Reveal: Tara’s Cross, a 9/11 memoir by G.J. Bachmann

Tara's Cross

Rescuers pulled George Bachmann, a New York City firefighter from Ten House, from beneath the rubble of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. He survived the terrorist attacks, but somehow, his memory had been temporarily left behind. As Bachmann recuperated, he knew he needed to remember what had happened and he needed to confront his dreams, which was not an easy task. His mind was privy to an unknown piece of history that drove him to the brink.

In this memoir, TARA’S CROSS, Bachmann describes the unimaginable events at Ground Zero. He tells not only of his physical recovery, but also shares the return of his memory through a series of dreams. He reveals the details of the magnificent sighting on West Street where he witnessed the two highest ranking NYC officers saluting each other at the foot of the North Tower before they perished on 9/11.

A tale of survival and salvation, TARA’S CROSS is a testament to how the mind and soul heal themselves and how the spirits of the honored dead guide them home. This love story, set against the backdrop of the attacks on the World Trade Center, is also one of courage and recovery.

The Author:

G.J. Bachmann worked more than twenty-seven years as a New York City firefighter and survived the events of 9/11. He was awarded the World Trade Center Double Star Rescue/Recovery Citation. Bachmann and his wife Annie live in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York, with their daughter Tara Bridget.

Purchase your copy: 

iUniverse

Organizing a Gift Wrapping Station

I live in a small cottage in Southern Louisiana and some organizing problems require innovative solutions. One of these problem areas for me was a gift wrapping station (other than the dining room table.) The neighbors were selling off an old house that had a wash shed attached. Hubby came up with the fabulous idea to take it off their hands and bring it over to our piece of land. He and a friend quite literally drug it over – behind a tractor. The two of them admitted later that they had a contingency plan – one I never knew about. If it began to fall apart as they entered the highway making the corner into our yard, they were just going to scape it off to the side of the road. I, for one, was so happy that plan never came into play. However, I have to admit that my fingers and toes were crossed as they slid it down the long driveway and turned into place at just the right angle for me.

IMG_1003The old wash shed came to rest in its place next to a large and growing oak tree in our back yard. This is also the dog kennel and each of my shepherds has a matching house under the overhang to the left.

I went to work demolishing the inside to better utilize the space. Hubby built shelves along one side and came around the corner to the front and back doors. Along the opposite side, he built a long countertop with shelves underneath and a shelf along the top.

One end houses my craft supplies and the other houses my newly organized gift wrapping station. For anyone who has had to drag out the containers of gift wrap and hunt for scissors and ribbon due to lack of space to wrap gifts, knows that this is a godsend.

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Before setting up the gift wrapping station permanently, it was tucked into the corner. As time went on and I took the time to use it, I began to figure out how I needed it to work and set about accomplishing my goal.

I added a rod under one of the shelves to hold my collection of ribbon and then mounted mop racks on the wall beneath the shelf to hold my wrapping paper. I actually used two of the racks that mounted across hold mops and brooms. I installed them vertically and the polls holding my wrapping paper fit perfectly.

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I store extra rolls of paper upright in a tall garbage bin. Some ribbon is stored in glass jars and I have since added a basket with my tape dispenser, cards, and scissors.

I will reveal the remaining side of my Garden House in another post. It is set up with areas for gardening, my cookie cutter collection, and items for entertaining.

 

Review: Between Boyfriends by Sarka-Jonae Miller

Between Boyfriends HR cover (1)

At first glance, twenty-one-year-old Jan Weston has it all: a gorgeous boyfriend, fun friends, and wealthy parents who take care of all those pesky credit card bills.

Then her boyfriend dumps her, her friendships fall apart, and her parents cut her off. Suddenly without money, without a man, and without a plan, it’s time for Jan to grow up.

Determined to get her life back on track, Jan decides it’s time to make it on her own. Can she find her way as a single lady in San Diego? Can she fix her friendships, her job prospects, and her hair? And can she keep her vow that she’ll never date again, even after she meets a guy who just might be perfect for her?

BETWEEN BOYFRIENDS is a sexy, hilarious story of living life, finding love, and growing up… but not necessarily in that order.

Book Links:
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12808569-between-boyfriends
Amazon http://myBook.to/BetweenBoyfriendsPaperback
Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/between-boyfriends-sarka-jonae-miller/1106966541?ean=9781620151822
iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/between-boyfriends/id742408784?mt=11

About the Author:
Sárka-Jonae Miller is a novelist and freelance health writer. She has more than 4,000 articles published on topics such as fitness, sports, martial arts, yoga, nutrition, travel, spirituality, and natural health. Her work has appeared on websites such as LiveStrong.com, NaturalNews.com, WeightTraining.com, and MethodsofHealing.com, as well as in the “Post-Standard” newspaper and both the New York and Washington Home & Garden online magazines. Sárka-Jonae is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She is as a former personal fitness trainer and massage therapist. She is also an avid traveler, having spent time in Costa Rica, Canada, England, Mexico, and Paradise Island. She has also been to France and Thailand researching her next books. She lives in San Diego with a menagerie, including two cats, two dogs and a horse.

Author Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarka-Jonae-Miller/168691386526181
Website: http://www.sarkajonae.com
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sarkajonae/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5256509.Sarka_Jonae_Miller

Review:

BETWEEN BOYFRIENDS is exactly as described – “sexy, hilarious story of living life, finding love, and growing up”. The author describes the protagonist to a tee which allows the reader to picture her exactly as she is – a spoiled, little rich girl who is used to getting what she wants.

The writing is good, but at times tends to get bogged down with detailed descriptions. I think the targeted audience (young adult – 20ish) would enjoy the book a little more than someone my age.

I am giving the book three stars.

 

Excerpt:

“So, what happened with Mike? Are you okay? Did you get dumped again?”
Jan knew it was obvious. She might as well go down the street to a tattoo parlor and have “reject” permanently etched into her forehead.
“Yes, but I’m over all that. I’ve given up dating. I’m focusing on—” Oh no, I have to say something, “—school. And my health. I’ve started working out.” Jan hated lying to Raven, but rationalized that it was already tomorrow somewhere.
Raven cocked her head to the right like a curious puppy. “You’ve given up on dating?”
“Well, I’ve just realized that dating is a ridiculous concept and is better left to people without hearts.”
“Like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz?”
Jan took a drink of her iced tea. It tasted delicious after she had spiked it with three Splenda packets she had kept in her purse.
“No,” Jan answered. She began to feel confused again. She just didn’t know how to explain her logic. “It’s just that most relationships end in either breakup or divorce. So why bother? A lot of girls seem to jump into them even when it’s obvious that it’s not going to work out.”
Raven nodded. “Yeah, I know a lot of girls like that. Some guys too. They want someone to tell them they’re attractive, take them out, and to keep on reserve for weddings and parties. Sometimes, it’s worse though. They need a guy to give them an identity. If they aren’t someone’s girlfriend, they feel lost because they don’t know who they are.”
I wonder if she ever thought that about me? Jan fidgeted with her straw.
“It’s weird, isn’t it?” she agreed. She thought back on times she had panicked because she couldn’t find a date for a social event. “If you believe in soul mates, then there’s only one person out there for you, so why stay with someone once it was clear they weren’t the One?”
“Well, define ‘clear’,” Raven challenged kindly. Jan couldn’t. “Besides, if a girl doesn’t know who she is, then she won’t know what she wants out of a relationship. I hear things all the time in the salon from girls who date guys that never take them out, flirt with their best friends, blow them off consistently, and forget their birthdays or anniversaries. But these girls make up excuses instead of seeing the obvious truth that their boys just aren’t that into them.”
Jan opened her mouth to rant about what jerks those men were, but Raven cut her off.
“But it isn’t only the guys’ faults. These girls let them get away with it. They may verbalize to their guy that it’s not okay, but they stay with him no matter how many times he screws up. Their actions say it’s all right, so why would the guy change?”
Jan was stunned. It had never occurred to her that men may notice her actions and draw assumptions. She counted on people to listen to her words and forgive her tone, body language and actions inconsistent with what she said.
“But shouldn’t guys be considerate and loving to their girlfriends irregardless?”
Raven raised an eyebrow. “Why would you date a guy that wasn’t considerate to begin with? Why agree to become his girlfriend when his actions say that he doesn’t love you?”
Jan’s perception jumped to a new height. She felt like someone had switched on a spotlight and an iceberg had appeared in front of her. She choked on the emotions, ideas, and opinions clamoring for attention. She’d never really considered having a choice in becoming someone’s girlfriend, or that there should be a prerequisite for monogamy. Obtaining a boyfriend was the point of dating, wasn’t it? Why bother otherwise, and why take it slow if it was what you wanted? Then again, she had to admit that a lot of the guys she had dated had been jerks, some from the moment she had met them. So, why had she pursued them?
“I guess that makes sense,” Jan answered. “I’m not sure that people care so much about finding a great person that treats them well as they do about finding someone who’s attractive and willing to spend time with them.”
Raven shrugged. “Personally, I’m much happier spending time with my friends — male or female — that make me feel good, rather than with a boyfriend that brings me down.”
Jan couldn’t help but wonder, Is there any other kind?

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Challenge – Organize your planner supplies

After using only my iPhone the last year for keeping track of my life, I have recently gotten back into using my paper planner. I have always loved Day-Timer products and have been using them for twenty-five years.

When I first began using a planner, the choices for inserts were quite limited. Today, the world is literally your oyster as the saying goes. Everywhere you look, someone has designed an insert. They are readily available through blogs and on the popular site, Etsy.

With the surge of women returning to paper planners (or some never having left) blogs and Facebook groups are popping up to unite and support women in their efforts. Never has it been more fun than now to track your life in a planner. I have jumped on board with the new wave of planner decorators who are combining their scrapbooking talents with their life organization skills and in the process I have accumulated a collection of “planner supplies”; pens, stickers, Washi tape, sticky notes, and notepads.

At some point, the supply mound will begin to topple and some organization is needed. This post is all about my Planner Organization Cart. I spend a good deal of time in my office and want it to be full of happy colors. My cart is a refreshing addition. It was purchased from IKEA and is heavy duty. It is heavy and what I like most about is that I can reach over and pull it out from beside my desk when I need supplies. It rolls easily.

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The front of the cart
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Front view, side view and rear view

Each shelf is dedicated to a different element of planning. The top shelf holds a pink Craftsman Tote. I use the tote to store a few color pens, scissors, hole punches and decorative papers.

The second shelf is dedicated to paper products. I have a few favorite containers that I like to use and I can fit three of them stacked comfortably on the shelves. I have containers for note pads, my 2014 planner pages, stickers, and various sticky notes.

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The containers I use nestle on top of one another. A few other containers that I am partial to can actually be found on the fishing tackle aisle! I use plastic tackle boxes for an assortment of things in my house. I use them to organize my makeup. I use them to organize jewelry. And I use them to organize my Washi tape in my cart.

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Tackle box
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Plastic containers with locking lids

I find some of the craft containers that feature some of the same setups as tackle box are not quite as tall and tend to crush the Washi tape. The plastic containers with locking lids (these are from Wal-Mart) sit nicely one on top of the other and the handles secure the lids. Here, you see the Washi tape in the tackle box and my pens are sorted by colors and housed in 4×5 picture cases that I purchased Joann‘s on-line.

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The bottom shelf houses color pens, stamps, washi tape and my label maker
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Small container holding stamps and ink pads
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Sticky pads, washi tape, supplies

And, that is how I have organized my Planner Supplies. The challenge I am issuing is for you to start the new year with your supplies organized. I am the moderator of a planner’s group on Facebook and I invite to join us and post pictures of your planning station. You can find Southern Charm Planners at https://www.facebook.com/groups/LouisianaPlannerGirls/

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Washi tape in a tackle box
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A back view of the cart. The wash tape container stands on its end and fits perfectly. The smaller container of washi tape is a 5×7 picture case.
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I love this label maker. I can plug into my computer and use all the fonts available there.
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Labels made using computer generated fonts.
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Color pens
Post-it notes and tape
Post-it notes and tape

I’m sharing in the Thursday Favorites Blog Hop:

thursday blog hop

Join in the fun here and hop across the blogs as you make new friends.

http://katherinescorner.com/2013/11/27/thursday-favorite-things-blog-hop-116/

Related articles

All for You by Jessica Scott

Cover Reveal

Camp Taji, Iraq

2007

Sergeant First Class Reza Iaconelli had seen better days. He closed his eyes, wishing he was anywhere but curled up on the latrine floor in the middle of some dirty, shitty desert. The cold linoleum caressed his cheek, soothing the sensation of a billion spiders creeping over his skin. He had to get up, to get back to his platoon before someone came looking for him. Running patrols through the middle of Sadr City was so much better than being balled up on the bathroom floor, puking his guts out.

He’d sacrificed his dignity at the altar of the porcelain god two days ago when they’d arrived in northern Baghdad. It was going to be a rough deployment; that was for damn sure. Dear Lord, he’d give anything for a drink. Anything to stop the madness of detox.

Why the f… was he doing this to himself? Why did he pick up that godforsaken bottle every single time he made it home from this goddamned war?

The walls of the latrine echoed as someone pounded on the door. It felt like a mallet on the inside of a kettle drum inside his skull. “Sarn’t Ike!”

Reza groaned and pushed up to his hands and knees. He couldn’t let Foster see him like this. Couldn’t let any of his guys see him like this. “You about ready? The patrol is gearing up to roll.”

Holy hell. He dry heaved again, unable to breathe until the sensation of ripping his guts out through his throat passed. After a moment, he pushed himself upright and rinsed out his mouth. He’d definitely seen better days.

He wet his brown-black hair down and tucked the grey Army combat t-shirt into his uniform pants. Satisfied that no one would know he’d just been reduced to a quivering ball of misery a few moments before, he headed out to formation, a five- to seven-hour patrol through the shit hole known as Sadr City in his immediate future.

He was a goddamned sergeant first class and he had troops rolling into combat. They counted on him to do more than show up. They counted on him to lead them. Every single day.

Maybe by the time he reached thirty days in country, he’d stop heaving his guts up every morning. But sick or not, he was going out on patrol with his boys.

The best he could hope for was that he wouldn’t puke in the tank.

Purchase on Amazon atAll for You (A Coming Home Novel)

Barnes & Noble – http://bit.ly/19EbnBK

iBooks – http://bit.ly/1c3ojmZ

 

 

Jagged Edges by Doris H. Dancy

Derek Wellington had his life set.  He was born into wealth, graduated with honors from Harvard Law, and, since high school, knew he would marry the beautiful Morgan LaRue.  …but somewhere along the way, everything he thought he knew about himself, about Morgan, and even about life itself will boggle his mind, and catapult him into a world of betrayal, deception, and confusion. Somewhere in this darkness, he must search for The Light to find his way out of a maze that, if he fails, will destroy his heart and soul forever.

About The Author

Doris H. Dancy is an accomplished and award-winning educator, speaker, writing consultant, playwright, wife, mother and now author. Her life’s focus has been educating our youth in an appreciation of both the written and spoken word.   She received her BA Degree in English from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina and began a teaching career in both English and Spanish.  She was graduated from Hampton University with a MA in English Education and eventually became Chairperson of the English Department, English Teacher Specialist, and later Curriculum Leader of English K-12 for Hampton City Public Schools.  Teaching and supervising were both rewarding careers, and each taught her a different level and focus of professionalism and commitment.  As the Curriculum Leader, along with many other responsibilities, she developed and provided staff development for a writing program that guaranteed student achievement.

Guest Post:

Why I Wrote Jagged Edges

            I will be honest and say that it took me quite a while to realize why I was writing Jagged Edges, a Christian romance.  I was just enjoying the ride.  However, as I do all things, I sought God for His guidance, and, soon it became quite clear that there are many reasons for writing this novel for the society in which we live today.  Below, I detail a few.

There are numerous young men and women who are confused about love for a lot of different reasons.  They confuse infatuation with real love, and, in the excitement of it all, begin to give too much far too soon.  Many times intimate relationships begin before these young couples have an opportunity to see who they really are and what they actually want for their own lives.  Once intimacy is involved, young ladies often become emotionally attached when that may or may not be the young man’s position at all.  These relationships are often short-lived and hurtful.  The impact of this kind of disappointment sometimes is revealed in unwanted pregnancies, low self-esteem, and a constant attempt to find true love in all the wrong places.

In chapter seven of Jagged Edges, young women are given a lesson in how to say no to intimacy, and young men hopefully realize that they don’t have to ask in order to be masculine, and that, many times, it would be a great idea if they avoided the question.  One of my main characters, Arianna, who has only recently met Derek, the protagonist, is not lured by his good looks, his wealth, or his education.  She is unwilling to allow him to push her into a deeper relationship that she is not yet ready for, even if it means an end to their new friendship.  Arianna is firm and clear that she is “nobody’s rebound or one night stand or convenience or friend with benefits.”  She knows who she isShe says,  “I want to be your friend before I’m your lover…I don’t want to get caught up in my own imaginations, and I definitely don’t want to be caught up in your fantasies.”  She tells him that she wants him to know her, and she wants to know him before there is intimacy.  Derek also realizes that, despite the fact that he is asking, he should not at this point because he is in a relationship with someone else even though, at the time, he is not sure where that relationship might be headed.  He is in a confused position and knows that he should not complicate things by bringing someone else into his life.  In both cases these two people can see that rushing into intimacy is a bad idea.

Too many people ignore these kinds of red flags, and in writing this novel, it is my wish to make the warning signs crystal clear and bring them to the forefront of our awareness.  Hopefully, this can help, if even just a little, in stopping the pain of so many bad and misguided relationships that end with children who live in turmoil.

Additionally, I wrote Jagged Edges to give those of us who love romance an opportunity to read it without numerous expletives and lurid explicit sex scenes.  I believe that there is an audience for the type of novel where you have to use your imagination, where men know how to treat women with respect, and where those who are in a search for God realize that they can find Him in all the right places.  He is available to help us find the right mate who is willing to help us build a relationship and grow in love with respect and dignity.

Review:

JAGGED EDGES is a book that contains a wonderful message of love – God’s love and human love. In that, the book holds a wonderful enlightening message.

It is a good book and definitely one worth reading, however, in my opinion I felt the book had a tendency to be overly descriptive and the dialect was somewhat overdone. I enjoyed the beginning of the book, but quickly fell into a pattern of skimming.

I am not going to rate the book as I feel I may not have been the targeted audience and I think the reader should make up their mind about the book.

 Purchase JAGGED EDGES by clicking the icon:

Review: High Frequency by Jocie McKade

Lauren Jacobs is a journalist with amazing powers. Able to leap cranky receptionists in a single bound, she can simultaneously suck down a doughnut hole, drink a cup of coffee, add info to her iPad, and shift gears in her car on the Chicago freeway during rush hour.

A reporter for the prestigious news journal Edition One, Lauren has won a number of excellence awards for journalism. Her byline has
made Edition One a digital news sensation, and her fiery exposés draw a huge readership.

Unfortunately, those exposés usually require her to have the ability to run very fast, meet impossible deadlines, and hope the police never,
ever find out who her father is – a con man wanted on three continents, four if you count Australia.

A routine stop for morning coffee and doughnut holes gives her the story of her career and will send Chicago’s “dirty” city officials to jail, and a fair number of mobsters into hiding.

With Chicago suddenly too hot for his headstrong reporter, her editor, Garrett Modesto, assigns her to a mundane story on crop circles in England during the rainy season. A nice, boring story, until her editor’s ex-Marine buddy, who happens to be a crop circle expert, turns up dead in a really ugly way. Lauren learns there just might be more to the crop circles then artwork in a wheat field. The boring story suddenly turns into a harrowing life or death race through England, a Midwest Air Force base, and Washington, D.C.

Enter Derek Rourke, a reporter from the worst of the “yellow” tabloids – The Lens. The crop circles turn out to be evidence of a vibration frequency weapon being tested by a terrorist group, and Derek seems to be trying to “scoop” Lauren on this story of Pulitzer Prize-winning proportions.

Although wrapped in a remarkably good-looking package, with twinkling green eyes, impossibly tantalizing dimples, and a sexy magnetism that drives her crazy, Rourke is the embodiment of politically incorrect and his every chauvinistic statement ignites Lauren’s temper.

As bullets rain down, crop circles multiply, earthquakes shake London, and lightning strikes more then twice, they are forced into an uneasy and untrusting partnership.  With help from Lauren’s con artist father and a few good Druids, they might just be able to save the world – if they don’t kill each other first!

The Author:

Jocie McKade is the author of the debut romantic-comedy-mystery High Frequency. This is the first book in the Between the Lines series of romantic comedies with a heavy twist of mystery.

Between books, Jocie writes as the Senior News Editor for Reader’s Entertainment News, scriptwriter for COS Productions and for many other print and online publications. She lives with her family in the Midwest on a small farm where Arnold Swartzaweeds grow with impunity in her garden.

You can visit her online home at linda-mcmaken.com, or jociemckade.blogspot.com/.
Facebook: facebook.com/jocie.mckade.9
Twitter: twitter.com/JocieMcKade

My Review:

Imagine being the daughter of the most wanted man in the world? And then, imagine being a top-notch reporter with a knack for digging in all the wrong places to find your story and getting into all sorts of really BIG, life-threatening trouble? So much so, that your editor sends you out of the country in effort to keep you safe, only to find out you are in even BIGGER trouble. And, not to mention an eye that won’t stop twitching when things are not going as planned. Well…meet Lauren – sleuth, journalist, pepper spray wielding daughter of the most notorious criminal in the world.

I’ve been reading a number of romances lately and the mystery and intrigue of HIGH FREQUENCY was a nice change of pace. It also contained chases to the next crop circles, which hasn’t been in the news as of late. Combine that with two reporters trying to out scoop each other and mysterious deaths and buildings being leveled for no reason, and a host of strangely different characters and you have a great story.

The writer traveled back and forth between the states and Europe with ease. The characters were all intertwined without being confusing.

The storyline was interesting and different and farfetched. It was part malarky, part intrigue, part mystery, and part love story held together with loads of humor. The characters are charming and somewhat mysterious. The writing and grammar were above par. I enjoyed the book tremendously. I am giving HIGH FREQUENCY five stars.

Book Quotes:

“Lauren threw The Lens (paper) across her hotel room, pulled on her most pointed stiletto pumps, and stomped across the paper a dozen times.”

“…possibly the most crime ridden filthiest, gang infested part of London…’Hell, a body could lay here for days and people would think it was just a lawn decoration.'”

“‘Let me explain it this way.’ Adam’s hands formed a ball in the air Lauren’s eyes slanted and the one was twitching like it was a hula dancer.”

“‘Enough. Lauren is an hour ahead of us, dealing with international terrorists and you three are strutting like worthless peacocks.’ Her hands went to her hips, her dreadlocks swinging in time with her voice. ‘Did you all miss the damn brain train? Put your testosterone away and let’s go help her and …'”

“‘Go! Go! Go!’ Rourke commanded, smacking his fist against the dash. Lauren peeled out, tires smoking and leaving rubber marks on the pavement. ‘Is there anybody that doesn’t want to kill you?'”

Purchase High Frequency on Amazon:

Kindle

Paperback

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Technology Thursday – A Gem called Evernote

Access anywhere.
I am going to try and do this app justice. It is by far my favorite app (other than the app I just found named “Donna” – who is almost as good as I am at organizing you) and there are  additional apps that work along with the main app so that you have no excuse not to be organized! It is perfect for the organizational challenged!
 
I think I first saw Evernote in a segment done by Carley Knobloch on Digitwirl .
She has a lot of three-minute videos on different apps that you will find very helpful in organizing and simplifying your life. 
 
I actually downloaded Evernote twice to my iPhone. I guess my head wasn’t in a place to comprehend the app or something. I think we all have those days. I then downloaded it a second time and haven’t looked back since. In fact, anyone who stands still long enough will find themselves listening to me rave about this app and they just have to download it. Ummm. Is that why people duck around corners and cross the street when they see me?
 
First of all, I love the way this app syncs across iPhones, tablets, and your computer, so all of your information is accessible at all times. You may be in the market and think, “If only I had that recipe.” Now, you can. Save it to Evernote and never be without those recipe ingredients again! And, when all your dinner guests are raving about the great meal, you can email or message the recipe straight from Evernote to them. This goes for any of the photos or information that you have stored in Evernote. Share with Hubby or share with friends and family with just a click.
 
I began with a folder called “Recipes”. It has now evolved into subcategories (sub-folders), which I love. I have sub-folders such as Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert, Drinks, etc. For that reason, I suggest you think about what folders you want to set up. I have a “Decorating” folder and then sub-folders for different rooms. And, don’t despair  You can move folders around, add more, delete some, or make folders into sub-folders. 
 
 
Capture anything.You set the folders and the sub-folders to fit your lifestyle. I literally use this app for everything. It allows me to keep my medical information and the research I’ve done on my blood disorders at my fingertips. This way, I can compare the last blood work with the current at a glance. Then, I have a Travel folder with sub-folders on different places that we would like to visit. 

Do you have kiddies? Set up a category named “School” and add subfolders for each child. Keep photos of permission slips, supply lists, schedule of when lunch fees are due, etc. and have everything ready at your fingertips. 

With Christmas on the horizon – it will be here before we know it – Evernote will keep me organized! I set up the main category of Christmas and then added a sub-folder for each child and grandchild. I keep a list of their sizes along with their wish lists in their individual folders. Any item I purchase gets checked off. I can also email the list straight from Evernote to the little one’s parent along with a photo of an outfit or toy to get their opinion on. I can’t think of anything easier!
 
Are you a mail-order person like me? I have a folder which I labeled Deliveries. I do most of my shopping on-line so Evernote fits right in. Once I complete my purchase and my confirmation comes up, instead of printing, I save it to Evernote with just a click. I can quickly open up the Deliveries folder to check on what I ordered. I also set up a folder with check-boxes for each delivery. As I order, I add a check-box and the company’s name. Once it is delivered, I check it off. I also keep up with returns this way. Evernote has no idea the number of trees it has saved! Do you think that is why the icon is green? Definitely food for thought.
 
Another folder I have in Evernote is Articles to Read. I don’t know about you, but I am quite a busy bee and do not always have the time to read articles from my in-box on the spot. I quickly click over to the webpage and save the article for later reading (as in the check-out line at the market or the traffic light). 
 
Find things fast.I use Google Chrome so I have the little Evernote icon at the top which makes this process simple. I just click the icon and choose my folder and click save. Evernote will choose a file based on the content of the article you are saving and most of the time, it’s correct. Now, I can read those “must reads” any time I have a spare moment. All of the extensions can be found in the Google Chrome “store”. 
 
Another icon and feature of Evernote is a web clipper.  It is called Clearly and the icon sports a lamp. Clicking Clearly cleans up the text on the page and eliminates all the extras in the sidebars (ads). Sometimes it forgets the picture and when that happens, try clicking Evernote instead, as it will clean up the page fairly well. Too much info included, that’s okay. Just go to your note and delete the portion you don’t need. Now, you can see how Evernote will work for recipes. I don’t know about you, but I love my pictures, especially of food.

See a book you want to read? Snap a photo of the book and save it to your folder, “Books I want to read”. See anything you love? Snap a photo, take a few notes.
 
I keep track of errands and my last three Cookie Swaps. I certainly don’t want to serve the same food twice! Your imagination is the limit! And, if  the number of folders I have in Evernote is any indication, you will see my imagination runs rampant! AND, you can set reminders with alarms! How cool is that? Yep! It’s cool.
 
Evernote has endless possibilities on the web and just as many on your iPhone. If you would like to hear more about how those apps work, just leave a message and I’ll be more than happy to write about them. 
 
I love the Clipper app (surf the web on your phone and automatically save highlights and then re-order them as you see fit and save to Evernote), FastEver (allows me to jot notes to myself, hit enter, and it automatically goes to Evernote), and vJournal (I can send my journal entries and pictures straight to Evernote). There are a few more, but these are my favorites.
 
How-to-Use-Evernote-to-Organize-Your-Vacation-Plans
 
Just recently, I used it to corral all of my information about our trip to a convention. I saved my hotel reservations and the itinerary for the weekend. From the hotel confirmation, I was able to access maps to view the route we took to convention. I saved my list of items I needed to pack for the different functions. Between Trip-It and Evernote, all of my information was at the ready. 
Did I mention Evernote is free? It’s FREE!
 
I would love to hear if you use Evernote. If not, what organization apps do you use?

So, in Carley’s words:

1) Download Evernote
2) Store your info
3) Add tags or categories
4) Never forget anything again

 
View Carley’s video on Evernote here! You’ll be glad you did!

– See more at: http://mylife-in-stories.blogspot.com/2013/07/evernote-for-technology-thursdays.html#sthash.gseU4svl.dpuf

Book Blast: Mommy Couldn’t Find Her Eyelashes by Mary Jane Fizer

9781475981391_COVER.inddAbout the Author:

Mary Jane Fizer earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Concord College in Athens, West Virginia, and a master’s degree in elementary education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She spent the last forty years of her teaching career in Prince William County Schools in Woodbridge, Virginia, where she still resides today.

About the Book:

No one knows how unpredictable first graders can be better than a first-grade teacher. In Mommy Couldn’t Find Her Eyelashes, retired elementary educator Mary Jane Fizer shares excerpts from written papers and some of her favorite amusing and poignant conversations with her first-grade students, providing an unforgettable glimpse into the innocent, often uncensored minds and imaginations of children.

Fizer relies on more than forty years of experience in a classroom environment to offer a diverse compilation of funny sayings and heartfelt moments she experienced with her students. From the student who said he wanted to be both the President of the United States and a forklift operator to the boy who announced that he needed to see the nurse because he thought he had head lights, Fizer recalls the unpredictable moments of every day she spent in front of a classroom serving not only as a teacher, but also as a role model, stand-in mother, and a source of information who had to somehow find a creative answer to every creative question.

Mommy Couldn’t Find Her Eyelashes is a delightful collection of quotes from children that encourages all of us to find the pure happiness in every day—even when we are all grown up.

Purchase your copy:

iUniverse

Title: Mommy Couldn’t Find Her Eyelashes

Author: Mary Jane Fizer
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Biography/Memoir
Pages: 110
Purchase at iUniverse

No one knows how unpredictable first graders can be better than a first-grade teacher. In Mommy Couldn’t Find Her Eyelashes, retired elementary educator Mary Jane Fizer shares excerpts from written papers and some of her favorite amusing and poignant conversations with her first-grade students, providing an unforgettable glimpse into the innocent, often uncensored minds and imaginations of children.

Fizer relies on more than forty years of experience in a classroom environment to offer a diverse compilation of funny sayings and heartfelt moments she experienced with her students. From the student who said he wanted to be both the President of the United States and a forklift operator to the boy who announced that he needed to see the nurse because he thought he had head lights, Fizer recalls the unpredictable moments of every day she spent in front of a classroom serving not only as a teacher, but also as a role model, stand-in mother, and a source of information who had to somehow find a creative answer to every creative question.

Mommy Couldn’t Find Her Eyelashes is a delightful collection of quotes from children that encourages all of us to find the pure happiness in every day—even when we are all grown up.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Review: Sophie’s Encore by Nicky Wells

Her rock star is waiting in the wings, but will he get a second chance?
It’s all change for Sophie Jones—only this time, there is more at stake than just her happiness.

Rock star extraordinaire, Dan Hunter, has been her patient and caring friend through the highs and lows since her wedding day, but now he figures it is time for her to start over. By stealth, the rock singer draws Sophie into the behind-the-scenes work for his band’s latest album. Through the days and weeks spent together at the mixing desk, Sophie discovers whole new horizons for her life, yet before she can even begin to explore them, she faces the very real threat of losing her rock star for good.

Join Sophie and Dan in Sophie’s Encore to find out how their journey will end…

The author:

Nicky Wells, an ultimate rock chick author. Signed to US Publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, she writes Romance That Rocks Your World, featuring the rock star and the girl next door. Her books offer glitzy, glamorous contemporary romance with a rock theme ~ imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill! If you’ve ever had a crush on any kind of celebrity ~ rock, pop, movie or other ~ you’ll connect with my heroes and my leading ladies!

Connect with Nicky at http://nickywells.com/ and on Twitter (@WellsNicky) 

My Review:

Having read the two previous books of the Rock Star Trilogy by Nicky Wells, I was anxious to see what the third and final book, SOPHIE’S ENCORE, of the trilogy would reveal. Would Sophie stay married or would she end up with her rock star. Needless to say, I was blown away by the first few pages. It was not at all what I had expected and was an indication of the story to come.

While the language is quite different from the American English that I am used to, it did not present a barrier while reading. Nicky Wells not only finished with a bang, but the entire trilogy is wonderful.

I am giving SOPHIE’S ENCORE, as well as the entire trilogy, a four star rating. Although the story-line is good and the characters interesting, I felt at times the story tended to get bogged down in the little details. If you are a fan of trilogies, you will definitely want to pick this one up.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Purchase on Amazon by clicking the book:

Amazon.co.uk Kindle | Amazon.co.uk Paperback | Barnes & Noble Paperback | Nook

NickyWells_Border_

 

Hoppin’ The Boxes! 8 Authors! 8 Sets of books! Win Prizes!

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Welcome to my stop for Hoppin the Boxes Today I’ll be featuring

M.P. McDonald

But -
There are Over 60 stops – with plenty of excerpts, information and a giveaway!
These Eight Authors are presenting their Boxed Sets with Excerpts, Character Bios, and Prizes
Barbara Silkstone with the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set
Cheryl Bradshaw with the Sloan Monroe Boxed Set
Christy Hayes and the Golden Rule Bundle
Donna Fasano and the Single Daddy Club Boxed Set
Faith Mortimer and the Diana Rivers Mystery Set
M.P. McDonald and the Mark Taylor Omnibus
Melissa F. Miller and the Sasha McCandles Series
Sibel Hodge and the Sibel Hodge Box Set
This tour will run from 11 – 18 November
Giveaways!
Reader drawing is international
Grand Prize Winner : $60 Giftcard to Amazon or Barnes and all eight boxed sets
First Prize Winner: $40 Giftcard and all eight box set
Second Prize winner – 4 (winner’s choice) boxed sets
(see the giveaway tool at the bottom of the post!)

And now.. I present

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Mark Taylor Omnibus Boxed Set ~ Purchase Now: Amazon

This is a collection of all four books in the Mark Taylor Series.

Mark Taylor: Genesis: Prequel
Mark Taylor’s life changes forever when he finds an antique camera in an Afghan bazaar. Back home in Chicago, he discovers that the camera has a strange and unique ability–it produces photographs of tragedies yet to happen. What else can he do but attempt to save lives and thwart catastrophe?

No Good Deed: Book 1
Mark Taylor discovers first hand that no good deed goes unpunished when after the unthinkable happened and everyone ignored his frantic warnings, thousands died. Suddenly, the Feds are pounding on his door and the name they have for Taylor isn’t urban hero. It’s enemy combatant. And, it means they can do anything they want to him. Anything at all.

March Into Hell: Book 2

Mark’s life takes a dark turn when his heroism becomes the subject of a newspaper article. The media attention and a harrowing encounter while saving a young woman, puts him in the sights of the ruthless cult leader who covets the secret to Mark’s power.

Uncomfortable in the public spotlight, Mark suspects he’s being tested by the force behind the camera’s prophetic magic. Battling his own self-doubt, he must maintain the secret or risk certain death.

Deeds of Mercy: Book 3

An unexpected visitor from Mark’s past brings him unwanted attention from the authorities. Unable to decide who is friend and who is foe, Mark becomes a fugitive from the law, but with thousands of lives at stake, he is forced to put aside his fear of capture, and instead, seek help from his pursuers.

About M.P. McDonald

M.P. McDonald grew up the fifth of eight kids–and was the baby for the first eight years of her life until her little sister came along and ruined it all. Okay, she didn’t really ruin it, but M.P. went from being the baby to being a middle child and all that entails.

Always an avid reader, she could be found curled up on the couch or in a chair reading a book because chances were, she wasn’t going to get to watch what she wanted on one of the four channels on TV. The competion was too fierce.

After an average high school career, she went on to study respiratory therapy and still works in the profession more than twenty-seven years later. Last, but never least, she is mother of three wonderful kids–two grown and one just entering the teen years.

