Indie Authors – Your Fellow Authors are Not Your Enemies — Don Massenzio’s Blog (shared post)

This is a reboot of one of my most popular posts from early in my blogging incarnation. The words in this post are just as true today as they were when it was posted. I’ve made some updates based on what I’ve learned along the way. If you are like me, you are aware of […]

via Indie Authors – Your Fellow Authors are Not Your Enemies — Don Massenzio’s Blog


Why Picture Books Are Important by Doug Cushman

Why Picture Books Are Important by Doug Cushman The first picture book I recall was from the classic Little Golden Book series my mother bought at the Big Bear super market in Ohio. In Scuffy the Tug Boat, the toy

Source: Why Picture Books Are Important by Doug Cushman






Indie Authors: Tips for Writing Characters That Resonate — Musings and Marvels (shared post)

Characters are an important element of every story. So how do you make sure your story has characters that stand out? That readers find interesting and believable? Writers in the Storm posted an article about becoming your character, so that you don’t make mistakes like head hop or have multiple viewpoints for one character. The […]

via Indie Authors: Tips for Writing Characters That Resonate — Musings and Marvels


Indie Authors: Organization and Writing Tips

As an indie author treating writing as a business, it’s important to stay on top of deadlines and to always work on improving your craft.

Organizing Your Time

To that end, Duolit has provided a helpful free monthly planner for authors. The idea is that to-do lists can be too daunting, and if you schedule activities in your calendar you will actually get more done. The planner has you choose a focus for the month. For example, building a website, writing, planning promotions, etc.

Of course, writing (arguably) the most important activity you can do as an indie author. So you want to make sure you spend some time each day writing. Monica Leonelle gives some great advice on how to write more. In addition to using dictation software, she advocates making a small to-do list for the day (so it can complement your calendar), where you fill in things to do for a two hour chunk of the day, three 25-minute sessions, and five five-minute tasks. I haven’t tried this method yet, but I can see how it would be satisfying to do.

Shelley Hitz also advocates scheduling your writing time as a way to improve.

Improving Your Writing

Yes, the more you write, the better your writing will become. But it’s also good to figure out what makes writing good, and how you can improve your skills. Forbes recommends three books that will help with just that, including The Sense of Style and The Getaway Car. Sounds intriguing, especially for books on writing.

Writing flash fiction can also improve your writing as a whole, according to Kate Tilton. This is because in flash fiction, you have to make every word count.

According to Brain Pickings, great storytellers must have three qualities: magic, story, and lesson. And R.S. Mollison-Read wrote about two other essential writer skills: imagination and analysis.

Live Write Thrive provides a 10-item checklist of questions to ask about your story. Questions include character reactions, what the conflict is, and what the point of the scene is.

And The Book Designer talks about joining writer groups to help you write, and also promote your book. The article also provides a long list of groups you can join.

And last, if you’re looking for some inspiration, Writers Unplugged shares 21 quotes for novelists. Here’s my favorite:

“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.” ~ Beatrix Potter



How to Survive (and Maybe Enjoy) Going Public with Your Book

Holly Robinson Author, “Folly Cove,” “Chance Harbor, “Haven Lake,” “Beach Plum Island,” “The Wishing Hill.”


Recently, I asked a debut novelist what events she had planned around her book launch. She shrugged and said, “Not much. Most marketing is done online these days. That’s fine with me. I hate speaking in public.”

She’s right. Unless you’re selling like Paula Hawkins or John Grisham, your publisher won’t pay to send you anywhere. It’s more cost effective for them to put their marketing budget toward advertising and online promotions. And, hey, we writers aren’t typically the most confident public speakers.

At the same time, if you don’t do book events, you’re going to miss out on connecting with readers and celebrating not only your book, but the craft of writing. Even if the idea of appearing in public seems nonsensical or downright scary, set up your own events and get out there. Here are some tips to help you survive going public with your book:

Think Beyond Bookstores
Many bookstores won’t arrange events for indie authors unless they’re local (and some won’t even do it then). Even if you’re traditionally published, it’s important to think beyond the bookstore. This past weekend, for instance, I got together with authors Connie Hambley, Laura Moore, and Natalie Reinert to talk about their books and my most recent novel, Folly Cove, on a panel about why authors put horses in fiction. We held the panel at Equine Affaire, a huge horse event, and signed books afterward through Taborton Equine Books. What a blast!

Make It a Conversation
If you’re scared to speak in public, try Toastmasters, practice in the mirror, or do what I did and take a stand-comedy class. Nobody wants to listen to an author drone on from notes at a podium or read an entire chapter of a book. For each event, try to talk about yourself and the book for a few minutes, then read for no more than ten minutes and take questions. The idea is to turn your event into an interesting two-way conversation.

Try the Meet & Greet Approach
Some of the weirdest but most entertaining events I’ve done are “meet and greets.” I typically do these at Barnes & Noble bookstores, but I’ve arranged them at other stores as well. The idea is that you sit at a table somewhere in the store that gets heavy traffic—often by the front door or the cafe—and talk to people. That’s it. It’s like being a Wal-Mart greeter, except you don’t have to wear a blue smock and you happen to be sitting at a table with a stack of your books on it. The idea is that, by engaging in conversation with you, people will want to buy your book. To my surprise, I like doing this, maybe because there’s no real pressure in, say, complimenting the sweater of a woman who walks by, or answering questions like, “Where’s the bathroom?” (Many people will think you’re a bookstore employee at first.) I have met all sorts of people this way, and I have sold a surprising number of books to complete strangers.

Don’t Forget the Library

By far, most of my author events take place at libraries. Sometimes I meet with book clubs, but other times I arrange events myself, often to coincide with a theme—an upcoming holiday, local settings, or whatever else the librarian thinks patrons might enjoy. I’ve also run writing workshops at various libraries, or I’ve met with their ongoing writers’ groups to talk about publishing. It’s a great way to build a community not just for your book, but for yourself.

Groups Are Great
If appearing alone scares the pants off you, either because you’re a shy public speaker or don’t think you can draw a crowd, try arranging a panel. I speak on a panel of cross-genre writers, The Nevertheless Writers. Together, we often draw more of a crowd than we can do individually, especially if we’re speaking to aspiring writers. It’s also fun to get together with other writers in your genre and speak on a common topic, whether it’s horror, time travel, or families in conflict.

