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Filed under Books, listening skills


Learning to Listen with Significant Others by Bob Bohlken, Ph.D.

Learning effective listening skills is critical in building personal relationships. This point was clearly brought out in my recent interview with Dr. Robert Bohlken, Ph.D. in discussing his new book, Learning to Listen with Significant Others.

An expert in the field of listening, Dr. Bohlken provides guidance in understanding and improving listening behaviors. Listening is key to all effective communication. Without this ability to listen effectively, communication will break down and the message will be misunderstood or lost.

I asked Dr. Bohlken what inspired him to write the book.

He said he saw the need for an informal method of learning to listen in one-on-one adult communications and in small group settings.  “The information in the book is based on academic theory,” he says, “but presents abstract concepts in a conversational manner.” It uses a common language style with clear reference to one’s everyday experiences.

The purpose is to help participants and their significant other(s) gain a greater understanding and appreciation of interpersonal face-to-face communication. The significant other(s)  can include a close friend or relative in personal relationships, or in group interactions, public/professional transactions and other societal roles.

The book is intended to be shared with one or several others exchanging roles of reader(s) and listener(s). There are fun and challenging experiences/activities throughout the book that are essential for understanding and practicing effective listening skills.

The book is not intended to be a classroom textbook, but used as supplemental material. Dr. Margarete Imhof says the approach is non-academic, but is nonetheless based on a profound personal knowledge of the intricacies and challenges involved in listening.

This book is an important resource for marriage preparation classes, counseling sessions, supervisors’ training, partner training, physicians’ and teachers’ training, law enforcement officers, attorney training, and anyone who wants to improve his/her interpersonal communication.

This book ordinarily sells for $14.95 but for a limited time you can buy 2 copies for $20.00, that’s a savings of $9.90. Plus, each participant can use their own book for the activities and interactions. To order go to and use code “listening”.

Parents know how important it is for children to develop good listening skills. It is an important skill for all age groups.  Here is a collection of children’s books on learning to become better listeners:

Listen and Learn by Cheri J. Meiners—explains what listening means: keeping quiet, watching the person who talks, thinking about what is being said, and asking questions when he doesn’t  understand

Oink, Oink Benny by Barbro Lindgren teaches consequences of not listening

I Have a Little Problem, Said the Bear by Heinz Janisch— tells about the frustration of not being heard

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen by Howard Binkow— getting into trouble for not listening

Why Should I Listen? by Claire Llewellyn— helps children understand the importance of listening to parents and teachers

Listening Time (Toddler Tools) Board book  by Elizabeth Verdick (Author), Marieka Heinlen (Illustrator) how to remain quiet and still

Lots of references here. Check out these URL’s and then go here to order the special on Dr. Bohlken’s book, Learning to Listen with Significant Other(s).

Best to you,

Lee Jackson


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Filed under Books, Computers and technology, Internet skills, Writing and publishing

Cover of "How to Write"

Do you ever read the book reviews on Amazon before ordering a book? Many people want to view what others think about the book before buying it.

Earlier I requested reviews for our latest cookbook, Cooking in the Midwest – A Collection of Favorite Recipes from the Heartland. It is a new book in need of reviews. I reached out to you and you may be thinking, “OK, how do I write a review and do they even matter?”

The following article written by author and book publishing expert, Jeanette S. Cates. Ph.D., who I have been a fan of her work for many years, gives you step-by-step information on what to write and how to write it. This applies not only to our book on Amazon, but you can do it for any book any time.  Amazon will often email you to inquire whether you’d like to write a review for the book you ordered. They make it really easy.

Book reviews are very important as they help others determine whether or not to buy. The more positive the book review, the higher the rank, and more books sold.  For any author, this is the crowning glory. Just a note on star ranking for Amazon – anything below 4 stars is considered “not recommended”, so it helps to be generous with the stars.

How To Write A Book Review On Amazon

By Jeanette S Cates, PhD  |  

Have you ever read a book that you really enjoyed? Did you tell your friends about it? That’s exactly what a book review is. You are sharing your thoughts about a book.

And like any opinion you offer, it has the advantage of not having to be right or wrong. It’s just your opinion.

