Tuesday, 30 September 2014

7 Questions with #Author Kari Nichols (Rogue) @TheKariNichols #Fantasy #Romance

Posted by Bob Richardson on 10:00 with No comments

Tell us a bit about your family.
I met my husband playing sand volleyball when we were in college, and we’ve been happily married for seven years. Last July we moved to New York City with our two little black cats, Sushi and Bamboo. We own a wedding photography studio named Cottonwood Studios where we travel all over the world to take photos of beautiful couples!
How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
I’m blessed with friends and family that I can run to every time I start to doubt my work. I usually just have my husband read through whatever is causing me stress, and he gives me feedback on how to fix what’s wrong … or he tells me I’m crazy because it’s great. Either way, it’s wonderful.

What scares you the most?
Apart from bugs (yes, I’m really girly when it comes to creepy crawlers), I would have to say becoming stagnant in life. I really enjoy taking risks and living life as an adventure. If things are too calm or comfortable, I start to get freaked out.

What makes you happiest?
Traveling the world with my husband.

What’s your greatest character strength?
I never do anything without putting 100% of myself into it.

What’s your weakest character trait?
I’m one-tracked to a fault. I can only concentrate on one thing at a time. And my poor husband suffers for it!

Why do you write?
I’ve always needed a creative outlet. I’m a professional photographer, so that takes care of the artistic side of me. But writing allows me to vent and rejoice and create and destroy. It’s therapeutic.

rogue

“We stand united, Family of Immortals. Plagued by life. Cursed by the hand of God …”

Rogue was born into an immortal family whose wealth is marked by a trail of blood. But when he meets the unnervingly familiar assistant of his next target, an unexpected rush of emotions begins to unravel his carefully laid plans.

Lissie lives a mundane life filled with work … and little else. She hasn’t taken a risk since she moved to New York City after college—seven years ago. But when the mysterious Matthew McCloud walks through the door of her office, she finds herself diving head-first into a whirlwind romance she never saw coming.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Urban Fantasy, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kari Nichols on Facebook & Twitter

Monday, 29 September 2014

#BookReview - Imaginary Friend by Troy McCombs @sonne3 #Occult #ReviewShare

Posted by Ravina Andrea Kurian on 08:30 with No comments
Imaginary FriendImaginary Friend by Troy McCombs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nathan is an abused child who as a coping mechanism (in my opinion) releases a Tulpa. While Nathan is weak and avoid confrontation as best as he can, Max the Tulpa destroys Nathan’s enemies by eating their hearts out. This makes him stronger.

I liked the story although I did feel the editing could have been given another polish. Crucial commas were missed which made some sentences seem odd. Some spelling errors were also noted but I’m not sure if this were intentional as part of the dialogue or context of the character.

In essence, this story has potential to be a great book. It brings up crucial issues we need to deal with as parents and as society in general. However, what could stop a person from actually enjoying the book as much as they should is the unattractive cover and overuse of adjectives.

Would I recommend this read? Yes, but if you are not a fan of violence or have been abused before, this MAY be a difficult read.

Overall assessment:
Content: 4.5/5
Editing: 3.5/5
Formatting: 4/5
Pacing: 4.5/5

Offensive content?: Based on language and settings, I would recommend this book adult readers only.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.

View all my reviews

Sunday, 28 September 2014

#BookReview - Chances & Choices (Duology) by @AnnOmasta #Romance #ReviewShare

Posted by Ravina Andrea Kurian on 12:30 with No comments
Chances and Choices (The Chances and Choices Duology #1-2)Chances and Choices by Ann Omasta
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was expecting this to be like many other contemporary romance stories but was pleasantly surprised. While some scenes are predictable and the love triangle was expected, Abby's decision making process and reactions were some of the best parts of the book.

Because of the tricky situation she's in (pregnant but does not which one of the twins is the father) the reader may not always agree with her but in all fairness, Abby is one of the most well-developed characters I have read in some time.

The continuation from the first book to the second is also consistent and you do not see any rapid changes in any of the main characters which I liked. The writing is witty and to the point without unnecessary scenes or prolonged reflections as is sometimes the case with female main characters.

Would I recommend this read? Yes, I really liked this duology and if you are looking for a light read, this book is for you.

Overall assessment:
Content: 4/5
Editing: 4/5
Formatting: 4.5/5
Pacing: 4/5

Offensive content?: Based on language and settings, I would recommend this book adult readers only.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.(less)

View all my reviews

Friday, 26 September 2014

7 Questions with #Authors John E. Wade II & Charlotte Livingston Piotrowski #Inspirational

Posted by Bob Richardson on 07:30 with No comments
Note: These are being answered by John E. Wade II (JW) and Charlotte Livingston Piotrwoski (CP), as indicated below.

Tell us a bit about your family.

JW: I grew up in small towns in Mississippi and Georgia, and though my family started with very little, because he was an excellent investor, my father eventually endowed the football stadium at Mississippi State University, now the Davis Wade Stadium.

