Monday, November 20, 2017

BEFORE WE WERE YOURS

Quote for the week:  When opportunity knocks, some people are in the backyard looking for four-leaf clovers.  

I used to look for them in our pasture but never found a 4-leaf one. Now, I'm waiting for opportunity to knock! I think it got lost.

All I have for today is another book I recently read and will be reviewing soon.

BEFORE WE WERE YOURS

By Lisa Wingate


This story caught my attention because of the subject matter. The following is from the jacket cover, and I think you'll see why it appealed to me.

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shanty boat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge--until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents--but they quickly realize the dark truth.

Based on one of America's most notorious real-life scandals- in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country.

After seeing this, I had to read these children's stories. 



Review coming soon.

My order from Amazon also arrived a few days ago. More books.

Happy Reading.

Oh, and be sure to stop by on Wednesday to celebrate a new book birthday. I just love book birthdays. I'm also reviewing it.

See you later. Have a super week.


















Monday, November 13, 2017

VITAMINS AND DEATH -- RED RIBBONS

Quote for the Week: 

I know this is late, but I did not post on the weekend and wanted to honor our heroes. 

I have a couple of reviews for you from books I recently read. Enjoy.




VITAMINS AND DEATH

By Medeia Sharif



Imagine a school where the teachers have little to no control. Imagine a school where boys take turns with girls in the restroom, while another boy stands guard outside the door. To me, it’s difficult to think that schools like this exist, but Author Medeia Sharif opened my eyes to the fact that some schools may indeed be like the one in her novel VITAMINS AND DEATH.


Deidra Battle attends such a school after her mother lost her previous teaching job for having an affair with a student. Deidra lives in fear that others will discover she is the daughter of the woman that made the scandal everyone read about. She also has to deal with a mother who lives on pills. 
Deidra just wants to get through the next few months, graduate, and attend the local college. Is that asking too much?


My heart broke for Deidra. No child or teen should have to live in fear of the students at school and especially not of their mother.  The author has created a family that unfortunately may be too real. All through the novel I kept hoping good things would happen for Deidra.


The language is rough and some scenes are graphic. Ms. Sharif tells it like it is. This story is not for young teens, but older teens might find a lesson in it. Another good novel about life from Medeia Sharif. 

###




RED RIBBONS

By Hanne Arts



Being a teenager is not easy. Even a healthy teen has problems. But if a girl, or boy, has health issues, life can seem impossible. In Author Hanne Arts latest novel, RED RIBBON, Christina has anorexia, as well as other problems. She hates her body. She loves her boyfriend, Filip, who has his own life to deal with. Christina keeps a diary that allows the reader to see her emotions, to feel her challenges, and to hope that she finds herself, the girl that she can be.


RED RIBBON is a heartbreaking story that will have you wishing you could tell Chrissy that she’s beautiful, and her family loves her, and she can be healed. The author has written a book that young people who have self-image problems or eating disorders or other ideas that make them feel inferior should read. This novel would be a great addition to middle grade and high school libraries.

The author sent me a copy of the book for my honest review.

### 

Happy Reading. I think I'll read a fun story next. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

#INKRIPPLES FINISHING THAT BOOK

Quote for the week:  I can shake off everything as I write, my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn. Anne Frank

Today is #InkRipple Day, and it sure fits me right now. The topic is Finishing That Book. Boy, do I need that. I hang my head in shame.

Why? Well, I have four stories started: one I'm revising, one is in rough draft, another is ready for revising, and the last is just a title with a character. Oh, and that's not counting an historical story that I'm about halfway through, or was before I decided to work on a different one. So, what is wrong with me. Why can't I finish one book before I start another? Am I afraid to finish, afraid they will be blah, no good, boring, etc?

I started revising one a few days ago and swear I'm sticking with it until the end. I'd like to have it ready to submit soon.

There's also the two books I now have my contracts back. Hope to revise them and publish.

So, have you ever been like this? Just can't seem to finish anything? If so, did you find an answer?


#InkRipples is a monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, and Katie L. Carroll. They post on the first Monday of every month with a new topic. They're all authors, but you don't have to be to participate. You can spread your own ripples any day of the week, just be sure to link back to Katie, Kai, and Mary. Happy Ripples to you.

December's Topic is GOALS

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

INSECURE WRITERS SUPPORT GROUP

It's November 1st, and you know what that means. IWSG. I'm going to post this then settle in to watch the World Series. My team isn't in it, but it's been a great series. Lots of home runs. The most a World Series has ever had, I think the announcer said.

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.

Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder of IWSG, 

Our Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG

His awesome co-hosts for the November 1 posting of the IWSG are Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton, MJ Fifield,  and Rebecca Douglass!

Stop by their blogs and say "Thank You."


Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Remember, the question is optional!!!

November 1st question: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

This is an interesting question. I've never participated in the NaNo project. Never really wanted to. I think it's mostly because I don't do well under pressure. Some daysL I write several pages of a story. Other days I write only a couple. So saying I have to write so many words a day would not work for me. For one thing, I don't count words. And, I have trouble going on until I'm satisfied with what I've written. In the first draft, I'm not so picky, but I still write slow. So don't give me a word number to write. I couldn't do it. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Happy Writing to you all.



Listen to the butterfly!


Monday, October 30, 2017

BEST. NIGHT. EVER REVIEW - #INKRIPPLES - HALLOIWEEN

Happy Halloween, a day early. 

I have a couple of things to talk about today.

First a book review of a wonderful, fun story I read recently.



BEST. NIGHT. EVER.


A STORY TOLD FROM SEVEN POINTS OF VIEW


By Rachele Alpine, Ronni Arno, Alison Cherry, Stephanie Faris, Jen Malone, Gail Nail, and Dee Romito



Remember those good old days of Middle School or Junior High? How could you forget them, right? It was a time of change, a time of parties, and a time of lots of “firsts.” First crushes, along with disappointments, broken hearts, and also some humor. Yes, humor, if not so much for the middle grade students as for the readers of BEST. NIGHT. EVER by Rachele Alpine, Ronni Arno, Alison Cherry, Stephanie Faris, Jen Malone, Gail Nail, and Dee Romito.


This novel is such a fun story, even though the students, at times, did not think what happened to them was fun. Some of the incidents sure reminded me of emotions running wild and feelings easily hurt back in my middle school days. In BEST. NIGHT. EVER, we meet Carmen, Genevieve, Ellie, Ashlyn, Ryan, Jade, and Tess, each with a story to tell. The authors do a splendid job of catching the emotions and voices of middle school kids.


We see the big night with its expectations and all that happens through the eyes and hearts of each character. Middle school students and even older teens, not to mention older folks like me, should enjoy reading this book. Recommended for school libraries, classrooms, and your own personal library.

Available at Amazon and other places where great books are found.


Now, let's talk about

#InkRipples



#InkRipples is a monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, ad Katie L. Carroll. They post on the first Monday (or sometimes other Mondays) of every month with a new topic. You're invited to post your own Ripples. Just be sure and link to Kai, Mary, and Katie.

October's Topic is CAREER VS. HOBBY

(Yes, I know this is the last Monday, not the first. Be nice.)

So, what is my writing? I think, in the beginning, it was a hobby. I was still teaching and had little time for another career, really did not want one because I enjoyed teaching. Then one day, I was reading a children's magazine. I don't recall which magazine, but that little light bulb above my head turned on. My students loved the magazines. They had neat stories in them and interesting articles. Mmm. We did a lot of fun things in science and art. Would these magazines be interested in our work? Well, I'd never know until I tried, right? 

So, I wrote a couple of articles, sent them off and forgot about them. Then one day I came home from school, glanced at my mail and guess what? Yep, HAPPINESS, a TV Guide type of magazine, had published the article I sent them and a check was enclosed. My first earnings as a writer. It was about having fire drills in the home, like we had at school.

From there I decided to try fiction. By the time I retired from teaching, my writing had switched from a hobby to a career. And that's what it is today. My career.
###

And, if you're in the mood for a spooky read to celebrate Halloween, check these out from Dancing Lemur Press.



Bloodwalker
Parallels: Felix Was Here
Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life
Matowak: Woman Who Cries
Maski: Broken but not Dead

Look out for flying ghosts and clanking skeletons, or maybe a sweet kitty on a broomstick.

Happy Reading!


Monday, October 23, 2017

FAIRDAY MORROW REVIEW & A PARTY

What a neat way to start the week. First, here's my review for FAIRDAY MORROW AND THE TALKING LIBRARY by Authors Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson and a reminder of the  "Boo-K" Bash at Jessica's blog. I was supposed to post the review next week, but decided today would be more fun. So have a great time. I'm going over in a few minutes to join the party.


Lovely Cover. Just the Right Amount of Spookiness.


FAIRDAY MORROW AND THE TALKING LIBRARY


By Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson

Illustrations by David Sanangelo



Have you ever met a bookworm that eats words in a book? If not, now is your chance. Pick up a copy of FAIRDAY MORROW AND THE TALKING LIBRARY by Authors Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson and help Fairday and friends solve the mystery of Begonia House.


From the very beginning we are on an adventure with Fairday, Lizzie, and Marcus, the DMS (Detective Mystery Squad) to discover the meaning of notes written in riddles about words being lost and a bookworm and something about shoes that Fairday keeps receiving. Will the DMS solve the mystery in time to save the books, or will the bookworm win and destroy all the books. How horrible to not have books to read.


