Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book Spotlight: Beethoven in Love by Howard J. Smith





We're happy to host Howard J. Smith's BEETHOVEN IN LOVE: OPUS 139 Virtual Book Tour today! Please leave a comment to let him know you stopped by!



Title:
BEETHOVEN IN LOVE; OPUS 139

Author: Howard Jay Smith

Publisher: SYQ

Pages: 385

Genre: Literary Fiction/Biographical Fiction

At the moment of his death, Ludwig van Beethoven pleads with Providence to grant him a final wish—one day, just a single day of pure joy. But first he must confront the many failings in his life, so the
great composer and exceedingly complex man begins an odyssey into the netherworld of his past life led by a spirit guide who certainly seems to be Napoleon, who died six years before. This ghost of the former emperor, whom the historical Beethoven both revered and despised, struggles to compel the composer to confront the ugliness as well as the beauty and accomplishments of his past. 

As Beethoven ultimately faces the realities of his just-ended life, we encounter the women who loved and inspired him. In their own voices, we discover their Beethoven—a lover with whom they savor
the profound beauty and passion of his creations. And it’s in the arms of his beloveds that he comes to terms with the meaning of his life and experiences the moment of true joy he has always sought.

Purchase Information:

Amazon




Book Excerpt:



Prologue:
The Death of Beethoven
Vienna, 5:00 pm,
March
26, 1827
 
Outside Beethoven’s rooms at the Schwarzspanierhaus, a fresh measure of snow from a late season thunderstorm muffles the chimes of St. Stephens Cathedral as they ring out the hours for the old city.
    Ein, Zwei, Drei, Vier…
Funf  Uhr. 
Five O’clock.
    Beethoven, three months past his fifty-sixth birthday, lies in a coma, as he has now for two nights,
his body bound by the betrayal of an illness whose only virtue was that it proved incurable and would, thankfully, be his last. Though his chest muscles and his lungs wrestle like giants against the approaching blackness, his breathing is so labored that the death rattle can be heard over the grumblings of the heavens throughout his apartment. 
     Muss es sein? Must it be? Ja, es muss sein. Beethoven is dying. From on high, the Gods vent their
grief at his imminent passing and hurl a spear of lightening at
Vienna.
     Their jagged bolt of electricity explodes outside the frost covered windows of the Schwarzspanierhaus with a clap of thunder so violent it startles the composer to consciousness. 
     Beethoven’s eyes open, glassy, unfocused. He looks upward – only the Gods know what he sees, if
anything. He raises his right hand, a hand that has graced a thousand sonatas, and clenches his fist for perhaps the last time. His arm trembles as if railing against the heavens. Tears flood his eyes.
     His arm falls back to the bed… His eyelids close… And then he is gone ...

REVIEW COMING SOON!


About the Author

Howard Jay Smith is an award-winning writer from Santa Barbara, California. BEETHOVEN IN LOVE; OPUS 139 is his third book. A former Washington, D.C. Commission for the Arts Fellow, & Bread Loaf Writers Conference Scholar, he taught for many years in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and has lectured nationally. His short stories, articles and photographs have appeared in the Washington Post, Horizon Magazine, the Journal of the Writers Guild of America, the Ojai Quarterly, and numerous literary and trade publications. While an executive at ABC Television, Embassy TV, and Academy Home Entertainment, he worked on numerous film, television, radio, and commercial projects. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Symphony - "The Best Small City Symphony in America" -  and is a member of the American Beethoven Society.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

INTERVIEW
BOOK CIRCLE ONLINE AT YOUTUBE

INTERVIEW
BLOGTALK RADIO


http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Monday, April 24, 2017

Guest Post: One of My Favorite Characters by F.M. Meredith, Author of Unresolved


Rocky Bluff P.D. is underpaid and understaffed and when two dead bodies turn up, the department is stretched to the limit. The mayor is the first body discovered, the second an older woman whose death is caused in a bizarre manner. Because no one liked the mayor, including his estranged wife and the members of the city council, the suspects are many, but each one has an alibi.

Copies may be purchased from Book and Table by emailing bookandtablevaldosta@gmail.com with a 10% discount and free shipping.

Books may be ordered from all the usual places as well.

