Monday, March 31, 2014
Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines is the story of Elizabeth (Lizzie) Stamford and her family's daily struggle to survive a changing way of life during the American Civil War. This is a story of fear, courage, and understanding that people, no matter where they live, have the same needs: love, peace, and security.
Since I'm on the theme of history, here's my review of a great Civil War novel, SHADES OF GRAY, by Jessica James.
Move over, Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara. You’ve met your match. Captain Alexander Hunter, Confederate officer, is brave and daring, as well as handsome. Andrea Evans, Union sympathizer, is headstrong and impulsive, and like a chameleon changes her identity to suit the situation. When North meets South sparks are bound to fly, not only on the battlefield, but also in the lives of a man and woman that will do anything for the cause they believe in.
SHADES OF GRAY, the award winning historical novel by Author Jessica James, is set in Virginia during the American Civil War. Andrea plays many roles in the story: a boy that delivers dispatches for the Union, a guide, and a Southern Belle to name a few. Captain Alexander Hunter is a fearless leader, respected by his men. Both characters believe deeply in their cause and will defend their beliefs until death if necessary. Jessica James shows the personal side of the characters and how families are torn apart in a war that will scar our nation for years to come. The battle scenes are so vivid I felt as though I were in the middle of the action, hearing the cries of pain, witnessing the blood and the dying men. The story contains beautiful moments too. When Alexander and Andrea can stop arguing enough, they realize they’re falling in love, something I’d been telling them all along.
The American Civil War is my favorite era in history, and I have a whole library of books about the war. I am pleased to add another great novel to my collection. The only thing I disliked about the book was the ending, not because it wasn’t beautifully written. It was. I also understand why it ended the way it did. And that’s all I’m saying because I don’t want to give anything away. Other readers may love the ending. However, I am happy to hear that Noble Cause … well, my lips are sealed. I’m reading it next. Ms. James has written another great story dealing with the history of America. Let’s hope we’ve learned our lesson from the past.
Jessica's and my books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most places where books are found. The eBook of Caves is only $2.95.
Friday, March 28, 2014
I was watching my new favorite comedy show — Kroll Show — last night and had a revelation about the creative process. This episode featured a particularly hilarious installment of the sketch Wheels, Ontario, a delirious spoof on Canadian culture…
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
About the Books: The Grimmtastic Girls
Book #1Title: Grimmtastic Girls #1: Cinderella Stays Late | Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams | Publication Date: March 25, 2014 | Publisher: Scholastic Inc. | Pages: 192 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12
Summary: The authors of the hit Goddess Girls series put a fun and girly twist on another super-popular theme: fairy tales!
Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia...
A Grimmtastic girl named Cinderella is starting her first week at Grimm Academy on the wrong foot. Cinda's totally evil stepsisters are out to make her life miserable. The Steps tease Cinda, give her terrible advice about life at the academy, and even make her look bad in front of her new friends, Red, Snow, and Rapunzel! But when Cinda overhears the Steps plotting a villainous deed that could ruin Prince Awesome's ball, Cinda, her new friends, and a pair of magical glass slippers have to stop them--before the last stroke of midnight!
Book #2Title: Grimmtastic Girls #2: Red Riding Hood Gets Lost | Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams | Publication Date: March 25, 2014 | Publisher: Scholastic Inc. | Pages: 192 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12
Summary: Red Riding Hood might have a terrible sense of direction, but her grimmtastic friends are always there to help!
Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia...
Red Riding Hood is thrilled to try out for the school play. Acting is her dream, and she's great at it--too bad she has stage fright! After a grimmiserable audition, Red decides to focus on helping her friends Cinda, Snow, and Rapunzel save Grimm Academy from the E.V.I.L. Society. But when Red gets lost in Neverwood forest and runs into Wolfgang, who might be part of E.V.I.L., she needs her magic basket and a grimmazingly dramatic performance to figure out what's going on!
About the Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams
Joan Holub has authored and/or illustrated more than 130 children's books, including Little Red Writing (illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet) and Zero the Hero. She lives in NC and is online at www.joanholub.com
Suzanne Williams is the author of nearly 50 books for children, including the award-winning picture book Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg). She lives near Seattle, WA and is online at www.suzanne-williams.com
Co-authors Joan and Suzanne have written the Goddess Girls, Heroes in Training, and Grimmtastic Girls series. Though they live in different states and hardly ever get to see each other, they spend lots of time together in Grimmlandia.
$50 Book Blast Giveaway
Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: April 23, 11:59 pm, 2014
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the authors, Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Monday, March 24, 2014
Friday, March 21, 2014
Going to the supermarket certainly isn't fun. At least I didn't lose my van keys the way I did one time. I did make a mess on the cat food aisle. When I picked up a sack of kitty litter to throw in the basket, I guess I didn't know my own strength. I threw the bag. It landed in the basket and split open. Wow! Litter flew everywhere. Luckily there were no witnesses, since I was the only person in the area at that time. So I grabbed another sack of litter and skedaddled out of there in a hurry. I did confess at the checkout counter. I thought they might be a bit suspicious when they saw all the litter mixed with my groceries. They forgave me. I think they were really glad to see me leave the store, though, and I maybe even heard a cheer that I left without causing another catastrophe. I signed my check "Anonymous" so they couldn't trace me. Oh, I forgot. My address and name are on the thing. Oh, well.
