want to be – an author, and do what I love to do – write. With the help of God I will continue on this tough road and feel satisfaction when I complete each book and see that book displayed on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I can sigh with contentment and be proud of my accomplishments even if I don’t make a million on any book, I feel I have done an admirable thing – written a book for others to enjoy. After all, that is my goal – to encourage others to read and get healthier in the process, escape the troubles of the world and relax and enjoy a good book.

Please show some love for authors by reviewing their books. It’s like an early Christmas gift.

Thank you for stopping by and for your continued support.

All Jemsbooks are available on Jemsbooks.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sears.com and some at Walmart.com.


Blessings & Hugs,


Posted in author, Award-winning books, blogging, Books for all ages, children's books, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series, Jemsbooks, middle-grade books, novels, Reading, Writing, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How To Add A Reusable Block To A WordPress Blog Post Using The Gutenberg Editor

Check out this informative post by Hugh Roberts aka Blogger Extraordinaire! Hugh is most helpful to fellow authors with all his tricks and easy to understand videographics and tutorials on his fabulous site. If you need to know how you must go to Hugh now. THANK YOU, HUGH, FOR ALL THAT YOU DO!

Peruse his site for more information on blogging, publishing, writing, etc. He has everything there. You will love his site as much as I do. Happy reading!

Blessings & Hugs,


Posted in blogging, Blogging information | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

New Book from Jemsbooks is here! Abby and Holly Series, Book 3 Secrets of the Trunk!

I am once again excited to share a new book with all of you, Abby & Holly Series, Book 3, Secrets of the Trunk. If you have read my books before, I thank you. If not, then now is the time to peruse online and check out these exciting mysteries, adventures, ghosts, and other things that go bump in the night.

I have so much fun writing for this age group. Of course, I will continue until I have no more stories to tell. Will that happen? Who knows, but I am enjoying the ride until it does, if ever. As long as children of all ages are enjoying my books and learning valuable lessons I will continue.

As with each book I write, I feel an immense sense of relief but at the same time sadness – the book is done. With this series I can go right into the next book, which I have already started, and continue with the same characters. It’s really not goodbye with a series. I will keep revisiting them and bringing them to life once again.

I already shared with you the wonderful cover my husband, John, created for me. I love it! Hope you do too! He also created the cute illustrations for the chapter headings.

I have put an introduction into each of my series books to explain a little about the characters and each book. This will enable readers to pick up and understand the story lines. But it is always good to begin reading a series from the beginning.

These middle-grade/preteen/young adult books, like all my children’s books, carry life lessons in each story. These lessons help children see the importance of being kind to others, respect elders, parents and each other, respect differences in others, bullying is never tolerated or accepted, family and friends do matter, and love one another.

Abby & Holly Series, Book 3 Secrets of the Trunk – Amazon Paperback link
Books will link with both formats shortly.
Abby & Holly Series, Book 3, Secrets of the Trunk

Here is the link to Amazon Kindle and coming soon to Goodreads and Barnes & Noble.


Join Abby and Holly in Book 3 as the cousins discover a new presence in their old Victorian while they are cleaning out the library of old books. They are not sure if this specter is benign or otherwise. This being leads them to the old trunk they discovered in Book 2 which holds many secrets and puzzles that they feel compelled to solve.

They enlist the help of their ghost friend, Felicity, who inhabits their home. She is a benevolent entity that once lived in their house from a century ago. She watches over the girls and vows never to leave them unless they request her to do so.

There will be surprises and ghostly visits that will keep readers enthralled as Abby and Holly work together to uncover the secrets of the trunk.

Each of these books are standalone books but the characters do grow and evolve in personalities. In order to get into the characters begin with Book 5 of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives where these characters, Abby & Holly, were first introduced.

Here are three reviews already received on Amazon:

Michele Rolfe
5.0 out of 5 starsGhosts to the RescueSeptember 5, 2019 Cousins Abby & Holly have some help from the resident ghosts Felicity & Minerva figuring out the secret of the Trunk! The girls have scary encounter with a “playful” sprite & Felicity & Minerva step in to help & protect the girls. Was worried about the end, but it is perfect beginning to the next book!! LOVED the things the girls go through & how they solve The Secrets of the Trunk!

Trish5.0 out of 5 starsFamily fun!September 6, 2019 Abby and Holly, cousins and best friends, find themselves intrigued with a mystery they uncover while cleaning the attic in their home. Follow the girls on a treasure hunt leading to danger and excitement. Such fun! I love that the author leaves their story open for future adventures for the cousins. In this day and age, it is great to find such wholesome reading for our children, Nice job, Janice Spina!