What makes you happiest?


JW: I am seeking my third and final wife, and I believe finding that true love would make me happier than I can even imagine.

CP: My husband, Darrin, and I enjoy traveling very much, though the simple things in life, such as cooking a wonderful meal together, bring me the most happiness.

What’s your greatest character strength?

JW: I have been told I am the most honest and ambitious person (my therapist had ever worked with).

Why do you write?

JW: I believe my calling is to write about heaven on earth, and that feeling is so strong that I do it on a nearly daily basis.

What are you most proud of in your personal life?

CP: I am most proud of the fact that, after having suffered much loss after Hurricane Katrina, I was able to piece my life back together, change career paths (leaving my beloved field of litigation for health reasons), rebuild my home, and trust that I would eventually love again. I am happy to say that although my life is much simpler in many ways than it had been, it is more fulfilling and happier than ever. I give my husband, Darrin, much credit.

What books did you love growing up?

CP: I read “The Outsiders” many times. I suppose, even though I was basically from the “right side of the tracks,” having gone to an excellent school, I always felt a bit different. As a young adult, I loved “The Awakening,” for its image of feminine strength.

What genre of books do you adore?

JW: I believe in reading for growth, so I read only non-fiction, mostly biographies. I have enjoyed learning about some of the most important and influential people of our times.

Glimpses of Heaven on Earth

Editor and author John E. Wade II has compiled a spiritual guide of invaluable insight for finding peace and meaning in life while making the world a better place for all. Along with co-authors Charlotte Livingston Piotrowski, Daniel Agatino, Michael Nagler, and Martin Rutte, this collection of enlightening essays and inspirational quotes from renowned thinkers and leaders throughout history provides the intellectual tools needed to live a more harmonious life.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Inspirational
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with John E. Wade II on Facebook

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

#BookReview - Out of Practice Aphrodite (Naughty Goddess Chronicles) by S.E. Babin #ReviewShare

Posted by Ravina Andrea Kurian on 10:30 with No comments
Out of Practice Aphrodite (Book 1 of The Naughty Goddess Chronicles)Out of Practice Aphrodite by S.E. Babin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was one of the most entertaining books I have read in awhile. Her outlook on life was refreshing. This is one of those books you read as a pick me up and S.E. Babin does just that for the reader. Abby is this clumsy yet loving heroine.

The way the gods were named were also well suited to the respective situations and despite the seriousness of the situation, I did have a difficulty keeping a straight face. For example, her ex's name is God of War and as chaos ensues in her life she runs into the Goddess of Chaos. It is one thing to write about Greek mythology but to have enough knowledge to add your own perspective, very cool.

Would I recommend this read? Yes. It's a lovely, lovely book from the cover to its last page. If you like chick lit or a light read after a busy week, I definitely recommend this book.

Overall assessment:
Content: 4.5/5
Editing: 4/5
Formatting: 4/5
Pacing: 4.5/5

Offensive content?: Based on language and settings, this book is recommended for readers aged 15 and above.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.

View all my reviews

#BookReview - Peter Simmons & the Sovereign by @RamzArtso #YA #ReviewShare

Posted by Ravina Andrea Kurian on 08:30 with No comments
Peter Simmons and the Sovereign (Peter Simmons, #1)Peter Simmons and the Sovereign by Ramz Artso
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

Storywise this is a good book. A young boy on an adventure is for any reader who is young at heart. However, given the length of this book, the author's choice of words had many of us scratching our heads. For example - rich hair, the agency has grown putrid or ordinary flaneur. You can have rich hair colour but otherwise how is hair poor? How is a flaneur not ordinary?

Either English is not the author's first language or his editor loves adjectives. How this ended for the reader is that a really good story became longer than it should have. Also, punctuation, punctuation, punctuation. It was *very* difficult to keep up with some of the dialogue because there were no quote marks.

I liked that the book has more than one theme and the author was able to live up to all of it. It has adventure, science fiction and coming of age in the form of Peter Simmons who battles it all - knives, guns and growing up - the hardest battle for any teenager.

Overall assessment:
Content: 4/5
Editing: 2.5/5
Formatting: 4/5
Pacing: 3.5/5

Offensive content?: Based on language and settings, this book is recommended for readers aged 13 and above.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

@Lord_Ra_Krishna on Deep Breathing & #Meditation - #AmReading #Poetry

Posted by Bob Richardson on 12:30 with No comments

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?

Excellent question. First of all I turn to the most simplest action, to breathe. Concentrating on deep breaths and then meditation. Once I find balance within myself I utilize what is known in Hermetic philosophy and alchemy, as mental transmutation. All that basically means is to focus your attention from a negative point to a positive. For example if I’m feeling fear, instead of attempting to erase the fear I focus on courage and allow the courage to transmute the fear. The courage comes from my desire to inspire people.

What scares you the most?

