Friday, 17 November 2017

Evidence is Lacking, Yet Still I Hope





Joshua Henry Bates, a young teacher of a country school, wonders if there will be more to his life. Yes, there are summers away from the farm, attending the University of Utah, dancing at Saltair, watching pictures shows, and eating ice cream on bone dry days. In his journal he questions his future. He finds a young woman to love, but she is an ever-mutating mystery. His job seems to be a dead-end. His parents need his help more all the time. Josh tries to change his life: cooling the relationship with his girlfriend, teaching in a new school, and registering for service in the American Expeditionary Forces. Still, Joshua is filled with self-doubt. Will Josh marry the girl? Will he find a dazzling life mission? Will he be victorious in war? Each chapter contains one to thirty primary sources from the life of this young man drafted as a doughboy in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign.
 Praise for the book:
If you have ever searched for your own history, or a way to bring
history to life, this book is a masterpiece.”
Kelly Milner Halls, author of Saving the Baghdad Zoo



Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ 



Joan Enders lives in Washington State with her husband Jerry, and loves the Pacific Northwest! For 28 years she taught literature and research skills in school libraries to middle and high school students, and advocated for full-time school librarians in every school. She was a recipient of the American Library Association's Frances Henne Award for library leadership. 

She loved her jobs, often to distraction. Once Joan stayed so late at the school library that the custodians waxed the floors, unaware that she was still upstairs. She crept out the least sticky exit. Joan now teaches librarians on webinars. When not teaching she administers the local Family History Center for FamilySearch International. She enjoys peeling back the research onion for students and adults. That was the motivation for her first book, which replicates her most popular inquiry lesson for U.S. History students and teachers. Joan speaks in her community, for professional organizations and at genealogy conferences.



Connect with the Author here: 
~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Twitter ~


AUTHOR INTERVIEW

From Joan Enders....

1. If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
a. I wish that my husband would be cancer-free. We are blessed that he responds
well to treatment but this pesky cancer likes to reappear. He had checkups every
three months.
b. Now to the absurd: I wish that a modern master bathroom with one of the clever
automatic toilets would suddenly appear in my house.
c. I wish to find my organization again. It went on the lam about 4 years ago and
has not returned.

2. Given unlimited resources, what would be your ideal work/writing environment?
a. My studio is on the hill overlooking the monastery and grounds created by Monk
Kevin at Glendalough, Wicklow, Ireland. Expansive windows overlook the
monastery, fields, rivers, sheep, and cemetery. My standing desk faces the
windows and it is laden with my large barreled pens, mechanical pencils, darling
little notebooks, and the voice-activated computer. Behind the computer is a stout
farm table for the littering of gestating piles of purposeful disorganization. An
efficiency fireplace, disguised with a Austin rock facade, is flanked by a chaise
for pondering and reading aloud. The heli-pad in back cuddles my helicopter with
which I swoop to The Giant's Causeway, Warwick Castle or Sterling Castle, or
the British Library for inspiration.
3. Where do you actually work/write?
a. I write and swivel between PC and MAC laptops with my back to our office
windows. My work oozes out to the dining room table. Now it holds my
ShotBox for photographing old photographs and objects to preserve for a learning
kit.

4. Describe yourself in 50 words or less.
a. Hum... I would say detail-driven, mostly organized, make-up- is-me, and dry wit is
the only wit. Actually, I feel generosity has nothing to do with wealth; that
anything is fodder for humor; that work is worth doing well; 85% of life is just
showing up; and anything worth teaching can be explained simply.

5. What inspired your book?
a. High school social studies teachers were required to expose their students to
primary sources. I created an inquiry experience for their students so that they
would use primary sources like a historian would to interpret, analyze and create a
life story about the subject. They loved it. Friends found out and wanted me to
share the activity with them. They loved it. When I no longer taught at the school,
the teachers imploded over losing me. (Blush). Concerned, I pondered what to

do and the book was born as a consolation prize! Ironically, the book has many
more primary documents than had been used in the class. A reader has the time
(and not the assignment) to ponder each chapter.

