Friday, February 16, 2018

The Friday 56 - February 16

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.




Rules:

  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
  • (If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
  • Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
  • Post it.

Page 56 from Strong Light of Day was blank, so this is from page 156...

Paz knelt between them, taking a card in hand. "Time to take a good look at your future, amigos. Let's see what we've got here...Hey, it says Judgment. How fitting is that? But do you know what it means?" he asked one of them, flashing the card before his blood-filled eyes. "No? Let's see if this helps?"


Monday, February 12, 2018

Book Review: Abuse of Discretion by Pamela Samuels Young

A fascinating story that seems unlikely...but it could happen to someone you love.

Abuse of Discretion by Pamela Samuels Young finds model student Graylin Alexander embroiled in a sexting scandal that could ruin his life. Jenny Ungerman and former prosecutor Angela Evans team up to seek justice for Graylin, but their differences pose a challenge.

Meanwhile, Angela's boyfriend Dre is threatened by someone from his past. Dre knows his plan of action will complicate their relationship, but in his world it is kill or be killed.

How I have missed Young's books! They are always packed with action and thrilling. As an attorney and former television news writer and associate producer, she knows how to bring home the tough stories that engage you and make you think how easy something can happen that changes your life forever--which makes her books both amazing and frightening.

Abuse of Discretion primarily focuses on the topic of sexting and how laws haven't quite caught up with the technology our kids are using these days. To think of what Graylin endured as a result of normal adolescent curiosity is infuriating. For those of us with kids, this is scary. This is our world. This is our child's world.

The secondary plot with Dre helped to fuel conflict for his already tender relationship with Angela. Poor Angela had issues from all sides in this novel, since she knew something was going on with Dre and she also had to cope with teaming up with an attorney she wasn't overly fond of because it was in Graylin's best interest.

My only challenge with this story is the numerous points of view. Young expertly switched points of view by dedicating separate chapters to different characters. There were just so many characters whose head the reader had to climb into, that it made the flow of the story a bit choppy. That didn't change how much I loved the novel overall, I just would have preferred Dre be the only point of view character for his subplot.

If you enjoy legal thrillers, Pamela Samuels Young should be on your list of must read authors. She delivers consistently great fiction that never disappoints.

Series: Dre Thomas Series, Book 3 (Book 3)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 27, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1530528976
ISBN-13: 978-1530528974

I received a copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.



Thursday, February 8, 2018

Beyond the Books: Favorite Romantic Shows and Movies



Beyond the Books is a weekly feature hosted right by Kissin Blue Karen. Beyond the Books is a weekly writing prompt where she throws out a topic (mostly non-bookish) and others blog about it.

Today's Beyond the Books topic is: Favorite Romantic Shows and Movies

I'm not much of a romantic, but I don't mind romantic stories upon occasion. 


While a bit too hyped up for me to watch in the theater--I hate being a follower--Titanic is a beautiful love story between an aristocratic young woman and a poor artist. 


I have to include this one because I married a Greek guy. My in-laws--God bless them--wanted to invite 400 people to our wedding and have a Greek orchestra band playing. We got married six months after building our house and had no money, so we settled on 100 guests and a three-string ensemble. Some of the stuff that happens in My Big Fat Greek Wedding is so true it's hilarious. 


I loved Grease where good girl Sandy falls for greaser Danny. My only challenge with it: Sandy feels the need to change her entire look at the end to catch Danny's attention. 


Dirty Dancing is the story of Frances "Baby" Houseman falling in love with a resort's dreamy dancing instructor. Loved this movie beginning to end. This one is great for its dancing and its characters. 



My mother enjoyed The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough many years before the TV mini-series came out right before Easter in 1983. The book and movie span 60 years in the lives of the Cleary family and center around the youngest daughter, Meggie Cleary, who falls in love with the family's priest, Father Ralph de Bricassart.

What are some of your favorite romantic shows and movies? 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read

Let me just say that this is an embarrassing list. If I had ever realized how long it would take me to whittle away my TBR pile, I'm not sure I would have requested so many books. Who am I kidding? I can't resist a book with a good cover that sounds fabulous. 


