Friday, November 28, 2014

Editorial: P.D. James You Will Be Missed

I was doing minor things on the web last night and was sad to learn of the passing of P.D. James she passed away on Thursday.  While we were celebrating Thanksgiving she was passing on to her next life.  She is a great writer dubbed the Queen of Crime a fitting title.  So sad.  I hope everyone will take the time to check out her books.

P.D. James Website
Goodreads Page

Biography of her website:

P. D. James is the author of twenty books, most of which have been filmed and broadcast on television in the United States and other countries. She spent thirty years in various departments of the British Civil Service, including the Police and Criminal Law Department of Great Britain's Home Office. She has served as a magistrate and as a governor of the BBC. In 2000 she celebrated her eightieth birthday and published her autobiography, Time to Be in Earnest. The recipient of many prizes and honors, she was created Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991. She lives in London and Oxford.

It's always sad when learning of writers that have passed on and I think this one is sad as well.  While their books live on we won't experience anymore books by her.  I think that makes it bittersweet.  Have any of you read her books?  If so which would you recommend?  Feel free to join in the discussion in the comments.



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Review: Antiques Slay by: Barbara Allan

Title: Antiques Slay
Author: Barbara Allan
Publisher: Kensington
Series: A Trash 'n' Treasures Mystery #7.5
Pages: 85
Format: e-book
Source: Purchase

Description:

Ho Ho Homicide The Christmas rush is on as Brandy Borne and her quaintly quirky mother, Vivian, sniff out plum collectibles for resale, only to find the owner of a Santa's workshop worth of treasures has received some deadly tidings. It's beginning to look a lot like murder...but who wanted the deceased closed for the holidays-permanently? Maybe a rival antiques dealer, a Grinch who collects Christmas? Or the victim's suspiciously frosty stepchildren? Brandy and Vivian check their list of who's been naughty or nice, but it may take a Christmas miracle-and some help from Sushi, their elfin shih tzu-to tie a bow around the season's most wanted killer!

 My Thoughts: 

This was a cute little novella in the Trash 'n' Treasure series that follows Brandy Borne, her mother Vivian and her dog Sushi.  When the three decide to go visit a man in town who is getting rid of his extensive Christmas decoration collection Vivian decides that they need to scoop out the goods to help their shop.

What they didn't count on was uncovering a mystery.  When the owner is found dead in his sleigh it's up to Vivian and Brandy to figure out who had the most to kill and why.  This leads them to the step-children who seem to be clueless idiots in this book and also leads them to Lyle Humphrey another collector of antiques.  

I enjoyed this cute little Christmas story I especially enjoyed the back and forth between mother and daughter I found myself laughing at times at their banter!  Such a great story definitely puts you in the festive spirit. 

Editorial: Happy Thanksgiving 2015


We at Community Bookstop just wanted to take the time to wish all our American publishers, Authors, Followers, etc a warm and blessed Thanksgiving holiday.  We are so glad you take the time to work with us and share your books with us.  We look forward to working with you for many years to come!


Feel free to share all those Thanksgiving traditions you utilize in our house it's pretty traditional we watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade, then cartoons for the kids and have Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, biscuits, cranberry sauce and veggies.  This year we also add hot Apple Cider to our mix!


Review: A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom by: June McCrary Jacobs


Title: A Holiday In Apple Blossom
Author: June McCrary Jacobs
Publisher: Cedar Fort Publishing & Media
Pages: 144
Format: e-book ARC
Source: Cedar Fort Book Tour

Description:

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

My Thoughts:

When 6 year old Mary Noel has a car accident and watches her precious dog die in front of her eyes she shuts down and shuts the world out Amber and a man she met while visiting Mary Noel take it upon themselves to work a miracle and try to work on a festival for Mary Noel and their family.

Alot of people come together to provide a Christmas miracle for Mary Noel and her parents.  As Paul and Amber's relationship continues to flourish as time passes.  The more time that passes the stronger their connection gets which also surprises both couples who are new to love.

I really enjoyed this story about love and faith and doing something for others that need it.  It was beautifully written and well told story.


Book Trailer: My Open Heart Destiny: New Avalon, Book 1 by: Andrea Buginsky


Purchase Links:


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Review: A Last Goodbye by: J.A. Jance

Title: A Last Goodbye
Author: J.A. Jance
Publisher: Pocket Star
Series: Ali Reynolds #9.5
Pages: 48
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley

Description:

New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance brings her trademark breakneck pace to this fun and exciting e-novella, where fan favorite Ali Reynolds takes on double responsibilities as both sleuth and bride.

Ali Reynolds is finally getting married to her longtime love B. Simpson. They wanted a simple Christmas Eve wedding, but nothing is ever simple with Ali. Even as a motley crew of her friends—Leland Brooks, Sister Anselm, and others—descend on Vegas, the bride-to-be finds herself juggling last-minute wedding plans and a mystery in the form of a stray miniature dachshund. Ali’s grandson rescues the little dog, but Ali’s not in the market for a new pet right before her honeymoon, and leaves no stone unturned in hunting for the dog’s owner. But what she finds is more than just a shaggy dog story…Bella’s elderly owner has vanished, and her son seems to be behind it. So it’s Ali and B. to the rescue—and still making it to the church on time! 

My Thoughts: 

This was a cute novella where Ali and B. Simpson are getting ready to get married.  They are in Las Vegas with Ali's family and their friends when B takes his soon to be grandkids shopping they come back with more than presents.

B is carrying a dog a mini-dachshund who was thrown into the street which brought Ali's grandson rescuing the dog.  As B. and Ali try to track down the previous owner they learn something things about the precious dog named Bella who was cared for until recently.   The woman who owned her got sick and the son didn't seem to like Bella and ditched her on the road.  What are B. and Ali to do but find out what they can and see if her owner still wanted her.

As the days pass the relationship between B., Bella, and Ali grows stronger as Bella wiggles her way into their heart.  I enjoyed this little novella which brought a dog into the mix.  I loved how Ali and B. did try to do the right thing by locating the owner and was glad it worked out in the end!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Review - Maya's Notebook by: Isabel Allende


Title: Maya's Notebook
Author: Isabel Allende
Publisher: Harper
Pages: 387
Format: Hardcover
Source: Personal purchase

Description:

Isabel Allende’s latest novel, set in the present day (a new departure for the author), tells the story of a 19-year-old American girl who finds refuge on a remote island off the coast of Chile after falling into a life of drugs, crime, and prostitution. There, in the company of a torture survivor, a lame dog, and other unforgettable characters, Maya Vidal writes her story, which includes pursuit by a gang of assassins, the police, the FBI, and Interpol. In the process, she unveils a terrible family secret, comes to understand the meaning of love and loyalty, and initiates the greatest adventure of her life: the journey into her own soul.

My thoughts:

My first meeting with Chilean author Isabel Allende was with The House of the Spirits. The reason why I found out about her in the first place is because I'm always in the search for authors following Marquez's footsteps in "magical realism." Allende lived up to my expectations and The House of the Spirits was an amazing journey for me. Salvador Allende's granddaughter Isabel Allende really captures you by adding in her observations and imagination to her already interesting life. 

Then, ever since I started reading Maya's Notebook, I've been googling Chiloe Island. I keep looking at tours of the island, going, "I must see this place before I die." Maya paints such a wonderful picture of the island and she grows to love it so much that you can't help but want to go there and breathe in that magical air. I'm really, really dying to see a house be moved on the water tied to the back of a boat. I want to meet the witches of Chiloe, to attend their rituals. I want to get drunk at the saloon and listen to the stories of the locals...

Having said that, would I want to do all this with Maya, though? Nope.

Honestly, I believe Maya is Allende's way of showing the reader how she thinks today's youth lives in a bubble and how they lose themselves if that bubble is popped somehow. Maya's Chilean grandmother's past is as turbulent as the country's. However, Maya had the luxury of growing up with her grandmother and grandfather in Berkeley. After her grandfather passes away, she loses herself in drugs and alcohol, also getting involved with a gang leader and starting to work for him. Her grandmother, in her best attempt at protecting her from the people after her (which include the FBI, by the way) sends her away to Chiloe Island to stay with an old friend.


If you ask me which character I liked the most, I'll have to say nobody except the island locals. However, like I've mentioned before, Chiloe Island is so powerful, so magical that this book is worth reading even if just to experience that.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Review - Kiss Me First by: Lottie Moggach

Title: Kiss Me First
Author: Lottie Moggach
Publisher: Picador
Pages: 337
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal purchase

Description:

On the internet, we can be anyone we choose. No one knows who we really are. Sheltered and obsessive, Leila spends more time online than out in the real world. So she seems the ideal person to take over the virtual identity of the vivacious and fragile Tess, who wants to disappear. But even with all the facts at her fingertips, there are things that Leila can’t possibly know about Tess – or herself – until it is too late . .

My thoughts:

I was rather intrigued by this book, probably because it came right after I was done with Talking Back to Facebook, which led me to constantly think about internet and social media's roles in our lives. I am a person who is very much addicted to the internet, to the point where I freak out if I don't have an internet connection. The main character of the book, Leila, on the other hand, has taken this addiction to a whole different, uncomfortable level.

I don't remember whom Kiss Me First was recommended to me by. And, I must admit, I almost wasn't going to bother with it when I saw it being compared to Gone Girl, which I didn't really enjoy. But the fact that it handled internet addiction and was targeted toward young adults grabbed my attention anyway. Leila is a young girl who starts making money on the internet (not in an illegal way or anything before your mind wonders off) after her mother's death. While she's not playing World of Warcraft online, she's hanging out in forums, which is something I too did a lot in my teens. Her forum of choice is one called Red Pill, and he manages to get the founder Adrian's attention with her smart comments and attitude toward life. This is how she comes to accepts a job he has for her: continuing a women called Tess's internet presence after she kills herself.

I must say that I got myself getting quite bored with Leila and everything in her life until a bit more than half of the book. Because Leila is also the narrator, we have to read through what she thinks is important at the time. Even though this might be the case, I couldn't help wondering whether or not I would accept such a job if it ever came up...

Adrian thinks that everyone has the right to do whatever they want with their bodies. People he finds, people like Leila, are hired to "help" those who want to do just that by committing suicide. As a person who's lost loved ones to suicide, I have to believe that there is a good reason for them to choose to do that. What I don't understand is what they might gain from having someone impersonate them on the internet to help them "fade away."

Just think about it: you think your close friend has moved to another country. You e-mail each other everyday, message on Facebook and keep up with each other's lives. However, that friend is already dead and the person you think she is is a stranger who supposedly has enough knowledge to keep up the act. If this isn't disturbing beyond words, then what is it?

There is also Leila's character development, which leads to her actually wanting the life that Tess lost, even almost wanting to be Tess. She gets to wrapped up in this that when an old fling of Tess's gets in touch with her, Leila is sure he is actually falling in love with her, and not Tess. This was very disturbing for me as well, but I guess it is expected from a young girl who knows nothing about real life except for what she reads about it online. 

Kiss Me First has made me realize once again just how dangerous the internet can be and how everyone should really be more educated about it.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Review: Frame Change by: T’Gracie and Joe Reese


Title: Frame Change
Author: T'Gracie and Joe Reese
Publisher: Cozy Cat Press
Series: The Nina Bannister Mysteries Book #5
Pages: 233
Format: ebook
Source: Great Escapes Book Tour

Description:

 Nina Bannister loves to paint, and she thinks her hobby is painless enough. But she is wrong. Her love of doing seascapes leads to a friendship with a young ex docent from The Chicago Art Museum–and to their entry into the murky and dangerous world of international art smuggling.

Can she save her young friend, who has been kidnapped to the mountains of southern Austria? Can she determine the identity and motives of the mysterious Red Claw? Can she see the real painting that is hidden beneath the false one?

 Her success in these matters–indeed her very survival–depend on her ability to perform a last ditch Frame Change!

My Thoughts:

In this book which is the fifth in the series Nina Bannister is trying her hand at painting.  In this book we also meet Carol Walker who is a docent at the Chicago Art Museum but that doesn't last long as Carol made a few little mistakes and her boss uses this to fire the young girl.

Nina and Margot hire her to come to their town and show off her work.  The two also find out what happened in Chicago.  They offer her a job to work with them to keep her working and not drifting with no money.  Not long afterwards Carol realizes she is going to have to Michael up on his job of Art Smuggling but not all goes according to plan and soon Nina has to rescue her young friend after she is kidnapped.

This book is a great cozy mystery filled with all sorts of mystery and adventure.  This book is great for anyone who loves cozy mysteries filled with intrigue and suspense.  Can't wait to see what Nina does in her next book!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book Trailer: Valerie's Retreat by: Joseph Rinaldo


Purchase Links: 


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Blast: How A Star Falls

How a Star Falls by Amber Stokes
How a Star Falls
  How does a star fall? 
Quickly. Completely. Unexpectedly. Derrick Knolane escapes to Trinidad Head most evenings, avoiding his apartment and planning for the day he'll break free of Humboldt County. Working in a music store might be fine for a while, but it's far from the goal he had in mind when he got his college degree. Not to mention the fact that his roommate is a jerk and his family won't stop trying to run his life. Then Brielle falls into his world. She claims to be a star. Not from Hollywood, but from heaven. He thinks she's crazy. Certainly delusional. Yet, he can't just leave her alone on the cliffs. So he takes her home. And his whole world falls apart. A heartfelt and fanciful contemporary romance novella, How a Star Falls explores the uncertain season of new adulthood and shows that sometimes the worst inconveniences make for the best miracles of all.   

 Praise for How a Star Falls 

"Perfect for when you want a whimsical, heartwarming read, How a Star Falls is more than an inspirational romance...it's a wink and a smile." - Joanne Bischof, award winning author of This Quiet Sky 

 "Amber Stokes has perfectly expressed the challenges of twenty-something life in her sweet contemporary new adult novella, How a Star Falls. Brielle and Derrick's journey reminds us all of the search to find ourselves in the midst of young adulthood. Their story is charming and wistful with emotions we can all relate to experiencing at some point in our lives. It is a tale about letting go in order to find yourself once again while never losing the importance of who you are...and who you can be." - Cerella Sechrist, author of Gentle Persuasion and The Paris Connection 

"Though not typically a reader of contemporary fiction, I found How a Star Falls to be a wonderfully told story of both sweet romance and coming to terms with the fact that even though life doesn't always turn out exactly as we dreamed it would, even our undesirable circumstances can lead to a bright future." - Jaye L. Knight, author of Ilyon Chronicles.

Purchase Your Copy

Amber Stokes  Excerpt:

He led the way to the lighthouse, but instead of stopping at a bench, he headed down the stairs to the beach. When he finally reached the shore, he scuffed through the sand until he found a promising spot that didn’t look like it would get wet anytime soon. At the moment, they had the little piece of beach to themselves.   “This is really nice,” Brielle said as she clutched the paper bag to her stomach and gazed out at the boats bobbing in the choppy water. “A little cold, but nice.”   He glanced up from where he was smoothing out the towel. “Too cold?”   She offered him a cheeky grin. “Everything’s too cold for a star.”   That drew out a laugh from him as he sat on the towel and patted the other side. “I thought outer space was supposed to be freezing. Space suits and all that, right?”   She plopped down next to him and set the bag between them, turning her head at the screech of a seagull above them. As he brought out the food, she responded, “You’re thinking like a human. It’s not cold for the stars. They’re always shining, always warm. That frozen darkness could never touch them.”   Her words stilled his hand as he clutched an apple. Hadn’t he once told his dad the same thing, that stars would be warm to the touch?  

Author Amber Stokes:

  Amber Stokes works as a content writer (marketing services) for a Christian publisher. On the side, she self-publishes inspirational fiction depicting the seasons of life and love. Her passion for books compelled her to earn a bachelor's degree in English and to run her own freelance editing and publicity business for over a year. Happily, this new chapter of her career takes place in the Pacific Northwest—a part of the world she's always considered home. 


book blast button
         

Book Blast Giveaway:

 $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/16/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 


Review: Fatal Brushstrokes by: Sybil Johnson


Title: Fatal Brushstrokes
Author: Sybil Johnson
Publisher: Henery Press
Series: An Aurora Anderson Mystery # 1
Pages: 276
Format: e-book ARC
Source: Great Escapes Book Tour

Description:

A dead body in her garden and a homicide detective on her doorstep…
Computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson doesn’t envision finding either when she steps outside to investigate the frenzied yipping coming from her own backyard. After all, she lives in Vista Beach, a quiet California beach community where violent crime is rare and murder even rarer.

Suspicion falls on Rory when the body buried in her flowerbed turns out to be someone she knows—her tole painting teacher, Hester Bouquet. Just two weekends before, Rory attended one of Hester’s weekend painting seminars, an unpleasant experience she vowed never to repeat. As evidence piles up against Rory, she embarks on a quest to identify the killer and clear her name. Can Rory unearth the truth before she encounters her own brush with death?

My Thoughts:

This book follows computer programer Aurora Anderson known in this series as Rory who has stumbled upon a dead body on her property.  She and her friend Liz try to figure out who wanted to kill Hester Bouquet a local tole painting teacher.

Some are quick to blame Rory for the murder.  Rory is quick to try to uncover who killed Hester and to clear her name.  Rory's birth parents played into this story as the police seem more set for Rory to take the blame for the murder.

I enjoyed this story and the characters and can't wait to see what Ms. Johnson comes up with next for Rory and Liz.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Book Spotlight: Destiny's Anvil by: Steven Wells Hicks

New Orleans novelist Steven Wells Hicks recently published his latest novel Destiny’s Anvil: A Tale of Politics, Payback & Pigs.

Destiny’s Anvil is a classic tale of revenge between a sociopathic politician and the campaign puppet master who unleashes him
on the people of Louisiana. Written from an insider’s experiences in the back rooms of hardball Dixie politics where cold-blooded payback
is coin of the realm, Destiny’s Anvil is at once a sharp-eyed examination of the seamy underside of America’s elections and a freewheeling yarn in the grand Southern tradition.

Destiny’s Anvil was published in June 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Destinys-Anvil-Steven-Wells-Hicks-ebook/dp/B00KRJFVJE/

Synopsis:

Will Guidry’s career as a backwater lawyer is going nowhere until he has a couple of beers with up-and-coming political operative Tucker Callahan, whose family’s petrochemical fortune instills in him a confidence bordering on hubris. As Tucker explains to his rudderless brother, Carter, “Guidry and I made a deal because he needed a miracle and I wanted to play God.”

Guidry rides Tucker’s political horse sense into the office of Louisiana’s Attorney General, while Tucker capitalizes on Guidry’s victory to bolster his own political reputation. But what should become a powerful alliance deteriorates into a bitter feud when Guidry tries to flex his political muscle and Tucker suspects he may have maneuvered a calculating sociopath into the marble halls of power.

Caught in the crossfire is Carter, the story’s narrator. Devastated by betrayal at the hands of his brother and the woman he loved for a lifetime, a brooding Carter remains content to watch the power struggle between Tucker and Guidry from the sidelines. Everything changes when he stumbles on the charismatic attorney general committing a monstrous crime, and finds himself drawn into the vortex of his brother’s private war.

Racing from a bungled execution through ruthless political payback and a no-holds-barred courtroom showdown, before culminating in a bloodbath by the side of a bayou, the stakes continue to rise and Carter finds his small-town naiveté peeling away. Replacing it is a mounting dread of what will happen when the hammer of Fate meets destiny’s anvil.

About the Author: 

Steven Hicks came to Mississippi in 1974 and spent the next quarter century writing for various advertising agencies, including his own. He wrote commercials and print ads about hot dogs and other baloney, used cars, barbecue shacks, sunscreen, banks galore, white bread, undertakers, churches, casinos, turkey calls, finger-lickin’ chicken and symphony orchestras. Some of the work was thoughtful. Some was funny. Most was neither.

During that period of time, he earned the enmity of his competitors and peers by being named Mississippi’s top copywriter nine times, winning six certificates of excellence in the International CLIO Awards, over 150 ADDY Awards, Radio Mercury honors and being included in Who’s Who in American Advertising.

A major portion of his advertising and marketing income came through his work as a political consultant, engineering the media and messaging efforts for more than six dozen campaigns, culminating with the POLLIE Award for best statewide/national commercial from the American Association of Political Consultants in 1989.

While the embarrassing abundance of honors mean next to nothing to Hicks, the education he got through the process meant everything. He learned how to write what people like. He learned to write with economy and clarity, because consumers won’t buy things from long-winded peddlers of perplexity. He learned when words have to be polished and when they’re best left plain.

Through it all, people kept telling Hicks he should write books and he kept saying, “Maybe one day,” until the day came when a near-fatal stroke in 1997 forced him into an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation with his own mortality, and he realized he wanted to be remembered for something more consequential than gimmicky commercials.

There was only one hitch. The stroke had taken away his ability to read.

For the next thirteen months, Hicks stubbornly stared at newspaper letters until he could form words, read sentences, then paragraphs, and finally had the ability to once again read novels, albeit at a far slower pace and with cognitive problems enhanced by lingering reading difficulties stemming from alexia, an aphasia problem caused by brain lesions.

It made the headstrong Hicks more determined than ever to take a shot at those novels people had been encouraging him to write for years.

Ten years and eleven revisions later came his debut novel, The Gleaner, a trans-racial romance set in a sleepy Mississippi whistle-stop. In a competition of 5,000 entries, The Gleaner was named a quarter-finalist in Amazon.com’s prestigious “Breakthrough Novel” competition. Upon its heels came two comic novels in 2009, The Fall of Adam, a satire of Deep South advertising, and Horizontal Adjustment, a farce about sexual escapades among competitors for a news anchor position in a tank town television station along the Florida Panhandle.

Deciding to take a breather from novels, Hicks started publishing New Orleans restaurant guidebooks on an annual basis in 2011, all of which have become mainstays on Amazon.com’s list of the 100 top-selling books about world dining.

In May of 2014, Hicks published his fourth novel, Destiny’s Anvil, which marked a stark departure from the breezy style of his earlier works.

“The final product is the polar opposite of the novel’s original intent. It is dark, violent bordering on savage, as it strips away the veneers of not only politicians, but the entire American political system. At the same time, it moves with the furious pace of a thriller overflowing with cliffhangers,” says Hicks.

Steven Wells Hicks lives in New Orleans. To learn more, go to http://stevenwellshicks.com/, or connect with Steven on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hickswrites 



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Review - I Am Malala by: Malala Yousafzai

Title: I Am Malala
Author: Malala Yousafzai
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 276
Format: Paperback
Source: Turkish edition, personal purchase

Description:


I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.


When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. 

Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.


My thoughts:

To not know who Malala is, you must be living under a rock or somewhere very much abandoned with no contact to anyone or anything to the outside world. She is a girl from Pakistan who was shot in the head by the Taliban on her way to school when she was 15. Her fault? Wanting to go to school, learn and working to make sure all girls have this right. 

When it comes to Malala, I can go on and on and on because I really admire her in so many ways starting with her courage, but I think this video will give you a much better idea of what kind of person she is:



Review: Iced Chiffon by: Duffy Brown

Title: Iced Chiffon
Author: Duffy Brown
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Series: Consignment Shop Mystery #1
Pages: 304
Format: Nook e-book
Source: Purchase

Description:

There's always something to gossip about in Savannah, Georgia, and Reagan Summerside always seems to be in the middle of it. She's busy enough running her consignment shop, the Prissy Fox, with her vivacious auntie, KiKi, but now the gossip--and the sales--are about to pick up, after a gruesome discovery...

Reagan's messy divorce has left her with nothing but a run-down Victorian and a bunch of designer clothes. Strapped for cash, Reagan makes use of the two things she has left, turning the first floor of her home into a consignment shop and filling it with the remnants of her rich-wife wardrobe.

Thanks to his cunning lawyer, Walker Boone, her ex got everything else, including the Lexus--not to mention a young blonde cupcake. When Reagan finds the blonde dead in the Lexus, she's determined to beat Boone to finding the murderer. As it turns out, the gossip fiends flooding Reagan's shop can give her a lot more than just their unwanted clothes--they have information more precious than a vintage Louis Vuitton...


My Thoughts: 

This book follows Reagan Summerside newly divorced who is selling off her fancy clothes from when she was married so that she can keep her home.  Her house is definitely a fixer upper.  Not long into this Reagan 'borrows' her ex-husband's Lexus to deliver a fountain to a buyer when she finds her ex's new fiancé in the car trunk.  

Of course this lands Reagan's ex-husband in jail for having motive to kill his fiancé when the couple were scene the night before arguing.  Who had the most to gain by Janelle's death?  Was it Hollis Reagan's ex?  Or was it Reverend Franklin who won't talk about Janelle?  Or was it the woman who had been scorned previously when Janelle stole her husband away?  So many suspects for Reagan to sift through to find out who had it out for Janelle the man stealer!

Someone is hot Reagan's tale and has tried to kill her dog Bruce Willis more commonly known as BW. Also they broke into Reagan's house meanwhile people in town are placing bets on who will find the killer and alot of people are betting that Reagan will find the killer.

In this book we watching Kiki and Reagan take all sorts of wrong turns question residents who've been blackmailed to death by Janelle all the while all of them seem to have a motive albeit not a good motive for the murder. So who had the crappiest motive that could be poked like a balloon with a needle? 

This book was great especially the go between with Reagan and Boone the lawyer representing Reagan's ex when he is arrested.  It's an interesting go between going on.  I also enjoyed reading everything Kiki and Reagan did to try to find out the murderer.  The ending was very surprising.  I loved it!



Saturday, November 15, 2014

Book Spotlight: Saints in The Shadows by: Alana Cash

SAINTS IN THE SHADOWS
by: Alana Cash

Title: Saints in The Shadows
Author: Alana Cash
Publisher: Hacienda Press
Pages: 210

Synopsis:

A young man sits on an airplane next to a passenger claiming to be a psychic to a world-renowned television personality and flies all over the world giving readings to that celebrity.  The young man tells his mother about meeting the psychic on his trip, and for a couple of years, the mother mulls over what might a famous celebrity ask a psychic.  What would a super-rich Wall Streeter ask?  Or a politician?

In answering those questions, that young man’s mother, Alana Cash, wrote a book called Saints in the Shadows.  The protagonist in the book, Maud, has lost her father in a sudden accident and the grief she and her mother feel drives them apart.  There’s a mystery too – what happened to her father’s trumpet in the crash.  No one has found it.

Maud heads for New York, and there she meets Lina Sandor aka Madame Budska, psychic to the elite of New York City.

After a few months acquaintance, Lina asks Maud to take over the Madame Budska business and trains her to really listen and really see with a depth that most people don’t attain.  Maud has an ability of her own – she dreams, and in her dreams, she learns things that she didn’t learn in her waking hours.  Combine her dreaming ability and super observation skills and Maud learns things about Lina’s clients that are sad and a bit creepy.  But it’s one frightening dream that leads Maud to a resolution of her grief about her father’s death.

Author Bio:

Multiple award-winning author and filmmaker Alana Cash is an adventurer.  She’s trekked alone in war-torn Serbia and slept in a KGB interrogation room in Prague.  She’s been to a gypsy fair in England, a bullfight in Laredo, and parasailing in Acapulco.  She wore a bulletproof vest on a ride-along in an NYPD patrol car, and she’s kissed a man inside the Norman Bates Psyco house at Universal Studios.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Interview: Elliot Baker Author of The Sun God's Heir

Today I had the pleasure of Interviewing Elliot Baker author of The Sun God's Heir.  If you haven't had a chance to check out you really should!

Synopsis:

When an ancient evil awakens, one young pacifist is all that stands between the world’s freedom and the red tide of slavery.

In 17th century France, a young pacifist kills to protect the woman he loves, unwittingly opening a door for the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian general determined to continue a reign of terror begun three thousand years ago.

Taking up the sword will not be enough. Rene must reclaim his own ancient past to stop the red tide of slavery from engulfing the world.

Joined by a powerful sheikh, his sword wielding daughter, and a family of Maranos escaping the Spanish Inquisition, they fight their way through pirates, typhoons, and dark assassins to reach Morocco, the home of an occult sect that has waited for Rene through the eons.

Purchase Links:

What genre do you write?

The Sun God’s Heir is an historical adventure with strains of fantasy. Although, I’m sure there are many books that fall cleanly and clearly into one genre or another, genre can be restricting. The book is set in the late seventeenth century when the sword was still a primary weapon and women were thick in the fight for identity and power. There were real people making real mistakes. I tend to see everything with a little bit of magic, so it couldn’t be completely absent from any story I tell.


Can you tell us what brought you to writing your genre?

From the time I was introduced to story, I’ve been enthralled by “What happens next?.” Every moment is truly an adventure if we look out at our realities  from that question. The more excitement we can generate, negative or positive, the more meaning we tease from each moment. I’ve always found the stories of our past fascinating. It’s been said that reality is stranger than fiction, and truth be told, as a species, we have managed to get ourselves into some tight spots. I’ve always wanted to fly. By that, I mean personally. For me fantastical elements are always metaphors for the power of flight. I’ve also found that by grounding fantasy (fiction) within a framework of accurate history the real lends power to the imagined.


Who influences your writing?  Do you have favorite authors?


All of them. Everyone I’ve ever encountered has told me at least a snippet of their story. Of writers, I love Ursula LeGuinn, David Weber, Orson Scott Card, John Nelson, James Michener, Richard Bach, Ann McCaffrey… Talk about an endless road. Just thinking of the wonderful stories of these people has brought a smile to my face, and I am grateful for the question.


What type of books do you like to read?

Those that grant me the boon of transport. To be gifted with moments completely outside of my normal reality is fun. To come back to the room, the day, the book after having experienced the excitement, fear, pain, love and endless emotions of the story is one of the most gratifying things to experience. I know that your question was really what genres do I enjoy the most. In a shorter winded answer to that question, I love Historical Fantasy (big surprise there), science fiction, spy stories, especially where they travel the globe, and inspirational works, when they give me concepts that resonate with me.


What do you do when you’re not writing?


I read, listen to music, research, and with my wife, Sally, enjoy living in New England.. We spend time with friends, exploring craft fairs (Sally makes huge mosaics), watch our children making their own stories, and in general do our best to move through this lifetime as gently as possible.


If you were stranded on an island only allowed to bring three things what would they be?


Well, although I love the sun and the ocean, by myself, my efforts would be directed toward either bringing others to my beautiful new island, or getting rescued. I’d cheat and bring a solar charged  sat phone, fishing gear and a lighter. If there was no fuel or water, I’m pretty screwed no matter what else I bring. Now, if I can do this with my wife, Sally, we’re talkin’ Treasure Island, and I’m already in that story.

Interview: Pamela Fagan Hutchins Author of Going For Kona


Our interview today is with Pamela Fagan Hutchins, author of the bestselling and award-winning


romantic mystery series, Katie & Annalise, which includes Saving Grace (#1, 4.5-stars and over 770-reviews), Leaving Annalise (#2, 4.7-stars and over 190+-reviews), and Finding Harmony (#3, 4.9-stars and over 130+ reviews). Her new romantic mystery is Going for Kona (4.8-stars, 25 reviews) which came out October 1, 2014. She also writes hilarious nonfiction.