Don’t Do This to Sell Books
Finally, the most important advice I can give you about book events is this: Don’t do them because you want to sell books. Arrange events with the goal of meeting new people, connecting with librarians and booksellers, visiting with old friends, and—most importantly—to celebrate why books matter.

Salento by 5



Salento by 5 is a collection of richly woven Italian stories, written by three local Italians and two American travelers. A friendship begins in the Rome airport, migrates to Salento, the southernmost Italian region of Puglia, blossoms over food and wine, and culminates in a narrative filled with nostalgic and personal recollections of Salento’s unique history, culture, and people. Enjoy the book’s watercolor sketches, the local recipes, and off-the-beaten path travel hints that only the Salento by 5 authors can provide. Whether you are an armchair traveler or looking for a new Italian adventure in a not so well known region, Salento by 5 has a little something for everyone.

A Note From the Publisher

This book will be printed in paperback in color and is available in e-book formats

Advance Praise

Salento by 5 delivers well-crafted tales that appeal to all the senses from steaming mussels and freshly baked bread to traditional folk music and jagged stones underfoot in the sparkling Adriatic and Ionian Seas. The authors’ great love of and respect for the region shine through in both the prose and artwork, and the five different voices in this book dive into the traditions, customs, and cuisine of Puglia like no other I’ve seen. It’s simply a must-read for anyone interested in southern Italy. –Michelle Fabio Author of 52 Things to See and Do in Calabria

What a charming and unique travel memoir with stories written by an American couple and the close friends they made during their trips to the Salento. You’ll soon be falling under the spell of this special place and the people who inhabit it. Viana La Place, author of My Italian Garden

Easy Recipes to warm your belly this Winter! “CHEF Q IN PARIS” by DIDIER QUEMENER



#1 Amazon Best Selling Author in French Cooking, Food & Wine

A Parisian private chef invites you into his kitchen for a taste of his favorite winter recipes—and anecdotes about growing up in the French countryside.

Chef Didier Quémener, author of Chef Q in Paris: The Fall Collection, is back with his second book, this time focusing on winter. Didier’s mantra is cooking with seasonal products. They’re inexpensive and flavorful. What’s not to love? Growing up in the French countryside, Didier learned how to make the most of each season, choosing the tastiest ingredients to warm the body and soul. Today, he shares delicious, easy and inexpensive recipes, as well as tips and stories from his life then and now.

Like Didier’s fall cookbook, this one, too, has French flair, but doesn’t stop at French borders. Didier has traveled throughout the U.S., Europe and China, and he brings these voyages to his cuisine. If you enjoy cookbooks with a seasonal and international flavor, this one will delight your palate!

Author Interview

It’s such a fun idea to have four cookbooks in your series, one for each season. Why did you choose to focus on seasonal cooking?

Seasonal products are the key to great cooking! To truly enjoy food at its best, we have to appreciate what nature gives us—and at the time when it’s ready to be on our plates. For instance, I can’t see myself cooking a cherry pie in December or a French apple tart in June! Follow the seasons, and logically your meals will be tastier.

French cuisine sounds delicious but French cooking sounds hard. Are your recipes easy? Involved? Somewhere in-between?

That’s another myth that needs a good debunking! Like all great cuisine in this world, French cuisine started in the countryside where people had to be wise and frugal, using products available to them at a given time. Today, French “haute-cuisine” is a different ballgame, but when it comes to traditional, original and tasty French cooking, there is nothing complicated about it. The recipe? A bit of time, the right products and the right method!

You’re a French-American chef living in Paris who sometimes works in the U.K. and often travels the world. I’m guessing I’ll find international influences in your cookbook, and not just French recipes, right?

You’re correct! That’s what I love about traveling: being exposed to a variety of cuisines, products, stories behind recipes, etc. I love to learn about new foods and ingredients, and see how the locals use them in their cooking. Then I bring my discoveries back to my own kitchen!


French Cookbooks
Seasonal Cookbooks
Gourmet Cookbooks

For new and experienced cooks who like: french cooking, seasonal cooking, appetizer recipes, dessert recipes, main course recipes, drink recipes, cocktail recipes, healthy eating, healthy cooking, french cuisine, secrets of the best chefs, gourmet cooking, vegetarian recipes, clean eating


This book is just as good, if not better than his Fall Collection cookbook!

My favorite thing about his cookbooks are the easy to follow directions and easy to find ingredients.

This collection of Winter recipes is sure to warm your belly!

I also appreciate how he explains and shows you how clean and healthy eating isn’t as difficult of intimidating as it seems.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, and honestly adding his book collection would be an excellent addition to anyone’s kitchen, and these would make great gifts for the cook and/or food lover in your life.

NPR News: Veteran Washington Journalist Gwen Ifill Dies At 61 — William Chasterson

Veteran Washington Journalist Gwen Ifill Dies At 61 Gwen Ifill — host of “Washington Week” and “PBS NewsHour” — has died at age 61. She leaves a legacy as a pioneer among women and African-American journalists and as a mentor to younger journalists. Read more on NPR

via NPR News: Veteran Washington Journalist Gwen Ifill Dies At 61 — William Chasterson

Thoughts on Reading Multiple Books at Once — Drew Martin Writes (Shared post. Thank you Drew Martin!)

I’m amazed when I see fellow bloggers with a Goodreads widget showing multiple books shelved as currently reading. It isn’t the number I find shocking, but the type of books. More often than not, all those books are novels. It’s not that I’m appalled by the thought of reading multiple novels at a time. I don’t understand. Could it be people aren’t marking a book as finished before adding the next reading endeavor to the list? In some cases, perhaps, but I doubt it’s a blanket answer.

via Thoughts on Reading Multiple Books at Once — Drew Martin Writes



My goal for Indie Authors in 2017, is to really get the word out as to how important reviews are, and how easy they are to do.

The last time I checked, once an Author receives 50 reviews on Amazon, their book will start getting suggested to people who are browsing Amazon.

When I receive a book in exchange for my review, I do not read the other reviews until I have already posted mine. I do not want anything at all to influence my opinion.

However, when I am outright buying a book, you bet your bottom dollar that I look at every single review before purchasing.

