Sunday, August 28, 2016

Book Review: The Oracle Speaks


The Oracle Speaks. This book is nothing like what I expected, but it was such an inspirational story. I should state that this is just a book of quotes from various interviews and statements, they are pieced together. If you are looking for more of a biography or audio biography this isn't the book for you. This is something I see a lot of readers being disappointed in. Most people are looking for investment strategies and financial insight. Instead, they get a book of quotes. 

If you are thinking well this book has no point, you are wrong. Getting to analyze the way a successful man like him ticks is really useful. This shows more of the psychology behind his life. This is something that is rare to find. I am unsure if there is anything on the market, like this book. 


“The sillier the market’s behavior, the greater the opportunity for the businesslike investor.” 

Warren Buffet is a super successful business man. He has collected a grand sum thanks to his abilities to work wall street. It is an interesting look at his thought process. His quotes range from extremely thought provoking to sort of self-help statements. 

“If Forbes would put a list of the 400 oldest Americans and I was on that one—that’s the list I really want to be on.” 

The topics covered in this book range from life, investing, charity, family, and business. They are arranged in a way that keeps you interested. The quotes span the course of his life. Which allows you to see how his thoughts and feelings have changed. 

There are many ways this book could be improved in many ways. First, if there was a commentary on the quotes, notes about topics he addressed. If many it included examples of things. These would round up the book. 


Overall this is a great read for anyone interested in business, investing, or capitalism. This is something I will continue to read and look back on. I was provided this book by Agate Publishing in exchange for my honest and completely unbiased review. All thoughts and feelings are my own. 

Goodreads Description: 
From his office in Omaha, Nebraska, without even the benefit of a computer, Warren Buffett has racked up an investment record that far surpasses his counterparts on Wall Street—or anyone else in the world, for that matter. While traditionally stock exchanges have returned about 11 percent annually in the past half century, Buffett's investments have by nearly 29 percent a year, solidifying Buffett's conglomerate holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, as the eighth-largest business in the world and netting him $44 billion along the way.

Despite this tremendous success, “the Oracle of Omaha” remains modest. He acknowledges that he has a unique ability to evaluate businesses, but he doesn’t feel entitled to the vast wealth that ability has earned him. Instead, he likes to say that he was born at the right place and time. This humility in the face of proven talent and innumerable wealth is part of what makes Buffett universally popular—he is one of the world's wealthiest men and yet he is still personable and relatable.

For the first time, the most thought-provoking and inspiring quotes from Buffett are now compiled in a single book. The Oracle Speaks: Warren Buffett in His Own Words is a comprehensive guidebook to the inner workings of the Berkshire Hathaway chairman. Hundreds of Buffett's best quotes, comprising thoughts on investing, Wall Street, business, politics, taxes, and life lessons, will provide the most intimate and direct look into the mind of a modern business icon and give readers enough counsel to last a lifetime.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Book Review: Bright Sky, Starry City (Children's Book Series)


This is a series I will be running for a little while, highlighting some awesome children's literature. During the coming months, there will be many children's books. Stay tuned to learn more about it. Read previous posts in this series here. 



This is a cute book about science. I loved science as a kid, so this would have been the perfect picture book for me. I hate to call this a picture book because it is so much more than that. This book brings a love of science, to children of all ages.

It follows this little girl named Phoebe who has a serious love of science, more specifically space. She knows the names of all the planets and many stars. She asks so many questions of her dad, who I believe owns a telescope shop of some sort, but I could be wrong.

She is so excited to see the stars although she is worried about the city lights blocking the beauty. She wishes that they would all disappear so that she can see them in their glory. She gets her wish when a bad storm rolls in. The stars were prettier than ever.


Let's talk about the glorious artwork inside of this book. So much attention to detail was paid when crafting this amazing children's book. The pictures inside are so very colorful and imaginative

This one is perfect for any child, and definitely,  girls that love star gazing and wonders about the glory of the sky. There is a very informative afterword that explains space in details that children will be able to grasp.

I received this book from Groundwood Books for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.



