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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pamela Foreman Blog Tour- Secrets Abound, My Love

Soon to be released Romantic Fiction Secrets Abound, My Love by Pamela Foreman. I have not yet read, although it sounds intriguing, and I'm proud to give her a spotlight on this blog. Take a few minutes to read the synopsis and short excerpt, after be sure to post comments for the possible chance of WINNING a copy of her book.

When David and Annette join their families and begin one of their own, the couple can’t imagine how their marriage will affect their children, new and old. As parents, they each have high hopes for
 their children and their marriage, but in only a few short years, the path has gone the way of destruction.

Drugs, alcohol, abuse, loneliness … Secrets hide among the folds of their new lives and David and Annette are faced with the challenge of reconnecting with their children, while learning to be parents all over again.

How will they cope, discovering the hidden secrets? Will their marriage survive or will the threat of losing their children drive them apart? Can they fight adversity and win, or will their marriage be over as quickly as it began? Find out in Secrets Abound, My Love, the third segment in the Nebraska Holds series.

 “Oh, Georgia! Lighten up!” Jersey shook her finger at Georgia. Georgia could tell her sister had been drinking not only by her behavior, but Jersey smelled of the beer or liquor. The two girls plus their fellow triplet, Virginia, were barely seventeen, and their step-sister Mallory was still sixteen. The four were about to be seniors in high school and their sibling was already an alcoholic.
Jersey and this male friend of hers both laughed then shushed each other like preschoolers about to get caught in an mischievous act. Georgia didn’t even know his name and didn’t remember ever seeing him before. Georgia rolled her eyes, knowing this was not going to get any better.

“How did he get in here?” Georgia asked. She put her hands on her hips, an action she had observed her mother doing over the past several years as all her older siblings had become teenagers. Georgia knew for a fact this boy did not enter through the front door of their house.

“How else?” Jersey slurred. “The window.”

“The window? We’re on the second floor!” Georgia put her head in her hands, exasperated. She’s been covering for her sister for more than two years now, but she wasn’t sure she could any longer. Jersey seemed to be getting herself deeper and deeper in trouble.

Author Bio
Pamela Foreman is a wife of seventeen years to her high school sweetheart and the mother of four children. Having grown up in Texas, Pamela currently lives in central Virginia. Pamela received her master’s degree in accounting from Liberty University and is an avid reader. She enjoys sewing, crocheting, knitting and scrapbooking when she is not involved with her children’s activities and spending time with her husband.

Pamela is the author of the Nebraska Holds series, a series surrounding the lives of David Anderson and Annette Miller, middle-aged adults who have both gone through the sudden deaths of their spouses and each have children to continue to raise. The series currently has three books, You're Right, My Love (December 2011), Not Again, My Love (January 2013) and Secrets Abound, My Love (January 2014).

Where to Find Pamela


Thanks again for visiting! Be sure to leave a comment below to be entered to win a copy of my book in either print or electronic form.

A cute way to explain adption and racial acceptance to very young children- Author Rachael Snead

This week's featured author is Rachael Snead, author of Long Tail, Short Tail, a children's book with a powerful message for our youngest members of society about adoption and racial acceptance . Please take a few minutes to read my review and Rachael's interview which explains her motivation in creating Long Tail, Short Tail.

Long Tail, Short Tail by Rachael Snead and illustrated by Laurie Barrows is a fantastic children's book. Ollie is a chipmunk who is adopted by squirrel parents. The important messages this book relays to our youngest readers and/or listeners is that adoptive children and step children are loved every bit as much as biological children making a complete family unit, and it's OK for a child to be racially different than their parents. The racial message goes beyond the family, and enters acceptance within society.

Rachael is able to send a powerful message written in a context young children can understand using chipmunks and squirrels as characters. Laurie does an excellent job portraying the message of the book within the pictures. Any great children's book needs strong illustrations to back up the plot in order for the youngest audience to fully understand. Together Rachael and Laurie have truly created a moving story about love and acceptance.

Long Tail, Short Tail is an excellent story that I recommend not only for adopted children but for all youngsters. Many of today's families are not traditional or should I say the knew idea of traditional is changing. This story goes a long way in explaining that concept to children.
Rachael's Bio-

Rachael Snead is a children’s book author and poet. Rachael has just launched her first published children’s book, “Long Tail, Short Tail”. “Long Tail, Short Tail” will be the first in a series of seven books designed to educate children about unique families. Future topics will include physically disabled children and interracial families. Rachael is a transracial adoptive parent. She has a preschool son, the inspiration for “Long Tail, Short Tail”. Rachael knows firsthand how rare and unique transracial families are and has dedicated much of her time to teaching others about transracial adoption. In her spare time, she teaches Sunday School. She is naturally an avid writer and frequently blogs about the humorous situations she finds herself in as an adoptive mom. Rachael is married to Chris, a Navy veteran from Texas. The couple often takes their young son to local attractions such as zoos, aquariums, gardens, museums, and amusement parks. “We want people to realize that yes, transracial adoption does occur, and it’s not a bad thing. We are just like any other family—we have fun, we laugh, we love—we may not look like everyone else but we are just like any other family”, Rachael says.

Elle: Tell a little about yourself.

Rachael: I am a transracial adoptive parent. I'm married to a Navy veteran. We live in Virginia with our adopted son and our two puppies.  

Elle: What is your latest writing accomplishment?

Rachael: I had trouble finding adoption themed books that applied to my son's situation. One day after a frustrating search for adoption books at Barnes and Noble, a sympathetic B & N employee told me that I should just write my own book. I started writing within an hour of returning home and 5 months later, I published 'Long Tail, Short Tail'. I made this book generalized enough to pertain to almost any voluntary adoption placement. 

Elle:  Tell us a little about any other works you have published or will be publishing.

Rachael: I have two books planned for 2014. One is another children's book called 'The Amazing Adventures of Camellia and York'. This is a story about a bunny and a squirrel who have an interesting afternoon. The other is called 'Chasing Joey', a novel for adults. It's the story of my 8-year journey through marriage, infertility, adoption, and parenthood. I am compiling all the strangest and funniest stories of my life, so this book will be extremely entertaining and insightful. 

  How long have you been writing and how did you fall into it?

Rachael: I have been reading since preschool and writing since elementary school. My mother encouraged me to keep a journal, which I did from about 7 to 18. In high school I wrote poetry and songs as a way of relieving stress.  As I grew older, I wrote resumes, college essays, and after becoming a mother I wrote about my son's toddler escapades. I write to-do lists regularly. I have a poor memory, so I prefer to stay organized and keep track of everything by writing it down--including memories of my son's childhood and my experiences as an adoptive parent.  

Please tell us a little about your writing process.

Rachael: I like to start with a pen and a spiral notebook. I write three rough drafts that way, then transfer the manuscript to MS Word. From there, my editor edits three times for grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. After a final edit, I send the manuscript to the illustrator.

Elle:  If a children's book author, are any of your novels based on events in your life?

Rachael: Absolutely. 'Long Tail, Short Tail' is almost entirely based on true life, from Ollie's chubby cheeks to the soft  boots. 'Chasing Joey' will be one hundred percent actual events.

Elle:  What was the greatest challenge you faced with publishing your work?

Rachael: The formatting, believe it or not. Converting from .pdf to .epub to .txt to .doc, adjusting pixels/resolution, getting the layout just so, and paginating is all very frustrating for me.

  Do you have a favorite author or book?

Rachael: C.S. Lewis! I love very descriptive writing. He makes the words come alive and jump off the paper.

Elle:  Do you have any advice for other indie authors?

Rachael: Work work, work. Treat it like a full-time job. Research everything, all the time. Never stop writing. Be as stubborn as a mule.

Elle:  Tell us a little about Long Tail, Short Tail's illustrator and how did you come to work together?

Rachael:  I did a web search for illustrators and one of the first links to appear was www.guru.com. I signed up and created a project profile. Laurie Barrows was one of about a hundred illustrators who offered their services to me. I liked her sample artwork and the rest is history.

Where to find Rachael Snead and her book:

Rachael's Website
Barnes and Noble
Long Tail, Short Tail Amazon
LongTail, Short Tail Smashwords

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Vampires, Hot Men, Sexy Scenes- Introducing Clarrissa Lee Moon

Clarrissa Lee Moon is a master at paranormal erotica. Her words beg the reader to keep turning the pages with steamy sex, action packed plots, and extreme detail of mystical creatures. I have read two of her novels, Celeste Nites first trilogy and Nightwolves Coalition each are the first books in their respective series and wonderfully entertaining.

Nightwolves Coalition by Clarrissa Lee Moon is a paranormal erotica novel that is a little of both paranormal and erotica and is pleasingly the right amount of each and refreshingly not too much of either. The novel takes no time in jumping into the action and plot as Catrina Garcia a vampire, newly modified, finds herself in the clutches of terrorists on a passenger airliner where she must find a way to save the day. Both evil and benevolent forces spice the conspiracy as twists take the reader into a suspense filled story and at times an entirely different world.

There is a very grounding sediment to the paranormal activity within the book that is quite compelling and utterly believable. The characters are three dimensional quality and the action and landscape unfold before the reader's eyes. Clarrissa Lee Moon truly uses the right amount of everything in her recipe for this book to create a novel about the age old dogma of vampires making it unique and exhilarating.

Grade A awesome book!

Celeste Nites by Clarrissa Lee Moon is an intriguing Vampire erotica novella. The exquisitely beautiful vampire Celeste unintentionally hijacks the affections of two rich, powerful, and sizzling hunk brothers Jacques and Armand. While Celeste is attempting to rid the world of her evil ex lover, Jacques and Armond continue to waylay her plans as she is equally attracted to them. This novella is packed to the hilt with red-hot erotic scenes while maintaining a powerful plot. 

Now having read two of Clarrissa lee Moon's novels she has a true talent in illustrating with extreme detail erotic scenes while keeping the plot embedded and developing within her stories. There aren't too many authors who share this talent making her stories unique. Her words flow and transition easily from one page to the next which keeps the reader hooked and wanting more.

Celeste Nites is a provocative and captivating must read novella.

Interview with Clarrissa

Elle: Tell a little about yourself.

Clarrissa: I have 3 boys grown who wont leave. I think they like my homemade fudge too much. Who knows:) I write, do my hobbies and try to stay out of the big bad world as much as possible. 

Elle:  What is your latest writing accomplishment?

Clarrissa: Nightwolves Siren's Song was my last big work. Since then I have written many poems, quotes and other misc pieces.

Elle: Tell us a little about any other works you have published or will be publishing.

Clarissa: Nightwolves Dawn to Dusk is almost finished, soon to be in editing mode. It will most likely be launched in March of this year. It will be followed closely with Nightwolves Battle for Kla' din as well and Celeste Nites 2 and 3 to finish that series out. After that I will be putting some serious time in writing a children's book series that will be based on pixies, the Fae and other wonderful mythological creatures. I have many irons in the fire with finishing the Nightwolves series out (an 8 book series) Celetse Nites, Nightwolves Triad of Destiny(a 22 book series) and my childrens book series.

