Friday, July 31, 2020

My Newest Book is Out! (A Soft Launch)


It was bound to happen. A friend coaxed me into trying NaNo-for those who aren’t familiar—it’s the month of November--which is set aside as a time to write an entire novel –in one month. Yes, one month! Many try to do it and can’t finish, and a few have bestselling books because they forged through and made it.

 I finished, but the book I wrote became a rough outline for my finished manuscript. There were so many bizarre things, such as errant words inadvertently stuffed into the one-month time limit, that later, during weeks of editing and months of rolling revisions, I began to pull my hair out, deleting paragraphs and changing complicated sentences into something comprehensible.

As the 30-day finish line beckoned, my style, my voice, my poetic use of flowery language, had all flown out the window, along with grammar, punctuation and spelling. But, to give credit to NaNo, the story was also out. Out of my brain and into my laptop. Hooray.

So, after a grueling two years, it’s now available on Amazon, and I must say I’m super excited. It’s nothing like Penniless Souls, Penniless Hearts or The Fifth Commandment. Personally, I think The Happy War is a unique story that had to be told, NOW! It’s my tongue-in-cheek novel about two lovers trying to create world peace. I hope you like it. If you find it entertaining, please tell your friends, write a review and then tell your friends again.  😊 Who knows, you might  even help it become a bestseller.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

A Time To Read Books!

I don’t care what anyone says, my hair is supposed to be a long and tangled mess. This selfie displays my first attempt at trimming my bangs and it's from way back in April. I know it's funny, but you should see me now! 
In the kitchen, I ran out of a few spices and made some substitutions, heck, it still tasted good, didn’t it? So, hubs got involved, making crusty bread which turned out delicious.  We had help from a friend, who air-dropped packages of yeast over the garden gate. It seems his idea wasn't unique. Everyone bought up all the bread-making ingredients in the county! For awhile, flour became as rare as toilet paper.
Anyway, the Fed-Ex guy is fast becoming a friend and, the Instacart people do their best, but sometimes we still have to sneak off to the store to find what we really need. We plan for the journey as if going on vacation: masks, gloves, wipes, and whatever else fills my homemade crocheted tote bag.
Did you know yarn is in short supply? Who knew? My crochet club friends are ordering skeins from far off places like Turkey! I bought the last roll of red at Walmart. 
Yes, we have breathing and immunity issues, so we’re extra careful during these strange and turbulent times.  Fortunately, even with a full lock-down going on, there are books on our shelves and a slew on my Kindle. Of course, that's when I’m not writing, or trying to figure out which sanitizer to use. Here’s a few recent reads, and my reviews. 


True Colors by Kristin Hannah
What started out as a family saga, turned into romance, mystery and an exciting drama about racism. Hence, the name of the book. Beautiful descriptions of trees, Washington State mountains and the ocean are woven into a story of three very different sisters who try to stick together, through difficulties stemming from love. Their children and soulmates play major roles, but Clem and Renegade, a couple of horses, have helped see them through the harshest days. Sadly, even a loving, happy family can’t change the heart of one of the characters, making the novel realistic. When hope is lost in fiction, however, it is rather disappointing. Still, it’s a great book with many exciting moments that will surprise and satisfy even the most voracious reader.

Sea Cliff by Mary Deal

This book grabbed me by the collar, as if I were there, experiencing the deep emotions felt by the main characters. Lovely Rachel, is a bookkeeper, novelist and the owner of a stunning home perched above the bay, called Sea Cliff.

Handsome and hunky Matthew Knight wants to sweep the redhead off her feet, but wasting time with some guy who might be playing the field, isn’t her style. Before she gives away her heart, Rachel has to make sure he’s the one. Her past is riddled with hang ups about her father and bad memories. The more time she spends with Matthew, the more these memories play with her mind. Plus, there’s Linda, Britt and old boyfriend scars from a guy called Rodney.

Without giving away too much, I have to shout praise to the author for sublime, poetic descriptions of the Sacramento River, earthquakes, a car collision, even New York and San Francisco.

Meanwhile, Rachel needs to free up her mind, clear away the internal clutter and study some books she picked up at the San Francisco Public library. Only then, can she finish writing her novel, also titled, Sea Cliff. Will it be a bestseller? Read this book and find out!