Keep in mind that these tips are most appropriate for non-fiction books. While you can apply them to fiction, there are additional considerations for a review of a fiction book.

Start with who you are talking to – your audience.

You speak differently to your children than you do to your boss. The same goes for a book review. Deciding who you want to tell about the book makes a difference as to what you include and how you say it.

As you are thinking of what to say, picture the person you’re talking to. And just talk to them on paper as you write the review.

To make it easier write your review in a word processor or a text processor. Then you can just copy and paste it into the review box.

Decide what to include in a book review on Amazon.

First you’ll choose the number of stars to give the book. Don’t agonize over this. Just choose the rating you think is appropriate.

Next you want a title or headline for your review. Again, don’t spend a lot of time on this. It can be as simple as “buy this book”, “best book on the topic”, “great information here”. If in doubt, look at some of the reviews on other books. But don’t stress on this step.

Now write the review. The easiest thing to include in the review is what your favorite idea or tip was. Pick it out (you can even refer to the chapter or page) and tell why you liked that item.

Next you may want to say who you think would most benefit from this book. Is it for beginners? Or is it more appropriate for someone with experience with this topic?

You can easily stop your review there. Most reviews are fairly short – under 250 words. But if you want additional ideas for what you could include in your review, think about these questions:

How does this compare to other books you’ve read on the topic?

  • Did the information you got from the book help you do something?
  • Is there a quote from the book that will stick with you?
  • Did your opinion or knowledge on the topic change as a result of reading the book?
  • Was the author funny or entertaining?
  • Did something surprise you?
  • Are you looking forward to reading future books from this author?

Include negative feedback if needed

Since the book review is your opinion, you are just as correct to include negative comments as positive ones, particularly if they will help future readers who are considering buying this book. However, remember to keep the positive perspective, rather than lash out at the author.

Here are some sample phrases that you can use for negative comments in your review.

While overall the book was good, I wish the author had…

  • The book would have been better if…
  • I don’t recommend this book for…
  • I wish the author had included…

While you may have hesitated writing book reviews in the past, you will find that they become easier with each one you write. Remember you are just sharing your opinion with your fellow readers on Amazon!

Dr. Jeanette Cates is a best-selling Amazon author with multiple titles to her credit. Her latest is Sell Your Book With An Ecourse. Enjoy one of Jeanette’s books at

Did this answer your question? Grab a pen and keep your thoughts flowing. Write that requested book review for Cooking in the Midwest – A Collection of Favorite Recipes from the Heartland as well as perhaps other books, too.

Lee Jackson
Images Unlimited Publishing








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Filed under Books, Computers and technology, Internet skills, Writing and publishing

Have you ever had a business cycle motivation problem? Wheels spin but not much forward progress? That’s the way I’m feeling as I’ve been in a writing slump lately. I’m wondering whether it is the rainy days, the sunny days, or just the fact it is Woman in Office with Paperworksummer. I’ve found it hard to motivate myself to get work done. That’s the problem with being in business as an entrepreneur. Nobody says what needs to get done nor when to do it.

Yes, I’m retired from my first job as a teacher but not from my second. It’s fun and enjoyable, this publishing business, but sometimes work piles up and you don’t know where to begin.  Sitting at the computer does not necessarily mean “working” at the computer.

Being a small publisher, I find it hard to keep up with everything I think I should be doing. Using social networking, blogging, like this one,, and, getting out press releases, going to trade shows, contacting buyers, and using other marketing options can get very  overwhelming.

OK, what else does a small publisher do, you ask? Well, we get a book ready to sell and then sell it. We either do everything that needs to get done in getting the book ready for publication or hire someone to do parts of  the work. For example, in my company I hire out the formatting and design work. I know what I like and what I want but the creation of it isn’t an area of my strength. And, of course, the printing gets sent out to a print company, depending on comparisons in the bid process.

The biggest responsibility is to see that potential readers know about our books and where to buy them. Whether one chooses to sell through bookstores, via direct mail, the internet, or however else it’s up to the small publisher to determine through which channels to sell.  This might include retail bookstores, distributors, corporate customers, libraries, specialty retailers, foreign markets, museums, parks, military, associations or other venues in order to best reach the target market. Publishers (and authors) want their books to sell year after year so often it’s a matter of rinse and repeat. Through updates, revisions, new book covers and new material, it’s very possible to sell books for many, many years.

