Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A LOVE THAT DISTURBS REVIEW and GIVEAWAY FROM DANCING LEMUR PRESS

Welcome Wednesday. The end of June is near. A new month begins. Today, I have a review of a book that will touch your heart, Medeia Sharif's latest novel for young adult readers, A LOVE THAT DISTURBS. And yes, it will give you a lot to think about.



A LOVE THAT DISTURBS Review

By Medeia Sharif


Sometimes people find themselves in situations that they want out of, but circumstances prevent them from changing. What if they reach a point where they can’t go on with their lives the way they are, however? Do they risk losing family and friends by taking a chance at happiness or do they give in to pressure and continue living their unhappy lives?

In A LOVE THAT DISTURBS, Author Medeia Sharif’s latest novel for young adult readers, Haydee Gomez wants to get away from her pimp Rafe and just live a normal life, going to school like other girls and making friends. Maysa Mazaria, taunted for being a Muslim, wants to fall in love and not be married to a man of her mother’s choice. Then the girls make a discovery that has repercussions they never could have imagined.

Medeia Sharif has written a tender story that will touch your heart and perhaps even make you angry. Haydee and Maysa are such realistic characters, I kept thinking, is this really happening to teens in America? Do they face such challenges in their lives today? Are people as hateful and mean, yes mean, as some of the girls are that claim to be Maysa’s friend?

The author touches on controversial subjects in a gentle way that helped me understand other cultures better. A LOVE THAT DISTURBS would make a great addition to high school libraries, public libraries and you own library. I imagine many young people can relate to the challenge the girls have to deal with. Recommended.

###

Purchase from Amazon (merchant sites will be updated on the author's site)
 
Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon
 

I also want the last post of June to be fun, so how about a new giveaway. Yes, my publisher, Dancing Lemur Press, is having a giveaway through the month of July. The only condition is the winner(s) must reside in the U. S. A. It sounds like fun. Details on Monday, July 4th, which is also a holiday.

Let me leave you with some pictures of June.


Baby Fly Catchers on the electric meter reader.
They've flown away now, and mother bird is sitting on more eggs.
 
 
A Cecropia Moth on our patio door. Isn't it gorgeous?
 
Have a nice holiday.


Monday, June 27, 2016

A REVIEW AND A GIVEAWAY

Quote for the week:  Wherever you go, no matter the weather, always bring your own sunshine.
Anthony J. D' Angelo

Just a couple of short notes today. Thursday, our library had a book signing for local authors. Three of us showed up. We had fun. Here's the proof.


Look at those smiling faces.
 
More good news. The Children's Literary Classics has awarded Under a Purple Moon with the CLC Seal of Approval and a nice review.
 

Review from CLC

Eden has spent her entire life feeling as though she's not good enough.  Her mother, who insists Eden refer to her by her given name, is critical of everything she does.  Her father tries, but he seems to be more concerned with his hobbies than with his daughter's well-being.  But what she hates most is the fighting, especially because it's usually her they're quarreling about.  

 

Eden finds solitude in an old abandoned home.  She goes there to get away from the criticism and the feuding.  But what she ultimately finds there is an unlikely group of friends, a motley crew of teens who are also escaping their own struggles at home, who give her the acceptance and encouragement she so desperately needs.  Under a Purple Moon is a book about friendship, and in particular, about one young girl who comes to accept her own self-worth.  Author Beverly Stowe McClure has done a splendid job depicting the wide and varied range of emotions experienced by Eden and her friends.  Under a Purple Moon is a book which young readers will find to be very relatable. 
 
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Also, don't forget the giveaway on Good Reads for A Family for Leona. Time is running out. Have a great week. See the entry form at top of page. I tried to add it below, but did something wrong, as usual and it doesn't work out. I'll never learn all this technical stuff.
 
Happy Reading
 


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

REVIEWS OF ISOSCELES AND MOONLESS

What's happening today? I've been reading. Shh, don't look at the carpet that needs vacuuming, the floors that need mopping, and all those other boring chores. Sometimes a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do. I know, I know. Bad grammar. Anyhow, in between edits and new stories I'm visiting other worlds, other people, and learning their stories. I'm a slow reader, but that's okay. I'd like to share my thoughts on a couple of novels I recently finished. More to come. So, take a break and relax.