Reviews and word of mouth are what helps Authors sell their books! And do you know how much Authors appreciate your reviews? It means the world to them! It means someone chose their book over a bazillion others, to read! ❤

Writing is hard work, as much as the movie industry has made it seem romantic. It is time away from family and friends, it’s a lot of tears and self-doubt. Yes, there are beautiful moments in writing, however it is still hard work.

And, Authors spending time on promoting means they have to spend time away from actually writing.


Okay, so this is where I give you a swift kick in the rump!

I hear so many readers say they don’t know what to say when leaving a review.


After this insane political season, I have fully come to realize that EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION AND KNOWS PERFECTLY WELL HOW TO EXPRESS IT!

So, don’t give me anymore excuses, and please make leaving reviews for books you read, a Resolution that you REALLY stick to in 2017!

Pinky promise?




A passage to India… — MetLineReader

I really loved this book by the talented Janet MacLeod Trotter, who is no stranger to weaving a classic saga. Having really enjoyed reading The Tea Planter’s Daughter back in 2012 (one of my first Kindle books), I was delighted to be offered an advance copy of this second book in the Tea Planters trilogy (though […]

via A passage to India… — MetLineReader

The Woman on the Orient Express – Lindsay Jayne Ashford — Cleopatra Loves Books

The synopsis gives us a flavour of what The Woman on the Orient Express has in store for us, promising secrets not easy to unravel on a journey on the iconic train line. The subject, ‘The Woman’ is Agatha Christie, the reason for the trip is an escape from England after the end of her […]

via The Woman on the Orient Express – Lindsay Jayne Ashford — Cleopatra Loves Books

A Review of the Amazon Bookstore in Seattle — Story & History

On a recent trip to Seattle, I took some time to go to the Amazon bookstore in University Village. I wanted to see what the behemoth online retailer would do with a bookstore. Although Amazon began as an online bookseller, it has morphed into the Wal-Mart of the Internet. It still sells books, but books […]

via A Review of the Amazon Bookstore in Seattle — Story & History

Harsh but Helpful Writing Tips — mylifewithbooks

Writing is not a walk through the park, neither is trying to get your book published so hopefully these few harsh, but helpful writing tips will assist you in this long journey. The first draft always sucks – Your first draft will never be amazing let alone good but that’s what editing is for. The […]

via Harsh but Helpful Writing Tips — mylifewithbooks

Writing tips from J.K Rowling  — World of Horror

1. WRITE IN WHATEVER TIME YOU HAVE One of J.K. Rowling’s most famous quotes is: “Sometimes you have to get your writing done in spare moments here and there.” This is crucial advice on writing a book. It’s easy for us to imagine successful writers spending all day penning beautiful paragraphs, but everybody had to […]

via Writing tips from J.K Rowling  — World of Horror

Review: Buckle up for Philip Donlay’s latest, Pegasus Down — Adventures in Writing

by G. Robert Frazier Before you crack open Pegasus Down (Oceanview Publishing), the new novel byPhilip Donlay, you better buckle up: You’re in for a hell of a ride. This action-thriller soars from start to finish with page-a-minute suspense and thrills to keep you riveted to your seat, just like an on-screen summer blockbuster. Donlay […]

via Review: Buckle up for Philip Donlay’s latest, Pegasus Down — Adventures in Writing

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Julia by Patricia K. Salamone — Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

I am delighted to welcome Patricia Salmone, author of The Italian Thing, with a short story that takes us on a journey through an elderly woman’s life to a place where dreams can come true. Put your feet up and grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine… JULIA By: Patricia K. Salamone Cathy […]

via Smorgasbord Short Stories – Julia by Patricia K. Salamone — Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

January’s Recommendations: “The Bear and the Nightingale”



The Life of Paul Simon



Why NaNoWriMo is Noble Nuttiness (and Eight Steps to Make It Easier) — Discover

Writer Guy Bergstrom explains why NaNoWriMo sets up aspiring novelists for failure — and how a different approach, focusing on narrative and structure over output, might be the way to go.

via Why NaNoWriMo is Noble Nuttiness (and Eight Steps to Make It Easier) — Discover

Leave a Review please! Show Authors some love (or not), just leave a review!


Authors truly do want to hear from you! Most take Constructive Criticism well, and they want honest feedback.

It does not take any time to leave a review. Just mark how many stars you want to give it, and simply say you liked it or not.

Even better if you say why you liked/disliked it, but just one sentence is helpful.


Here are the stars and a basic overview of what they mean. Please DO NOT give an Author one star because your book did not download properly or your hard copy arrived late. You need to take that up with Amazon Customer Service, or whatever service you used to purchase the book.

Not all negative reviews are bad. Some people like reading about the things you did not.

For example:

I was shopping for a purse/tote bag online, and one of the reviewers hated it because she thought the bag was too big. BIG is exactly what I was looking for! 🙂

Once an Author hits 50 reviews on Amazon, Amazon shows their book more.

So please, please, please, take just 10 seconds to give stars and a quick sentence or two about EVERY book you read!

Thank you!


Alumnus publishes third medical thriller: Fatal Complications — Penn State Medicine

John Benedict (’82) may put people to sleep at his day job, but off-duty, the Penn State College of Medicine alumnus and central Pennsylvania anesthesiologist writes medical thrillers that may keep them up at night. His first two self-published books, Adrenaline, and its sequel, The Edge of Death, were so successful that Benedict was able to […]

via Alumnus publishes third medical thriller: Fatal Complications — Penn State Medicine

Keep These Tips in Mind When Considering Self-Publishing a Book

10/14/2016 12:44 pm ET | Updated Oct 14, 2016

What factors should I keep in mind if I want to self-publish a book? originally appeared on Quorathe knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of six novels, including In Twenty Years, on Quora:

When asked about self-publishing, my honest answer is that I think self-publishing is a very tricky beast, and while it seems like the easy way to go, unless you are a writer in a specific genre (romance, for example), I think it can lead to disappointment. I opted to self-publish my fifth novel because I thought I could do a better job on it than a traditional publisher after my discouraging experience with my fourth book. I was listless and unhappy with the shifting winds of the publishing world, and I already had a pretty good built-in audience, so I wanted to give it a go.