I started writing a book while I was still teaching.  It was information I needed for my foods classes. Later, to get my book “out there”, I started my publishing company, Images Unlimited Publishing.  Now I have 14 books in my sales catalog. I’ve been at this job of publishing books for myself and that of other authors for about as long as I was at my teaching job.

Within the past year I have published three new books and revised another. I am thankful I have not been in a slump all year.

I’m very proud of our new books. They represent a nice assortment and should be of interest to a varied audience. These books are as follows:

Learning to Listen with Significant Others by Bob Bohlken, Ph.D.
Effective listening builds a foundation for healthy relationships.

Cooking in the Midwest – A Collection of Favorite Recipes from the Heartland by Nancy Lantz
In this treasured community collection of recipes are some of the Midwest’s all-time favorites.

Amber’s Reflections – A Candid Personal Conversation about Cancer, Hair Loss and Empowerment with an introduction by Peggy Miller
Loss knows no boundaries – a look back on the special life of Amber Nicole Birmingham (1984-2010)

A new and revised 2nd edition of Listening to Rural Midwestern Idioms/Folk Sayings by Bob Bohlken is coming out late summer of this year. This is an entertaining guide to sayings and expressions from an earlier time.  These informal sayings are colored with allusions from the past and touched with a bit of humor.

I’ll write more about these new books in future blogs. Watch your mailbox for more details and put them on your watch list.

Thanks for listening to my story. Now, hop on over to our website: and choose from our books for cooks and apple lovers – kids, families, and parenting professionals. Read our customer reviews. Tell a friend about us.

Best to you,

Lee Jackson, who hopes to be out of her slump soon
Author and publisher

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Filed under Cookbooks, Cooking and kids, Holidays, Test your knowledge

American flag

Cooking terms used in recipes and methods of cooking have changed throughout history. Our American forefathers would marvel at foods heated and/or cooked in a matter of seconds. The term barbequing was still non-existent, but they knew about outdoor cooking and grilling.

One of the first lessons in the cooking course of the Fannie Farmer 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book was “The Making and Care of a Fire“. Many of the American cooking terms, methods, and recipes in this turn of the century standby may seem foreign to present day cooks.

Directions on such jobs as how to bone a bird and cook a side of beef are given. There are recipes with such names as hoecake, mush, and slump. It’s possible our early forefathers ate some of these.

If you found the following terms in an Early American cookbook, or receipt book, what would it mean? (Answers at the bottom.)

Take our quiz by matching these terms to the definitions that follow:

A. hoecake

B. mush

C. slump

D. trifle

E. Indian Pudding

F. junket

G. chow-chow

H. spider


1. pickled vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, cauliflower, celery, and onion heated in a brine for pickling.

2. unleavened Johnny cake made of cornmeal, originally baked on the blade of a hoe over an open fire.

3. fry pan

4. dessert dish made with fruit, sponge cake, fruit juice or gelatin, , thick custard, and whipped cream arranged in layers.

5. sweet dumpling mixture dropped onto a boiling sugar and fruit mixture.

6. custard made basically of sugar and milk.

7. starch, such as flour or cereal, mixed with liquid

8. corn meal left-over from breakfast and fried.

9. baked mixture of milk, meal, molasses, and seasonings

10. sweet potato croquettes

Are you having any of these foods this 4th of July?

Share this quiz with your friends. I’d love if you’d join the conversation by leaving a comment.

May God bless America on this holiday and every day.

Lee Jackson
Books for kids, families, and parenting professional

A)2; B)8; C)5; D)4; E)9; F)6; G)1; H)3




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Filed under Cookbooks, Free Offer, Recipes, Recommendations, Regional food

Cooking_Midwest_WEBI’m excited to announce a new regional community cookbook just published: Cooking in the Midwest – A Collection of Favorite Recipes from the Heartland by Nancy Lantz.

What foods immediately come to mind when you think of the Midwest?

It’s considered the “breadbasket of the nation” so you know much of the basic food eaten comes from this section of the country. It includes Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Illinois and Indiana.