I am pretty sure I won this book. I've had it at least since 2010. Yikes!


Met this author at a writers conference and grabbed this book. It's still sitting in my office unread. 


Bought this at a school book fair when my kids were in elementary. One of the girls is a junior this year. I haven't had this book too long, have I? 


I've had this since a month prior to this book's August 2011 release. The publisher sent it to me. Feeling guilty right now. 


I have had this and the workbook forever. Have I ever cracked them open? (Shakes head)


Think I at least started this one, but don't recall finishing it.


Was impressed by this author's keynote speech at a writers conference so I bought one of her books.


Not my typical read, but it was a Kindle freebie and I love Kathi's work. Downloaded it in 2010. 


The publisher began sending me this series after I reviewed a couple of the books. This is four books ago. I need to get it read. 


I wanted this book so bad. I waited until it was free on Kindle and snapped it up. Four years later it sits on my device waiting for me, crying, "Why don't you read me?"

What books have been on your TBR list the longest? Have you figured out a plan to get them read? 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Musing Monday - February 5


Musing Monday is hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker It is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK'S RANDOM QUESTION: Why did you become a reader?

Happy February! I hope you're looking forward to it. This was a rough weekend for me--nothing seemed to go right. I'm praying today is better.

I was sad to miss The Friday 56 last week. Had to do with the "nothing going right" weekend. Did you get a chance to read my review of To the Moon and Back by Kathi Macias? Fabulous book! It reminded me of how much I miss her books. I used to read each new one that came out, but that ended with the release of The Moses Quilt. 

That's what is such a bummer about me going back to work full time--I miss books by some of my favorite authors: Kathi Macias, Marilyn Meredith, Karen White, Lisa Gardner...

After reviewing The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse, I asked the publisher to keep me in mind for the next two books. The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y'Barbo arrived last week. Love the cover.



One hundred years after her mother's family came to the New World on the Mayflower, Maribel Cordova has landed in New Orleans to seek the man who holds the key to finding her father’s lost treasure. Attorney Jean-Luc Valmot has buried his past life so deep that no living person will ever find it—or so he hopes as he accepts a position on the governor’s staff. But the daughter of an infamous pirate threatens all he holds dear. Can Maribel and Jean-Luc compromise so they both can hold onto what they most desire?

I hope to start reading it on school vacation week. Not sure what else I'll read, but I would like to polish off three books. How about you? School vacation coming up? Planning on doing some reading?

As for this week's question, it seemed natural for me to become a reader. Both my parents enjoyed reading and we didn't exactly have a ton of things to do growing up. Most of my days were spent outside after school, but I had a lot of free time to spend reading. Both my sisters grew up to be readers as well. How about you? How did you become a reader?

Think that is all from me this week. Hope you have a great one.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Beyond the Books - Best Moments in Blogging



Beyond the Books is a weekly feature hosted right by Kissin Blue Karen. Beyond the Books is a weekly writing prompt where she throws out a topic (mostly non-bookish) and others blog about it.

Today's Beyond the Books topic is: Best Moments in Blogging

Oh, my. This will be a tough one. I've been blogging for over ten years now. I also have had twelve blogs through the years and contributed to several others. I should be down to five active blogs now and I contribute to Christian Children's Authors twice a month. I'll do my best to keep this list down to a minimum.


