If You Believe by Mya O’Malley


Sometimes love only comes once in a lifetime. For some lucky people, it is possible to love again.
Melody and Jack had shared an unforgettable love story that abruptly came to an end. Melody, left picking up the pieces, finds herself alone years later, with no hope or desire to date again. With the holiday season approaching, Melody finds it particularly difficult to get Jack out of her thoughts.
Jack isn’t sure if he’s an angel or a ghost, but his mind is set on one thing only, finding a new love for Melody by Christmas Eve at midnight. Easier said than done, with many obstacles to tackle, Jack underestimates how difficult the task is. With conflicting emotions, Jack takes it upon himself to find a man for a woman he still loves.
With the clock ticking as the holidays approach, this charming story of finding love the second time around will have you laughing and crying, but ultimately, it will have you believing in true love.

Review – I’ll be reviewing this book in the near future. 

Buy on Amazon

Mya O’Malley was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, daughter and three step-daughters. The family also consists of two boxers; Destiny and Dolce and a ragdoll cat named Colby. Mya earned an undergraduate degree in special education and a graduate degree in reading and literacy. She works as a special education teacher and enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students.
Mya’s passion is writing; she has been creating stories and poetry since she was a child. Mya spends her free time reading just about anything she can get her hands on. She is a romantic at heart and loves to create stories with unforgettable characters. Mya likes to travel; she has visited several Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Costa Rica. Mya is currently working on her fifth novel.

Get Lucky Anthology – Nicola Marsh, Kelsey Browning, Robin Covington, Avery Flynn, Sarah Humphreys, Kimberly Kincaid

Available on Amazon for .99

Get Lucky Anthology

Six brand new Irish-themed contemporary, new adult and paranormal romance novellas that will give Get Lucky a whole new meaning.

From USA Today bestselling author Nicola Marsh – Walking the Line
Ellie is a decade older than Finn but that doesn’t stop the charming Irishman from wooing her.
Ellie doesn’t believe in the happily-ever-after dream any longer, not since hers imploded a long time ago. But can a smooth-talking Irishman sway a hard-hearted cynic to believe in love again?

From reader favorite Kelsey Browning – Amazed by You
Author’s assistant Olivia McLaughlin must pull off an extravagant St. Patrick’s Day garden party to win a coveted promotion, but her success hinges on landscape designer Cody Kavanaugh, her old high school boyfriend. Now, Olivia must decide which she can’t live without—the job that will make her a success or the man offering her a second chance at love.

From sizzling hot and bestselling Robin Covington – One Little Kiss
Trapped by a snowstorm in the same place at the same time, Leighton and Jonas must decide if their hot night together was the end of their story or if they started forever with just one little kiss…

From RT Book Review Award nominee Avery Flynn – Big, Bad Red
There’s nothing little or naive about this Red Riding Hood. Red runs the biggest fencing operation for fairytale treasures out of the back of Granny’s Pub. But when she comes into possession of the Caladbolg sword things get hairy–as in hot, sexy Liam MacTíre the werewolf hairy.

From paranormal darling Sara Humphreys – Luck of the Irish
Banished to the mirrored realm for hundreds of years, Declan Aherne had nothing but time to plot his revenge and mourn the loss of his beloved wife. But when a beautiful human woman, with a familiar amulet, stares into the mirror….Declan’s luck was about to change.

From the sexy sweet Kimberly Kincaid – Something Borrowed
When her successful brother announces his plans for an impromptu wedding in Ireland, unlucky-in-love chef Sasha Arrington is stuck between the Blarney Stone and a hard place. Sasha needs a wingman for her brother’s wedding, and the romantic destination could be just what James Sullivan needs to tempt Sasha out of the friend zone.

Purchase on Amazon

Review – I’ll be reviewing this book in the near future. 

USA TODAY bestselling author Nicola Marsh writes flirty fiction with flair for adults and riveting, eerie stories for young adults. Based in Melbourne, she has published 45 books and sold over 5 million copies worldwide. She writes contemporary romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon, Entangled Publishing and is self-published.

Kelsey Browning writes sass kickin’ love stories and co-authors Southern cozy mysteries. She’s also a co-founder of Romance University blog, one of Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers. Originally from a Texas town smaller than the ones she writes about, Kelsey has also lived in the Middle East and Los Angeles, proving she’s either adventurous or downright nuts. These days, she hangs out in northeast Georgia with Tech Guy, Smarty Boy, Bad Dog and Pharaoh, a (fingers crossed) future therapy dog.


Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her bestselling books. A Night of Southern Comfort, her debut novel was nominated for the RT Book Reviewers Choice Awards for Small Press and was touted by RT Book Reviews as bringing a “fresh, modern feel to the genre while still sticking to the things that get our adrenaline pumping — sex and danger”. Her books were also nominated for the Bookseller’s Best Award and the National Reader’s Choice Awards.

Robin lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband, brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!) and her beloved furbabies.

Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

Sara Humphreys is a graduate of Marist College, with a B.A. Degree in English Literature & Theater. Her initial career path after college was as a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me. In 2013 Sara’s novel UNTAMED won two PRISM awards–Dark Paranormal and Best of the Best.
She loves writing hot heroes and heroines with moxie but above all, Sara adores a satisfying happily-ever-after. She lives in New York with her husband, their four amazing sons, and two adorable pups. When she’s not writing or hanging out with the men in her life, she can be found working out with Shaun T in her living room or chatting with readers on Facebook.

Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance novels that split the difference between sexy and sweet, taking the traditional idea of boy-meets-girl and infusing it with a sassy magic all her own. She believes in fiery yet flawed characters destined for a crash-course in falling in love– usually the hard way– and injects her trademark humor as well as poignant touches into her writing to create her stories.


In Love with Death by Satish Modi – Media Blitz


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

Ashanti Omkar, cultural expert, Monocle

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Published by Birlinn Limited, May 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1780272146

$16.95 / £9.99 Ÿ 174 pages

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Not Without My Father 2

Can an epic adventure succeed without a hero?

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

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

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

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

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

For More Information

For More Information

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


Has Your Dad Ever Offered You Pee-Stained Nuts?

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

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

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

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

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

And over.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not exactly the best approach for a teenage girl.

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

And at eighty, I was running out of time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m very busy. And I love it.

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

How does Dad feel about these books?

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

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

Book Excerpt #1:


Talking Heads

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

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

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

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

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

Sometimes while naked.

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

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

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

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

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

He was only thirty-five.

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

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

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

The Metabolism Solution by Lisa Lynn – Guest Post

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


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

Lisa Lynn

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

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

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

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

Purchase on Amazon in Paperback

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

by Lisa Lynn

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

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

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


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

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

Not Without My Father banner

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

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

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

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

Andra Watkins 2

For More Information

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

Not Without My Father 2

Andra Watkins 3



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

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

For More Information

Andra Watkins 4

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

Book Excerpt 


Talking Heads

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

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

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

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

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

Sometimes while naked.

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

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

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

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

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

He was only thirty-five. Continue reading

The Temple of All Knowing by Lee Papa (Memoir Spotlight)


The Temple of All KnowingThe Temple of All Knowing (186 pp) is a memoir of one woman’s passage from personal and professional turmoil to spiritual awakening. A compelling straight forward and sometimes humorous account of the most personal of journeys as this 40-something woman finds herself in Sin City with promise of a new life, new husband and elderly mother living with her. She instead is uncovered as a central character in the deepest of possible challenges only to break through to discover her authentic spiritual self through a near death experience and a personal mission in Soul City – Las Vegas.

Book Excerpt:

The phone rang; it was Delphine. It was a Sunday afternoon early 2008. I took the call and moved to the denim-covered glider that was in my 3-year old son’s room to have the conversation.

My sister calling was not odd, but she opened with “Can you talk? I have an urgent message from Aunt Beatrice.”

My sister practices meditation in which she regularly communicates with Spirit beings and our dead relatives. In everyday conversation, Delphine would mention things like, “I spoke to Dad or Uncle John …” (both had passed), and relate a story or an emotional healing process she went through while receiving the communication. I thought this was amazing and believed in the possibility, when Delphine, or De for short, would discuss this other worldly messaging.

I would find myself having an internal dialogue debating if she was actually making this connection or was she delusional. When she would speak of something that she “received” from the Spirit world, and I would come to realize she could not have otherwise known, a fleeting twinge of jealousy peaked in the window of my subconscious. Could she really be speaking with Dad and Aunt Bea? And if she is, how come SHE is the one with this ability? I was not proud of it, but I was most definitely questioning the decision of the Universe to have Delphine be the messenger of heaven.

My sister was not the one of the three of us girls whom you would consider to be the “good” one or the most religious growing up, but actually to the contrary. She would have been described as the Bull in the China Shop by my mother, as the one most apt to finger point or cause trouble. Sophia, the eldest, had the first born light shining upon her by my mother and father, even though, she was what some would consider a problem child for she pushed the envelope of life in so many ways. Her antics included jumping out of the 2nd story building of our private high school to skipping class and developing the first female tackle football team in her teenage years, to much more complicated and explorative behaviors that provided my parents with reasons to call on prayer and saintly assistance.

Delphine was the quiet one as the middle child of our youth, until she found her voice later in her teens. She was often over-shadowed by the exuberance and manipulation of Sophia when she was being used as a co-conspirator for our eldest sister’s secretive escapades of the 1970s.  When I came around, my role of the “baby of the family” was not always appreciated by my older sisters, and as I matured, the less they liked this pedestal I was propped up on as “the good one.”

How is she doing it?  I thought. How is De getting these messages from Aunt Bea?

My elderly Aunt Bea had died more than 10 years earlier while in the presence of my mother, my sister, Delphine, one of my older female cousins, and me in the living room of our family home. I had lived in that house from the time I was born until I got married to my first husband, Anthony, at age 20.

Our house was a 3 bedroom, middle class row home in Baltimore City, Maryland. The 12 by 12 foot front room, where I grew up and where we watched TV programs on the console television that offered just three major stations for your viewing enjoyment. Although the room was small, when we were little and the family piled in to watch Sonny & Cher, it felt huge. As the entry room to our family home, I experienced most of my fond memories there. This is where we opened our Christmas gifts under our decorated 5-foot Frasier fir tree that stood seemingly tall, as if it could reach the stars on a wooden platform, to set the stage for this holiday focal point. In reality, the Christmas tree was no taller than the height I currently stand.

Christmas was a very special time in our Catholic family. Not overly religious, mind you, but the whole Santa Clause phenomenon was beautifully orchestrated with all the mystery and wonder that a child could hope to receive. The Christmas tree was secretly stored in the basement well of the stairs until we kids were all asleep and then my parents would work through the night to make a spectacular show of lights and hand-wrapped presents from old paper bags and twine adorned with our names scribbled on by “elves.” This was a tradition handed down from my mother’s family who grew up during the depression and fancy wrapping paper was a luxury. Christmas was magical!

After my parents would signal that Santa had indeed arrived, my sister Sophia and I would rush down the stairs to witness the light show of the tree, and we would tear through our presents leaving no time for individual gift lingering. Delphine, on the other hand, was not so quick; instead, she would slowly and methodically use her scissors to gently unwrap each gift with all the appreciation of an unwrapped Tiffany blue box that none of us had ever experienced. Later as we became adults, Delphine would prop herself preciously on the couch, and while filing her nails, would direct me to the spots on the tree that were missing lights and Christmas balls.

This is the same living room where my nature-loving father would let our hamster out of the cage while directing us three children to lie on the floor and make a circular barrier with our arms. That little chubby, furry rodent was a family pet, and we loved him. My dad loved animals, so we had a bunch of them from Dutch rabbits, to hamsters, cats, and frogs – but never a dog. My mother was afraid of dogs. The hamster outing was strategically orchestrated during the time of my mother’s weekly visit to the Farmers Market in downtown Baltimore across from the corner row house where she grew up, and where several of her sisters still lived. Mom would not have tolerated such nonsense and activity on her prized oriental rug. This was the room where my Aunt Bea allowed me to lie down on the sofa when I was a child, and she would stroke my head and rub my back until I would fall asleep. She had such a loving and confident manner. I always felt safe with her.

My mother’s side of the family was the most involved and influential in our lives, especially Aunt Bea. She was the family matriarch, our lifeline and leader.  She was loving, intelligent, strong, certainly had her opinions, some may say controlling ones, but if it weren’t for her emotional and financial support, we and her sisters’ and brother’s families would not have had as many essentials provided for and certainly not any niceties.

She was a savvy businesswoman, so deferring to her made sense. For her era, Aunt Bea was super cool and open minded, rising to heights in her profession at C&P Telephone Company when women were just starting to be acknowledged in the workforce. She was a petite woman with an incredible sense of style and pep in her step that oozed confidence and excitement for the possibilities of life. It also made it difficult to walk with her as she was down the block before you had taken your first step. Aunt Bea never married, but made her siblings’ families her own. Sometimes the involvement would have been considered today as “too much.” There is usually a price to pay when you are being rescued. But I loved her and I thought she was amazing, just as my mother did.  Aunt Bea was my mother’s best friend.

Aunt Bea believed in reincarnation before it was an accepted concept to consider openly, as this was the 1950s and 60s when my sisters and I were born. We were raised in a devout Catholic family, and such things were not dinner topics, nor was it on our radar at that time.

As easily as it was for me to pull up these cherished memories, it was the hope and promise that communication could continue from beyond death.


PUYB Meet the Author

Lee Papa’s start in the corporate world was in sales for the Hyatt Regency Hotel chain, which led to being head hunted by a NY based real estate developer. Lee spent the next 11 years as a key employee working in commercial real estate leasing and management in Baltimore, Maryland. Although, commercial real estate was now in her blood and she loved the art of the deal, a different road in the industry was presenting itself and that brought her to heading up the benchmarking division for a Los Angeles based real estate consulting firm. Her job had her traveling nationally and setting up programs to benchmark customer satisfaction. Understanding there was not a one shoe fits all approach to customer surveying, she embarked on her entrepreneurial journey and started with consulting to serve the customized needs of her clients.

Lee’s first book, The Temple of All Knowing, is a memoir of her several years journey prior to her near death experience, through the completion of the 6,000 square foot Ganesha Center in Las Vegas. The book details the roadmap from personal darkness through spiritual, emotional and physical transformation.

Since the completion of the manuscript the Las Vegas Sanctuary for the Spirit evolved by moving to a downtown Las Vegas location and now offers targeted classes and workshops while focusing on a Virtual Ganesha Center supporting individuals and corporations with programs and a Referral Network with expansive reach for optimal awareness.

For More Information

Always Yours by Kari March Blog Tour

Blog Tour Banner

Title – Always Yours (Always 2)

Author – Kari March

Genre – Contemporary Romance

Cover Photo by Daniel Erny

Cover design by K23 Designs




That was the only word Cam Greer, the son of a wealthy media mogul, had ever associated with women. When he met Amber Murphy his senior year in high school, he felt like, for once, this girl loved him for him. When she pursued her dreams and left Cam behind, Amber not only crushed Cam’s heart, she destroyed his future as well. He was left to start his life over, thinking the only woman that would ever truly love him was gone.

Cara Pratt has finally got her life on track. Ten years after watching her father literally walk out of her life, Cara has finally found happiness with a new stepfather and her high school boyfriend, Lance. Everything is going according to her plan, until a pregnancy test comes back positive. Once again, she finds herself watching the man she loves walk out
of her life, taking her future along with him.

When Cam and Cara spot each other across the bar at Maggie’s Place four years later, neither of them are interested in starting a relationship. They’re both a little unsure and completely untrusting. They try to fight the intense immediate attraction, realizing right off, the seriousness of their chemistry, but as hard as they try, they can’t.

As fate pulls them together, will their mistrust push them apart? As the smoldering embers from their pasts come blazing to the surface, fears are uncovered that neither of them are ready to face.

This is Cam and Cara’s story and can be read as a standalone.


Goodreads linkhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20799372-always-yours

Buy Links



Don't hurt me


Cam’s POV

“You know, since we’re on the subject,” I began, raising my eyebrows at her, “do you maybe want to invite me in?”

She shook her head at me as she chuckled a bit. “Do you ever think of anything else besides sex?” She started walking to her door and I followed her.

“No, not really,” I said, shrugging my shoulders. “It doesn’t help that I’ve done nothing but think about you for the past two weeks.” She grinned timidly over her shoulder at me as she unlocked the door. Leaning forward I swiped the hair off of the back of her neck as I softly said the next part in her ear, “Your sexy body, the way you cried out my name, and the look on your face when you came all over me, is all I’ve been able to see.” Her face flushed with color. “You’ve got my balls cussin’, firecracker, and there is only one thing that is going to make them stop.”

Spinning her around swiftly, I pressed my mouth to hers, kissing her hard. She moaned into my mouth and I lost it…Laying her down on the couch I climbed over her. Moving down my shirt, she continued her assault on the buttons—one by one, her fingers brushed against my skin, leaving a wake of warmth in their path.

Once she had it open, she pushed it over my shoulders and slid her hands over my chest as she made her way to my pants. Her touch was impulsive and desperate, like she craved me as much as I did her. I grabbed her wrists and pinned them above her head. Burying my face in her neck, I kissed and nibbled on her earlobe and she let out an inviting giggle. I continued down her throat and goose bumps broke out all over her skin.

Thrusting her hips upward, she tried to make contact but I denied her and pulled back. She whined a little and I couldn’t help but laugh—I loved making her squirm…



About the Author

I’m an Amazon bestselling, new adult, contemporary author. I’m a wife, mother of 2 amazing kiddos, photographer and owner at K23 Photography & Design, graphic designer and cover designer at K23 Designs, as well as an avid reader and blogger at A Book Whores Obsession! I have been married since 2004 to the most amazing man ever and together we have two amazing children.

I was born in Aurora, CO and still reside their today with my amazing family. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world. I have become accustom to bi-polar weather living here and I absolutely love getting all four seasons (although winters could be a bit shorter.)

I have a small obsession with Starbucks and gummy bears! They make the perfect writing snack! Wine helps a lot too especially with the late night writing sessions. I love the summer and everything that goes along with it, camping, swimming, boating, hiking, etc. I love to travel and Disneyland is one of my family’s favorite places to visit together. I have a dream of visiting so many places in the world such as Italy, Greece, Australia, Fiji, Bora Bora and New Zealand (just to name a few.)

Author Links

Website – http://karimarchauthor.wordpress.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/karimarchauthor?ref_type=bookmark

Twitter handle – @Kmarch23

Booktropolous – https://booktropoloussocial.com/index.php?do=/karimarchauthor/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7336531.Kari_March

Newsletter Sign up – http://eepurl.com/2vPvX


If you haven’t read Promise Me Always, here is some information on it too!!

ecover copy

Promise Me Always (Always 1)


Blake Bentley had a rough upbringing, never fully believing he was good enough for anything or anyone. After being left with a broken heart by his only girlfriend, Blake swore off relationships for good and turned to the only two things that made him feel sufficient – sex and firefighting.

Tessa Collins was brought up in the traditional ‘perfect’ family – loving parents, great sister, and amazing friends. After falling in love with Jared, her life was perfect – until he betrayed her. She has no idea that his betrayal could end up costing her more than just a shattered heart.

Blake and Tessa have been friends since high school. Never wanting to admit their attraction for each other, the two always remained close friends. Now, three years later, Blake and Tessa find themselves being pulled together by a force much greater than friendship.

Buy Links for Promise Me Always

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1iA5jCw

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/promise-me-always-kari-march/1118598015?ean=2940148191834

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/promise-me-always/id818676997?mt=11

Kobo – http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/promise-me-always

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5th Annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop October 15th to 31st


5th Annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

October 15th to 31st

You have a chance to win an Amazon Gift Certificate on my blog. There is a second prize – a set of 24 Personalized Bookplates.

To enter, follow my blog (click follow above or enter your email to the left), then leave a comment saying you followed with your name and email (for contact purposes.) That’s it!

The follow my blog entry is mandatory, but if you’d like to accumulate extra chances, you may follow me:

Instagram (see side bar) – leave your Instagram name in a comment

Facebook (see side bar) – leave your Facebook follow name in a comment

Twitter (see bar) – leave your Twitter follow name in a comment

Be sure and hop around for some more fun and prizes!

This is a Blog Hop169 prizes and counting!





Books that need MORE Attention Giveaway Hop!

Books that need MORE Attention Giveaway Hop

One of my favorite new authors is MK McClintock. I LOVE her books! I have a set to give away! Just follow my blog (see follow at the top) and leave a comment with your email.

I am also offering an Amazon gift certificate for giveaway – so that makes 2 prizes available for this giveaway!

For extra entries, you can follow One Story at a Time on Twitter – @OneStoryataTime

For another entry you can follow MK McClintock on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/MKMcClintockBooks

(Leave a comment saying you are following from My Life. One Story at a Time.)

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This is a Blog Hop!


– See more at: http://www.stuckinbooks.com/2014/08/hop-sign-up-books-that-need-more.html#sthash.y9hGr6JL.dpuf

His Secret Desire: A Tea Time Novella by Tracey Devlyn – Free for a Short Time!

A Tea Time Novella
26 pages
Amazon / Apple / ARe / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Google

A young lady is faced with the impossible choice of losing her precious racing stable or accepting the treacherous hand of her handsome, wealthy neighbor.

Lily Weston struggles to save her family’s racing stable while her brother’s gambling submerges them deeper into debt.  She’s confident their prized thoroughbred will win a substantial purse at a prestigious race in a month, however, the machinations of her handsome neighbor hurtles Lily into a web of deceit…and temptation.

Julian’s attempts at wooing Lily gently have gone unnoticed.  When her brother’s bungling efforts to save their indebted racing stable goes awry, Julian finds himself in a unique position to help his beautiful neighbor and grasp his secret desire.

Other books by Tracey Devlyn

The Coming Woman, based on the life of Victoria Woodhull by Karen J. Hicks (Spotlight and Excerpt)


At a time when Hillary Clinton is considering another run for the presidency, it might be helpful to consider the first woman who ran for president—and at a time when women were prohibited from voting!

The Coming Woman, by Karen J. Hicks, is a novel based on the life of feminist Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for U.S. President, 50 years before women could even vote!

Running for President wasn’t Victoria’s only first as a woman. She was also the first to own a successful Wall Street firm, the first to publish a successful national newspaper, and the first to head the two-million-member Spiritualist Association.

She was the first woman to enter the Senate Judiciary Committee chambers to petition for woman’s suffrage, her argument changing the entire focus of the suffragist movement by pointing out that the 14th and 15th Amendments already gave women the vote.

In her campaign for the Presidency, Victoria Woodhull boldly addressed many of the issues we still face today: equal pay for equal work; freedom in love; corporate greed and political corruption fueled by powerful lobbyists; and the increasing disparity between the rich and the poor, to name only a few. Her outspoken and common-sense ideas may shed a new perspective on the parallel conundrums of today’s world.

This bold, beautiful, and sexually progressive woman dared to take on society and religion. To make an example of the hypocrisy in what Mark Twain dubbed The Gilded Age, she exposed the extramarital affairs of the most popular religious figure of the day (Henry Ward Beecher). This led to her persecution and imprisonment and the longest, most infamous trial of the 19th century. But it did not stop her fight for equality.

Victoria’s epic story, set in the late 1800s, comes to life in a modern, fictional style, while staying true to the actual words and views of the many well-known characters.

The Coming Woman was published by Sartoris Literary Group in August 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Genre: Women’s Fiction / Historical

Praise for The Coming Woman:

“If you have a heart, if you have a soul, Karen Hicks’ The Coming Woman will make you fall in love with Victoria Woodhull.” – Kinky Friedman, author & Governor of the Heart of Texas

“What kind of confidence would it take for a woman to buck the old boy’s club of politics in 1872? More than 140 years pre-Hillary, there was Victoria Woodhull. This book takes you back with a breathtaking, present-tense bird’s eye view into a time when women’s liberation was primarily confined to one woman’s very capable, independent mind. I couldn’t put it down.” – Ruth Buzzi, Golden Globe Award winner and Television Hall of Fame inductee

“The Coming Woman is a great read and a long overdue biography written beautifully by Ms. Hicks. Victoria Woodhull comes alive in each and every paragraph; a vital strength and spirit in Woodhull propels her to run for president of the United States when women weren’t even allowed to vote! What a woman, what a book! An inspiring must read for every woman and any adventurous men! Thank you, Ms. Hicks for finally telling her colorful story.” – Jennifer Lee Pryor, author of Tarnished Angel: A Memoir and President, Indigo, Inc.

headshotKaren J. Hicks is retired and lives in Henderson, Nevada. She recently published her second novel, The Coming Woman, based on the life of the infamous feminist Victoria C. Woodhull, who was the first woman to run for U.S. President. Her first book was a self-help book titled The Tao of a Uncluttered Life. Karen served as in-house editor for author Steve Allen and has written several screenplays, as well as poetry, short stories, and essays. To learn more, go to http://www.karenjhicks.com/

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22921576-the-coming-woman

Chapter 1

The early spring drizzle on Great Jones Street doesn’t deter newsboys from hawking the April 2, 1870 headlines up and down the thoroughfare between the beer gardens and dance halls of the Bowery and the opulent emporiums of Broadway.

“Petticoat Politician Victoria C. Woodhull to run for President!”

“Indian raids in Wyoming!”

“Sergeant Patrick Gass of Lewis and Clark expedition dies at ninety-eight!”

The heavy, mahogany front door at No. 17 flies open. Victoria Woodhull, lithe and fair at thirty, skips lightly down the steps of the elegant four-story brownstone. Her bobbed and curled brown hair bounces gently against her high forehead. A diamond ring glitters on her right thumb.

“Queen of Finance takes on Government!” yells a newsboy.

Victoria smiles as she hails him. He hands her a New York Herald.

“So Mrs. Woodhull is to run for President, is she?” she asks. “What do you think of that?”

“No offense or nuthin’ to you as a woman, Ma’am, but it’s plum crazy.” The boy looks down and shuffles his feet.

Another newsboy waves and calls out, “Mornin’, Mrs. Woodhull! You’re stirrin’ things up for sure today!” He runs on yelling: “Bewitching Broker in dash to the White House!”

The mortified boy on the steps turns as red as the fresh rose pinned to the black velvet band at Victoria’s throat. She pats his cheek; her laughter is soft and melodic.

“Don’t be embarrassed, son. I’m sure you won’t be the only one of your opinion. And I shouldn’t have tricked you. Here’s an extra penny to apologize.”

“Thank you, Ma’am!” The boy scoots away, calling out: “Asa Brainard pitches fifteenth straight win for Cincinnati Red Stockings! New York Knickerbockers can’t stop ‘em!”

Victoria skips back up the steps, flipping through the newspaper. Glancing up as she opens the door, she spies tall, scarecrow-looking Stephen Pearl Andrews skirting puddles, hurrying toward her. His bony nose, bushy gray hair, and grizzled beard glisten with droplets of rain. His calf-length black coat flaps wildly in the breeze. Victoria grins and goes to meet him, blue eyes sparkling like sunlit waves. She takes his arm and Andrews’ wildness softens at her touch. He pats her hand.

“So did the Herald print your announcement?” he asks.

“The entire thing! And Ashley Cole wrote the perfect headline and introduction!”

“You are on your way to your destiny, la mia stella.”

Inside the house, Victoria walks past tall vases of fragrant flowers and a staircase that curls upward to the second floor. She stops at a marble statue of the famous Greek orator Demosthenes—classic tunic, laced sandals, laurel wreath on his head.

“Demosthenes’ promise to me as a child—that I would live in a mansion in a city surrounded by ships and rule my people—It’s all coming true! How do you say thank you in Greek, Pearl?”


Continue reading

Grandfather’s Uncle by Philip McQuillan (Review)

Growing up during the Great Depression, Philip had to contend with scarcity, hand-me-downs and a dearth of education options. His older brothers and sisters had all been “guided” into a convent or the priesthood. So how did Philip become a stalwart family man and neighborhood icon? Simply…he met Jean!

Philip had a passion for cooking, quoting Shakespeare and standing on his head. He could say stuff like “anything you can do I can do better” and yet remain a humble man. He had to be humble as Jean could be a hard taskmaster. He once said that his existence under her driving force was “survival of the fittest.” Not one to complain, normally he was willing to be at Jean’s beck and call.

The story begins with a glimpse of his pre-Depression origins, then fast-forwards almost forty years to his colorful home life, favorite hobbies and the mini-obsessions that made him such a memorable character. Philip’s little recipes, his night job as a radio announcer, his board game “crimes” and his love for horse racing, golf and gardening all combine to paint the richly detailed portrait of a man we cannot help but grow to love.

Philip Jude McQuillan was born in 1954 in Michigan. He spent his early school years in Philadelphia, PA and Vineland, NJ. After a brief career in commercial shipping, he moved to Costa Rica and spent 20 years there raising a family, teaching English and Spanish in his free time. In 2001, he returned to the US with his second family, and eventually moved back to his hometown to spend time with his father in his waning years.

A first-time author, Philip draws inspiration from his father Philip Louis McQuillan.

He encourages everyone to write about someone they knew and loved. Having passed away, their stories are sacred memories. Please do not let them be forgotten. Whether you decide to author a book of your own, or choose to add a story to this book, your gain is the same- you will enrich your life and the lives of your children.

I would love to hear your story! You can reach me at mcquillanphil@gmail.com or on Facebook at Phil McQuillan.

My Review:

Grandfather’s Uncle is a wonderful book written in a Reader’s Digest style. We all love hearing the stories of the generations before us and Phil McQuillan has taken the stories that have filled his life and compiled them into a book that is a heart-warming read and offers the reader an opportunity to see who McQuillan’s father was and how entertaining he could be. His father loved Shakespeare and words and this was truly a part of the story that I loved. I love words and I was entertained by the numerous quotes and words. His father was a man who not only loved the English language, but used it to its fullest. I also liked how the author used a bold font to set these apart from the other words.

McQuillan has worked hard to ensure that the memories of those who knew his father and those who loved him most are not forgotten. It is a wonderful read and such a treasure to leave behind for the generations who will only know the man through the stories handed down by each generation.

I am giving GRANDFATHER’S UNCLE five stars.

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


Purchase Grandfather’s Uncle in these formats: 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 was 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. 


A Groom with a View By Sophie Ranald (Book Release Promo)


AGWAV coverA Groom with a View

By Sophie Ranald

Release date 20 June 2014


When you’re tying the knot, you can end up in a tangle…

Nick and Pippa have been an item since forever, but they’ve always said marriage isn’t for them. That’s until, in a moment of mad romance, they find themselves engaged.

Pippa knows she’s no bridezilla – and she’s definitely not expecting Nick to get swept off his feet by plans for floral centrepieces, vintage cake-stands and colour coordinated everything. Then Nick’s mum gets involved, secrets from Pippa’s past threaten to surface, and planning their perfect day begins to tear Nick and Pippa apart.

This eagerly anticipated second novel from Sophie Ranald is a funny and poignant romantic romp. If you love Tracy Bloom, Mhairi MacFarlane and Sophie Kinsella, then say “I do” to A Groom with a View.

A GROOM WITH A VIEW is available in these formats (click one)
and in the UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00L4DXSO2/


Sophie Ranald’s first book – It Would be Wrong to Steal my Sister’s Boyfriend (Wouldn’t It?)

can be purchased in these formats (click one)


My Life in Review – Never let it be said that life is dull

Never let it be said that life around me is dull; I’ll just make my own fun. Yesterday was mow the yard day. Trawling season here in South Louisiana opened so Hubby was occupied for the day and I was looking for something to do.

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photo 5 (2)Ryka and Calypso love to ride the new mower so after all was said and done (the yard mowed) it was have some fun time. I pulled up to the kennel and cut the blade, and they both came running out, actually stumbling over each other in their haste to see who was going to climb up on the mower first. This surprised me as Ryka doesn’t seem to trust me. She’ll ride with Hubby, but is quite hesitant if given the opportunity to ride with me. Kind of makes you wonder…but Calypso? Now, that is a throw-back to the 1960s. She is the wild child and doesn’t think twice about anything. She leaps without looking. It’s all about fun.

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Now, you may think I’m a little crazy because how do I know what my dogs are thinking? Clearly, if that’s the case, you don’t have a dog (and not everyone wants a dog). Ryka is the regal one. She sits like a queen, acts like a queen, gets treated like a queen. Of course, she’s earned it. She came to us fully trained, but sadly only listens part of the time. When I call her, she sometimes just sits there and looks at me. Just like a teenager! I’ll tell her to “come” again and she’ll put her head down and give me the sad eye look. Generally, the third time I call her, she’ll slowly drag her body up – like it’s a huge chore – and walk on over, hoping there will at least be food. On the other hand, if she thinks there’s a belly rub coming, she’ll flip over in a nano second.

Calypso – what can I say? She’s the wild child. She’s half Ryka’s age at 3 and has Doggie ADD. She loves spring – she loves any season. She loves the cold and wet and mud in the winter. She loves the cool days of fall and spring. But, she especially loves the summer months with swimming and bugs. Actually, she loves water period. She loves chasing anything that flies by. I love sitting on the porch swing watching her run back and forth. If you’ve ever watched a cutting horse, you’ll understand. She is very graceful. She runs and cuts and heads back and spins on a dime. Shepherds are very powerful animals and to watch her run and gain speed and cut is actually quite a beautiful dance. What is particularly interesting to watch is when a mosquito hawk (dragon-fly) lands on the chain link fence. She does a series of tapping with her back legs until she gets her position just right and then up she goes on those hind legs and grabs the bug without ever touching the fence – that is grace. Then, in a New York second she’ll bite your finger trying to get her doggie cookie – we’re working on that one. I can feed her ham or cheese and she is quite careful about nibbling it out of my fingers as not to bite (I’m constantly trying their patience on that one so they remember not to bite the hand that feeds them), but if I have a dog cookie, she’ll take my fingers off in the process. I’m still scratching my head on that one.

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Signs have been popping up all over the parish (we are in Louisiana) in the shape of forks. It’s all about tourism. I was at a meeting focusing on our Parish Comprehensive Plan (I’m on the Planning Commission) and there was talk about a new fork that had popped up. To us, who live here on the bayou, it depicts a little humor. It is so often the answer when someone is asking directions – “It’s up the bayou” or “It’s down the bayou.” It is a phrase I even find myself using it quite a bit. I’m a transplant to the area and never gave it a second thought until one of my daughters asked me – “How do you know what is up the bayou and what is down the bayou?” I guess it’s one of those relevant things – if you are here, that’s up and that’s down. Move a little and what was up is now down, or visa versa. Anyway, I thought you might enjoy the sign and a little trivia. This particular sign can be found once you exit the interstate, (which crosses Bayou Lafourche) and you circle around to Louisiana Hwy. 1 which runs with the bayou. Instead of Raceland or Lockport, it just simply states “Up the Bayou” or “Down the Bayou.” You have only those two choices.

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I did have a little excitement this week. I attended a meeting and then headed off to grocery shop. My habit is to put my keys in my pocket when I exit my vehicle and then lock the doors. That way, I NEVER forget my keys. There’s that word I NEVER try to use because it always comes back to bite you – NEVER! About half way through shopping I happened to run my hand down my side and realized in a panic that I didn’t feel my keys. At that point I tore my bag apart searching, hoping frantically that I had tossed them inside. No keys.

I did my best to calm down and then began praying in earnest. I completed my shopping and retraced my steps back to the truck. No keys. At this point I was beginning to panic. I stepped up to the window and there on the console were my keys and after my initial excitement, I realized they were locked in and I was locked out. And, to make it worse, Hubby was at a meeting 40 miles away and that person had picked him up at our house – 15 miles “down the bayou” and that is where his set of keys to my truck were. Not a good situation and to make matters worse, it was 6:00, the time his meeting was set to begin. I was quickly adding up the miles involved to get my truck opened – 40 + 15 “down” + 15 “up” + 40 back to the meeting = I had better find another way into the truck.

photo (1)Then I remembered – ONSTAR!!! Then, I thought oh no, how do I call OnStar? I am one of those people – the one who is so organized, she panics that maybe that is the one time the information won’t be found. I did have my phone and I called. The kind lady asked how could she help and of course, being me, I told her my keys were locked in my truck and I was locked out of the truck. The whole process took less than three minutes. I gave her the needed information and she told me to step away from the truck and the locks popped up. Magic! Needless to say, there was a whole lot of prayer thanking going on.

I’m sure those weren’t all of my adventures, but I think I’ve blocked the rest out. See you next week!

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Review – Confessions of a Paris Party Girl by Vicki Lesage

If you are a follower of my blog, you know that I’m a bit of Lucy. I just finished reading a cute and funny memoir that I think you’ll enjoy. Did I mention that she’s a bit of a Lucy too?

confessions-of-a-paris-party-girl-book-coverDrinking too much bubbly. Meeting sappy Frenchmen who have girlfriends or are creeps or both. Encountering problème after problème with French bureaucracy. When newly-single party girl Vicki moved to Paris, she was hoping to taste wine, stuff her face with croissants, and maybe fall in love. 

In her first book, this long-time blogger and semi-professional drinker recounts the ups and downs of her life in Paris. Full of sass, shamefully honest admissions, and situations that seem too absurd to be true, Vicki makes you feel as if you’re stumbling along the cobblestones with her. 

Will she find love? Will she learn to consume reasonable amounts of alcohol? Will the French administration ever cut her a break?

  • File Size: 1679 KB
  • Print Length: 239 pages

vicki-lesage-author-photoVicki Lesage is an IT Director by day, writer by night. And a full-time nerd. She loves fondue, wine, math, and zombies. She lives in Paris with her French husband and rambunctious son.




My Review:

There are a tremendous amount of self-published memoirs on the market today and I’ll be the first to tell you that many shouldn’t be there – not that everyone doesn’t have a story to tell, but that not all stories should be published and let loose on the world. I have had the opportunity to muddle through many of them and CONFESSIONS OF A PARIS PARTY GIRL by Vicki Lesage is not one of those.

Vicki headed off to Paris, almost as a default destination, to have an adventure and hopefully meet the love of her life. What she found was not quite the fairytale she had expected. It exceeded her expectations, but not before making her second guess herself a few times as she learned to navigate a strange country and finally find her place in it.

CONFESSIONS OF A PARIS PARTY GIRL is her story and is told in a candid and humorous voice, and it was a delight to read. I laughed throughout the book as she finally found the apartment she sublet and through her journey of finding friends and handling the “loving” Frenchmen along the way. She takes us along for the ride as she satisfies her appetite with wonderfully decadent French croissants and the rowdy bars where she enjoys a karaoke existence. Vicki gives us a first hand accounting of what it is like to be an American in Paris.

Few memoirs have held my attention the way this book did. The book was not only well-written, it was intelligently written, and of course, the character well-developed! Confessions is not just another memoir, it is a truly entertaining read. I am giving CONFESSIONS OF A PARIS PARTY GIRL five stars and I would definitely recommend it.


Kindle OR  Paperback


Parisian bakeries are world-famous for being awesome. French women are world-famous for being skinny. The two must have never met because I don’t see how these women stay so svelte when there are thousands of calories staring them in the face.

And boulangeries are more prolific in Paris than Starbucks are in the United States. On a stroll to the post office (they have an absurd amount of those, too) it’s not uncommon to pass three or four bakeries. How on earth can you resist?

With time I’ve mellowed and am usually able to escape with just one carb-laden item. But in the beginning, I had to peel my face away from the glass as the boulangère called, “Client suivant!” Next!

“Une baguette, s’il vous plaît.” A baguette was mandatory so that I could make a sandwich or spread some cheese on it or carry it around town to look like a local. To go with it I could order a croissant or a pain au chocolat (which is like a croissant but with chocolate running through it) or a suisse au chocolat (which is like a pain au chocolat with some creamy, wonderful, artery-clogging substance running through it). It was the toughest choice of my day.

The baker interrupted my thoughts. “Avec ceci?” To my not-yet-fluent ears, it sounded like “Avec soucis?” “With worries?” I guess it’s a weird take on the Australian “No worries” phrase. Glad that the baker had no worries about my baguette, I ordered a croissant, too. The baker gave me an odd look but that was nothing new – it happened nearly every time I spoke French. I paid and went on my way. Not the smoothest of transactions, but I had warm, buttery, gluten-y products in my hands. All was good.

Later that night, I stopped in at Ammo’s bar. Sipping the froth off the top of my beer, I asked, “So what’s with the bakers here saying ‘avec soucis’? Is it some Australian thing?”

By the blank stare on her face, I knew I had said something stupid. “Avec SOO-see, you’re saying? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”

That was maybe one “ha” too many. I got it. I must have been wrong about something. But what?

“They’re saying ‘avec SUH-see’, you know, like ‘Anything else with that?’”

Oh. Ohhhhh. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh. Now it made sense. And now I realized just how dumb I had looked. Not only did I brush off their “Anything else?” question, but I’d replied by ordering something else. Why haven’t these people kicked me out of their country yet?

The best I could do is learn from it and do better next time. I’d have to get used to embarrassing myself until I mastered the language.

Ready for another drink, I asked Anne Marie for a pint of lager. “Avec SOO-see?” she replied.

Well played.


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 was 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. 

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Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester (Review)

Rick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige’s father nearly destroyed Abby’s spirit.

Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers, and they’re hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She’s very protective of the life she’s made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn’t know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her. What happens when the life you’ve dreamed of remains just inches from your grasp?

PRESSED PENNIES is a nuanced, intensely romantic, deeply heartfelt story of love it its many incarnations, relationships in their many guises, and family in its many meanings. It is the most accomplished and moving novel yet from a truly great storyteller of the heart.

Steven Manchester is the published author of Pressed Pennies, The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy and Jacob Evans, as well as several books under the pseudonym, Steven Herberts. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN s American Morning and BET s Nightly News. Recently, three of Steven’s short stories were selected 101 Best for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his children, writing, or promoting his works, this Massachusetts author speaks to troubled children through the Straight Ahead Christian Program, as well as Street Speakers; a talented group of high school poets from the Whaling City Alternative School.

My Review:

I have been fortunate to read and review other books by Steven Manchester and I have to say that I’ve never been disappointed. His writing is absolutely exquisite and heart warming. His books are full of emotion and you can’t help but fall in love with the characters. There’s a lesson about life in every book, and PRESSED PENNIES is no exception.

In Pressed Pennies, the question is asked, ‘Have we traded the American Family for the American Dream?’ In answering, Steven Manchester puts his finger on the pulse of American family life today. –Richard Allen Taylor

Steven Manchester’s books are about broken people (I guess that why I identify with them) and their journey as they learn to love and trust again. I am not one to regurgitate the book blurb or give away the story; if you are a fan of Steven’s, then you’ll enjoy this book. If you haven’t read one of his books, there’s no better place to start than this book. I am giving PRESSED PENNIES five stars. I am a huge fan of Steven’s and can’t recommend his books enough. If you want a book that will touch your heart – go – buy – read!

I will be doing another post soon with a guest post by Steven. Be sure and check back for that!
Purchase PRESSED PENNIES on Amazon here: PaperbackOR  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 was 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. 


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Kissing: A Field Guide by Bestselling author and columnist Violet Blue (Review, Excerpts, Giveaway)

Sometimes words are not enough and the only way to express how much someone means is through the language of a kiss. Kissing is a form of expression and a form of art. Like a dance, it can be a passionate whirlwind of desire, or it can be a sweet and tender harmony between two souls perfectly in sync. Kisses are seals of approval, invitations for more, a reminder of love when words can’t measure up.

A book that will have you grabbing your loved one to practice a few smooches, Kissing: A Field Guide by bestselling author and columnist Violet Blue presents an indispensible guide to everything you need to know about kissing. Learn how to time your kisses, when to receive and give a kiss, and to choose and perfect your own unforgettable kissing style. Recognize when to create tension and take your kiss to the next level. Discover all the secrets and techniques to this overlooked sensual art form and become a master of the kiss.

From the Back Cover:

The Kissing Bible 

Kissing is an art form and Violet Blue shows you every trick for the ultimate lip lock in this indispensable field guide, which includes a foreword by bestselling author William Cane. She helps you choose—and perfect—your own unforgettable kissing style. Learn how to time a kiss flawlessly, how to deliver (and receive) a first kiss, and how to ask for kisses with body language. If you’re tired of being a one-date wonder or want to turn up the heat with your honey, these tips and techniques guarantee confident canoodling. You’ll have all the advantages in the game of love as Violet divulges her secrets for a five-alarm kiss.