Not being myself, and not being the self I have “evolved” into. Also not for filing my destiny.

What makes you happiest? 

I am already happy, you have to be happy from within first. Also making other people happy, seeing my children smile, seeing other people smile, seeing people happy when they “get it” or have an “AH-HA “ moment. Beautiful music, the ocean and some good “legal” medical marijuana.

What’s your greatest character strength
?
Giving

What’s your weakest character trait?

Patience

Why do you write? 
I actually just like to create with words, in itself. However, the point of my writing is to share new ideas and create doubt.

What are you most proud of in your personal life? 

My children



"This “new age” book of poetry reflects the diverse views and philosophies of it’s author Ra Krishna EL. It’s an intimate, humorous and thought provoking group of poems intended to evoke strong emotion. To quote the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, this style of poetry can be called “Zukunfts poesie“ which translates into “Poetry of the future”, where truly original ideas are presented thru poetry. Also known as post Nietzschean poetry.

It’s subjects include society, pop culture, love, religious dogma, God and the new age of Aquarius. This book was written and published during the false incarceration of its author in Chicago’s notorious Cook County Jail, the largest jail in the country."

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Genre - Poetry, Philosophy
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Lord Ra Krishna EL on Facebook & Twitter

WITNESS TO MY HEART #Excerpt by @LoniFlowers #Romance #Contemporary

Posted by Bob Richardson on 11:00 with No comments

Excerpt contains strong language 
Grabbing my shoulders, Max pushed me against the wall. I sucked in a sharp breath and tried to push him away from me, but couldn’t make him budge an inch. “Get your hands off me,” I demanded.

Stepping closer, Max leaned in and the muscles of his chest flexed under my palms. His stance was wide, each foot planted on the sides of mine. When I peered down, I noticed the waist of his jeans hung below his hip bones. Considering my position, and Max’s over-reactive, accusatory tone, I did my best not to drool because I was supposed to be mad. I was pissed, right?

“Don’t play games with me, Abi.”

Max stared down, his gaze skimming over my chest as I stood there in one of Caroline’s pretty, pink push-up bras. Having more than enough to fill the small cups, I didn't require the extra lift. My chest rose up and down with visible succession in every breath I took and I didn’t know if it was because I was scared or possibly getting turned on.

“I don’t play those types of games, Max.”

Shit! Not the appropriate comeback in a situation like this.

His grip hardened, “Now! Tell me why you covered for me?”

“Ow, let me go! I was only doing you a favor.”

“I didn’t ask for handouts when I came here. What the fuck did David say to you!?”

“He said you were a good guy and I shouldn’t kill you; but obviously, he has you mixed up with someone else because you’re a fucking lunatic!”

“Oh.”

“Oh? You man-handle me and all you can say is oh?” Forget shocked, I was furious. “For your information, Charlie is a friend, like a father, and he’s extremely protective over me. Sometimes, he does background checks on the people in my life. If he had seen you here, he would have done one on you and on your vehicle. I assumed you wouldn’t want him snooping around. Plus, if he did find something he didn't approve of, he wouldn’t let me…”

I instantly paused and thought if he didn't stop this line of interrogation, I could say something I shouldn't. My record of zero slip-ups since being placed in the Witness Protection Program might be broken this very day.

“Wouldn’t let you… what?”

“Nothing. He wouldn't want me staying here. Excuse me for trying to be proactive.” If he thought he could talk to me or handle me however he wanted, he had another thing coming. I straightened up before I leaned forward, letting my hands slide up his chest until my fingers curled over the top of his shoulders. His brow rose with interest, but I ignored it. Pulling Max’s chest forward, I pressed my chest against his to whisper into his ear. “Didn’t I tell you not to underestimate me?”

Max pulled back, slightly squinting as if he suddenly recalled something. His eyes gazed intently on me and I was momentarily frozen. His lips parted, and a rushed breath escaped his mouth as his finger curled around a lock of my hair. He gathered it in his hand and pulled it away from my shoulders. His face twisted in confusion before amusement sparkled in his eyes. My unexpected heavy breathing seemed to match his own.

“Darling, I never underestimate anyone, but you...”

“What? You think you know me? Don’t pretend to assess me either.”

“Tell me, do you act this way every time you get pissed off? Because I think I could get used to it.”

“Who pushed whom against the wall in a fit of anger?” I countered.

His full, pink lips curved into a small grin as he pierced me with his amber brown eyes, the color of a light brandy. Like a cognac that slid down your throat until it found the right spot and scorched your insides. God, why did he have to be so damn sexy?

My fingers swiped over the taut muscles in his neck and I might have murmured an audible sigh. I wasn’t sure. When his grin spread wider, I knew I was caught. It had been far too long since I'd been intimate with a man, and standing that close to him, inhaling so much testosterone, became too much for me to handle. He being a jackass didn't make much difference at that moment.

Witness to my Heart

Keep a low profile. That's what Abigale Peterson was supposed to do, especially when the person she was being protected from was one of the world's worst crime lords. After seven years in the Witness Protection Program, she felt no safer now than she did when she was seventeen. Revenge was rarely forgotten when it came to a professional criminal like Zerilli.

Low profiles meant no social life and definitely no love life.

Paranoia and lies became daily habits, going against everything Abigale believed in, but they kept her safe. They kept everyone safe.

Until a house fire puts her out of that safety and into the arms of a stranger. Max Smith is sexy, smart, and has major attitude. He’s the only one who seems to get her. He calms her fears and comforts her from her nightmares. But he also sees right through her lies.

Before Abigale can stop, she’s in too deep; confiding too much and breaking the one rule she promised herself to uphold: Never fall in love.

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Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Loni Flowers through Facebook & Twitter

Saturday, 20 September 2014

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ICE #Excerpt by @TheobaldSprague #Climate #Divorce #Adventure

Posted by Bob Richardson on 08:30 with No comments
One of the main objectives for the trip and documentary was to come away with a fairly precise understanding as to the state of environmental affairs. I’m sorry to say that in this I failed. But I have an excuse. The heft of Mother Nature’s intentions was introduced to us far sooner and to a much larger degree than ever anticipated and became a very large part of our daily lives. By the time we got to The Passage, the scope and aim of the trip was simply to finish in one piece. The time planned for interviews and casual observations had turned into a race against the seasonal clock and we had to be satisfied with the few interviews that we got. Quickly the story of the trip changed focus from overview and observation to not getting hampered by the elements.
To have missed some planned interviews and time spent among the various communities in exchange for surviving the ordeal was fine with me. There’s a saying that in the 1800s, those hearty souls who took a stagecoach journey across the United States started off with great excitement and anticipation of all that they would see and encounter. By the end, they were just happy to reach their destinations alive. Never was it as true as with our trip to and through the Northwest Passage that summer.
The second area I wanted to investigate and learn from was the potential of commercial shipping through The Passage. What I learned from those I interviewed was more focused and defined compared to their beliefs on global warming. While some small commercial shipping does currently exist and some more will certainly start up, all of whom I spoke with felt that the large-scale supertanker-type of shipping would never happen.
I was told that when the area is frozen, perhaps more than three-quarters of the year, it provides not only migratory routes but ice roads as well. To one extent or another, all of the communities from the smallest fishing camps to larger ones like Cambridge Bay depend on these ice roads in and out of their area. Any interest in larger commercial shipping would meet great resistance.
The Northwest Passage is, for the most part, an uncharted area. When we were able to take soundings in some locations, the bottom would be ten- feet deep, then drop to perhaps a hundred feet, then come back up again to ten feet, all in the stretch of perhaps a quarter-mile.
It’s my feeling—as well as that of many of those who live in the Nunavut Territories—that if commercial concerns want to use this shortcut between the two major oceans, there would have to be extensive surveying and dredging to accommodate their needs, perhaps negating some of the immediate profits to be found. In dealing with the ice, shipping will find it to be completely unpredictable and each year it would present its own grave challenges.
Without the promises of immediate profits, I don’t see these concerns to have a large concentration span. Again, these are just my thoughts based on observations by the few who live up there and are by no means steeped in feasibility studies and corporate research.
One area that doesn’t seem to grab the headlines as much as global warming or potential shipping, but to me holds a far more frightening potential for disaster, is that of the natural resources to be found in and around The Passage.
The exploration of lucrative natural resources just under the surface is something that I feel could destroy one of the most delicate and pristine ecosystems on our planet. There are five Arctic powers vying for dominance: Russia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the United States. Unlike Antarctica, there is very little paperwork in place delineating which nation has what claim to which area. Far too complex to try to break down in this writing, suffice it to say it’s a bit like the Old West, all trying to stake a claim via interpreting antiquated laws and rulings to their benefit.
A sailor and his family’s harrowing and inspiring story of their attempt to sail the treacherous Northwest Passage.
Sprague Theobald, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and expert sailor with over 40,000 offshore miles under his belt, always considered the Northwest Passage–the sea route connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific–the ultimate uncharted territory. Since Roald Amundsen completed the first successful crossing of the fabled Northwest Passage in 1906, only twenty-four pleasure craft have followed in his wake. Many more people have gone into space than have traversed the Passage, and a staggering number have died trying. From his home port of Newport, Rhode Island, through the Passage and around Alaska to Seattle, it would be an 8,500-mile trek filled with constant danger from ice, polar bears, and severe weather.

What Theobald couldn’t have known was just how life-changing his journey through the Passage would be. Reuniting his children and stepchildren after a bad divorce more than fifteen years earlier, the family embarks with unanswered questions, untold hurts, and unspoken mistrusts hanging over their heads. Unrelenting cold, hungry polar bears, and a haunting landscape littered with sobering artifacts from the tragic Franklin Expedition of 1845, as well as personality clashes that threaten to tear the crew apart, make The Other Side of the Ice a harrowing story of survival, adventure, and, ultimately, redemption.