Because I’d had all the experience within the publishing world, I put the book through all the paces that it would have gone through had I opted for a traditional publisher. I hired a veteran editor, I hired the designer who did my jackets at Random House, I did extensive copy-edits and galleys, etc. The finished product wasn’t much different than what would have come out of a traditional publisher, and I think that’s really critical: just because you’re self-publishing doesn’t mean that it can be amateurish or unpolished. Also, I think it is super, super, super important to go through a very hearty editing process. One thing that is very difficult to learn is when your book is really done. Even now, on my seventh book, I probably go through five or six rewrites, and I think that with self-publishing, it’s too easy to just upload something that isn’t ready to be put out into the world.

From there, you still have marketing to deal with. I think aspiring self-published authors underestimate how difficult it can be to get eyeballs and readership (again, certain genres do well, so this isn’t a blanket statement). I had a film deal and a lot of press to help me out, so I felt secure with it, but, for example, when it came time to consider how to handle my new novel without having locked in a film deal, I wasn’t sure that I had the reach to sell as many copies as I hoped, and ultimately, I chose not to self-publish again. Competing for readership is very difficult in this crowded marketplace, so my advice is to really consider how you will do that and to have a plan. I seem to recall that the average self-published book sells fewer than five hundred copies. That’s your friends and family, and that’s not enough. So be sure that you have done your research and have a marketing plan beyond posting it on Facebook.

This question originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

More questions:

NEW BOOK OUT — lucinda E Clarke

Now, if you are on my mailing list (just drop me an email and I’ll add your name – sorry, but I don’t know how to put a button on here) and you will find out what is going on behind the scenes. It’s very serious and I am very worried indeed, so it might […]

via NEW BOOK OUT — lucinda E Clarke

A Christmas book for you and your child! “The Bakers’ Dozen” by Aaron Shepard and Wendy Edelson





I have heard and used the term “baker’s dozen”, but I had never given the origin of it any thought. I did not know it was a Dutch story!

This book is short and cute and interesting, and also includes a recipe.

The illustrations are AMAZING AMAZING!

You and your child both will LOVE this book!

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my review. This book is a true treasure.

Here is the Amazon link for purchase:

Christmas book for you and your child! “The Book of Kringle” by Derek Valez Patridge, with Mary Packard







I found this series on my Amazon Prime Reading, and after reading Paul’s book Towards Yesterday (see my review), I decided to read these.

I enjoyed these books…and I didn’t…

I enjoyed them enough to read practically back to back over a long weekend, but I also skimmed a lot.

As I stated in my review of his book Towards Yesterday, sometimes this Author gets WAY TOO descriptive for me.

It gets tedious reading paragraph after paragraph of every movement that happens in a situation. In one of the books, it took forever for him to get the main character out of the garage with a vehicle, when she was being pursued.

Also, in this scene, he made Emily (the main character) way too dumb when it came to vehicles. She had moved to New York, and of course, never found the need to learn to drive. But this Author treated her like she had NEVER even ridden in a vehicle in her entire life. She had no idea which was the gas and which was the brake pedal, which I found ridiculous.

Now, I will admit, I skimmed quite a bit the further I progressed with this series, so I may have missed Emily getting taught (but I doubt it)…so, Emily had never driven a car, yet later in the series she knows how to jump a vehicle and change a tire. Oh, she also learns how to drive a CAT, a boat and a helicopter…(she was trained on the helicopter.)

I also didn’t like how when children were brought into the story, Emily, a single career girl Journalist, knows exactly how to deal with children and knows exactly what to say to calm them down. Not every woman has the mothering  instinct and it gets played over and over in stories, so just a personal bother on that point…it probably wouldn’t bother many others. 😉

Paul is a great writer, and I was hoping to see him grow more as the series progressed. As far as I’m concerned, he could have ditched the second book entirely and condensed it into either the first or third book.

The second book is nothing but Emily’s tedious journey across country to what she hopes is safety. She originally plans to do this by bicycle…and I just can’t even…

Paul makes her a semi-MacGyver that just doesn’t always help make the story work.

Paul leaves all of his surprises in the last few pages, and ends with  cliff hangers.

Overall though, I enjoyed this series and I may or may not read the next one in line. If I do, I will most likely skim it as well.

If he would cut down on the drawn out descriptions of every single breath and movement the characters take, that would really improve these books and his future writings.

I will keep my eye on him though, as he has potential to be a best selling Author.

Believe it or not, I still recommend this series for fans of Sci-Fi. I did enjoy these books for the most part, and the Author does write well enough for you to want to know what happened.

Please welcome Andrew Joyce, Author of “Yellow Hair”


My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. I would like to thank January for allowing me to be here today to promote my latest, Yellow Hair, which documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage I write about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in my fact-based tale of fiction were real people and I use their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century.

Now that the commercial is out of the way, we can get down to what I really came here to talk about: the Sioux people. The people we know as the Sioux were originally known as the Dakota, which means ally. The name Sioux came from the Chippewa and the French. The Chippewa called them Nadonessiou, which means adder, or enemy, and then the French shortened the name to Sioux.

Every culture has an origin myth. We in the West have Adam and Eve. The Ancient Greeks had Gaia. According to the Norse people, Odin and Ymir founded the earth. If you will allow me, I’d like to tell you the creation story of the Dakota.

In the beginning, before the creation of the earth, the gods resided in the sky and humans lived in darkness. Chief among the gods was Ta՜kuwakaŋ, the Sun, who was married to Haŋyetuwi, the Moon. He had one daughter, Wohpe. And there was Old Man and Old Woman, whose daughter, Ite, was wife to Wind, to whom she gave four sons, the Four Winds.

Of the other spirits, the most important was Iŋktomi, the devious trickster. Iŋktomi conspired with Old Man and Old Woman to increase their daughter’s status by arranging an affair between the Sun and Ite. His wife’s discovery of the affair led Ta՜kuwakaŋ to give the Moon her own domain, and by separating her from himself, created time.

Old Man, Old Woman and Itewho was separated from Wind, her husband—were banished to Earth. Ite, along with her children, the Four Winds, and a fifth wind—the child of Ite but not of Wind—established space. The daughter of the Sun and the Moon, Wohpe, also fell to earth and later resided with the South Wind. The two adopted the fifth wind, who was called Wamŋiomŋi.