One of My Favorite Characters in the Rocky Bluff P.D. Series

Cheryl asked me to tell about my favorite character in this series, but instead, I wanted to tell you about a fairly new character that I’m growing fond of, the new Chief of Police, Chandra Taylor.

Chandra, the second African American on the RBPD, came to Rocky Bluff from the San Francisco Police Department. She knew her chance of advancing beyond lieutenant were nil. Though the small beach town of Rocky Bluff certainly didn’t compare to San Francisco, it didn’t take long before Chandra began to enjoy her job, the police officers who worked under her and the community itself.

In A Crushing Death, Chandra’s life was threatened by a man she’d arrested in the past and Detective Milligan and his wife, Officer Stacey Milligan, not only protected her but became friends in the process.

When the mayor is murdered and the other members of the city council all become suspects, Chandra finds herself attracted to the man who has become the new mayor, Devon Duvall. Whether or not this attraction will develop, of course, depends upon Devon’s innocence.

It’s always fun for me as an author, when new and interesting characters become a part of the Rocky Bluff series. I hope that readers will enjoy this new twist as well.



F. M. Meredith lived for many years in a small beach community much like Rocky Bluff. She has many relatives and friends who are in law enforcement and share their experiences and expertise with her. She taught writing for Writers Digest Schools for 10 years, and was an instructor at the prestigious Maui Writers Retreat, and has taught at many writers’ conferences. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 21, 2017

Mercy Street on PBS Cancelled After Season 2



Annoyed. Agitated. Disappointed. I feel all this and more at the recent news that Mercy Street--PBS’ Civil War-era medical drama--has been cancelled after just two seasons. In this world of reality television, Mercy Street was a breathe of fresh air: drama, romance, and an exploration into a tumultuous time in our country's history. Giving both equal time to those inside and outside of Mansion House Hospital, this period drama captivated me from the start.

Josh Radnor as Dr. Jedediah Foster and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Mary Phinney were just two of the outstanding actors that made the show worth watching. Mercy Street's strength resided in its character development: both in one-episode characters and recurring.

While Season 2 ended powerfully with the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation and the promise of better things to come, there are so many stories left unwritten. Will Emma Green and Chaplain Hopkins be able to get beyond what happened at the creek? How will the death of her only living son impact Hospital Matron Brannan? Will Silas Bullen continue on the straight and narrow? Can James Green Jr. ever meet up to his family's expectations?

There is a #SaveMercyStreet campaign and a petition to sign. As of right now, I am adding Mercy Street to my list of reasons I hate getting caught up in shows only to see them cancelled. This list includes: Dawson's Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Cedar Cove.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Coming in May: What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman


Somewhere in the Embers Lies the Truth

A fire blazes out of control in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, leaving an elderly Amish bachelor dead. Bishop Henry Lapp rushes to the scene, and he learns the fire was no accident. Someone intended to kill Vernon Frey. But who would want to kill Vernon? Well, practically everyone—Amish and Englisch alike.

When the police point the finger at a suspect Henry knows is innocent, the bishop must decide whether or not to use his mysterious, God-given gift—one he's tried desperately to ignore all these years—to try and set the record straight. His close friend and neighbor, Emma, encourages Henry to follow God's leading.

Could the clue to solving the case be locked somewhere deep in his memory? Will Henry find the courage to move forward in faith and put the right person behind bars? Is his friendship with Emma becoming something more?


What the Bishop Saw
is a story of extraordinary talents, the bonds of love and friendship, and the unfailing grace of God.

Series: The Amish Bishop Mysteries (Book 1)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (May 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736966471
ISBN-13: 978-0736966474

Pre-order here!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Mailbox Monday - Mar 27



Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Happy Monday! Hope you're having a great day. It's raining cats and dogs out here, but it's spring and hopefully no more snow will be coming.

Last week an unexpected gift arrived.


A daring, compelling, and impeccably researched historical novel that offers dramatic new insight into the life of the greatest composer the world has ever known. Its fresh perspective and deeply felt understanding of Beethoven's motivations, passions, and challenges speak eloquently to us today, connecting us to our own successes, failures, and dreams, and ultimately to the true consequence of our lives.

At the moment of his death on a snowy afternoon in March, 1827, Ludwig van Beethoven pleads with Providence to grant him a final wish one day, just a single day of pure joy. But first he must confront the many failings in his life, so the great composer and exceedingly complex man begins an odyssey into the netherworld of his past life. As he struggles to confront its ugliness, we encounter the women who loved and inspired him. In their own voices, we discover their Beethoven a lover with whom they savor the profound beauty and passion of his creations. And it's in the arms of his beloveds that he comes to terms with the meaning of his life and experiences the moment of true joy he has always sought.

I also downloaded a Kindle freebie.


After a brutal mugging in Manhattan leaves him with a broken arm and fractured skull, insurance investigator Jeff Resnick reluctantly agrees to recover at the home of his estranged half brother, Richard. At first, Jeff believes his graphic nightmares of a slaughtered buck are just the workings of his traumatized mind. But when a local banker is found in the same condition, Jeff believes the attack has left him with a psychic sixth sense--an ability to witness murder before it happens.Piecing together clues he saw in his visions, Jeff attempts to solve the crime. His brother Richard is skeptical, but unsettling developments begin to forge a tentative bond. Soon, things that couldn't be explained by premonition come to light, and Jeff finds himself probing into dangerous secrets that touch his own traumatic past in wintry Buffalo--and the killer is ready to eliminate Jeff's visions permanently.

What was in your mailbox?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Product Review: Home Basics Two-tier Dish Drainer


Zulily.com is another one of my favorite websites to shop from. I like to find great bargains there. At the beginning of February I was working on getting my kitchen organized and trying to increase counter space, so I picked up this attractive two-tier dish drainer from Home Basics.

It was easy to assemble: had it together in less than five minutes. This dish drainer definitely takes up less room on the counter than our previous one and doesn't require a separate tray. The trays slide in under the chrome-finished wiring on each tier. You can dry cups on the outside and the silverware holder clips on the outside so it doesn't take up inside space.


My one fear is that when it comes to holiday dinners it won't be very helpful. Even now, I need to put a towel down on the counter if we have several pots and pans to air dry. So while it makes more room for prep time, once the dishes are washed you lose that counter space to clean dishes.

I'm still glad I bought it. The old one needed replacing, and since I bought it for only $18.99 it was worth trying.


This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why I Love Boxed.com



Have any of you tried boxed.com? From the moment I heard about it, I've been hooked. Why?

I Save Time

I know buying staple items like paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, and even non-perishable food items like pasta are more expensive when you buy in small quantities at the grocery store. I've considered a membership to BJ's or Costco, but that means I have to make time in my already jam-packed schedule to shop at another store, deal with the hassle of finding what I want, and then drive back home--which is 25 minutes away.

With Boxed.com I sit down in the comfort of my own home and order the bulk items I need. A couple days later everything arrives on my doorstep.

I Save Money

Not only do I save money on everyday items I buy all the time, Boxed.com offers: free shipping on orders over $49 and cash rewards that can be applied to future orders. If a friend signs up through this link, my friend receives $15 off their first order of $60 or more and I also receive $15 in Boxed.com credit. There is no membership fee and they don't limit what type of credit card I can use.

Free Samples

When you place an order with Boxed.com you are eligible to receive two free samples. This month I chose some Easter candy and Dove deodorant.

Boxed.com is going to give Amazon's subscription service some good competition. There are a few items I've already found cheaper on Boxed.com. Online bulk shopping services like Boxed.com are also going to make things challenging for big bulk warehouse type stores.

Why would I do this?


When I can do this....







Friday, February 17, 2017

Coming in April: Big Red by Ellie Dias



Letting go of stuff can be harder than you'd think...even when it’s jammed into a suitcase the size and color of a fire engine.


Seeking to experience simplicity and contentment in the “Happiest Place on Earth,” Dias planned her trip of a lifetime to the Himalayas to the nth degree.

Little did she know that nearly every step would be fraught with challenges, mishaps, and detours. Everything that could go wrong on her spiritual journey did. It was a fiasco that left her wondering whether the Universe—via her Big Red Suitcase—was trying to teach her something.


Ellie Dias, a devotee of Buddhist philosophy, introspection, and yoga, has a graduate degree in Education with a concentration in biology. Her career has been focused on health and wellness as a pediatric nurse, clinician working with families whose babies were at risk for SIDS, a division Vice President of a women’s health care company and a professor. Teaching Anatomy and Physiology, she merged her understanding of the human body with her sixteen-year practice of meditation, incorporating it in a classroom setting.

Writing a book had been percolating in the back of Ellie’s mind, but life got in the way until she was inspired by a solo journey to the Himalayas. Her debut book, Big Red: How I Learned Simplicity from a Suitcase, is a story of challenges, perseverance and humor as she struggles to jettison her Western ways halfway around the world while lugging a 95-pound suitcase—full of what she is convinced are the bare necessities. Common sense should have told her how completely inappropriate all of her “must-haves” were for spending three and a half weeks in the farmlands of Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, and the Nepalese jungle.

Ellie participates in a book club, writing critique group, and is a member of Sisters in Crime. An artist of water color and pastels, she lives with her husband Ron and dog Roxie in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. She has two children, Michael and Michele and two beautiful grandchildren Aidan and Sebastian Dias. She is currently writing her first novel.


Visit Ellie online at http://elliedias.com/

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mailbox Monday - Feb 13


Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Happy Monday! Hope yours is a little less white than mine...


This was what my front yard looked like before yesterday's snowstorm that dumped an additional five or so inches on top of that. I guess Old Man Winter is making up for our lack of snow by sharing it all at once. We are due for a tiny bit more on Wednesday. 

Believe it or not, I was actually out driving to appointments yesterday. Old Reliable--my Chevy Tahoe--picked up a rock on Saturday and I can't get the tire fixed until today, so I was driving my husband's car instead. Narrowly avoided a telephone pole. Was saying prayers of Thanksgiving when I got home safely. 

Other than the snow making my crazy schedule more challenging, I've entered into a coaching program that I take once a week on Mondays. It got cancelled today--like a lot of things. I'll be glad to see spring. 

Here are the books that arrived recently.



I'm really excited about Charlotte Hubbard's latest, A Mother's Love. I'm all into getting and staying organized, to I figured Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller would be a helpful read. The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow by Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson was a blog giveaway win. 

What did the mailman bring you last week? Any other fun news you would like to share? 

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Book Review: Your Body, Your Style by Rani St. Pucchi

Looking for some helpful, quick fashion tips to make an immediate difference in selecting the best colors, prints, and styles for your body? Then you need to buy a copy of Your Body, Your Style by Rani St. Pucchi.

Award-winning couture fashion designer Rani St. Pucchi shares decades of experience in this informative guide that you'll be able to implement without much effort. Within a day I had started make changes that brought about positive results.

St. Pucchi shares the defining moment that changed her life forever and credits her parents for introducing her to the world that would become her destiny. After a discussion of body shapes, she shares dos and don'ts for each shape, dressing for your age, the importance of proper fitting undergarments, what and how to pack, how to organize your closet, defining your personal style, and more. Perhaps my favorite part of the book--other than the color photographs of her work--is the 101 styling tips.

When I make my annual spring/summer changeover I'll be implementing some of the more time-consuming changes, like laying out all my clothes by color and finding out which colors work best for my skin tone. I've never really been into fashion or thought much about personal style, but Your Body, Your Style by Rani St. Pucchi has definitely piqued my interest. I see a new, more fashionable me right around the corner.

Highly recommended!

Publisher: Koehler Books (October 15, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0997697717
ISBN-13: 978-0997697711

I received a copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Book Spotlight: Your Body, Your Style by Rani St. Pucchi



Rani St. Pucchi, a trend-setting designer whose designs have been recognized in Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Bride, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot, can help define the style that flatters you most — no matter what age or stage of life you are in or what your body type is.

Women from all over the world have clamored to have a private consultation with Rani so they may benefit from her expertise and regain their self-confidence and shine.

In Your Body, Your Style, Rani shares with you her knowledge of the female form and guides you to find simple solutions to your most pressing body concerns. The focus is on you — and how you can make yourself more confident and appealing in almost every situation — simply by making a few changes and different choices in planning your wardrobe.