Sexy Secrets You’ll Learn Inside:

  • First Kiss Do’s and Don’ts
  • How to Get That Kiss Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime
  • Kissing Kung Fu and Make-Out Mojo
  • Attraction Accelerators
  • Why Great Kissers Have the Most Fun
Image of Violet Blue

Ms. Violet Blue is an investigative tech reporter at CNET, Zero Day, ZDNet, and CBS News, as well as an award-winning sex author and columnist, making her the foremost expert in the field of sex and technology. She has authored and edited several award winning, best selling books in eight translations. Ms. Blue is on Twitter @violetblue and her human sexuality blog is tinynibbles.com.

Blue has reported on hacking, cyber crime and personal privacy violations in countries such as Malaysia, Germany, Russia, China, the Dominican Republic, the United States, and Serbia. Her work as a journalist has broken many large stories about hacking and cybercrime, affecting the largest online companies and millions of users. Blue is the journalist who broke the story when Anonymous hacked The U.S. Federal Reserve (“The Fed” Bank), the story in which social sharing app Snapchat was hacked and its user database maliciously exploited, and the story when Comcast was hacked and millions of user accounts were compromised. She is also responsible for breaking several critical stories in which Apple iMessage and Apple iCloud were exploited, and when hackers showed how to hack an Apple iPhone in 60 seconds.

Blue has appeared on CNN and The Oprah Winfrey Show and is regularly interviewed, quoted, and featured in a variety of publications that include ABC News and the Wall Street Journal. She has been a sex columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle.

She has been at the center of many Internet scandals, including Google’s “nymwars” and Libya’s web domain censorship and seizures–Forbes calls her “omnipresent on the web” and named her a Forbes Web Celeb. She has given keynote talks at such conferences as ETech.


My Review:

When I was first approached about reviewing KISSING: A FIELD GUID I thought it would be a fun book. Turns out, I was correct.

The book begins with a little test to determine where you fall as a kisser. I thought – what fun! I’ll get Hubby involved in this escapade too! While I won’t go into the questions, I will share a few of the types of kissers.

“If you answered mostly ‘A’, you are Sweet Lips. You’re sweet as sugar, and your kisses are, too…

If you answered mostly ‘B’, you are a Power Puss. Mack Daddy, meet Mack Mama. Your lips like to boogie, but before they hit the dance floor, they like to taste, road test, and compare…

If you answered mostly ‘C’, you are Hot Lips. Your kisses are like a wildfire, and if you have your way, it’ll take a station full of firefighters to control the blaze…

If you answered mostly ‘D’, you are Pure Delicious Poison. Remember supervillainess Poison Ivy? She’s just a shrub compared to you. A kiss from you, blown on the wind, has been known to wilt flowers and make babies cry miles away…”

You’ll be so curious, you’ll want to pick up the book just to take the test!

The book is literally – and take me at my word – a field guide to kissing. There is even a First Kiss Do’s and Don’ts. A few of those are:

“Do smile a lot, even while kissing. Do keep eye contact. Do make sure you have nice breath. Do remember to come up for air. Do start slow…”

There are sections titled “Talented Tongue” and “Mouth Moves”. The book is about kissing and developing your style, plain and simple. It’s a fun, fast read and if you are looking to spice up your relationship – just a little – I recommend the book. Who doesn’t love a hot and steamy make-out session on the couch? At any age? Read it with someone and be prepared for a whole lot of fun!

I am going to give KISSING: A FIELD GUIDE five stars. I love kissing!

Purchase your own copy on Amazon in these formats and enjoy your next kiss!


 I’ve decided to giveaway the copy I received for review. If you would like to be entered to receive your very own copy, just leave a comment with your name and email! I would love if you followed my blog for more stories and giveaways, but to enter, it is not necessary.


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 was 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.


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She’s b-a-c-k…from life’s distractions, family drama, medical appointments, and shopping

I’ve been kind of missing in action lately, but I’m back. Hope there is someone out there that noticed, after all, we all like to know we’ve been missed.

My husband has been suffering with a neck injury with different diagnosis coming in from a chiropractor, a PCP, a doctor of physical medicine, and now a physical therapist. One was insistent that cracking the neck and back was going to fix it. While I didn’t agree with the method, I was willing to support my husband’s choice to try non-evasive first (although in my opinion, that constitutes evasive). With that treatment ending and the symptoms worsening, we then took it to the next level and medical doctors. We know there is arthritis in his neck, but none of this was explaining the numbness and pain radiating down his arm.

After x-rays and an MRI, we are now in physical therapy and at least things are beginning to make sense. The therapist was able to isolate the nerve causing the pain and some interesting things have begun to happen. Hopefully, improvements will follow. Seems between the two of us, we’ve been making a few too many trips into New Orleans to Ochsner.

Physical therapy is proving to be quite the interesting journey. Luckily, we found a wonderful therapist who doesn’t mind being asked questions and explaining everything going on. I have been known to irritate even the nicest of doctors with my questions. I never left the “why” stage behind. She would do something and I’d ask what she was doing, why she was doing it, and what she hoped the outcome would be. I was very impressed because she is very open with us. She is also confident that the nerve is not permanently damaged and she can restore what has been damaged through treatment. After three months of horrible pain, it is nice to see Hubby finding some relief. The physical therapist also uses dry needling and that is interesting.

I only have one comment. If that is how women act when they are PMSing, geez, no wonder we get on everyone’s last nerve!

Our latest trip into New Orleans this week was for follow-up blood work and an ultra-sound for me. The numbers having to do with my liver and gall bladder were elevated. I have two rare blood disorders and have blood work done every six months to monitor my elevated red cell count and platelet count. Those numbers are elevated, but within the same high range they have been for a year. I have to admit that if I get another tech that hurts me the way this one did, I’m calling for someone new. I have a huge bruise on my arm. She stuck me and then moved the needle around for a while (which, by the way I could feel) before she managed to hit the vein. I don’t watch, but I could feel it and it hurt. I told Hubby he needs to be my advocate next time and instead of watching, needs to stop them. He said had she moved it one more time, he had decided that he was going to stop her and call for someone new.

On the bright side, I did a little shopping this month and bought some cool stuff. I’ll be sharing those goodies throughout the week. First up are my little books from May Designs. I have recently returned to journaling and a pretty book is always enticing and I love these. I also have one for the Facebook group 360/30. The group gives a month’s worth of thought-provoking prompts at the beginning of each month. And I use the third for my medical records.

Don’t you just love them?


And where do you put such pretty little books? Well – in a pretty little pouch. I found these cute Hadaki bags on-line. It came in a set of two, one of which was the perfect size for my little books, along with a pretty colored pen for each book. You’ll come to notice I’m more than a little obsessed with pretty pouches. I have amassed quite a collection through the years and I love mixing them up and using them for different purposes. One can never have too much pretty pretty.

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I even received a cute pink lollipop!
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I decided to leave the pretty green ribbon that held them together. I cut it and tied a piece to each zipper.
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The colors are so bright and cheerful.
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I even used the pretty pink envelope that came inside. I hole punched it to fit my planner and then used one of my Martha Stewart punches to make the cute top design, then added stickers.
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Even the inside lining is pretty.

I recently found a couple of shopping apps and I’ve been trying them out. You receive a list of items each week and if you purchase any of them, you can earn money back. It isn’t always items I use, but I’ve managed to rack up about $4 for just buying what I already buy. One is Checkout 51 and the second is Ibotta. I think they are available for both iPhone and Android.

I also use Grocery IQ as my grocery list app. It is connected with Coupon.com and I was able to utilize a few coupons there as well. One was for antiperspirants. It’s no secret that I love my Secret – unscented that is. When I sweat I do not want to smell like baby powder sweat, or citrus sweat. Anyone else with me? Well, being Southern I suspect that if I am invited on a picnic – and sweat – those in attendance will sniffing the air to see who smells like the Ambrosia (with a twist of sweat.) My new deodorant, thanks to a coupon, is Secret Citrus (I kid you not!) I truly just do NOT want to smell like something when I sweat. The best case scenario would be to not smell, but do you really want to smell like Spring – with a touch of sweat? Who thinks up these fragrances? We truly need to have a sit down with them – and soon.

We had a little family drama this week as well. If you follow my blog, you know that I adore my German shepherds. Ryka never darts out in front of the truck when we come through the gate, but this time she did. I had just closed one gate after Hubby came through and was starting to close the second when I looked up and saw Ryka start to cross in front of him. It happened so fast. The truck bumper hit and flipped her and then she rolled to a stop as Hubby did, right against the tire.

I did what any good Southern lady would do. I let out a blood curdling scream. Jamie Curtis in Halloween doesn’t have anything on me! I think I frightened Ryka more than getting hit by the truck did, but thankfully, she got up and walked away. I still shudder when I think about it. I was quite upset the entire afternoon and that night I spent about an hour just cuddling and playing and rubbing them before I came inside.

I was always concerned about Calypso because she insists on running down the drive in front of the truck and escorting us to the garage. Before the truck, we had a suburban and we could at least see her ears as she galloped along. The truck is so high, she would have to be a horse to be seen. Ryka always lagged behind and this was completely out of character for her. As they say, “All’s good in Hollywood,” at least momentarily.

There were loads more adventures and family drama this week, but I’ll save that for another day. As always, thanks for taking the time to visit here and I wish you a wonderful weekend. I have a book giveaway, so if you love a good romance, be sure and leave a comment there. The book is Waiting on You and the link is: http://mylifeonestoryatatime.com/2014/04/05/waiting-on-you-by-kristan-higgins-review-giveaway/

Thanks for visiting!



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Anybody’s Daughter by Pamela Samuels Young (Spotlight)

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: Anybody’s Daughter
Author: Pamela Samuels Young
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Goldman House Publishing
Pages: 376

Purchase at AMAZON

Is Anybody’s Daughter Ever Safe?

Based on the real-life horrors faced by thousands of girls, award-winning author Pamela Samuels Young takes readers deep inside the disturbing world of child sex trafficking in a fast-paced thriller that educates as much as it entertains.

The opening chapter of Anybody’s Daughter introduces readers to thirteen-year-old Brianna Walker. She’s ecstatic because she’s about to sneak off to meet her first real boyfriend—a boyfriend she met on Facebook. But Brianna is in for a horrifying surprise because her boyfriend doesn’t exist. Instead, Brianna unwittingly becomes the captive of a ring of drug dealers-turned-human traffickers who prey on lonely girls from dysfunctional homes. But they’ve made a big mistake in targeting Brianna because she doesn’t meet either of those criteria.

Brianna’s Uncle Dre, a man with his own criminal past, is determined to find the niece who is more like a daughter to him. Rather than sit back and rely on police to bring Brianna home, Dre scours the dark corners of Los Angeles looking for her. He is stunned to learn that the trafficking of children isn’t just happening in other countries. It’s occurring at epidemic levels right in his own backyard.

Dre is not alone in his desperate search. Loretha Johnson knows this world well. A social worker who previously lived “the life,” Loretha now dedicates her time to saving as many young girls as she can find. She turns out to be an invaluable resource for Dre, who ultimately gets a lead on The Shepherd, a mastermind in the trafficking world whose every move is fueled by ego and greed. Dre vows to bring The Shepherd’s reign of terror to an end, even if he has to break the law to do it.

While Brianna makes a futile effort to thwart her captors, Dre is getting closer and closer to finding her. The woman he loves, attorney Angela Evans, knows the dangers faced by sexually exploited children because she represents them in juvenile court. Angela lends her moral support and, eventually, an important clue to Brianna’s whereabouts.