This new community cookbook features recipes for foods readily found here, such as apples, strawberries, and berries, a large variety of vegetables, and beef, pork and chicken. Many of the recipes are the cherished recipes of the author, Nancy Lantz. She grew up in northwest Missouri and knows the satisfaction of using fresh foods from her garden to use in many different dishes.

Some of the Midwest’s all-time favorites are included, From Slow Cooker Potato Soup to Cauliflower Slaw, Zucchini Bread, Barbequed Beef Short Ribs, Grilled Pork Loin Roast, Chicken with Eggplant and Veggies, plus vegetarian main dishes, to Carrot Layer Cake, Pumpkin Cheese Cake, Apple Skillet Pie, Strawberry Dessert, and a large array of cookies and candy. This ‘n That features such favorites as shrimp dip, salsa, granola, party mix, and punch and mint recipes for wedding and party receptions.

The author says her hope in sharing these recipes is that they will bring you a taste of the Midwest. “Come, cook, eat, and enjoy!”

The book can be found on Amazon at

Now for the special offer. As we need book reviewers, we’re reaching out to you our readers. We’ve set aside 10 books that will be FREE to those of you who would like to write a fair 100+ word (hopefully positive!) review of the book and that you will post it on Amazon. We’ll send you a link for a quick and easy way to place your review on Amazon.

For the first 10 persons who email me at lee at images unlimited publishing dot com and give me your physical address (as this is a REAL 135-page book) so it will go out USPS in the US only, I will send you the book for review.

You can also post your review on your blog as well as on other consumer book sites such as and

So, be the first to review it. If you are interested in a free book and writing a review (hopefully 5 star!), email me immediately to receive your free book. Hope to hear from you and thanks for your help!

Lee Jackson
Images Unlimited Publishing

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Filed under Cooking and kids

Kids cooking and eating takes into account many sensory experiences that tend to remain in memory. These sensory experiences include taste, smell,  touch, sound, and sight.  All of the senses are utilized when eating, including experience and memory. These  combine to give children the sense of food being “yucky” or “mmm, mmm, good”.

You as a parent or caregiver can encourage and reinforce many of their sensory reactions by saying, “This apple sounds crunchy”,”Doesn’t the cinnamon smell spicy?” “This juice tastes very cold”. Help them use descriptive words such as wet, dry, crunchy, mushy, chewy, hot, cold, lumpy. You can ask: Can you taste the sugar? Isn’t this really hard and lumpy? You can also provide opportunities for them to be aware of the use of their senses.

In my free report, Kids Cooking Activities using the Five Senses: Taste, Smell, Sight, Hearing, and Touch you’ll have access to helpful activities that teach children how these senses affect their reaction to food. You’ll have experiments to conduct with children and many discoveries to make.

Go to and click on the Free Report. There you’ll see me cooking with children. Then just add your name and email for the Free Report. You’ll have access to hands-on activities that will help children discover more about the world of food.

To your good health and that of your children,
Lee Jackson
Food and Nutrition Studies

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Filed under Books, Cooking and kids, Cooking Skills, Food patterns and eating habits, Goals, Healthy food practices, Recommendations

Here is a book for the homeschool curriculum. Attention Homeschool Moms – and Dads::

The book I’ve been showcasing, Cooking Around the Country With Kids by Amy Houts, is not only a cookbook, but a treasure trove of historical facts and food history. It is a recommended book for the homeschool curriculum.

Along with recipes, Houts has included food facts, historical notes, and fun activities. For example, “When was ice cream “invented”? What are hush puppies and how did they get their nameWhat are funnel cakes? Why doesn’t all corn “pop”?”

You can see that this cookbook is a natural extension to many areas of the school curriculum such as math and science. It makes history and geography come to life in the classroom as well. Use it in any of these ways:

  •        Teach children about food history and where our food is produced
  •       Help children learn about the cooking styles of early Americans
  •       Identify food traditions of different regions
  •       Help children learn how food played a part in our country’s history
  •       Involve children in preparing food of diverse cultures

It is a book ideal for homeschooling, school libraries, and homes. Karen G. Heredia, a homeschooling mother states: “As a homeschooling family, we are always on the look-out for great science projects. As with most homeschooling families, we have quite an age range to cover, which makes science an interesting challenge. The ages span from 3 to 10 years. Amy Houts beautifully introduced the relationship between cooking and chemistry then proceeded to lay out an experiment using popcorn. We were able to complete this project together, making age appropriate adjustments with the documentation and reporting. Science is always more fun when, upon completion, you get to eat your project!”