Alone on the newly formed Earth, some of the gods became bored. Ite prevailed upon Iŋktomi to find her people, the Buffalo Nation. In the form of a wolf, Iŋktomi went beneath the earth and discovered a village of humans. Iŋktomi told them about the wonders of the Earth and convinced one man, Tokahe, to accompany him through a cave to the surface. Tokahe did so and, upon reaching the surface, saw the green grass and blue sky for the first time. Iŋktomi and Ite introduced Tokahe to buffalo meat and showed him tipis, clothing, hunting clubs, and bows and arrows. Tokahe returned to the underworld village and appealed to six other men and their families to go with him to the Earth’s surface.

When they arrived, they discovered that Iŋktomi had deceived Tokahe. The buffalo were scarce; the weather had turned bad, and they found themselves starving. Unable to return to their home, but armed with a new knowledge about the world, they survived to become the founders of the Seven Council Fires.

The Seven Council Fires . . . or Oćeti Šakowiŋ . . .  are the Mdewakanton, the Wahpeton, the Wahpekute, the Sisseton, the Yankton, the Yanktonai, and the Lakota.

After Tokahe led the six families to the surface of the earth, they wandered for many winters. Sons were born and sons died. Winters passed, more winters than could be counted. That was before Oćeti Šakowiŋ. But not until White Buffalo Calf Woman did the humans become Dakota.

Two scouts were hunting the buffalo when they came to the top of a small hill. A long way off, they observed the figure of a woman. As she approached, they saw that she was beautiful. She was young and carried a wakiŋ. One of the scouts had lustful thoughts and told the other. His friend told him that she was sacred and to banish such thoughts.

The woman came up to them and said to the one with the lustful thoughts, “If you would do what you are thinking, come forward.” The scout moved and stood before her and a white cloud covered them from sight.

When the woman stepped from the cloud, it blew away. There on the ground, at the beautiful woman’s feet, lay a pile of bones with worms crawling in and among them.

The woman told the other scout to go to his village and tell his people that she was coming, for them to build a medicine tipi large enough to hold all the chiefs of the nation. She said, “I bring a great gift to your people.”

When the people heard the scout’s story, they constructed the lodge, and put on their finest clothing, then stood about the lodge and waited.

As the woman entered the village, she sang:

‘With visible breath I am walking.

A voice I am sending as I walk.

In a sacred manner I am walking.

With visible tracks I am walking.

In a sacred manner I walk.’


She handed the wakiŋ to the head chief and he withdrew a pipe from the bundle. On one side of the pipe was carved a bison calf. “The bison represents the earth, which will house and feed you,” she said.

Thirteen eagle feathers hung from the wooden stem. White Buffalo Calf Woman told the chiefs, “The feathers represent the sky and the thirteen moons. With this pipe, you shall prosper. With this pipe, you shall speak with Wakaŋ Taŋ՜ka (God). With this pipe, you shall become The People. With this pipe, you shall be bound with the Earth for She is your mother. She is sacred. With this pipe, you shall be bound to your relatives.”

Having given the pipe to the People, and having said what she had to say, she turned and walked four paces from the lodge and sat down.

When she arose, she was a red-and-brown buffalo calf. She walked on, lay down and came up as a black buffalo calf. Walking still farther, she turned into a white buffalo and stood upon a hill. She turned to bow in the four directions of the four winds and then she vanished.

Because of White Buffalo Calf Woman, the Dakota honor our mother the Earth; they honor their parents and their grandparents. They honor the birds of the sky; they honor the beasts of the earth. They know that Wakaŋ Taŋ՜ka resides in all animals, in all trees and plants and rocks and stones. Wakaŋ Taŋ՜ka is in all. They know that Wakaŋ Taŋ՜ka lives in each of us.

Because of White Buffalo Calf Woman, they have become Dakota.

You can follow Andrew and find his book at these places:

Happy Reading!!!


Barnes & Noble





Yellow Hair Two.jpg






Voltaire — William Chasterson

“Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices” – Voltaire “So, you must be Christopher. I have been looking forward to meeting you. My name is Niccolo,” said the large tomcat whose presence commanded the room. “Forgive the manners of my comrades. They are very […]

via Voltaire — William Chasterson

What if everyone went back in time 25 years? “Toward Yesterday” by Paul Anthony Jones


What if…in the middle of an ordinary day of your life, you and everyone else on Earth, suddenly found yourselves 25 years back in time?

Do you think this would be a good or bad thing for you, and what things would you change if given a second chance?

That is the premise of this book by Paul Anthony Jones, and it does make you wonder.

I found this book on my Amazon Prime Reading, and read it in two sittings.

I enjoyed this book, although sometimes the Author got entirely TOO descriptive for me. Sometimes he takes you through absolutely every step and motion a character takes/makes.

It didn’t blow me away, it isn’t one I will read again, but as a fun weekend Sci-Fi read, I do highly recommend it.



Release day for a Must Read! “Evelyn, after” by Victoria Helen Stone





Evelyn Tester is sleepwalking through her suburban life—until a late-night phone call startles her awake. Her husband, a prestigious psychiatrist, has been in an accident. And he isn’t alone.

Suddenly Evelyn’s world isn’t as tidy as she thought. And in the midst of it all is Juliette, not only her husband’s secret lover but also his patient. If news of the affair were to get out, it would ruin more than just Evelyn’s marriage. Although it’s a bitter pill for Evelyn to swallow, protecting her family means staying silent—even if, as she begins to discover, the night of the accident has consequences far more dangerous than the unmasking of an affair.

But the more Evelyn learns about Juliette’s picture-perfect life—complete with a handsome, unsuspecting husband—the more she yearns for revenge…and satisfaction. Her growing obsession fuels her rage, burning away her complacency. What will be left of her after it flames out?


I got this book through my Amazon Prime early release, and read it in ONE sitting. I like the layout of Before/After, and the pace of the story.

The characters and plot are complete and complex.

It made you wonder what you would do if you were in Evelyn’s shoes.

A realistic story.

Definitely put this one on your TBR list!

Here is the Amazon link for purchase:

New titles on sale November 2016!


Go check out what books are on deck for release this new month of November!!!