Elle: How long have you been writing and how did you fall into it?

Clarrissa: Off and on all my life but what got me to see if I could actually be published was Nightwolves. I smiled the whole month it took me to write the first two books. I figured a job that can actually make me smile while doing it was a job worth pursuing for life:)

Elle: Please tell us a little about your writing process.

Clarrissa: First I play some games, computer solitaire, Jewels and such just to relax and clear my head of the days stresses. Then select some music to set the mood for the scene I have in mind and then just start writing.

Elle: As a fiction writer, are any of your novels based on events in your life?

Clarrissa: You'd be surprised how much truth you can put into a book that's fictional :)

Elle:  What was the greatest challenge you faced with publishing your work?

Clarrissa: Finding a publishing house willing to give me what I want in a contract:)

Elle: Do you have a favorite author or book?

Clarrissa: The list would be long but my main favs are Lindsay Sands, Angela Knight and Christine Feehan.

Elle: Do you have any advice for other indie authors?

Clarrissa: Never give up. Believe in yourself, your book and follow your heart. Network, network, network. 

Elle:  What genre or genres do you write and why?

Clarrissa: Urban fantasy and paranormal erotica....they trip my trigger really. They are fun and can take you far away from the stresses of daily living in the mundane world...which frankly can suck most of the time. I would rather spend the night writing the Nightwolves world than doing anything else in this one:) Much more fun, much more empowering.

Where to find Clarrissa Lee Moon and her novels:
Clarrissa's Blog

Clarrissa Lee Moon on Amazon

Proud Member of Paranormal Romance Guild

Saturday, January 18, 2014

One Mean Machine

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

For Christmas I was given w Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8 inch. I picked it out after researching all the latest tablets and I love it! Dual core processor, android operating system, front and rear cameras ( I can finally take selfies) full HD, 5gb of ram it's quick and responsive,8 inch screen although they also come in 7 and 10, and it can be used as a universal remote. It does it all.In fact I packed up the laptop.

I found the battery also lasts 48 Hours, impressive! Picture quality is awesome. I just ordered a case with a bluetooth keyboard for my writing needs and learned I can also get a usb adapter, amazing, that's next on my list of accessories.

Did I say yet how much I love it? I can use it as an ereader, photoeditor, bookwriter, social networker, all my entrepenaureal business efforts, blogging-using it now. It does more but those are my uses.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

ADD, Get Informed with Douglas A. Puryear

Today's author is a brilliant man whom I have only recently met. Douglas A. Puryear M.D. is both a psychiatrist and an author of three books. The latest two books he talks about having ADD and gives useful information and tips that he has learned over the years. As a teacher for over ten years I found both these books to be extremely helpful and highly recommend them. Please take a moment to read my reviews and get to know the Douglas A. Puryear M.D.

Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips o the Day by Douglas A Puryear, MD is a self help book chalk full of tips and strategies to assist the adult with ADD/ADHD. It is written as a daily guide, a strategy for each and every day, one step at a time. Douglas Puryear uses simple English,no jargon, and he adds a touch of humor. He gives a very positive spin which allows a great deal of motivation to the reader.The tone is realistic and friendly. There are many helpful links and varying resources extending more information about ADD/ADHD. Since he is a doctor he adds a medical spin to his daily tips. As an adult with ADD he gives the reader, whether you have ADD or not, a clear cut picture of what it's like.

On a personal level I have worked with students over the course of my teaching career who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and most frequently find them to struggle with simple organization, many times have horrendous handwriting, besides always being focused on something erroneous. They are the students who ask the completely off topic questions, carry the bag or binder with everything shoved inside it, seldom bring their materials to class, forget their homework and this list goes on. If you are a parent or adult working with these youngsters whom I just described than I highly recommend this book.

 I found I use some of his strategies on a daily basis and I think many people do so I recommend this book to anyone especially those who are organizationally challenged or struggle with ADD/ADHD or some type of learning disability. This book really is good stuff!

Your Life Can Be Better Using strategies for adult ADD/ADHD by Douglas A. Puryear, MD is a fantastic look inside the mind of adults with ADD/ADHD. He uses anecdotes from his own life and other willing adults to paint a picture. Inside the book are illustrations and many strategies, to not only cope with ADD/ADHD but to improve on one's life, such as memory tools consisting of slogans and mnemonics to using lists to prioritize daily activities. 

 The book is organized in an easy to fashion so the reader can take it all in at once or read in short chapters or sections. An appendix is included with further examples of strategies and within the content many other resources are mentioned.There is certain wittiness and humor to the book as well as a seriousness. He describes not only the struggles one may encounter who has or knows someone with ADD/ADHD but also the benefits and advantages to it.

I found a lot of value in the rich content in the book and most definitely recommend it if you or someone you care about has ADD/ADHD or even if you suspect it.

Interview with Doug

Elle: Tell a little about yourself

Doug: OK, I just retired after 49 years in psychiatry.  I plan to continue writing, fly fishing, studying Spanish and guitar, and enriching  my spiritual life, all more than I could when I was working. Right now I'm trying to get organized, which is hard to do because I have ADD, discovered when I was 64 years old.

Elle: What is your latest writing accomplishment?

Doug: My third book, Living Daily With ADD or ADHD;  365 tips o the Day, was recently published.  This is an E book, to be read one tip a day at your own pace.    clik

Elle: Tell us a little about any other works you have published or will be publishing.