Once you embrace your unique attributes and dissolve your bad relationship with your body, you’ll be amazed to find how irresistible you are to others!

This simple and friendly guide reveals:

* What clothes and silhouettes are best for your specific body type
* Simple techniques to determine which colors flatter you most
* Solutions to common lingerie issues and the importance of fit
* The one dress that is a chameleon, and how to transform it into different looks
* How to travel stress free by planning your wardrobe well
* 101 styling secrets, professional tricks and fashion tips

RANI ST. PUCCHI is an award-winning fashion designer, an author and relationship expert. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

Book Excerpt:

When choosing your clothes remember that clothes are meant to flatter your body, not your body to flatter your clothes. Work with your body instead of critiquing and judging it.
Now that you’ve assessed your body type, let’s delve into what would look most flattering and what you would be smart to avoid.

Hourglass
DO: Focus on your waist when choosing your wardrobe. Dress to flatter your beautiful curves by wearing clothes and accessories that emphasize the thinnest part of your waist. Draw attention to your waistline by wearing belts that cinch the waist. V-neck dresses and tops are typically quite flattering.

DON’T: Avoid ‘boxy’ clothes and those that are shapeless or drape-y since they tend to add bulk and make you look heavy. Don’t go braless when wearing a V-neck dress or top. Wear a supportive bra instead so that your chest is lifted and perky instead of droopy and sagging. You have admirable curves so embrace them and show them off.

Apple
DO: Direct attention away from your waist by wearing clothes that accentuate your bust and hips instead. Shirts, blouses and dresses with slight V-necks are flattering. Long sleeves or dresses with sleeves help draw attention from your waist, shoulders and arms. V-necks draw attention to your neck and bust. Tops that drape over any curves work well. Wear bottoms just below your hipbone to help draw attention away from your mid-riff. Dark colors help camouflage the heavy areas.

DON’T: Avoid dresses and belts that cinch the waist. Stay away from skinny and straight leg pants as they emphasize the hips. Choose slightly flared pants instead. These help balance wide shoulders and a heavy upper body.

Pear
DO: Wear clothes that emphasize the upper body, that add to your shoulder and bust area and that make your hips and butt look slimmer. Tops that accentuate shoulders such as the current trendy off-shoulder blouses are perfect. Wear straight-leg pants with heels. Wearing a bra that adds to or enhances your bust is recommended.

DON’T: To minimize the lower half avoid pants or tights that narrow your legs. Flared pants can make your legs look thick, even bow-legged.

Ruler
DO: Wear clothes that create curves, by focusing on the upper and lower part of your body. Cinch your waist to exaggerate curves by wearing belts, flared skirts with fitted belted waistbands. Dresses or tops with embellishment at the bust, or with frills and ruffles at the top, will add some volume to make your chest look bigger. Skinny jeans, mini skirts and bright tights that show off your great legs and add more shape to a straight body are recommended. A bra that adds a cup size will help balance your angular feature as well.

DON’T: Avoid boyish/manly clothes. Baggy jeans, flared pants and track clothes will make you look like ‘one of the boys’. For working out, wear feminine track clothes that accentuate your waist but are not too snug on the top and bottom halves.


Inverted Triangle
DO: Keep your attention on the waist and hip area by wearing clothes that are flared on the bottom but snug on the top. Strapless tops and dresses with sleeves are perfect. Flared pants and pleated skirts are flattering.

DON’T: Avoid skinny pants and too tight skirts. Dresses or tops with ruffles and flounces, or that are off-the-shoulder, will make you look top heavy.


Many women are a mix of two body types and don't necessarily fall into one category or another. In which case try incorporating tips for each body type and see what looks best on you. When you fall between two types, compare the type you seem closest to and pick styles that lean towards that. Ultimately you will know what feels good and what flatters you the most. After all, there is no right or wrong way to dress. Your comfort and your confidence is what matters most.

Self-confidence is the best outfit, rock it and own it.


PURCHASING LINKS: Amazon and Barnes and Noble




Thirty years ago, Rani St. Pucchi took the bridal world by storm, despite having no formal training in fashion. She is an award winning couture fashion designer and founder of the world-renowned bridal house St. Pucchi. A passionate and dynamic entrepreneur who launched her global empire in the United States in 1985, Rani’s vision was to create an avant-garde bridal and evening couture line with modern styling and classic details. That vision has been realized today.