ISOCOLES: Scott R. Caseley:
Children and teens usually have best friends. Best friends sometimes change with the passing years. Sometimes they stay the same. Either way, best friends are seldom forgotten. So what does a young person do when his or her best friend dies, too young, too young?

Author Scott R. Caseley deals with such a situation in his recent YA coming-of-age-mystery ISOCELES. The book starts with the death of Trey Goodsby, Sean McIntyre’s best friend. He died in the bathtub, taking his own life. The story then flashes back thirteen years to give the reader the background on the two boys and Madeline Edwards, the girl Sean likes but who likes Trey. From the first day of first grade and through the years that follow, Sean stays in trouble. The situation with Sean’s parents and Trey’s family complicates matters.

Scott R. Caseley has written a story about family, friendship, love, and death. As we follow the three characters in their daily struggles, we see how each of them deals with the issues they face, not always in the best way, but remember, they’re children and teens.

ISOCELES would be a good novel for teens to read to see that they are not alone when they face seemingly impossible situations. A good novel that will make everyone who reads it want happiness and success for the young characters, at least it did me.

###

MOONLESS (MAIDEN OF TIME BOOK 1): Crystal Collier:
Have you ever had nightmares that terrified you? Have you ever looked in a mirror and thought the reflection you saw was someone else because you’re not beautiful like the image staring back at you? In Author Crystal Collier’s fantasy novel MOONLESS (MAIDEN OF TIME BOOK 1) we meet sixteen-year-old Alexia Dumont, who has nightmares. For Alexia, they started when she turned sixteen, and, unlike the dreams most of us have that go away when we wake up, Alexia’s dreams come true.

The author has written a story about family, secrets, love, and danger. She has created a fantasy world with characters known as the “Passionate” and the “Soulless” to name a few. As Alexia, little by little, discovers the truth about her mother and father, as well as about Arik, the man she loves, she’s faced with choices that will determine not only her future but the lives of others as well.

I really like Alexia. She’s brave and bold at times. She’s also human, well sort of, enough to make mistakes. If you enjoy characters that keep you guessing what they’ll do next and a story with a touch of mystery and a little romance, then pick up a copy of MOONLESS (MAIDEN OF TIME BOOK 1). See if you can solve all the mysteries before the end. Things did not always turn out the way I expected them to. How about you?

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FREDDY, HOPPIE, AND THE EYEGLASSES: Author, Michelle Nott; Illustrator, Robert Lee Beers
What does the world look like to you? Do you see everything clearly? The veins in the leaf of a tree? The bee on the flower? The words in a book? And other things you look at? If so, wonderful. Some people, children and adults, have trouble, however. When they try to read, the words are a blur. They might see the leaf or the flower, but not little details.

In the picture book FREDDY, HOPPIE AND THE EYEGLASSES, by Author Michelle Nott, Freddy has a problem. He’s getting ready to go to school, but when he looks at his wristwatch the numbers are smudged and he thinks the watch is broken. His day goes from bad to worse, and he can’t answer his teacher’s questions because he can’t see the words in the book he’s reading.

His pet frog, Hoppie, comes to Freddy’s rescue, or rather she tries to. Freddy doesn’t know what’s wrong. Neither does Hoppie. What can Freddy do? FREDDY, HOPPIE AND THE EYEGLASSES is a story that many young people might relate to. Sometimes they don’t know they need glasses. Freddy’s story might help explain their blurry vision.

Robert Lee Beers’ illustrations are just right. The expression on Freddy’s face shows his confusion in the different scenes, and I really like Hoppie. Who wouldn’t want a frog that rides in the boy’s pocket and tries to help him solve his problems? This would make a nice addition to school libraries and public libraries, as well as your own private library.

###

Happy Reading!
 

Monday, June 20, 2016

A LOVE THAT DISTURBS BLITZ

Quote for the week: It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt of it. Abraham Lincoln

We're starting the new week off with an exciting preview of Author Medeia Sharif's latest novel, A LOVE THAT DISTURBS. Now the title demands that I open this book to find out what it means. How about you? Does it arouse your curiosity? Let's see what Medeia has to say.