FAIRDAY MORROW AND THE TALKING LIBRARY is such a fun read. And I was right there with the DMS, trying to solve the mystery. I bet you will be too.  The authors have just the right amount of spookiness in the story. The idea of books being eaten by a bookworm has given me a new definition for the word “bookworm.” I always thought it meant a person who read a lot, but in this story we meet a new sort of bookworm.


And, how about a Halloween party with guests dressed as … I’m not telling. This novel is perfect for school classrooms and libraries, as well as your own library. Recommended.


I received an ARC for my honest review.

###

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

MARKED BEAUTY TOUR S. A. LARSEN



Welcome! Thank you for joining S. A. Larsen's tour for her latest book, MARKED BEAUTY. I'm so happy to see you here and think you will enjoy your visit. So let's get started.


This cover is gorgeous. Love the butterfly.

Title: Marked Beauty
Author: S.A. Larsen
Publisher: Ellysian Press
Release Date: October 2017


Blurb:

Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.

Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.

Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.

After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger.


As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.


Links





MARKED BEAUTY

Excerpt

S.A. Larsen


The seatbelt jolted Ana back into her seat as the car plunged into the water, the hood crinkling like a weak soda can. Glass shards peppered her skin. The first sensation of cool water sprayed over her.
Ana moaned. She rolled her head to the side. Katee’s hair lay in strings across her crumpled seat; she wasn’t moving. God, why wasn’t she moving?


Pain screeched up Ana’s thigh as she yanked on her leg to move closer to Katee; it wouldn’t budge, wedged between two sheets of metal. It stung so badly that her stomach rumbled. She felt faint.
“Katee,” Ana rasped, the seatbelt pressing against her throat. “I’ll get you out of here.”
She didn’t respond. Blood trickled from her forehead, and her arm flared out in a direction it shouldn’t; it was definitely broken.


Ana fumbled to reach the clasp of her seatbelt, but the mangled console was in the way. Her fingers wouldn’t fit in the space.


Tears threatened to leak from her eyes, but she held them back, hiccupping instead. She always hiccupped when things went wrong. And that was as wrong as it had ever been.


The car shifted. Metal creaked and grunted. The lake poured into their glass and steel coffin. Ana wrenched her seatbelt, trying to loosen it and loop it over her head, hoping to shimmy free. There was too much tension. It wouldn’t let go. And like the rest of her pathetic life, she had no control.


Stupidly, Ana screeched for help and gulped a mouthful of lake. Why should she bother? No one would hear her. She rested her head back to float in the water, waiting for the inevitable. She thought of her father. She could never leave him like her mother had.


She spit water from her mouth and gasped for air. Her chest burned. The strain of expanding her ribcage was too much. Her vision blurred. Dizziness taunted her head. A soft buzz was all she could hear. She thought about praying, like Mem said.

###

How's that for a teaser? Thank you, S. A. Larsen, for a beautiful story.

About the Author:

S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. Visit her cyber home anytime at www.salarsenbooks.com.







If you'd like to follow the tour, here's the link:

Link to Tour Schedule:

Wait! We're not finished yet. The author has some giveaways. Check these out. No promises the Rafflecopter will work. It doesn't like me, but there's a link too.

Giveaway Details:
Blog Tour Giveaway:
·         One (1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

Code:

Giveaway Link:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a013e60750/?

Release Party Giveaway:
What better way to celebrate a book birthday then by a giveaway! There are many ways to enter, which you'll find below. You can win an iTunes, Amazon, or Starbucks gift card, an authentic Vera Bradley Little Crossbody in Cobalt Tile, an assortment of bookish swag, and even a KINDLE Fire HD 7"! The giveaway runs from release day, October 17, 2017 to December 5, 2017. Winners will be announced via social media December 7, 2017.

*No purchase necessary to win*
However, if you have read Marked Beauty or purchase it and read you can earn extra entries by posting a review on any major online retail bookstore and Goodreads! All the information you'll need is in the form below.
BUT there's more...
FOR WRITERS!

Writers who enter can WIN a first five pages critique!

Code:

Now hasn't this been fun? 

Happy Reading!


Monday, October 16, 2017

A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAYS TO START A NEW WEEK

Quote for the week:

I hope you're enjoying autumn. Today (Sunday) has been really cool and breezy. The cool is good, the wind not so much. But I'm not complaining. I'm just pausing like the picture says and being happy.

I'd like to share another book I read recently. Enjoy.


THE REMNANT Review


By William Michael Davidson



Have you ever read a novel that made you wonder if the events in the story could happen in real life? If so, did it give you the chills? As I read THE REMNANT by Author William Michael Davidson it sure made me think. What if? I know this is a novel. I know it’s science fiction. But there is that question.