Written by Uma Krishnaswami
Illustrarted by Aimée Sicuro
Pages : 32 
ISBN : 9781554984053
Ages: 6-9 


  • 32 Pages
  • 9781554984053
  • from 6 to 9Goodreads Description:

Phoebe helps her dad set up telescopes on the sidewalk outside his store. It’s a special night — Saturn and Mars are going to appear together in the sky. But will Phoebe be able to see them with all the city lights? 

Raindrops begin to fall, followed by lightning and thunder. Phoebe is filled with disappointment as she and her father hurry inside to wait out the storm. 

But suddenly the power fails and then, amazingly, the rain and clouds disappear. 

Phoebe and her dad and all kinds of people spill into the street. And there, in the bright night sky, the splendor of the planets and a multitude of stars are revealed for all to see.

 An illustrated afterword includes information about the solar system, planetary conjunctions and rings, moons, telescopes and light pollution. A glossary and recommended further reading are also included. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book Review: Dark Matter


This book was so very good. It was completely overwhelming and horrifying. It was gripping so fast-paced. I read this book in one day, it has been on my mind ever since. It was just one of those books that will stay with me forever. 

This book is compelling and such a mystery. It was like a puzzle that I just had to solve. It makes you think, it makes you re-evaluate everything.  This book took me out of my comfort zone and is the most insane thing I have ever read. 
I suppose we’re both just trying to come to terms with how horrifying infinity really is.
The book follows Jason who has just been abducted.  During this time he somehow is traveled into another world? Or has he? Was this all a dream? In his normal life he as a wife, and is just your run of the mill college physics professor. Apparently, he is a genius who has achieved something crazy. Something that will change the world.  This book will keep you guessing the whole way through. 

There is a lot happening in this book. The story is so intense and there are many twists and turns that will keep you guess. This book is the entire package. This has so many surprises, so many emotional scenes. This is a very wild ride 

This isn't a five-star book for me for a few reasons. The first being the writing style wasn't my favorite. It wasn't the worst obviously, but it had enough issues for me to notice. Secondly, it isn't a book I enjoyed enough to re-read again. 

As always I received this book for review from Blogging For Books. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Links to purchase: Amazon // Barnes & Noble 

About Author: 

Blake Crouch is a bestselling novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of the forthcoming novel, Dark Matter, for which he is writing the screenplay for Sony Pictures. His international-bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy was adapted into a television series for FOX, executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan, that was Summer 2015’s #1 show. With Chad Hodge, Crouch also created Good Behavior, the TNT television show starring Michelle Dockery based on his Letty Dobesh novellas. He has written more than a dozen novels that have been translated into over thirty languages and his short fiction has appeared in numerous publications including Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Crouch lives in Colorado with his family.

Goodreads Description: 


“Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.” 

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable--something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Book Review: WHOOSH! (Childrens Book Series)






When a young kid discovers a love of science, you know the book is going to be awesome 

Lonnie Johnson was just a young kid when it was discovered he had a natural talent for engineering. He loved learning, designing, and inventing. It helps that he had quite the imagination. He grew up poor, in a very small house.

He went to high school and excelled, he won first prize in the science fair for a robot he designed. This was an accomplishment because previously African Americans were ineligible to compete. He graduated and went to college where he quickly got a job at NASA.

He continued learning and inventing new imaginative things in his own workshop. Which is something he dreamed of having as a kid! At this point, he had met his goals, overcame unimaginable adversity and been extremely successful.


On day while trying to find a new and efficient way to cool down refrigerators and conditioners, he created a super soaker water gun. He is forced to overcome even more adversity as he tries to bring his new found product to market. He has a lot of doors slammed in his face. Just when it seems like he would give up. He perseveres  in order to see the success of his work.

 Packed with a surprise that will wow your children. Whoosh! encourages children to chase their dreams, climb over every obstacle in their way. It is a perfect narrative to start talking to your child about issues facing this world in a soft, and gentle way.

This is an extremely upbeat story that will get your reader interested. This is the perfect story for little boys and girls who want to become inventors or even engineers when they grow up. This is a great picture book for diversity.