As he races against the clock, Dre ultimately comes up with a daring plan—one that puts many lives in danger, including his own. But will he find Brianna before it’s too late?

Kirkus Reviews called Anybody’s Daughter “A fast-paced, well-written thriller that’s grounded in important social issues.”




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

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photo_3When attorney and author Pamela Samuels Young isn’t practicing law, you can usually find her penning her next legal thriller. Described by one reviewer as “John Grisham with a sister’s twist,” Pamela is an award-winning author of six novels.

Pamela has always abided by the philosophy that you create the change you want to see. Fed up with never seeing women or people of color depicted as savvy, hot shot attorneys in the legal thrillers she read, the Compton native decided to create her own characters. Despite the demands of a busy legal career, Pamela accomplished her ambitious goal by getting up at four in the morning to write before work, dedicating her weekends to writing and even spending her vacation time glued to her laptop for ten or more hours a day. In the process, she discovered her passion.

Her debut novel, Every Reasonable Doubt (2006), won the Black Expressions Book Club’s Fiction Writing Contest, received an honorable mention in the SEAK Legal Fiction Writing Competition and was a finalist for USA Book News’ Best Books of 2006 awards in the mystery, suspense and thriller category. Her second novel, In Firm Pursuit (2007), was honored by Romantic Times magazine as a finalist for Best African-American Novel of 2007. Murder on the Down Low (2008), Pamela’s third release, was an “Editor’s Pick” by Black Expressions magazine and a finalist for the 2009 African-American Literary Awards in the fiction category. The Black Caucus of the American Library Association honored Pamela’s fourth novel, Buying Time (2009), with its 2010 Fiction Award, calling the book “a captivating, suspenseful thriller.” Attorney-Client Privilege (2012) was Pamela’s fifth legal thriller, followed by Anybody’s Daughter (2013), which examines the shocking world of child sex trafficking.

The prolific writer has also penned the short stories Easy Money, featured in the anthology Scoundrels: Tales of Greed, Murder and Financial Crimes (2012) and Setup, selected for the Sisters in Crime anthology, LAndmarked for Murder (2006).

A former journalist, Pamela began her broadcasting career with WXYZ-TV in Detroit and later worked as a news writer and associate producer for KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. Burned out by the news business, Pamela took a big and scary step a few months before her 30th birthday and entered law school—a long-held dream. Pamela currently moonlights as a mystery writer while working full-time as Managing Counsel for Labor and Employment Law for a major corporation in Southern California, specializing in employment law and social media law. Prior to that, she served as Employment Law Counsel for Raytheon Company and spent several years as an associate with the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers, LLP, in Los Angeles.

A graduate of UC Berkeley’s School of Law, Pamela has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC and a master’s degree in broadcasting from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles chapter of Mystery Writers of America and is a diehard member of Sisters in Crime-L.A., an organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers. A graduate of Compton High School, Pamela lives in the Los Angeles area and attends Hope in Christ Community Church in Compton.

Pamela is a frequent speaker on the topics of fiction writing, discrimination law and pursuing your passion. To read an excerpt of Pamela’s books or to schedule her for a speaking engagement or book club meeting via speakerphone, Skype, FaceTime or in person, visit her website atwww.pamelasamuelsyoung.com or email her at authorpamelasamuelsyoung@gmail.com.






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My Review:

ANYBODY’S DAUGHTER is not a book for the faint of heart. It is disturbing. It is heart-wrenching. It is a parent’s worst nightmare. It is a child’s worst nightmare. And, then it gets worse.

Pamela Samuels Young, according to those working with misplaced youth, writes an authentic, truth-revealing novel about child sex trafficking. Social media has become an outlet for the sex depraved and parents have no idea just how vulnerable their children are to sexual predators. It is sad how many children fall victim to these individuals each day. Read this book as fiction, but know that there is more truth than you realize between the covers. Read this book as an educational tool. We need to make sure that our children know they are valuable to us, precious to us, and we need to build their self-esteem and educate them.

This is a book well worth reading. I am giving it 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 was 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. 

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The Noise Beneath the Apple by Heather Jacks (Media Blitz, Music Giveaway)


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**Foreword’s 2013 Book of the Year Award Finalist** 

About The Book

Written by Heather Jacks and accompanied by an eleven-track vinyl record featuring the original music of a select number of participants, this 200-page art-style coffee table book measures 12’’ x 12’’ and weighs in at a whopping 8lbs. Putting the spotlight on the age-old profession of busking, Jacks also seeks to stem the tide of regulation intended to suffocate creative expression and take performers off the streets.

A limited-edition coffee table book, ‘The Noise Beneath the Apple®’, is a unique and vibrant study of the culture of street performance, its legitimacy in modern times and above all, an intimate look at thirty-five buskers throughout New York City. Released with an eleven-track vinyl record that was mastered by Grammy and Academy Award winning mastering engineer Reuben Cohen, this book is a singular achievement and a one-of-a-kind tribute to the chaotic, beautiful and spirited world of busking.

Heather Jacks was raised on an Indian reservation in southeastern Oregon, until age fifteen. Jacks was the first ‘experimental exchange student’ to Australia with an organization called YFU, Youth for Understanding, where she spent 10.5 months in 1982. Once she returned, she received her B.A. from USF and followed that with two years of study at UC Davis.  She has worked in the music industry in various capacities, since the eighties; radio, production, A&R, booking and most recently as a music journalist.  She was recently named a finalist in the Book of the Year Award in the Performing Arts & Music category, for her multi-media project, The Noise Beneath the Apple®, which was inspired by her love for street music, busking and the people who make it.  Heather can be contacted at: heather@heatherjacks.com


Visit Us Online:

The Noise Beneath the Apple 


YouTube Channel 


What is busking? Busking is, very simply performing on street corners in exchange for money.  That includes any type of street performance; acrobats, jugglers, mimes, dancers, ventriloquists, magicians, ‘cos-play’ and of course musicians.

Buskers are the street performers, the traveling troubadours and minstrels who entertain us in the most unexpected places; in the subway or on train platforms underground; parks or street corners.  We walk by them, playing their guitars, singing their songs, performing their music. We may smile at them. We may not. We may hurriedly drop a buck in their open guitar case. We may not. We may stop and watch. We may not.

Busking has been with us since the beginning of time; from 11th century Russian comic actors and harlequins to 14th century Strolling Players from India and Pakistan; ancient Roman street performers and jesters to town criers delivering news and political events prior to the Industrial Revolution. In the 1800’s, traveling medicine shows in which vendors entertained onlookers with “miracle cures,” and potions with the promise of improved health, love life or finances would ‘pass the hat’ when the show was over.  Circus performers earning a few extra coins on their day off by entertaining on street corners swept the USA. Gypsies, mariachi bands and Japanese Chindon’ya—(elaborately dressed street musicians hired to advertise for shops), are all types of buskers. 

On the streets, their shows fall into different categories.  There are those who create “circle shows,” usually drawing people into large crowds around them and are characterized by the fact that they have a definite beginning and ending. Examples would be; Break Dancers or dancing troupes, acrobats, ventriloquists and comedy/sketch routines.

Café busking, which many of us are most familiar, is when performances are done in exchange for tips—often  “passing of the hat” (Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, started in this way and the 1973 hit, Piano Man, by Billy Joel, was inspired by his six months as a café busker in Los Angeles).

Where does the word ‘busking’ come from?  The Indo-European and Celtic languages are considered the predecessors of Latin, and it is in both of these languages—(which predate Latin) that the root of the word can be found.  In the Indo-European languages, bhudh-sko means ‘to win’ or ‘to conquer.’ In the Celtic languages, boudi means ‘victory.’  Historical linguists place the Celtic derivation first, which in turn gave birth to the Indo-European term.   Both of these terms referred to ‘looking for work,’ and according to historical linguists, together they evolved into the Latin root busk. This took place over 8,000 years ago. From here we can find the Latin root ‘busk’ traced back to ‘buskin’, which was a decorated sandal, worn by Roman street performers. Historic records from that time also indicate the practice of throwing coins to street performers; the first tips. Busk then appears throughout Asia and Europe, including in the obsolete French, where it was described as a service exchanged for alms; prostitution.

It is said that the first mention of buskers in the English language, was in Augustus Septimus Mayhew’s, May 8, 1858, tract in Punch, or the London Charivarl titled “Our Organ-Grinding Tyrants,” Mayhew wrote: “The House of Lords enjoyed a merry laugh the other night at the expense of a by no means small portion of the public-we mean the sufferers from that greatest plague of life, street music…”

At its core, the centuries old tradition of busking is what it has always been: the spirited mad ones from a Jack Kerouac novel who embody a magic that is exclusively their own, yet extraordinarily communal.

They are there because they belong there. The streets have called them. The world underfoot has beckoned them.  They become more real than the trains whizzing by, more concrete than the skyscrapers overhead.  And they give the city a life and breath, an undercurrent of alchemy, which would not exist if they were not there. They invite us to sing out of key, to dance out of step; not necessarily trying to discern the meaning of life, but rather to experience being alive.

If you dig what you hear or see then dig a little deeper and drop them a buck, for the song, the experience, the story, the photo, the YouTube video; because after all, this small exchange of daily experience is a currency, which is not exchangeable for articles of consumption. In other words, you can’t buy it at Walmart!


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Ting-A-Ling by Mike Faricy (Media Blitz)

Ting-A-LingTing-A-Ling is the latest release in the popular Dev Haskell series. Set in a
Minnesota polar vortex, Dev’s first mistake is answering the phone in the middle of
the night. His second mistake is offering to help. Fast paced and enjoyable, the true motive remains a mystery until it’s too late, or is it?

Due out March 24th,
Ting-A-Ling is a suspenseful tale that will keep you guessing until the final page.

Mike Faricy writes the sort of crime fiction we can all relate to. No one will be
saving the world from fanatical terrorists or international bank conspiracies. Rather, his tales are populated with the sort of individuals we all know, but wisely choose to keep at a distance. The situations they find themselves in are due to their own bad decisions, but then, bad decisions make for very interesting tales.

Mike Faricy divides his time between St. Paul, Minnesota and Dublin, Ireland
which makes him the most boring guy in two towns. He is currently working on his
latest top secret project. Check out his Facebook sites Mike Faricy Books or Dev
Haskell. Or @mikefaricybooks on Twitter and mikefaricyauthor@gmail.com

Praise for Mike Faricy

‘Minnesota’s Master of the Bizarre’

The Crime of it All.

‘His books are fast paced page turners that had us laughing out loud at the same time they were suspenseful.’ The Irish Gazette.

‘The Dev Haskell series is fantastic, an absolute delight.’ Mystery Mayhem

‘Mike Faricy is America’s hottest new mystery writer.’ The Dirty Lowdown

‘Okay, okay! I know this just came out, but I read it in one sitting, When’s the next one?’ Behind Bars

Purchase Ting-A-Ling (The Dev Haskell – Private Investigator: Case 7)


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Will Americans pick up the slack if we secure the borders?


United States
United States (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)


As I spoke with a neighbor the other day who is in the midst of house construction, the changes in our country became ever more evident. One of the brick columns on his carport was crooked and the construction company owner had sent a man to break down the column so the bricklayer could come in and reconstruct it.


As the worker began demolishing the brick column, my neighbor tried to stop him as he was breaking down the wrong column. The worker looked at him in confusion and muttered, “no comprendae.” He was from Mexico and spoke no English. At that point, it was no longer relevant as to what language he spoke; the damage and consequent delay in finishing construction had been done.


