In Love with Death by Satish Modi – Media Blitz

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“A must read for everyone who seeks spirituality and happiness, by giving joy to others and those who simply want to make the most of the one short life that one is given.”

Ashanti Omkar, cultural expert, Monocle

New Book by Industrialist and Philanthropist Explores “Love Affair” with Death, and Reveals Surprising Secret to Living Well

 

Described as the “son of the founder of modern industrial India,” Satish Modi is a member of one of the most influential and affluent families in India. Yet despite privilege and success, he discovered happiness was not synonymous with wealth—and the secret to a meaningful life begins with a fresh understanding of death.

He now shares how his unique understanding of death has enabled him to embrace an extraordinary and impactful life, and reveals how reinterpreting death can help others live to the fullest in his new book, In Love with Death (Birlinn Limited, $16.95 / £9.99 hardcover, May 1, 2014).

Challenging readers to mark their “death date” and calculate their remaining time on earth (or, “reverse living”), Modi seeks to empower people to overcome their fear of dying, and enable them to live meaningful lives of goodness, love, and compassion.

Including poignant narratives from people from all walks of life, Modi sweeps the reader into a journey through life’s joys and sorrows with fascinating stories, thought-provoking philosophy, and wise advice from a life well lived.

The result is a fascinating book that teaches us that whoever we are and whatever our aspirations in this life, it is important for everyone to accept their own passing—and embrace the courage to live fully.

“It is my hope that engaging with our own mortality will help us to appreciate the world in which we live and encourage us to make the most of our lives,” Modi said.

Modi started India’s first private airline (Modiluft, now known as Spice Jet) in 1993, and established the International Institute of Fine Arts (www.iifaindia.org) in India in 2000. His foundation also runs the Right to Education program, which provides subsidized/free education to four thousand underprivileged children. He set up the charity “Arts for India” (www.artsforindia.org) help needy young artists in India get the education they deserve.

IN LOVE WITH DEATH by Satish Modi

Published by Birlinn Limited, May 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1780272146

$16.95 / £9.99 Ÿ 174 pages

High res imageDeath is the inevitable fate of every single person on earth. How do we accept the inevitability of our own death? How do we live our lives with meaning? Will money lead us to happiness? Satish Modi examines these questions and more in a moving, powerful, thought-provoking work based on his own reflections as well as the experiences of people from all walks of life. The result is a fascinating book that teaches us that whoever we are and whatever our aspirations in this life, it is important for each and every one of us to accept our own passing. In doing so, we free ourselves to live as fully as possible, guided by the principles of goodness, love, and compassion.

 

SaitshModi_authorphoto2SATISH MODI is a philanthropist, educationist, industrialist, and author who divides his time between London and New Delhi. He is respected for his entrepreneurial approach to international business.

Modi started India’s first private airline (Modiluft, now known as Spice Jet) in 1993 and in 2013 he founded a Football Club in the U.K. known as Modi Town Football Club. He founded and is on the board of India’s first offshore mutual fund, the J.F. India Fund, which is part of J.P. Morgan Chase. His father established the Modi Group of Industries and, in 1933, established the industrial township of Modinagar, which now has a population of half a million people. The group has a turnover of about US $1.2 billion.

Satish Modi and his wife Abha established the International Institute of Fine Arts (www.iifaindia.org) in 2000. His Foundation also runs the Right to Education program, which provides subsidized/free education to four thousand underprivileged children in India. The philanthropic project, ‘A Stitch in Time’ is an initiative to empower women. This has enabled thousands of women to earn their livelihood respectfully. In 2010 Modi launched Arts for India, a charity to raise funds to support underprivileged, yet talented artists from India (www.artsforindia.org).SatishwithwifeandPrinceCharles

Satish Modi is President of the Dayawati Modi Foundation for Art, Culture and Education. Mother Teresa was one of the first to receive its annual award. His Holiness the Dalai Lama received the Dayawati Modi Award for Art, Culture and Education in 2011. Other prominent awardees include Anish Kapur, Mark Shand, Goldie Hawn, Simon Beaufoy, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Amitabh Bachchan.

He is also President of the G.M. Modi Science Foundation that promotes Science and Technology in India and has instituted the prestigious annual G.M. Modi Science Award. Among the recipients is Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India.

Under his initiative, various art shows were organized at several venues around the world, including Tate Britain, London; the House of Lords, London; the Saatchi Gallery, London and the New York Academy of Art, New York. A Fashion Show was also organized at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2011.

He was a member at UNESCO’s Global Forum on the ‘Power of Peace’. On the invitation of UNESCO, Satish Modi created, for the first time, an Art Show on the theme ‘Power of Peace’ at the UNESCO Global Forum held at Bali, Indonesia in 2007.

For his services to the nation, Satish Modi has received a number of awards and honors including the Gem of India Award. He was appointed an Ambassador for Philanthropy by the UK’s Founding Ambassador for Philanthropy, Dame Stephanie Shirley. In 2010, he was nominated for an Arts & Business Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy. He was also invited for a Breakfast Prayer Meeting in Washington D.C. by Mr. George Bush, the then President of U.S.A.

 

 

The Way of Tea and Justice by Becca Stevens – Media Blast Tour and GIVEAWAY!

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The Way of Tea and JusticeWhat started as an impossible dream-to build a café that employs women recovering from prostitution and addiction-is helping to fuel an astonishing movement to bring freedom and fair wages to women producers worldwide where tea and trafficking are linked by oppression and the opiate wars.

Becca Stevens started the Thistle Stop Café to empower women survivors. But when she discovered a connection between café workers and tea laborers overseas, she embarked on a global mission called “Shared Trade” to increase the value of women survivors and producers across the globe.

As she recounts the victories and unexpected challenges of building the café, Becca also sweeps the reader into the world of tea, where timeless rituals transport to an era of beauty and the challenging truths about tea’s darker, more violent history. She offers moving reflections of the meaning of tea in our lives, plus recipes for tea blends that readers can make themselves.

In this journey of triumph for impoverished tea laborers, hope for café workers, and insight into the history of tea, Becca sets out to defy the odds and prove that love is the most powerful force for transformation on earth.

 GIVEAWAY!

5 copies of In Love with Death and 1 of Tea & Justice

USA only. – leave a message with your email (for contact purposes)

Author Headshot

The Reverend Becca Stevens is an Episcopal priest serving as Chaplain at St Augustine’s at Vanderbilt University, and founder of Magdalene, a two-year residential community of women who have survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction. She founded Thistle Farms in 2001, which employs 50 residents and graduates, and houses a line of natural body care products, a paper and sewing studio, the Thistle Stop Café, and the Shared Trade initiative linking 14 women’s social enterprises around the globe.

Stevens has authored nine books, and has been featured in The New York Times and on ABC World News, NPR, PBS, CNN, and Huffington Post. She was named one of 15 Champions of Change by the White House in 2011, was inducted into the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013, received an honorary doctorate by The University of the South, was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award from Vanderbilt Divinity School in October 2014, and was named the 2014 Humanitarian of the Year by the American Business Counsel. In 2011 she was also named “Tennessean of the Year.”

In fall 2013, Stevens launched the first Thistle Farms National Conference, welcoming attendees from over 30 states. Her latest books include Snake Oil: The Art of Healing and Truth-Telling and The Way of Tea & Justice: Rescuing the World’s Favorite Beverage from its Violent History.

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Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace by Andra Watkins – Interview and Excerpt

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Can an epic adventure succeed without a hero?

Andra Watkins needed a wingman to help her become the first living person to walk the historic 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did. She planned to walk fifteen miles a day. For thirty-four days.

After striking out with everyone in her life, she was left with her disinterested eighty-year-old father. And his gas. The sleep apnea machine and self-scratching. Sharing a bathroom with a man whose gut obliterated his aim.

As Watkins trudged America’s forgotten highway, she lost herself in despair and pain. Nothing happened according to plan, and her tenuous connection to her father started to unravel. Through arguments and laughter, tears and fried chicken, they fought to rebuild their relationship before it was too late. In Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace, Watkins invites readers to join her dysfunctional family adventure in a humorous and heartbreaking memoir that asks if one can really turn I wish I had into I’m glad I did.

Andra Watkins 4Andra Watkins lives in Charleston, South Carolina. A non-practicing CPA, she has a degree in accounting from Francis Marion University. She’s still mad at her mother for refusing to let her major in musical theater, because her mom was convinced she’d end up starring in porn films. In addition to her writing talent, Andra is an accomplished public speaker. Her acclaimed debut novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis was published by Word Hermit Press in 2014.

Her latest book is the memoir, Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444 Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace.

For More Information

For More Information

  • Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444 Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace is available at Amazon
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Interview:

Has Your Dad Ever Offered You Pee-Stained Nuts?

People hear about Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace, and they love to ask questions. “What was it like to spend five weeks with your 80-year-old dad?” “Did he really fart as much as you describe in the book?” “Did you ever want to drop your quest to become the first living person to walk the ancient Natchez Trace as the pioneers?”

I answer those questions in my memoir. You’ll just have to read the book.

Please enjoy my answers to the most common general questions I get about writing, my projects and life as a writer. And PLEASE ask me anything in the comments!

  1. Tell me something about yourself. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Was there an aha! moment?

I re-evaluated my whole life in the wake of the 2008-09 economic crash. I was forty. And basically unemployed. While I could’ve come up with ways to reignite a consulting practice I didn’t enjoy, I was stuck. “What did I really want to do with my life?” I asked myself. Over.

And over.

I started writing again as a way to process my failure, never intending for writing to become my vocation. It was fun, something about which I was passionate. I loved making words and never viewed it as a job. Now that I’ve decided to pursue it full-time, I still see it as a challenging, fun way to spend my time. Maybe I found my way to what I should’ve been doing all along. Writing was my mid-life crisis, but it led me to a richer life. Not in terms of money, but with connections, with relationships, and with satisfaction.

  1. Did your walk on the Natchez Trail accomplish the goals you set for yourself?  Did the trek change you, and if so, in what way?

I finished, so yes, I accomplished that goal. I hoped the walk would garner a broader audience for my debut novel, and I don’t believe that happened, though many people tell me it did. I had such lofty dreams for what walking 444-miles in a month might accomplish. Unrealistic goals, really. I never fathomed how hard it would be to get someone to choose my books over other offerings. I went into it thinking I’d do something bizarre, and people might be interested.

While I never had the goal of repairing a dysfunctional relationship, it was a happy by-product of my walk. My parents and I have a deep, meaningful relationship now, something I wish we could’ve had throughout my life. Many people don’t get the opportunity to fix these relationships before a person is gone, or they are offered a way but refuse to take it. I’m grateful to my parents for agreeing to have this adventure with me, because my shredded feet pounded a path to healing. The experience made me determined to inspire others to Make a Memory, to grab a loved one and do something meaningful before it’s too late. And because we’re not guaranteed tomorrow, we never know when it may be too late.

The trek temporarily changed my mid-life figure. I’m blessed, because my body sprung back from the daily abuse within a month or so. My biggest challenge now is making myself exercise. My experience on the Trace also made me appreciate waning time. We all think we have time to have adventures, to connect with others, to do that thing. We put those things off for “someday”, and “someday” morphs into “never” in the overwhelming crush of Life. I hope my experience taught me to seize the opportunities Life offers to connect with people who matter. People need those messages, that challenge to shift focus on what’s important. Everyone should read Not Without My Father, because it will force them to Make a Memory they’ll cherish forever.

  1. How did the time spent with your father change your relationship? Would you walk the Trace again with him as your companion?

I never really felt like I knew my dad. He was this figure who lectured me and told me what to do. I dreaded every second with him. Growing up, he was the classic uninvolved dad, the man who went to work, who came home, who never talked to me. When I turned thirteen, he decided he hadn’t taught me anything, and he spent my teens starting every sentence with, “Andra, you need to learn…….”

Not exactly the best approach for a teenage girl.

I couldn’t stand my father. He lectured me through my teens, compared me to my more successful friends in my twenties and early thirties. Sometime in my mid-thirties, he started to see me as an adult, and his approach altered in that he treated me like all other adults in his life: He told stories, usually the same ones over and over, to try to form a bond. I rolled my eyes and put up with it, and when I started writing, I used him and his stories often for comic relief. Still, I never felt a deep bond with my dad or understood who he was.

And at eighty, I was running out of time.

The walk changed all that. Finally, I experienced him as a human being, an adult who wants to be remembered. We laughed and cried, argued and excelled, and redrew the bounds of our connection. No one will ever be able to rob me of the memories we made on that trip. When he’s gone, he’ll live in those experiences. I can’t imagine spending five weeks on the Trace with anyone else.

  1. What gave you the original idea to use Meriwether Lewis’s ghost as a character in your novel? What advice would you give other writers?

Meriwether Lewis died a tragic death, a mysterious end that will remain unsolved for all time. For readers who don’t know, Meriwether Lewis was one-half of the Lewis and Clark expedition to the Pacific. He completed his expedition at thirty-two. At thirty-five, he was dead of two gunshot wounds on the Natchez Trace, seventy miles south of Nashville. He was an American hero, more famous than Katy Perry or Lady Gaga. America’s First Scientist. Renowned and respected beyond the bounds of the United States. Yet, he had no federal funeral. For almost fifty years, he was buried in an unmarked grave. No marker or other means to identify the grave of an American hero. In 1848, the legislature for the state of Tennessee earmarked funds to purchase the marker one sees today if they visit his grave. Those people found it appalling that an American hero was buried in their state, his contributions to our nation totally forgotten.

I pondered the notion of the legacies we leave behind. We all want to be remembered, to have someone know we existed after we’re gone. It’s the only way we can really live forever.

With Meriwether Lewis, I wanted to give him a different ending, something else to do to round out his short life. I wondered what he might do if he could live again. I read everything he ever wrote, followed many of his footsteps, even communed with him at his grave. I hope he would be proud of the new tale I wove for him. To Live Forever is imbued with his spirit.

For other writers, don’t give up on your vision. My books live by the sheer force of my will. No NEVER means no in this business. It just means I have to reframe a lot of opportunities, have the strength of a bulldog and never, ever give up. The world of publishing is a place where you can shine. Don’t short-shift your vision. Don’t take no for an answer. Never, ever give up.

  1. How has life changed for you since writing your first book?

I’m a full-time writer now, and I love the crazy, mixed-up world of writing and promoting. Not Without My Father launched mid-January 2015, and I embarked upon an ambitious book tour. I was in Nashville, New Orleans and other points in Louisiana and Mississippi to start. I returned to North and South Carolina in February. In March, I travel north, because this Southern girl needs her cold weather fix. I’ll be in Chicago, Massachusetts and New York for events.

I love writing, making words into stories. But I really love meeting readers. Hearing how my books cause people to make changes in their lives is one of the most fulfilling things in life. I never wanted to craft books that didn’t touch people. I’m grateful for readers who reach out and tell me how my books matter.

  1. Are you currently working on a new book? If so, what would you like to share about it?

My book Natchez Trace: Tracks in Time will be available February 1, 2015. It’s a collection of pictures from my Natchez Trace walk, the perfect accompaniment to both To Live Forever and Not Without My Father. It will be available as an 8 x 8 paperback everywhere books are sold. I’m really proud of how it’s come together. People will be able to walk the Natchez Trace by turning pages. I hope the images are a tribute to an ancient, incredible place.

I also have a short story coming in the spring. Hard To Die is a short prequel to To Live Forever. It’s set in New Orleans and Mexico City, and it follows characters from To Live Forever. I enjoyed a trip to Mexico City recently for research, and I hope it makes the story pop.

Your True Love Lives will be available Summer 2015. It’s a full-length paranormal romance. Set in England, it follows a group of Americans as they volunteer in a sailing-for-the-disabled program. I hope the book will shine a light on programs that enable disabled people to achieve mobility around the country. Several years ago, I was lucky to volunteer in such a program, and I met precious people who came out to sail, day after day, to feel like they could walk again, to experience memories they couldn’t grasp any other way, or to escape a bed.

And I Am Number Thirteen, the sequel to To Live Forever, will be available November 2015. Surprising readers is a tall order, but I’m excited about the drafts I’ve produced. The book will follow Emmaline Cagney into her life with her father, an achievement that didn’t quite turn out the way she hoped.

I’m very busy. And I love it.

  1.     What question that I didn’t ask would you have liked me to ask?

How does Dad feel about these books?

He’s ecstatic, so proud of these stories that capture his essence. I’m glad I was able to get them to market before he’s gone. He may be able to see what impact his life has on readers before he dies, and that’s an incredible thing to give a person.

Dad also sees himself as my top book salesman. He spends his days in the community, meeting strangers, regaling them with stories, and selling them books. I’m glad to see him up and about, out of his recliner and living again. I won’t say my decision to write saved his life, but it has enriched it. I’m thrilled to give him that gift in his life’s twilight.

Book Excerpt #1:

ROAD TO NOWHERE

Talking Heads

The journey is a long slog with an unpredictable number of mileposts.

One can make the trip alone, but why not share it?

As I traversed familiar mile markers and pulled up in front of my fa- ther’s house, I could predict where I’d find him.

In his recliner, his belly a shelf for a vat of popcorn. At eighty, he whiled away days feeding his face and shouting at the television. Whenever his throne was vacant, I eschewed all temptation to occupy it.

Because I imagined how many times he farted into the velvet upholstery.

Sometimes while naked.

I could hear the television when I stepped from the car. “Why am I do- ing this again?” I whispered as I slipped through the back door.

“Andra!” There he was, sprawled in his recliner. A jagged scar played peek-a-boo through his open pajama top. “What’re you doing here?”

I opened my mouth and clamped it shut. Once I uttered my request, I couldn’t take it back.

I needed a wingman while I walked the 444-mile Natchez Trace from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. I planned to launch my debut novel and be- come the first living person to walk the 10,000-year-old road as our ancestors did. Nobody could convince me that an unathletic woman and her mid-life paunch were incapable of walk- ing more than a half-marathon every day for a month.

Even though my aversion to exercise was as spectacular as my father’s. I wanted my walk to redeem my novel’s hero, American explorer Meri- wether Lewis, one-half of the Lewis and Clark duo. He died of two gun-shot wounds on the Natchez Trace, seventy miles south of Nashville.

He was only thirty-five.

Was it suicide? Or murder? His death is one of America’s great un- solved mysteries.

To walk a forgotten highway for five weeks, I needed a wingman who could shuttle me to my first daily milepost and pick me up fifteen miles later. Someone who wasn’t busy. Someone available. Maybe this person even craved an adventure.

I scrolled through a list of prospects. My husband Michael couldn’t be absent from work for five weeks, especially since his job paid for my predilection to write. My friends all had children. Husbands. Gainful em- ployment. I discarded people for an hour, my list a scribbled mess that highlighted one harrowing name. Continue reading

Stealing Rose by Monica Murphy – Media Blitz

Stealing Rose by Monica Murphy
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BLURB:
People say the youngest child has it easy, but nothing can be further from the truth. Unlike my two sisters, Violet and Lily, I’m never in the limelight. I just work my butt off for Fleur Cosmetics and get little to no thanks for it. I’ve been pushed too far one too many times, and I’m finally brave enough to do something about it.Maybe my newfound courage has something to do with the amazing pink and white diamond necklace I wear to the party in Cannes. The instant those dazzling heirloom jewels touch my skin, they excite some deep, aching need inside. And when that guy—that totally gorgeous guy—locks eyes with me, I know this nice girl is going to be naughty.

For once it’s my turn. My turn to say no to my father, to outshine my sisters, to walk away from it all—straight into the arms of a mysterious stranger. But what if Caden is much more than I bargained for? Sure, he makes me feel sexy and free in a way I never have before, but there’s something else I can’t quite place—something dangerous. Maybe our “chance” meeting wasn’t so random. Maybe he was looking for me for a reason. Whatever his motive, there’s no going back now.

And maybe I don’t want to.

Advance praise for Stealing Rose
 
“Prepare to have your heart stolen! Rose and Caden’s story crackles and sizzles right to the swoony end.”New York Times bestselling author Katy Evans

 
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New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children. She’s a workaholic who loves her job. When she’s not busy writing, she also loves to read and travel with her family. She writes new adult and contemporary romance and is published with Bantam and Avon. She also writes romance as USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson.
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The Wife Maker by Karey White – Media Blitz, Giveaway

Wife Maker

Charlotte has spent years as the husband maker, sending every guy she dates off to enjoy marital bliss with the next girl he dates. But things have now changed, and she’s determined to use her husband-maker abilities one last time–on herself. And she finally knows exactly who she wants.

Angus has loved Charlotte since they were teenagers, but he’s tired of waiting for her to realize how good they could be. She’s broken his heart one too many times, and it’s time to move on with his life. Maybe a position halfway across the country will be just what he needs to get over her. But when Charlotte won’t let him go without a fight, Angus has to decide if he’s willing to let her in again or if she’s too late.

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Wife Maker (1)Blog Tour Schedule

Karey WhiteAuthor Karey White

Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist.

She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

 

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/13/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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After the Rain by Renee Carlino – Spotlight, Review

Description: https://s3.amazonaws.com/netgalley-covers/cover52798-small.pngFrom the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a deeply emotional contemporary romance about the second chances waiting beyond the shattered dreams of youth.

Under the bright arena lights of a rodeo show, young Avelina Belo falls for a handsome cowboy with a larger-than-life personality. After a whirlwind courtship, she happily moves away from her family in northern California and settles into married life with her cowboy on a seven-thousand-acre cattle ranch in Montana. One freak accident later, Avelina’s hopes for the future come to an end.

Nate Myers graduated from UCLA medical school at the top of his class, ready to follow in the footsteps of his father, a superstar cardiothoracic surgeon. Six years later, Nate’s career is being ruined by a malpractice suit. Questioning himself for the first time, he retreats to a Montana cattle ranch to visit his uncle and gain perspective. There, he meets a beautiful young woman named Avelina who teaches him more than he ever knew about matters of the heart.

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Renee Carlino’s first friends were the imaginary kind and even though her characters haven’t gone away, thankfully the delusions have. She admits she’s a wildly hopeless romantic and she blames 80’s movies starring Molly Ringwald for that. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on the next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.

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My Review:

I have just begun reading After the Rain and so far I am enjoying the book. The writing is good and I hope it continues. I’ll be back as soon as I finish to update my review and rate the book.

Well…I’m back. I have finished the book. Sometimes I enjoy reading the mindless fluff that crosses my desk, but most days, I like a book that teaches me something, makes me feel something. After the Rain did just that. It took hold of my heart and held fast.

For the most part, there are two characters – one very broken from a devastating loss, barely coping with life, and one very determined person who will try his best to heal her. After the Rain is more than a love story. It is a story of life and love and loss and finding love in unexpected places. It is a story that will make laugh, make you cry, feel pain, and find healing at some point along the way.

She made no sound as she slept. I felt her pulse with mu hand and then bent to hear her steady heart. That woman must never have slept so peacefully. It was like she had fallen into a temporary death as she lay next to the trickling stream. Her body was as seemingly lifeless as the bodies I cut open on my table. No sign of life until you peer inside and see the organ pulsing. The strange things is that when you first see a beating heart, you expect to hear that rhythm that is so synonymous with it. but there’s barely a sound. Instead it’s just a motion like it has an independent existence. The heart will actually beat a few times once it is outside of the body, and even though I’m aware of the scientific reason, I wondered in that moment, holding Ava by the stream, if maybe our hearts really could be broken by shattered love or tragedy.

I’ve been that person. I loved this book and highly recommend it. Along with that, I am giving After the Rain five stars – wish there were more.

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My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

 

ACCEPT THIS DANDELION by Brooke Williams – Review, 5 stars

Renee Lockhart has her eye on a lofty goal…to fill the open position of morning radio show host at the station where she works. When her co-workers sign her up for a local TV version of The Bachelor, Renee goes along with it in order to raise her profile.

Upon seeing her bumbling audition, Ben McConnell, one of the most eligible bachelors in town, insists that Renee be placed on the show. But Ben gets much more than he expected in Renee… he gets a girl who can’t seem to do anything right…and a girl he can’t seem to resist.

Brooke Williams

Brooke Williams is a former radio announcer/producer and script writer turned freelance writer and author. When Brooke’s first daughter was born in 2009 she left her full time radio career to stay home. Eventually, she realized she could fulfill her lifelong desire to write while her daughter napped and she then entered into the freelance writing world. As her business grew, she took on clients from all over the world and began to dabble in fiction writing once again. Brooke has several books on the market including her first novel, “Someone Always Loved You” and the thriller “Beyond the Bars.” Her upcoming released include “Wrong place, Right time” (December 9th 2014 from the Writer’s Coffee Shop), “Accept this Dandelion” (feb 2015, Prism Book Group) and “Mamarazzi (August 2015, Prism Book Group.) She even has a children’s book under contract for Feb 2016. Brooke loves all things writing and currently specializes in clean romantic comedy, though she’s written a bit of everything.

Buy on Amazon in these formats:
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My Review:

Accept this Dandelion is a great book from start to finish. The humor is outstanding and I found myself crying from laughing so hard. It is tender and romantic. The writing was great. I really really enjoyed this book.

Renee couldn’t do anything right. She fell at his feet, lit herself on fire, pushed him into pools, told him embarrassing stories, and admitted to hearing voices. Why did he not alert security to her presence and have her escorted from the premises?

If I say anymore on the subject I will definitely be spilling the beans on the entire story. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves romance and loves the combination of comedy and romance. You will devour this book in one sitting. I’m giving Accept this Dandelion five stars.

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Against the Sky by Kat Martin – Review, 5 stars

Against-the-Sky-cover-(300xALASKA. In America’s last wilderness there is no limits to what a man can do.

For detective Nick Brodie, that means keeping the perps off the streets of Anchorage 24/7. Nick has never backed down from danger, but after the horrors he’s seen, he’s definitely in need of a break.

Samantha Hollis never thought she’d meet anyone like Nick, especially in a place like Las Vegas. But after one reckless, passionate night, she discovers the charismatic stranger is everything she wants in a man. But can he ever be more than a one-night stand?

When Nick invites her to Alaska, Samantha decides to find out, never guessing the depths she’ll discover in him or the tangle of murder, kidnapping, and danger about to engulf them both …

SHORT BLURB:

AGAINST THE SKY is a fish out of water story. Nick Brodie, an ex-Anchorage cop, is tough as nails, a true man’s man, comfortable in the hard life in Alaska. But Samantha Hollis, owner of a pet grooming parlor in San Francisco likes shopping at Sak’s and a day at the spa.   Unwillingly swept into Nick’s problems, Samantha finds herself on a wild ride that leads them in to passion and terrible danger.

It was fun finding ways to make their relationship work when they seem so very far apart. This one’s very fast paced, but it has a soft heart. It turned out to be one of my favorites.

Kat---Ventura-Star(250by175KAT’s WEBSITE

www.KatMartin.com

AGAINST THE SKY BOOK TRAILER VIDEO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxy5mi2cFJM

CONTEST

http://www.katmartin.com/contests/

BUY LINKS

Amazon
Against the Sky (The Brodies Of Alaska Book 2)

BN

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/against-the-sky-kat-martin/1119437332?ean=9781420133844

Indiebound

http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781420133844 

REVIEW QUOTES

Against the Sky by Kat Martin sizzles enough to melt a polar icecap. She allows these two polar opposite to find that elusive chemistry that the world craves, but their differences present enough of a challenge that one wonders I love can conquer all or not. Kick in the suspense and danger from the Russian mob and voila! Romantic suspense!”

“Wow, the action scenes are so exciting. I never knew what would happen next.”

“The second book in Kat Martin’s Brodie’s of Alaska series delivers an awesome punch of suspense and romance.”

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatMartinAuthor

Twitter: @katbooks

https://twitter.com/katbooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/luvromance/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Kat-Martin/e/B000AQ0OJQ/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/49381.Kat_Martin

Guest Post

Writing Romantic Suspense

I’ve always been a plot-oriented writer, which can be a boon or a burden. When I came up with the idea to write three books set in Alaska, I knew immediately knew I wanted the stories to revolve around three brothers. I had written about the Raines brothers when I began my AGAINST Series with Jackson, Gabe, and Dev, in AGAINST THE WIND, AGAINST THE FIRE, and AGAINST THE LAW.

I loved the interaction between the three men and wanted to try it again. I knew I wanted all three of the brothers to be tough outdoorsmen, the kind of guys who face the harsh challenges of Alaska every day.

Being a plot-oriented author, the stories that came to mind didn’t all fit into one tiny town. AGAINST THE WILD was set in the fictional village of Watertown on the Alaska panhandle near the real town of Wrangell. AGAINST THE SKY is set near Anchorage, AGAINST THE TIDE is in Valdez. The action takes place miles apart, but the Brodie brothers, Dylan, Nick, and Rafe have a very strong bond. The kind of men who are there for each other, no matter what dangers might befall them.

In AGAINST THE SKY, Nick Brodie, a former Army Ranger and ex-Anchorage homicide detective, has a serious case of burnout. He wants a new life, something that doesn’t include violence and death. Unfortunately when his neighbor, twelve-year-old Jimmy Evans, comes to him beaten and battered, claiming his father was murdered, Nick has no choice but to help him.

To make matters worse, Nick has a lady friend visiting from San Francisco. Samantha Hollis, owner of the Perfect Pup pet grooming parlor, isn’t cut out for the harsh life in Alaska. Unwillingly swept into Jimmy’s problems, she finds herself on a wild ride with Nick that leads them both into passion and terrible danger.

Because I write bigger stories, this one pulls Nick and Samantha into the seedy world of drugs and prostitution when they come up against the Russian mafia.

It’s one of my favorite stories–lots of heart in this one.

I hope you enjoy AGAINST THE SKY and that you’ll watch for Rafe, the oldest Brodie brother, in AGAINST THE TIDE, out May 27th. Until then, all best and happy reading. Kat

Chapter 1

AGAINST THE SKY

Samantha had almost reached her door when she saw a man walking toward her, tall and heavyset, weaving a little. His suit was wrinkled, his brown hair mussed and falling over a wide forehead. Obviously he was drunk.

She didn’t like the leering grin that appeared on his flushed face as he spotted her and staggered in her direction. Samantha opened her purse and began digging frantically for her key card. She was still searching when the man stopped in front of her.

“Hello there, sweetheart. Aren’t you a pretty little thing?”

She ignored him, kept on digging, couldn’t find the damned card, prayed she hadn’t left it in her room.

“Not talking, huh? I’m Howard.” He stuck out a meaty hand she ignored, finally let it drop. “Want me to help you find your key?”

“No, thank you.” For once, she wished her purse wasn’t so big.

“Say, why don’t we go downstairs and have a drink? There’s a lot of great restaurants in the hotel. What do you say I buy you dinner?”

His words were thick and a faintly slurred, though Samantha didn’t think he was quite as drunk as he had first seemed.

“I have plans.” Like a soak in the tub and an early evening. “Please leave me alone.”

Pain-in-the-ass Howard’s bushy eyebrows went up. “No reason to take that attitude.” He started crowding her, forcing her back against the door. She wasn’t very big and he towered above her.

He moved closer, knocking the shoes she had taken off to soothe her aching feet out of her hand. “Come on, what do you say?”

“I told you to leave me alone.” Samantha set her palms on his thick chest and tried to push him away. “If you don’t leave, I’m going to call security.” She pushed, didn’t budge him. “Please–I’m just not interested.”

“Come on, sweetheart, it’s only a drink.”

He had her completely boxed in against the door, and though her heart was thrumming away, she was more angry than scared. There were hotel cameras everywhere. In another second, she was going to scream.

She might have done it if good ol’ Howard hadn’t suddenly been jerked away like a puppet on a string and slammed hard against the wall. In an instant, he was facing the opposite direction, spread-eagled, legs splayed, one of his beefy arms forced up behind his back.

“Time to go home, buddy. The lady has other plans.”

“What business is that of yours?”

Her rescuer, tall and broad-shouldered with wavy black hair, cranked the arm up higher, drawing a hiss of pain. “I told you the lady has plans.”

“Don’t hurt him,” Samantha said. “He’s just drunk.”

The most amazing blue eyes she had ever seen swung in her direction. “He a friend of yours?”

“Heavens, no. I was just trying to open the door to my room when he walked up and started accosting me.”

The black-haired man turned back to good ol’ Howard, who seemed to have realized the game was up. “Thanks to the lady, I’m letting you go and not calling the hotel police. If you’re smart, you’ll walk away, go back to your room and sober up.”

Howard stiffened. The arm behind his back got cranked a little higher. Howard hissed and nodded.

“Smart move.” Easing up a little, her rescuer released him and stepped away. With a last angry glance, Howard moved off at a loping stagger down the hall, heading back the way he had come.

“You okay?”

Dear God, the man was handsome. With his blue eyes, high-cheekbones, and straight nose, he was one of the best-looking men she had ever seen. The shadow of a late-afternoon beard along his jaw gave him a slightly dangerous appearance that only made him more attractive.

She managed to drag her gaze away from those arresting blue eyes and found her voice. “Thanks to you, I’m fine. Are you a policeman or something?”

“Used to be. Nick Brodie. Glad I could help.”

She smiled. “I’m Samantha Hollis. You came just in time. I really appreciate what you did. Most people would have just kept walking.”

“Not where I come from.”

“Really? Where’s that?”

“Alaska. Up there, people help each other. Sometimes it’s a matter of life and death.” He looked her up and down. “You aren’t very big. That bastard was twice your size.”

“As I said, he was mostly just drunk.”

“I guess.”

Continue reading

Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships by Eve Picquette (Excerpt)

Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships banner

 

 

Eve PicquetteEve Picquette has been looking for love, joy and fun all her life. Along the way she has had lots of experiences – some with more fun than others! A licensed attorney, she served as director of risk and quality management at hospital corporations in California and Arizona for thirty years. She is also a certified NLP life coach, matrix, EFT and Angel Therapy practitioner. Eve Picquette received her MSN in community mental health at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, and her Juris Doctor from the University of California, Davis.

Author of Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships: 10 Shift Keys -What Your Angels Have Been Trying to Tell You for Centuries and companion Mini Meditation MP3’s, she lives in Arizona, and her present happy work is teaching and advising clients regarding having more love and joy in personal and business relationships.

For More Information

About the Book:

Title: Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships: 10 Shift Keys – What Your Angels Have Been Trying to Tell You for Centuries
Author: Eve Picquette
Publisher: Enchanted Eve, Inc.
Pages: 78
Genre: Self Help/Inspiration
Format: Paperback

Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships 2How many times have you read or seen something that made you want to change your life and relationships – but you didn’t know how? Introduced by two angels, Hope and Impatience, Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships: 10 Shift Keys – What Your Angels Have Been Trying to Tell You for Centuries answers the “how” question. Eve Picquette shows readers how to:

  • Open their hearts to love
  • Shift their lives, using 10 keys—how-to-do-it ideas created with the help of angels of inspiration—to change in real and satisfying ways.

In this lighthearted, uplifting, and beautifully illustrated gift book, each chapter opens with images of the author’s angels and quotes she believes were angel-inspired sometime in history. Readers may also download companion MP3 Mini Meditations available on Amazon.com. They are “Dared to Shift” their thoughts and behaviors and these shifts will improve lives and relationships: • Shift 1: Always Connect to Love • Shift 2: Just Stop It, Really • Shift 3: It’s All About You • Shift 4: It’s Not About You • Shift 5: Give Up on the Past • Shift 6: Expect the Best Future • Shift 7: Appreciate Everything Now • Shift 8: Re-Choose Your Relationships • Shift 9: Handle Conflict with Grace • Shift 10: Love So it Can be Felt.

If you are ready to try these simple shifts, the results will amaze you. Every encouraging and comforting word in this beautifully illustrated self-help book will lead you to the path of peace, happiness, and fulfillment. A treasure to own, it would also serve as a thoughtful, caring, and loving gift.

For More Information

  • Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships: 10 Shift Keys – What Your Angels Have Been Trying to Tell You for Centuries is available at Amazon.
  • Watch the book trailer at YouTube.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Book Excerpt:

WHAT WILL I GET OUT OF THIS?

An extra two hours per day!

A British writer for the Daily Mail in 2011 estimated that many Britons fret more than 2.5 hours per day, and they are likely not alone. If that seems excessive, think about the time you think while driving, in the bathroom, and in the shower. Are you thinking positive thoughts of gratitude? Probably not (at least, I don’t always think thoughts of gratitude!). Perhaps you can allow yourself a few minutes of fretting and planning on productive subjects, where some planning or action may change the outcome and make you feel more secure. If you stopped worrying about the potential global disasters and things totally beyond your control, that would free up possibly two hours a day. Dr. Siegel cited a study that got my attention – Patients in a control group for a new chemotherapy drug were given nothing but saline, yet they were warned it could be chemotherapy and 30% of them lost their hair. Do not underestimate the power of your thoughts! You could be thinking about something positive, uplifting, or fun with your time. Worrying and fretting fall way down the emotional and vibrational scale, somewhere between despair and frustration. Remember—shifting to peace and gratitude will raise your vibration and attract more for which to be grateful.

 

The Marriage Charm by Linda Lael Miller – Giveaway!

The women of Bliss County have a pact—to find husbands. The right husbands.

One already has: Hadleigh Stevens, who married rancher Tripp Galloway a few months ago. Now Melody Nolan thinks it’s her turn. Melody has recently found success as a jewelry designer, and her work is the focus of her life. She’s not exactly unhappy, but she wants more. She’s always been attracted to Spence Hogan, the local chief of police, but she’s convinced that Spence, a notorious charmer, isn’t what you’d call husband material.

Spence is a good cop who isn’t scared of anything—except love. And he’s done everything he can to preserve his reputation as a womanizer—a reputation that keeps marriage-minded women, including Melody, at bay. And yet…there’s something about Melody he can’t forget. Something his heart can’t ignore.

Purchase on Amazon in these formats: 

Kindle
Hardcover
Hardcover
Audiobook

GIVEAWAY!
I have a copy of The Marriage Charm to give away. It is a physical book and open only to the US. To enter, just leave a comment telling me if you have ever read one of Linda’s books. That’s it! Thanks!
Q&A with LINDA LAEL MILLER

Q: Melody’s “marriage charms” (from the bet she made with her friends about getting married and not settling for anyone but the right one in THE MARRIAGE PACT) seem to be working perfectly! At one point in this book, Melody thinks about making a marriage charm for Junie. Is it the pact, or the charm—or both!—that are working their “spell” on the girls?
A: I think it’s mainly the pact, the shared intention and the personal energy these friends have invested in their project.  The charms, however, are VERY powerful, as most symbols are.

Q: Do you work with a specific ‘image’ in mind when creating your characters? Do you base them on people you’ve met or know, or are they more composites of real-life and your imagination?

A: I often base my characters’ appearance on a famous person, but then they evolve and become themselves, in my mind and, hopefully, the reader’s, too.

Q: Have there been any books, romance or other genres, that have greatly influenced you as a writer? What are they?

A: I have been influenced by SO many books over my life and career.  Like most writers, I love to read, and I learn something from every writer I come across.  I enjoy meaty historical novels especially—Dorothy Dunnett is a favorite of mine, and I loved all of Taylor Caldwell’s books, too.

Q: Every writer has her own routines and methods. How do you spend a typical writing day?

A: After a personal quiet time, exercise and breakfast, I head for my office, Monday through Friday, and spend around 5 hours at my computer, actually putting words on the screen.  That said, computer time is really only a part of the process, at least for me.  I do a lot of thinking, walking, reading and daydreaming.  It’s a difficult thing to quantify.

Q: Can you give us a sneak peak into the next book in the series, THE MARRIAGE SEASON? (We have our fingers crossed that it’s finally Bex’s turn!)

A: Yep, THE MARRIAGE SEASON is Bex’s story.  Bex wants very much to be a bride, like her friends, Melody and Hadleigh, but, marriage pact or none, she has her doubts, too. After all, she loved and tragically lost one Mr. Right—can there really be another man like him?  All right, Tate Calder seems promising.  But can she bring herself to risk another broken heart?

Stay turned because I’ll be reviewing this book and Linda Lael Miller is one of my favorite authors!

 

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

 

ACCEPT THIS DANDELION by Brooke Williams – Blitz

Renee Lockhart has her eye on a lofty goal…to fill the open position of morning radio show host at the station where she works. When her co-workers sign her up for a local TV version of The Bachelor, Renee goes along with it in order to raise her profile.

Upon seeing her bumbling audition, Ben McConnell, one of the most eligible bachelors in town, insists that Renee be placed on the show. But Ben gets much more than he expected in Renee… he gets a girl who can’t seem to do anything right…and a girl he can’t seem to resist.

Brooke Williams

Brooke Williams is a former radio announcer/producer and script writer turned freelance writer and author. When Brooke’s first daughter was born in 2009 she left her full time radio career to stay home. Eventually, she realized she could fulfill her lifelong desire to write while her daughter napped and she then entered into the freelance writing world. As her business grew, she took on clients from all over the world and began to dabble in fiction writing once again. Brooke has several books on the market including her first novel, “Someone Always Loved You” and the thriller “Beyond the Bars.” Her upcoming released include “Wrong place, Right time” (December 9th 2014 from the Writer’s Coffee Shop), “Accept this Dandelion” (feb 2015, Prism Book Group) and “Mamarazzi (August 2015, Prism Book Group.) She even has a children’s book under contract for Feb 2016. Brooke loves all things writing and currently specializes in clean romantic comedy, though she’s written a bit of everything.

Buy on Amazon in these formats:
Kindle

Stay tuned because I’ll be reviewing this book soon!

 

Climax by Christina George (Review, 5 stars)

It’s finally here, the long-awaited sequel to The Publicist! CLIMAX by Christina George is the final installment in the series. It comes in two parts:


The Covers

 

 

Here is the Bundled set version:

 


About the Book

Release date: December 15, 2014. You can pre-order now!

 

Kate Mitchell has never forgiven herself for breaking Nick Lavigne’s heart. Now he’s back and he’s moved on, and it’s affecting Kate’s life more than she’s willing to admit.
Kate Mitchell has everything. She’s the head of a crazy successful publishing house, engaged to the traffic-stopping sexy Mac Ellis and she’s about to sign one of the biggest authors of her career.
And that’s when everything falls apart.
Everything is perfect…until it’s not.
In a city of 8 million people Kate manages to run into someone she never expected to see again.
Nick is handsome, impossibly kind, every girl’s dream, and Kate’s former fiancé. He’s also the brother of the rising star author she’s trying to sign. Now that Nick’s back in town and has moved on he insists he’s over Kate, but part of him still can’t get past how amazing they were, and his sister won’t let anyone forget how brutally it ended.
When Mac is dealt a life-changing blow, it forces Kate to question every single choice she’s made.
Follow Kate as she embarks on a journey of life and love, navigating through the decisions that will change it all forever.


About the Author

 

 

Christina George has worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here’s what this book isn’t. It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won’t know which ones, cause it’s more fun to guess, right? George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it.


Let’s Revisit the Characters…

 

 

Some Fun Stuff!

Head on over to Kate’s site and listen to a sample of the audio book version of The Publicist and enter her Amazon gift card giveaway. She also has a playlist of songs for the book!
My Thoughts:
I absolutely loved the first two books in this series and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequels. They did not disappoint. Christina George has a gift for writing and storytelling. As in The Publicist, you will fall in love all over again with the characters. Expect a few surprises along the way this time.
I’m giving the sequels 5 stars. If you enjoyed the first two books, you’ll love these two.

Guest Post

True Confessions of a Book Launch

by Christina George

I used to tell authors that writing a book was the easy part, publishing and marketing it was tougher than you could even imagine. They’d nod, pretend like they understood (and I know they didn’t) and then chaos would ensue. Because what no one tells you, no one warns you about is this: book launches can be gut-wrenchingly hard. Why? Well maybe this analogy will help. I had an author once who compared launching a book to sending your kid to college. You raise them right, give them values, try to instill your own moral code into their lives and then, one day, they’re gone and the world awaits. So you pack them up, send them to college and, secretly, hope for the best because really in the end, that’s all you can do. Now they will either become scholars and spend all of their time studying to keep their grades high, or they will become partying pot-heads who keep forgetting to show up for class.

Most, however, land somewhere in between and that’s where the trouble really starts because they aren’t one or the other. They aren’t a total failure but they aren’t a wild success and when it comes to a book launch I find much the same thing. We push our books out there, we pray, light candles or do whatever ritual we do (sometimes drink) and then we wait, and wait, and wait and as the reviews start to pop up on Amazon we find our anxiety growing because for every person who loves it there will always be someone who won’t. And why is it that we forget all of the five star reviews and instead focus on the one 1-star review we got where someone we don’t even know said: Could be better. Now, hopefully your book launch experience won’t be this 1-to-1 ratio, meaning you won’t get a 1-star for every 5-stars but even so, the 1-stars are killers.

Welcome to a book launch. It’s a mind-numbing, emotional roller coaster that reveals every hidden issue (and sometimes phobia) we think was long buried and a few we didn’t know we had. In the end, we really just want to know: is it good enough? It’s hard you know because when a book gets out there, anything can happen with it. If you’re reading this nodding and recognize this situation from your own experience the only thing I can say is that you’re not alone. Book launches are mystical, mysterious experiences that leave us excited and baffled at the same time. We want it to be an endless stream of love we get from our readers, but sadly, that’s not always going to be the case. Some of the experiences will leave us euphoric while others, make us rock in a corner.

In the end, we want our “kid” to succeed, to be valedictorian, to lead the class because that’s what writing is all about. The beauty though is that we don’t know and often it’s in that not knowing where the real excitement lies. Every day that you push your book out there absolutely anything can happen with it but the key is that you have to keep pushing it. And that’s another secret of the book launch because in reality, they never end.

The Charm Necklace by Lauren Rosolino (Review-5 stars)

How do you move forward from a loss like this?

“What was left of me was not a whole lot, not my former whole self. Because Michael and I were connected, joined, fused together, it was hard to make the distinction between him and me. We affected each other so much and so deeply it was hard to tell where one soul ended and the other started. The seams that fastened us together were twisted and indistinct, folding into each other, entwined like lovers’ bodies. So when you took one away, ripped it at the seams, you took whole fragments of the other half, leaving the edges jagged and uneven.”

Skylar Medina has never asked for much – just to marry the man she loves and create the family she’s always dreamed of with him. But when Michael is killed in a car accident, she becomes consumed with rage and despair. In the year following Michael’s death, Skylar must face her cruel and unbarring reality. As she navigates her feelings, her destructive tendencies, and the web of complicated relationships with friends and family, she finds guidance in places she’d never expect.

Will Skylar have the strength to let love in again? Or will she let anger and grief destroy her?

…This book contains some sailor-worthy language, sexy scenes, and deals with the darker sides of death, grief, beliefs, love, and anger…

Lauren Rosolino, author of The Charm Necklace and writer of stories about finding beauty in brokenness. Lauren graduated from Wayne State University with her BA in Psychology and currently lives in Rochester, MI with her techie husband and their dog, cat, and bunny. Lauren grew up in the suburbs of Detroit reading Harry Potter, watching Gilmore Girls, listening (and dancing) to a lot of music, and wondering why people do the things they do. The Charm Necklace is her first novel. Find out more at http://www.laurenrosolino.com.

My Review – 

This was a magnificent book. It had a beautiful story line. It was well-written. The Charm Necklace by Lauren Rosolino was a book that once you picked up, you couldn’t put it down. I laughed and I cried. The book takes you through a tragedy that makes a person either grow or lay down in defeat. The characters chose to stand up and fight. That is what grief does to you. That is what happiness does to you.

Death comes so suddenly, out of nowhere. In the morning, you wake up in the arms of the one you love, that night you go to bed all by yourself. You remain in a state of shock asking yourself questions like ‘Did that really happen? Is he really dead? He can’t possibly be dead, can he?’ And you reassure yourself with statements like ‘He’s just away on a business trip,’ or ‘Just another late night at the office, that’s all.’

There isn’t much more I can say about this book except to recommend you read it and to give it as many stars as I can – 5. I hope this author is around for a long, long time.

During this time, you see friends and long-lost relatives you hadn’t seen since you were a child, and it hits you that nothing really matters: not those five extra pounds you were trying to lose, the back porch you’ve been meaning to repaint, that new show you forgot to record, those new designer shoes you’ve been lusting for. How could any of it matter in the face of death? You’re faced with the feeling that your life, your work, all your accomplishments are obsolete and meaningless when seen in the finality of death. All those things can’t save you from it.

Once you finish reading the book, the author invites you to her website for a final chapter that you won’t want to miss.

I’m still upset that you were taken away from, but it’s no longer the living-breathing kind of hate that eats away at you. It’s the kind of anger that just wishes you could still be here. I can see now that your death was an accident. No one meant for it to happen.

Buy on Amazon in these formats:

Kindle
Paperback

 

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Devon’s Choice by Catherine Bennett – Book Blast – Giveaway!

devon's choice

Devon’s Choice

Life holds no surprises for Devon Murphy. Her life consists of keeping tabs on her aging Irish father, working part time at a coffee shop, and building her online graphics design business. Devon’s only tricky situation is a shallow relationship with the pampered and affluent Michael Turner, who sees her as just another woman to conquer.

Following his father’s death, Brandon’s only goal is to expand the family business and live life on his own terms. That is, until he walks into the coffee shop one snowy evening and meets the enchanting, red-haired barista behind the counter. But can Devon and Brandon’s attraction for each other be strong enough to help erase their deepest disappointments and renew their faith in God?

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo * Smashwords

Excerpt:

Brandon looked over at her neutral expression. Whatever kind of relationship she had with Michael Turner didn’t seem to be making her happy. At that moment, all he wanted to do was to make her forget all about the jerk.

As if sensing him watching her, Devon turned her head enough to make eye contact with him. The faint, milky glow from the streetlight showed enough of her features for him to see a soft blush warm her cheeks. Under her dark lashes, he watched her sea green eyes glint invitingly as her soft lips turned up at the corners. In that moment, his resolve to keep the date on a friendly level came crashing down.

Catherine BennettAuthor Catherine Bennett

I grew up in Ohio where I currently live with my husband and our two rescue Labradors. Some of my favorite things include reading, shopping, pepperoni pizza, Hershey bars and hanging out with my two grown sons. I also love dogs; so going to the dog park is cheap entertainment for my husband and I!

Growing up an only child, I had many imaginary friends. I believe this – and a love of books – fueled my desire to write. It was many years later that my dream of becoming a published author came true.

I’m grateful to God for always keeping a story in my heart and hope you are blessed and entertained by my book.

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Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Life on the Bayou, “Lucy” at the aquarium, and an MRI

Gosh, but it’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to write. So much has happened in the past two months and it’s left me turning in circles and unable to focus for a while.

December found us spending more time in church for funerals of family members, than not. I lost my dad at the beginning of December, a very close friend the day after Christmas and my husband’s niece lost her baby only days before her due date before New Year’s.

Losing a parent is rough and going through a funeral with family members at each other’s throats is not a pleasant situation. Losing someone who has been an integral part of your life for the better part of 17 years isn’t easy. Especially when that person sees you as part of their family and that is how it was. This man was as close to a saint on earth as I have ever met. He touched so many lives in a spiritual way and his legacy will live on forever. He was that kind of man, truly special.

Our niece’s baby did so many somersaults that she managed to twist her umbilical cord to the point it cut off her life-line to her mother. She was a beautiful little baby, pink as could be as she had just passed before delivery. It was heartbreaking for everyone. Her passing marked the third death in my husband’s family in five months.

As I look back and try to absorb all the emotions that have been floating around, I told my husband that I didn’t know what was the hardest – grieving a parent you’ve known your entire life, watching the burial of a beloved man, or watching two twenty-eight year olds standing with their arms around each other when they finally make the decision to allow the casket to be closed on a baby they will never get to raise.

Life is strange and definitely not for us mere mortals to understand. At the baby’s funeral, our priest said that the week before we had buried one of our finest (our friend) and that day, we were burying one of our purist. On New Year’s Day when our priest visited at the hospital, he spoke about the baby being a true angel, that she wasn’t tainted by this world. She had never taken a breath of this life. I thought of the Blessed Mother carrying a Savoir, and I thought what an honor, to be chosen by God, to carry an angel. That is special.

This past week I had the chance to play with the penguins at the Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans. A friend of mine has a child with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, and he was eligible to be part of the Easter Seals program that sponsors the event. My friend invited me to go along. She is too funny and sweet. The aquarium is closed on Mondays and she knows that I am an introvert and suffer from social anxiety. When the person told her we would be the only ones there (besides the other four families) she immediately thought of me – so off we went on a field trip, the two of us and two of her children. Did I mention how great it is to have such wonderful friends who love you and take your quirks in stride? I was not always so lucky, so I know that I am truly blessed.

We had so much fun, but the day wasn’t without incident! “Lucy” just had to do something! After learning about the penguins and their habitat, we were invited to enter the habitat and play with them. Of course, the habitat includes a huge swimming hole! I think I prayed the entire time that I would not fall in, because if that was going to happen to anyone it would have been me!

Most of the penguins are quite friendly and we were able to hold them. We were allowed to stay and play for a long time, which was nice. We weren’t rushed at all and the penguins seem to enjoy the visit as much as we did. The person in charge was as eager to answer all of our questions, as we were to ask them.

The only thing I feel bad about is that I am in most of the pictures because Mom was busy taking pictures of the kids and I was helping them hold and play with penguins! I felt she should have been in the photos instead of me, but at least the camera was safe in her hands. At the end of the visit, we were squired away to a room where two penguins with paint on their feet walked all over paper taped to the floor. Each child went home with a stuffed penguin and a picture “painted” by the penguins. We had so much fun!

Okay “Lucy” did have one incident that could definitely have been disastrous, but wasn’t. When we entered the door to go to the penguin’s habitat, don’t ask me what I expected to see. A staircase perhaps? What I saw was a ladder, much like those used in boats to climb down into the engine rooms. I had to laugh at myself and even said, “Oh! A ladder.” We climbed up the ladder with no problem and I forgot all about it – that is, until it was time to leave.

Having spent a little time climbing up and down such ladders, I knew as I watched everyone climbing down as though it were a staircase, that it wasn’t. Soon, it was our turn to follow Jude’s mom and sister down the ladder. They laughed when they turned around and saw Jude and I descending the ladder the same way we had climbed up. A ladder is a ladder is a ladder, I don’t care how you call it. She thought I was little nuts when I described how I climbed down, but Jude and I made it safely to the bottom with him climbing down by himself (like a big boy) surrounded by my arms.

That was the safe part, because as I turned around and started out the door, I didn’t see the raised lip and almost went flying. I still can’t tell you how and where I caught myself, but fortunately an accident was avoided.

If you would like to read about the program and see a few pictures, please click on the link. http://www.nola.com/family/index.ssf/2015/01/easter_seals_louisiana_and_aud.html

And, what do you do on the way home with kids? You stop for chicken tenders! We had a great day and it was nice to be light-hearted for a while.

Tuesday, I had an appointment at Ochsner for a MRI on my hand. The diagnosis was erosive arthritis and if you follow me on Instagram, (@SouthernCharmPlanner) I am documenting my progress with a medication that was prescribed. My doctor told me Erosive Arthritis is a cousin of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Not a lot is known about it and there is no cure or known treatment – rare was what she called it. That didn’t surprise me as I already have two “rare” blood disorders. I am an INTJ and have a “rare” personality – 4% of the population share this personality. Rare is quickly becoming part of my vocabulary.

Since Hubby was off at the duck camp, a friend went with me to the hospital. On the way home – laughing here – we stopped at iHop. It’s not only children who like chicken tenders! We ended up sitting and talking until almost dark!

I escaped two incidents this week unscathed – which still has me shaking my head. The second was Friday evening when I went to the dog’s kennel to check to make sure their blankets had not been drug out of their houses. Their kennel is the white picket fenced yard surrounding my Garden House (the pic is above). Their houses are located under an overhang to the side and on a wooden platform. As I walked onto the wooden platform, my foot slipped on the slime (it’s been raining) and down I went. My arm went down on top of the fence between two pickets and I hit my knees. My thought as I was going down was this is going to be a bad one. By the Grace of God, I was kneeling down and wondering what I broke when I realized I hadn’t hurt myself, not even my knees! I am still shaking my head because I’ve done more damage with less traumatic falls. My favorite jacket was even spared.

Other than catching up on Etsy orders and book reviews, that has been my week. Hope you enjoyed visiting!

 

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Bury me with my Pearls by Jane Jenkins Herlong (Review)

Bury Me with My Pearls is a real-life, roller-coaster ride of laughter, tears, and stomach-churning truths by a professional speaker, humorist, and singer who, as Miss South Carolina, represented her state in the Miss America pageant and has been singing, speaking, and writing ever since. Incorporating the analogy of pearls, this book uses humor and spiritual principles to bravely address difficult issues many in her audiences encounter within changing roles, self-actualization, and families.

Bury Me with My Pearls addresses the importance of how to guard the countless gifts given by our Lord and that doing the right thing is the right thing, regardless of our feelings or circumstances. It is about trusting God in all things and how he can turn our irritants into to pearls. Bury Me with My Pearls encourages us to develop our pearls, protect our jewels, carefully wear them next to our hearts, and share with others. All of this with a good splash of humor.

Explore how to walk in love while pruning the family tree in an environment filled with difficult people and how God’s power is released when learning to trust Him, to embrace the lessons being taught, and to grow spiritually no matter how painful. Like the process of the pearl, so many women need to find and embrace their buried treasures.

Jane Jenkins Herlong CSP

Jane Jenkins Herlong’s comedy and singing is a featured on Sirius XM Radio and Pandora Internet Radio. Jane is a humorist, singer, parody writer and best-selling author.

From the tomato fields of her native Johns Island, South Carolina all the way to runway of the Miss America Pageant, Jane’s contagious optimism helps audiences learn how to handle difficult life situations with a sense of humor and grace. Through really funny original Southern stories and award-winning singing audiences learn life-skills dealing with stress to achieve more success. Jane travels across the country and has spoken in New Zealand and Germany. She is fluent in four langues: English, Southern, Northern and Gullah.

Jane’s story of overcoming being labeled Dyslexic and other challenges give audiences a recipe for balancing their own personal journey with humor and hope through folksy wisdom-Southern style.

Jane is the author of the book, “Bury Me with My Pearls,” “Bare Feet to High Heels: You Don’t Have to be a Beauty Queen to be a Beautiful Person,”and “What Ta-Tas Teach Us.” As a professional singer, Jane has recorded multiple CDs including her Big Band, Gospel and Broadway CD entitled, “Favorites.” In addition, Jane has recorded her CD of Christmas Classics entitled, “The Spirit Of Christmas” along with numerous live recording of her comedy and live speeches that are available on iTunes and Pandora.

For more information visit her web site: http://www.janeherlong.com and check out Jane’s funny YouTube Channel! http://www.youtube.com/user/janeherl

 

My Review:

Being a Southern girl and someone who wouldn’t be caught dead without her pearls, I just had to read this book when I saw the title. Not familiar with this author, I was enthralled by her ability to make you laugh and cry and then laugh again.

Jane Jenkins Herlong is an amazing writer and I loved the way she wove scripture into her stories and ended each story with a moral lesson.

You will be inspired by the book and maybe even a better person for having read it. I highly recommend reading Bury Me With My Pearls and it’s worth every one of the five stars I’m giving it.

 

 

Buy on Amazon in these formats:

Kindle
Paperback

 

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Gooseberry Island by Steven Manchester – 5 Star Review, Excerpt

They met at the worst possible moment…or maybe it was just in time. David McClain was about to go to war and Lindsey Wood was there at his going-away party, capturing his heart when falling for a woman was the last thing on his mind. While David was serving his country, he stayed in close contact with Lindsey. But war changes a person, and when he came home very little had the same meaning that it had before – including the romance that had sustained him. Was love truly unconquerable, or would it prove to be just another battlefield casualty?

Gooseberry Island is the most nuanced, dramatic, and romantic novel yet from a writer whose ability to plumb the depths of human emotion knows few peers.

Steven Manchester

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers, Twelve Months and The Rockin’ Chair. He is also the author of the award-winning novel, Goodnight, Brian, as well as the critically-acclaimed novel, Pressed Pennies, A Christmas Wish (Kindle exclusive), Wilbur Avenue (novelette), Just in Time (novelette), The Thursday Night Club (novella) and Gooseberry Island. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Three of Steven’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing. Visit:www.StevenManchester.com

http://www.StevenManchester.com
http://www.facebook.com/#!/AuthorStevenManchester

Paperback & Kindle: Gooseberry Island

Nook & Paperback: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gooseberry-island-steven-manchester/1118939772?ean=9781611881813&itm=1&usri=steven+manchester

My Thoughts:

Steven Manchester is just one of those authors that you can’t get enough of. His writing is wonderful and his stories captivating.

Gooseberry Island brings the effects of war home to a small island, Anywhere, USA; because it could be anywhere. Our country is quick to send young American men and women into battle where they witness and participate in inhumane acts of violence. As these young men and women walk back onto American soil, the nightmares sometimes surface under the guise of PTSD. Their lives may never be the same.

This is the story of one such veteran and Steven Manchester has managed to capture his hellish nightmare on paper. The story will capture your heart as young love grows and it will have you in tears the next as the two try to cope with the aftermath of war.

Gooseberry Island is a book everyone should read, not only because Steven Manchester is one great writer, but because his stories tell a story. I’m giving Gooseberry Island five stars.

Gooseberry Island excerpt

David had been home for six weeks when he pulled into the market, preparing to locate everything on his mother’s grocery list. As he approached the store, he spotted a young teenage boy walking out; he was holding a brown bag. An older man approached the boy and reached out his hand. David gasped and his dizzy mind immediately raced back to Afghanistan and the horrific beating of the young Afghani boy:

There was movement three hundred yards out on the street below. Unusual, David thought. It was a teenage boy, maybe fourteen, carrying a burlap bag and hurrying home before dark. Never seen him before, David thought.

In a flash, a man—a Taliban fighter—jumped out of the shadows and grabbed the boy’s arm, pulling him to the street and spilling the contents of his sack. As the teenager yelled for help, another Taliban soldier emerged from the darkness. The boy screamed louder, but not a single soul came to his aid…

It only took a few seconds, but the whole scene played out in sequence in his mind—both men yelling and slapping the boy as he screamed for help; the slaps turning to a vicious beating until finally the boy was dead. He could almost hear Command say “Negative” again after he asked if he could intervene. He felt the anguish in his soul threatening to overwhelm him, but it was quickly replaced by a burning rage.

His eyes filled with tears, David returned to the present and started for the man in a mad rush. He was three steps from the shocked stranger when reality clicked in. It’s the boy’s father, he realized. He’s…he’s okay.

David’s body convulsed. He’d forgotten he was home, and the reality of it slapped him hard in the face.

The man pulled the teenage boy close to him; both of them were frightened by David’s sudden charge toward them.

“Sorry,” David said, though it sounded more like “Sigh.” Trying unsuccessfully to smile at them, he turned on his heels and hurried back to the Mustang.

For the next hour, David sat alone in his car, trying to calm the physical effects of his anxiety. Once he’d reined that in, he spent another two hours beating back the depression that always followed in anxiety’s wake.

His wasn’t sure whether the abyss existed within his heart or mind, but he knew that he was now filled with a great void—nothingness. There was no light there, only darkness. There was no hope, only despair. In time, he’d learned to embrace the silence, as the screams and whimpers of faceless victims became echoes that returned again and again, pushing the line of madness. Yet, the solitude was relentless, enveloping, merciless. It would have been better had I never existed, he thought, fearing another moment more than cashing in and leaving it all behind. No love, he thought, no peace. His memories were slanted in such thick negativity that his entire past would have been better off erased. And no one knows I’m dying inside, he thought, inviting another wave of panic attacks to crash onto the shore of his weary mind. Continue reading

Against the Sky By Kat Martin (Media Blitz, Excerpt, Guest Post)

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Against-the-Sky-cover-(300xAGAINST THE SKY

By Kat Martin

Release date: 1/27/15

BACK COVER COPY:

ALASKA. In America’s last wilderness there is no limits to what a man can do.

For detective Nick Brodie, that means keeping the perps off the streets of Anchorage 24/7. Nick has never backed down from danger, but after the horrors he’s seen, he’s definitely in need of a break.

Samantha Hollis never thought she’d meet anyone like Nick, especially in a place like Las Vegas. But after one reckless, passionate night, she discovers the charismatic stranger is everything she wants in a man. But can he ever be more than a one-night stand?

When Nick invites her to Alaska, Samantha decides to find out, never guessing the depths she’ll discover in him or the tangle of murder, kidnapping, and danger about to engulf them both …

SHORT BLURB:

AGAINST THE SKY is a fish out of water story. Nick Brodie, an ex-Anchorage cop, is tough as nails, a true man’s man, comfortable in the hard life in Alaska. But Samantha Hollis, owner of a pet grooming parlor in San Francisco likes shopping at Sak’s and a day at the spa.   Unwillingly swept into Nick’s problems, Samantha finds herself on a wild ride that leads them in to passion and terrible danger.

It was fun finding ways to make their relationship work when they seem so very far apart. This one’s very fast paced, but it has a soft heart. It turned out to be one of my favorites.

Kat---Ventura-Star(250by175KAT’s WEBSITE

www.KatMartin.com

AGAINST THE SKY BOOK TRAILER VIDEO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxy5mi2cFJM

CONTEST

http://www.katmartin.com/contests/

BUY LINKS

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Against-Sky-The-Brodies-Alaska/dp/1420133845/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1418677451&sr=8-1

BN

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/against-the-sky-kat-martin/1119437332?ean=9781420133844

Indiebound

http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781420133844

REVIEW QUOTES

Against the Sky by Kat Martin sizzles enough to melt a polar icecap. She allows these two polar opposite to find that elusive chemistry that the world craves, but their differences present enough of a challenge that one wonders I love can conquer all or not. Kick in the suspense and danger from the Russian mob and voila! Romantic suspense!”

“Wow, the action scenes are so exciting. I never knew what would happen next.”

“The second book in Kat Martin’s Brodie’s of Alaska series delivers an awesome punch of suspense and romance.”

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatMartinAuthor

Twitter: @katbooks

https://twitter.com/katbooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/luvromance/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Kat-Martin/e/B000AQ0OJQ/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/49381.Kat_Martin

 

 Writing Romantic Suspense

I’ve always been a plot-oriented writer, which can be a boon or a burden. When I came up with the idea to write three books set in Alaska, I knew immediately knew I wanted the stories to revolve around three brothers. I had written about the Raines brothers when I began my AGAINST Series with Jackson, Gabe, and Dev, in AGAINST THE WIND, AGAINST THE FIRE, and AGAINST THE LAW.

I loved the interaction between the three men and wanted to try it again. I knew I wanted all three of the brothers to be tough outdoorsmen, the kind of guys who face the harsh challenges of Alaska every day.

Being a plot-oriented author, the stories that came to mind didn’t all fit into one tiny town. AGAINST THE WILD was set in the fictional village of Watertown on the Alaska panhandle near the real town of Wrangell. AGAINST THE SKY is set near Anchorage, AGAINST THE TIDE is in Valdez. The action takes place miles apart, but the Brodie brothers, Dylan, Nick, and Rafe have a very strong bond. The kind of men who are there for each other, no matter what dangers might befall them.

In AGAINST THE SKY, Nick Brodie, a former Army Ranger and ex-Anchorage homicide detective, has a serious case of burnout. He wants a new life, something that doesn’t include violence and death. Unfortunately when his neighbor, twelve-year-old Jimmy Evans, comes to him beaten and battered, claiming his father was murdered, Nick has no choice but to help him.

To make matters worse, Nick has a lady friend visiting from San Francisco. Samantha Hollis, owner of the Perfect Pup pet grooming parlor, isn’t cut out for the harsh life in Alaska. Unwillingly swept into Jimmy’s problems, she finds herself on a wild ride with Nick that leads them both into passion and terrible danger.

Because I write bigger stories, this one pulls Nick and Samantha into the seedy world of drugs and prostitution when they come up against the Russian mafia.

It’s one of my favorite stories–lots of heart in this one.

I hope you enjoy AGAINST THE SKY and that you’ll watch for Rafe, the oldest Brodie brother, in AGAINST THE TIDE, out May 27th.

Until then, all best and happy reading.

Kat

The Metabolism Solution by Lisa Lynn – Guest Post

Book Details:
Book Title: The Metabolism Solution, Lose 1 Pound A Day and Melt Belly Fat Fast by Lisa Lynn
Category: Adult non-fiction,  207 pages
Genre: Health, Fitness, Weight Loss, Christian, Cooking, Self help
Publisher: LynFit Nutrition (2nd edition)
Published: Oct 6, 2014
Available in: Paperback
and E-book format: mobi (for Kindle)

 

Book Description:
Are you ready to lose 1 pound a day? Have you tried every weight loss plan under the sun? Don’t give up in frustration; The Metabolism Solution will make it faster and easier. What makes The Metabolism Solution different? It will teach you how to safely harness the power of your metabolism to lose weight and melt belly fat fast. You will learn the right way to work out to boost your metabolism with the best part being seeing results the first day after your first 30-minute workout. You will learn how to address your weight loss and fitness issues from the inside out, allowing you to focus on what created the weight gain in the beginning and how to correct those issues. Do you love delicious food? You’ll adore Lisa Lynn’s 100 irresistibly delicious fat blasting recipes. The Metabolism Solution is the perfect roadmap for not only transforming your body, but changing your whole life.

Lisa Lynn

CELEBRITY FITNESS AND NUTRITION EXPERT LISA LYNN has devoted nearly three decades of her career to personal training, specializing in metabolic weight loss and performance nutrition. Coupled with her vast experience in the field of fitness and nutrition she has earned four educational certificates from the International Sports and Sciences Association’s Professional Division including: Certified Fitness Trainer, Specialist in Performance Nutrition, Fitness Therapy and Elite Trainer.

Lynn’s years of research in metabolic boosting and performance nutrition resulted in the development of herLeaner Lifestyle DVD Series, specifically designed to promote healthy fat loss by boosting the most sluggish and stubborn metabolisms. She is best known for her 13 years as MARTHA STEWART’s personal trainer who has said, “Lisa is the only trainer that made a difference.” Lynn is also a regular go-to nutrition and fitness expert on THE DR. OZ SHOW appearing in two of his highest rated episodes. Major media outlets frequently call upon her for her expertise in fitness and nutrition. Lynn maintains a diverse portfolio of clientele including professional bodybuilders, models, actors, CEOs and real-world people throughout the country.

Lisa just released her award winning book The Metabolism Solution that has helped thousands of people lose weight and reach their fitness goals.Availablewww.lynfit.com.

Connect with Lisa:  Website  ~  Facebook  ~ Twitter  ~  Pinterest  ~  Youtube Channel

Purchase on Amazon in Paperback

Why self-publishing my book has actually helped others lose weight!

by Lisa Lynn

I actually turned down book publishing deals and money advances and chose to self-publish after doing the Dr. OZ show. Why? Because I was being bombarded with questions regarding the raspberry ketones and how to take them to lose weight and why or why not to take them. I wanted to give people honest answers versus selling people things they may or may not need. Lots of people don’t know that most of what is on TV and what we read is all sponsored by companies who are trying to sell you something you might not need. While I do sell my own brand of raspberry ketones and have for over 25 years, I am specific when I let people know you have to eat thermogenically and move every day and you can’t just take a pill. The Dr OZ show didn’t say all that needed to be said.

I have been there and tried every diet on the planet and bought every supplements that didn’t work which made me lose hope and made me broke!  I wish I had a dollar for every fad I tried. I wanted to spare others from that misery so they would have hope to do what needed to be done. The truth is raspberry ketones do work amazingly well IF your body needs them, but quality is everything and if you don’t buy a good quality from a good source you shouldn’t even bother! I have rarely suggested people take supplements that aren’t blended with other fat fighting ingredients. Lots of Dr. OZ viewers went out and bought raspberry ketones as well as forksolin and banaba leaf at local stores which weren’t high quality or blended with the right ingredients, so they were very disappointed because they didn’t see results.  I felt responsible for their failures because I was the one who introduced them to some of these supplements, but I was only allowed to say exactly what they told me and nothing more, which meant people didn’t get the whole truth/story.  I wanted to make it right and answer all of the questions people were asking me every day even when I was out grocery shopping!  I wanted to clear the air and allow people to learn the system that really works.

Self-publishing is a great way to get your voice heard and it’s been awesome!

 

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Not Without My Father by Andra Watkins (Tour, Spotlight, Excerpt)

Not Without My Father banner

Not Without My Father 3Can an epic adventure succeed without a hero?

Andra Watkins needed a wingman to help her become the first living person to walk the historic 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did. She planned to walk fifteen miles a day. For thirty-four days.

After striking out with everyone in her life, she was left with her disinterested eighty-year-old father. And his gas. The sleep apnea machine and self-scratching. Sharing a bathroom with a man whose gut obliterated his aim.

As Watkins trudged America’s forgotten highway, she lost herself in despair and pain. Nothing happened according to plan, and her tenuous connection to her father started to unravel. Through arguments and laughter, tears and fried chicken, they fought to rebuild their relationship before it was too late. In Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace, Watkins invites readers to join her dysfunctional family adventure in a humorous and heartbreaking memoir that asks if one can really turn I wish I had into I’m glad I did.

Andra Watkins 2

For More Information

  • Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444 Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Not Without My Father 2

Andra Watkins 3

 

 

Andra Watkins lives in Charleston, South Carolina. A non-practicing CPA, she has a degree in accounting from Francis Marion University. She’s still mad at her mother for refusing to let her major in musical theater, because her mom was convinced she’d end up starring in porn films. In addition to her writing talent, Andra is an accomplished public speaker. Her acclaimed debut novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis was published by Word Hermit Press in 2014.

Her latest book is the memoir, Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444 Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace.

For More Information

Andra Watkins 4

Title: Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444 Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace
Author: Andra Watkins
Publisher: Word Hermit Press
Pages: 240
Genre: Memoir
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Book Excerpt 

ROAD TO NOWHERE

Talking Heads

The journey is a long slog with an unpredictable number of mileposts.

One can make the trip alone, but why not share it?

As I traversed familiar mile markers and pulled up in front of my fa- ther’s house, I could predict where I’d find him.

In his recliner, his belly a shelf for a vat of popcorn. At eighty, he whiled away days feeding his face and shouting at the television. Whenever his throne was vacant, I eschewed all temptation to occupy it.

Because I imagined how many times he farted into the velvet uphol- stery.

Sometimes while naked.

I could hear the television when I stepped from the car. “Why am I do- ing this again?” I whispered as I slipped through the back door.

“Andra!” There he was, sprawled in his recliner. A jagged scar played peek-a-boo through his open pajama top. “What’re you doing here?”

I opened my mouth and clamped it shut. Once I uttered my request, I couldn’t take it back.

I needed a wingman while I walked the 444-mile Natchez Trace from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. I planned to launch my debut novel and be- come the first living person to walk the 10,000-year-old road as our ancestors did. Nobody could convince me that an unathletic woman and her mid-life paunch were incapable of walk- ing more than a half-marathon every day for a month.

Even though my aversion to exercise was as spectacular as my father’s. I wanted my walk to redeem my novel’s hero, American explorer Meri- wether Lewis, one-half of the Lewis and Clark duo. He died of two gun-shot wounds on the Natchez Trace, seventy miles south of Nashville.

He was only thirty-five. Continue reading

The Christmas Women by Elyse Douglas (Review)

Fiction/Romance – The Christmas Women

The Christmas Women

When 38-year old Trudie Parks learns that her high school drama teacher is seriously ill, she immediately contacts her two best friends in high school, Kristen and Mary Ann. Together, they’d been known as “The Christmas Girls.” They’d produced and starred in the annual high school Christmas show, which their teacher, Mrs. Childs, had directed.

Determined to show their love for Mrs. Childs, they plan a 20-year reunion to recreate the Christmas show for her. What they don’t anticipate is the complicated emotions this provokes, as former sweethearts appear and rekindle romance, painful memories and the sting of unrealized dreams. All three women must reassess their lives and their friendships, while struggling to produce the show, even while Mrs. Childs seems to grow weaker by the day.

As Christmas Eve approaches, The Christmas Women prepare for an event that will take them and the audience to the farthest reaches of the human heart and resonate throughout the rest of their lives.

Elyse Douglas

Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the husband and wife writing team of Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse’s mother was a painter and her father a textile consultant. Elyse began writing poems and short stories at an early age, and graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s Degree in English Literature. Douglas grew up in a family of musicians, astrologers and avid readers. His great grandfather lived to be a 134 years old, and was the oldest man in the world when he died in 1922.

Some of Elyse Douglas’ novels include: “The Astrologer’s Daughter,” “Wanting Rita,” “The Christmas Diary” and “The Christmas Town.” They live in New York City.

My Review -

As I read the author’s biography, I was surprised to read that Elyse Douglas is actually a husband/wife writing team. I had already written the review in my head, but when I read this, my thoughts started to wander and I began thinking of the story in an entirely different way.

Throughout the story, which involves a Christmas high school reunion, there is the usual high school drama that seems to unfold no matter how old we get. I tend to think it quite easy to picture a woman writing about all of the melodrama, but now, thinking of a man collaborating on it, the story takes on a different spin.

I enjoyed reading The Christmas Women. The storyline was interesting and the writing was good. There was friendship and romance, humor and otherwise. The story will have you laughing and then crying. Even though the Christmas season has passed, it would still be a great book to read.

I am giving The Christmas Women five stars.

 

Back in the kitchen, she laid the yearbook down before her. She spooned her oatmeal and stared at the yearbook. She sipped coffee, staring at it. She made a steeple of her hands, staring at it. She hadn’t looked through it in years. The group photos and senior portraits always provoked both fondness and an aching regret. Some of her classmates had already died. Some had seemed to vanish. Most had moved away after college. Like a lot of Midwestern towns. Deer Lake had suffered manufacturing losses and most of the young people had fled to the cities for better opportunities.

 
Purchase on Amazon in these formats:
Kindle
Paperback

 

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Driftwood Tides by Gina Holmes (Review)

He made himself an island until something unexpected washed ashore.
When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making drifwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until twenty-three-year-old Libby knocks on his door, asking for a job and claiming to be a friend of his late wife. When he discovers Libby is actually his late wife’s illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, his life is turned upside down as he struggles to accept that the wife he’d given saint status to was not the woman he thought he knew.

Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby’s father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other.

Gina Holmes

Gina Holmes is the founder of popular literary site, Novel Rocket and the author of award-winning novels: Crossing Oceans, Dry as Rain, Wings of Glass and Driftwood Tides. Holmes writes about flawed people living in a flawed world with the help of a perfect God. She’s also a practicing Registered Nurse, a wife to the love of her life, mom to two boys and stepmom to 3 daughters. She and her family make their home among the Blue Ridge Mountains in South-Western Virginia.

You can find her at: http://www.ginaholmes.com or, on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorginaholmes or twitter:@1GinaHolmes.

My Review -

Although Gina Holmes has written other books, this is the first book of hers that I have read. I truly enjoyed it. The cover of the book sets the story at the beach and is quite pretty. The writing is wonderful.

Normally, I read the book blurb before beginning a book, but in this case, I did not. I was pleasantly surprised by the Christian undertone of the book. As I said before, the writing was wonderful and the story heartwarming.

Driftwood Tides is about a father who has reached his lowest and a daughter trying to find a place to belong. It is a book that you won’t want to put down.

I am giving Driftwood Tides a five-star rating.

Purchase on Amazon in these formats:

Kindle
Large Print
Paperback

 

Prologue to Driftwood Tides

The pillow pushed against Holton Creary’s nose forcing him to turn for air. His eyes fluttered, opening just enough to take in the first blush of morning light. Realizing he had at least another hour of solid sleep, he smiled in contentment. Flipping toward her side of the bed, he reached out to pull her hip against him. The warmth of his wife’s familiar body molded against his was a ritual as old as their marriage. Instead of landing on her hip, his hand thudded against the mattress jolting him awake. Lifting his head, he listened for her pattering about their small house, but heard only Rufus snoring from his spot on the floor.

Their small house was full of the smell of freshly brewed coffee . . . but not her. He peered out the front window not surprised to see her standing with her back to him watching the sunrise from the beach they called a front yard. She still wore her nightgown with his old cardigan serving as her bathrobe. The breeze made the nightgown cling to her legs, which filled him with a momentary possessiveness. If any man should happen to walk by at the moment, the sight of her would stop him in his tracks. That was the downside of marrying a beautiful woman—he wasn’t the only man with appreciative eyes.

He climbed down the stairs leading to the beach and quietly sidled behind her. He wrapped his arms around her waist, causing her to jump and turn her head in surprise. A warm smile replaced her startled expression. “You’re up early,” she said.

“I missed you.” He rested his chin on her shoulder the perfume left over from the day before.

“Did the cicadas wake you?” she asked.

It was only then that he registered the sound of their screeching. It reminded him of a sprinkler system on overdrive. “Actually, I didn’t even hear them until you mentioned it.”

She twisted her mouth back at him. “In your own world as usual.” The lightness of her tone told him she wasn’t picking a fight.

“Right now, I’m all about yours.” He hugged her waist tighter.

“I’ll never get used to this,” she said with a contented sigh.

Looking out at the sunrise with its layered gauzy pinks and purples, he knew just what she meant. “I forgot how beautiful the beach could be this time of morning.”

She spun around to face him. Her light brown eyes glinted, tiny lines forming around the corners, followed by a smile. “Not just the view, I mean this whole place, you, the gallery. My life is like a dream.”

He cleared his throat before it could crack from emotion. “I thought you’d be mad at me for coming home so late.”

She turned face the water again, reaching back for his hands. She wrapped them around her waist again and leaned her back against him. “What good does it do? I’d have better luck punishing Rufus for drooling. I married an artist. It’s not fair getting mad at you for being who I fell in love with.”

He ran her golden hair between his fingers. She was more than he deserved. So much more.

“Is it almost finished?” she asked. “Tell me it’s about done.”

He had spent nearly every waking moment when they weren’t at the gallery working on the stallion. Until now, she spoke with a twinge of contempt whenever mentioning the piece, like a jealous lover. He knew he was leaving her alone far too much, but tomorrow or the next it would be finished, and he’d make it up to her. He kissed the top of her head. “It would have been done yesterday if I hadn’t been working on a certain brake issue.”

Looking over her shoulder at him, her eyes brightened. “You finally fixed them? No more screeching?”

“Not a peep.”

She turned back around in his arms and kissed his lips in gratitude.

“If I would have known that was waiting for me, “he said,” I’d have taken care of it last week.”

“If you would have taken care of it last week, you’d be getting more than a kiss.”

He wriggled his eyebrows. “What can I get for adding an oil change?”

She slapped him playfully. “I better get ready.”

He glanced at his watch. “We’ve got plenty of time. What’s the hurry?”

“I was tired last night. I didn’t sweep or count the drawer.”

Guilt niggled at him. She had slowly taken over all the chores that they’d agreed would be his. “I’ll run over and do it. You take your time and enjoy the morning.”

She laid her soft hand on his cheek, shielding it from the ocean breeze. “Not a chance. I want my husband back. I’ve got the gallery. You finish the stallion before I decide to set it on fire.”

“Deal,” he said.

###

It wasn’t an hour after Holton had handed her a travel mug of coffee and kissed her through the open car window when a squad car pulled out front of the house. The moment the policeman took off his hat and slid it under his arm, he knew.

When the man informed him Adele had been killed on impact when her car hit another at nearly sixty miles an hour, he said nothing. He was so stunned that his heart froze, unable to respond. Before that could change, he drove to the nearest liquor store and bought the biggest bottle of gin he could find.

 

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Gooseberry Island by Steven Manchester (Spotlight, Excerpt)

They met at the worst possible moment…or maybe it was just in time. David McClain was about to go to war and Lindsey Wood was there at his going-away party, capturing his heart when falling for a woman was the last thing on his mind. While David was serving his country, he stayed in close contact with Lindsey. But war changes a person, and when he came home very little had the same meaning that it had before – including the romance that had sustained him. Was love truly unconquerable, or would it prove to be just another battlefield casualty?

Gooseberry Island is the most nuanced, dramatic, and romantic novel yet from a writer whose ability to plumb the depths of human emotion knows few peers.

Steven Manchester

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers, Twelve Months and The Rockin’ Chair. He is also the author of the award-winning novel, Goodnight, Brian, as well as the critically-acclaimed novel, Pressed Pennies, A Christmas Wish (Kindle exclusive), Wilbur Avenue (novelette), Just in Time (novelette), The Thursday Night Club (novella) and Gooseberry Island. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Three of Steven’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing. Visit:www.StevenManchester.com

http://www.StevenManchester.com
http://www.facebook.com/#!/AuthorStevenManchester

Paperback & Kindle: Gooseberry Island

Nook & Paperback: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gooseberry-island-steven-manchester/1118939772?ean=9781611881813&itm=1&usri=steven+manchester

Steven Manchester is just one of those authors that you can’t get enough of. Stay tuned because I’ll be reviewing this book soon. Meanwhile, please enjoy an excerpt from the book!

Gooseberry Island excerpt

David had been home for six weeks when he pulled into the market, preparing to locate everything on his mother’s grocery list. As he approached the store, he spotted a young teenage boy walking out; he was holding a brown bag. An older man approached the boy and reached out his hand. David gasped and his dizzy mind immediately raced back to Afghanistan and the horrific beating of the young Afghani boy:

There was movement three hundred yards out on the street below. Unusual, David thought. It was a teenage boy, maybe fourteen, carrying a burlap bag and hurrying home before dark. Never seen him before, David thought.

In a flash, a man—a Taliban fighter—jumped out of the shadows and grabbed the boy’s arm, pulling him to the street and spilling the contents of his sack. As the teenager yelled for help, another Taliban soldier emerged from the darkness. The boy screamed louder, but not a single soul came to his aid…

It only took a few seconds, but the whole scene played out in sequence in his mind—both men yelling and slapping the boy as he screamed for help; the slaps turning to a vicious beating until finally the boy was dead. He could almost hear Command say “Negative” again after he asked if he could intervene. He felt the anguish in his soul threatening to overwhelm him, but it was quickly replaced by a burning rage.

His eyes filled with tears, David returned to the present and started for the man in a mad rush. He was three steps from the shocked stranger when reality clicked in. It’s the boy’s father, he realized. He’s…he’s okay.

David’s body convulsed. He’d forgotten he was home, and the reality of it slapped him hard in the face.

The man pulled the teenage boy close to him; both of them were frightened by David’s sudden charge toward them.

“Sorry,” David said, though it sounded more like “Sigh.” Trying unsuccessfully to smile at them, he turned on his heels and hurried back to the Mustang.

For the next hour, David sat alone in his car, trying to calm the physical effects of his anxiety. Once he’d reined that in, he spent another two hours beating back the depression that always followed in anxiety’s wake.

His wasn’t sure whether the abyss existed within his heart or mind, but he knew that he was now filled with a great void—nothingness. There was no light there, only darkness. There was no hope, only despair. In time, he’d learned to embrace the silence, as the screams and whimpers of faceless victims became echoes that returned again and again, pushing the line of madness. Yet, the solitude was relentless, enveloping, merciless. It would have been better had I never existed, he thought, fearing another moment more than cashing in and leaving it all behind. No love, he thought, no peace. His memories were slanted in such thick negativity that his entire past would have been better off erased. And no one knows I’m dying inside, he thought, inviting another wave of panic attacks to crash onto the shore of his weary mind. Continue reading

Comparison between the Zink hAppy and LG pocket printer and Do we ever use a bag for it’s original purpose?

My answer would have to be no.  I am always multi-purposing bags.Image (2) These two pictures are perfect examples. Both were originally intended to be make-up bags. I, of course, found better uses.

The green bag is an Orla Kiely bag from Target. I love her products and actually do have one of her make-up cases that does house my make-up.

This green bag, however, was the perfect size for my Zink hAppy printer. There are two zip compartments on this bag. One that is about 1.5″ in depth on top and then the larger bottom compartment. The top houses the recharging cord perfectly. The bottom compartment houses the Zink hAppy and two of the 2″ wide rolls of film. The case will protect them while traveling.

(The extra little photo at the upper right is a thank you note that I recently sent to someone who so thoughtfully gave me a plant. No one really wants to ask the recipient exactly what the florist sent, but at the same time, you’d like to know that it was as nice as what was described. This is when one of the little printers comes in handy. I snapped an photo and added some thank you text to the it and printed it. I then adhered it to stationary and mailed it. This would be especially nice to do for those holiday gifts that were mailed to you or your child.)

Image (4)The second photo shows a little bag I purchased from Talbots online this fall. I love the pink and blue combination; very feminine. It is just large enough to house the LG photo printer and its charging cord. It also has space to add a pack of extra film. While the Zink hAppy is much to large and bulky to tote around on a daily basis, this handy little LG is the perfect size to tuck into my tote bag.

While I enjoy using both products, I have to admit that I like the convenience of the LG’s size. Both products offer several of the same amenities: collage of photos and adding text. What the LG does not offer and is actually a great selling point for the Zink hAppy is the ability to print on sticker paper. Both products use the same type of film, only the Zink hAppy allows you to peel off the backing and adhere your photo to your choice of medium.

I keep a travel journal and this allows me to print and stick my photos alongside my commentary of the trip. I use an iPhone 5 and each printer has its own app that makes printing a snap. The Zink hAppy communicates via wireless and the LG uses Bluetooth. The Zink hAppy allows you the option of printing using several different size widths from 1/2″ up to 2″ and I think up to 18″ long. You can also make a banner using this device. When printing from my phone’s photo album I was actually able to print a number of photos without stopping. The photos were automatically clipped so when I cut the long thread, all I needed to do was peel each individual print off of the backing and place it on my book pages. These are options not offered by the LG. Your prints are 2×3″.

The quality of the printers is actually amazing for little printers. The photos from each of these two devices is comparable so either would be a good purchase. Both use Zero ink technology. The prices are comparable. The Zink hAppy did cost more because I purchased a battery so I did not have to rely on plugging the device in. The print paper is approximately the same for both. The packages contain different amounts of film. The jury is still out on the LG battery life. The Zink hAppy’s battery life last a very long time. I’m not sure if I charged the internal battery on the LG long enough – the light was green – or if it died quickly. The instructions are in another language with no English offered so I’m figuring out this printer with no help. It also does not have a designated on/off button per say; the Zink hAppy does. You definitely know when the printer is on and off.

*Note here – I just watched several You-Tube videos on this little stinker and it turns out the little lock/unlock button on the side is the on/off. I thought it meant that the device locked to insure the lid did not open.

The Zink hAppy can be dressed up with different colored skins (purchased separately). The LG comes in white, yellow, and pink.

I purchased both of these products and the above opinion is my own. If you have questions, please comment below and I’ll try to answer them from my own experience. I purchased my printers from Amazon. These are the links.
ZINK hAppy Smart App Printer
ZINK 2 inch zRoll
ZINK hAppy Rechargeable Battery

LG PoPo Pocket Photo 2 PD239
Zink Media Photo Paper

 

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Holiday Book Deals – MK McClintock

Holiday Book Deals 2014_MKMcClintock

 

I cannot recommend these books enough. I’ve read and reviewed every one of her books and I have not been disappointed!

 

Enjoy!

10 Toxic People You Shouldn’t Bring With You Into The New Year

Théo Gosselin

Can you believe that it’s already December? This year has flown by in the blink of an eye and we’re on the verge of yet another year — a year full of possibility.

What you will accomplish next year greatly depends on the people you surround yourself with. Or, in other words, it greatly depends on which people you decide not to surround yourself with.

When bringing in the new year, be sure not to bring all your garbage with you. Leave these toxic individuals in 2014; you’ll feel much lighter, allowing you to get a great running start on the year to come.

1. The people who make your life more stressful.

Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing — in fact, it’s what you make it out to be. If you believe stress is bad for you, then it will be bad for you. If you use stress as the motivator it is, to motivate you to act, then stress can actually be rather healthy.

However, you should aim to only be stressed by situations and not by people. If you have people in your life who are constantly managing to stress you out, that’s your mind telling you — and trying to motivate you — to remove them from your life.

Life is stressful as it is. You don’t need someone making it more so.


2. The people who use you.

To be fair, everyone uses everyone — and usually it’s OK. We interact with others because we find that it will benefit us in some way. If we didn’t believe it would, then we wouldn’t find sufficient reason to interact with them.

Sometimes we find people in our lives who use us in ways that end up hurting us. Most people will use us and by doing so, either maintain or improve our wellbeing.

Then you have those toxic individuals who use you and leave you worse off, sucking you dry and feeding off you like a parasite.

These sorts of people have no place in your life; don’t bring them into 2015.


3. The people who don’t respect you.

Every respectful person deserves to be respected in return; that’s how respect works. If you find that you have a person or people in your life who have difficulty giving you the respect you give them, tell them to buzz off.

Have enough respect for yourself to never allow others to disrespect you and remain a part of your life.


4. The people who always manage to hurt you.

People can be silly sometimes. The people we keep a part of our lives are the people we care about — or at least, that ought to be the case. Some of these individuals, sadly, end up hurting us and causing us pain.

The problem is that when others cause us pain, we’re reminded of how much those people mean to us. If they could hurt us emotionally, we must care for them and what they think of us a great deal — so we allow them to remain a part of our lives.

Often, we’ll even allow these individuals to take up more room. People hurt other people — it’s just the way the world works. But if you have someone in your life who can’t manage to stop hurting you, do yourself a favor and cut that person off.

Pain is only good if it teaches you a lesson. In this case, the lesson is to stop allowing others to use you as a punching bag.


5. The people who can’t seem to stop lying to you.

Everyone lies. In fact, within the first few minutes of meeting a new person, that person is likely to lie to you a handful of times. Most lies are harmless, but that all changes when the people who are lying to you are the people you trust.

Fill your life with trustworthy people and you’ll be far better off. You can find lies just about anywhere. Finding the truth, on the other hand, is much more rare.


6. The people who smile to your face and then insult you behind your back.

These are the scum of the scum, cowards that don’t have the guts to speak their minds. These individuals enjoy pretending to be your friend while telling the rest of the world that you’re a piece of sh*t.

These people will ruin your reputation and, as most of us now know, reputation matters a whole lot in the world we live in. Only idiots would start a new year with these sorts of individuals in their life.


7. The people who don’t care about you, but love to pretend they do.

We’ve all had people in our lives who act like our friends only when it’s convenient for them.

These toxic individuals are “pseudo friends” — a lot of fun to hang out with, and more than willing to accept help, but when you need their help they’re miraculously nowhere to be found.

These individuals are especially toxic because they give you the illusion of a safety net. You think you can lean on them for support, but when you reach for their shoulder, you fall over and hit the ground.


8. The people who drag you back into your old lifestyle.

Life is only interesting and exciting if it’s constantly progressing. Only when we’re constantly moving forward, constantly improving ourselves and our surroundings, are we able to find contentment and happiness.

Most people always manage to keep people in their lives who are holding on to the life you once had.

You have worked hard to progress and make changes, but these individuals prefer life the way it used to be, and do their best to bring you back to the cave you just crawled out of.

Be wary of these folks, they’re often difficult to pinpoint and always manage to revert the progress you worked so hard to make.


9. The people who hold you back.

There’s a fact to life that I’ve grown to accept over the past few years — a fact that isn’t especially pleasant, but nonetheless necessary to accept as truth: Many people in your life, the people you call friends, shouldn’t be a part of your life.

As time passes, we change as individuals. Our hopes and goals change, often leaving the relationships we have in place outdated.

Many of the people in your life likely don’t want to live the life you’re building for yourself. Because they’re egocentric, they’ll do their best to create their version of their ideal life and drag you into it.

Most times, people fail to create the life of their dreams because they surround themselves with people aiming for something entirely different.

If your goals aren’t aligned, your lives aren’t either.


10. The people just taking up space.

Everything in life is limited. Resources are limited. Time is limited. Space is limited. What you can accomplish within a lifetime is limited. We can’t, and never will be able to, have it all.

This is why you have to be very careful with not only what you choose to do, but with whom you choose to do it with.

You can only maintain a handful of strong relationships at any given time — you just don’t have the time, energy or mental focus to handle more.

If you’re filling your life with half-assed individuals, you’re bound to create a half-assed life. If someone isn’t adding to your life, then, by default, they’re taking away from it.

Leave them in 2014 and build a better inner circle.

 

Pretty good advice if you ask me.

Reposted from: http://elitedaily.com/life/toxic-people-new-year/879975/

The Trouble with Love A Sex, Love & Stiletto Novel by Lauren Layne

I just downloaded this book – The Trouble with Love from Netgalley and I’ll be reviewing it over the holidays.

As Lauren Layne‘€™s salacious Sex, Love & Stiletto series returns, a jaded columnist discovers a steamy way to get over an old flame: falling for him all over again.

As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina‘€™s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’€™s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’€™s latest article forces her to face her demons–namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar.

After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’€™s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’€™s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiance . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’€™s no accident. It’€™s research. And Alex can’€™t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive–€”and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.