Follow M.P. McDonald: Website § Blog § Facebook § Twitter § Pinterest

Mark Taylor: Genesis: Prequel
Purchase Now: Amazon
“Good morning, Mo,” Mark said as his friend waved him into his apartment. “I brought some coffee and donuts.” He raised a bag of donuts and balanced a cardboard tray with the coffee cups and an assortment of creamers in his other hand.
“Thanks. Just set it on the kitchen table. Be careful of the papers and photos though.”
Mark complied, angling his head to see the picture peeking out from beneath the papers. It was the blue color that had caught his eye. It was the color of many of the burqas that the women in Afghanistan had worn. He had seen a few other colors like black or gray, but blue had been the most common color.
He started to reach for the photo, but Mo grabbed his arm. “Hold on. I have them numbered and stuff. I don’t want to mess it up.”
“Sorry.” He tried not to take offense at the reprimand, but there was something about Mo’s tone that bugged him. Taking a coffee from the tray, he shrugged off the annoyance and peeled the plastic tab back on the lid. Ignoring the creamers—they were for Mo, he took a sip. Maybe his own feeling of anxiety about his dream and his irritation with Mo was simply a lack of caffeine.
“So how does this all work?”
Mo shrugged. “I have a few connections. In fact, our trip was paid for by a sponsor.”
“Really?” Mark grinned. It had bothered him that his friend had paid for the tickets and accommodations, such as they were, but he reminded himself that he hadn’t been paid for his work while over there either and he had taken time from his own business to go. “Who’s the sponsor? A women’s organization?” It made sense to him.
Instead of answering, Mo narrowed his eyes. “It doesn’t concern you.”
Taken aback, Mark set his coffee down and spread his hands. “Did I piss you off somehow?”
The hostile look dropped off Mo’s face and although a smile replaced it, it didn’t quite reach his eyes. “No. I just have a lot on my mind.”
“Look, I’ve got a lot on my mind today too, so why don’t we do this another time?”
“But you might forget the details.”
Thinking back to the circumstances surrounding the photos, Mark shook his head. “No way.”
Mo scowled, made a shooing motion and said, “Then go. I know this means nothing to you. I might just throw all your photos away.”
Stunned at the reaction, Mark remained rooted to the kitchen floor for a moment, but then spun for the door ready to slam it on his way out, but instead, he stopped with his hand on the knob and turned to face Mo. “You know, I was honored when you asked me to go to Afghanistan with you. It was an opportunity to do some good and I wanted to be a part of it, but I have to admit that I was also eager to get my photos in your book.” His face heated at the admission as he avoided Mo’s eyes. “Most of my jobs are ads in magazines or catalogs. Basically, my photos sell stuff. That wasn’t how I envisioned my career when I started out. I looked at this as my big chance to make an impression—you know, like those iconic photos in Life or Time.”
He paused and blew out a deep breath as he tried to put into words the frustration he felt, his hand tightening on the knob. “But after seeing that woman beaten, it just seemed like I wasn’t able to do enough—that I won’t ever be able to do enough—but I still gotta try. So, you do whatever you want to do with the photos, but you are dead wrong when you said the book meant nothing to me.”
The anger had eased from Mo’s expression, but he remained silent.
With a firm nod, Mark left, pulling the door closed behind him with a soft click.

No Good Deed: Book 1
Purchase Now: Amazon

“Good morning, Mo,” Mark said as his friend waved him into his apartment. “I brought some coffee and donuts.” He raised a bag of donuts and balanced a cardboard tray with the coffee cups and an assortment of creamers in his other hand.
“Thanks. Just set it on the kitchen table. Be careful of the papers and photos though.”
Mark complied, angling his head to see the picture peeking out from beneath the papers. It was the blue color that had caught his eye. It was the color of many of the burqas that the women in Afghanistan had worn. He had seen a few other colors like black or gray, but blue had been the most common color.
He started to reach for the photo, but Mo grabbed his arm. “Hold on. I have them numbered and stuff. I don’t want to mess it up.”
“Sorry.” He tried not to take offense at the reprimand, but there was something about Mo’s tone that bugged him. Taking a coffee from the tray, he shrugged off the annoyance and peeled the plastic tab back on the lid. Ignoring the creamers—they were for Mo, he took a sip. Maybe his own feeling of anxiety about his dream and his irritation with Mo was simply a lack of caffeine.
“So how does this all work?”
Mo shrugged. “I have a few connections. In fact, our trip was paid for by a sponsor.”
“Really?” Mark grinned. It had bothered him that his friend had paid for the tickets and accommodations, such as they were, but he reminded himself that he hadn’t been paid for his work while over there either and he had taken time from his own business to go. “Who’s the sponsor? A women’s organization?” It made sense to him.
Instead of answering, Mo narrowed his eyes. “It doesn’t concern you.”
Taken aback, Mark set his coffee down and spread his hands. “Did I piss you off somehow?”
The hostile look dropped off Mo’s face and although a smile replaced it, it didn’t quite reach his eyes. “No. I just have a lot on my mind.”
“Look, I’ve got a lot on my mind today too, so why don’t we do this another time?”
“But you might forget the details.”
Thinking back to the circumstances surrounding the photos, Mark shook his head. “No way.”
Mo scowled, made a shooing motion and said, “Then go. I know this means nothing to you. I might just throw all your photos away.”
Stunned at the reaction, Mark remained rooted to the kitchen floor for a moment, but then spun for the door ready to slam it on his way out, but instead, he stopped with his hand on the knob and turned to face Mo. “You know, I was honored when you asked me to go to Afghanistan with you. It was an opportunity to do some good and I wanted to be a part of it, but I have to admit that I was also eager to get my photos in your book.” His face heated at the admission as he avoided Mo’s eyes. “Most of my jobs are ads in magazines or catalogs. Basically, my photos sell stuff. That wasn’t how I envisioned my career when I started out. I looked at this as my big chance to make an impression—you know, like those iconic photos in Life or Time.”
He paused and blew out a deep breath as he tried to put into words the frustration he felt, his hand tightening on the knob. “But after seeing that woman beaten, it just seemed like I wasn’t able to do enough—that I won’t ever be able to do enough—but I still gotta try. So, you do whatever you want to do with the photos, but you are dead wrong when you said the book meant nothing to me.”
The anger had eased from Mo’s expression, but he remained silent.
With a firm nod, Mark left, pulling the door closed behind him with a soft click.

March Into Hell: Book 2
Purchase Now: Amazon § Audible

“Fine. You don’t have to convince me anymore. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Mark gathered his trash and deposited it in the garbage can. Now that he was on his way to his loft, the fatigue that he’d kept at bay by sheer willpower swept through him. Maybe he’d just go straight to bed. He glanced at his watch. It was only seven o’clock, but he was beat. Before he could put the plan into motion, his cell phone rang. He glanced at the number and groaned, wanting to ignore it, but knew he couldn’t. He’d agreed to this arrangement.
“Hello, Jim.”
“Why aren’t you carrying the phone I issued you? I tried calling you earlier.”
Mark entered the loft and kicked his shoes off. “Now you’re starting to sound like my mother. Yeah. I guess I forgot to grab it this morning. I had a lot on my mind.” He refused to apologize — not when he’d never wanted the damn secure phone to begin with.
“Yes, I saw that. All the more reason to keep the other phone handy. You’re supposed to avoid attracting attention. I would hardly call this article as keeping a low profile.”
“I had nothing to do with the article. I spoke briefly to the reporter, but I told her nothing that she didn’t already know.” He eased down on the couch and let out a sigh as he relaxed. His back was still sore from yesterday’s adventure.
“Why didn’t you tell her to forget the story?”
“Listen, Jim, the last time I checked, the press had the right to free speech, or is that is that not true anymore?”
Jim was silent for so long, Mark pulled the cell from his ear and checked to make sure they were still connected. He knew it still rankled Jim that judicial process hadn’t been followed with the enemy combatant thing, but Mark didn’t care. It was nothing compared to the anger he’d been forced to bury away.
“Nobody is talking about taking away any rights. It’s not even about free speech, it’s about maintaining national security. Do you have any idea how valuable your ‘gift’ could be? But that’s beside the point. If you didn’t cooperate, where did she get the photo of you? It’s an old one, so someone had to give it to her.”
Mark stifled a yawn and scrubbed his fingers against his scalp. “I have no idea. It’s kind of funny, actually. The picture is one of the first taken with the camera.”
“You mean the special camera? I thought only you used it.”
“Not long after I came back from Afghanistan, I had the camera sitting on a counter in the studio while I was doing a commercial shoot with a few kids for an ad. One of the kids picked up the camera and caught me off guard. I meant to send that picture to my mom because she complained that I’m a photographer, but she never had pictures of me.” He shrugged even though Jim couldn’t see him. “I never got around to giving it to her though.” He put his feet up on the coffee table, crossing them as he searched for the TV remote in the cushion of the couch.
“So how did the reporter get it?
Damn, Jim was like a dog with a bone. “How the hell should I know? I haven’t seen the picture since I got out. I figured it disappeared with just about every other thing I owned.” He couldn’t resist that last dig.
“Mark, I’m sorry if this is coming off like I think this is your fault. I know it’s not. It just makes me really nervous to have one of my guys in the spotlight.”