Doug: My previous ADD book was Your Life Can Be Better; Using Strategies For Adult ADD/HD.  I'm amazed and gratified that to date it has sold over 11,500 copies.  I 'm happy to make a profit, but the real purpose of the books is to help others who have ADD or ADHD or who are dealing with someone who does. There has been very gratifying feedback, reviews and testimonials from people the books  have helped.    clik

Elle: How long have you been writing and how did you fall into it?

Doug: My first book was Helping People in Crisis, published in 1979.  I was teaching these concepts to Juvenile Probation Officers, and at the time there was very little written on the subject, and nothing with this family oriented strategic approach.  So I wrote it.

Elle: Please tell us a little about your writing process.

Doug: A similar thing happened with the ADD books.  Some of patients I was seeing had ADD, and while there were a number of good books available, none had the strategy focused approach I wanted for my patients, so I wrote it, and gave a copy to each patient.  The books are based on strategies that I've developed in my own life, and also have gotten from my friends and my patients, so the books are truly nonfiction.

Elle: What was the greatest challenge you faced with publishing your work?

Doug: The greatest challenge was in pushing myself to complete the books, and then to do the numerous revisions they required.  After the tenth revision, I would read it and couldn't believe I had written that junk, so time for another revision.  Fortunately, enough friends and family members were willing to struggle through the drafts and give me feedback.  The final drafts were about revisions number 21.

Elle: Do you have any advice for other indie authors?

Doug: I advise Indie authors to carefully research the company they're going to use, and then if things aren't going well, to push to change the people involved and get the problems corrected.  I had a great experience with Mill City Press, so I recommended them to a friend.  He had a horrible experience.  Turns out it depends on which people you happen to get assigned to.

the website  strategy book   clik                    the blog    clik

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Jeniann Bowers, a Poetess

I am more than pleased to introduce Jeniann Bowers a Poetess today. I recently read Phraseology and Letters, a very moving book of love poetry. Below is my review and
an interview with her. Since I originally posted this I have read more of Jeniann's work and I have to admit I'm in love with all of it. She has a rare ability to bring my emotions to the forefront with her beautiful and honest words so I'm adding my other reviews of her works.

Enter Goodreads giveaway for Collection of 25 days of Christmas Poetry at the bottom blog!

Poems, Dreams, and More by Jeniann Bowers is both touching and playful. Her words place impressions within my mind, and the ability to provoke emotions inside me which is exactly what poetry should do. She may start a poem out dark, but somehow turns it around to light. The poetry section, are random poems ranging from her family and love to ideals that have meaning to her. The dreams section is mostly about infatuation and being in love; the giddiness one feels as well as the self doubt. The final section, and more, is about life, her random thoughts that she expresses in the form of poetry.

What I loved most about this book is the honesty, and feeling I was left with after reading. It’s not one poem in genera, but all of them combined that had me relating her poetry to my own life, filling me with emotions. I have now read all Jeniann’s poetry books and I’m always left sentimental and reminiscent of my own fond memories. Her style is both charming and genuine in the way she manipulates words bringing them to life.  I fell in love with her poetry when I read Phraseology and Letters, since I have read them all and enjoy her poems and more and more each time I read them. 

A remarkable author and read!

Phraseology and Letters by Jeniann Bowers is written in a form of poetry called phraseology. A poem is much like a glimpse of a story in this book the story is love. It is amazing how in just a few words she can evoke an image within the mind provoking memories, images and emotions within the reader causing one to hang on to every written word as she bares her soul although not alone as we have all felt the overwhelming emotion of love. The theme is not only of love but not giving up hope. Love takes on many forms whether it be a best and most gracious friend, a family member or a lover.

Jenniann's Poems catch and embrace the essence of love, how it weighs on our hearts. She leaves no elements out,whether it be a fresh new, exciting love where the butterflies well up inside and the loves image renders itself inside our minds and hearts all day or the devastating sadness one feels when a love is lost and how human nature wills us to hold on when we need to let go or looking for love in all the wrong places.

Phraseology and Letters is a must read as it is a beautiful collection of poems that not only make oneself reflect on the past but give joy to the future.

Expressions and Letters by Jeniann Bowers is a heartfelt collection of poetry. Her poems are impressions from pieces of her life from being an innocent child to the heartbreak she felt over losing loved ones. Each poem is a tiny story that elicits a variety of human emotions the reader can identify with. Jeniann has a special ability to capture snapshots of the soul and bring them to life in full color.

Having now read three of Jeniann’s poetry books her words flow with ease off the tongue and mind. Through her poems she expresses so eloquently and honestly the love and compassion she has for life and all things in it as well as the cruelty she see’s in a sometimes dark world. Her inner strength shines through as each poem unfolds as well as her desires and weaknesses. There is also a playfulness in her words heard through the love she feels for her children.

Expressions and Letters along with Jeniann’s other poetry are a collection of remarkable poetry that is in a single word honest.

Jeniann’s Biography:

Jeniann has been writing poetry for seven years and has one pervious poetry book published, Expression on Life Book One, but recently retired it to publish Expressions and Letters, which is a follow-up book that has twenty-one new poems and personal letters written to the reader.
Jeniann also has published a Christmas poetry book that was started from her blog this past holiday season.

Jeniann’s writing techniques are somewhat different from other poets. Jeniann writes mainly condolences poetry about her true feelings and about her life and events that take place.

Interview with Jeniann

Elle: Tell a little about yourself.