(TO WATCH THE OFFICIAL HD TEASER FOR “The Other Side of The Ice” [book and documentary] PLEASE GO TO: VIMEO.COM/45526226) 

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Genre – Memoir, adventure, family, climate
Rating – PG
More details about the author
 Connect with Sprague Theobald on Facebook & Twitter

Friday, 19 September 2014

7 Questions with #Author Karen Welch (Hearts Unfold) #AmReading #WomensFic

Posted by Bob Richardson on 10:30 with No comments

Why do you write?
There are two answers to that question. Initially, before I published and gained a readership, I wrote because the words whirled in my head until they demanded to be put on paper, where they seemed quite content to remain. Now that my books have been read and I’ve heard the reaction from readers I also write for more of that kind of connection. I’m no longer content to keep my writing hidden. Whatever the reaction of readers now, the relationship we share is strongly addictive.

Have you always enjoyed writing?
I probably wrote my first “piece” before my tenth birthday. I was always scribbling something in notebooks, although the stories rarely got off the ground. In my teens, I wrote constantly, badly, and for the sheer satisfaction of pushing words around into ideas and images. All it took was a teacher or two telling me I had a “way” with words, and I was a writer. Anyone who writes knows the enjoyment is more like a compulsion and often comes at a price.

What motivates you to write?
That varies. At times I write to meet a self-imposed deadline. At other times I write because I need to. Once a story is underway, I can’t wait to see where it’s going. I get attached to my characters and feel the need for their company. Then there are times when I just want to doodle with an idea, put down a scene that pops into my head, just in case someday it proves to have potential I don’t have the time to pursue at the moment.

What are you most proud of in your personal life?
Surviving. I’m proud to have survived parental suicide, my own bout with bipolar disorder, and an abusive marriage. I didn’t survive without help, by any means. But looking back, it was that determination I mentioned earlier that kept me looking up for a way to the top and not looking down at where I might have stayed.

What books did you love growing up?
Everything by Louisa Alcott. Historical fiction, particularly British. I read “Gone With the Wind” at age 12 and moved on to the classics before they were on the required reading lists for my grade level. Hemingway remains my idol for the stunningly photographic quality of his writing.

Who is your favorite author?
Impossible to name one. I’ve enjoyed everyone from P.G. Wodehouse and Agatha Christie to Maeve Binchy and Jan Karon. When I find a writer I enjoy, I try to read as much of their work as I can. Then I move on to another.

What book should everyone read at least once?
The one they always wanted to read, but haven’t gotten around to yet. Recently, I challenged myself to read Les Miserable. I’d started it half-a-dozen times. This time was the right time and it took me on an unforgettable journey.

HeartsUnfold

~~Miracle at Valley Rise Series~~
Hearts Unfold~Book One
Entreat Me Not~Book Two
Heart of My Own Heart~Book Three
Offered for Love~Book Four

A secret Christmas homecoming, a blinding snowstorm, and in the course of one night two shattered lives will be changed forever.Nineteen-year-old Emily Haynes had lost almost everything she loved. Relying on what seems to be guidance from her invalid father, she returns to her past in hopes of discovering some sign toward the future. What begins as a joyous homecoming quickly becomes a nightmare when a badly injured stranger stumbles on the scene, his brief presence threatening to alter everything Emily believes about herself and the plan for her life. A less determined girl might have been shaken by such an experience, but not Emily. She is certain she's made the right choice, so certain that in the following three years, she almost convinces he
rself.

Superstar violinist Stani Moss appeared to have everything--fame, fortune and a career guaranteed to bring more of the same, until one hasty decision placed it all in jeopardy. Terrified and confused, Stani struggles not only to recover his former skill, but to find answers to the questions which haunt him. Throughout his slow journey back, one image lingers in his buried memories of that fateful night--the vision of a girl he's never met. The journey will eventually lead him to Emily, and beyond that day, everything about his life will be transformed.

Set in the years around 1970, Hearts Unfold begins the saga of two people whose paths should never have crossed, who defy the odds to create a place they can share. The first of four volumes in the Miracle at Valley Rise Series, this novel could stand alone as a triumphant tale of romance, but there's much more to the story, as Emily and Stani reveal their pasts and strive to bridge the distance between their worlds. Follow their progress, be entertained by their adventures, and perhaps be inspired by their unwavering belief in the transforming power of love.

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Genre - Women's Fiction, Saga Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Karen Welch through Facebook

 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Writing as Personal Therapy with Cheryl Rice @RiceonLife #Memoir #Relationships #AmWriting

Posted by Bob Richardson on 08:00 with No comments
Why Writing is a Form of Personal Therapy

If someone asked me what three things I’d take if I were stranded on a desert island I would say, my dog Gracie for love and companionship, dark chocolate as my drug of choice, and a very large, spiral bound, unlined journal with an attached Paper Mate InkJoy pen for therapy.

