Crystal Casavant-Otto reviews “Rose Colored Glasses”

I am very excited to introduce Crystal Casavant-Otto who has organized my Blog Tour and given me a beautiful review, which I am posting here.

A little about Crystal:      Crystal

Crystal is a council secretary and musician at her church, birth mother, babywearing cloth diapering mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, five young children (Carmen 11, Andre 10, Breccan 4, Delphine 3, and baby Eudora), two dogs, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff here, and at her personal blog – Crystal is dedicated to turning life’s lemons into lemonade!

Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing
Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing
Small Business Owner – Rel
Council Secretary – Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Owner – Mark Otto Dairy Farm


Crystal’s review of “Rose Colored Glasses”

There’s always a take away – whether it’s a lesson learned from a difficult situation, or the gift of hope after one of life’s many trials. This is absolutely true of Rose Colored Glasses by JoAnn Simon. There are many take aways actually. There’s the truth of living of day to the fullest so you don’t have any regrets. There’s the take away of being thankful for true love – so many spend a lifetime looking and never find it. The list goes on. This book is appropriately titled because the greatest take away of all (for me) is if you choose to look at your life through rose colored glasses instead it will be easier to see the good that is happening around you. It’s certainly more fulfilling than looking at everything through a veil of doom and gloom.

Simon’s writing style drew me in immediately – her positive outlook and outgoing personality shine through in each chapter. Rose Colored Glasses is a quick read and though Tom’s illness and death was sad, this is not a sorrowful tale – there are definitely more moments of hope and love than there are pages filled with tears and sorrow. This is a book for everyone – you don’t necessarily have to have lost a spouse to appreciate Rose Colored Glasses. Similarly, you don’t have to have found true love to appreciate the connection JoAnn had with Tom.

If I had to use one word to describe Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon, it would be INSPIRATIONAL – this is a story about love and hope and how they are woven together with loss and yet like a phoenix, Simon rises from the ashes even stronger than she was before. This is a lovely 5 star read if I do say so myself!

Thank you Crystal!

Continue, catch up and share the Rose Colored Glasses Blog Tour Schedule:

Monday, July 23rd @ The Muffin
Author Interview and Giveaway!

Tuesday, July 24th @ JoAnn Simon
Crystal Casavant-Otto reviews Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon – don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about Jo Ann’s touching memoir.

Wednesday, July 25th @ Bring on Lemons with Michelle DelPonte
Wisconsin mother, wife, and autism advocate Michelle DelPonte reviews Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon and shares her thoughts with readers at Bring on Lemons. This is an unforgettable memoir!

Thursday, July 26th @ Beverley Baird
Beverley Baird reviews Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon. This touching memoir is one readers won’t soon forget! You’ll want to add this one to your #TBRPile today!

Friday, July 27th @ Choices
The readers at Madeline Sharples blog, Choices, are in for a special treat today as Jo Ann Simon pens the guest post “Seeing Art Through the Artist’s Eye”. Readers can enjoy this post while also learning about Simon’s memoir Rose Colored Glassesrecently published by WiDO Publishing.

Monday, July 30th @ Selling Books with Cathy Stucker
Cathy Stucker interview Jo Ann Simon about her recently published memoir Rose Colored Glasses

Tuesday, July 31st @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles reviews Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon and shares her thoughts with readers at World of My Imagination. Don’t miss a chance to learn about this memoir of love and loss.

Thursday, August 2nd @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Today’s post at Memoir Writer’s Journey includes a guest post titled “Simplicity in Life” written by Jo Ann Simon. There is also a link to Kathleen Pooler’s review of Simon’s recently published memoir Rose Colored Glasses. Readers won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn more about Simon and her lovely memoir.

Tuesday, August 7th @ Bring on Lemons
Today’s author spotlight at Bring on Lemons is Jo Ann Simon featuring her recently published memoir Rose Colored Glasses. Don’t miss a chance to learn about Simon and check out Crystal’s review of this touching memoir.

Wednesday, August 8th @ Lisa Haselton
Lisa Haselton interviews Jo Ann Simon about her memoir Rose Colored Glasses (and more)!

Wednesday, August 8th @ Margo Dill
Today’s guest author is Jo Ann Simon of Rose Colored Glasses – and today’s topic is “A Positive Attitude”. Don’t miss this blog stop!

Monday, August 13th @ Write Happy
Catherine Brown reviews Rose Colored Glasses a touching memoir by JoAnn Simon.

Monday, August 13th @ Coffee with Lacey
Lacey reviews Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about this inspirational memoir about love, loss, and hope!