I admit that I am quick to jump on the bandwagon about hollering and screaming that the borders need to be shut down. The Mexicans are taking over more and more of the jobs meant for Americans – in their own country. I also admit to being the person, despite my mild temperament, who wants to slam the phone down when I get a recording that says, “Press 1 for English.” Nothing angers me more than having to press “1” because this is the United States of America and our language is English!


Today, as I was walking down my driveway to pick up the mail, I looked over and observed two masons laying brick columns. They were Mexican, and my first thoughts again were another American job taken over by a foreigner. My second thought was there would have to be an American willing to lay bricks to take the job back, and obviously there wasn’t.


While I am still in favor of securing our borders and giving jobs to out of work Americans, I am not so naïve as to assume an American wants the job. Isn’t that one of the reasons there are so many foreigners working in our country today? I look around the area where I live and there are many, many Mexicans holding down construction jobs, mason jobs, and the grass cutting businesses are almost entirely made up of Mexican employees. My husband hired a Mexican to work construction with him. Before he went back home to Mexico, my husband and this man had grown quite fond of each other. He was a hard worker and willing to learn construction. On his visits home, he used his newly learned carpenter skills to improve his house and build a business for his wife.


While he was an outstanding worker and emulated my husband’s every move, he was unwilling to learn English. Fortunately, my husband is fluent in French (this is Southern Louisiana with Cajun French culture) and is also able to communicate in Spanish – otherwise, this working relationship would not have worked. During their lunch breaks, my husband would learn additional Spanish, but the worker had no interest in learning English, no matter how hard my husband tried to teach him a few words. My husband hired a Mexican because there were no Americans interested in doing manual construction labor.


A number of years ago, I worked at a local university. Students would graduate and eventually come back to work on their MBA. It was not unusual to hear them admit that they couldn’t find a job that paid what they thought they were worth. They admitted to not wanting to start at the ground level and work their way up. It seemed like very few wanted to “pay their dues”, they wanted to be hired in management level positions straight out of school.


It really says something about the work ethic of some Americans when they have the attitude that a ground level position is not good enough. Instant gratification is running rampant and the younger generation seems to find life boring starting out as their parents did – at the ground level where you actually learn the job and earn your way up the ladder.


I sit here and think – what does this say about Americans? We want our borders closed, but are we willing to do the work that the Mexicans now do? Will we take the menial jobs in the fields? Are we willing to lay bricks? Are we willing to mow grass? You have to admit, it is food for thought.


These were some thoughts that came to mind today while observing life outside my door. I invite you to weigh in on this topic. What are your thoughts?  Remember, I have meant no insult to anyone of any nationality, so be kind in your response.


As always, thanks for visiting and I hope you visit again.




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The Edge of Whiteness by Joe Montaperto (Review)


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Author Joe Montaperto

It’s 1969. Brooklyn smolders after the race riots. The Montaperto family reluctantly flees their beloved Italian neighborhood for a New Jersey suburb so painfully white that it makes the TV show “My Three Sons” appear exotic. The only excitement young Joey Montaperto finds is breaking into his neighbor’s house with his cousin Skinny on Saturday afternoons – to steal the raisins from their Raisin Bran. Until that first day of school in 1973. Forced integration delivers two busloads of inner city black kids to Roselle High, sending a collective shiver through the all- white student body.

“One by one they pour out, laughing, cursing and jive talking. Giants. Imposing black giants – and those were the girls! Then the boys swagger off the bus – or should I say grown men?”

Nothing would ever be the same.

It isn’t long before the inevitable racial conflict becomes personal. After he’s saved from a hallway ambush by Na-Na, a brutal, yet artistic loner, their unlikely friendship turns Joey on to the cool world of black culture. Fascinated by the music of Etta James, Marvin Gaye, and The Funkadelics, he embraces the happenin’ scene. Soon he’s pimped out in purple Swedish knits (that were never worn in Sweden), Isaac Hayes glasses, and a sizzling Puerto Rican hairdresser on his arm. Esperanza. As she gives him a mod shag afro, Joey becomes obsessed with her. He whips himself into shape, boxing at a ghetto gym, and finds a dishwashing job at an Italian restaurant, so he can afford to take her out, only to discover that she already has a boyfriend, a dealer who’s getting her hooked on heroin.

Reeling from heartbreak, Joey searches for meaning in his life, finding inspiration in The Autobiography of Malcolm X. His parent’s think he’s gone mad when he refuses his mother’s homemade Italian sausage, announcing “It’s hard to be a good Muslim in this house”. Joey freaks out his entire Catholic family – and the Mafia guys at work – as he finds his “soul”.

Filled with heart and wisdom, The Edge of Whiteness is an autobiographical account of one adolescent’s struggle to discover his identity. This timeless coming-of- age story is a humorous social commentary on the funky early 1970’s that is still remarkably relevant today.

 Joe Montaperto studied acting at The Sonia Moore Studio of The Theater, and the New Conservatory Theater in New York, among others. After doing some stage and film work, he embarked on the comedy circuit in the edgy, crack riddled New York City of the 1980’s, counting among his contemporaries and friends John Stewart, John Leguizammo, and Dave Atell of HBO’s “Insomnia” fame.

After performing pieces based on characters from his adolescence with several comedy/improv troupes and the  East Village performance art scene, he took a few years off to seek his spiritual path, and living for a time in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the mountains of Woodstock, NY, while undertaking a number of silent meditation retreats. Returning to the city, he created his one man show “Four Degrees of Disconnection”, which ran at houses on Theater Row several times from 1998 – 2001.

He has spent the last five years splitting time between New York and the South American Amazon jungle working on several eco projects, translating, and teaching English as well as writing.

My Review:

“Me and my cousin Skinny stood b y ourselves in the large foyer that led to the front doors. It’s the first day of high school for us. The year is 1973. Our freshman year. We gaze out through those front doors to the sparkling blue sky that opened up majestically above us, the American flag rippling in the mild breeze, high up the flag pole on the front lawn.

Heaving a synchronistic sigh, we check out the scene in front of us – the paintings of George WashingtonAbraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson adorning the foyer walls, our new classmates spread among us in the hall, chattering excitedly in their own little groups. Fresh faced girls with spindly filly-like legs, blond crew cut jock types punching each other in the arms, scientific brainiacs with Clark Kent glasses, peeking about nervously. Everybody – the kids, the paintings – had one thing in common, though. They were all white. Painfully white. The kind of white people who should never be exposed to bright sunlight. Thank God me and Skinny  had some color, I though to myself, owing to our Sicilian heritage. At least we were olive-skinned. We could get brown in the summer. These other kids – no hope.

Suddenly, a dilapidated school bus from like – the 1950’s – comes chugging up the street, clouds of smothering black smoke spewing from it’s tailpipe into the picturesque background. It is immediately followed by another equally monstrous relic, as their brakes screech, the gears groan and the buses lurch to a thumping half right in front of Roselle High.

The joyous buzz reverberating through the foyer quickly dissipated, replaced by an overwhelming crescendo threatening laughter, cursing and yelling from outside.

I could sense the collective shiver rise from our group inside as the doors to the ancient vehicles creak open, and the noise threatens to pierce the sound barrier. One by one they pour out. Giants. Imposing Black giants – and those were the girls…”

And that is how Joe Montaperto sets up THE EDGE OF WHITENESS, a book that brought back so many memories of my own life, although I was born, raised, and still live in the South. THE EDGE OF WHITENESS is a coming of age book that anyone who lived in the 60s-70s can resonate with. We all went through the desegregation of the schools and the adjustment of attending school with “people of color.”

Rather than regurgitating the book blurb, I’ll tell you just how Joe hits the proverbial nail on the head with his depiction of the buses rolling to a stop in front of the school and nothing remaining the same. Everyone’s world changed on that day. I know my life was never the same. For me, the change came as I was entering seventh grade.

I had attended a small town all-white elementary and in seventh grade began attending a junior high school that brought together all of the kids in our half of the parish. Not only was I thrown in with many other white kids I did not know, but I was also introduced to the first black kids I had ever seen except for the sanitation workers. I don’t think any of us quite knew where to put ourselves.

Territory and groups were quickly marked in a pattern that would last throughout my three years of junior high and three years of high school. It was a place that I didn’t want to be and was only too happy to leave behind at graduation.

As a kid, you tended to think that what was happening in your neighborhood was unique to only your part of the world. It turns out, that after reading this book, I realized my little part of the world was the same as everyone else’s.

I’m giving THE EDGE OF WHITENESS five stars. It was well written with uncanny honesty and is a book worth reading. And I liked the cover. That alone made me laugh. How easy we forget the look of the past. What you don’t see above is the humor with which Joe Montaperto writes. His fascination with noses as opposed to breasts or legs. His falling in love and getting the crap beat out of him. His boldness in training in a gym on the wrong side of the tracks. He weaves his story with historical accuracy and humor that will leave you laughing out loud. I invite you to pick this book and read it and see for yourself.

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It’s in The Little Things by Gayle Suzane (Excerpt & Guest Post)

It's in the Little Things by Gayle Suzanne on Closed the Cover

Do you believe a happy life is meant for others but not for you? Are you ready to shift energy and improve your life?

Our lives can be inundated with trials and pain. Somewhere in between our struggles we might lose hope for living a fulfilling, enjoyable life.  You may have suffered from bullying, addiction, rejection or other forms of hurt that has left you feeling badly about yourself.  We might believe that a happy life is meant for others but not for us.

It’s in the Little Things is a book about loving God, loving yourself, and loving others.  Through personal experiences, stories are shared that can transform your life.  Some stories are lighthearted and others are more emotional and deep.  Most have messages of how to appreciate seemingly insignificant events in life and how to take small steps to improve your circumstances.  These little things can have a profound impact on your life.  This book is designed to inspire, uplift and guide you toward a life you love.

  • File Size: 801 KB
  • Print Length: 220 pages

Gayle Suzanne is a Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (CPC, ELI-MP), workshop facilitator and speaker. She has a deep desire to help those with self-esteem issues and those who have dealt with rejection, bullying or emotional abuse. Gayle has a passion to empower and inspire people to see their gifts and talents and the beauty within. She has been described as compassionate, humorous, insightful and intuitive. She is a mother, wife and step-mother and lives in Charlton, Mass. She is a member of International Coaching Federation, New England Chapter.

Guest Post by Gayle Suzanne

I am entering my 50th year. My body is starting to show signs of aging.  I’ve had my share of aches and pains – jolting me into the reality that I’m not 20 years old anymore.  I now enjoy Sunday afternoon naps.  I prefer staying in on a Saturday night snug in my jammies by 7pm.   Appears that the tiny little lines near my eyes have settled in for the long haul, even though I’ve desperately tried to remove them with expensive cream.  The fact that I’ll have to go to my hairdresser every 6 weeks for the rest of my life to cover up the one inch gray halo that outlines the edge my face… and now I realize that my eyebrows need a color boost too (I tried plucking out all the gray but realize that if I continue I’d soon be eyebrowless…)  Things that were once perky are now droopy.  My once taut neck resembles something served at Thanksgiving dinner.  I’ve had to accept that I just don’t remember much anymore.  Sometimes I look at a piece of celery and can’t remember what it is.  The memory loss comes and goes.  This is my daughter’s pet peeve with me – she will tell me something 5 times and it just doesn’t register.  It’s not that I am intentionally forgetting, it’s like my brain is too full.   Then I’ll repeat the same thing 5 times in a row.  We’ll find the cell phone in the fridge or the car keys in the silverware drawer.   My vision is not great – one eye near sighted, the other far sighted.  I can’t hear much now either.  I mis-hear lots of stuff too. Lyrics to songs – forget it.  For years I sang the song In My Midnight Confession as Immaculate Conception!   I now appreciate Easy Spirit and Clark footwear.   My most recent sign of aging – if I laugh too hard sometimes I lose control and a piddle a little.  Ugh.