A LOVE THAT DISTURBS by Medeia Sharif

Evernight Teen, June 17, 2016

Purchase from Amazon (merchant sites will be updated on the author's site)



Maysa Mazari is alarmed by her mother’s talk about arranged marriage. As a hijab-wearing Pakistani-American, she wants to find love on her own. Her judgmental Muslim clique has protected her from racist taunts, although the leader is turning on her as Maysa strays from the group because of her attraction to Haydee.



Haydee Gomez is a former gang member and juvenile detention student. Now living with a clean-cut aunt, she wants to turn her life around, even though one person will never let her forget her roots—Rafe, her abusive pimp. Haydee attempts to pull away from a life of prostitution when she develops feelings for Maysa, although Rafe isn’t willing to give her up too easily.



Finding themselves in danger from Maysa’s friends and Haydee’s pimp, it’s apparent their love disturbs everyone around them as they fight to stay together.



Find Medeia – YA and MG Author


Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon



 


 
Congratulations on another novel. Watch for my review.
 
Happy Reading.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY

 
   
 
 
 

I know you're watching over me, the way you always did.
So, hi up there in Heaven. I'm trying to be good.
 
(Dad's the barber.)
 
 
 
 
Happy Father's Day to the father of my boys.
We miss you.
 
 


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A CAT, EDITS, A CRAZY WRITER

Here's what's happening in my life lately.
 
 
First, a Cat
 
Tiger's looking it over.
Nope! I don't like water!
I know what!
 
If I only had a pillow!
 
Second, edits!
 
 
Do they ever end?
 
Third, crazy writer!
 
 
Need I say more?
 
How is your world these days?
 
(I'm not complaining, just happy I have a story to edit and more are being typed on the computer.) Most of all, I'm happy Tiger and Patches adopted me. Her pictures later.
 
Happy Writing!


Monday, June 13, 2016

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICHES

Quote for the week: The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

I guess you noticed my title for today. What is that all about? Don't worry. (Like you are.) I'm going to tell you. Edits have slowed me down with everything else. I'm slow enough at reading and writing as it is, so I'm way behind in reading novels and writing reviews. I will catch up, with time. For today, let's just have some fun. Okay?

In my recent novel, UNDER A PURPLE MOON, Murphy always brings sandwiches to the Old House for the teens to snack on, while they discuss the world's happenings, their lives in particular. The sandwiches are  always peanut butter and strawberry jelly, Eden's favorite.

Excerpt from page 7:

He clicked off the flashlight, pulled a sandwich out of a sack and handed it to me: peanut butter and strawberry jelly. He always brought me the same, along with a can of soda. He cared whether I was hungry or not, which was more than I could say for my parents.

He didn't talk.

I didn't talk.

His shoulders relaxed.  The tension in my middle eased. We were comfortable together. We met at school last year. He was a freshman, I a sophomore. A couple of boys had cornered Murphy by the lockers and were calling him nasty names. I remember how he ducked between the boys in an attempt to get past them. The bigger guy towered over Murphy by at least a foot. He grabbed Murphy's arm and slung him against the wall.

###

What happened next in Eden's memories?

So, what's your favorite snack? Is it a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Or other?

And is there such a thing as a purple moon? Have you ever seen one?


 
Amazon      Kobo      Barnes and Noble     Freedom Fox Press

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

GIVEAWAY

I think it's time for a giveaway. Starting tomorrow, June 9th, I'm giving away a signed, paperback copy of my latest, A FAMILY FOR LEONA. You can enter with the form on the right. Here's a little about the story behind the story, if you haven't already heard.

Between the years 1854 and 1929, Rev. Charles Loring Brace, founder of the Children's Aid Society, sent over 100,000 children from New York to homes in the West. Leona and her sister Mildred rode one of those trains.

This book is their story. Some events actually happened; others were added since I do not know the details of her early life. Leona and her family are real. Many of the other characters, like Noah, are fictional. Thank you for reading Leona's story.
 

Available at:  Amazon                        Barnes and Noble                               4 RV Publishing

Happy Reading!