Are you having fun today?
Here are some random photos. They may be funny or not.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I seldom make an outline. When a little voice whispers in my ear, telling me his/her story, I sit down at the computer and start writing. I let the character(s) show me the way. I ask them questions, and hopefully they give me answers. Sometimes I jot down what I think will happen next or in a later chapter. Sometimes the story happens that way; other times not.
I work better when I have a schedule. Since I usually write more than one story at a time, each day I plan which story to work on that day. On a yellow tablet I list my goals for the day. I do not always reach them. No problem. I circle the ones I did not accomplish to work on the next day.
Writing brings me joy. When the final two words, THE END, are written, I've accomplished my goal. Then the revisions start. In the meantime, I may be editing a forthcoming story for my editor. If that's happening, I set aside time to edit.
Writing is also stressful at times. When I spend all morning on one paragraph, and it still isn't right, frustration sets in. Time to put the story aside for another day. Also, waiting to hear on a submission can have me biting my fingernails. Does the publisher like the story? Does it stink? Should I give up and go back to teaching? All sorts of doubts about my ability as a writer surface.
Do I quit? No way. I suck in a breath and face my characters, hoping they have wonderful ideas for me today.
Monday, March 17, 2014
The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side--a completely unfair shot at life.
But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong.
She's now a monster that drains others' lives to survive. And after she kills, she’s tortured by visions—glimpses into her victims would-have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches.
But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.
Here's the link to The Monster Within on Goodreads. It's already up on a few Goodreads lists, so feel free to vote for it if you'd like.
Friday, March 14, 2014
That is, unless during your sophomore year, you find your boyfriend making out with another girl in front of your locker. Then, interesting takes on a whole new meaning, and that's what happened to seventeen-year-old Meg Flannigan. It's no wonder her self-esteem suffered a major hit.
Now a senior, Meg catches the eye of not one, but two guys at school (I know, right?). They happen to both be gorgeous, and each vies for her attention in the most flattering of ways. Sounds good, right? Not if one of the guys is her boyfriend, and the other one wants to be.
Meg doesn’t want to lose Ash. They’ve been together for almost five months, and she’s falling in love with him. But Noah. Ah, Noah. He’s the irresistible guy Meg has been crushing on for two years, and she isn’t ready to send him away either. But stringing both along could have disastrous results, leaving Meg in the cold once again.
One thing's certain. Meg needs to decide between Ash and Noah soon, or she'll lose her perfect match forever.
PERFECT FOR YOU was released previously as two novellas. Ashleyn wanted to give her readers more, and has decided to write an entire novel based around Meg's story.
About the Author:
Ashelyn Drake is a New Adult and Young Adult romance author. While it’s rare for her not to have either a book in hand or her fingers flying across a laptop, she also enjoys spending time with her family. She believes you are never too old to enjoy a good swing set and there’s never a bad time for some dark chocolate. She is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.
Be sure to put Ashelyn's latest on your reading list.
Monday, March 10, 2014
ESCALATION: an epic clash where science and the supernatural take center stage for mankind’s destiny. The setting is global and the adrenaline-charged action is non-stop.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Author: James Moser
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Thriller
Ebook available at: Kindle | Smashwords
Mo is a shy teen who is just trying to survive high school. He has secretly fallen in love with a girl named Prophecy who lives with a group that some call a commune and others call a cult. When she disappears, Mo must find the courage to face the monster that her family has become. Chasing Prophecy is a contemporary coming of age story that is heartwarming, suspenseful, and beautifully written. This book chronicles the adolescence of one boy who must transform himself to save the girl of his dreams.
"A stellar read for teens and adults, full of hilarious growing pains, tenderness and a few surprises. Moser’s debut is an unflinching young-adult novel that sees a group of friends tested by bigotry and the illegal machinations of a religious cult. The author serves up an irresistibly wisecracking narrator in Mo Kirkland. Every page ripples with a controlled cleverness. There’s also a rawness to this tale similar to that which many teens face in the real world. Moser can wax rhapsodic about young love, but he shows that he knows how to raise the tension in the second half of the novel."
James Moser has always loved stories in all forms. He is in his fourteenth year of working with high school students. The author’s goal was to write a book that would inspire even his most reluctant readers. Young adults have always inspired him. As such, he wanted to show teenagers transforming themselves to overcome obstacles, which is what he watches them do, every day.
Moser has a B.A. in English and a Master’s degree in Secondary English Education. He lives in Seattle with his beautiful wife and eight year old son. When he’s not reading and writing, or thinking about reading and writing, he’s watching way too much television while snacking on frozen treats from Trader Joe’s. Man, those things are good.
Where to find James Moser:
Monday, March 3, 2014
Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.
Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.
But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….
With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.