Deeds of Mercy: Book 3
Purchase Now: Amazon § Audible

“While you were getting patched up, we combed through every file we had on Mohommad Aziz. According to the records, he was sent back to Afghanistan in December of 2002.”
Mark couldn’t stifle the wave of resentment that rose within him. “He was released before I was?”
Jim’s eyes were unreadable as he tapped his pen against the pad twice before nodding. “Yes. He held dual citizenship, and so his American citizenship was revoked and he was sent back under the condition that he never return. His last known residence was with his uncle in Afghanistan.” He glanced at his notes and continued, “The uncle holds office in Kundunz province and has some political connections, apparently.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me.” It was ludicrous. Mark had been released only after he had nearly been broken. He’d returned home to nothing. No home, no business, and his personal life in shambles, while Mohommad had no doubt returned to a hero’s welcome from his extended family in Afghanistan. Anger heated a path from his chest to his head, and his face burned. “I guess I didn’t have enough connections to get released sooner.”
Jim bowed his head in acknowledgement. “I’m sorry. I tried.”
Mark pushed out of the chair and paced a few steps. His instinct was to leave–to get away before he exploded with rage. It was as if everything he’d tried to forget, the anger, frustration and resentment that he’d quashed and locked into a vault in his brain, had suddenly sprung free to run amok. It was barreling around inside his head, crashing into the barriers he’d carefully constructed.
He stalked halfway to the couch, halted and faced Jim. “You’ve known this for how long?”
“Since shortly after Mohommad was released. I received a memo.” He tossed the pen on the pad of paper and spread his hands. “What difference does it make? It’s not like I personally set him free. I only questioned the man one time before he was sent to another facility.”
Mark gave his head a little shake, trying to comprehend the last bit of information. “You interrogated him? Were you the one who told him about the camera? For some reason, I thought it was another team. I mean, it wasn’t like he was held in the same brig as I was…or was he?” Mark had to know.
Jim stood and approached Mark. “I can’t discuss this with you, Mark. You know that.”
“Like hell you can’t! It’s not like there’s some kind of interrogator/interrogatee confidentiality clause, is there?” Mark knew he wasn’t being rational, but he couldn’t stop. “Do you all take classes on interrogation ethics?” He flung his arm toward the bookcase, pointing. “In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if you have Torture Methods for Dummies as some of your lighter reading.”
Jim flinched almost imperceptibly. “Settle down.” He put his hand on Mark’s shoulder in a manner meant to calm him.
Mark shrugged the hand off, ready to do more if Jim tried to resist. “Don’t tell me to settle down. I’m pissed off and I think I have a right to be. You kept me locked up for over a year. I can’t get that time back. I came to terms with it, but only because I thought justice had finally won out, but it didn’t, did it? Because if it had, Mo would still be locked up and everyone would be safer.”

Please be sure to check the other tour stops where you will see ….

Miller book Banner photo MillerBooks_zps807a3ca1.jpg
Melissa F. Miller and the Sasha McCandless Series
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Sibel Hodge and the Sibel Hodge Box Set

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Barbara Silkstone with the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set

Bradshaw books banner photo BradshawBooks_zps02409aed.jpg
Cheryl Bradshaw with the Sloan Monroe Boxed Set

Hayes books Banner photo HayesBooks_zps02cb4b16.jpg
Christy Hayes and the Golden Rule Bundle

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Donna Fasano and the Single Daddy Club Boxed Set

Mortimer book banner photo MortimerBooks_zps0b2b635c.jpg
Faith Mortimer and the Diana Rivers Mystery Set


Giveaways!

Reader drawing is international
Grand Prize Winner : $60 Giftcard to Amazon or Barnes and all eight boxed sets
First Prize Winner: $40 Giftcard and all eight box set
Second Prize winner – 4 (winner’s choice) boxed sets

Follow the HOP – Using THIS LINK

Review: The Path to Piney Meadows Gail Sattler

Will a new way of life solve problems or just create new ones?

Fed up with life in a large city, Chad Allen quits his job on Christmas Eve and drives until he’s stranded in the remote Mennonite town of Piney Meadows. He accepts a job there on a whim, but the longer he stays, the more he likes these good people and their strong faith. Most of all, he grows fond of Anna, the girl next door, and the more he gets to know her, the more he falls in love with her.

The only problem is that Anna is not happy in Piney Meadows. Even as Chad wants to settle in, Anna wants to move out. She longs to move to Minneapolis and find a new life. Reluctantly, Chad agrees to help Anna prepare for life in a large city, even as she’s helping him adjust to life in Piney Meadows.

But when a personal crisis shakes Chad to his core, he’s not sure where to turn. He’d been let down by everyone he knew, even God. Now that the situation has reared its ugly head again, can his relationship with Anna survive? Or will he have to let her go, too?

The Author:

Gail Sattler is the author of numerous novels, novellas, gift books, cookbooks and devotions. She is a longstanding member of East Ridge Community Fellowship, a Mennonite Brethren church. She lives and writes in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. For more information about Gail, check out her websites at GailSattler.com and MennoniteRomanceNovel.com.

My Review:

THE PATH TO PINEY MEADOWS was such a heart-warming book that I truly hated for it to end. The characters were so honest and true to God and their hearts. I became so absorbed in the story that I could feel my heart soften and I longed to immerse myself in the Mennonite community. It was that comforting a book.

Chad’s disillusion with the way the world has become – so fast, so uncaring, so dog-eat-dog, as the saying goes – causes him to throw the towel in and quit his job on Christmas Eve. And, as he hops in his car and begins to drive, he comes across a small town just as he runs out of gas. When you run out of gas, on a Christmas Eve, you just know that is where God has planned for you to end up.

As I opened the book to read, I was in a hurry because I needed to catch up on my reading and review this book. Once I began reading, there was no way I was going to finish it in a rush. As I turned page after page, and as I entered into the Mennonite world, I found that I no longer had the urge to fly through the book. I wanted to stay in the moment.

I absolutely loved the characters! I don’t think there was one I didn’t like. Their simpleness and easygoingness was contagious. I do want to go into a little more detail about Chad because the book also had heart-warming humor. He is presented with two baby chicks and proceeds to make them his family. They fall asleep in his lap at night and sleep in a box at the end of his bed, and even wear chicken nappies! We follow along as Chad makes a lot of discoveries about the Mennonite ways and what a different world he has stumbled upon, and eventually earns the nickname, “City Boy”.

“For the most part, a woman’s place was to be a housewife; this was a community of Mrs. Cleavers. Only Mrs. Cleaver didn’t cook like these Mennonite women. He’d never experienced such great food in his life.”

“They (chickens) started getting tired not long after supper. So on the evenings when he didn’t go out, he’d been taking them and putting a towel in his lap to keep them warm, while he curled up with a good book…He’d also noticed that since they could now hop out of their box in the kitchen, Waddles came to him whenever he sat down in the chair he used when he was reading, almost like she was expecting him to pick her up…Blinkie wasn’t so fast when he sat in his favorite chair, but when Waddles made it into his lap, Blinkie wasn’t far behind. While Waddles always waited to let Chad pick her up, Blinkie liked to jump up on his leg. “

“…I would also like to have a dog, because a dog would be good to help protect the chicken hotel (you will have to read the book to find out about that one!) Also, I do not think I would mind the chickens in their box on the floor by the bed.” He flinched at her words, and when he started to speak…”you are not fooling me. Do not think I do not know you allow your chickens to sleep in the box in your bedroom. I have seen it…I followed Blinkie to see where she was going, and she went to have a nap. I have seen you taking them into the house at night after I go to bed”…”Many people know that you have put diapers on your chickens…”

German was dispersed throughout the book, but the author incorporated the English translation very smoothly so the reader doesn’t miss a beat.

I am giving THE PATH TO PINEY MEADOWS five stars. It was a wonderful book and one I could see myself reading again. I was so taken with the descriptions of the Mennonite community that I told my husband I found the perfect place for us to move – and he agreed. In a world where people live too fast, live too selfishly, the little community would be a wonderful place to escape to.

Excerpt: Chapter 1

Chad Jones stared into the bottom of his empty mug.
Since noon, peals of drunken laughter had echoed down from the office Christmas party of the business on the floor above him.

Chad sat alone, on Christmas Eve, working. Without coffee. But he could smell the dregs from what was left in the bottom of the near-empty pot. Everyone else had gone home.

Chad glanced around his private office, not much bigger than a closet. He had barely enough square footage for his desk and chair, one filing cabinet, and one guest chair. Not that he had many guests. It was embarrassing. The building looked passable from the outside, but there was a reason the rent was cheaper than other buildings in the same area.

Gary, however, had spared no expense in renovating his own office, which was nearly the size of Chad’s living room.

Upstairs, someone turned up the volume of “Jingle Bell Rock.”

Chad gritted his teeth and tilted his head up. “I hate ‘Jingle Bell Rock’!” he called up, even though they couldn’t hear him. “Can’t you pick something else?”

With every thump of the bass, the tape dispenser on Chad’s desk vibrated.

He stared at the pile of paper Gary had plunked on his desk before he’d walked out. Gary had left early to be with his family. Chad didn’t have anywhere to go, and Gary knew it, but that wasn’t the point.

After all this time, he could finally admit that his boss had no intention of making him a partner. Everything had been a ploy to get more work out of him. The only thing that would shake greedy Gary into really making him partner was if Gary actually had to do all his own work.

Chad peeled off a sticky note and started writing.

I quit! Chad

He smiled and pressed the paper to the center of his monitor. As he pulled his hand away, the note fell.

Chad’s smile also fell.

Mr. Cheapskate couldn’t even buy decent quality sticky notes.

Chad sank his teeth into his lower lip, picked up a pushpin, poked it through the note, and aimed it at the monitor.

Testing the screen, Chad poked it with his thumb. His monitor at home was a plasma screen—hard, with a glass front—but this was an LCD and was . . . pliant.

Even though he had no intention of really doing it, he speculated what would happen if he pushed the pin into the soft surface. Would the screen go blank? Would it blow up? Would there be a spark? It gave him a small degree of satisfaction to imagine Gary’s expression when he saw a hole in his precious bargain-basement monitor.

To finish reading:

Purchase THE PATH TO PINEY MEADOWS on Amazon by clicking the book:

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Spotlight: Hopefully Ever After by Linda Barrett

Linda Barrett could be any one of us. She’s an ordinary woman living a wonderfully ordinary life – husband, kids, teaching, writing – totally unprepared for Murphy’s Law on steroids. In February 2001, everything goes wrong. She discovers her breast cancer exactly when she starts a brand new teaching job which is exactly the same time as the release of her very first published novel. Secrets must be kept to protect her fledging career as a writer. No secrets in the classroom however. Her adult students, preparing for the GED exam, out her in five minutes when they spot her wig!