Writing has always been a safe haven for me. Through it I have found a sanctuary of comfort, clarity and sanity. I remember writing my first poem, which I spelled “pome,” in Mrs. Hilderman’s second grade class. It was about a mouse with tickly prickly whiskers. Mrs. Hilderman chuckled when she read it and gave me the ultimate compliment when she hung it with a clothespin on a strand of twine that stretched the length of her classroom supply closet.

It didn’t take long for my poetry to grow in depth and drama as I grew into my awkward adolescence. Most of it was fairly melodramatic and maudlin but it provided a needed outlet for the loneliness and longing that suffused my days. My grandfather used to take fistfuls of poems that I had written into the bathroom with him and emerge with tears in his eyes and arms wide open. “Sherry,” he would say (my grandfather was the only person in the world I let call me anything other than Cheryl), “Please don’t tell me you’re as sad as these poems. I can’t bear it. Come here. Let me give you a hug.”

While my poetry served as an adequate outlet for my sorrows at the time, it was the daily journals I kept throughout most of my life that served as my gateway to self-knowledge and eventually self-compassion. In my late twenties I kept a journal addressed to my imagined future husband. It was a way for me to feel a hopeful connection to my eventual life partner and also to clarify for myself who and what I wanted in a partner. It’s amazing how many of the qualities and even characteristics – like being a lawyer and having two sisters – my real-life husband shares with the imaginary man I wrote to all those years ago.

Writing became most therapeutic for me in the wake of losing my mother. When I was mired in unprecedented grief I could bring my sorrow and anguish to the page without worrying I was burdening anybody else. I would write my feelings of course, but I also would write letters both to my mom and from my mom to me. I even wrote a letter from me to my unborn child. I cried as I wrote many of these letters but that cascade of words and tears provided tender comfort and healing to my wounded heart.

Another powerful writing experience was when I gave myself permission to write in an unlined journal. At first I was reticent and kept trying to write in straight imagined lines – as if someone would strike my hand with a ruler if my words weren’t straight. But once I got over that I found the experience quite liberating. I could write in circles, I could turn the page on its side or upside down, I could add drawings if I liked. The freedom was indeed therapeutic as it lessened my self-imposed rigidity and broke me free from rules I didn’t even know I had been following – ultimately allowing for a catharsis and clarity I hadn’t even known I was seeking.

Writing was even therapeutic for me when I was actually in therapy and wanted to take what I was learning in sessions deeper. I wish I could say my journal didn’t talk back but the amazing thing is it did! It would offer a fresh realization – like maybe it wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t heal my father – or some much needed self-compassion when I was grieving my mother.

So, yes – I’m sure that if I was indeed stranded on a desert island I’d find meaning and a therapeutic sanctuary in my journal. I may even discover a way off the island.

Where Have I Been All My Life

Where Have I Been All My Life? is a compelling memoir recounting one woman’s journey through grief and a profound feeling of unworthiness to wholeness and healing. It begins with the chillingly sudden death of Rice’s mother, and is followed by her foray into the center of mourning. 
With wisdom, grace, and humor, Rice recounts the grief games she plays in an effort to resurrect her mother; her efforts to get her therapist, who she falls desperately in love with, to run away with her; and the transformation of her husband from fantasy man to ordinary guy to superhero. In the process, she experiences aching revelations about her family and her past—and realizes what she must leave behind, and what she can carry forward with her.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Cheryl Rice through Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

7 Questions with #Author S.D. O'Donnell (Shadow Journey) @sdodonnell #Fiction #AmReading

Posted by Bob Richardson on 10:30 with No comments
Tell us a bit about your family.

I have two kids, both of them quite creative. My daughter has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and writes fantasy novels. My son is an autodidact and taught himself music. He started with guitar but he can play almost anything and composes beautiful pieces. He also writes hip-hop songs. It’s taken me awhile to get used to it but I no longer hate those pieces. My husband and I have a mutual admiration society going on about each other. Isn’t that how marriage should work?

Have you always enjoyed writing?


Yes. I have always had a talent for communicating through the written word.

What motivates you to write?


The stories in my head won’t leave me alone until I get them out on paper.

What books did you love growing up?


I liked Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys when very young. I read The Diary of Ann Frank at about 13 and that had a large influence on me. I began writing journals after that and moved from there to writing stories.

What book genre of books do you adore?

Okay. I admit it. I’m a big Jane Austen fan.

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?

I was born in southern Louisiana, raised in New Mexico, spent some time in Texas, and have lived in Colorado almost all of my adult life. Since my next book is titled Deadly Bayou, you can probably guess that the Louisiana influence is strong in that book.

How did you develop your writing?