6. How do you spend your free time?
a. I quilted a quilt for all members of our family. Based on the patterns and plethora
of fabrics on hand, I see a second quilt in their futures. I love to travel and cruise.
I love other people's cooking.

7. What do you love most in the world?
a. I love my family most, but I do luxuriate in quiet time.

8. What do you fear most?
a. Liver. It is disgusting and looks like the blob that conquered planet Earth.

9. What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?
a. To visit every LDS temple and to visit every National Park. We have two lists,
and we are checking them off.

10. What is the hardest thing you've ever done?
a. Cataloging class. I circled the dining room table suffocated with my cataloging
books and AACR2 bible, crying as I considered the thousands of pages of
controlled vocabulary and cataloging rules I was to master. My husband walked
in and said, "If it is that hard, just quit." I started reading and working.

11. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
a. No one else could share this information. It was my job to do. Likewise, no one
else had my vision of this book.

12. What is your favorite part of writing?
a. I enjoy researching background information and the historic milieu of the times.
People make history and are shaped by it.

13. Do you have any advice for other writers?
a. My BBF and writer, Charlotte, gave me a little origami chair with "Button Chair"
on the back and a little white button on the seat. It is my writing totem to remind
me that if I am going to write, I had better plant the tush in the chair and get to
work.

14. What was the hardest part of writing your book, and how did you overcome it?
a. Feeling worthy of writing was numero uno. I haven't the word-smithing skills of
someone who majored in creative writing. Once I saw the book's proof that I
realized that I could do this! My vision of the book was clear and I was worthy to
write it. The second challenge was time management. Life obligations take pre-
eminent roles which is all the more reason for structuring your writing time to an
acceptable minimum. I like what another writer said: promise yourself an hour of
writing per day.

15. Now that we've gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From
your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it's
yours. What's your story?
a. Mrs. Bewley was a fearsome English teacher. I realized how much when I looked
at my first sophomore English report card and only received a B for all my A
papers. When I questioned her she said, "Joan, you don't show enough leadership
skills." Whaaaaat does that have to do with English? I theorize that was her line
to get people into her Forensics class. Of course, I signed up. Anything for an A.
The beauty of Forensics was John Goldhammer, a senior to my junior, bright,
sarcastic, argumentative (good for debate). Heart of my heart, I ended up as his
debate partner and we won all our debates. All of us had excellent seasons that
year and we headed to the UPS tournament, crowding into Mrs. Bewley's car. I
ended up on the front bench beside her, mistress of the AM radio controls. Signals
were iffy after you left the SeaTac area yet had not quite reached the Portland
signals. The best station that we missed, our two entire days in Tacoma, was
KISN in Portland. It was THE station. As I failed tuning in a decent signal,
suggestions of which way to turn the dial chorused from the back seat. Distinctly
I heard John say, "Turn it to KISN, turn it to KISN." The distance was just too
great. How did I know? I had already tried that station. When the chorus took up
his request, I swiveled around and said, "John. We are too far away for KISN."
Silence. Choking laughter. Red face. Hopefully I turned quickly enough that the
chorus didn't see. Yah, right.


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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Dark Days of Promise





Thirty-four year old Vicki Laramie must learn to trust before she can love, but she might die trying.


While Vicki’s children grapple with the death of their father -- a man whom she’s successfully fabricated as loving, a lie her rebellious teenager recognizes -- she must find a way to support her family and find a role model for her boys. She never intends to fall for Staff Sergeant Chase, her best friend’s son, who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She’d much rather choose a safer man to love, but her children have a voice in the decision she makes. With two deaths to deal with, a suitor after her money, a rebellious son, and Sergeant Chase’s repeated attacks, she can only hope to survive the danger she faces. If she doesn’t, her children will be left without either parent.






~ Amazon ~ iTunes ~ Kobo





Shaunna Gonzales currently resides with her family in the greater Seattle area. Married over thirty years, her role as wife and mother of four continue to be her priorities.
A storyteller in her youth, she endevored to extend her love of stories to the written word and in 2005 began to write her first novel. Though that manuscript will remain buried, she has continued to learn.
Once told by her doctors that she would never leave her wheelchair -- due to her Multiple sclerosis. It has been tucked in a closet while she continues on. (In other words muddles on.)

Shaunna has worked as a professional reviewer for InD'Tales eMagazine for three years. In 2012 she also served as the vice president of Moonwriters, the on-line chapter of American Night Writers Association (ANWA She prefers to write romantic fiction and has ventured into the romantic suspense, and time-travel genres. Her debut novel, Dark Day s of Promise was released by Desert Breeze Publishing in 2012 re-released 2015.
Although she prefers to spend her days writing, she is willing to share what she has learned from the school of life and is often found "giving back." 


Connect with the Author here: 
Facebook ~ Website ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads ~





Excerpt 

"Um... Janine?" I dropped the letters I'd just tugged out of the mailbox decorated like a big, orange jack-o-lantern, and pointed at the four men in green dress uniforms approaching my front door. My mouth tasted like the Salt Flats.
Janine, my best friend and elderly neighbor, glanced at the house and back at me. "Vicki, it's going to be okay. Even the darkest of days hold a promise of good things. I'll be right here beside you."
I tried to breathe. I thought I had shielded myself from this ever happening to me with the divorce. I was wrong. Dead weight in both legs impeded my instinct to flee. With Janine leaning on her cane at my side, I raced for my front door in slow motion, each step seeming to come slower than the previous one. Struggling with the implications, I willed my feet to move. Step, step…now lift your foot. One step... two, you can do it, just one more. I couldn't breathe. I advanced to the porch.
I sidestepped between the army green uniforms, ignoring the need for a polite acknowledgment. My hand, below the frayed sleeve of my faded red shirt, looked old and froze to the doorknob before resorting to automatic pilot. An unconscious reflex spurred me to open the door and usher them inside. The door hung wide, welcoming what I dreaded. I shrank back as though the officers would assault me. Janine came through the door, accompanied by the chaplain.



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Saturday, 28 October 2017

Storm Child Book Review





16-year-old Eridale Storm must leave the only home she’s ever known and brave the dangers of the unknown wilds to escape capture by Imperial soldiers.
The only safe place is with her mother, who abandoned her to lead the freedom movement when Eridale was just a child. On her journey, Eridale learns that she holds a key role in the confilct between the Empire and the Freedom Fighters. Her choices could lead the people back to freedom or shackle them under the imperial throne forever.
Can Eridale face the heritage that will define the rest of her life?






Melanie is an author, designer, photographer, and flight attendant all rolled into one. She has told stories all her life and finds her passion in sharing the plots that spin through her head. She now lives in Portland, Oregon, with her two dachshund-chihuahua dogs. She loves the beauty of the Pacific Northwest that feeds her imagination.
When no one is listening, Melanie loves to belt Broadway songs in her living room and car. Someday she hopes to be on a flight where someone is reading her book.

Connect with the Author here: 



5 out of 5 stars


When I first saw this book I will be completely honest and admit I thought it might just be a watered down version of the Hunger Games... 

Post Apocalyptic world where small towns are scraping by for survival while the ruling class is living it up - Check 
Teen girl with a bow and arrow trying to protect her little sister - Check
Cute boy trying to help her even though the rest of the town won't - Check

And looking at that small list I made based off the book blurb, cover, and first few paragraphs you would understand my first impression. However first impressions are not always correct as this is where the similarities end.

Author Melanie Mason was able to take the items from the list above and make a story and world of her own creation, and a fantastic creation it is too. There is intrigue, adventure, mystery, betrayal, survival and a bit of romance (but it is quite understated, which I found refreshing, the heroine is only 17 for heaven sakes, thank you Melanie for letting her grow up a bit first)

The world which Melanie Mason describes is well done and I am able to understand and appreciate where they are at all times geographically. Her descriptions of the deserts of Southwest America definitely bring back memories of hiking those same trails and I am able to appreciate the book a bit more knowing what the area around her would look like.

Overall this book is a fun read, I finished it all in one setting much to the chagrin of my family. It was clean, exciting and offered a refreshing take on the teen post apocalyptic genre. I look forward to the rest of the series!

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a light enjoyable read perfect for the beach, or better yet a long airplane ride where you might be fortunate enough to have Author Melanie Mason as your flight attendant.

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and the views are my own
 .



Q & A With The Author


What writers inspired you to become an author?

I have been telling stories since I was a child. I'm the youngest of six and growing up my nearest neighbor friend was two miles and a busy highway away. So it was either play with my siblings (yeah right, I was the obnoxious younger sister, go away!) or play with myself and my imagination. I could come up with just about any scenario and play it out by myself. And with a mom who sewed, I had just about all the costumes and dress up clothes I could want. I'm certain that childhood was the foundation to my writing.

Now I feel very inspired from above to write the stories that I write. Books, events, history, just about anything can catch my attention and poof, a story is born.

As for writers, there are so many who have influenced me. C.S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, J.R.R. Tolkien, Phyllis A. Whitney, Mary Higgins Clark, Carolyn Keene, Robin McKinley, Anne McCaffrey, and David Eddings all had a role in my younger years. Even recent authors like Stephenie Meyer, J.K. Rowling, Lisa Mangum, Suzanne Collins, Marissa Meyer, Marie Lu and many, many others have inspired me to keep going on this path. It would take pages for me to list all the authors whose stories have affected and inspired me.

What organizations do you recommend for those wanting to become writers? Any advice you'd like to share about writing?

I started out with ANWA (American Night Writers Association). The ladies there were awesome and helped to mentor me. They really encouraged me to be my best writer and I learned and continue to learn so much from them. Check it out.

My advice to anyone who wants to write is to start writing. Your first draft will NEVER be perfect. You will change it. ALOT! So you might as well just get it out. The more you write, the better you will become.

My other piece of advice is to read, ALOT! Read what you want to write. Read professional and non professional books. Read famous authors and read unknowns. The more you read, the more you will learn what to do and not do.

Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?

Not yet, but check out my website www.melaniemasonauthor.com for any upcoming events. I will be putting together a series of book signings in several places (Utah, Arizona, California, and Oregon).

If you could travel to any time in history, when would you visit?

Wow. That's a tough one. I think maybe the late 30s because they had great movies, dancing was something you did a lot, and the clothes were amazing.

If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? What food would you serve?

Probably Guinolen. I'd want to pick her brain about her choices and what she would change or not change if she could. As for food, I'd probably introduce my mother's homemade raspberry cheesecake recipe to her and see how it compared to food at Storm Castle.

If you could travel anywhere, on earth or off, where would you go?

New Zealand because that country is just beautiful or Fiji because it's an island that is warm and has amazing beaches where I can just sit and read.

What color would you wear if you had only one choice?

Red. Always red.

Describe your dream writing spot.

Strange as it sounds, a secluded beach house on the Oregon coast. I love the ruggedness of the OR coast and listening to the waves crash against the rocks and even the storms that roll in are just the thing to spark my imagination and get me lost in a world. Of course said house would have a fireplace. I'm going to be realistic and say a gas fireplace, because I know I'm not going to chop wood and haul it in, I'll be too busy writing.



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Monster Mash Countdown Blitz Day 12





Jessica Parker’s adventures in the written world, have occurred as long as she can remember. Reading stories of dragons, magic, romance and the power of one person, inspired Jessica to write stories of her own. Jessica is currently working on a fairy tale series and the sequel to The Bride Trials
Aside from reading and writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, camping, driving four wheelers, swimming, scuba diving, movies and cooking.
Connect with the Author here: 


What if the greatest deception comes from our own heart?