Renowned for infusing her creations with touches of magnificently colored jewels, exquisite hand embroidery, delicate beading and sparkling crystals on the finest silks and laces, these inspired designs with innovative draping evoke the timeless elegance every woman desires. As one of the foremost designers to introduce exotic silk fabrics and hand embroidery, Rani is applauded for being a pioneer in bringing color to the United States bridal scene, having learned that white does not flatter everyone.

Rani has been recognized and nominated on multiple occasions for her design talent and won numerous awards as a Style Innovator. In addition, she has been honored with the Best Bridal Designer Award at the prestigious Chicago Apparel Center’s DEBI Awards (Distinctive Excellence in Bridal Industry).

Rani is famous for designing the wedding dress worn by “Phoebe” as she captured the hearts of millions when she said “I Do” in a unique St. Pucchi Lilac corset bodice A-line gown on the finale of the hit television show Friends.

Her range of avant-garde designs are worn by the world’s most discerning brides, including celebrities and style icons such as New York Giants’ player Aaron Ross’ wife, Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards; Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo’s wife Candice Crawford; Actress Tara Reid; Jason Priestley’s wife Naomi Lowde; actress Candice Cameron and Grammy Award winning country music singer Alison Krauss, who donned a specially designed Chantilly lace and silk gown at the Country Music Awards.

Rani has enjoyed much media attention. Her signature designs have been recognized in high profile media such as Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Brides, Inside Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot.

Rani’s real passion other than the world of design is to help women who have suffered abuse and those who are struggling to find themselves. On her quest to empower women to be their best selves, she is passionate about helping them find their voice through building their self-confidence. She believes that confidence must start with a woman’s love and acceptance of her body.

Renowned for her savvy knowledge of a woman’s form and fit, Rani is eager to share her knowledge of more than three decades with all women so they can make better styling choices. In addition to the book you are reading now, Rani is the author of four upcoming books: The SoulMate Checklist: Key Questions To help You Choose Your Perfect Partner; Seven Types of Men To Avoid: Recognizing Relationship Red Flags; Designing with Heart: A to Z Guide to Bridal Designing; and Unveiling: A Celebrity Fashion Designer’s Story, a Memoir of her Life Journey.

Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, Rani now happily lives in Los Angeles, California.

WEB & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE



Review Coming Soon!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Mailbox Monday - Jan 30


Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

The month has flown by around here. I can't believe it is almost over. One of my Christmas trees is still up. What has been going on in my busy little world?

We gained a new family member......



This is Theo. We love him. The cats hate him. He's a puppy and he's still learning, so everyone is adjusting.

Career is going well. In 2016 I increased my business 66% over the previous year and I've set an aggressive goal for myself for 2017. This month I had a closing and have a buyer under contract in town. Looking forward to another closing in a few weeks. I also listed two commercial properties for lease. 

Our company unveiled a cash back program for sellers listing their homes with Real Living. It's a great program and they will have an ad running during the Super Bowl. Go Pats!




My father-in-law has been very ill. We brought him home from the nursing home two Mondays ago and I had to rush him to the hospital Tuesday. After days of antibiotics and fluids he pulled through and is now in rehab. Taking care of my in-laws has definitely made life challenging, but family comes first.

As for reading, not much going on around here, but I did receive two books last week. I won this first one from Virginia Vaughn. 


This next one I received from Bill Fields when I signed up for an eight-week training program with him. I've worked with Bill before. He has a lot of great advice and he's helped me to put some habits into place for my business to run more efficiently. 


That's it from my neck of the woods. Hope all is well with you. Feel free to share what was in your mailbox last week.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Spotlight: Food Junkies by Vera Tarman, MD and Phil Werdell



Is it possible to be addicted to food? When does indulging in 'comfort' food become substance abuse? Is it possible that there is more than a lack of will power at work when someone can't stop eating? In Food Junkies, Vera Tarman and Phil Werdell explain what is - and isn't - food addiction, tackling this complex and poorly understood problem through the stories of many survivors and from the perspectives of medical researchers/practitioners. They break down the science behind the research so that anyone can understand it, and take a fresh look at obesity, overeating, binge eating, anorexia and bulimia. For people struggling with these issues — and their families — recognizing the condition is the first step to gaining the kind of support and advice they need.