Add this cookbook to your homeschool cooking curriculum. Help kids learn about the food in America.  Get this step-by-step book for kids ages 3 to 14 today while Amazon has it for a special price.

Go now to order your copy of Cooking Around the Country With Kids for home and school at

Click to read more.

Use and enjoy books,

Lee Jackson
Images Unlimited Publishing

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Filed under Books, Cookbooks, Cooking and kids, Cooking Skills, Food patterns and eating habits, Recommendations

Many parents and teachers feel that kids do not always make healthy food choices. They feel that food choices are shaped only by what food and beverage marketers choose to promote. However, there are many ways parents and teachers can help children shape healthy food choices.

This is where cookbooks serve an important part in educating children. They can provide hands-on training in learning about the wide variety of healthy food choices.

In the cookbook, Cooking Around the Country with Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities, Amy Houts takes kids on a cooking adventure throughout the country. Kids learn where their food is grown and can use recipes incorporating that food. The melting pot of people who settled in different regions developed distinctive dishes. From the East Coast to the West, Alaska, and Hawaii, children can celebrate America’s diversity through foods typical of eight different regions of the country.

The cookbook encourages children to engage not only with the different geographical regions of the country, but with the history of the U.S. as well. As one reviewer stated: “This USA-themed recipe book contains a generous helping of hearty recipes sprinkled with historical facts, tasty learning activities, vivid geographic descriptions, and a hint of patriotism.”

Let children know and appreciate real food, prepared by them (or with your help). Often, if children have prepared the food, they are more apt to try it, and sometimes even enjoy it! That is one of the goals of parents – to help children have a good  attitude about food so they can make healthy food choices.

Click to read more

If you have children ages 6 to 14, don’t miss this one. Buy now to have this children’s cookbook available.

Cooking Around the Country With Kids by Amy Houts for home and school is available from

Use and enjoy books! Let children help you cook!

Lee Jackson
Images Unlimited Publishing

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Filed under Cookbooks, Cooking and kids, Recommendations

Childrens cookbooks help kids learn how people in other cultures live. This expands their global cultural awareness. Food makes up the culture of every part of the world. Many kids have expanded their food knowledge by watching cooking shows and traveling to different parts of the country sampling their food. But not all children have these opportunities.

One way to help children learn about foods from different cultures is through childrens cookbooks. Amy Houts book, Cooking Around the Country with Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities shows how this country is a unique melting pot. It captures the tastes of different regions of the country.

As immigrants came to America they brought with them their memories and tastes of foods from the far reaches of the world. These reflections of their traditions, history, religion, celebrations, and family were captured in their dishes. These are the recipes found in different parts of the country. Those are the recipes Houts has chosen to include in this childrens cookbook.

The selected recipes are authentic to the region, and/or to the food produced there. Clear directions are given for easy-to-make dishes, or easy versions of more difficult recipes.

As Amy was doing the research for this cookbook, she said she was awestruck by the wonderful country where she lives. The fruitful plains, the fertile valleys, and the fresh and salt waters all provide an abundance of food. Because of the varying regions of the country and the soil compositions, regional areas of the United States developed distinctive dishes.

Click to read more.

Cooking Around the Country With Kids is for children ages 6 to 14. Order now for home and school from

Use and enjoy books – get kids excited about cooking and real food!

Lee Jackson
Images Unlimited Publishing


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Filed under Books, Gifts, Holidays

What a nice after-Christmas surprise when I opened my email this morning and read what one reviewer said about my book for children, The Littlest Kitten, the story of the Holy Night and the cat family.

(REVIEW) This is a book that children will want to read again and again. I liked this book so much that I will be checking out more books by this author. The cat family was so adorable. Mom cat loved her family. Just like Mary and Joseph loved their new son, Jesus.
More at:

The book is available on Amazon at

Hoping all your after-Christmas wishes come true.

Lee Jackson
Books for children, families, and parenting professionals

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