Despite knowing little in expressions of love, Anessa, Queen of the seven covens would set the world on fire if it meant gaining the attentions of Rothe. Despite his past and state of exile, she is determined to remain loyal to the only man to ever claim her love… even if it means stealing the magic mirror of Eventyr. 
But when the shocking truth of Rothe’s intention rises to the surface, Anessa realizes that his dark obsessions are far more than she is prepared to forgive. Caught between the pains of betrayal and the need to gather her courage to face the man she once thought she loved, Anessa steels herself to do whatever it takes to see him fail.
Even if it means making the princess Snow White sleep forever. 
Can Anessa protect the royal family? Or will her own broken heart prove, once and for all, that it really is as evil as the stories say?



~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK




Top Ten List:

1. Family is my ultimate favorite. Everything I do is for them.

2. I could eat Sweet & Sour chicken every day.

3. I'm a sucker for a book with a good romance plotline.

4. My favorite vacations growing up involved camping. Give me trees and mountains I'll be happy.

5. Chocolate, do I need to say more?

6. Books, I have always loved books. Growing up my parents couldn't send me to my room as a punishment because I'd just read.

7. I love scuba diving! The world under the water is amazing.

8. My favorite movie at halloween time is Hocus Pocus. Who doesn't love a story about witches?

9. Fairytales are the stories I'll never have enough of.


10. Star gazing. There is something magical about staring up into the darkness and seeing a fraction of the universe. 




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Friday, 27 October 2017

Monster Mash Countdown Blitz Day 11




USAT Bestselling author, Nichole Giles, is the author of The DESCENDANT series and The WATER SO DEEP series. Her dreams include owning a garden full of fairies, riding a unicorn, and taming her pet dragons. She loves traveling to tropical and exotic destinations, driving with the convertible top down, and playing music at full volume while she sings along.


Connect with the Author here: 
~ Facebook ~ Amazon
Twitter ~
~ Instagram ~ Bookbub ~




Recently forced into the underwater city of Atlantis, Emma Harris has managed to avoid marrying the merman who brought her, but her grandfather—the Sea King—insists that joining with the abusive Merrick is inevitable. When Emma discovers a poison that might restore her human lungs, she goes in search of the rare creature that carries it, prepared to try the poison no matter the cost, so she can return home to her family—and to James.

Since his girlfriend went missing, James’ depression has destroyed his chance at a basketball scholarship and incurred the wrath of his uncle, who was once his strongest supporter. When the police inform him that he’s a suspect in Emma’s mysterious disappearance, James sells his beloved motorcycle to buy a boat so he can find Emma and prove his innocence before going on trial for a murder he didn’t commit.

With destiny against them, it’s only a matter of time before both are imprisoned forever.


~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK




Top Ten List:

10 Random Facts about Nichole Giles

1.     I am the oldest of eleven children: two biological sisters, four biological brothers, and four step-brothers.
2.     I don’t like to read books that don’t involve some kind of romance, kissing scenes included.
3.     I must have lived during the regency period in a past life, because I love corset-style dresses and costumes. For Halloween, I’ll probably dress up, even though my kids won’t.
4.     My favorite food in the world is steamed snow crab. Even better if it’s Cajun spiced!
5.     Whenever I struggle with creating or writing, I like to go for a drive with my convertible top down. I’ve even been known to do this with snow flurries in the air.
6.     Nichole’s ultimate dream house: on a white-sand beach, with lots of windows, palm trees in the yard, a huge patio, and within walking distance to a number of friends’ homes. Also near great shopping. It should also have a dedicated library where I can write.
7.     I have a growing collection of fairies and mermaids. Statues, paintings, miniatures, etc. I love to be surrounded by fantastical creatures.
8.     When I was in high school in Arizona, my friends and I haunted a local hangout, where I became highly proficient at playing, and winning, air hockey.
9.     During my junior year, I had the opportunity to go to New York with my choir, where we sang in Carnegie Hall. We also toured the city, largely without supervision. #shenanigans
10.I have kissed a stingray, petted a shark, high-fived a sea otter, and hugged a dolphin, and spied seahorses and lobsters in the wild, but I have never wrestled an alligator or tried to housebreak a lion—and I don’t think I ever will.

Thanks for hanging out with me for ten random facts. You can learn more about me and my books at www.nicholegiles.blogspot.com



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