Let's talk about the art. This book is super cute, and done in a sort of comic book way. As a cute bonus, the inside covers contain drawings of the actual invention. I really enjoyed the style of art. The color was bright but not overwhelming. The writing was clear and easy for readers.



I received this book for review  from Charlesbridge in exchange for my honest and completely unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Title: WHOOSH! 
Author: Chris Barton 
Illustrator: Don Tate 
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016
Pages: 32
Age Range: 7-10
ISBN: 978-1580892971

Links to purchase

Goodreads Description: 

A cool idea with a big splash
 
You know the Super Soaker. It’s one of top twenty toys of all time. And it was invented entirely by accident. Trying to create a new cooling system for refrigerators and air conditioners, impressive inventor Lonnie Johnson instead created the mechanics for the iconic toy.
 
A love for rockets, robots, inventions, and a mind for creativity began early in Lonnie Johnson’s life. Growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters, persistence and a passion for problem solving became the cornerstone for a career as an engineer and his work with NASA. But it is his invention of the Super Soaker water gun that has made his most memorable splash with kids and adults.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Book Review Watching Traffic


Not your average young adult story. This is a YA book that I surprisingly enjoyed. This is a small novel that is a fast read. The writing is beautiful and extremely thought provoking. I feel as if Jane Ozkowski, will soon be my favorite author.

As I said earlier this book isn't like the regular young adult books filling the market that seems weighed down by issues. This is a fresh and delightful tale .This is an unexpectedly beautiful and deep novel. Watching Traffic is the perfect novel about coming of age, and finding your place in this world.

I loved that it was set in Canada, I really like when books are set there. I have a love for all things Canada, and I can pretend that I live there. Obviously, I have zero ideas if anything in the book is truly accurate but I have hope because Jane Ozkowski, lives in Canada I believe.

The story follows recent high school graduate Emily, who is telling her story. She is extremely passionate, extremely sarcastic, grim at points, and very blunt. She has an interesting story and many challenges. She has to overcome a tragic past, work through her issues of abandonment, and worry about her failing friendships.

To be honest, her friendships are falling, they are just changing due to them leaving the area. She has to deal with unhealthy adults like a hoarding grandmother, and a dad who doesn't seem to really care about her.

She is flooded with a multitude of problems. She is complete lost and trying to avoid these issues at all cost. Unfortunately, you can't pack way problems they just keep resurfacing. She is an extremely fragile girl regardless of the tough persona she tries to put on.

She is bullied and completely humiliated by strangers because they know what her mother did. Everyone knows what she did. It will be a label on Emily's forehead for as long as she lives in this town. Her life is like a stick of dynamite that might go off at any moment.

Early on we learn that Emily's mother has chosen to commit suicide right after Emily was a couple of years old. She was described as a blood covered toddler. This is the most heart-wrenching part of this novel. The suicide is completely exposed to the public. Everyone knows the gruesome details of this horrific event. She is desperate to not have her mother's past define her life.

Some people label her dumb and even broken. A woman in her town acts as if she is dumb, and wonders if she can properly spell words. This is due to Emily pretending she was trapped and trying to escape. What a horrible feeling for a child to have.

I felt so connected with Emily throughout the story. I felt like we could have been friends in real life. We have similar tragic pasts, all though mine wasn't quite so notorious thankfully. I faced a lot of the same challenges when facing adulthood. This really made me more interested in the book.

This is unlike any YA book, while parts of the story are similar so much is fresh and new. The tackling of new topics like coming of age, small town issues, and tragedies is a breath of fresh air. The author unveils an unconventional story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Overall, this is a young adult novel that I can not recommend enough. Anyone that is interested in a great new ya story should check it out. If you want to explore some Canadian literature this is a great start. This book will make you laugh, cry, and sad all at the same time.

I received this book from Groundwood Books, in exchange for my honest and one hundred percent unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Goodreads Description: 

Emily has finally finished high school in the small town where she has lived her whole life. At last, she thinks, her adult life can begin.

But what if you have no idea what you want your new life to look like? What then?

While Lincoln gets ready to go backpacking in Australia, Melissa packs for university on the east coast, and a new guy named Tyler provides  welcome distraction, Emily wonders whether she will end up working forever at Pamela’s Country Catering, cutting the crusts off party sandwiches and stuffing mushrooms. Is this her future? Being known forever as the local girl whose mother abandoned her in the worst way possible all those years ago? Visiting her spacey grandmother, watching nature shows on TV with her dad and hanging out with Robert the grocery clerk? Listening to the distant hum of the highway leading out of the town everyone can’t wait to leave?

With poetic prose and a keen eye for the quirks and ironies of small-town life, Jane Ozkowski captures the bittersweet uncertainty of that weird, unreal summer after high school — a time that is full of possibility and completely terrifying at the same time.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Author Interview: Janice Boekhoff



Today I have Janice Boekhoff with me for an awesome author interview. Janice Boekhoff is a former Research Geologist who pours her love of science and the outdoors into her suspense novels. One of her favorite things to do, other than write, is to research the settings for her novels. Whether climbing Mount Rainier in Washington State, hiking in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona or pushing through the cloud forests of Costa Rica, she strives to bring realistic details to her writing.

When she’s not writing, she can be found sipping on a peppermint mocha, lounging in front of the TV watching re-runs of Castle, or reading a science magazine to find the latest creative word scientists have made up (not much suspense there, but seriously, scientists are more creative than most people give them credit for).


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

I wanted to be a writer when I was a young kid, but that dream had a lot of other dreams to compete with—first woman president, archaeologist, veterinarian, and supermodel to name a few. Several of those didn’t work out. I tried to watch a dog autopsy and passed out, nobody was willing to fund my political career, and I realized supermodels aren’t allowed to eat, so I settled on archaeologist. At least until I realized most archaeologists classify pot shards for a living. Along the way, I’d taken some geology classes and fallen in love with rocks. I decided I’d rather classify rocks than pot shards, and several years later, I became a Research Geologist. But the dream of writing never left me. A year after becoming a geologist, I started my first novel. Since I didn’t have a laptop, I hand-wrote pages in a notebook during my lunch breaks. 

How long does it take you to write a book? 

It depends. What a concrete answer from a scientist, right? But seriously, it depends on how much research I need for the plot. In general, I complete a first draft of a novel in about six months, although Crevice took more like eight months because of the research I did on the Lost Dutchman gold mine. But no one sees my first drafts. After four novels, my first drafts are getting better, but I still can’t show them to anyone. I rewrite once before sending it to my critique partner, then I usually edit some more while she has it. At least two drafts later, it’s ready for my early readers, plus I’m ready for some time away from it. After a month, I come back and incorporate comments from my early readers. Even after all that, the novel goes through several more rounds of editing before being published. 

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? 

All my kids are in school now, so you would think I’d get six hours a day of writing in, but that’s not usually the case. Between volunteering in the classroom, orthodontist appointments and bible study, I usually get two solid hours of peaceful writing. Of course, that’s not enough time to grow a career, so I sneak in more bits of writing where I can, most often at night after everyone else has gone to bed. Once in a while, my wonderful hubby will let me go out to Starbucks in the evening or on the weekend … such bliss. Since I have short, concentrated times to write, I find I rarely get writer’s block.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 

I’m not sure if I’m answering this question the way it was intended, but my most interesting writing quirk is that I like to kill off characters, sometimes just for fun. My critique partner keeps me in check. She insists on a good reason for bloodshed. I have to prove to her that the neighbor girl down the street is destined to die. It keeps me honest, and it keeps me from having a book where the bodies pile up higher than my minivan (oh, a book where everybody has to die could be a fun premise, though).

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Being a former geologist, I love science, especially anything to do with rocks. Many of my ideas for books come from watching science shows or reading science magazines. I take true facts and play with them until ideas come that interest me. Like most writers, I love to play the “what if” game. What if a legendary treasure was real? What if somebody who didn’t care about the treasure was forced to hunt for it? What if zombies invaded Victorian England? (Oh wait, that one might have already been done.)