Jeniann: I was raised in the mountains of Montana in a small town. My dad was a logger back in the 1980’s and my mom stayed home with us kids. I am the youngest of four. I married young and had four kids with my husband of 21 years. I am recently divorced and finding my place in the world. I have home schooled all my kids, my two girls are adult age and I still home school my two boys, ages 16 and 7, my youngest is Autistic and keeps all of us busy.

Elle:  What is your latest writing accomplishment?

Jeniann:  My latest writing accomplishment would be my two books I am re-releasing this month. The first would be Expressions and Letters and that is to be re-releasing this week and Phraseology that is to be re-released the following week. These two books are my biggest accomplishment because I have never published this large collection of my poetry before.

Elle:  Tell us a little about any other works you have published or will be publishing.
Jeniann: I had published a book late last year, Expressions on Life Book One, but I have retired that book, because my latest book Expressions and Letters so a new edition with twenty-one new poems and letters to the reader. I do plan on publishing another poetry book later this spring early summer.

Elle:  How long have you been writing and how did you fall into it?

Jeniann: I wrote poetry when I was younger and back in high school to vent my emotions about what was happening in my world at that time. I quit writing after I got married and while raising my three older children, it wasn't until 6 years ago I met a friend online and she encouraged me to start writing again and here I am. I write because I love too, I love sharing my thoughts, ideas and opinions about things that are important to me. However, I prefer to write what is considered Condolence Poetry, where I write about true life events and how I felt at the moment that they arise. 

Elle:  Please tell us a little about your writing process.

Jeniann: I have no writing process, I don’t even think about my audience. I sit and write about whatever I may be feeling, thinking about or what someone may have said to me throughout my day. Sometimes I will sit and write about nature, and then my mind will take me to a love poem, and then maybe back to an event that happened in my life.

Elle:  What was the greatest challenge you faced with publishing your work?

Jeniann: My biggest challenge I think I personally face is the fact that most people do not care for poetry and it is so overlooked in our society and schools. So, the toughest part to me is getting someone to want to read the poetry I write, and I will say my writing is different than other poets. I have been told many times that I should not even call my writing poetry or myself a poetess, because in some eyes I am not. But, that does not stop me from writing. 

Let it Begin by Jeniann Bowers is a glimpse of Sally, the narrator’s, childhood. To her life is normal and full of love, as well as poor. Her family didn’t have much, went without water and electricity and lived off the land, including hunting and a vegetable garden. The lived on Jack mountain which set them apart from the town folk, and as Sally gets older she realizes rumors about her family seize the air. Sally has three older siblings who make poor decisions which they all pay for dearly. Her father is an alcoholic with a bad temper, and her mom does her best to balance the family. This novella brings forth how quickly a single event can change a person’s life forever, and how precious life is.

Jeniann’s words place the reader smack in the center of sally’s world. She notices nothing amiss in her life, talks about her pets which include a skunk, silly anecdotes, family decisions, normal rebellious decisions she makes as she grows older, as well as her feelings towards the choices those in her family make and how those decisions directly affect the family. Her voice as Sally is relatable making her a lovable character, giving Let it Begin a nostalgic feel, and leaving an impression not easily forgotten.

Let it Begin was a quick read which left me craving more. I can’t wait for the sequel!

Collection of 25 days of Christmas Poetry by Jeniann Bowers is a wonderful book of warm holiday cheer. Many of the poems summon Christmas memories of childhood with her use of language. Jeniann is able to use a few simple words to bring forth a sight, sound or smell of holiday memories. In several poems she praises the real reason we have Christmas, love,  and how the holiday is not simply about receiving but giving and not only to our loved ones but others as well, especially those in need. 

Her words flow easily off the tongue in a rhythmic, playful pattern as one reads each poem.  Collection of 25 days of Christmas poetry is the second book of poetry by Jeniann I have read and equally impressive. She has a true talent and gift giving her work a unique spin and quickly making her one of my favorite poets.

I highly recommend this book as its fun, warm, reminiscent and full of holiday joy.

Don't forget to click on the link for goodreads giveaway for Collection of 25 days of Christmas Poetry below!

Where to find Jeniann:

Poetry by Jeniann Blog
Jeniann's Works at Amazon

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Divisional Playoffs, Elle's predictions

For the past three decades I have been an avid NFL San Francisco Forty Niner fan, growing up in the Bay area during the eighties was a magical time. It was the pure exhilaration I felt watching Montana throw a perfect spiral to Dwight Clark and later Jerry Rice but who can forget Ronnie Lott with his heart thumping blocks, head on, and tackles. Today it's Kaepernick to the likes of amazing receivers such as Bolden or Davis or taking the ball himself and running for 50 yards to get the first down plus yards although I can't leave Gore out of this equation, before this teams amazing receivers when all we had was defense, Gore was there to run the ball for the first down. He is in my opinion the backbone of what this team has become. This great offense has an equally scary defense with players such as Smith, Bowman, Brooks, and Willis who can sack, intercept or bring their opponents to a three and out. Of course this team's success is not due strictly to the handful of players I have mentioned here there are so many more. After nearly two decades of sparse playoff games and losing years  they found their rhythm and are an unstoppable force.

As I sat with a few good friends last Sunday in 70 degree Florida weather we watched San Fran's first round wildcard game against Green Bay, a long time play off rivalry. In frigid near ice bowl conditions these teams battled until the end with the Niners making a field goal to win the game 23-20. Whenever these two teams meet the outcome is the same a nail biter of a game where I sit on the edge of my seat and the winning score coming down to the final seconds of the game. I believe it's one of the most exciting rivalries in the NFL but I don't tell my Green Bay friend that. I just rub it a little when the Niners win. I'm sure he would do the same as he is always decked out head to foot in Green Bay attire. 