The Mink Wrap in the Attic by Laverty Sparks
Though Elena Polson is a fictional character, there were so many parallels with my life, I couldn’t help but love the book and adored the outcome. As a childless, ex-copywriter, who fell in love with a man who came with a family, I could relate to everything. The emotional load, the desire to fly off with the geese, and a desire to crawl into an attic where happy memories are stored. I enjoyed the author’s use of descriptive and beautiful analogies, “Even her emotions mimicked a frayed cloth with uncut lines.”
Elena is kind, forgiving and unlike me, thoughtful to a fault. Her superhuman feeling to ‘fit in’ makes her go to heart wrenching lengths to forgive Britni, Decker and Hunt for all sorts of bad behavior. When Hunt compares his beloved to horrible vices, by saying she became a habit he didn’t want to break, I wanted to kick him. “I won’t say you were a bad one, just a habit.” How infuriating. Just a habit? That’s when I thought Hunt is not worthy of such a wonderful woman. But, her unconditional, unwavering love continues on every page, because destiny has unexpected plans. Will Elena’s martyrdom be rewarded? Will one woman’s love be enough to save the Klyce family? Maybe. You’ll have to read The Mink Wrap in the Attic and find out!

The Paradise Gig(Key West Capers) Laurence Shames

A friend recommended this hilarious and well-written novel about the good guys, the bad guys and Nacho. Part crime-caper/cozy mystery/adventure and part Rom-Com with emphasis on the comedy. There’s a stinky trail that only Bert and his tiny dog can sniff out regarding something that happened way back in 1964. Pete, Callie and Sarge weren’t even born yet. Of course, neither was Nacho, but when that little dog smells something rotten, he makes sure everyone hears about it.

The problem is Marco. But don't let me ruin the fun. This is retro Key West at it's best.

Shames not only writes humor, but he does it well. You’ll laugh at the dialogue between Bert and Mr. Dictionary— (aka Pete) and the shenanigans created by the singing 'goombahs'. Meanwhile, Nacho describes all this excitement from his perspective and I have to say, the descriptions are extraordinary. I’m convinced you’ll enjoy Paradise Gig, whether you like small dogs or not.

Divorcees.Biz: A Contemporary Romance by Eileen Thornton

“We created something with-class,” says Connie, near the end of Divorcees.Biz. I think I nodded in agreement. Actually, it was the author, Eileen Thornton who created a wonderful novel, rather ‘something with-class’. This book is truly an enjoyable read, filled with unique characters and ‘classy’ romance.
Four friends, Lucy, Sadie, Jenny and Connie have been friends for ages. They plan to start up a small dating agency in the posh section of London. Each day they learn new things about business, and a little too much about each other. Still, they thrive, while making the best of unusual circumstances.
There’s so much going on that the novel kept my attention the entire time. Thornton weaves her clever dialogue through pain, heartache and laughter. Amid the wild outfits and free-flowing champagne, there are brutes and floozies that need to be put in their place. Will the business fail? How about love? Will love save them all?

Where Shadows Fall by Natalie J. Case
This is a story about four tribes called the Shadows, Sages, Shades and Shifters who are being discriminated against by the United States government. The 8th Battalion is formed to round them up, putting them into camps. Meanwhile, the main character, Alaric has to figure out a way to get back at those who killed his close friend Mason. “At the end of that journey, he would have his vengeance,” says Alaric early in this mythological fantasy that includes Maddie who shifts into a cat when necessary and Evan who is a hawk. Alaric, being a Shade, has the ability to step into someone’s mind to find out information. It looks like the man he’s after is called Shallon. The Shadows put up shields to protect the thoughts in their mind. The Sages control elements such as fire, water, air and earth. The author writes a fascinating story with vivid characters and tons of action.
“Congress is divided and aside from passing emergency legislation to force Shades into custody, they don’t agree on anything,” says Zero the daughter of Vice President Rede. But, there’s a legend about a way to overcome the strange, dark figure she calls daddy, and it entails stitching the power of four tribes into one. Can they do it? Read Where Shadows Fall and find out!

Hope you're staying busy too.What have you been reading? 

Saturday, July 4, 2020

A Poem-The Tireless American Rose

The Tireless American Rose
Eve Gaal

The tireless American rose.
Graced our fallen,
pricked our foes.
A graveside decoration,
saluted by soldiers,
a comfort to widows,
the perfume of angels,
to any discerning nose.

A queen’s bouquet,
a honeymoon kiss,
where petal strewn walkways,
grace romantic getaways.
Glistening with a bride’s tears,
or a lucky graduate’s surprise,
maybe a new mother’s gift,
and those wreaths explode with beauty,
when loved ones die.

The tireless American rose,
seen at parades,
waiting after war.
There backstage,
awarding every star.
A centerpiece at the gala,
a holiday corsage,
there to win,
every battle,
every kind of heart.

With, or without thorns,
Through raging pain,
On altars,
At hospitals,
In the ICU or ER,
where dying breaths remember,
the tireless American rose.