Food Junkies (finalist in the 2016 Voice Arts Awards) offers hope and guidance. Read by Lisa Bunting, according to one audible customer review, her "calming voice assists with decreasing the shame so often found with addiction and can open the listener up to actually hearing," while another noted the audiobook version "brought the science to life in a different way than the book. It made it even more real as one can't 'skim' or 'rush' through the life-changing content."

AUDIO EXCEPRT: https://soundcloud.com/post-hypnotic-press/audiobook-food-junkies-the-truth-about-food-addiction

BOOK:

http://addictionsunplugged.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Addictions-Unplugged-115629771844679/
https://twitter.com/FoodJunkiesBook

Buy links for the book:

http://www.dundurn.com/books/food_junkies

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IAMIG06/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/food-junkies-vera-tarman/1118611721

Vera Tarman is a medical practitioner who focuses on addictions. She is the medical director of Renascent, an addictions treatment centre. Dr. Tarman conducts workshops and speaking engagements on the science of food addiction and "comfort food" abuse. She has reached audiences across the world. She lives in Toronto.

Phil Werdell is a recovering food addict, a social work clinician, and an educator. He is the primary organizer of the Food Addiction Institute and the International Society of Food Addiction Professionals, and is Director of ACORN’s Professional Training Program. Phil currently teaches Addictions Studies at Springfield College, School of Human Services, Tampa. He lives in Florida.

NARRATORS BIO:

Lisa Bunting is a stage, screen and voice actor, drama instructor, audition coach, and professional skills development simulator. For Post Hypnotic Press, she has narrated the non-fiction self-help titles The Woman Who Changed Her Brain, The Remarriage Blueprint, Voice Arts Awards-nominated Food Junkies and the forthcoming i-Minds. She was named Best Supporting Actress at LA’s Focus International Film Festival, Winter 2015. She is a member of Canadian Actors’ Equity and ACTRA.

Vera Tarman:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/925163.Vera_Tarman

Phil Werdell:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8591529.Phillip_Werdell

Lisa Bunting:

https://twitter.com/foodaddictman

Post Hypnotic Press:

http://www.posthypnoticpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/PostHypnoticPress
http://www.twitter.com/Post_Hypnotic

Monday, January 9, 2017

Mailbox Monday - Jan 9


Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

My mailbox certainly looks like that one in the picture after the 4 inches or so of the white stuff we received Saturday. We had a good week overall. I'm fully back to work now that the holidays are over and my father-in-law should be coming home from the nursing home in a few days, so we are preparing for that.

Nothing new in my mailbox, but I did pick up this freebie from Tonya Kappes recently.


For Holly Englehardt, Christmas has always been a special day filled with family, friends, and a wacky tradition of watching Breakfast At Tiffany's while dressed up in the stars costumes. . .…tiara tiaras and all.

Holly's biggest client insists on having a Skype call on Christmas day to secure a deal of a lifetime, which is fine with her, because this year she's going to make a new tradition. ; Celebrating Christmas alone with her cat at her snowy remote family cabin as family and friends go their separate ways to celebrate the holiday.

When things everything start starts to go array, Holly has to call on her hunky neighbor for help in order to secure the her deal of a lifetime.

Will it all work out or will Holly pull the quilt over her head waiting for Christmas to be over?


That's it from me. Hope you have a great week.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Book Review: Madam President by William Hazelgrove

Long before there was 24 hours news and calls for transparency, a president's wife and his personal physician were able to cover up the fact that he was gravely ill and she had stepped in to run the country.

In Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson, best-selling author William Hazelgrove creates an engaging account of a strong, independent-minded woman whose devotion to her husband ran so deep she would deceive an entire nation.

During Woodrow Wilson's second term in office, physical strain and ill health led to him suffering a devastating stroke that left him confined to bed for weeks and sequestered from everyone except his second wife, Edith, and his personal physician, Dr. Grayson. Knowing the importance of reducing her husband's stress, Edith--who had always been kept abreast of current affairs--began selecting what matters she would share with the president and delegated others to cabinet members. Hazelgrove's account sheds significant light on this period of time that Edith was secretly running the county. Though she had limited schooling, her close relationship with her husband and his acceptance of women playing a greater role than society found acceptable paved the way for her to step into his shoes.