Thursday, August 16th @ Ellen Valladares
Fellow author Ellen Valladares reviews Rose Colored Glasses by JoAnn Simon.

Wednesday, August 22nd @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Fellow memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro shares her thoughts after reading Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon.

Thursday, August 23rd @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen
Wisconsin educator, mother, and business owner Cathy Hansen reviews the memoir Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon.

Keep up with the latest stops by following us on twitter @WOWBlogTour.






On the Eve of becoming an Official Author

Last Post I said I was an Author…not true.  I was really excited that my book Rose Colored Glasses was posted on Goodreads and I had an “Author page on Goodreads”, but the reality is that until the book is actually published, I’m not an official Author.

Today I am a writer, tomorrow I will be an author with the Launch of the eBook.  The print book will be released on May 12th.
Both can be purchased on Amazon Order on Amazon
I sit here tonight reflecting on the journey and feeling happy that I accomplished this minor feat.  Today, anyone can write a book and publish it.  Yesteryear there was a mystique and notoriety to being a author, some would become famous.  In some circles that is still true every day of the week.
Do I feel like I will be famous?  I think not!  I’m just ecstatic to make it to this finish line and look forward to the future.  This trek has included many other titles along the way including Student (learning the craft of writing), Reader (reading every book that could help me learn more including other memoirs), Researcher (finding out facts of the publishing industry), Guinea Pig (being in book groups having my work critiqued), Salesperson (selling my book to agents and publishers and buyers), Marketer (learning how to market my book).  I feel the same, just slightly wiser about the world around me.
This was very similar to my Art journey when I plunged into that world grabbing every bit of information that I could find to learn the art of being an artist.  That journey took me far and wide around the world learning and painting to try to improve my results.  I relate both of these experiences as learning how to grow, expand horizons, meet new people and enjoy this amazing world that we live in.  My publishing path is really just starting and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
I must admit that I am feeling a bit nostalgic for the story and the memories of Rose Colored Glasses which captured 14 years of my life, but I’m ready to give them to the world, be an Author and start writing my next book.
Thank you for being part of my journeys.
Jo Ann

It’s Official, I’m an Author

Hello Everyone,

It has been too long since I posted last, but here I am saying hello, and hip, hip hoorah!  It is now official that I am an author instead of just a writer.  But, I am still a writer as well.  My book Rose Colored Glasses is now on Goodreads with my official author page.  Here is the link:

RoseColoredGlasses_CVR_XSMLToday I received my first Ask the Author Question from my author page on Goodreads.  The question was “How do you get inspired to write?”.  This was my answer:

“I get inspired by every day events that are meaningful. The could be good, bad or funny, if it made an impression on me it’s something that I want to write about. Sometimes, I will just sit down and write to really capture the moment, or just add it to my list of writing to do’s.”

So, here I am writing on my blog about being an author and feeling great about my accomplishment.  It is not for sale yet, but will be very soon.  May 17th is the tentative publication date for the ebook and the print book will be released June 12th.  It is all very exciting and surreal.

The writing process is my favorite part of it all, but it has its lonely moments when I need to get out and about to get new inspiration.  The marketing part is crazy with too much to do, but that is fun stuff.  I am really looking forward to meeting people who are interested in my story, having book signings and spreading my message of being positive wearing those Rose Colored Glasses.

I am looking forward to posting more often with all of the inspiration in the air.



Indie or Traditional…that is the question

On this Independence Day weekend, I am extremely excited to announce that I will be an Independent Published Author.  I am in the process of self publishing my book Rose Colored Glasses.  Yeah!  I am free of the traditional, provincial, slow motion way of  publishing, so I can get an important message in the form of my book out to the world.

I am not putting down traditional publishing, I was on that track.  But, it is not the right path for me.  I am someone who loves to move about freely, and make my own decisions.  As my loving husband Tom, always told me, “Do what you want to do, Be who you want to be, and Go where you want to go”.  I am doing just that, whether it is successful or not, it feels right and good.

The Indie world is very exciting too.  The myriad of options for methods of publishing and marketing can be overwhelming, but extremely logical and doable.  The best part is that there is a warm welcome from all the other Indie published authors.  I have joined a large family that I feel comfortable and appreciated in.

Keep and eye out, with those Rose Colored Glasses on, for an official publication date.

Check out my website at for a sneak peek.

Enjoy the weekend, and our independence!!!!!



Blizzard 2017 – Time to Reflect

It is snowing sideways, covering the windows so you could hardly see the snow growing into huge mounds, but it is cozy and comfy inside with a fire in the fireplace, glass of wine and time to reflect on the future and the past.  This is a bonus day!  It makes me feel like I could be retired, and what it would feel like.

