Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Back in the spring I entered the 24th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Today I received the commentary on my book FROM SCRATCH.

Below is what the judge had to say:
"Judge, 24th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards."

Judge’s Commentary*:

"FROM SCRATCH: WHY I WALKED AWAY FROM MY LIFE AND BUILT THIS HOME by Sally Paradyz is a book that works on so many levels: new beginnings, spirituality, building a home -- anyone interested in any of these topics would do well to check out this wonderful memoir.

The cover is lovely. I like how the sunlight captures shadows, framing the author shown relaxing on the steps. The back cover copy is great and encourages the potential reader to peruse the book. The endorsement by a bestselling author adds credibility to the book. The author biography gave me a chuckle when I read about her cats.

Inside, the book is well presented. I like the drawing of a house before each chapter. I think a lot of women can relate to not being their authentic selves for much of their young lives. Most women are brought up to please and serve other people. This book is about one woman's growth as she and her partner build a home. I have never been part of such an immense building project and it was interesting to go through this by reading this book. I love the happy ending. Very inspirational. FROM SCRATCH will touch many hearts."

Needless to say I am honored to have received such a review! Thank you Writer's Digest.

If you would like to purchase this book you may do so at, Barnes&, or email me at:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


As we prepare our tables with food for family and friends tomorrow, let us remember those of us who are less fortunate. Many have had challenges over the past year, or years, and are not able to be filled with wonderful food, or a find a warm enough place to call home. If we go out to shop, or to football games, or to drive around to see the Christmas lights that start emerging after Thanksgiving, let us keep those less fortunate in mind.

So much can be done for others in small ways that are meaningful. Dropping off a meal at a front door, buying an extra blanket or jacket and handing it to someone on the street, or a call on the phone to let someone know you are thinking of them. Small acts of kindness that are so needed. Remember, too, the animals of this world that need our help. Adopt or rescue if you can. If not, spread some extra bird seed, or leftover bread cubes. Make a shelter, if there is room on your property, for an outside friend to take cover in for the cold months. I am fortunate to live in the woods. It is not only a peaceful place, but a sacred one. A sanctuary for all those who enter. There is a spirit here and I invite you to spend a little time in nature this holiday season. See how it gives you something that you have been missing.

From my small cottage home to yours, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. One filled with peace, gentleness, warmth, and love. And I will visit with you once again on the other side of this holiday weekend.