Hazelgrove doesn't sugarcoat things, though. Edith had a darker side. She disliked certain people with as much passion as she loved her husband. She could hold grudges for a long time. Her contempt for  Wilson's vice-president, Thomas Marshall, was part of the reason she embarked upon what she called as her "stewardship" during her husband's illness. She also sought to replace people she felt were disloyal to him.

Madam President shares a great deal of personal and historical information, making this a love story that unfolds during one of the most tumultuous times in American history. Though I was fully aware of the history and of Wilson's incapacitation, I honestly didn't know much about Edith Wilson. She truly was a woman before her time. Madam President is a fascinating account of this complex, staunchly loyal woman.

File Size: 1459 KB
Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Regnery History (October 18, 2016)
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B01M02SSMP

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinion, which I have not been compensate for in any way.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Book Review: A Tree's Christmas by James Andrew Bowen

A Tree's Christmas by James Andrew Bowen must be one of the most beautiful, magical tales of the season ever written.

As has long been a family tradition, once the season is over the Christmas tree is taken out to the yard and placed in the garden to lay until spring. After this particular Christmas, the trees around the garden wake from their winter slumber to hear the story of the young fir and the important part he played in the family's lives.

Once in a while a seasonal story touches your heart in such a way you can't help but share it. That's certainly true of A Tree's Christmas. I smiled. I cried. It truly warmed my heart. This is a book that will be treasured for years to come. The reading of A Tree's Christmas would be the perfect tradition to start in your home. I know I'll be starting it in mine.


Hardcover: 68 pages
Publisher: Clearview Communications Publishing; 1st edition (September 2, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0979359317
ISBN-13: 978-0979359316

I received a free copy from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinion, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Mailbox Monday - Jan 2


Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Happy new year, everyone! I hope you had a nice holiday season. I'm spending this last day before getting back to full-time work organizing my office and enjoying some peace and quiet.

It's also goal setting time. I've set my writing goals and reading goals. My first business planning meeting of the year is Friday. While my business plan has been set for a few weeks now, I need to nail down my goals to achieve that plan by then. As for personal goals, I have just two (and one of them is related to my work schedule):
  • Dedicate time each week to what I enjoy most: family, reading, cooking and gardening;
  • Continue my health and wellness plan from 2016. 
I think Tuesday will be my day off from real estate. Weekends are usually busy for agents, so that's not feasible. Eventually I hope to have a couple of agents working with me so that I can take weekends off, but until then I must plan Saturdays and Sundays as work days.

Last year, I lost 14 pounds to bring me to my goal weight. In the past couple of months I've been so busy I haven't exercised much, but better food choices have allowed me to maintain my weight. This morning, I decided to exercise and plan to time block three days a week to exercise going forward. 

As far as my mailbox goes, it's been slow since Christmas. I did, however, download a couple of writing craft books on character development.


Character development can be one of the hardest aspects of great writing. You may have a great plot and story line but if the characters aren't real or just don't fit in--the whole story is a flop.

This short workshop will help you develop meaningful, true-to-life characters. Get personal with them, get inside their head and learn to create compelling characters from the inside-out.


How do you create a main character readers won't forget? How do you write a book in multiple-third-person point of view without confusing your readers (or yourself)? How do you plant essential information about a character's past into a story?

Write Great Fiction: Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint by award-winning author Nancy Kress answers all of these questions and more! This accessible book is filled with interactive exercises and valuable advice that teaches you how to:

•Choose and execute the best point of view for your story
•Create three-dimensional and believable characters
•Develop your characters' emotions
•Create realistic love, fight, and death scenes
•Use frustration to motivate your characters and drive your story


With dozens of excerpts from some of today's most popular writers, Write Great Fiction: Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint provides you with the techniques you need to create characters and stories sure to linger in the hearts and minds of agents, editors, and readers long after they've finished your book.

That's it for this week. Wishing all of you a year filled with health and happiness.