Yet in my heart I still feel as young and crazy as I did in college.  For over thirty years my college roommates and I have gone to Cape Cod for girls weekend. We are silly, zany and nuts – we crack up and love life.  We basically revert back to giddy teenagers (well, I do anyway).  We jump in bed with each other on Sunday morning, making goofs and tease and taunt.  It’s harmless fun – we go out to dinner and playfully fight for the front seat (well, I do anyway) come home, have a drinky poo, crank up the stereo and dance in the living room.  Last time the song Maniac from Flashdance blasted on the radio and we pulled out a portable potty and did the Chair Dance on it (well, I did anyway).  Last year I took a trip to Florida with my roommate.  Her condo happens to be right up the street from a former teen heartthrob – so what would a mature almost 50 year old woman do?   You got it –  we belted out “I Think I Love You” outside his house at 2 am.  Wonder why he didn’t come out and take a picture with us?  So, the next day we went back to his gated home and my friend (who I might add is 1 year and 2 months older than me) proceeded to dig through his garbage to find a souvenier for us to take home.  She came up empty handed as her search was cut short when a police car rounded the corner.  She literally had 3 seconds to run back to the car and shift into gear.  I didn’t witness the whole scene because I was scrunched down beneath the dashboard.  I do have my pride you know.

So even though my neck might wiggle a bit, I know at heart I’m young and fun and vibrant and free and certainly not feeling that I’ve been around for as long as I have.

Age really is just a number.

Galye Suzanne will be on tour along with a giveaway. The full tour schedule and rafflecopter can be found through this link: http://www.closedthecover.com/its-in-the-little-things-virtual-tour.html

Excerpt from It’s in The Little Things

The “Cool Crowd”
It is interesting to think about the whole concept of the “cool kids.” The ones I grew

up with picked on and humiliated some of the nicest kids I knew. Marie was picked on all through Junior High also. She was sweet, smart, kind, silly, and interesting. Her parents were strict and she was sheltered and shy. She minded her own business every day on the bus and during school, yet she was tortured every day. Some days watching her being tortured by other kids took the focus away from me and I felt relief because at least one person was picked on more than me. I always felt guilty about that, but she was my wall of safety. I remember one day we were on the bus on the way home from school and her stop was the street before mine. She was in front of me waiting to get off and the bus stopped short. She lost her footing and fell down the steps and her butt was stuck in between the door and the first step. Everyone behind me on the bus roared with laughter. That happened forty years ago and I still remember her face– the embarrassment, the shame, the humiliation. I still remember the vicious laughter surrounding her.

I’ve thought about that incident many times over the years. That fall could have happened to anyone standing in that spot. The cheerleader, the football quarterback, the pot head, the pageant queen. It was so unfortunate that it happened to Marie. I think of people that have been picked on and their lives may have been molded by the abuse they suffered. The image I had of myself was molded by others. I felt worthless, damaged and no good.

In more recent times, I recall an occasion when I was at a school sporting event. I was sitting alone on the field. Down the field there was a group of five women who usually sat together and always seemed like they were having a good time. I usually sat by myself or with another friend, yet I would say hi to the group of women as I walked by. This particular day my friend was not at the game so I sat near the other women and initiated a conversation. I tried to make small talk for a few minutes but did not get a warm response. I honestly felt like I was back in Junior High School. Their coolness implied that I was not good enough to be in their company. I was forty-one-years-old. I thought it was ridiculous. I felt slightly rejected and a small pang of hurt rushed through my body. I stayed where I was and did not continue in conversation. I sat quietly and watched the game. Then one of the mothers started saying negative comments about one of the kids on the field. As she rolled her eyes, she said in a rude and disgusted manner that the young girl was not running fast enough and should not be playing that position at all.

It’s in The Little Things has 23 5 star reviews. Check it out and purchase  It’s In The Little Thingshere:

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Double Happiness by Tony Brasunas (Book Blitz)

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At twenty-two, Tony Brasunas had never left the United States, nor taught a class on anything. The journey that changed him forever, that broke open his heart and awakened his mind, began in a high school classroom in hot, coastal Guangzhou, China, and culminated on the plateaus of Tibet.
A journey into the heart of a changing China and through the soul of a young American, Double Happiness is a groundbreaking story of spiritual awakening in the era of globalization.

This is a tale for armchair travelers, English teachers, China buffs, adventure backpackers, young people in their twenties and thirties seeking a place in this shrinking world, and readers of all ages curious about a young man’s coming of age in a foreign land.

Book Details

Author: Tony Brasunas
Edition: First Edition
Format: eBook, Paperback and Hard Cover
Publication Date: December 12, 2013
Publisher: Torchpost
ISBN13: 9780991166244

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TonyBrasunas AuthorTony Brasunas grew up on a commune in West Virginia. Before leaving for China, as a teenager at Amherst College, he studied Chinese, music, writing, and Computer Science, and meandered into a thoughtful and lonely social and political conservatism.

Directionless after college, perhaps expecting something more from the planet, Tony applied just after the deadline to Princeton in Asia, and he was swiftly bundled off to Guangzhou, China, to teach English. The ensuing journey broke him open. His body tasted death in hospitals and Tibetan monsoons, his heart opened up and slammed shut and opened again, and some unknown inner sage awoke and suggested he trust his intuition.

Double Happiness: One Man’s Tale of Love, Loss, and Wonder on the Long Roads of China (Forthcoming, December 12, 2013, fromTorchpost) masterfully retells that awakening against a backdrop of a modern, changing China.

Excerpts from the manuscript have appeared in the book China, an anthology of travel writing on China published by Travelers’ Tales Press, and in Travelmag, a British online travel magazine.

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Evil Shadows by Rick Hallock (Review, Non-Fiction)

Evil Shadows is a true story of the extremes of identity theft that can lead to arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of the victim. It shows how the author’s identity was stolen and how that theft ultimately led to his financial ruin and closure of his successful business enterprise, all the result of actions of federal agents and prosecutors. After an exhaustive investigation, the author lays bare the whole story of how his identity was stolen and how it was used as cover for commission of other crimes. The story tells of his becoming the primary suspect in a worldwide federal investigation for those crimes and how federal authorities leveled their awesome and destructive powers directly at him in their zeal to make an arrest. It details the destruction of his successful publishing company and of how he narrowly avoided being arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. The story concludes with self-help chapters on the subjects of Prevention, Detection and Recovery from identity theft.


EVIL SHADOWS is more frightening than the scariest suspense thriller you could ever read because it is a true story. Being a victim of identity theft is frightening enough without the added trauma of finding out it is your own government doing the stealing. Who do you turn to? What do you do? Who can you trust?

Rick Hallock had his identity stolen from him and was financially ruined by greedy government agents. We live in the United States and we go about our daily lives with the naive assumption that we are relatively safe. We know the government doesn’t always act in our best interest, but we do not expect them to target our very identity.

My husband is one of the many who are perfectly content living his life without a computer or any other electronic gadget – and no, he’s not old. I, on the other hand, love technology. Never before have his words hit me as seriously as when I was reading this book.

I like to think that I’ve taken as many precautions as I can to protect myself because of the information we put out there everyday through social media, etc., but in reading this book, I have truly been deceiving myself and you, no doubt, are as well. I may have my bank cards and credit cards set with fraud alert and other precautions, but if the government (or anyone) decides to target you, you really have no defense other than your common sense and instincts.

Case in point – (book quote) “In early March the first red flag warning of really bad times ahead appeared and just as quickly vanished. Had I taken the time to consider it then, perhaps I would have realized something foul was happening. In my haste, I blew it off as some kind of mistake or computer glitch. The indicator came while InterNIC was processing a new domain name registration request.”

Rick Hallock was contacted by his credit card company to confirm a charge. He did not recognize the charge and the domain being setup was not authorized by him or his company. The fraud had begun with a simple transaction using his stolen credit card number even though he disputed it. The charge was taken off of his account and he went on with living life. Little did he know that he was being set up, by our government’s employees no less, for identity theft. To quote Rick, “Warnings of identity theft can be just this simple: a routine email message I wrongly interpreted to be an indication of a mistake or computer glitch was in fact the first indication that my identity had been stolen. Coincidences are planned events, and had I simply followed that rule, I would have questioned the event and probably learned of the theft of my identity and fraudulent use of my credit card and, armed with that information, I might have been able to avoid complete destruction of our business and my personal financial ruin.”

I don’t know if I would have explored any further before reading this book. I have had one credit card cancelled and re-issued four times throughout a number of years because of fraudulent charges that the credit card company found and notified me of. I now know that should it happen again, I need to document further, but how many times have we had this happen and not gone further? The charges are removed and we go along our merry way, not questioning the incident other than breathing a sigh of relief and thinking – “wow, glad the company took the charge off of my card.”

There was a second charge which he also handled and had removed, none the wiser at what was happening. A third incident, one the ordinary person would not find odd, “In late May (May 26th, to be exact), a third, less-obvious red flag appeared in the guise of a supposed survey taker who came to the house, knocking uncharacteristically on the front door. Uncharacteristic inasmuch as anyone could see the front porch and entrance to the home were for entertaining and not for primary entry. This message was communicated by there being no walkway covering the substantial distance from the drive to the front porch. The parking area of the drive, however, was adjacent to a side door that served as our primary entry. Other than this survey taker, I couldn’t recall anyone else ever making this mistake.” He goes on to describe an awkward scenario where the survey taker stood sweating in the hot sun rather than come into his office, as well as asking only a few questions.

“The survey-taker’s visit, I would later learn, coincided with Agent Johnson’s sworn affirmation that, ‘on May 26, 2000, at approximately 12:30 pm, SSA Johnson surveyed the 194…’The guy who visited us that day was a survey-taker, of sorts. But it would be years before I learned his true motives were to survey and case our home and my office in preparation for an attack. While I had heard of ruses of this sort, never had I considered that a federal agent would actually pull a “Rockford Files” stunt like this. This event was yet another red flag of warning and foreboding and another missed opportunity.”

In the book, the reader will learn how a search and seizure warrant was procured by concealing pertinent information from the judge and then hampering the author’s ability to prove his innocence by sealing the court documents. It is scary to realize and read in black and white that our government can find and use any and all our personal information however they chose to, even ruining our lives in the process. Because, who is the government? The government is made up of many, many unscrupulous human beings who think nothing of ruining another human’s life. And, we have almost no recourse.

There is a huge amount of information from the investigation the author did on his own. The cover-up that the author found is frightening and could happen to anyone. The book is well-worth reading and there is information in the back on how to handle identity theft.

I recommend reading the book. I am giving the book 5 stars. I did find that parts of the book could have been combined, perhaps condensed, but the story is well documented and easy to read and follow.

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

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