The game at Lambeau wasn't the only nail biter last week as Indy came from a huge score deficit to beat Kansas City, and New Orleans and Philly put up a game riddled in tension as New Orleans squeaked out the win by two points. I haven't mentioned yet the Bengals/ Chargers game, sorry Bengals but I think you forgot to show up.

This week in the NFL playoffs we start the festivities with New Orleans and Seattle in Seattle. Most people I know think Seattle's gonna take this game but I'm rooting for New Orleans not only because Seattle is a frighting divisional rivalry with San Fran (San Fran has a better divisional record than Seattle and they beat them only a few shorts weeks ago ) but Seattle chokes in the playoffs. My vote is for New Orleans. Next up is the Indie/ New England game. I have to go with Indie. I like their new QB he's smart and all about the team. New England seems to be a team where each and every member is only for themselves (I've never liked their arrogance). Go Indie! Tomorrow's line up begins with San Fran and Panthers. I keep reading that Panthers got this in the bag. Don't be too cocky Niners are a rugged fighting team that play as one and one for all. They beat Green Bay on their frozen turf! They are a force to be reckoned with and will prevail. Last up on Sunday afternoon is San Diego vs. Denver. I keep hearing Peyton Manning, Peyton Manning. Ok I'll give it to him he's a great pocket QB who came off a near career dropping injury a couple years ago. Does he still have it, sure so long as he doesn't get sacked the wrong way. I'm going with the underdog San Diego.

Whether my picks win or lose I'm hoping for suspense filled games that come down to the wire. Great football that's what it's about. Good luck to everyone out there and may the Niners take the Panthers on their home turf. Go NINERS!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

An Intensely Interesting Man, Randy Attwood

Randy Attwood author of Tortured Truths, and many more, is the focus of today's blog. He is an author who uses his knowledge and experience to write extremely compelling novels.

Tortured Truths by Randy Attwood is a suspense thriller starring Phillip McGuire a journalist who has recently escaped the claws of his middle eastern torturers. In bad shape both physically and mentally he pursues a simpler life and leaves his journalism background behind although not completely. He returns to his hometown in an effort to heal and live a simpler life, getting back in touch with old friends and opening a bar. He soon finds a mystery that needs resolving as people begin turning up dead.

The plot thickens and excitement ascends to a shreaking climax with every word in this thriller. Gruesome and colorful text flows into a string of scenes that coalesce inside the reader's mind with each turn of the page.Character's are vividly displayed through dialogue and narrative giving the reader a sense of being in the thick of the action.

A well written and most definitely stinging suspense thriller that is a must read!
Tortured Truths

Review Heart Chants

Heart Chants by Randy Attwood is an enticing novel rich in Native American lore and steeped in mystery. Packed with intrigue from the start Phil McGuire is back, and with cracked ribs as he threw himself into the hands of three Chinese men to save a beautiful Chinese damsel in distress, Hsu Chi. As he lays recovering in bed two Native American girls go missing and as a favor to a friend and assistance with his recovery another Native American girl Zoonie comes to stay with him. Hsu Chi finds him as well and a love affair sparks between them. While Phil is recovering with the aid of two beautiful women a young half white half Navajo man, self proclaimed Ko-yo-teh, is following the vision of his grandfather to rid the land of the white people. Increasing suspense builds as the reader is plunged into Ko-yo-teh’s world and Phil assists in solving the mystery of the missing girls. The elements within the novel merge together as the developing plot becomes progressively more compelling for a riveting, unforgettable, and unsuspected ending.

The amount of research and knowledge of the Navajo poured into this story is incredible. Randy Attwood spared no expense so to speak as he lavishly and with great respect brings forth the mystical Navajo legends and thought. There is also an acceptance as in the first segment of the Phil McGuire series of peoples of varying cultures. In this novel Randy Attwood brilliantly entwines mystery and suspense with a twist of Native American history which is truly the humble beginnings of American history unknown to most.

The written words in Heart Chants flow with ease keeping the reader always turning one more page seeking the treasures and secrets each offers.  Randy Attwood has an unflawed ability to create characters that capture the reader’s attention; one may find themselves both loving and hating even the most despicable misguided personalities. From beginning to end Heart Chants is an exciting novel that is in my opinion arguably one of the best releases of the New Year.

Heart Chants is an impeccably written novel with a truly unique plot that is truly a must read.

Interview with Randy Attwood

Elle: Tell a little about yourself.

Randy: The first half of my adult career was working in newspaper journalism as reporter
and then managing editor for papers in Kansas. The second half was in health care public relations.

Elle: What is your latest writing accomplishment?

Randy: I'm making nice progress on a noir mystery with a female protagonist who is the manager/bartender of a strip club called The Fat Cat, which is the title of the work. I love its first sentence: "I hadn't seen that good-lookin' motherfucker for almost a year when he walked in with his partner to ask me about the dead dancer found that morning in our dumpster."

Elle: Tell us a little about any other works you have published or will be publishing.

Randy: My Goodreads stats are 21 works (novels, novellas, short stories), 4.38 average on 99 ratings with works added by 440 unique users.

Elle: How long have you been writing and how did you fall into it?

Randy: I've been writing since college, but didn't really create decent work until I was in my 40s. I'm now retired and love having the time to promote my work and create new ones.

Elle: Please tell us a little about your writing process.