Book Recommendation: ZEN FOR DRUIDS:A Further Guide to Integration, Compassion & Harmony with Nature








Shared post: 9 reasons why you should self-publish – with cats — millie schmidt writer

I recently wrote a self-publishing guest post for indie author, Theresa Sopoko. I wrote the article in a bid to convince myself that self-publishing is the way to go. While everyone secretly wants to be published by one of the Big 5, I’ve finally begun to see that the advantages to self-publishing are actually pretty great (if […]

via 9 reasons why you should self-publish – with cats — millie schmidt writer

Recommended Reading



Advance Praise

Start a new Christmas tradition with your family!





My heart my heart…I am not a softy at all (well, a closet softy), and this book is still tugging at my heart. It is a must read. I read this one right after reading All The Light We Cannot See, and wow, what an amazing combo to read back to back even though they are by two different Authors writing on two different themes.

This book will be available for purchase in November on Amazon. Go get it and grab a box of tissues on the way.

Set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this novel charts the relationship between a young Scottish widow and a French engineer who, despite constraints of class and wealth, fall in love.

In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Émile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris, France–a moment of pure possibility. But back on firm ground, their vastly different social strata become clear. Cait is a widow who because of her precarious financial situation is forced to chaperone two wealthy Scottish charges. Émile is expected to take on the bourgeois stability of his family’s business and choose a suitable wife. As the Eiffel Tower rises, a marvel of steel and air and light, the subject of extreme controversy and a symbol of the future, Cait and Émile must decide what their love is worth.

Seamlessly weaving historical detail and vivid invention, Beatrice Colin evokes the revolutionary time in which Cait and Émile live–one of corsets and secret trysts, duels and Bohemian independence, strict tradition and Impressionist experimentation. To Capture What We Cannot Keep, stylish, provocative, and shimmering, raises probing questions about a woman’s place in that world, the overarching reach of class distinctions, and the sacrifices love requires of us all.

Cancel plans and put off chores for this one! “Fractured” by Catherine McKenzie





Suspenseful, masterfully plotted with well fleshed out characters. You feel like you know Julie and her family.

This book took me by surprise several times while I was reading it, with many unexpected twists and turns.

A flawless, gripping page turner.

I received this from NetGalley by my request, and read and reviewed it by my choice. Here is the Amazon link for purchase.

Readers, Did you know?


I know I push buying books from Indie Authors, as I’ve said before, the price typically ranges from 99 cents to 4.99.

But, here is one of my favorite places where you can get books for FREE in exchange for your honest review. You do NOT need a blog or a broad social networking reach.

Be sure to ALWAYS post on Amazon.

GoodReads is a great place as well, and quick and easy.

Also, since 99% of you have a Pinterest, go ahead and add a Book board! 🙂


How it works:

After easy e-mail/password sign-up (sign up as Reader), and account confirmation, you can select the categories you like.

You can then browse the categories and request books. Be careful to pay attention to which countries that particular book is open to request.

There is also a Read Now section, where you do not have to wait for approval of the book.

Once you’ve read the book, they have an easy 5 star section and you can also add comments if you choose.

This is one of my favorites, but it is easy to request too many and get overwhelmed. I did not have to wait long for my first approval, but some people have had to wait a couple days.

One of my favorite things about NetGalley, is it offers a wide range of Authors. Some are newbie/Indie Authors, and others are well established/well known Authors.

So, go take a look and happy reading!



Inspiration and Motivation for Writers — Goldenager

Chloe Henderson’s colourful little book is full of uplifting quotes with illustrations and tips that will get the aspiring writer motivated to write: Write a book you’d like to read. If you wouldn’t read it, why would anybody else? (Hilary Mantel) The scariest moment is just before you start. No tears in the writer; No […]

via Inspiration and Motivation for Writers — Goldenager

Shared post: New Novel Announcement: Bannerless — Filling the Well

The news went out on Publishers Lunch yesterday, and John re-posted the announcement on his blog, and here it is again: New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn’s BANNERLESS, a novel in which an investigator must discover the truth behind a mysterious death in a world where small communities struggle to maintain a ravaged civilization decades […]

via New Novel Announcement: Bannerless — Filling the Well

Personal letters about mental health. “hello me, it’s you” Edited by Hannah Todd





Autumn Reading – Colby The Courageous Cat written by Janice Spina with illustrations by John Spina — Jemsbooks

Originally posted on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life: Today we are celebrating the recent release of award winning children’s author Janice Spina. Colby The Courageous Cat is a must for all children and cat lovers alike. Written by Janice Spina and illustrated by John Spina. Available in print and Kindle versions. About…

via Autumn Reading – Colby The Courageous Cat written by Janice Spina with illustrations by John Spina — Jemsbooks

Found this very informative post!

WHETHER YOU’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF WRITING YOU’RE MASTERPIECE OR JUST ABOUT TO BEGIN HERE’S HOW TO SURVIVE THOSE BUSY WRITING MONTHS. 1. PACK YOUR LUNCH Writers are notoriously bad for getting so engrossed in their work that they forget to eat. You might be struggling for time and spending hours making meals is the […]

via Novel Writing Survival Guide — bardicblogger






This book will be published November 15, 2016 and is available for pre-order:

October Giveaway: 26 Sci-Fi Books — Archer’s Aim

Originally posted on Nicholas C. Rossis: October is closing with a bang, as author C.C. Ekeke has organized an amazing giveaway of 26 sci-fi books from different subgenres. I am participating with Pearseus: Rise of the Prince. Please note that this is an actual giveaway, not a one-winner-takes-all promo. Just click on the book cover and…

via October Giveaway: 26 Sci-Fi Books — Archer’s Aim

Movember Foundation Fundraising: Because Beards anthology




Movember Foundation Fundraising:

Because Beards anthology



November 1st sees the launch of a scorching-hot bumper-sized 500+ page charity anthology, raising funds for the Movember Foundation.


Entitled Because Beards, the collection’s theme is, as you might guess, that every man is gorgeously bearded.


It’s the anthology EVERYONE will be reading.


We want to keep our men fit, strong and healthy. The Movember Foundation’s goal is to help achieve that and they need our support to do so. It’s fundraising time.  


ALL proceeds from the sale of this anthology go towards supporting prostate cancer research and treatment, and other critical men’s health initiatives.


Twenty-one authors have donated stories to this sizzling erotic romance collection. It’s priced at just 99p/99c to allow everyone to enjoy some bearded sexiness, and to feel good about having made a donation to this great cause.