Asking these types of questions is what got me hooked on the idea of writing a modern day treasure hunt. Years ago, I watched a TV show that had a segment on the Lost Dutchman gold mine located somewhere in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona. The myriad of legends reached out with their tantalizing clues and drew me in. Which ones were real? Which were fantasy? 
Only Jacob Waltz—the Dutchman—knew for sure, and he was long dead. 

In Crevice, I had such fun coming up with a creative explanation for the enigma of Waltz’s life, but the truth remains a mystery. Sadly, the details of the lonely Dutchman’s life, and whatever mine he might have discovered, died with him in 1891. 

Perhaps, the Dutchman’s gold is out there … waiting. If you happen to stumble across it, feel free to send a few chunks of gold ore my way. 

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I started my first book when I was twenty-eight and working as a geologist. I didn’t have a laptop, so I hand-wrote it during my lunch breaks. About a third of the novel was completed when I had my first child and all my writing time disappeared in a flurry of dirty diapers and spit up. Then, I had another munchkin, and another. Whew! Three kids under five was crazy, but by the time my youngest was one-year-old, I started thinking about that book again. I picked it back up, writing for fifteen minutes in the carpool line or ten minutes before I fell asleep at night. I finished it a year later and thought it would be published by the next year—how naive. It’s about a volcanologist in Hawaii. Great job, great setting, but I had no concept of how bad my first novel was until I wrote novels two, three and four. That first one is still on the shelf. It’s the prequel to the Earth Hunters series, so I’m sure I’ll dust it off soon and give it a complete makeover—before anyone else sees it, of course. 

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

Read, read, read! And then fit in the rest of my life. I wish I had more time for reading (my husband calls my Kindle my security blanket) and writing, but I wouldn’t change my life for anything. I have three feisty, sports-addicted kids, a husband who travels with me to research locations for my books, and an adorable Vizsla puppy (he will be even more adorable when he’s completely potty trained). The only way it could get any better is if I had a maid/cook—so if you know of anyone who would take the job for free first edition copies of my books, send him/her my way.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I was surprised at how subjective the writing and reading process is. As a scientist, I wanted hard and fast rules for how to write. But the truth is there are very few rules for how to create the illusion of another world. The story itself dictates what kinds of rules you follow and break. It takes a lot of work to make the writing seem effortless. And added to the hard work, there’s a bit of God-given magic in the unique experience each person has when reading a novel. 

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing? 

As a teenager, my favorite author was Stephen King (yes, I had nightmares for most of my adolescence). King knows how to suck you into a story and leave you breathless. When I became a Christian, I discovered suspense author Ted Dekker, who could take you on the same roller-coaster ride, but without the gore. Around the same time, the Christian Romantic Suspense genre had just started to take off, and I discovered Dee Henderson and Terri Blackstock. Although an author has trouble defining their own style, I feel my novels are a blend of the two styles that I love—a bit of romance and heavy on the suspense. 

What do you think makes a good story?


I’m a plot girl. I love a strong plot that takes me places I don’t expect. My favorite authors are those who leave me on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next. So, I think a good plot makes a good story, but events don’t happen to just anybody. I want to be totally enmeshed with the main character so that her/his goals become mine. This is where the author’s passion takes over. When an author is passionate about driving the character’s journey forward, it really makes an impact on the reader. And I’m just as much a reader as I am a writer. 


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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Book Review : The White Cat and the Monk: A Retelling of the Poem "Pangur Bán" (Children's Book Series)


This is a series I will be running for a little while, highlighting some awesome children's literature. During the coming months, there will be many children's books. Stay tuned to learn more about it. Read previous posts in this series here. 



A wonderful retelling of a beautiful old Irish poem. I have heard this poem  "Pangur Bán" before and was so excited to see this retelling. I believe the meaning of this book is very important for children. The simple and elegant narration will make this children's book an instant classic. It is classic, done in a new and fun contemporary and modern way.