Before we get to the interview, a brief description of Going for Kona:

When her husband is killed in a hit-and-run bicycling accident, it takes all of Michele Lopez Hanson’s strength not to burrow into their bed for the rest of her life. But their kids need her, and she promised herself she’d do the Kona Ironman Triathlon in Adrian’s honor, and someone seems to be stalking her family, so she slogs through the pain to keep herself on track. Her dangerously delirious training sessions become a link between her and Adrian, and she discovers that if she keeps moving fast enough to fly, she can hold onto her husband—even as she loses her grip on herself and faces her biggest threat yet.

Pamela’s romantic mysteries have racked up a number of accolades including a 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, Romance, Quarter-finalist nod; 2011 Winner of the Houston Writers Guild Mainstream Novel Contest; 2010 Winner of the Writers League of Texas Romance Contest; and 2012 Winner of the Houston Writers Guild Ghost Story Contest. The reviews from readers and critics are fantastic. 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH PAMELA FAGAN HUTCHINS

Pamela Fagan Hutchins combines humor, romance, mystery, and magical realism in her new release, Going for Kona, the first book in her Michele series, as well as in her Katie & Annalise series novels. Drawing rave reviews for humor, emotional depth, and twisting, fast-paced plots, readers and critics alike love her romantic mysteries, and Once Upon A Romance Calls Pamela an "up and coming powerhouse writer." Her books are available in audio, ebook, and paperback, and you can get them just about anywhere.

What genre is your book? If you had to describe your book Twitter syle (140 characters or less), what would you say?

Going for Kona is a romantic mystery. 

Here’s my Twitter pitch: Michele wants to burrow into bed when her husband is killed, but she must compete in the Kona Ironman Triathlon in his honor and keep her family from meeting his same fate.

What types of books do you like to read?

I love the larger-than-life characters of Larry McMurtry, the emotion and descriptive excess of Pat Conroy, the psychological intensity of Ruth Rendell, and the hilarity of Janet Evanovich. And then there is just this incredible list of mystery/thriller authors that’s too long for publication, but let me give it a shot: P.D. James, Elizabeth George, Sara Paretsky, John Sanford, Tami Hoag, Sue Grafton, Mary Higgins Clark, etc.etc. etc. My goodness. I love them all.

Who influences your writing?  Do you have favorite authors?

Wow, this is a hard one. Within the mystery genre, I have a lot of influences. I think the author I admire most is Ruth Rendell, and while my writing doesn’t resemble hers, her imagination and versatility admires me most. But the list of my inspirations is very, very long. Lisa Scottoline, P.D. James, Elizabeth George, Stieg Larrson, Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, Mary Higgins Clark (the adult mystery writer I read earliest), Marcia Muller, Sandra Brown, the writers I read as a girl—Julie Campbell, the (many) authors of the Hardy Boys, and Carolyn Keene—and, yes, even my “nemesis” Janet Evanovich. I forgot about 35, authors, probably most notably Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reich, Harlan Coben, and Michael Connelly. But then there’s Robert Tannenbaum, too, and Jan Karon. Crap. This is hard. OK, I give up 
The biggest influence that Ms. Rendell had on me was that she wasn’t afraid to go weird, she dared to  dabble with magical realism, and that she didn’t stick to hard-boiled detectives as protagonists. I loved her ability to transport me, and I especially loved that her mysteries carried themes. Many popular mystery writers give up theme for plot. However, I would add that Lisa Scottoline did the same for me, and added depth of characterization and humor.

Can you tell us what brought you to writing this type of book? (I warn you, this isn’t a short answer, but it’s the real story)


I didn’t plan to become a novelist, or a triathlete for that matter. I like my Kona in a coffee cup, with vanilla stevia drops and no-sugar-added coconut almond milk, to be exact. I barely even knew Kona as the name of the triathlon world championships until ten years ago, when I said “I do” to my husband Eric. 
On our wedding day, he bored into my soul with his eyes intense and green (which they only are when we are nose-to-nose—the rest of the time they are hazel) and asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
 Well, hmmm, I was already a mother and a lawyer at the time and I kind of thought I was all grown up, too. “What exactly do you mean?”
“Like what kind of dreams have you not fulfilled? I want to help you make them come true.”
I’d fulfilled my most important one by marrying him—spending my life with a wonderful, gorgeous guy who spoils me and makes my toes curl. But once upon a time I’d had other dreams, too. Dreams that I had forgotten about. “To write a novel. And to run a marathon.”
That brought a smile to Eric’s olive face. “Well all right then. Which one’s first?”
And that is how it came to pass that one year later, while in training for our first marathon, I did a Half Ironman triathlon. It turned out, by the way, that a Half Ironman is way harder than a marathon, but I didn’t know that at the time. (They say ignorance is bliss!) It was then that the Kona triathlon, which is on the Hawaiian island of Kona—became important to me. It’s a full Ironman: a 2.4-mile swim followed by a 112-mile bicycle ride, capped with a full 26.2-mile marathon run. Yegads! I’ll bet you can guess that a Half Ironman is exactly half of that, too. My husband wants us to a full Ironman together someday, which I wrote about in a mostly funny but sort of inspirational book called Hot Flashes and Half Ironmans.
First I had to write a novel, though. So, six months after my intro to Half Ironmans, I wrote a silly novella about a woman named Katie and a jumbie house named Annalise for Eric while he was on a work trip to India. (Yes, it was the start of the Katie & Annalise series, for those of you in the know about my books.) I thought that would “count” and that we could put the scary novel thing to bed. It didn’t. Not for him or for me. 
In November of that year I signed up for NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month—which is a “contest" to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days held each November.  I highly recommend. So that November 1 rolled around and I had no idea what to write about. Then inspiration struck. Eric and I had just finished a long run (we were training for an ultra-marathon) sandwiched in between events at our two daughters’ swim meet. Some insignificant thing he said or did set me off, and I drove home early and alone, spitting mad. Note to self: adrenaline is not always your friend. 
Somewhere between the Fort Bend Natatorium and our home in Meyerland, I realized I was being a pill. I loved this man who treated me like a queen, and God forbid something would happen to one of us and the other’s last memory would be that I was shrew. What if a stalkery old girlfriend had been hunting him down for years, and found him today, derringer in hand? What if he got lost, as he is prone to do, and ended up in the crossfire of drug deal gone bad? Or what if he was kidnapped and forced to work for terrorists in Siberia who needed the specialized knowledge he had about refineries in Libya? 
A devastating despair came over me, and I knew what I had to write. As soon as I got home, I started typing Going for Kona, the story of a couple training for the Kona Ironman. When tragedy strikes, it’s not a random act but murder, and the protagonist, Michele, must overcome grief and every other damn thing life throws at her to protect what she has left: her son Sam and stepdaughter Annabelle. Yet Michele doesn’t get mired in gloom; she literally draws strength from the spirit of her dead husband and her alter ego, a warrior butterfly, and she digs deep to rise above. It’s a romantic mystery inspired by the years I’ve spent training with my own husband for triathlon and my feelings for him. The plot is pure frenzied, make-believe fun, and readers have told me they laughed as much as they cried and never saw the ending coming.
Now, I like my Kona in a fast-paced mystery, and I think you will, too. But it’s even better read with a cuppa.