In the novel, when someone breaks the law they are sent to the island, which is a death sentence. The story opens with a man named Josh Mosley confessing his sin. What is the sin that sends him to death? Praying. Yes, praying. He tried to run away, but the people have a neurochip in their skull which makes it impossible for them to escape. Found guilty of his crime, he knew his fate.


Colton Pierce is the number one extractor for the Center for Theological Control (CTC), which deals with those who break the law. He’s in line for promotion to the top man. Sometimes life does not go as one plans, however. And Pierce’s life soon takes a dramatic turn. He has to make a choice: save his twelve-year-old son’s life from capture and death by the CTC or cling to his job he’s really good at and help the CTC capture him.


William Michael Davidson has written a novel that will make you think, at least it did me. Is it possible that such a thing could happen? Look at our world today and answer that question. The author did a nice job of keeping me guessing how things would turn out. Let’s just hope that this story does not come true. Recommended.

AMAZON     DANCING LEMUR PRESS And other places where books are sold.

###

I'd also like to remind you of the Audio Book Special.



October Special

Buy one audio book, get one free. What a deal, right?

Buy any of the eleven Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. audio books in October  2017 from either iTunes, Amazon, or Audible.

Send a copy of your receipt (less any payment info) along with your 1st and 2nd choice of free audio book to inquiriesATdancinglemurpressllc.com.

You will receive a code for a free audio book download.

Choose your free book from these ten titles:

He Gave Me Barn Cats by Maria Santomasso-Hyde
The Remnant by William Michael Davidson
Tornado Warning by Tamara Hart Heiner
CassaStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh
CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh
CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh
Bloodwalker by L.X. Cain
Matowak: Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler
Under a Purple Moon by Beverly Stowe McClure
Dragon of the Stars by Alex J. Cavanaugh

Ten books are available as a free book. CassaSeries by Alex J. Cavanaugh qualifies as a purchase but the boxed set is not available as a free book.


Happy Listening.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

FAIRDAY MORROW AND THE TALKING LIBRARY

HAPPY 2nd BOOK BIRTHDAY, FAIRDAY!


The next case in the DMS files is open! Follow along with Fairday and friends as the mystery unwinds in the Talking Library. Anything’s possible!




Fairday Morrow and the Talking Library
Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson
Illustrations by David SanAngelo
Publish Date: October 23, 2017
Publisher: Willow Press
ISBN# 978-0-9993449-0-3















I See Dead Quotes
By Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson




Run! Lol— dead quotes are scary when they suddenly jump out at you. Not once, but again and again, and in random places. You don’t know what you did to conjure them into your manuscript, but there they are; flat quotations hanging around with their curly cousins.

When we were working on editing the manuscript for The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow, a reviewer told us we were using, what they called, “dead” quotes. At first, we had no clue what the person was talking about, until we saw one. And then another, and another. They were everywhere, randomly scattered throughout the ms. Neither of us could figure out how we'd made them or knew that they even existed until they were pointed out to us. Cleaning them up was a lesson learned, and now we check to make sure our quotation marks look lively when writing dialogue.

Dead quotes aren’t actually dead, they’re just flat. Their real name is straight quotes. So, yes, there are curly quotes and straight quotes, and they live amidst many other mysteries that pop up in writing.

The first thing to know about a story is that it’s already written inside your head. It’s born in your imagination, and only after that can it be transposed onto a page. Words are carefully finagled in line, and the scene comes into focus in the reader's mind’s eye— this is storymagic.

But the eyes on the page string the words together. If this step isn’t properly done, the story may be lost to poor appeal, even if it’s a brilliant idea. To create scenes in another’s imagination, you need to face down the edits and not run from the dead quotes. Give them back their curl, even if it takes time and patience. In the end, you want to enchant readers with a book that is beautiful inside and out, and it’s important to pay attention to the details.


When we take a deeper look into the craft of building a story, it’s clear words take on a life of their own. In Fairday Morrow and the Talking Library, the DMS finds out punctuation can be scary, and Lizzy will tell you there’s a big difference between flat and curly. Our advice to writers editing their ms— keep a keen eye and remember, truth lies betwixt the lines.


Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson, co-authors of the Fairday Morrow Series.
Visit us on the web at: fairdaysfiles.com
Stephanie and Jess met freshman year of high school. It was in English class where they first discovered they liked the same books. Their friendship grew, and over the years they went on to work as servers together, go to the same college for a short time, and they even became roommates for a while. Many books were discussed, but none were ever written. Now, after the release of their first middle grade novel, The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow, Stephanie and Jess are excited to keep building the mystery in Fairday Morrow and the Talking Library. Anything’s possible!