I have always been able to communicate with the written word. I worked on my high school newspaper and literary magazine, then studied some creative writing in college. After spending many years writing non-fiction, I had a hard time adjusting to creative fiction. I took an online writer’s workshop that helped me get started. After that, I’ve gotten better with practice. Another huge help has been finding a good editor. She teaches me so many things through her edits and comments. I learn something everything I have her look at my work.

Shadow Journey

Love ... Loss ... Secrets

A Haunting Psychological Read

She starts alone.

"I SIT IN THE GAZEBO, alone. No cup of tea. No neighborly conversation to help fill the silence. Haunted by 85 years worth of musings, I watch the sun set and feel my age."

She ends alone.

And exposes a closely-guarded secret of 35 years in between.

˃˃˃ Meet Mrs. Vera Blackstone

First introduced in the thriller Deadly Memories, she quickly became a well-loved character -- even though she isn't the main one. But you don't have to read Deadly Memories before you enjoy this novella.

˃˃˃ Warning

This story will make you think and stays with you long after the last word is read.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Short Fiction
Rating – PG-13
Connect with S.D. O'Donnell on Facebook & Twitter

Friday, 12 September 2014

#BookReview - The Poetic Art of Seduction: #Erotic Poetry by @ClarissaClemens #ReviewShare

Posted by Ravina Andrea Kurian on 08:30 with No comments
The Poetic Art of Seduction: Erotic Poetry CollectionThe Poetic Art of Seduction: Erotic Poetry Collection by Clarissa O. Clemens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My husband and I have known each other for 20 years, we've been married for 13 years and we now have 3 kids. Keeping the romance alive needs more than the odd date night and books like these definitely are a must have for married couples anywhere.

Clarissa's writing style is lyrical and you know she is writing from experience which makes it richer. It was Hemingway who said "All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed" and this author definitely bled in every single poem.

My favourite poem from this collection was "Unhinged" and it is important to note that different people depending on which stage of the relationship they are in will have different favourites. In other words, there is something for everyone so give this book a chance. Seriously, just buy it for yourself or as a gift.

On a side note, this author was one of the best authors to have on a blog tour. She shared every single blog stop, left daily comments and interacted with others who had left comments as well. As the book club secretary, this was very much appreciated by myself and the other bloggers involved in her tour.

Would I recommend this read? Absolutely. This was a collection of poetry that was well-written, unique and a crucial ingredient for any marriage or relationship.

Overall assessment:
Content: 4.5/5
Editing: 4.5/5
Formatting: 4.5/5
Pacing: 5/5

Offensive content?: Based on language and settings, I would recommend this book for anyone aged 18 and above.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.

View all my reviews

Thursday, 11 September 2014

KS Ferguson on the Category for "Touching Madness" #AmReading #Fantasy #Contemporary

Posted by Bob Richardson on 10:30 with No comments
Do you read fantasy? Which kind? Back when I started reading fantasy—just before the invention of the printing press—fantasy was all wizards with staffs and cloaks, kids with magical objects that allowed them to fly to the moon, or crazy professors making trips to the center of the Earth. I don't recall there being separate sub-genres. If there were, the librarian didn't tell me about them.

Now days, sub-genres seem to multiply faster than rabbits. You've got your epic fantasy, your sword-and-sorcery fantasy, steam-punk, dark, superheroes, and urban, just to mention a few.

I just have to ask—why urban? I mean, isn't that a tad discriminatory? Is an urban setting somehow superior to a suburban setting? No witchcraft going on behind those perfectly trimmed hedges? No summoning of demons from the sinkhole that's just opened in the back yard?

Don't get me started on rural settings! No one thinks it would be amusing if the shape-shifter hero morphed into a dairy cow to blend into the herd or gored the baddie to death? No possessed pocket gophers taking over the town? If pocket gophers aren't a creation of the Devil, I don't know what is!

When I wrote Touching Madness and published it, retail sites insisted I classify it according to their prescribed list of genres. Because it involves traveling to alternate realities, it might fit the fantasy alternate histories category. But it's not about a single alternate reality.

Touching Madness isn't epic, sword-and-sorcery, or steampunk. It's sort of urban fantasy. But it isn't strictly confined to an urban environment. While River spends most of the book in Centerville, Kansas, important chapters see him in a Raptor military camp, snowy winter woods, and an underground compound of unknown origins.

So in keeping with current trends, I'm proposing a new category: contemporary, alternate-dimension-hopping-magic-advanced-technology-and-demons fantasy. What do you think? Will it catch on at Amazon?

Touching Madness

Light bulbs talk to River Madden; God doesn't. When the homeless schizophrenic unintentionally fractures a dimensional barrier and accidentally steals a gym bag containing a million dollars, everyone from the multiverse police to the local crime boss—and an eight-foot tall demon—are after him. Can he dodge them long enough to correct his mistakes and prevent the destruction of three separate dimensions? If he succeeds, will the light bulbs stop singing off-key?