Michelle Clements James
5.0 out of 5 starsThe story book instills life lessonsSeptember 6, 2019Format: PaperbackThis is a skillfully written story that logically follows Book 2 in the series. Abby and Holly are determined to solve the mystery of the old trunk and elicit the help of their ghost friends, Felicity and Minerva. When things get a bit out of hand and turn dangerous, the girls turn to their moms and to Abby’s dad for help.
Abby and Holly are typical young middle-grade girls who are adventurous, sweet, kindhearted, and thoughtful. Their ghost friends are helpful and caring. All the characters are well-drawn and believable, that is unless you don’t believe in ghosts.
As with all the author’s children’s books, this book instills life lessons, especially that everyone should treat all others with respect. The life lessons introduced in Secrets of the Trunk are how to handle the unexpected and how to overcome disappointments.
I loved this book, as I have all the other middle-grade books by Janice Spina. I recommend it as a book for your middle-grade child to read by themselves or as a book you’ll read together.
This book was given to me by the author in exchange for my honest review.

Link to Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Books 1-6.

I hope you will check out the complete series and watch for more books coming later this year and into 2020. Link below to Abby & Holly Series Books 1 & 2.

Abby & Holly Book 1 School Dance just won a Bronze Medal from Readers’ Favorite Book Awards! So excited!!! Doing a happy dance!!

Thank you for stopping by to read this post. Please leave some love for authors by reviewing their books. We authors will love you back.


Blessings & Hugs!


Posted in Abby & Holly School Dance, Abby & Holly Series, Abby & Holly Series Book 2 Unfortunate Events, Abby & Holly Series Book 3, new book, Secrets of the Trunk | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Abby & Holly Book 1, School Dance Won a Readers’ Favorite Book Award – Bronze Medal Winner!

This has been quite a whirlwind week for me so far. Abby & Holly Book 1, School Dance, was awarded a Bronze Medal by Readers’ Favorite Book Awards! I am out of my mind with excitement and thrilled beyond words to receive this honor! Thank you so much, Readers’ Favorite for this honor!!

This book won the Bronze Medal in the Young Adult Category – Paranormal Genre. Here is the link to the winners.


Bronze Medal from Readers’ Favorite Book Awards

Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers’ Favorite

School Dance by Janice Spina is book one in the new series, Abby & Holly. Some readers might already know the two girls from one of the author’s earlier books: they were first introduced in Book 5 of the Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series. However, you do not need any knowledge of that novel to understand what is happening in the new series. I never read the other book, and had no issues with understanding and enjoying the girls’ story. Abby and Holly are excited because the sixth grade school dance will be soon. They are wondering whether twin boys Derek and Davey will invite them to go with them, but soon they discover a bigger problem. A girl called Justine is being bullied in the meanest way – a way which threatens her health and mental well-being at the same time. The two girls decide to become friends with Justine and find a solution to the situation so that everyone can enjoy the ball. But it seems like the bullies have come up with a new plan just a few days before the ball!

While School Dance by Janice Spina is obviously aimed at younger readers, I did enjoy the light, but quite serious read. It took me back to my own school time, but bullying then was something nobody every really talked about. And not much was done about it. So it’s delightful to see books like this in which the characters make sure that one message comes across: Bullying, no matter the reason, is not okay. The story encourages kids to be brave and stand up for the victims, and it shows that everyone will have a lot more fun if they all just get along. The language and reading level is suitable for pre-teens and young teenagers. The topics will feel familiar to them and it will be easy for kids to be drawn into the plot. It’s also clever to use a bigger font and many white spaces to create a book that makes kids feel like they have read a couple hundred pages. It will feel like an achievement to them, and will encourage them to tackle even more books.

Congratulations to all the winners! See you all in Miami in November for the awards ceremony! Even though I won two other times with Readers’ Favorite I never attended the ceremony. This time my husband and I are going! I can’t wait to attend and meet all the other authors. What an honor! I am thrilled!


This is Book 1 of a series of Abby & Holly books. These two girls were first introduced in Book 5 of the Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series.
The girls are first cousins on their mothers’ side. They moved to the quiet town of Lindon, New Hampshire and live in a grand old Victorian which is haunted. 
The cousins are excited about attending the 6th grade dance. When their friend, Justine, is bullied, Abby and Holly, along with the help of a ghost and Davey & Derek, work together to formalize a plan to put a stop to the bullying.

Thank you so much for stopping by to read this post. I am thrilled to share this exciting news with you! Thank you for your kind support!


Blessings & Hugs!


Posted in Abby & Holly School Dance, Abby & Holly Series, award-winning author, Award-winning book, award-winning series, book award, Readers' Favorite Awards, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments