Friday, April 3, 2020

Book Blitz: DORK by Will Winkle #newadult #humor


DORK
By Will Winkle
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Humor

Book Description

Charlie Brown meets The Catcher in the Rye in this humorous novel following a neurotic economics major weeks from graduation.

Ray Cooper is graduating from college and doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life – stop me if you’ve heard this before. Besides his impending graduation, Coop also has the problem of trying to start a new relationship in the shadow of his last one. Plus, his term project is due in two weeks. He’s also losing his hair. Alright, he has a few problems. Over a weekend, Ray attends the birthday party of a girl he isn't sure if he knows, meets odd people at bars, and looks forward to the last hurrah he and his friends have planned for Saturday when the local bars are offering discounts to anyone with wristbands sold for charity. There’s no way any of this could go wrong.

About the Author 


Will Winkle graduated from the University of Idaho with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in economics, so naturally, he’s decided to become a novelist. While in college Will wrote comedy segments for the show he hosted on the university’s radio station, KUOI 89.3 FM Moscow, Idaho. Currently, he is writing short stories and co-writing a one-man-show with a graduate theater student at the University of Alabama.

Links:



You’re supposed to run going with traffic, but the other side of the street lacked a sidewalk for that particular section of my route. Instead, there was a dirt trail lined on both sides by patches of tall grass. Whenever I ran on that side a clutch of small rocks would magically appear inside of my shoes, and it was the time of year when snakes and lizards were starting to be out and about. I’m not afraid of snakes, I’ve been startled more times by sticks that looked like snakes than actual snakes. As long as I see one soon enough I’m fine with it, but I’m markedly less fine with unexpectedly colliding with a living creature that has so much in common with a rope. It’s not like they can deftly avoid an impending running shoe, so if I spot it too late there’s nothing either of us can do. Snakes can become tangled around your legs, their only choice of action being to writhe around, which wouldn’t make matters better for either of us. I don’t like octopi for the same reason, them being the small net to the snakes' rope. My world changed the first time I saw a bird carrying a snake while flying. Implying that at any moment my day can be ruined in a way that I hadn’t even considered possible. I’m happy that I don’t live by the sea or a large open-air aquarium, because if I ever saw a bird flying with an octopus, I doubt I would ever go outside again.


Friday, March 27, 2020

Book Blitz - I'll Be Watching You by Leslie A. Kelly


I'll Be Watching You
By Leslie A. Kelly
Genre: Romantic Suspense

About the Book

She can trust him with her heart, but can she trust him with her life?

Growing up as a foster kid, Jessica Jensen found her escape in movies-especially those starring teen heartthrob Reece Winchester. When she meets him as an adult, he's just as charming, fascinating, and devastatingly handsome as she'd imagined. Before she knows it, Jessica is falling hard. But her real-life Cinderella story is about to take a deadly turn...

Jessica has completely upended everything about Reece's carefully ordered life. There's a reason he's never allowed anyone to get so close to him before. But now that she has, there's a target on her back. Because someone knows that the Winchesters have been hiding some dark family secrets. Someone who is out there waiting to strike. Waiting...and always watching.

Review Quote:

"Throughout this charged, fast-paced love story, Kelly expertly balances sensuality and intrigue. This will be a hit with readers looking for a
spicy contemporary romance." - Publisher's Weekly

About the Author 


Leslie A. Kelly is a New York Times, USA Today Bestselling Author of dark romantic thrillers and sexy romance (as Leslie Kelly.)

Known for their dark, edgy plots, strong characters, intense action, and powerful worldbuilding, Leslie's romantic thrillers have won great acclaim, including the National Reader's Choice Award, the Aspen Gold Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and a Romantic Times Magazine Award nomination. 

Leslie lives in Colorado with her husband of 34 years and two spoiled dogs. 
Visit her "alter ego" site--www.lesliekelly.com--to learn more about her sexy contemporary romances. 

www.leslieAkelly.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Watching-previously-published-Hollywood-Heat/dp/1538735148/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=leslie+a.+kelly+I%27ll+be+watching+you&qid=1582831584&sr=8-1


On Social Media:





Excerpt

As a film director, Reece Winchester was used to watching life through a camera lens, picturing angles, depth, color, and texture. He lived as a voyeur, removed from the action he oversaw, the unseen god of the worlds he created for moviegoers everywhere. Some people might see him as being aloof or uncaring. Hell, maybe he was. But he’d learned hard lessons throughout his life about trust, about grief, about tragedy and loss. Better to put a layer between yourself and the outside world, as far as he was concerned.
 Maybe that’s why he was able to remain calm during this latest catastrophe. He only sighed as he stared at the charred remnants of his house, eying the wisps of smoke still rising from the ruin in the early morning light, was number one on that list.
 “Damn, Reece, I’m so sorry,” said his brother Rowan, who’d been the one to call him at two a.m. to tell him about the fire. He’d repeated the phrase about a dozen times.
Reece had been shooting in the New Mexico desert, so his Beverly Hills home had been empty when it went up in flames last night. He’d spent most of the flight back being thankful he’d left his dog with his and had given the couple who looked after the place two weeks off. During other trips, he’d left Cecil B., his golden retriever, at home with the Scotts. He didn’t even want to think about what could have happened if they’d been there. Shit could be replaced. Lives could not. The loss of a couple of statues of a guy named Oscar was nothing compared to the singeing of one hair on the heads of his employees or his dog.
 “Any idea yet what started it?” he bit out.
“I talked to the fire investigator. He already found accelerant.”
Accelerant. Arson? Jesus.
“Somebody hates me enough to burn down my house?” Reece murmured, a little more stunned by that fact than by the fire itself.
“It could have been a frustrated stalker who expected to find you at home.”
“And when I wasn’t, they decided to make sure I didn’t have a home to come back to?”
 “You know it’s possible.”
Yes, it probably was. He’d had overzealous fans before, mostly during his acting days. They occasionally slipped from pushy into obsessive. He’d been dealing with a particularly bad one lately, who’d found out where he lived and had been leaving notes stuffed into the security gate. Perhaps that was who had gotten past the fence last night and decided to send his home up in a giant ball of flame that had, reportedly, been seen by people miles away.
“Do you ever wonder if we’re damned?” he asked.
He’d had this thought many times over the years but had never shared it with his twin.
“Don’t say that.”
 He didn’t push, knowing Rowan had done a better job moving beyond all the dark episodes of the past. Reece, though, had found letting that go extremely difficult to do.
“You know you can stay with me for a while. At least until you find another place,” Rowan offered.
Reece nodded. “Dad has a spare room, too.” 

Reece, his twin Rowan, and their baby brother, Raine, had bought their hardworking father, who’d supported them all his life, a big place on the beach a few months ago. His dad would hate to hear about the fire but would probably love some company.
Reece watched silently as firefighters walked the site. They carefully looked for any sputtering embers trying to reignite. With the drought, they also had to be sure no sparks landed on a nearby roof, spreading the conflagration to the entire neighborhood.
“Why don’t we get outta here?” Rowan asked. “You’ve given your statement. You don’t have to stay. Want some breakfast? We can pick up Cecil B. and take him out for pancakes.”
 Seeing his dog sounded like a great idea to Reece. “Sure.” He was hungry, as, he suspected, were the sweaty, exhausted firefighters. He’d already put in an order for cold drinks and food for the guys who’d tried so hard to rescue his six-thousand-square-foot house.
Just a house. Just a building. Right.
Frankly, the worst part wasn’t the fire, but the realization that someone had set it. He was in somebody’s crosshairs. The knowledge unsettled him.
“Surfing after?” They hadn’t surfed together in months, both of them having busy schedules, and Reece.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Book Spotlight: Soul Alchemy ~ A Vision Quest By Elizabeth Foley


Soul Alchemy ~ A Vision Quest
By Elizabeth Foley
Genre: Art & Poetry

Purchase Soul Alchemy: https://radiantearthstudios.com/soul-alchemy-art-and-poetry

Artist's Statement about Soul Alchemy
 
For me making art is a spiritual practice.  It makes me feel alive, centered, and connected to something greater than myself.

Much of my work explores feminine archetypes from warrior and muse to medicine woman and inner child.  Each painting is an expression of my own journey to reconnect with these parts of myself.

At the core of each painting is something I seek to discover, an intention I am exploring.  What does my inner artist need in order to feel free to express my unique voice?  What does the idea of the Muse mean to me. How do I access her inspiration?  What would my life look like if I thought of myself as legendary?

As I progress through a painting I enter a dialogue with the emerging image.  What message does it have for me each step along the way?  What does the way that this layer or that drip of paint interacts with each other have to tell me about my inquiry?

Each brush stroke is made with intention.  Dots become prayers. A line reflects a trauma or long held desire.  Deeply personal symbols are created that reflect a broader universal language.

I believe that at the core of the problems that plague today's world - human suffering and environmental degradation - is greed, apathy, and a lack of compassion.  To solve these problems what we need isn't just a legislative or a scientific response but a spiritual and cultural transformation.

We need to wake up to our interconnectedness with each other and with nature.  To create real change we must awaken compassion, empathy, and understanding.  I envision my art as one voice in a chorus of voices that will catalyze this shift in the consciousness in humankind.

This poem accompanies the piece titled Elishaba ~ Visionary Warrior

You Are Legendary.

Dive deeper within yourself.
There are gifts awaiting you there.
Dive Deeper.

Inside you lives one who is patient and powerful.
One who is focused, fearless and fierce.

Dive Deeper.

Inside you lives one who owns her truth.
One who is boldly authentic.

Dive Deeper.
There are powers untapped within you.

Inside you lives a cosmic warrior
a visionary queen,
a healer,
a sage.

Dive Deeper.

Inside you lives one who is consecrated to the divine.
One who embraces determination.

Trust.
Trust a little more.
Trust even more still.

Trust your intuition.
Trust that you are on the right path.
Trust in your vision.
Trust that if you take the leap
You will come floating gently down into the valley of your dreams.

You are meant to show others the way.
You are meant to lead others to greatness.
You are meant to shine light in the darkness.

You are one with the universe.
You are a supreme being of infinite wisdom.




Bio: 


Artist, Elizabeth Foley helps women feel more joy and fulfillment by experiencing creative expression.  She offers online and in person workshops, retreats and one on one coaching.  Elizabeth has been passionate about creativity since childhood and believes that we are all creative beings whether we claim the identity of artist or not.
Elizabeth is a painter, potter, poet and creativity coach.  Currently her medium of choice is acrylic paints.  Elizabeth studied fine art and ceramics at The University of Oregon and apprenticed to accomplished Oregon potter Gil Harrison. She has studied with award winning artists Shiloh Sophia McCloud and Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici.  Elizabeth is a certified Intentional Creativity Instructor and a Cosmic Smash Book Teacher in training.

Elizabeth loves getting her hands dirty with paint, clay and in the garden.  When she isn't busy in her studio you'll find her climbing a mountain or relaxing by a waterfall in her hammock.  Elizabeth is grateful to make her home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, NC.


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Book Blitz: A New Planet by Todd M. Thiede


A New Planet
By Todd M. Thiede
Genre: Science Fiction

As World Leaders Xiao, Rothchild, and Fisk work with and against one another, their government and way of life fall apart. One misstep creates a ripple effect that leads to the demise of the planet.

Tal Fisk and Jae Xiao, star-crossed lovers, meet as the stars have ordained. Fate and power work to keep them apart while they defy their parents. As the fragile ecosystem of Hongsu falls apart, the authority that comes as the children of World Leaders with very different views weighs heavily upon them.

Bastien works to end the unequal class system that keeps the poor down and helps the rich get richer. With the unwitting help of rich connections, Bastien’s part in an elaborate plan to scare the Council into action has disastrous consequences.

As they try to save their civilization they can’t help but wonder…Is it technology, greed, or human nature that causes the world to collapse?

About the Author

When you think of an Amazon bestselling author you probably won’t think of Todd M. Thiede. He’s been a finance manager at a car dealership in Illinois for over 15 years. He’s a father of 4 and now a grandfather of 3. When he’s not working or spending time with his family, he’s writing books. His Max Larkin Detective series has been on Amazon’s Bestsellers list for multiple books in the series. He’s also written Political Thrillers under the pseudonym T.T. Michael, and those books have won multiple awards from Readers’ Favorite and Book Excellence Awards. 


Todd M. Thiede is now diving into the Sci-Fi world with his new book “A New Planet”.

toddthiede.com



Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Book Review: Facebook Dating: from 1st Date to Soulmate


Facebook Dating: from 1st Date to Soulmate
By Dr. Paulette Sherman
Genre: Relationships, Mind/Body/Spirit

About the Book
Dr. Sherman says, “Facebook Dating’s mission dovetails with mine, to help singles date mindfully, with consideration. Singles can then attract their best match joyfully, peacefully and authentically, creating a heart-centered relationship. Facebook Dating enables singles to mine for meaningful matches based on common points of interest, shared groups, events and mutual friends.  It’s an intentional community that moves daters beyond swiping for hookups to forging sustainable relationships, encouraging meaningful conduct in an already safe space to connect with family and friends on a daily basis across the lifespan.  Facebook will use its extensive personal data to create meaningful matches.  They’ve put tools in place to help users eliminate common annoyances.  They have a pause button to avoid dating burnout, conversation starters, ways to avoid harassment and online strategies to deal with an ex. Singles can date mutual friends and singles at shared events and groups of interest. “
This book helps singles navigate dating stages & issues, while learning about themselves.  Paulette teaches that once singles are calm, positive, present, self-reflective and non-judgmental the ups and downs of dating won’t deter them.  They become aware of underlying factors that influence their choices and observe their feelings to see if they want to shift them.  They reflect on their self-esteem, boundaries, honesty, relationship patterns and standards.  Mindfulness makes dating painless, because all suffering comes from attachment to an outcome.  When you accept the present moment you enjoy planned and unplanned outcomes. Sherman created over 20 mindfulness practices around dating issues like anxiety, trust, rejection, breakups, fear of judgment, jealousy, dating multiple people, self-love, a fear of commitment, the need to please, dealing with bad dates, knowing when to get physical, when to become exclusive, when to move-in, get engaged and more.  This practice helps singles use consideration over impulse & Facebook Dating puts singles together to jumpstart this adventure.
My Review

Facebook Dating is exactly what you think it’s about. Facebook Dating! It’s filled with tips and tricks, as well as positive dating mantras. The dating guide discusses everything from how to best set up your dating profile to being emotionally ready for a relationship.


I found the book very well-written and thoughtfully planned out. Each chapter was carefully organized with pointers. The author did a good job of guiding you through the book and had a realistic view of online dating. She discussed healthy and unhealthy relationships, as well as how to preserve your privacy if your match seems off.

I would recommend this guide for anyone needing tips or tricks to online dating or wanting to explore Facebook’s dating options. I appreciate also that the author discusses safety options. Also, mentioning consent in one chapter which is a very important point when dating. 


About the Author 

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a licensed psychologist, Relationship expert, dating coach and author of, Dating from the Inside Out, published by Atria Books and 21 others.  Her books are published in 6 languages & won 14 awards. She has a private psychotherapy practice in Manhattan and does international phone coaching on relationships.  Sherman has twenty years of experience as a psychotherapist, was an adjunct professor at two universities and pens a monthly Relationship column at Eligible Magazine. An expert on television including Channel 11, Fox 5, the CBS Early Show & the AM Northwest Early Show and a radio guest on the Curtis Sliwa show, NPR’s Cityscape, Unity Radio’s ‘The Soul-Directed Life, Pathways and others, her advice has been quoted in MSN.com, USA Weekend, NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Vogue, Teen Vogue, Foxnews.com, NY Daily News, Fox Business, Crains, Better Homes & Gardens, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Metro newspapers, P&G Everyday, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, Marie Claire, Allure, Seventeen, Men’s Fitness, Bustle, Woman’s Day, Web MD, Everyday Health, Elle, Psychology Today, Complete Woman magazine, Aaptiv, Well & Good, Fast Company, The Knot, WeddingWire, Best Life, Guideposts, Refinery29, JDate, Spirituality and Health, Mind Body Green, Om Times, Spirit and Destiny, Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, Business Insider, New York Magazine, Redbook, Reader’s Digest, The London Times, Oprah Magazine, the Huffington Post and the NY Times.  Dr. Sherman lives in NY with her husband of 12 years and their two children. Visit her website at www.DrPauletteSherman.com

Social Media Links:


Purchase Links:

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Book Review: Decanted Truths by Melanie Forde

Decanted Truths
By Melanie Forde
Genre: literary, historical, family saga, women's

For Irish immigrant families like the Harrigans and Gavagans, struggle has been the name of the game since they arrived in Boston in the nineteenth century. For twice-orphaned Leah Gavagan, who comes of age in the Depression, the struggle is compounded by bizarre visions that disrupt her daily life -- and sometimes come true. She has difficulty fitting in with her surroundings: whether the lace-curtain Dorchester apartment overseen by her judgmental Aunt Margaret or the wild Manomet bluff shared with her no-nonsense Aunt Theo and brain-damaged Uncle Liam. A death in the family disrupts the tepid life path chosen for Leah and sets her on a journey of discovery. That journey goes back to the misadventures shaping the earlier generation, eager to prove its hard-won American credentials in the Alaskan gold rush, the Spanish-American War, and The Great War. She learns of the secrets that have bound Theo and Margaret together. Ultimately, Leah learns she is not who she thought she was. Her new truth both blinds and dazzles her, much like the Waterford decanter at the center of her oldest dreams -- an artifact linking three Irish-American families stumbling after the American Dream.