Monday, June 6, 2016

INK RIPPLES AND MOVIES

Quote for the week:  Believe in yourself. Have faith in your abilities. Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you can not be successful or happy. Norman Vincent Peale.

Ink Ripples

#InkRipples is a monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, and Katie L. Carroll. They post the first Monday of every month with a new topic. They're all authors, but you don't have to be to participate.


The idea of #InkRipples is to toss a word, idea, image, whatever into the inkwell and see what kind of ripples it makes. We provide the topics and will be  blogging about them on the first Monday of the month. You can spread your own ripples by blogging about the topic any day of the month that fits your schedule, just be sure to include links back to Katie, Kai, and Mary.

Or you can simply share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #InkRipples. You might simply comment on one of our posts to play along. Tag us and we're always happy to share your posts and thoughts to keep those ripples going and intersecting.

Feel free to use any of the meme's images (created by the wonderful Mary Waibel.)

Topics for 2016 are:


June:  Movies
July:  Inspiration
August:  Guilty Pleasures
September:  Banned Books
October:  Masks
November:  Heritage
December:  Cookies





This month the subject is movies. I'm not a really big movie fan. I think too many other things keep me busy. Occasionally I go to the theatre, usually when family or a friend asks me to. The latest movie I've seen was Star Wars. I enjoyed it. Hope to see the next one.

When I was a kid my friends and I sometimes went to the neighborhood theatre. My favorite picture shows (yes, that's what we called them back in the day) were westerns: John Wayne, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. I loved the horses. I also enjoyed a good Tarzan movie. Dracula I wasn't so crazy about.

Then in my teen years it was all about musicals and romance. Yeah, silly teen girls. Doris Day and Rock Hudson were the perfect couple. I wanted to sing and dance like Doris did. She was so pretty. Two bad I had two left feet and sounded like a frog croaking.

Today, I'm not a fan of all the violent shows. Truthfully, I don't even know what's showing now. My favorite movie of all time is Gone With The Wind.  Scarlet O'Hara was so selfish and exciting at the same time. Now, Clark Gable, Rhett Butler, what can I say? I like the historical part of Gone With The Wind. A close second is Rebel Without A Cause. James Dean and Natalie Wood. Need I say more?

So I have little to say about movies.

How about you? Are you a big movie fan?

Happy Reading.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

STONE'S HEART Review and IWSG Cats

 
Today, I am excited to host Award-Winning author and dear friend, Darby Karchut, and her latest novel. STONE'S HEART, is a contemporary romance with horses and cowboys. What? you ask. I know, we're used to  reading stories of Celtic Mythology and creatures you don't want to meet in the dark from Darby. Well, you're in for a pleasant surprise, so sit back and enjoy.

I love, love, love this cover, and you're about to learn more about these characters.
 


STONE’S HEART


by


Darby Karchut




Genre: Inspirational romance / modern-day Western

Released May 26, 2016 from Clean Reads Books


ISBN: 978-1-62135-536-6


Blurb:
No way, blue jay, and never again. That’s the vow Linney Van Horn has made regarding single dads and their adorable children. After all, that’s why she tucked tail and hauled herself and her beloved Arabian horse clear across the country from New Jersey to the small town of Venture, Colorado. To mend her bruised heart—and ego—and start over.

However, the good Lord has a different “do-over” in mind for Linney. She finds herself living next door to Stonewall Wheeler, the frustratingly stubborn, but oh, so ruggedly handsome farrier, and his seven-year-old son, Beau.

A widower, Stone has buried himself in his work to avoid the grief of losing his wife. Determined to grow his horse-shoeing business and raise his child, falling in love is the last thing on his mind. Until an equally stubborn—but pretty as a daisy—teacher moves into the cottage besides his, and charms both him and his son.

Divine intervention. Yup, it’s a beautiful thing.

It’s going to take one adorable little boy, a pair of spirited horses, and a near-fatal accident to convince Linney and Stone a second chance at a Grace-filled forever is theirs for the asking.