If you were stranded on an island only allowed to bring three things what would they be?

Eric, my one-eyed Boston terrier Petey, and an iPhone with satellite coverage and a forever battery.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing, I love to travel with my husband. In the summer of 2014, we took our RV—dubbed the Bookmobile—on a book tour in 17 states. We took a month to do it, and we picked the prettiest places we could drive to in that time frame, staying as close to state and national parks as we could, so that we had easy access to hiking and mountain biking. Our route covered the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Crater Lake, Astoria, Mount Ranier, Mount Hood, Bellingham, Couer d’Alene, Buffalo Wyoming, Grand Rapids, and Otter Tail Lake, MN. Wow. And for a complete change of pace we are going to Bora Bora and staying in a little thatched hut over the water for our anniversary!
***

I love to hear from readers, so feel free to drop me a note via any of my social media links, and I’ve been known to Skype or meet face to face with book clubs, so don’t hesitate to ask.

Thank you, Sarah, for hosting my interview on Workaday Reads. I really appreciated this opportunity to connect with your readers.

Social media and buy links:

Connect with Pamela Fagan Hutchins: Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

~*~*~

Thank you Pamela for taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit our site today and good luck with your many novels we wish you nothing but success!




Book Spotlight: The Sun God's Heir by: Elliot Baker



When an ancient evil awakens, one young pacifist is all that stands between the world’s freedom and the red tide of slavery.
In 17th century France, a young pacifist kills to protect the woman he loves, unwittingly opening a door for the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian general determined to continue a reign of terror begun three thousand years ago.
Taking up the sword will not be enough. Rene must reclaim his own ancient past to stop the red tide of slavery from engulfing the world.
Joined by a powerful sheikh, his sword wielding daughter, and a family of Maranos escaping the Spanish Inquisition, they fight their way through pirates, typhoons, and dark assassins to reach Morocco, the home of an occult sect that has waited for Rene through the eons.
#Pirates, #Egyptiansorcery, #Whiteslavery, #Reincarnation, #Astralplane, #17thcenturysailingships, #Barbarypirates, #MoulayIsmail, #Mysticism, #Occult, #SpanishInquisition, #Morocco, #Femaleswordmaster, SunGodsHeir, #fantasy




Excerpt:

The boatswain, a large man with scars on his arms and face, walked over to stand in front of René. “Chain him to the mast.”
Their gazes met.
“Don’t look at me, boy,” he said, backhanding René in the face. “Look down at the deck when I talk to you. You’re some over-fed nobleman’s kid thinkin’ you make the rules. I’m surprised you ain’t cryin’ for your mama. You got a mama, boy?” he asked and laughed. When René didn’t answer, he hit him again. “I asked you a question, boy. Don’t try my patience, cause I ain’t got none.”
“My mother died when I was born,” René said, watching the man’s feet to see how he moved. He was cataloging everything he could see out of the corners of his eyes.
“Well, not to worry, you’ll be seeing her soon.” The boatswain turned to walk away and then turned back and hit René again. “I had to do that,” he said, and walked away laughing.
Though they had chained him in a way that didn’t allow him to sit, René had enough slack to turn and see most of the ship. He was aboard an English slave ship. She was an older carrack in design, still with the large forecastle. She had seen better days, though. The fact that she was still on the seas suggested either a cutthroat reputation or an experienced captain. Under the wear, the ship was surprisingly clean, her ropes and sails newly repaired and in good order. Second rate though she might be, she was seaworthy. This was a veteran crew, competent in their tasks. It wouldn’t be easy getting free, and even if he could, where would he escape to in the middle of the ocean? Don’t rush fate. One thing at a time. Do what you can do, he heard the Maestro say. It was clear he would have to pick a fight, and hope he could survive long enough to begin creating allies. The next time the big boatswain walked by, René laughed.
“What are you findin’ so funny, boy?” The boatswain stuck his face within inches of René’s.
René had noticed the boatswain had one leg shorter than the other, and was certain the big man would be touchy on that point. “You walk funny, that’s all,” said René, raising his voice. It was of no use to him if he got beat up and no one knew why.
All work within the sound of René’s voice crashed to a complete stop. Silence reigned. René had guessed right. Now he could only hope he would survive his insight.
The boatswain stood in absolute disbelief, his face turning redder by the moment. “What did you say?” Spittle flew from his mouth.
Even the captain had turned to watch. René counted on the fact Gaspard’s agent had given the captain a great deal of money, along with explicit instructions that didn’t include throwing a dead boy overboard. What he didn’t know was how close to dead the agent considered acceptable.
“I said you walk funny,” René said—louder this time, so there would be no mistaking it.
“Do you know what a cat is, boy?” the boatswain said, clearly beyond rational thought. René could see the veins standing out in his neck and temples, his eyes shot red with blood.
“A small animal?” René asked.
There was a laugh from the men standing around the mast. The boatswain took one look around, and the laugh died.
“You, James, bring me the cat. I don’t think this boy has ever seen a real one. Your education has been sadly incomplete, boy. You’ll be thankin’ me for this. I promise you.” The boatswain’s voice was a rough whisper.
James walked over and handed the Cat-O-Nine-Tails to the boatswain. As he caught René’s eye, he sadly shook his head. The cat had nine long thongs of blood-encrusted leather dangling from a handle, knots tied along the length of each thong.
“This here’s a cat, boy. As you can see, it ain’t no small animal. Now, there’s a skill and a talent to usin’ a cat, both of which I’m proud to say I have. You see, you need to take care the thongs don’t get all stuck together with blood and skin, which they’re wont to do. If that happens, the cat’ll take yer organs right out, and that’s always a bad thing. So you need to run your fingers between the thongs every couple of strokes, to keep ‘em separate. I gotta tell you—as much pride as I take in usin’ the cat, sometimes I’m forgetful. I try to keep count, but before I know it, I plumb forget to clean the damn thing. I surely hope that don’t happen today.”
“I also have a skill and a talent, and I will kill you with it,” René said quietly.
For one second, the boatswain paused, confusion written across his face. “Turn him around, and chain him up. You there, strip off his shirt.”