My Review

Decanted Truths tells a story about an Irish-American, Leah Gavagan, who struggles to find herself in the Great Depression and Prohibition Era. During the novel, Leah deals with her “sight,” something that connects her to her family's elders. Many truths come out as family members pass, and secrets are revealed.


The author did a wonderful job with character development. I can definitely tell that she put her whole heart into creating each character detail and making sure each person had a purpose. Decanted Truths is a very well written historical novel, as you get deeper into the story, you understand what each person is experiencing in this time period, and Leah connecting with her roots. Leah is at the beginning of her journey of adulthood. I could see the struggle of her trying to grow into her adult role, yet her childhood kept her from just barely reaching that. 

Decanted Truths is perfect for anyone who wants to get invested in a novel full of secrets set in early Boston. I think this is a wonderful book to dive into and get sucked in!

About the Author

Raised in a Boston Irish family, Melanie Forde knew her life was infinitely easier than that of her ancestors, refugees from the Potato Famine. The storytelling skills of her elders kept ancestral triumphs and tragedies alive, so that the Potato Famine and the Easter Rebellion felt as real as the Cold War. Inheriting the storyteller gene, Ms. Forde is the author of three earlier novels, her Hillwilla trilogy. She now lives far from her roots, on a West Virginia farm. She still maintains a potato patch—just in case.

Decanted Truth's Amazon page:  https://amzn.to/2JjXbtu



Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Book Review: Sisters of Element by O. Salazar de Breaux


Sisters of Element: Book One of the Luna Family Chronicles
By O. Salazar de Breaux
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Fiction

Sisters of Element is the first book in a series about the Luna sisters, four Mexican American young women living in present day Percival Falls, Washington. Lina, Val, Zo, and Rory Luna have special abilities based on the elements: water, fire, air, and earth. Having lost their parents at an early age, the sisters have an unbreakable bond. When faced with a dark force that threatens their very existence, they don’t hesitate to fiercely protect each other — even if it means the ultimate sacrifice. 
Lina has it all — her soulmate Gabriel, her dream job, and a close-knit relationship with her three younger sisters. But meeting her sister Val’s new boyfriend triggers a series of nightmares leaving Lina frightened that something terrible is about to happen to her sister. Little does she know, she and her family are in even more danger than they could have imagined. 
Readers will go on a magical and mysterious journey with the Luna sisters. The characters will share their inner strength, their sacrifice, their resilience, and the power of sisterhood. At its heart, Sisters of Element is a story about unconditional love and how with it, you can overcome even the greatest obstacles.
My Review

Sisters of the Element is a book about four sisters with extraordinary gifts, all revolving around fire, water, earth, and air. They battle with childhood trauma that transforms them into independent women who conquer their gifts. The book follows eldest, Lina, who talks about her experience being the eldest and stepping up for her younger sisters during the obstacles they faced growing up.


I thought Lina was a brilliant lead and helped balance the strong personalities of her sisters. The sisters Val, Lina, Zo, and Rory, have distinct aesthetics and character traits. I wish I had more time to get to know each individual better in the book. I especially had a soft spot for Rory, who I thought was just the cutest, and I loved how the author described her connection with her gift, which is earth. I can see how each sister can be a bit stereotypical when there are other young adult books that do follow the same narrative of sisters having gifts that deal with the four elements. 

Sisters of the Element is incredibly detailed. I favored the thoughtful and heartwarming background about Mama Joyce, who was an actual hoot.
A critique I would say to the author is that I would have left out the prologue. As a reader, I feel like it spoils the experience of getting to know or favor the sisters when I get a glimpse of what is to come. The book would not be affected by the removal of it, and I think it would bring a bigger plot twist to the story. Overall, Sisters of the Element is a young adult book I believe many will enjoy. I am excited to see the future for these women.


About the Author 


O. Salazar de Breaux grew up in Olympia, Washington with five younger sisters. An entrepreneur and community leader with a long career in public service, Salazar de Breaux is also an incurable creative who’s inspired by her Mexican- American heritage. Her work incorporates her love of family, food, music, and culture. 

She stayed in Olympia to study, earning a B.A. in English from The Evergreen State College, and still lives there with her husband – her sweetheart of more than 20 years – and their two sons, whom she considers her greatest achievements. 
Sisters of Element is her debut novel.