Nine years later, Linda is fully recovered from her lumpectomy, chemo and radiation when breast cancer hits a second time. She is no longer a random one-in-eight woman who develops this disease. Blood tests show she’s a target of faulty genes, a carrier of the BRCA 1 gene mutation. Without drastic measures, she’d be susceptible to a third or fourth cancer hit. Murphy’s Law once again comes into play. This second time around coincides with a thousand mile relocation from Houston to Tampa. Putting a house on the market while handling a double mastectomy, implant prep, and six rounds of chemo is not for the faint of heart. Linda’s heart is not faint as she implores: “Do house hunters think we’re part of HGTV? Real homes aren’t perfect!”

At the heart of this memoir, however, is a love story. Cancer is merely the vehicle that exposes a mature marriage in full bloom. With her Knight-in-Shining-Tinfoil at her side, Linda and Michael Barrett meet the challenge of two enemies: cancer and fear. Their fight is hard won, but with cancer now in their rearview mirror, they are relaxed and laughing again. As Linda says, “Life is good. After all the turmoil, we’ve landed in a soft place. Friends and family are all around, and I expect to live out a natural lifespan however long that may be.”

Everyone deserves a Hopefully Ever After, and that’s what you’ll find here.

About the Author:

Image of Linda BarrettLinda Barrett is the author of 13 novels of contemporary romance. She’s earned many industry awards through Romance Writers of America, including the Holt Medallion, The Award of Excellence and the Write Touch Reader’s award. Family Interrupted is her first women’s fiction story. A graduate of Hunter College, Linda now lives in the Tampa area with her husband. They have three grown sons and the most adorable, intelligent, super-duper grandchildren ever!

You can visit her at http://www.linda-barrett.com

Chapter 1

And they lived hopefully ever after….

Tampa, Florida

Spring, 2012

A cancer diagnosis slams into you with the subtlety of a freight train. You can’t talk or breathe. You stare at familiar surroundings, but everything looks distorted. This isn’t real, you think. It’s just an out-of-body experience, and it is not happening to you.

Except it is. Breast cancer happened to me twice, but you don’t get any points for experience here. That freight train hit with the same ferocity the second time as it did the first.

After a decade of turbulence, however, I’ve now landed in a soft place. Outside the screened lanai where I’m sitting, a pair of sand hill cranes walks across the back yard, their bright red head feathers in brilliant contrast with the soft gray of their bodies. They are tall and majestic birds, deliberate in their steps, their posture exuding the confidence I’m lacking.

“So much has happened since the first diagnosis,” I say to my husband, who’s nose-deep in a crossword puzzle. “I need to come up with the perfect starting point for this story.”

Mike lowered the newspaper and looked at me over his reading glasses. “You do know you’re always cranky when you begin a new book? But in the end, you figure out a good place to start.”

I must have looked doubtful because he glanced longingly at his paper before lifting his eyes to mine. “All right, all right. Here’s an idea: try starting with our current lives. We’re doing well. You’re healthy again. We’re finally living without holdings our breaths. Begin in the here and now.” With pen back in hand, he was once more engrossed in Across and Down.

Had I asked him to solve my problem?

No. I was just kvetching out loud. But Mike was being Mike, trying to find a solution. In our early days, long before cancer crept into our lives, I’d tease him about being my Knight in Shining Tin Foil. I’d expected him to share chores and didn’t want his head to swell because he shopped for groceries, cleaned the sink, or vacuumed the carpets. Tin foil seemed an appropriate garment.

More recently when the going got rough, he was at my side–sure, steady, and strong. A full-time job. I should replace his tin foil with armor now, but I’m holding off. He knows it and laughs; we laugh together. Gentle teasing is our way. After more than four decades as husband and wife, we understand each other very well.  I know why he suggested I focus this story in the present. He prefers to live in the moment, enjoying the sunshine and the sand hill cranes. He prefers to leave the dark days behind us. I can’t blame him.

Although I’m half of the Linda-and-Mike team, I am also a mother, grandmother and novelist with fourteen works of fiction in print. My stories are about ordinary people in crisis, struggling to reach their happy endings. In 2001, when breast cancer hit me for the first time, I had to fight for my own happy ending which I achieved and enjoyed for nine years.

Sitting on the screened porch today, I feel great, look pretty good, and am planning for a long future. Part of me doesn’t want to look back; I’m not that different from Mike. I should simply put the cancer experience behind me and, as we native New Yorkers say, fuhggedaboudit!  The other part of me, however, wants to write about the turmoil and examine it for my own sake as well as for my children and grandchildren’s sakes, and for those families facing the same situation. There was a specific reason for my cancers; neither was a random hit, but I didn’t know that at the time.

On a sticky note taped to my computer is a quote I borrowed from Churchill: Never, never, never give up. Staring at those words got me through many a day.

Lab reports and medical records lay on the wrought iron table in front of me. Fact checking is a must for any book. I need no notes, however, to recall my feelings as a two-time rider on the breast cancer express. I need no cues to recall the complications the illness brought to my busy life and the heartache it brought to my family. And I need no reminders as to what I’d learned:  in the fight to live, no decision is too extreme. They may be dramatic and scary, but if they work, so what?

Twelve years have passed since my first bout with the disease; two years  since my second one. Fortunately, that tumor wasn’t a recurrence, but a brand new visitor. A good thing. Isn’t it weird that a malignant tumor can bring good news?  My last appointment with my surgeon at Tampa General is long over, and I love my new oncologist at Moffitt Cancer Center who will monitor me from now on. Since our recent move to Florida, I’ve had to search for new cancer specialists, a chore I hadn’t anticipated taking on while recuperating from a second bout of the disease.

The timing of our relocation couldn’t have been worse. I adored my original oncologist who practiced in Houston, Texas where I’d lived for sixteen years. I fought most of my cancer battles there and didn’t plan on a second assault when we decided to move to Florida during the fall of 2010. I certainly wouldn’t have left at that point had I known the future, but I didn’t. Sometimes life presents choices, and we deal with the decisions we make.

Which brings me back to choosing this memoir’s starting point. I briefly considered Mike’s suggestion of Right Now. Now is important because it measures the time out from surgery: one year out, two years out, five years out. The more years, the better. Now is important because I am living in it. But…where’s the story? I’m an author in search of a story, and my daily routines don’t cut it. They’re boring.  As for the future?  Well, that’s the sticky one. Tomorrow doesn’t come with a hundred percent guarantee, so why think about it? Besides, tomorrow’s events haven’t happened yet, so where’s the story?

The story lies in YesterdayYesterday provides the yardstick to measure the journey since the original diagnosis. I must sift through Yesterday in order to pull up remembrances and mine for the truth. For that is the meaning of memoir.

Sorry, honey.

 

Purchase HOPEFULLY EVER AFTER on Amazon by clicking book:

 

Spotlight: Widow, Spy & Lover by Eden Carson

The year is 1864.  The place – the Deep South.  There’s typhoid in the town, soldiers at the door, and a dead husband in the springhouse.  When gun smugglers come calling, Morgan Edgeworth has only one thing to barter – a deadly knowledge of bomb-making no woman should have.

To escape a violent past and protect his brother, Liam Griffin crosses an ocean to America — only to step off the boat into the middle of a deadly war.  The Irishman is forced to join the North – as scout, tactician, and the gun guarding his brother’s back.

When Griffin steps into the Bleu Pig Tavern, he’s looking for information.  What he finds is a woman – An elegant southern lady serving whiskey to thieves and deserters.  She’s beautiful, well-spoken, and entirely out-of-place in a rowdy tavern.  As she circles the room, pausing only for hurried conversations with men in Confederate uniforms, Griffin is forced to look beyond his interest in Morgan as a woman. Could she know something about the black powder making its way up the Mississippi?

When Griffin rescues Morgan from a dangerous situation, he offers his protection in exchange for information.  Can she survive on her own, or should she trust the charming Irishman to keep his word?

WIDOW, SPY & LOVER is an action-packed romance that begins during the Civil War in Union-occupied Louisiana, and ends on the Texas frontier.

It’s about fresh starts.  Love and Redemption.  And the meaning of family.  There’s adventure, humor, romance, and passion.

Eden Carson, Author:

I am a native Californian currently living in San Diego with my wonderful husband and two kids. I’ve tried my hand at several careers over the years, including teaching English in Brazil and Eastern Europe, marketing in environmental engineering, and software development. I started writing romance several years ago and discovered my true passion! Nothing gives me more satisfaction that creating a world and fascinating people to live and love in it. I’ve just self-published my first novel, Untamed Journey, with the hope of being my own boss one day.

If you’d like to hear when my next book is available or just drop me a line, check out my website:

http://www.edencarson.com

or join me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EdenCarsonFans

Recent Awards:

Second Place for Untamed Journey in the 2013 Romance Writers of America Gulf Coast Chapter Silken Sands Self-Published Star Award for Untamed Journey

Quarter Finalist in the 2012 ABNA contest in the romance category.

I’ve been asked, “What have you learned from being a self published author?”

With Untamed Journey, it has been exciting to try out everything. I read and read blogs, suggestions from other authors and try out what seems like it might work. I’m always open to ideas and have been amazed at how generous everyone has been in offering to help.

The most intriguing aspect is that authors can now write whatever they want and get feedback directly from fans on what they would like to read! I’d love to hear from you, so send me an email or join my mailing list (reached via my website http://www.edencarson.com).