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary, Urban fantasy
Rating – R
More details about the author

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Madi Brown Shares 10 Things About Becoming an Author @Madithe1brown #WomensFic

Posted by Bob Richardson on 11:30 with No comments
10 Things You Didn't Know About Becoming a Published Author
When you think about becoming a published author, most people think of  that individual being a creative person, or an intellectual individual. You visualize someone proudly John or Jane Hancocking stacks and stacks of books; each one containing wonderful content that they've provided. As a published author they've clearly “arrived,” but have you ever wondered about what it may have taken for them to get there? If you haven't, then you're about to be enlightened. And if you're an aspiring author then you'll probably want to thank me for listing these 10 Things That You Didn't Know About Becoming a Published Author.
1) You can be published, and  still be a nobody. Well, perhaps not a nobody, your immediate family and friends will know you. They'll give you kudos for what you did, but it'll only be because you told them that you wrote a book.
2) Being a published author doesn't happen overnight. You have two options. You can shop your manuscript around to literary agents or publishing house, or you can decide to publish it yourself. If you shop your manuscript around then you'll have to have a polished query letter, and your manuscript has to be top notch. You'll be submitting it to different people awaiting a yes or no. And if they do choose to give you a book deal, it could take up to a year for your book to be released.
Another note on going the self publishing route, It isn't to be taken lightly. Again, your manuscript needs to be polished in making certain that it has been proofed and edited. You'll need an eye-catching book cover, a marketing and promotion plan, and a few bucks to make it all happen.
3) You won’t be able to quit your day job. Don't you dare. Competition in the publishing world is fierce, and the stakes are high. The truth is, that you won't know how the general public is going to receive your work---not until
you actually put it out.
4) You need to have another book in the works. I know, it might sound crazy to be promoting one book while you're writing another, but if you're in this for the long haul, then you've got to have products. You need to be able to keep your new book reader fans happy while establishing your author platform.
5) If you decide to self publish, then you'd better do it right. Sure, it's okay to use Fiverr for a few simple gigs, but your book cover, editor, and formatters shouldn't be skimped on. Remember that this book is going to represent you.
6) You don't know it all because you have a book out. Don't be afraid to ask for advice from people who have more publishing industry experience under their belt. Helpful tips and being a part of a community can only benefit you in the long run.
7) You have to know how to sell yourself. Whether your book is traditionally published or not, you will have to be convincing about why they should read what you've written. The wise old adage, a closed mouth doesn't get fed really does apply.
8) You will doubt yourself. There will come a time when you may not like your sales numbers. It'll make you wonder why you even tried to be a writer in the first place. It'll be a test. You can switch up your sales tactics, pen another book, or completely give up.
9) If you misspell even one word while sending out any correspondence to anyone concerning your book, then you're inadequate. Okay, so maybe it's just me thinking that anything that I write should always be on point since I'm calling myself a published writer---even texts.
10) On the opposite side of the spectrum,  interviews of any kind will make you feel  super smart. Every time you answer complimentary questions about your title(s), it’s going to give a boost to your ego.You’ll feel like Stephen King.
There are lots of negatives and not too many positives in this list, but if you're ready to take on each challenge,then believe me, you're well on your way to being that published author; hopefully a very successful one!

truthaboutemily

"If you LOVE New York, if you’re a name-dropping, fashion fiend careerist; fed up with serial dating, plagued with a thirst for sex, then you’ll totally stalk me for what I've penned.” - Author, Madi Brown

Description

29-year-old Emily Greene looks the part, but she’s still working on becoming a modern-day woman. Not that she’s one to back down from a challenge, but living as an eternal work-in-progress wasn't exactly the goal that she had in mind. It’s a harsh but true realization---the idea that that time isn't on her side, and the notion that wanting to have it all, doesn't mean getting it. The verdict is in; with zero prospects for a relationship and a stalled blogging career, Emily has every reason to believe that she’s been living a life too humdrum for her own good.

Making the change won’t be easy. She’ll have to do whatever it takes; start dating like a man, become more selective about which RSVP's she accepts, and work even harder at getting her dream job.The payoff’s huge; a modern twist on a storybook ending, but gains don’t often come without risks. In the here and now Emily just may be forced to choose...It’s got to be one or the other----the profession that she’s always wanted, or the love that she’s never had.

˃˃˃ Praise for Madi Brown & 

her debut novel, The Truth About Emily

"The added depth of character promises complexity but wraps everything in the saucy cloak of Emily's evolving personality and newfound beliefs about life, love, and the real nature of happiness. And this is where The Truth About Emily outshines many competitors, making it a recommended read for those seeking more than a standard romance novel." - D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Reviews

"This book has just about anything a girl would love to read about. If there's anything Emily Greene has is ISH and lots of it, oh the ending... This book is a total keeper, just anything about fashion to relationships to friends and family." - Y. Sanchez, Goodreads

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Women's Fiction
Rating – PG18
More details about the author
Connect with Madi Brown on Facebook & Twitter