Randy: I'm a pantser. Idea or opening comes to me and I pursue it. That that opening line to The Fat Cat. Now I'm getting to know my protagonist better. Ellie McCrary is quite a woman with quite a past.

Elle:  If a fiction writer, are any of your novels based on events in your life?

Randy: My father was a dentist at a mental hospital in Kansas and the state provided housing on the grounds. So I grew up on the grounds of an insane asylum. My first job was
in its cafeteria. They say write about what you know. My first novel, "Crazy About You" is a coming of age novel set in a mental hospital. It's my most downloaded and best reviewed work. So the setting is based on reality. When I was managing editor of The Olathe (KS) Daily News a horrific murder of two girls occurred and that inspired the very dark suspense work now published by Curiosity Quills, "Blow Up the Roses."
Elle:  What was the greatest challenge you faced with publishing your work?

Randy: I had always been against self-publishing and was having just about zero luck at getting published at all. I finally got an agent for "SPILL," a political comedy and editors at two different traditional houses told my agent to encourage me to self-publish. Kindles were just beginning to catch on. So I did and then decided to publish the other works sitting in my digital filing cabinet. My work connects deeply with many readers and that is a marvelous reward. "SPILL" I have unpublished because Curiosity Quills will publish that novel this summer.
Curiosity Quills has also published a work I had not released myself, "Tortured Truths," which is the first in my Phillip McGuire mystery/suspense series. The second, "Heart Chants," which features a half-Navajo, half-white character who believes he is a witch, should be out by the time this interview appears.

Elle:  Do you have a favorite author or book?

Randy: Too many to list.

Elle: Do you have any advice for other indie authors?

If you can stop yourself from writing, then stop. I tried a couple of times out of despair of not getting published, but I always found out I was more miserable not writing then I was and not getting published. I have many sides of myself I show to the world, to my wife, my family, my coworkers, my friends. I only feel integrated when I'm at work on a project.

Elle: What genre or genres do you write and why?

Randy: I'm all over the genre map from that political comedy to literary, to dystopia, science fiction, mystery, horror and dark suspense.

Monday, January 6, 2014

What if...

As I was exiting the grocery store the other day I stopped at Redbox, as I frequently do, and rented a couple movies when an idea hit me on the head like a tone of bricks. It was like the light bulb started flashing and I thought why don't we have something like a Redbox for books. We have library's, book stores, online book stores and such but why not grab a good book while exiting the store instead of a movie. Maybe not instead of a movie but all people have their preference and some people just like to read. I have many friend's who will not watch the movie or TV show if they have first read the book. So why not a machine outside Walmart or McDonald's that caters to readers?

I started comparing the two:

1. Books take longer than a couple hours to read so they couldn't be overnight rentals but more like 10 day.

2. It would have to be possible to reserve them online or for someone with a tablet they could just download and rent them online without leaving their couch.

3.Since movies come on DVD with the digital world available to us why not make CD's in PDF format so they could be easily read on any computer. Or have audio versions available for a slightly higher price.

4. The rental and return on time fee's would have to be equally as low as Redbox.

When I have a new book to read I get excited whether it's digital or paperback. I love to delve into another world and discover it's hidden mysteries. I used to make a list on my phone of books to read although by the time I got to the library or bookstore the list would be so long I would have to choose only a few. I have learned my mistake and buy them now the minute I see them so I have accumulated a nice digital library for myself.

Thetroubledoyster in general is not just about books and readers. I choose a variety of topics to post, whatever interests me, or whatever interesting information I learned and want to share with an audience. That is the reason I have started featuring authors, they interest me and I admire their talents. I am also an author who has recently began publishing within the past several months. I have met many outstanding authors whose works have captivated me and whose talents have forced me into the exciting world of Indie authors. 

Since we don't have a Redbox for renting books yet, remember you read it here first, I am in the process of redesigning my Indie Author Book page into a bookstore to showcase the authors who I have interviewed on this blog. Returning for a second to how I used to keep a huge list of books but now I buy instantly or at least place the book in my Amazon wishlist for later purchase. This makes it easy for me so that is what I'm attempting do do with the bookstore, make it easy for you as well. Should any of the authors you see here tickle your fancy as much as they did mine take a peak at some of their other interesting novels.

There are many more enchanting authors to come and a cornucopia of reading material. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bringing in the New Year with John Reinhard Dizon

First featured author of the New Year is John R. Dizon. I have had the pleasure now of reading two of this author's novels, Tiara and Wolf Man, and wasn't disappointed in either. Each book was uniquely different but his writing style apparent with his smooth flow of words, descriptions, plot and action. 

Tiara by John R. Dizon packs an explosive punch that ensues from beginning to end. The plot centers around peace talks in Northern Ireland as the beautiful princess Jennifer is negotiating at the forefront. It is Jennifer's pressure for peace that has her kidnapped by a group of surly men who are in far above their heads, every agency has a hand in the pot and wants her either rescued or dead.

A fantastic action story also has a vested yet elusive love interest, and for Jennifer it is a ruggedly handsome, Bruce Willis or Matt Damon, whom she falls for hook, line, and sinker. The feelings between them are mutual and a couple sweltering love scenes heat up the pages of this exciting novel.

The Author's use of character depictions and dialogue brings every personality to life giving them depth. One may find themselves loving, hating and even feeling sorry for some of the dimmer witted fellows as they fight for their misguided beliefs. His illustrations portrayed give it a three dimensional quality and place the reader inside the action as bullets are fired, helicopters are downed, and bombs explode.