  1. My first blog post at The Book Connection. By the time I started this blog, I had already been blogging for at least 18 months. My main reason for switching is that I had been hosting virtual book tours for Pump Up Your Book (Pump Up Your Book Promotion at the time), and my aspiring author blog was more about other authors than my writing. In order to be fair to the authors I was hosting (and my creativity), I wanted to separate them from my own rambles. It was a simple welcome post that started off this blog in July 2007. 
  2. First review of a book an author sent me. I started out by blogging about books on my own shelves, but by asking (nagging) authors and hosting book tours, I was able to get some new books sent my way. I truly enjoyed Trust in the Wind by Vicki M. Taylor and still remember bits and pieces of it. 
  3. First time hosting an author who became a friend. Sometimes you get books from authors and they thank you for a review, but you never see them again. Every once in a while you're lucky and that author becomes a friend. Such is the case with Marilyn Meredith. A talented, award-winning author of two of my favorite series, she never ceases to amaze me with all she does. Her friendship has been a true blessing. 
  4. First book I read by Kathi Macias. If there is an author whose books have changed my life, it would have to be Kathi Macias. Beyond Me: Living a You-First Life in a Me-First World made me stop, reflect, and consider how I approach life. Many of her books--fiction and non-fiction--have touched me this way. I consider her a dear friend. 
  5. Starting The Children's and Teens' Book Connection (TC&TBC). When I started The Book Connection, I covered books for all ages. I eventually felt that books for younger people needed their own space, so in July 2009 I started TC&TBC. In addition to books for pre-school through young adult (depending on content), this is the blog where I discuss my own writing for children. 
  6. The year I read the most books. Though not impressive for everyone, in 2010 I read a record breaking 174 books. It started to go down after that year and now I am lucky to read 35 because my work schedule and family life are so nutty.
  7. Our first blog award. Back in 2009, The Book Connection was still a pretty new thing. Virtual book tours had really taken off and I was a busy gal coordinating them. That's when this blog received its first award. It received a couple of others, but I think blog awards got repetitive and people started saying they were award-free zones. 
  8. Little Shepherd Breaks into Amazon Top 100 Books. When my first book, Little Shepherd, came out in 2010, I followed its rankings religiously. Not only did it hit the Amazon Bestsellers list in its category seven times during the early weeks of its release, it also broke into the Amazon Top 100 for large print children's books. I believe it made it up to #18. Not too shabby.
There are so many other great blogging moments that I better stop before this post becomes a novel. Thanks to everyone who has blessed me along this blogging journey. I've met a lot of wonderful people online and I've had the chance to read some fabulous books. Here's to many more blogging memories for years to come. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Book Blast & Giveaway: Beyond Jerusalem by Yvonne Crowe


Nicolina Fabiani and David Baron team up once again to save Jerusalem from itself.

Now David is faced with an impossible choice.
Duty on the one hand, love on the other.
What choice will he make?

In the Eternal struggle for Palestine, David wages war, and Lina the journalist, covers it.

EXCERPT

“I need you here in Tel Aviv now,” the voice barked in his ear.

“When?”

“Today.”

“This will play havoc with my lectures.”

“Tough, get here.”

David sighed and disconnected. His Unit Commander in the Operations Branch of The Institute, the Israeli Intelligence Agency, was of the opinion that his agents had no personal life. They belonged to him body and soul. Any other commitment was an inconvenience.

“What is it?” Lina sat up and scooted across the bed towards him.

“Avron. Wants me in Tel Aviv today.” He ran his hand through his hair.



I am a successful writer who enjoys writing provocative mystery/thriller novels including the popular Nicolina Fabiani series.

When I am not living out little princesses' fantasies and puzzling over teenage boys' take on life I create fantasies for adults, armed with nothing more than an active imagination, a great deal of research and a burning interest in other people's cultures and their countries

Living in New Zealand, which is about as far away from the world's hubs as one can get, I love travelling to places to find ideas and characters for my novels.

Please open your minds and hearts to events we don't understand and are currently overwhelming us. Check out my latest topical novel: BEYOND JERUSALEM http://amzn.to/2u9Q0uu

HELP SOMEONE WITH CANCER. Check out my story of how I beat this dreadful disease which kills hundreds of thousands of women worldwide every year: http://amzn.to/2yJdAlg

I had a run in with Stage 4 breast cancer, but chose to treat this successfully with a natural therapy. No surgery and no chemotherapy. I have been cancer free now for five years.

Link to Amazon Book Sale Page: http://amzn.to/2u9Q0uu

Link to Twitter: https://twitter.com/YVONNECROWE

https://www.amazon.com/Yvonne-Crowe/e/B00AH2JACK



Yvonne will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway