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.

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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

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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.

 

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. 

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:

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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. 

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

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:
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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. 

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. 

Going to the Chapel by USA Today Bestselling Author Rita Herron (Review)

goingtothechapelIf there’s a naughty list, Izzy Sassafras is on it—but she’s ready to make a new start this Christmas. Especially after leaving her lying, cheating, no-good husband and fleeing to her old hometown of Matrimony, Georgia. Izzy’s made herself a promise: no more men. All she wants to do is get her wedding business up and running—and mend fences with her estranged sisters. But Izzy knows she’s in trouble when her very first client, a smooth-talking Texan, makes her light up like a Christmas tree.

Desperate for business, private investigator Levi Fox reluctantly takes a case involving a runaway wife in a town called Matrimony. When he meets sweet, sexy Izzy, he decides she can’t possibly be as innocent as she seems. At first, posing as her client is the perfect cover; but he soon imagines himself as a groom—with Izzy as his Christmas bride! Will this case end with a trip to the chapel…or the jailhouse?

ritaUSA Today Bestselling and award-winning author Rita Herron fell in love with books at the ripe age of eight when she read her first Trixie Belden mystery. Although she wanted to be a writer then and actually scrawled her first novel at age twelve, she didn’t think real people grew up to be writers, so she became a kindergarten teacher instead. Ten years ago, she traded her classroom storytelling and puppets for a computer and now writes so she doesn’t have to get a real job.

Having sold over sixty books to date, she enjoys spinning spine-tingling romantic suspense tales filled with murder, mayhem, and spicy romance as well as sexy romantic comedies. Rita Herron currently writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue and she’s writing dark, gritty romantic suspense thrillers for Amazon Montlake.

My Thoughts:

When I was asked to review this book, it was described as “absolutely hilarious and yet heartfelt” and that description is right on target. It is a sweet and charming and absolutely funny book that all begins with a beautiful cover

The story is set in a beautiful little mountain town that needs a new beginning and the three Sassafras sisters, at least Izzy, is determine to make her aunt proud by opening up an all-inclusive bridal store. Who knew their first client was an undercover detective threatening to destroy their attempt at a new start?

Going to the Chapel will leave you laughing and full of love in your heart. Definitely a great pick for the holiday season. This book deserves all of five stars.

Purchase on Amazon here:

Kindle

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. 

The Long Hot Texas Summer, An American romance by Cathy Gillen Thacker (Review)

Heating Up in Texas!

When Justin McCabe hires a master carpenter to help build his ranch for troubled teens, tall, gorgeous blonde Amanda Johnson isn’t quite what he’d imagined. But not only can she do the job, she has a thing or two to teach him about judging by appearances. And, more important, she has a knack for reaching the kind of kid Justin wants to help.

Amanda hadn’t counted on her new boss—all strapping six foot five of him—being so utterly irresistible. Working side by side under the scorching Texas sun, the two of them make a great team—in every way possible. The heat of summer is no match for the sizzle they generate whenever they’re together. But when a crisis forces Amanda to face her past, she’ll need to make a heart-wrenching decision about her future…whether Justin is in it or not.

Cathy Gillen Thacker is a popular Harlequin author of over one hundred novels.  Married and a mother of three, she and her husband resided in Texas for eighteen years, and now make their home in North Carolina.  Her mysteries, romantic comedies, and family stories have made numerous appearances on bestseller lists, but her best reward is knowing one of her books made someone’s day a little brighter.

There were times for doing things yourself and times for not. This, Justin McCabe thought grimly, surveying the damage he had just inflicted on a brand-new utility cabinet and the drywall behind it, was definitely one of the latter.

Frustrated, because there was little he couldn’t do well, Justin shook his head in disgust. Then he swore heatedly at the blunder that further derailed his tight schedule and made it even harder to prove the skeptics wrong.

It was possible, of course, that this could be fixed without buying a whole new cabinet. If he knew what he was doing. Which he clearly did not—a fact that the five beloved ranch mutts, sitting quietly and cautiously watching his every move, seemed to realize, too.

A motor sounded in the lane, and he hoped it was the carpenter who’d been scheduled to arrive that morning and had yet to actually make an appearance. Justin set his hammer down. He stalked to the door of Bunkhouse One just as a fancy red Silverado pickup truck stopped in front of the lodge. It had an elaborate silver Airstream trailer attached to the back and a lone woman at the wheel.

“Great.” Justin sighed as all the dogs darted out the open door of the partially finished bunkhouse and raced, barking their heads off, toward the vehicle.

The obviously lost tourist eased the window down and stuck her head out into the sweltering Texas heat. A straw hat with a sassy rolled brim was perched on her head. Sunglasses shaded her eyes. But there was no disguising her beautiful face and shapely bare arms. The young interloper was, without a doubt, the most exquisite female Justin had ever seen.

She smiled at the dogs, despite the fact that they were making a racket. “Hey, poochies,” she said in a soft, melodic voice.

As entranced as he was, the dogs seemed more so. They’d stopped barking and had all sat down to stare at the stranger.

She opened her door and stepped out. All six feet of her.

Layered red and white tank tops showcased her nice, full breasts and slender waist. A short denim skirt clung to her hips and emphasized a pair of really fine legs.

She took off her hat and shook out a mane of butterscotch-blond hair that fell in soft waves past her shoulders. After tossing the hat on the seat behind her, she reached down to pet the dogs. The pack was thoroughly besotted.

Justin completely understood.

If there was such a thing as love at first sight—which he knew there wasn’t—he’d have been a goner.

The woman straightened and removed her sunglasses. “I’m Amanda,” she said in the same voice that had magically quieted his dogs.

Justin stared into long-lashed, wide-set amber eyes that were every bit as mesmerizing as the rest of her. His brain seemed to have stopped working altogether. His body, on the other hand, was at full alert. “I’m Justin McCabe.”

“This the Lost Pines?” Amanda asked, taking a moment to scan their surroundings.

Working to get the blood back in his brain where it belonged, Justin merely nodded.

“So,” she said, still admiring the acres of unfenced grassland peppered with cedar and live oak, as well as the endless blue horizon and rolling hills in the distance. “Where do you want me to park my trailer?”

And then, all of a sudden, the fantasy ended. This gorgeous woman had not been dropped into his life like a karmic reward for all his hard work. Brought swiftly back to reality, he stopped her with a regretful lift of his palm. “You can’t.”

She pivoted back to him in a drift of citrusy perfume. Her eyes sparked with indignation and her delicate but surprisingly capable-looking hands landed on her hips. “I made it very clear to whomever I spoke. My camping out here is part of the deal.”

What deal? “It can’t be.”

She came closer, her soft lips pursed in an unhappy frown. “Why not?”

Embarrassed that it had taken him this long to correct her misconception, Justin explained without rancor. “Because this isn’t the Lost Pines you’re looking for.”

A flicker of indecipherable emotion flashed in those beautiful eyes. She regarded him skeptically, seeming to think he was trying to pull something over on her. “But how can that be? The sign above the gate said this is the Lost Pines Ranch.”

“The sign’s on the long list of things waiting to be changed.” A new one had been ordered but wasn’t coming in for another month. Which meant he would continue to have these mix-ups with nonlocals.

“Are you sure I’m not in the right place?” she asked with a frown. “Because…”

Justin shook his head, a little disappointed that this beautiful amazon would not be settling in for a long stay. He turned and pointed in the opposite direction. “What you want is the Lost Pines Campground, which is another three miles down the road, next to the Lake Laramie State Park. But…” What the heck, why not? Just this once he was going to go for what he wanted. Which was a little more—make that a lotmore—time with this sun-kissed beauty. “Once you get set up there, Amanda, I’d be happy to take you to dinner.”

This was, Amanda Bliss Johnson thought, the most bizarre encounter she’d ever had. Even if the tall rancher with the shaggy chestnut-brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes was the hottest guy she had ever come across in her life. From the massive shoulders and chest beneath that chambray shirt, to his long muscular legs, custom-bootencased feet—and ringless left hand—everything about him broadcast Single and Available.

Which meant Strictly Off-Limits to her.

She wished she’d left her sunglasses on so he wouldn’t see her dazzled expression. “First off,” she told him crisply, “I don’t date customers.”

Now it was his turn to look shocked. “Customers! What are you talking about?”

Amanda pushed on. “You called for a carpenter, right? At least, Libby Lowell-McCabe, the CEO of the Lowell Foundation and chairwoman of the board for the Laramie Boys Ranch, did. She said it was an emergency. That your previous carpenter quit with no notice and you only have four weeks to get the bunkhouse ready for occupancy.” She paused to draw a breath. “I emailed her back that I’d be willing to help y’all out, but only if I could keep my travel trailer on the property so I wouldn’t have to waste time commuting back and forth to San Angelo.”

Amanda fought her racing pulse and tried to stay calm. “But if that’s not going to work, I guess I could park my Silversteam at the campground. Assuming, of course, they have a space available. Since it’s the busy summer season, they may not.”

He lifted a hand. “You don’t have to do that.”

Amanda folded her arms in front of her. “Sure about that? Because just now you seemed dead set against me camping here.” Continue reading

Wordplay by Glenn Bassett (Review)

WordplayTitle: Wordplay

Author: Glenn Bassett

Publisher: Organization Diagnostics

Genre: Business
Format: Paperback/Kindle

WordPlay lays out the functions of language as the foundation of what is loosely called mind. Studies of language in primitive cultures by anthropological linguists demonstrate the existence of a basic set of words called semantic primes in every cultural setting. Language is extended and elaborated on the foundation of semantic primes to construct a mental map of the perceived phenomenal world. Once in place, a rich culture of language is passed on from each generation to the next by example. Words ultimately become so ubiquitous and necessary that they take on a reality all their own. Mental maps become more real than the reality of direct experience.

Establishment of a critical capacity for knowing truth demands a study of psycholinguistics. The fund of social psychological research made available through research over the past century offers a window on the way words are used to captivate, illuminate, intimidate, inform and imbue us with intelligence.

WordPlay is a compilation of the most salient research that pertains to language use. It is a layman’s introduction to psycholinguistics. The emphasis is on how words shape behavior and become the substance of the mind. This is knowledge of those habits of mind that can interfere with straight, clear thinking. It is antidote to functional social ignorance of our rich language culture.

Dr. Glenn Bassett is Professor Emeritus of Management and former Dean of Business at the University of Bridgeport.  A graduate of Berkeley and Yale, as well as a former corporate staffer at General Electric, Dr. Bassett’s career has focused on applied Social Psychology.  WordPlay is the result of exended research into the science of psycholinguistics. He is the author of numerous articles and published books, including The Managers Craft

My thoughts:

I am only part way into this book, but it’s fascinating. The first page alone draws in and you can’t stop reading. I will posting more of a review in the next coming days as I read more. Stay tuned.

I was only due to read and review the first two chapters, but I really want to read more before commenting.

 

 

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. 

 

 

 

 

Searching for Normal by Alison Neuman: A Memoir Blog Tour

Searching for Normal 2They thought she was going to die. At three-and-a-half years old, bed-ridden shivering in a cold sweat, Alison Neuman’s tiny fingers wrap around her mother’s for strength.  But even at this age, Alison is determined to beat the odds.

When years of hospitalization robs her of most of her childhood, she finds joy.

When children and adults avoid her like the plague, she finds friendship.

When she cracks her skull in a playground accident, when her math teacher holds her back a grade, and when she is mistreated by the medical professionals that were entrusted to help her, she finds strength.

And even when it becomes clear that the painful disease she has, dermatomyositis, will leave her wheel-chair bound for the rest of her life, Alison does not let it defeat her.

She will conquer it, she will achieve her greatest dreams and along her journey to finding normal,  she will find joy, humor, passion and music.

In this inspirational true story, Alison Neuman tells of her daily mission to triumph over pain,  to prove wrong the naysayers that say she “cannot”, and become a reminder to us all that can’t is only a mindset and happiness is a choice.

Alison NeumanNo one ever expected Alison Neuman to live past the age of three, let alone become a successful author and performer.

Now, an inspirational figure, Neuman has never let the painful disease she suffers with, dermatomyositis, dictate what she can and cannot achieve in her life.

An award-winning singer, Neuman has even done dance performances with the iDance and Cripsie Groups in her native Edmonton, Alberta, Canadian hometown.  Along the way, she has become a college graduate, earning a degree in creative writing from MacEwen College, despite being told she’d never amount to anything

Searching for Normal is her memoir and anthem to anyone who is suffering through sickness or obstacles that seem too impossible to overcome.

“You can and will achieve life’s greatest dreams,” Neuman says, “if you take it one step at a time; even if that step is while you navigate via a wheelchair.”

For More Information

Additional Information:

    • Searching for Normal: A Memoir is available at Amazon
    • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
    • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
    • Watch the book video at YouTube.

My Review will be coming soon. Please check back. Meanwhile, please enjoy this excerpt from Searching for Normal

Book Excerpt:

I had a fever. My throat hurt. My body hurt. I was tucked in bed with the covers up to my neck and I still felt cold.

Mom put her hand on my forehead for a second. “Do you want some orange juice?”

“Apple.” I croaked.

She smiled and left the room.

I wondered if the juice would make me well enough to visit Tara. She was my new best friend.

Summers were exciting when I was a child; I was able to play outside and explore the neighborhood in my family’s and Tara’s yard. Tara and I were both 3 ½ but she was two weeks younger than me. We lived just three houses apart from one another. She was active in sports, dancing and activities with her older siblings. During our visits, I was always struck by the massive size of her family’s two-story house, which I was convinced was more like a castle, with its expansive space and numerous rooms. Having a larger house was essential for her family as Tara was just one of ten children

In their rumpus room were Fisher-Price toys, Barbies, and a large variety of board games awaiting us—the sheer variety rivaled only by a toy store.

Mom had quit being her job as a nursing aide to stay at home and raise Cliff and me and when the weather was warm enough, Tara and I would play in their large pie-shaped backyard while our Moms sat on the porch and chatted.

I drank the juice and felt even worse. Days passed and my body ached more and more. My parents took me to a doctor who said that I simply had a bad case of the flu. As we were leaving his office, he bent down so that we were at eye level.

He pulled an arm from behind his back and there was an orange lollipop in his hand.   “Here you are, young lady.”

I took the candy and answered his cheery grin with a wan smile.

My “flu” soon became merciless. I became jaundiced and my frantic parents started contacting other doctors, trying to find someone who could see that what was happening to me was not normal. Of course, as this was in the 1970s telephones and good old-fashioned time-consuming mail were the only options; it was more easily said than done.

My symptoms got stranger over the next two years but Tara and shared the same excitement about starting first grade.

Blood started oozing out of my pores. Dad, Mom, and brother Cliff all worked to provide me with the most normal life possible. And despite the various pain, my body randomly acting of my control, and frequent doctor’s appointments, it never even occurred to me I was different—that I was not physically able, not intelligent, or not able to keep up with everyone else in the world.

 

I had yet to perceive any difference between myself and Tara—sure, I had to attend doctor’s appointments more often than she—but beyond that, I ran and played just like everyone else. That said, in the privacy of my home I noticed a sequence of changes in my body that did not seem to be shared by my friends. I had calcifications travelling throughout my body, attempting to find an exit. When I was seated, finding a comfortable position was tough due to the little white calcifications that grew in pressure areas like my elbows and knees. The calcifications created pressure and grew outward until the skin could no longer stand the strain and then they erupted chunks of calcium-laced liquid and blood. Each time it occurred, my mother changed the bandages and kept an eye out for opportunistic infections.

My 6-year-old brain was incapable of understanding the reasons behind those changes. But when I began school I came to the conclusion quickly that, in the eyes of my classmates, I was not normal. The recognition settled into my body, heart, and soul with a shock that was almost impossible to comprehend.

As these changes progressed, I wanted to hide it from everyone. The impact of the all–too-frequent hospitalizations also started to take shape. Experience had taught me that hospitals were big impersonal buildings with nurses, doctors, strange aromas, and beds that trapped patients inside. I grew uncertain as to the permanence of my home life each time I was admitted. And courtesy of the evening news, I also began to think of hospitals and ‘homes’ as a place where they sent the differently-abled when they had become too much of a burden to their families. These places looked like prisons and I vowed to be as good as I could so that my family would not have a reason to send me away.

I was a pre-teen before the medical profession figured out what was wrong with me. It turned out that I had a rare disease called dermatomyositis—my enemy now had a name.

The joint pain was invisible, and so the strain, burning, and weakness in my muscles went unnoticed by many. Only scars seemed to be proof of a battle I had fought and won. Yet despite the victories, I longed for the smooth elbows of my family and friends. I wished I could have just a single spot to lean on without having to worry about bleeding.

In order to begin tracking the progress of my disease, the doctors suggested a follow-up bone scan at the Cross Cancer Institute. Tests were a blur of discomfort; I learned to block the experiences from my brain. This reliable and less invasive test began with an injection of radio-active tracer, then drinking water and waiting. As I waited for the test to begin, my family set up themselves up in what would soon become familiar positions—Mom doing word scrambles, Dad watching the televisions in the lobby.

At one point, after spending thirteen weeks in various hospitals, my family was told to take me home—my case was terminal.

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. 

 

Resting Place, A Graveside Diary by Pamela Little, Nonfiction / Personal Memoir, Review

In search of a resting place, Pamela went to her final one—her grave site. Tackling life from the perspective of death, she addresses her darknesses, including alcoholism, food addiction, bipolar disorder, and her self-diagnosed “post-divorce destruction disorder.” Over the course of four years, a new light begins to emerge, beckoning her back from the living dead.

Demographic: Women – divorced, overeaters, or bipolar

 

 

 

Pamela Little

Pamela Little’s writing career began in the fifth grade when she won The Evans Award for Drama for a play she wrote overnight titled The Case of the Missing Watch.
She went on to win two American Pen Women prizes for creative writing in high school. While a college student, Pamela earned recognition from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and the Annual Hemingway Days Festival for her newspaper journalism.

As a professional, Pamela wrote the “Family Matters” column for five years at The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, managed communications for a tourism agency, attended the Betty Ford Center‘s Professionals in Residence program on scholarship, and worked for a Montessori school. She also received the Gannett Award for Best Enterprise Reporting and numerous accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists.

As a writing coach, Pamela helps people organize their journal collections and publish their diaries. Through her ministry Soul Custody, she creates and conducts Marriage Memorial Services for divorced families. Pamela is currently at work on a series of daily meditation books to help parents after divorce. The Resting Place, A Graveside Diary, is her first book.

Visit Pamela Little at http://www.restingplaceonline.com

Purchase on Amazon in Kindle or Paperback

My Thoughts:

If you asked me my first thoughts on the book, I would say it is a strange book. It’s different from anything I’ve read so far, and I’ve read a lot of books. It is not a book that can be rushed through – I am a fast reader and I stress – this book cannot be read fast. Not that you can’t speed read it, I guess you could. It’s a little hard to explain other than saying it is a slow read. The words will not allow you to read it quickly.

Pamela Little has experienced a lot in her life and with The Resting Place, takes the reader on her journey to find her resting place while still alive. She buys a cemetery plot and goes to her final resting place each day to write and meditate on her life.

Pamela Little felt that in order to tackle her “living” life, she needed to begin to assess her life from death moving backward. We all have darkness in our lives, some more than others because of different struggles. Pamela Little suffers with some pretty powerful life-altering darknesses which include “alcoholism, food addiction, bipolar disorder, and her self-diagnosed “post-divorce destruction disorder.” Just one of these would topple most people.

In the book, she takes us through her struggles and how she finally finds her resting place within herself. I identified with her “post-divorce destruction disorder” having been through a traumatic divorce and alienation of children. I understand her search to find that resting place. It is a long journey that ends back where you start – within yourself.

Pamela Little is blunt, honest, and sometimes a little crazy in her memoir. She decides to view life from death’s view in an effort to live life to its fullest. It is a spiritual journey. After reading this book, I think I understand the journey bi-polar sufferers go through and how it affects their outlook on life. While I would describe the book as a little strange, it is a good book. I’m giving The Resting Place four stars.

I cry now because I care so deeply about myself, maybe as equally as I care for them (daughters) now. I am so worth living for! I have missed myself while I was dead. I can breathe now. Easily. Finally, I can rest in peace (while alive.)

 

Pamela Little says her mission is to “help people see things from different perspectives” and she does in her half humorous, half insightful voice in her new memoir The Resting Place: A Graveside Diary. Yes, graveside. And not the grave of a dearly departed but her own grave that she will eventually call home. Her journal entries reveal her life–her strengths, her weaknesses–through deep reflection with a story arc that grabs the reader by the hand and takes her along for the journey.-        Matilda Butler, award-winning author and co-founder of WomensMemoirs.com

 

 

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. 

If You Follow Me: (The Dunbridge Chronicles #3) by Pam Rhodes

If You Follow Me
by Pam Rhodes

In the parish of Dunbridge, the news is out–Claire and Neil are engaged! And yet, almost before the celebrations have begun, Ben, the father of Claire’s son, appears back on the scene–keen to pick up where he and Claire left off.

As Neil reels in the face of Claire’s confusion, Wendy always seems to be there to provide support and comfort. Little does he know of Wendy’s involvement in Ben’s reappearance . . .

However, Neil has little chance to ponder his love life as the whole weight of running the church and parish descends upon his inexperienced shoulders. His mother, Iris, who has never hesitated to share her opinions, has just moved to be near him and Neil’s time as a curate in Dunbridge is coming swiftly to an end. Where should he go next, and just who will go with him?

Author Pam Rhodes for many years has presented the world’s numberone religious television program, Songs of Praise on BBC. She writes for the UK national newspaper, the Daily Mail, and is also a successful novelist—author of The Dunbridge Chronicles, With Hearts and Hymns and Voices, and four other novels, as well as a number of additional books.

My Thoughts:

To be honest, when I opened the book and saw that the author had listed the numerous characters with descriptions, I looked at my husband and said, “This isn’t good.” Then, I found the book a little difficult to get into, but once I got started, I slowly became immersed in the story and enjoyed it. The long list of characters no longer mattered as I got to know each one.

The book reminded me a little of the Mitford Series by Jan Karon. As with the Mitford Series, I think beginning with Book 1 would be advantageous, although not necessary

Overall, I enjoyed the book. The writing was good and I enjoyed the little bits of deviousness and conflict sprinkled throughout an otherwise sedate story. I am giving the book 4 stars.

Purchase on Amazon in these formats:

Kindle
Paperback

During the blog tour week Kregel is offering an Amazon coupon to you for 30% off the price of any of the books in The Dunbridge Chronicles series November 12-17. Download the ads below at the Blog Tour Page and link to http://ow.ly/DOMBh

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. 

Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom, June McCrary Jacobs – Blog Tour, Review

Holiday-Miracle-in-Apple-Blossom-2014-blog-tour

 

 

Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom Cover_2x3When her student, six-year-old Mary Noel, survives a car accident over Thanksgiving break, Amber and her new friend, Paul, are determined to cheer her up during the holidays. But Mary Noel’s most painful injury is the loss of her dog. The more withdrawn Mary Noel becomes, the more Amber and Paul need a miracle—a miracle that requires the entire community’s help.

“I wanted to portray a wholesome relationship between a man and woman with similar values where their friendship and common goals were the basis for developing a love relationship,” said McCrary Jacobs. “The community of Apple Blossom pulls together to help a family in need and is very successful in their efforts.”

“A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom is available in bookstores and on Amazon.com, BooksAndThings.com, and BarnesAndNoble.com.

Purchase on Amazon in these formats:

Kindle
Paperback

 

junemccraryjacobs_author1[1]June McCrary Jacobs spent twenty years as a primary grade educator after graduating from California State University, Hayward, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a multiple-subject teaching credential. Along with writing fiction, June is a freelance designer of sewing, quilting and crafting projects. “A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom” is June’s debut novel, though not her first published work. Since 2007 June’s original sewing, quilting and stitchery projects and articles have been published in national and international magazines including Stitch, Sew News, Sewing World, Simply Handmade, Sew Hip, Sewing Savvy, Crafts ‘n Things and Create & Decorate. Two of her sewing designs for children will appear in the upcoming “101 One-Yard Little Wonders” book published by Storey Publishing. A Californian since age six, June currently resides in the San Joaquin Valley. Learn more about June’s writing endeavors and view some of her original sewing projects by visiting her website at http://www.junemccraryjacobs.com.

website http://www.junemccraryjacobs.com

Author’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/June-McCrary-Jacobs/153549754836128.

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/June-McCrary-Jacobs/e/B00E7YV522

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/June-McCrary-Jacobs

My Thoughts:

I always like commenting on the cover of a book because I like for the cover to introduce the book so to speak. It should set up the story. The cover of A Holiday Miracle does just that. It leads the way to a season of miracles.

The story is a sweet love story, but it encompasses more than that; it’s a town full of generous and kind-hearted people that makes it a perfect book for the upcoming holiday season.

There were times when I thought the writing was a little too perfect and there were places where the author added words where none were needed. An example would be describing the restaurant where the characters were eating. The description was ample at the beginning of the date and I felt saying, “…they left the fine restaurant…” a little odd. I am stating my thoughts and preferences on the writing. The author tended to use “bigger” words than you might ordinarily find in a book. I enjoyed those moments as I am a “big” word person. I love words and I found it interesting that an author would choose to write this way. The norm is to write on a lessor intelligent level so you fly through the book. This was enjoyable in that aspect.

I did find the story a little sugary and it had no conflict. It was almost too perfect and didn’t imitate life.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and can recommend it for those of you looking for an uplifting holiday book to read.

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

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. 

Always With You by Andrea Hurst (Review, Tour)

Always With You

 

 

Always With You (1)TitleAlways With You

Author: Andrea Hurst

Publisher: Independent Self Publishing

Publication Date: February 6, 2014

Pages: 348

ISBN978-1495326783

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Format: Paperback, eBook (.mobi / Kindle)

 

“Always With You is the bittersweet and poignant love story of a woman trapped between temptation and the ties that bind.”

~Tracey Garvis Graves, New York Times bestselling author of On the Island and Covet.

“Hurst captivates from page one, and keeps you hooked until the very last word, in this entrancing story of the power of love and all its consequences.” 

~Melissa Foster -New York Times & USA Today bestselling & award-winning author.

“Warm-hearted, wise, touchingly written, and exploring the depths of human emotions. This book about forbidden love is not to be missed.” 

~Bharti Kirchner, Author of five novels including Darjeeling and Tulip Season. 

1977 is a glorious time to be alive in the beautiful wine country of Northern California, and Cathy has everything she thought she wanted – from a thriving health food café to loyal friends.

Since the devastating failure of her short-lived marriage, Cathy has buried herself in her work and kept men at arm’s length. But when an old high school friend, Pam, brings her family for a short stay, Cathy’s stone walls begin to crumble when she meets Jamie. Jamie, whose compassion and warmth slowly break down her defenses. Jamie, whose devotion to his four-year-old daughter melts Cathy’s heart and makes her desperate for a family of her own. Jamie… who is married to Pam.

A profound love that transcends time and place is impossible to resist. But is love more important than friendship? Are loyalty and fidelity an anchor or a chain? In the end, it’s all about choices – tough ones that can break hearts. Now Cathy must make the most difficult choice of her life.

Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/always-with-you-andrea-hurst/1119007048?ean=9781495326783&itm=1&usri=always+with+you+andrea+hurst

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20665112-always-with-yo

 

Andrea HurstWhen not visiting local farmer’s markets or indulging her love for chocolate, Andrea Hurst is an author and literary agent. Her passion for books drives her to find and write stories that take readers on a journey to another place and leave them with an unforgettable impression. She is a developmental editor for publishers and authors, an instructor in creative writing at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, and a webinar presenter for Writers Digest. She lives with her dachshunds in the Pacific Northwest, on an island much like the fictional Madrona, with all of its natural beauty and small town charm.

Her published books include Always With YouThe GuestbookThe Lasy Dog’s Guide to Enlightenment and Everybody’s Natural Food Cookbook, and she co-authored A Book of Miracles.

To learn more about Andrea and her books, visit www.AndreaHurst-author.com.

Join her on Facebook for book giveaways and more delicious recipes and scenic photos from Madrona Island at www.facebook.com/andreahurstauthor

Connect with Andrea:

Author Website: http://www.andreahurst-author.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/andreahurstauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndreaHurst_

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AndreaHurst

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback 

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed Always With You. Plain and simple, it was a good book. The cover was beautiful and that alone will draw you to the book.

I have been reading quite a few romance books lately and this book had a different spin on it. The story was a little long, but I’m sure how the author would have shortened it without cutting out some of the “meat” of the story.

The writing was good. I enjoyed the characters. The book had characters you fell in love with and on the flip side, one or two that you wanted to slap silly. The story is set in the Nappa Valley and it was nice to spend time there, albeit through a book. I was drawn into the scenery and wanted to stay there. I went along on scenic drives and canoe rides down a river and then sat on the shoreline basking in the sun. I enjoyed cooking along-side the characters.

Summarizing, Always With You by Andrea Hurst is a good book. It had a different storyline and the characters were very likable. I found no errors worth mentioning and the surprise ending was the best part of the book. I’m giving Always With You five stars. It’s a light-hearted read and a great one for the cold, wintry nights coming up.

 

 

Amazon Kindle
Amazon 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. 

The No-Stress Holiday Organizer An All-in-One Guide to Planning and Recording your holidays

About the Book:

3-month calendar for Nov – Dec – Jan filled with:

* To-do Lists
* Budget Guides
* Decoration Trackers
* Guest Lists/Contact Info
* Party Planning Breakdown
* Menu Planners
* Grocery Lists
* Cooking Schedules
* Recipes
* and MORE

Purchase on AMAZON

Book Details
Authors: Cedar Fort Staff
Release Date: August 2014
Publisher: Plain Sight
Genre: Holiday

Get organized this holiday season! Make you plans for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s as enjoyable for you as it is for your guests. From calendars and checklists to budget sheets and journal pages, this book saves you the time and money to enjoy family traditions old and new – year after year!

No-Stress-Holiday-Organizer-blog-tour

“The No-Stress Holiday Organizer” blog tour schedule:

November 1: The Hungry Family at Home
November 2: Books Devoured
November 3: Practical Frugality • I Love to Read and Review Books
November 4: Literologie
November 5: Traveling Adventures of a Farm Girl
November 6: My Life One Story at a Time
November 7: Live to Read
November 8: Mel’s Shelves
November 9: Crossroad Reviews • Read For Your Future • Book Hounds
November 10: My Reading Room
November 11: Readalot • The Author’s Hideaway • Why Not? Because I Said So • LDS Women’s Book Review
November 12: My Book Addiction and More
November 13:
November 14: Blooming with Books
November 15: A Casual Reader’s Blog • The Things I Love Most • Wishful Endings

My Thoughts:

I am already an organized person, but I’m always out to learn a few more tricks. With Halloween gone and the three next big holidays of the year looming in the foreground, everyone is wondering how to get it all done and get it done efficiently. The No-Stress Holiday Organizer book will certainly help to keep even the most disorganized person on track.

Featuring a three-month at a glance planning calendar is an excellent idea. It is quite easy to overbook activities or to lose track of how many days remaining before the big event. This will help to ensure that the holidays flow without too much anxiety. Like checklist? This book will definitely have you doing the happy dance.

Broken down into holidays, it offers you a no-stress plan to keep you on track with shopping and planning and execution. As great as cell phones are these days, not everyone is using one to chart their grocery list. The No-Stress Holiday Organizer offers those individuals a list to record their items that follows the layouts of most grocery stores. This will eliminate traipsing across the store and even forgetting items.

The book also offers help with budgeting and with the holidays, who can’t use a little extra help in that department? Do you think of doing an inventory of the items that you only use at holiday time? Do you remember what was broken or needed to be replaced?

Along with a Christmas To Do list, the book offers a list of those forgotten people – the postman, etc. and offers an example of how much is appropriate to spend.

It is a great book even for the ultra-organized person like me. I have to admit I took the book on as a challenge and was pleasantly surprised to pick up a few tips along the way.

Is there someone in your life who’s a little bit on the unorganized side? Look no further for the perfect holiday gift!

Purchase on AMAZON

Christmas in Snow Valley Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Christmas in Snow Valley (1)

Tour Schedule

 

Christmas in Snow Valley

 

 

Christmas in Snow Valley

 

Christmas in Snow Valley is packed with six wonderful Christmas novellas sure to bring romance into your holiday season.

Snow Valley, Montana, is a small community with the tradition of doing Christmas big. Festivities begin with tree lighting in the town square the day after Thanksgiving and continue until the culminating romantic Christmas Ball. From the Polar Express to a Winter Carnival, there’s something for every wonder-filled child—and every couple who’s in love—or about to be.

An Unexpected Kiss by Cindy Roland Anderson
Lucy Phillips doesn’t want to spend her Christmas vacation dodging her ex-boyfriend, so when he turns up at the airport to give her a ride home, Lucy panics and asks a complete stranger to kiss her. Although the kiss is incredible, Lucy never expects to see the guy again. Is it bad luck or destiny when Lucy comes down with a sore throat and the new doctor in Snow Valley is none other than the guy she kissed at the airport?

Feels Like Love by Jeanette Lewis
Christmas in Snow Valley is the perfect way for April Winston to introduce her city slicker fiancé, Scott Mecham, to life on a farm. If only Wade Hadley, hometown boy and high school sweetheart, will cooperate! But Wade has no intention of letting April go without a fight. This Christmas, Wade is determined to overcome their painful past and show April that she already has what she’s been seeking all along.

Full Court Devotion by Cami Checketts
Kazlyn is too busy with her schooling and future plans to enjoy life, let alone fall in love with a man who has heartbreak written all over him. Tyrese Hamilton, a college basketball star and major heartthrob, is intrigued when Kazlyn doesn’t pursue him or even seem interested. Ty’s career is in jeopardy, and he needs a miracle and Kazlyn to save him.

The Christmas Eve Kiss by Taylor Hart
When Molly O’Hare gets a prediction that she will kiss her true love on Christmas Eve, she thinks it’s utterly ridiculous. But when she gets teamed up with Kevin Snow, aka her ex-boyfriend, to decorate a Christmas tree, things start to change. Too bad getting over the past is hard and seeing him kiss another girl is even harder. Now Molly is left with a choice—run away from home and heartbreak or let Christmas work out a miracle all of its own.

Risking it all for Love by Kimberley Montpetit
Succumbing to family pressure, Jessica Mason reluctantly comes home for Christmas. Ever since her high school boyfriend’s death from a car accident three years earlier, Jessica and religion have not been compatible. So, when she visits Michael’s grave, she’s surprised to meet the handsome James Douglas, Pastor John’s nephew, who’s studying for the ministry. James can not only dish back Jessica’s finely-tuned sarcasm but understands grief all too well, turning Jessica’s world upside down. Is she ready to take another risk on love?

Blue Christmas by Lucy McConnell
As head of Snow Valley hospital’s fundraising effort, Paisley Hackett barely has time to organize the craft show, cookie decorating party, and the annual Christmas Ball. What she doesn’t have time for is falling in love with Clay Jett, the incredibly handsome bass player who sweeps into town. She’s been burned by a tourist romance before and, with everything going on, Paisley will have to work overtime to protect her heart from Clay and his swoon-worthy ballads.

Christmas in Snow valley Banner

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo

Smashwords * iTunes

 

add to goodreads new

 

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 11/20/14

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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My Thoughts:

So far I have completed An Unexpected Kiss and have begun the second story in the set. An Unexpected Kiss was a delightful quick read, just the kind you are looking for at this time of the year. It’s all about finding love when and where you least expect it.

I hope you hop over to Amazon or where ever you enjoy purchasing your books and grab a copy. They are stories sure to please any romantic at heart.

Excerpts: 

An Unexpected Kiss by Cindy Roland Anderson

Unlocking her door, Lucy opened it and slid in behind the wheel. She closed the door, knowing Cole probably wondered what was wrong with her. Just as she started the car, a knock on the driver’s side window made her jump.

Cole stood there watching her, his face reflecting both a mixture of confusion and amusement. Lucy lowered the window, and he leaned down so they were eye level.

“Are you running away from me?”

Why did he have to be so direct?

“Yes.”

He grinned. “That’s the second time you’ve done this. I’m beginning to think you don’t like me.”

She snorted an unladylike laugh. “Right.”

“Don’t laugh. I’m getting a complex.”“

If it’s any consolation, it’s me not you.”

That earned her another perplexed look. “That’s a little cliché. I’m sure you can do better than that.”

Yeah, she could, but she didn’t dare blurt out how much she liked kissing him, and admit that that was what scared her.

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Pump Up Your Book Presents Finding Daddy Warbucks Virtual Book Publicity Tour

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PUYB Inside the Book

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Daddy Warbucks_cover (2) 2014 2 20 (1)Title
: Finding Daddy Warbucks
Author: David Hwa
Publisher: Wellworth, LLC
Pages: 180
Genre: Christian Fiction
Format: Ebook

We never know how God may lead us. The twists and turns of life often leave us confused and deflated. For 10-year-old Haley, the unexpected loss of her father was such a twist. When all is lost, a little light in the darkness can make all the difference. The world is a big place for a little girl. For that matter, it’s a pretty big place for anyone who has lost their way.

Hayley finds her solution in a modern day prince, but she can’t pull off this miracle by herself. Nick, an attorney struggling to save his job, wouldn’t seem to be much help to a little girl trying to create a miracle. But life has a way of bringing us the people we need most, at just the right time. Still, there is so much that could go wrong, especially when her headstrong mother doesn’t fall for the prince. But there’s something Hayley doesn’t see coming, something she can’t see. Something she doesn’t want to see, something that hides in the dark where she can’t go, something unspeakable.

Follow Haley’s journey into the light and see how redemption is there for anyone, even the condemned. And see how love can find you-even through the darkness.

Purchase for only $1 on Amazon in Kindle
Available in Paperback

 

For More Information

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PUYB Meet the Author

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David Hwa

David Hwa makes his literary debut with Finding Daddy Warbucks (2014) a tale of a little girl’s journey through loss, love and redemption.

David grew up in Kansas. He graduated with a music degree from the University of Colorado and went on to obtain a Master of Business Administration from Denver University, a law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law, and a Master of Laws from Georgetown University Law Center.

He practiced securities law for many years in Los Angeles, California with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. He later moved to Washington, DC where continued his securities practice with the Commission and later in private practice with the law firm of Bingham McCutchen LLP. Following the financial crisis of 2008, David moved back to Colorado and opened his own securities law practice.

David is single and lives in Aurora, Colorado with his two leopard geckos Gordon and Carlos. He spends his days writing, skiing, and occasionally dispensing legal advice, sometimes while on the ski slopes.

For More Information

My Thoughts:

Finding Daddy Warbucks was such a cute story. I know that sounds like a strange way to describe an adult book, but that is what it was. It was comic relief and had me chuckling throughout the book.

The story isn’t a deep story and that is one of the things I enjoyed most about it. It came around at a good time for me as I had just completed reading a very serious nonfiction book and need a little pick me up.

I don’t think it would be considered a spoiler if I say that the story is about a young widow with three children and upon hearing the mother tell her sister they could no longer afford to remain in Washington D.C., the children go into action. They begin a mission to find a father, “Daddy Warbucks”.

The writing was good and the characters were from everyday life. I think anyone will enjoy this book. It is light-hearted and definitely worth the time to read.

I am giving Finding Daddy Warbucks by David Hwa five stars.

Purchase for only $1 on Amazon in Kindle
Paperback

 

Divider 9PUYB Tour Schedule A
Divider 9October 6

Book featured at 3 Partners in Shopping

October 8

Book featured at Review From Here

October 9

Guest blogging at Bent Over Bookwords

October 10

Book featured at Queen of All She Reads

October 13

Guest blogging at Voodoo Princess

October 14

Book reviewed at Storeybook Reviews

October 16

Guest blogging at I’m Shelf-ish

October 20

Book featured at Melina’s Book Blog

October 21

Book featured at Book Nook Nuts

October 22

Guest blogging at The Revolving Bookshelf

October 23

Book reviewed at My Life. One Story at a Time

October 24

Book featured at The Literary Nook

October 27

Guest blogging at Literal Exposure

October 28

Book featured at Confessions of a Reader

October 29

Guest blogging at The Zen Reader

October 30

Book reviewed at Sincerely Stacie

October 31

Book featured at The Dark Phantom

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. 

Married One Night by Amber Leigh Williams (Spotlight – First Chapter)

 

Married One Night 2What happened in Vegas…followed her home! 

Olivia Lewis is not the marrying type. So when a wild weekend in Vegas leaves her with a surprise husband, she’s happy to sign anything to erase her mistake—even if that mistake is handsome, charming and comes with an English accent. Fortunately, her groom has other plans.

Bestselling author Gerald Leighton knows he can make his new bride fall in love with him—he just needs time. In exchange for a quickie divorce, Olivia grudgingly gives him a few weeks to attempt to woo her. And whether Olivia likes it or not, Gerald plans on using every second to win her heart!

Amber Leigh WilliamsAmber Leigh Williams lives on the Gulf Coast. A southern girl at heart, she loves beach days, the smell of real books, relaxing at her family’s lakehouse, and spending time with her husband, Jacob, and their sweet, blue-eyed boy. When she’s not running after her young son and three, large dogs, she can usually be found reading a good romance or cooking up a new dish in her kitchen. She is represented by Joyce Holland of the D4EO Literary Agency.

Her latest book is the contemporary romance, Married One Night.

For More Information

Available on Amazon in these formats: 

Kindle
Paperback

 

First Chapter:

Olivia Lewis woke up in a Sin City penthouse amidst petal-strewn, silk sheets. She bolted upright in bed…and groaned, wavering as the world turned. And turned again.

Okay, make that silk sheets, rose petals…and the most vicious hangover of her life.

Hissing, she pressed a hand over her eyes, the other on her head to stop the contents from sloshing around. Her mouth felt like sandpaper, and her stomach writhed. Obviously the obscene amount of liquor she’d consumed the night before was turning on her in sickly rebellion.

“Oh, holy moly,” she wheezed. “What the hell happened last night?” Peering around, she squinted against the desert sunlight streaming through the undraped floor-to-ceiling window that spanned the entire left wall of the bedroom. At the sight of several curiously unmentionable items scattered across the bed and floor, she became more than a little curious about the events of the previous evening. Especially when she saw the tattered remains of her red dress hooked on the wall sconce at the other end of the room.