What some are saying about The Sun God’s Heir:

I can't wait for the second book of the trilogy to see what they encounter next! 
LISAMAJIGS

The characters are vivid and lovable, and the story drew me in from page one. 
KateK

A page turner!! 
fastdog| 




About the author:

Elliott Barry Baker was born in Jacksonville, Florida, attended Wolfson High School and then went on to bump into as many different things as he could. From St. Petersburg Junior college to the University of Missouri, finally graduating from Jacksonville University, he managed a B.A. in history. He’s worked as a swimming instructor in the Catskills, in an import business, on a kibbutz in the Golan Heights during the 1973 war, as an EKG technician, a sandwich shop owner, a hypnotherapist, and in various retail management positions until he started and ran a small five store costume jewelry chain for fifteen years.
In 1992 he had the pleasure of seeing Gershwin’s show Crazy For You  in New York City while attending a merchandise show. Sitting in the front row when the orchestra began the overture he had an epiphany. Nowhere was he more excited than seated in a theatre before the start of a show. Didn’t matter if it was the third grade chorus, although those could sometimes be difficult for a musician.
He came home and asked his wife, Sally, if he could sell the company and write music. They had three children ages five, thirteen, and sixteen. His argument was that they had two years before the kids began to hit college and because he had talent, he was sure that he’d be making money long before then. There needs to be a pause here for those of you in the business of art, to groan. Fortunately for him, his wife has supported every endeavor he’s made both emotionally and financially. It never happens as fast as you wish, but the universe somehow conspired to allow him to continue and all three kids graduated from college with honors.
Taking every course the local university offered on playwriting and musical theatre was a start. He wrote the music for his first show there. Elliott was accepted into the BMI / Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop in 1996. For the next four years he drove into New York City from New Hampshire every Monday for the evening workshop. He got the summers off.
Elliott has written the book, music and lyrics for six musicals, one of which was adapted into a play. Four musicals and the play have been published by Dramatic Publishing and Eldridge Publishing and have been produced all over the United States and in New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada. All of his shows have seen production.
“But wait,” said the TV announcer cheerfully slicing carrots. Elliott realized, that for him, crafting the story was the most fun and so thanks to a friend, he joined the NaNoWriMo throng in 2006. It was an amazing experience which he recommends to everyone. He hopes you enjoy The Sun God’s Heir.
A member of The Authors Guild, and The Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sally and they are excitedly awaiting the arrival of more grandchildren.

You can find Elliott at the following places:




Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review - This Is How You Lose Her by: Junot Díaz

Title: This Is How You Lose Her
Author: Junot Díaz
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Pages: 213
Format: Hardcover
Source: Turkish edition, personal purchase

Description:

On a beach in the Dominican Republic, a doomed relationship flounders. In the heat of a hospital laundry room in New Jersey, a woman does her lover’s washing and thinks about his wife. In Boston, a man buys his love child, his only son, a first baseball bat and glove. At the heart of these stories is the irrepressible, irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness--and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses: artistic Alma; the aging Miss Lora; Magdalena, who thinks all Dominican men are cheaters; and the love of his life, whose heartbreak ultimately becomes his own. 

In prose that is endlessly energetic, inventive, tender, and funny, the stories in This Is How You Lose Her lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weakness of the human heart. They remind us that passion always triumphs over experience, and that “the half-life of love is forever.”

My thoughts:

My first thought right after finishing the book: Junot Díaz is a very funny guy who forms very good sentences! I'm always on the lookout for new authors to discover and have a good time with. I bought this book at the book fair in Istanbul last year just because it was on sale: I had no idea who the author was or what the book was about. It took me a while to get to reading it, but it did come at a time when I really needed something funny and clever to merge into.

This Is How You Loser Her is about this guy called Yuann who's kind of a player, the women he ends up losing and how he loses them. I laughed a lot at Yuann, I must admit, not so much with him. Then I got sad when I saw him get sad due the consequences of his stupidity. There were numerous times I got mad at him due to his attitude towards women and how he treated them, too.
As someone who described and believes in love in Gabriel Garcia Marquez terms, it feels weird to me that most women prefer to read love stories written by other women. Of course, they're fun, and it's probably true that women understand women better than man, but then I haven't really seen anyone who's in search for men who write about love and relationships. I think it's rather refreshing to get a man's take on it, and this book is worth reading even if to help protect yourself from men like Yuann.

Editorial: So Excited




I was so excited the other day when my page views hit 100,000 I can't even begin to describe how excited I was.  So I wanted to take this time to thank everyone who has ever stopped by my blog.  If I hit 500 followers I will run a contest of some kind with goodies to win.  I have been sitting here thinking back to all the great authors I have met over time the list would be huge if I listed them all.  I have worked with some fabulous people who are so nice when it comes to interacting with them.  To think this all started because I read.  I didn't think it would turn into what it has turned into.  Not long ago was this blogs anniversary I was so busy I totally missed it.  This blog turned 5 at the end of October.  I can't believe I have been blogging for 5 years.  Back then I mainly worked with Pump Up Your Book Promotions & FSB Media.
Now I work with Great Escapes Book Tours and Cedar Fort.  I also work with tons of authors I never dreamed I would work with.  Like Duffy Brown, the author of Iced Chiffon and her newest book coming out Geared for The Grave.  Also I work with lots of great Independent Authors trying to get their books out there like Emerald Barnes and her book Entertaining Angels, Read Me Dead, I get in awe when I think of how great these authors have been.  Really down to earth people like me.  I always assumed that authors are too busy or there was no way you can just talk to them.  Boy has that changed.  I think most of that was fear of not knowing.

So thank you to everyone who has made this site flourish and thank you to my partner in crime Simay who has offered us great reviews.  It's been fabulous 5 years with many more to come.  Also thank you to those who follow you can't wait to see what the future holds for us!!