EXCERPT:

“You shouldn’t do that,” she said, short of breath.

“Kiss you?” he asked.  “I thought we’d settled my rights back on the train.  Should we negotiate more explicitly?”

“No, that’s not necessary.  I didn’t mean all kissing.  Just not in full view of everyone.  People were watching and cheering.”

“It was a chaste enough kiss, as far as kisses go.  But if you’d prefer closed doors, here we are.  Let’s have a proper tour.”

He opened the door for her and ushered her inside, before she could change her mind.

“It has a bit of charm,” Griffin offered, picking up a broken chair off the floor.

“There’s a hole in the roof.”

“There’s a view of the moon.”

“It’s cold and there’s no stove.”

“You have me now,” he reminded her, hugging her from behind.  “I’ll keep you warm.”

“You’re right,” she said, stepping away and tossing a wicked smile over her shoulder at him.  She bent down, giving him a most distracting view.  When she stood upright, she turned and handed him a hammer, its handle broken off.

“Watch you don’t fall off the roof and kill yourself,” she said.

He smiled into her sparkling green eyes, certain he could make her fall in love with the place.  And him.  “You’d surely miss me,” he warned.

“With a gaping hole in my roof, and no one to warm me, I surely would.”

Purchase links are here:
Ebook and Paperback available on Amazon by clicking book:

I will be reviewing Widow, Spy & Lover in a few days. I invite you to pop in and read my review.

 

Media Blitz: I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Jessica Scott

November 5, 2013; Forever Yours/E-Novella; $0.99; 978-1-4555-5424-9

There’s nothing in the world Army Sergeant Vic Carponti loves more than his wife and his country. Smart-mouthed and easy tempered, he takes everything as a joke . . . except his promise to come home to his wife, Nicole, for Christmas. As he prepares to leave for his latest deployment into Iraq, Vic will do everything he can to shield his beautiful, supportive wife from the realities of war . . . and from his own darkest fears.

As a career army wife, Nicole Carponti knows just what to expect from her husband’s tour of duty: loneliness, relentless worry, and a seemingly endless countdown until the moment Vic walks through the door again. But when the unthinkable happens, Nicole and Vic’s bond is tested like never before and changes everything they believe to be true about the power of love and the simple beauty of being home for the holidays.

JessicaScottBlitzGraphic

Jessica ScottAuthor Bio:

USA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer; mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs; wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well-adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.

She’s written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas.
She’s pursuing a PhD in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine‘s Americans of the Year for 2012. 

Buy links: Amazon B&N Bookish iTunes

 Author Social Media links:

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An Excerpt from I’ll Be Home for Christmas:

“You’re not serious.”

Carponti turned around, his shoulders covered in flecks of red hair. “What?”

Nicole grinned as she leaned against the door. “Garrison is going to kill you.”

“Garrison is going to love my new hair cut. It looks just like his.”

Nicole arched one blond eyebrow. “Except for the bright red fuzzy patch in the center of your head.”

Carponti shrugged and rubbed his hands over his freshly shorn scalp. “I can’t wait to see what the sergeant major says.”

“Isn’t he going to be mad?”

Carponti brushed the hair off his neck. “We’re going to war. My hair isn’t on the list of things he’s going to worry about.”

Nicole looked down at the pile of hair on the floor and sighed. “Then why do it?”

Carponti smirked. “Because it’ll get a rise out of him and I live to make his blood pressure go up.”

She laughed. “You need a hobby. Other than blowing things up.”

He sidled across the room and hooked his thumb into the waist of her jeans and tugged her close until their hips met. “I have a hobby. Keeping you well satisfied.”

She sniffed but her lips curled at the edges. “You’re going to be derelict in your duties for a while.”

“But I’ll be home soon enough and then I’ll make up for it.”

“I think I’m going to need a deployment boyfriend.”

He grinned wickedly. “Did you already get one?” He backed her up against the wall, his body hard against hers. God but she loved this man. “Can I see it?”

A slow flush crept over her face and she tried to look away. He threaded his fingers with hers and lifted her arms over her head. Her back arched with the movement.

“Please?” he whispered against her lips. “That would be an awesome memory to take with me downrange. Just think of me, alone in the middle of the desert. One visual of you with your deployment boyfriend and it could make a lonely night go by so much faster.”

Nicole giggled until the laugh overwhelmed her and she was gasping for air. He released her hands and she threaded them around his neck. She buried her face against his throat and laughed.

“There’s something really wrong with you,” she said when she could breathe again. “I’ll send you a video.”

He brightened instantly. “Really?”

“Yes. And dirty letters.”

“Promise?” He nibbled along the edge of her jaw, guiding her slowly backward toward their bed, stacked high with his two duffle bags and all the crap he still hadn’t packed.

But he didn’t care.

“I promise. And you’re going to be late.” Her voice caught in her throat.

“Screw it,” he whispered. “This is the last chance to make love to my beautiful wife before I have to go traipsing across the desert like Lawrence of Arabia.” He nibbled at her earlobe while his hand slipped down her belly to the moist head between her thighs. “Tell you what. You send me a picture of yours and I’ll send you a picture of mine. Maybe I can get him a little horse and saddle and send you a picture. Maybe a Barbie camel. I can put him in a little man dress.”

She laughed and Carponti’s heart swelled in his chest at the sound of it.

“I’m going to hold you to that.” She traced her fingers over his scalp, her body soft and warm against his erection. “I want a picture of him in a man dress in exchange for a video of the deployment boyfriend.”

Her legs bumped into the back of the bed and he followed her down. Tangled between the duffle bags and his uniforms, he made love to her one last time before he got on a plane and headed to war.

 

Marriage Isn’t For You (Repost)

Marriage Isn’t For You.

My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t foryou. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”…

This is a wonderful article that will touch your heart and soul. Well worth following the link and reading the article.  I hope you do.

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Blitz: Jagged by Kristen Ashley

November 5, 2013; Forever/E-Book; $3.99; 978-1-4555-9914-1

Zara Cinders always knew Ham Reece was the one, but he wasn’t interested in settling down. When she found someone who was, Ham walked out of her life. Three years later, Zara’s lost her business, her marriage, and she’s barely getting by in a tiny apartment on the wrong side of the tracks. As soon as Ham hears about Zara’s plight, he’s on her doorstep offering her a lifeline. Now, it will take every ounce of will power she possesses to resist all that he offers.

Ham was always a traveling man, never one to settle down in one town, with one woman, for more time than absolutely necessary. But Ham’s faced his own demons, and he’s learned a lot. About himself, and about the life he knows he’s meant to live. So when he hears that Zara’s having a rough time, he wants to be the one to help. In fact, he wants to do more than that for Zara. A lot more. But first, he must prove to Zara that he’s a changed man.

Kristen AshleyAuthor Bio:

Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake.

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

Author Social Media links:

Blog: http://www.kristenashley.net/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KristenAshley68

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kristen-Ashley/83283039199

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2958084.Kristen_Ashley?from_search=true

Buy links: Amazon B&N Bookish iTunes

 
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An excerpt from: Jagged by Kristen Ashley

When I saw who was outside, my mouth dropped open.

Luckily, the doorbell buzzing stopped.

Unluckily, the last person on earth I wanted to see was standing outside my door.

“Jesus, you don’t have a peephole?” Ham growled, looking incensed and Graham Reece looking, or worse, being incensed was a very bad thing. I’d learned that five months ago.

I didn’t have it in me to concern myself with Ham being incensed. I was more concerned with him being there at all.

To express this, I asked, “What the hell?”

“Open the fuckin’ door, Zara.”

I stared a beat, then pulled myself together.

This was not happening.

We were done.

I pushed the door closed.

The problem with this was it didn’t work, seeing as the toe of Ham’s boot was wedged between it and the jamb.

“Open the door, Zara,” he repeated.

“We’re done,” I told him through the gap in the door. “Move your foot.”

“Open the door.”

“We’re done, Ham,” I snapped.

“Right, then move back.”

“What?”

He didn’t repeat his order. He moved his foot but only so he could rear back and plant his shoulder in the door.

The chain popped right open, as did the door, and I went flying.

I righted myself as Ham, now in my apartment, slammed the door.

“You’re payin’ for that!” I yelled.

His eyes were beyond me, examining my new space as his mouth moved.

“Not a problem. I’ll reimburse what they take out of your security deposit when we move you out of this dump.”

I didn’t know what he meant and I also didn’t care.

I switched subjects.

“How did you get here so fast?” I asked, and his eyes finally came to me.

“I hope to Christ you didn’t miss local gossip because you’re spendin’ your days at Deluxe Home Store and your nights at some titty bar.”

“I’m not working at a titty bar, Ham, so you can stop concerning yourself with me and move on”—I paused—“again.” I bit off the last word then what he said penetrated and I asked, “What gossip?”

“Managing The Dog, Zara, have been for a week. I live in Gnaw Bone.”

I felt my eyes get huge as my stomach clenched.

“You’re managing The Dog?” I whispered, aghast.

“Yeah. And you just got a new job. You start after you work out your notice at Deluxe,” he returned.

“What?” This also came out quiet and horrified.

“You’re waitressin’ for me. Shit hours but, if I remember correctly and since the view hasn’t changed except to get better, with your face, tits, and ass, great tips. In the meantime, we’re movin’ you out of this shithole and, you don’t got a girl who can take you on, you’re bunkin’ with me.”

Bunking with him?

Was he high?

“I am not moving in with you,” I declared.