Frowning, she lifted the covers and looked underneath. She was naked as sin. And she’d spent enough nights with men to know how she should feel the next day. With a groan, she laid back into the pillows and pulled the covers over her head.

So sometime during the night, she had snuck away from the bachelorette party for her friend Roxie Honeycutt and gotten frisky—very frisky—with an unknown man.

It wasn’t her first one-night stand. Nor did she think it would be her last. But considering she’d been the hostess of Roxie’s bachelorette party and it had been her idea to bring the bash to Vegas, Olivia felt shame rushing up to meet her.

She sighed, flopping her arms over her head. “Well done, Liv,” she muttered at the ceiling. It was painted with a mural complete with puffy white clouds and baby-faced cherubs.

How many inappropriate things had those cherubs seen last night?

Olivia pursed her lips, thinking back hard to what she could remember of the past twenty-four hours. She and her friends had flown into Vegas, then checked into their casino hotel room. They’d gone to a bar…no, a club. The venue had been packed elbow to elbow. Olivia’s other friend and invitee, Adrian Carlton, had kept ordering drinks for the three of them. Tequila shots. That would explain the gargantuan headache pounding away at the inside of Olivia’s head and the base of her neck.

Then…there’d been dancing on the parquet dance floor. And a man. Olivia braved the thumping, eyes watering as she thought hard to bring him into sharper focus. She got only an impression—tall. Tailored suit. A black necktie, which she’d had fun unknotting later here in the penthouse…with her teeth?
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During the Fall by Cheryl Murnane (Review)

Jenny and Alex are high school sweethearts intertwined in an idyllic romance that spans several decades. Their journey carries them through unexpected trials that challenge the security and the very foundation of their relationship. Jenny’s fears of losing the only man she’s ever loved quickly become overshadowed by a tragedy she couldn’t have imagined.

This is an emotional tale about how life can force you to grow when you least expect it. This provocative story will fill your heart with the belief that you can survive the most unforeseen and intense moments when you learn to trust.

 

 

I
Cheryl Murnane

CHERYL MURNANE lives in a suburb of Boston with her husband, two children, and dog, Mitzi. “During the Fall” is Cheryl’s first novel. As a practitioner of yoga, she lives a disciplined life, balanced by faith and family, and she believes that everything happens for reasons we may not always understand. Cheryl loves to hear from fans at http://www.facebook.com/cherylmurnaneauthor or at her website http://www.cherylmurnane.com

 

My Thoughts:

During the Fall is an inspirational book and a nice read. At the core of the book was the simple, yet profound message that we are not in charge; God is. It is a heart-warming story of a young Christian family that must go through a tragedy to find their faith.

While I found there were parts of the book that could have been edited down to make the story more concise, it was a great book.  The story showed a deep and profound love between the characters and their families. In today’s fast-paced world, we tend to get bogged down in the day-to-day mundane happenings and we forget to look at those we love as people. We tend to forget to open the door, pull out a chair, or even give our spouse a kiss hello. These are the important things in life and that is what the book was about. It gives the reader pause to check their own actions and to contemplate the important things in life.

I also loved the cover of the book. In addition to being a beautiful cover, it was a great cover for the story.

Even though I lost your Aunt Sally too soon, we knew we loved each other. I don’t think differently about it. She left this world with as much love as she could take with her.

I smiled, ‘You’re right Mom. I guess I need to make sure I give Alex as much love and attention as I can and appreciate the time we have together, because in the end, love is all there really is.’ I smiled, realizing those were the words my mother had said to me my whole life.

…I took a personal oath during my drive home on that sunny spring day to spread joy in my husband’s life, hoping it would fill both of us with an endless amount of love, so that in the end neither of us would ever forget the depth of our love for each other.

I am giving During the Fall four stars.

 

Purchase During the Fall 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. 

Persuaded by Misty Dawn Pulsipher (Review)

Persuaded Kindle CoverHanna Elliot had worn the ring faithfully at first. Some part of her still clung to the hope that all was not lost. As the days turned into weeks, she finally took it off and set it atop her dresser. When weeks gave way to months, the ring finally went back into its box, where it gathered dust until it was moved to Hanna’s unmentionables drawer. For the first few years, she had taken it out on the anniversary of the day she’d received it, allowing herself to wallow in what might have been.

She had been all but stamped out of Derick Wentworth’s mind.

Sure, he thought about her occasionally, especially on cloudless nights when he lay on the bow of the Laconia looking up at the stars. But as time went on, Derick began to feel grateful that it hadn’t worked out, for one thing was certain: if he ever did settle down, it would be with someone who knew her own mind. Someone who went after the thing she wanted without hesitation. Someone who would never allow herself to be persuaded otherwise.

Misty Dawn Pulsipher

Misty Dawn Pulsipher was born and raised in Utah. She attended Snow College where she developed a love for writing. Misty served as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Washington, D.C. area. She and her husband now reside in Maryland with their three children, two dogs, and the colony of squirrels that lives in their back yard. When she’s not writing or procrastinating an edit, Misty is reading, baking, sewing, playing the piano, or bribing her family to play Monopoly with her. Visit her Facebook page or author blog: mistydawnpulsipher.blogspot.com.

Available (Kindle) on Amazon

Amazon Paperback

My Thoughts:

I absolutely loved this book. Once you read the book, you realize just how much the cover depicts the story. I sometimes miss this by reading on a Kindle. When I read an actual physical book, I look at the cover every time I pick up the book and I do miss that sometimes.

The story was sweet with a few surprises thrown in and although you think you know the ending, there are a few places in the book that will make you doubt yourself.

Spoiler alert here (which I do not normally do) but I have to say it. What about the ring? That was truly the only disappointing thing in the entire book for me; to close the book and then remember that there was nothing about the ring. I will not explain it any further.

I read other reviews that indicated this story followed along with Jane Austin‘s Persuasion, which I have not read so I can’t compare. I did enjoy this sweet love story. It was a chance to see how two young people who didn’t work out in the beginning, get a second chance, and what they do with that second chance.

The writing was great and the errors were nominal in the book which made it an enjoyable read. The characters were well developed and I enjoyed all of them, not just Hannah and Derrick.

I’m giving Persuaded by Misty Dawn Pulsipher five stars and recommending it.

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. 

Montreal: Street Photography by Debra Schoenberger (Review, giveaway tour)

iRead Book Tour Logo Medium

 

Montreal Street PhotographyBook Synopsis:

Street photographer, Debra Schoenberger aka “girl with camera” captures the more unusual side of Montreal in her foot travels around the city. The images portrayed in the book are from 2010 to 2014

View more photos from her world travels on her profile page at Your Shot National Geographic.

Debra SchoenbergerDebra Schoenberger

My dad always carried a camera under the seat of his car and was constantly taking pictures. I think that his example, together with pouring over National Geographic magazines as a child fuelled my curiosity for the world around me. Although I worked in the field of photography for over 20 years, it wasn’t until very recently in 2010 that I bought myself a secondhand professional camera and started experimenting with street photography. I shot over 50,000 images that first year and gradually began to improve.

Photographers I admire are Vivian Maier, Robert Frank, Steve McCurry and Edward Steichen to name but a few amongst the many incredibly talented people over the last century.