The White Cat and the Monk is a cute little poem about a cat and monk, that live together in harmony. This book is great for all the cat lovers out there. It is a very simple story telling about how a cat, hunts, and catches his mouse. While the owner, and human worry about the meanings behind old text.


This book is also about finding knowledge in books, and that there is light in the darkness. It sends a great message. This book is perfect for kids as well as adults.

The illustrations will remind you of a far away time period. They are neutral, with very little color, to make an old world charm. Monastery walls, and minimalist decorations fill this book.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Goodreads Description: 

A monk leads a simple life. He studies his books late into the evening and searches for truth in their pages. His cat, Pangur, leads a simple life, too, chasing prey in the darkness. As night turns to dawn, Pangur leads his companion to the truth he has been seeking.

The White Cat and the Monk is a retelling of the classic Old Irish poem “Pangur Bán.” With Jo Ellen Bogart’s simple and elegant narration and Sydney Smith’s classically inspired images, this contemplative story pays tribute to the wisdom of animals and the wonders of the natural world.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Author Interview: Alyssa Drake


Today I have author Alyssa Drake with me for an interview. Author Alyssa Drake has been creating stories since she could read, preferring to construct her own bedtime tales instead of reading the titles in her bookshelves. Enraptured with all types of writing, Alyssa has tried her hand at short stories, collaborations and poetry. However, her first love has always been books. She thoroughly enjoys strong heroines and often laughs aloud when visualizing conversations between her characters.

Alyssa graduated from the University of the Pacific, with a B.S. in business and a concentration
in French literature. Currently she resides in Northern California with her blended family, where she
works full-time at a chocolate factory. She believes everyone is motivated by love of someone or something. One of her favorite diversions is fabricating stories about strangers surrounding her on public transportation. Alyssa can often be found madly scribbling notes on a train or daydreaming out the window as the scenery whips past.

1) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?


I have always enjoyed books. Both my parents were avid readers and encouraged me at a

young age to read anything I could get my hands on. This helped develop my imagination. As a

child I used to write short stories to read to my mom at bedtime. I think they knew before I did

how much I wanted to become a writer.


2) How long does it take you to write a book?


The first book took roughly one year. I did not begin writing with the intent of publication - I

was in no hurry, just writing when I could. I had no idea that it would actually become a

published novel. The second book has taken me less time – about nine months. I wish I could

solely dedicate myself to writing, but at this point it cannot replace my full-time job, therefore

the process is longer than if I was a full-time writer.


3) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?


Inspired by the Amtrak Residency program, I applied the essence of Amtrak’s idea to my daily

commute, which is typically one hour each direction on a train. Once I board my train, I turn up

my music and let my imagination run wild. I find that writing by hand allows me to connect to

my work. Later during the day I translate my scribbles onto a Word document. That document

is printed and then revised and edited the next morning. Writing is a circular process for me. I

have a tendency cycle backward and edit previous chapters before moving forward again. It

allows me to keep consistency in the book. However I can only dedicate about three to four

hours a day to my writing. The weekends are almost impossible to find any time – I have three

children and that is our family time.


4) What would you say is you interesting writing quirk?


I have been asked how I come up with descriptions for scenes and people. The truth is, I

imagine the scene first before writing, like watching a movie play out in my mind. Then I write

down what I see. If I cannot imagine myself there when re-reading what I wrote, I tweak the

words until I can picture exactly what I originally saw in my mind.


5) Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?


That is two different questions. My ideas typically begin as imagination, based on a tangent that

my brain has run with. Sometimes I end up staring into space and then I snap back to reality and

think, “I need to grab a pen and write this down.” The information is verified through research,

especially since I am writing historical romance. For example: croquet was a very popular game

during this specific time period. It seemed fitting to give the characters an opportunity to show

their true natures through a little sport.


6) When did you write your first book and how old were you?


I finished my first full-length novel in September 2015. I was 37 at the time.


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


I try to fill my non-writing time with more books! I love reading and would spend hours if my

kids let me. I also enjoy swimming, long walks, painting, dancing with my kids, fishing, baking

and spectator sports.


8) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?