(a print edition is also on the way for those who prefer their steamy reading on paper).


Later this year, we’ll be updating everyone on how much money we raise for this wonderful charity.

Could we reach US$1million? We’ll see!


Please do spread the word wherever you can.


One of the authors donating a story to this fantastic project is Emmanuelle de Maupassant: best known for her debut novella, The Gentlemen’s Club (named by Stylist Magazine as one of the sexiest reads of 2015).


Emmanuelle’s short story, Highland Pursuits, is set in the 1920s, featuring defiant aristocratic debutante Lady Ophelia Finchingfield, as she navigates life, love and lust, in the rugged highlands of Scotland. Her leading man is enigmatic Hamish, red-haired, wild and passionate. With a cast of eccentric characters, an ancient castle, a villainous French count, and some very naughty sex scenes, it’s not to be missed!


To tease your tastebuds, here’s a snippet from Emmanuelle’s story.


He gave her a smile that could have been any man’s smile, given to any woman: a smile that went back into the forest and its shaded dells, into the granite almost. It was the same smile men have been giving to women for centuries. His smile was one of complicity, of intimacies shared, and of remembrance of touch. A flood of heat threatened to overwhelm her. Her body, an archive of desire, remembered everything…


Discover more about Emmanuelle de Maupassant via her website

Visit her Amazon author page or pop over to find her on Facebook


Pre-order your copy of Because Beards, priced at just 99c/99p, via these links:


Barnes and Noble




Everyone involved in the Because Beards project has given their time, resources and talent free of charge, so that all proceeds from this anthology reach our charity.


Our AMAZING team comprises not only our 21 authors, but cover designer Jessica Hildreth, photographer Wander Aguiar and swoonsome model Jacob Rodney. Thank you to all the lovely book bloggers who are helping spread the word about this anthology, and to Heather Roberts and Jenny Flores for their superb PR work.


Because Beards features stories by Alexis Alvarez, Faith Andrews, M. Andrews, Jeannine Colette, Hayley Faiman, Angelita Gill, Ace Gray, Ruthie Henrick, Scott Hildreth, Evie Lauren, Jerica MacMillan, R.C. Martin, Emmanuelle de Maupassant, Leslie McAdam, Maria Monroe, Adrienne Perry, J. Quist, Renee Rose, Kacey Shea, Martha Sweeney, and Tom Sweeney.


Goodreads fans can add the anthology to their ‘To Be Read List’ here. Your support (and reviews) will help make this project a success.


Thank you. 



Don’t fall over. I read a LOVE story and I liked it!!!”The Invitation” by Lucy Foley



Mansfield and Me: Sarah Laing on Comics, Her Graphic Memoir, and New Zealand — Discover

Acclaimed New Zealand fiction writer and comic artist Sarah Laing chats about her graphic memoir, Mansfield and Me.

via Mansfield and Me: Sarah Laing on Comics, Her Graphic Memoir, and New Zealand — Discover

25 Anniversary of “Big Nate” by Lincoln Pierce. Great gift idea for your child!


Happy Birthday to the New York Times Best Seller, Big Nate! Celebrate twenty-five years of the Big Nate cartoon strip with this jam-packed compendium of everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the character and Lincoln Peirce, the creator behind him.

If there’s one word that Big Nate would use to describe himself, it would be E-P-I-C! And so is this slipcased, jam-packed book full of cartoons and memorabilia celebrating 25 years of Lincoln Peirce’s long-running comic strip: Epic Big Nate.

Hundreds of cartoons, selected by Peirce and presented with his witty and informative commentary, trace the evolution of the Big Nate comic strip and its colorful cast of characters. Also included is an exclusive Q&A featuring Peirce and Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney, detailing the friendship and mutual admiration that contributed to each cartoonist’s success.

Featuring highlights from 1991 to 2015, Epic Big Nate is a must-have for Big Nate fans of all ages!


Even as an adult, I’m a big fan of Big Nate, and this contains 25 years of the comic strip, along with other interesting information.

The Holidays are quickly approaching, and this would make a great gift for your Child or anyone who enjoys comics.

This is available for purchase on Amazon on October 25th, 2016 and can be pre-ordered at this link in Hardcover:



“The Wines of Faugeres” by Rosemary George



Faugères is one of the most individual appellations of the Languedoc. Although it produces white and rosé wines the appellation is most famous for its rich, ripe red wines made from the classic Rhone varieties Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. The Faugères wine appellation was created in 1982 and is now producing consistently excellent wines, the secret being in the steep hills surrounding the village of Faugères where the schist, or decayed slate, provides unique soil drainage and moisture retention and introduces distinctive minerality into the wine. The Mediterranean climate of long, hot summers and short cold winters is tempered by Faugères’ proximity to the coast, which produces distinctive and elegant wines.
Faugères is a compact vineyard compared to many of the other appellations of the Languedoc, but the variety is infinite, prompted by the human hand and the perceptible differences between the different villages. The white wine, which accounts for just 2% of the appellation, is a perfect example of the way the white wines of the Languedoc are developing and improving with every vintage, their wonderful herbal flavours conjuring up the scents of the herbs of the garrigue, fennel, bay and thyme. Pink Faugères, which accounts for 18% of the appellation, provides delicious refreshing drinking with acidity and delicate fruit. The wines of Faugères always have a distinctive freshness which places them amongst the finest of the Languedoc.
Rosemary George’s The wines of Faugères is a comprehensive guide to the wines of a remarkably compact and homogeneous area which covers just seven villages and a couple of hamlets. The wines of Faugères covers the history, geography and climate of the region, as well as its grape varieties and viticulture, before profiling the individual producers and their wines. It ends with an indispensable assessment of vintages going back to the creation of the appellation in 1982.
Faugères’ wines, currently little known outside of France, are set to become the next global wine discovery, and Rosemary George’s The wines of Faugères is the most up-to-date and authoritative guide to this beautiful region and its fascinating wines.


An informative and detailed read, told in a very interesting manner, without being obnoxious or pretentious.

I enjoy wine, although I do not consider myself a wine snob by any means, I do feel I know much about the topic.

This was a very educational guide and I learned quite a bit.