Street photography is my true passion. Having a slightly off-kilter sense of humour helps keep me looking for the unusual.”

Connect with Debra:

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter

Where to buy the book:

Amazon Paperback

Blurb

My Thoughts:

Reviewing a photography book is new to me. I looked upon it as a memoir in picture form and I was excited to be a part of this tour.

I’ve never been to Montreal and I found the author’s photos intriguing. I have always been a fan of black and white photos and the mystery that seems to envelope them. I was not disappointed in the photographer’s work. There were also beautiful color photos in the book that lent themselves to a different part of Montreal.

I also liked that the author didn’t do a touristy book. She did a story in pictures of Montreal as it lives and breathes and that was refreshing. The photographer took pictures of things that I take pictures of. She captured the crazy. She captured compassion. She captured the fun of young children. She captured nature. Two of my most favorite photos in the book were two taken on snowy days; one of a long staircase with snow on the side, and the other a snow-in street. I loved those two.

“Street photography is my true passion. Having a slightly off-kilter sense of humour helps keep me looking for the unusual.”

I enjoyed this beautiful book and I think any lover of picture books would love to have this sitting on their coffee table to pick up and browse through. I am giving Montreal: Street Photography by Debra Schoenberger five stars.

 

Enter to win a copy of the book: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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. 

 

Behind the Glass by Kristen Morgen (Book Review)

Behind the Glass

by: Kristen Morgen
Publish Date: 6/30/14
Published by: Kristen Morgen
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Add to Goodreads

Rebecca Jordan’s life is simple, disciplined, and uncomplicated, at least on the surface. Then she meets a handsome stranger/secret admirer named Michael Vale one fateful late night at a bookstore café. As a focused but struggling photographer with a passion for art, her outwardly happy world is turned upside down during this life-changing encounter when she quickly realizes she has met her soul mate. The undeniable attraction between them and their intense, immediate connection seem picture perfect as they discuss the shop’s local artwork, until Rebecca abruptly ends the chance meeting with no explanation.

Betraying Brett, her loyal, loving boyfriend, is something Rebecca can never bring herself to do. Driven by a strong moral code and molded by divorced parents and a tumultuous childhood, she struggles to stay away from Michael, but fate and circumstance intervene, bringing them back together time and time again. As much as she resists, there is no denying her true feelings for him and the simple fact that Michael understands her in a way Brett never has. Michael proves to be everything she’s ever wanted, but remains just out of her reach.

Behind the Glass tells the story of Michael and Rebecca’s extraordinary love and the many unconventional stages their relationship must go through. Their morals and their faith in true love and in each other will be put to the test as they learn that meeting one’s soul mate does not come without obstacles.

Kristen Morgen

Kristen Morgen, an up and coming new adult contemporary romance author, can’t remember a time in her life when she didn’t crave designing, creating, discovering, and using her imagination in some way. Educated and trained as a licensed architect and working at her own architectural firm for many years, her true passion has always been writing. An avid reader from a very early age, the romance genre is admittedly her favorite guilty pleasure – a hopeless romantic to the end.

Kristen loves the art of shaping words and sentences into relatable stories while creating rich characters for her readers to connect with. She enjoys exploring relationships and discovering the little reasons people fall in love with each other while uncovering deeper truths. Honing her craft in her free time and choosing exactly the type of story she wanted to tell, Kristen presents Behind the Glass as her debut novel.

Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, she currently resides in Connecticut with her husband and two daughters. Never one to let her creative mind sit idle for very long, in her free time she is currently hard at work on her next novel and reads almost anything she can get her hands on.

Twitter – @kristenmorgen

Facebook – Kristen Morgen

Buy Behind the Glass for Kindle on Amazon

My Thoughts:

The cover to Behind the Glass is quite striking and once I began reading the book, I realized that it was a painting, which was fitting for the book and most appropriate.

I enjoyed the story, but there was something that took me a little while to put my finger on. The book was very emotionally detailed in the writing and allowed me little room for exercising my imagination. The writing was too perfect. Each emotion was described in such detail that I tended to lose track of what I was reading. I found that I didn’t care for this particular style of writing.

The ending of the story was predictable, but most books are and this wasn’t a problem for me. The story line is sugary and sweet with emotional turmoil thrown in throughout the book. I think that people who enjoy a good, predictable, sweet romance will love this book.

I have read a lot of books, but this is the first of its kind for me and I am a little unsure as how to rate it. Each individual sentence was a perfect sentence in its own right, but the story was too detailed for me. I enjoy exercising my imagination and this book didn’t allow me to do that. The story was there, although lost in the detail, so I am going to give the book 4 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. 

The Perfect Holiday by Michael Banebrook (Review)

The Problem…
At forty-eight, attorney Kori Sarcotti is taking a beating. Her husband is under investigation, the FBI is serving her warrants, and her firm is sending her on road trips just to get her out of the office. But when her grandmother, and woman who raised her, passes away, things go from bad to intolerable.

The Solution…
Not long after her grandmother’s funeral, Kori finds herself stranded in the small town of Mule Creek, where she meets unsophisticated rancher AJ Crawford. When AJ asks her a question that both shocks and delights her, she admits that her predicament had become ‘The Perfect Holiday’.

Michael Banebrook

Michael Banebrook was born in Tucson, AZ and spent most of my his in Utah. He loves to travel, and not only travel, but live over seas. According to Michael, “That’s how one really learns about the country and the people. I’ve lived in France, Guatemala, and Japan, each time for two years. I love to study foreign languages and Chinese is next on my list. Ni Hao ma? I’m married and have for kids. I love to hike, (not extreme, more like strolls through the woods) I like to cook and watch movies. I started writing a few years ago and I love it. I take my laptop with me everywhere and if I have even five minutes, I pull it out. It takes me a long time to read a book for two reasons, first, reading puts me to sleep. If you have that problem, then you know how frustrating it is. Second, I read analytically. I underline and take notes. I never read just for fun. I’m always learning. I love to hear from my readers, so touch base with me on twitter or on my blog.”

My Thoughts:

I’m going to begin with the cover in telling you my thoughts on this book. The cover was beautiful. It had an air of mystery about it which you feel as you read the book blurb. The cover and the blurb would definitely have drawn my attention in a bookstore and would have had me skimming the first few pages and then tossing it into my buggy.

I enjoyed the history of the characters as it intertwined throughout the book. I was surprised at how poignant this information would become towards the end of the book.

I also enjoyed the how the two protagonists appeared to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. On one hand, you have Kori, a sophisticated woman lawyer holding her own in a man’s world, and on the other side, you have AJ, a laid-back country cowboy with a slow drawl. As the reader, you sense that something is going to happen because of the tension sparking between them.

AJ has been widowed for a few years and dipping his toes in the dating scene via the internet. He’s just not finding “the” woman out there. Kori, is taking a back road vacation on the advice of her boss, who is really just interested in keeping her out of the office. Her car breaks down and we could say the rest is history, but it’s the history that keeps you riveted to the book and turning the pages.

The writing was good. The author did a great job of switching back and forth between the voices. There was great humor and teasing among the protagonists and their friends that lent an everyday conversation feel to the story.

I am giving The Perfect Holiday by Michael Banebrook five stars. It was an easy-going read that I really enjoyed and I think you will too.

Purchase on Amazon

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.