Reader's beware this cliffhanger flows unhinged from the first moment to last making this book a must read.
Tiara in Kindle

Wolf Man by John R. Dizon is a pulse pounding action adventure novella with a supernatural twist. The scene is set in New York although frequently reverts to past events and legends in Europe within the Serbia area. Steve Lurgan is an attractive international photojournalist whom returned to the states after an episode in the Accursed Mountains while researching a human organ smuggling ring. In New York he makes friends with the beautiful Mirjana, a Serbian who fled to America becoming a model/ actress. Steve finds his past crashing into his present and Mirjana as a damsel in distress.

This novella has it all; a magnetic attraction begging for romance, a horrifying bloodthirsty beast, and a cornucopia of action. Character names such as Evilenko, Darko and Mirjana assist in giving a surreal quality to the story.The plot flows smoothly and is guided by the varying twists and turns which culminate into an explosive ending.

An awesome read that invites a sequel!

Interview with John R. Dizon

John's Bio:
John Reinhard Dizon was born and raised in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, NY. He participated in local and high school sports at Bishop Loughlin MHS, excelling in wrestling, hockey and football. The lead vocalist of the Spoiler and the Ducky Boys, he was a key figure on the Brooklyn rock scene during the Punk Revolution of the 70's. Relocating to San Antonio TX in the 80's, he moonlighted as a pro wrestler while working as a legal assistant. He successfully pursued a BA at UTSA and degrees in Korean martial arts during the 90's. He currently lives in KC MO where he is studying for his MA in English at UMKC. Mr. Dizon has been writing suspense and thriller works for over twenty-five years.

Elle: What is your latest writing accomplishment?

John: Tiara is a unique novel on Northern Ireland based on the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. It takes a dark turn into the shadowy world of terrorism that brings us right alongside modern day headlines. Its politics, its characters and its storyline are controversial and intriguing, turning this into a first-rate page-turner.
Princess Jennifer is a widowed member of British royalty who pursues a vision quest in attending the negotiations at Stormont leading to the GFA in NI of 1998. She becomes a fantasy object to Berlin Mansfield, a terrorist who finagles his way into the peace talks to meet the Princess. Unknown to both of them, she is also the target of the Ulster Defense Association, a loyalist gang intent on holding her hostage to stop the negotiations. She is kidnapped by the UDA, and Mansfield offers his services to the rival IRA to try and rescue the Princess. CIA agents Jon Stevens and Slash Scimitar are in NI on a mission and end up helping the British track down both Mansfield and the kidnappers.

Elle: Tell us a little about any other works you have published or will be publishing.

John: My next book due in January through Black Rose Writing, Nightcrawler, is about the heiress of a chemical manufacturing company who becomes a vigilante, trying to keep her deceased father's company alive while pursuing her own dreams of law enforcement. She's a churchgoing woman with a strong spirit and charming personality who is greatly challenged by both the manufacturing industry and the streets of New York, as well as a terrorist group threatening to annihilate NYC with WMD's.

Elle:  How long have you been writing and how did you fall into it?

John: I started writing dialogue for my stick-figure cartoons before I attended grade school. I've always loved telling stories and my abnormally-wide range of interests have provided for what is now termed cross-genre works throughout my life.

Elle: Please tell us a little about your writing process.

John: It's all about having a compelling subject, which is why most of my work is historical fiction. From there you have to have to have a charismatic protagonist, and an equally charming love interest. From there, unless your major protagonist is an anti-hero, you can afford to have a exquisitely evil villain. From there you have to have a powerful finish. Without there elements I won't even start a story. Once I get the first chapter down, I then build a chapter outline to get from beginning to end. You also have to have the final conflict, the confrontation that brings you to your climax. I think I'm building a reputation for corny endings, with the hero and the girl riding off into the sunset. After the hell they go through to get there, I think most of my readers are probably good with it.

Elle: As a fiction writer, are any of your novels based on events in your life?

John: Most of the characters in my book are based on people I know Like they say, life is stranger than fiction. Many of the backdrops in the stories are based on places I've lived in or visited. I also tend to write about the things that have impacted my life. You'll see a lot of references to NYC, rock and roll, martial arts, Christianity, Irish history and women's issues in my stories. Like I said, I've got a strangely diversified background.

Elle: What was the greatest challenge you faced with publishing your work?

John: Before the Internet, it was marketing the book. If it wasn't for e-mail, I would've never got published. Back in the day, the cost of mailing samples or even finding publishers was impossible. In this day and age, it's marketing. Most publishers will print quality work but leave it to the author to sell the book. I think a publisher with a hot product owes it to themselves and the author to seek out a major label or movie producer to sell the rights to. There's nothing to lose and everything to gain. I do more than my share in publicizing the book and attracting readers, it's a full day's work at this point in time.

Elle: Do you have a favorite author or book?

John: Franz Kafka has been my greatest influence as a postmodernist writer. When I was a child, I read all of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels. As a young man, Robert E. Howard's series on Conan the Barbarian taught me a lot about descriptive narrative, particularly action scenes.

Elle: Do you have any advice for other indie authors?

John: Write, write, write, and never throw anything away. Most of the work I've recently published and am currently working on is over twenty years old. You never know when a new twist on an old idea will come out with a fresh new perspective.

Elle: What genre or genres do you write and why?

John: I'm always looking for a new challenge and try to avoid getting pigeonholed. Right now I tend towards action/adventure though my horror novels are selling well. I have The Fury available through Netherworld Books and Wolf Man with Damnation Books, and Transplant is expected to appear early next year through Assent Publishing. Just pull up John Reinhard Dizon in Books at Amazon, there's something there for everyone!