My apologies for not posting since November, but life has been very full for me.  My experiences and things that I will be writing about in the future…

  • I finished my memoir ‘Rose Colored Glasses’.  It is currently out to publishers….yeah!
  • I visited Paris for the first time over New Year’s Eve…loved it!
  • I have a new Granddaughter, who is gorgeous and healthy….pics to follow
  • I started painting again and will share my paintings with you
  • I am happy to be me.


Reflecting today has helped me to appreciate my life.  Last week I couldn’t even imagine this peacefulness.  I think the wine helps too.  Try it sometime, maybe without a blizzard.  Cheers to you!






Happy Sunday!

These fall days are the ones that make Sunday’s extra special.  A crispness in the air and cozy sweaters and scarves that keep our souls warm.  These Sundays beg for something warm and sunny for my breakfast.  Here is an extra easy recipe that I hope you will love too.     Easy Egg Puff  – egg-puff-3I chose asparagus, any veg will do        Preheat oven to 425, place 10″ cast iron skillet in oven.        Mix 4 large eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup flour, add 1/2 cup shredded cheese, fontina or what you have.                         Steam asparagus for 5 min, toss in ice bath, dry.                    egg-puff-1Add 2 Tablespoons of butter to hot skillet, line up asparagus, salt pepper, add your favorite herb if you would like into skillet.                                                 Pour egg mixture over veg,  sprinkle with parmesan cheese, into the oven for 20 minutes. egg-puff-2

Make your coffee, get the paper, turn on good tunes, Enjoy!                                                                                                                           This is a healthy fun dish that I hope you make and love too!  egg-puff-4



Finding An Old Friend

How does it feel to run into an old friend?  Most times it feels good.  It brings back memories of times that were fun, exotic, silly, happy, or sad.  It could be a person, place or thing that you meet up with.  If it happens when you least expect it, a delightful, Deja vu’ encounter reminds you of how life used to be.

I was visiting a good friend recently and happened upon this painting of me.  It captured my attention and memories of a wonderful time in my life.  I had forgotten this and many other paintings that I had created.  But this one, an early Jo Ann Simon, showed my carefree love of life in the ‘princess bed’ that I chose at our house rental.  It makes me want to paint again.

It was my first visit to Key West with my artist friends, but not my last.  I painted it upon my return, sold it, and quickly forgot the innocence that I once had.  I have created many pieces of art that were dear friends forgotten, but loved at the same time. I hope to find more old friends and savor them.  I hope you do too.  Happy Monday!

The Door is Always Open

This barn is southern Michigan talked to me.  “The door is always open”

Wow!  I thought that I had walked through all the doors that a person should or could walk through.  But, this barn with that door wide open, inviting me to walk through, even if it was dark on the inside, was intriguing to me.  It made me think that any open door could bring wonderment or disaster.  We all have the choice.  We should choose wisely and be brave to walk through that door to make your dreams come true.

Walk through that door and make it a reality, whatever it is that you always wanted to do.

That barn has sat there for many years, under that huge maple tree with a trunk the size of 100 years.  I’m sure it will be there another 100 years whispering to the folks just passing through.  Enjoy!


End of Summer Eats

Today brings us eleven days closer to the end of summer.  Let’s savor every last drop of it. It is time to gather all the wonderment of the summer harvests and transform them into canned, frozen or cooked into delightful treats for the eye and the tummy.  I will be celebrating my grandson Parkers 2nd birthday today with a crisp gazpacho that will cool us on this hot and muggy summer day.


One hour of prep and pulverizing in the food processor produced a bucket of goodness.  You can throw in any bounty that you have from the garden and mixed with a garden juice to muddle all of the flavors into a unique summer treat.  We would serve gazpacho in our restaurant The Opera Café in these little shot glasses that was fun and delish.

My recipe is somewhat traditional

JoSi’s Gazpacho  Serves 12

  • 12 medium good quality tomatoes cored and cut into 1 inch squares
  • 6 Red peppers cored and cut into 1 inch squares
  • 3 large cucumbers peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 medium red onion peeled, cut into chunks
  • Fresh herbs, parsley & cilantro, or any that you have in the garden
  • 2 Tablespoons of tomato paste to thicken
  • 3 Cups of tomato juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 small jalapeno seeded and cut
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne to taste
  • 4 Tablespoons of worcestershire sauce

Process each item adding herbs and seasonings as you go to taste.  Add tomato juice to create a thickened soup texture  Let it sit overnight if you can to meld the flavors and re-season if necessary.

20160911_085819_resized.jpgEnjoy everything the rest of the summer has to offer!