About the Author:

Darby Karchut is a best selling author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. She's

been known to run in blizzards and bike in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, she can be found writing for tweens, teens, and adults. Her debut novel, GRIFFIN RISING, was recently optioned for film. Darby is the author of a dozen books, including FINN FINNEGAN, THE HOUND AT THE GATE, and UNHOLY BLUE. Visit the author at her website: http://www.darbykarchut.com




Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/darby.karchut



Twitter: https://twitter.com/DarbyKarchut


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29280139-stone-s-heart



Buy Links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Stones-Heart-Darby-Karchut-ebook/dp/B01G69KXAU?ie=UTF8&keywords=Stone%20heart%20darby%20karchut&qid=1464275153&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1


Barnes & Noble: coming soon

Kobo: coming soon

Smashwords: coming soon
 
 


Now how can you resist a story like this? You can't.

Here are my thoughts.


 
STONE'S HEART Review
 
By Darby Karchut



Horses and cowboys. Children and humor. A love that changes everything. Give me a novel with all of these subjects and I will read for hours, which is what I did. Yes, thanks to Award-Winning Author Darby Karchut’s latest novel, STONE’S HEART, I lost myself in a gentle story that brought laughter to my heart, tears to my eyes, and characters that I’ll remember for a long time.

Linney Van Horn, a teacher hoping for a new beginning, moves from to the East Coast to the small town of Venture, Colorado. I loved Linney from the beginning. Why? Instead of selling her horse, Prince, and leaving him back home, she takes him with her and in her new town rents a small cottage with a corral. She is determined to put the past behind her, and I admired her spunk in making the best of her situation.

Stone Wheeler and his seven-year-old son, Beau, rent the cottage next door. Stone, the local farrier, has a couple horses of his own. He also is a country boy and a John Denver fan, which added him to my best guy list. With characters like these two, I knew the story would be exciting. And it was.

Linney and Stone both have experienced sadness in their lives recently, and neither of them is interested in a serious relationship, or so they think. However, Linney falls in love with Beau, who is all boy, a sweet reminder of the innocence of children, and my favorite character of all.

In STONE’S HEART, Ms. Karchut has written a story of family, friends, and seeking God’s guidance to make the right choices. Whether she’s dealing with Guardian Angels or Celtic mythology ¾ as in some of her other novels ¾ or contemporary romance as in this latest book, what I enjoy most is her emphasis on family, especially the father and son relationship. STONE’S HEART is no exception. What Beau and Stone share is touching and beautiful. Every child should be so fortunate to have a father like Stone.

The author also shows her love and knowledge of horses, along with proof that she’s as talented writing a contemporary story as she is writing about warriors and unusual creatures.

I recommend STONE’S HEART for everyone that loves a good story about family, disappointments, children, and even a scary scene or two that makes the reader chew on her fingernails, waiting to see the outcome. Yeah, pretty tense.

Another great novel from Darby Karchut. What will she come up with next?

The author provided me with a copy of the novel for my honest review.
 
Happy Reading.
 
Today is the first Wednesday in June, where did May go?, which means it's IWSG Day.
 
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group 
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG
 
The founder of IWSG is Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh
His awesome co-hosts for the June 1 posting of the IWSG are Murees Dupe, Alexia Chamberlynn, Chemist Ken, and Heather Gardner! 
 
So how are you doing? Learning to overcome your insecurities, or at least to deal with them? Great! There are a lot of different kind of insecurities, besides those we have about our writing. I'm trying to be positive about writing, so today, I'd like to mention cats. Now what on earth do they have to do with being insecure? Glad you asked. I'll tell you.

Maybe cats can't think the way humans do, but they still like a nice place to live, good food to eat, and a friend or two to play with. The month of June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month. I have two cats; neither were adopted from a shelter. Rather, they adopted me.

The first time I saw Patches, she was on the patio catching moths to eat. So, you know what I did. Yep, she's lived with us for ten years.

A couple of years later, Tiger showed up on the patio. Some other critter had worked him over good. He's been with us for eight years.

Cats and dogs aren't necessarily insecure. They just like to eat and have shelter from the rain and the cold. So, if you have room in your home, why not adopt a cat this month. How about a dog too?
 
Thank you!
 
 
 
Me too!
 
Happy Reading!