I was surprised that I had more than one book in me. Once I reached the end of the first book, I

realized there was so much more story for the characters to experience. I even have a few

pieces of the third book in the works.


9) Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What

impact have they had on your writing?


There are two favorite authors of mine which have influence my work. They are J.D. Robb/Nora

Roberts and Julia Quinn (whom I met at a book signing; I told her she inspired me to pick up a

pen in the first place). They both have an incredible ability to weave different elements into

their novels, such as humor, romance and intrigue. I aspire to write like them; they are

wonderful role models.


10) What do you think makes a good story?


A good story is consistent from beginning to end. It has the ability to draw in the reader by

emotionally attaching them to the characters they meet and leaves the reader thinking about

the story long after they have finished the book.


11) What advice do you have for other author’s trying to get published?


One person’s opinion of your writing does not dictate your ability as an author. Not everyone

will like your book, do not let rejection deter you, eventually your book will end up in the hands

of the right person.


12) What is next for you?


I am wrapping up the final stage of my second book in the Wiltshire Chronicles, tentatively titled

An Imperfect Engagement. It will be sent to my editing angels before submission to my

publisher. Then I plan to focus on the paranormal romance idea which continues to encroach

upon my thoughts before returning to Wiltshire for the third book.

Check out more about this lovely Author by following the links below: 


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Book Review: Hokey Pokey Pirates (Children's Book Series)


This is a series I will be running for a little while, highlighting some awesome children's literature. During the coming months, there will be many children's books. Stay tuned to learn more about it. Read previous posts in this series here. 



Author: Peyton King
Pages: 261 pages
Publishing date: July 2015
Source: Publisher


Hokey Pokey Pirates is a great book for kids. A rediscovered story a little girl wrote. The language in this story is very elementary, which is great because it was written by a child. It is really surprising that a young author wrote this story.  Your child will be able to follow and relate to everything in the book. 

This book is such a cute story. I really liked the take on the song, Hokey Pokey, children will recognize the song and get excited about the story. I think it has a fun message, that children will be able to grasp. 


The ending has bonus coloring pages that you can print out and have fun coloring. I recommend printing them out as you read the story to children.  I recommend this to any person who works, has, or deals with children. It will be a very fun read. 


I received this book for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Links: Amazon 


Goodreads Description: 

Available as an ebook download now, and soon to be released in paperback, Hokey Pokey Pirates is a children's picture book written by a child. She was inspired to write this story based on her relationship with her brothers.

Charlie and Lexie go outside to play on the trampoline while their mom cooks supper and end up on an exciting high-seas adventure in which they learn that not all treasure is made of gold.
 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Book Review: Dark Matter


This book was so very good. It was completely overwhelming and horrifying. It was gripping so fast-paced. I read this book in one day, it has been on my mind ever since. It was just one of those books that will stay with me forever. 

This book is compelling and such a mystery. It was like a puzzle that I just had to solve. It makes you think, it makes you re-evaluate everything.  This book took me out of my comfort zone and is the most insane thing I have ever read. 
I suppose we’re both just trying to come to terms with how horrifying infinity really is.
The book follows Jason who has just been abducted.  During this time he somehow is traveled into another world? Or has he? Was this all a dream? In his normal life he as a wife, and is just your run of the mill college physics professor. Apparently, he is a genius who has achieved something crazy. Something that will change the world.  This book will keep you guessing the whole way through. 

There is a lot happening in this book. The story is so intense and there are many twists and turns that will keep you guess. This book is the entire package. This has so many surprises, so many emotional scenes. This is a very wild ride 

This isn't a five-star book for me for a few reasons. The first being the writing style wasn't my favorite. It wasn't the worst obviously, but it had enough issues for me to notice. Secondly, it isn't a book I enjoyed enough to re-read again. 

I received this book for free from blogging for books in exchange for an honest and completely unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 
Goodreads Description:

A brilliantly plotted, relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller from the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy

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“Are you happy with your life?” 


Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. 

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. 

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”  

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Book Review: Freshwater Road


Freshwater Road by Denise Nicholas is such a beautiful book  This is a wonderful coming of age story. It starts with a young college students experiences in Missippi freedom summer back in 1964. This is such a powerful story and one I didn't expect I would enjoy so much. I have not read many historical fiction books but this is a can't miss. 

This book centers around nonviolence during the civil rights movement. The author does such a great job at giving readers an in-depth look at the sense of oppression back then. You can really feel the fear, the worry, and all the strength. 

Our name character is a woman named Celeste Tyree. She starts working in a town called Pineyville. This seems good until you learn that just a few years ago, a lynching occurred. Violence is real in this town, and frankly, at that time, it was really almost everywhere in the south. The character sense of understanding white on black crime was very moving. 

The danger comes to a climax when Goodman Schwerner and Chaney get found to have died. While the book does contain real danger and a bit of violence this book is about nonviolence. The power of a movement. One that overcomes unspeakable adversity. The story is a fantastic reminder of the power of the civil rights movement and how people can change the world. This book has a great mix of both tragedy and strength. 

The book isn't just about the civil rights movement, although that is the predominant topic. The main character also reflects on powerful family issues, and overall life struggles. 

This is a great fictional account of life inside the civil rights movement. I highly recommend this book to any reader that enjoys historical fiction. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars. I certainly hope you will check it out.

I received this book for free from Agate Publishing  in exchange for my honest and completely unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.  Be sure to check out Agate Publishing for more fantastic titles. 


Goodreads Description: 
When University of Michigan sophomore Celeste Tyree travels to Mississippi to volunteer her efforts in Freedom Summer, she's assigned to help register voters in the small town of Pineyville, a place best known for a notorious lynching that occurred only a few years earlier.

As the long, hot summer unfolds, Celeste befriends several members of the community, but there are also those who are threatened by her and the change that her presence in the South represents. Finding inner strength as she helps lift the veil of oppression and learns valuable lessons about race, social change, and violence, Celeste prepares her adult students for their showdown with the county registrar. All the while, she struggles with loneliness, a worried father in Detroit, and her burgeoning feelings for Ed Jolivette, a young man also in Mississippi for the summer. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Book Review: The Moon Inside (Children's Book Series)


This is a series I will be running for a little while, highlighting some awesome children's literature. During the coming months, there will be many children's books. Stay tuned to learn more about it. Read previous posts in this series here. 


This is one of the most beautiful children's books I have read to date. The subject matter is something all of us can relate to at one time. Being afraid of the dark. How many times do children wake up afraid or won't go to sleep without a night light? This book will help change that.


Ella is a spunky little girl who loves the sunshine and anything bright and colorful. Her favorite color is yellow, and she is great at drawing beautiful pictures. Unfortunately, Ella has a problem. Come every night, when the darkness sets in she becomes very afraid.

Eventually, her mother figures away to help her get past her fears. I love that this teaches children to look at adults to help them be comforted. The mother is gentle and patient. The mother doesn't belittle her daughter's feelings. She then encourages her to look at the light the night brings. The moon's glow, the softness of the fireflies.



This helps little Ella realize that the night isn't all that scary. She can look forward to the calmness of the moons glow. The fear is still there, but she at least can rest. It didn't solve all her problems, like some magical cure. It was a very reasonable ending to the story.

The art in this book is gorgeous. This might be the most beautiful book of 2016 in my humble opinion. The beautiful illustrations will keep your child entertained, and will blow you away.

This is a must have in any children's library. I received this book for review in exchange for my honest and completely unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Author: Sandra V. Feder

Illustrated by Aimée Sicuro

  • Pages: 32 


































































  • ISBN Number: 9781554988235 



























  • Age Range: from grade P to grade K

    Goodreads Description: 

    Yellow is Ella’s favorite color — she loves the bright, sunny daytime. But every night, as darkness falls, she becomes afraid. 

    When her mother encourages her to look at the soft glow of the moon and fireflies dancing in the night and to listen to the chirping of crickets and the gentle rustling of the wind, Ella gradually realizes that nighttime can be something to look forward to rather than something to fear