I received this requested copy from NetGalley and read and reviewed it at my choosing. This would make a lovely gift this Christmas for someone.

Here is the link for purchase:

The nine stages of #thewriterslife – with cats — millie schmidt writer

There comes a time when every writer needs to step back and see what a #writerslife looks like from the outside – and yes it looks like cats. Be warned, these stages can come in any order, you can be in the middle of number 6 when suddenly inspiration strikes and you’re back at number 1. […]

via The nine stages of #thewriterslife – with cats — millie schmidt writer

Fiction: “A Guide to Becoming Distinctly Average” by Amy Elliott-Smith

61ibfd0cfcl ” I wrote my suicide note today. It was shit. I can’t die and leave a shit suicide note behind. It has to be something epic…”


WINNER: 2013 Beryl Bainbridge Award for First Time Author

Life is a bitch. Depression is a bitch. Spending your life with depression, working with bitches is the worst of the worst.

A Guide to Becoming Distinctly Average is a laugh-out-loud, dark comedy, which delves into the depths of a thirty-something dog groomer’s mind as she struggles to cope with life, depression and dogs who wee up her sofa.

Ultimately, the question she must ask is…

Can I carry on?


Depression is something that is still not handled correctly nor viewed in the right way, not even in today’s society.

This Author takes an awesome Fictional approach to it, and it is both disturbing and yes, hilarious. Not that depression is a joke, but her humorous approach to the topic is still spot on.

I highly recommend reading this book. This is one book that will stick with me for quite awhile

I received my requested copy from NetGalley and read and reviewed at my choosing.

Here is the link for purchase:


N is for Nooks! — The Bookish Diva

Be prepared to drool all over the screen as you look at pictures of the most perfect reading nooks you will ever see. Like this one… Or this one… LOOK AT ALL THOSE WINDOWS!! AND THIS COZY NOOK WITH A VIEW! GAH! I think it is obvious what I want for […]

via N is for Nooks! — The Bookish Diva

Do You Think Before You Promote? — Painting With Light

Are your promotional efforts sending out an impenetrable fog of Buy, Buy, Buy that no one pays any attention to? Perhaps it’s because the considerations that matter most in the social platforms indie authors use to promote their work are also the things that should matter most in their personal life. 1. Write More […]

via Do You Think Before You Promote? — Painting With Light

MALTA (The Hidden Treasures)

THE MALTESE ISLANDS You will find the Maltese Islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino glistening in the centre of the Mediterranean, 90 km south of the Italian island of Sicily and roughly 300 km north o…

Source: MALTA (The Hidden Treasures)

If you enjoy looking at houses you will enjoy”ART NOUVEAU ARCHITECTURE” edited by R. Beauclair & M.J. Gradl



The Largest Mass Execution in the History of the United States — 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News

Yellow Hair documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage depicted actually took place—from the first to the last. The historical figures who play a role in my story were real people and I […]

via The Largest Mass Execution in the History of the United States — 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News

Goodreads #Giveaway: A Cold Tomorrow by Mae Clair #Mothman #PointPleasant Book 2 — Legends of Windemere

Originally posted on From the Pen of Mae Clair: December is approaching, and with it, the release of book 2 in my Point Pleasant saga, A Cold Tomorrow. In anticipation of the December 20th release, Kensington Publishing is running a Goodreads giveaway. This is your chance to win a hard copy of the book while helping a hard-working author…

via Goodreads #Giveaway: A Cold Tomorrow by Mae Clair #Mothman #PointPleasant Book 2 — Legends of Windemere

An epic Must Read! “The German Girl” by, Armando Lucan Correa



Sci-Fi “The Man Who Can’t Die” by Jon Frankel




This is a must read for fans of Science Fiction, futuristic plots and themes. However, it did lag in a few places for me. I did not enjoy Chapters 11 & 12 at all, as I feel they just dragged along with too much description.

It was hard to connect with most of the Characters in this book as well. I seriously did not care if Dr. Ruth Bryson got caught and killed or not, but I seriously adored the character Felix.

A little bit slower paced than what I prefer, but it was still a good read. The concept itself, and the play out of that during the book makes this worth the read.

I received my requested copy from NetGalley and am giving this review at my choosing.

You can get it at this Amazon link.

I received my requested copy from NetGalley and am giving this review at my choosing.



The Care and Feeding of an Author



Recipes: “Food52 A New Way to Dinner”



A smart, inspiring cookbook of 100+ recipes from the founders of the powerhouse web site Food52 showing just how they–two busy working parents–actually plan, shop, and cook for delicious dinners (and breakfasts, lunches, and desserts)–all through the week. The secret? Cooking ahead.

Finally, anyone can learn how to maximize (and enjoy) time in the kitchen. Food52 founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs start with flexible base dishes they make on the weekend, then use them in multiple ways for quick weekday meals–exactly the way they really cook for themselves and their families. Both authors tackles every month of the year, providing seasonal recipes and clever tips and strategies that yield delicious, dependable results. This indispensable cookbook lays out the building blocks of modern meal planning, encouraging readers to be creative, confident, and resourceful in the kitchen all year-round.


I like this book, I like the layout, I like the recipes.

However, I do not think it is ideal for two working parents planning ahead. I am not a parent, but even preparing ahead just for the two of us is a big undertaking  with these recipes, and I am certainly not spending weekends grocery shopping and cooking for the week ahead.

A really nice cookbook, but not what I am looking for as far as plan ahead meals. As far as a regular cookbook, with a Seasonal layout,  and full lists of ingredients and instructions, I highly recommend it.

I am sure some Mom’s out there will find this useful too, it simply and honestly isn’t what I was looking for, but I certainly cannot knock the quality of this book because of my personal search for plan ahead meals!

Go give it a try and get back with me about what ideas you tried and how it worked out.

My honest review is for a special copy from NetGalley that I voluntarily read.

It will be available for purchase October 18th 2016

The Amazon link for purchase is:

Dust Fairy Tales: Absolutely Aggie by Michelle R. Eastman and Illustrated by Kevin Richter — Michelle Eastman Books

Originally posted on The Picture Book Review: Absolutely Aggie is a fantastic book that will make you simultaneously feel as if you’ve been given a hug and told to stand up straight. It’s a book about accepting who you are and finding the courage and hope to being even better than ever. This book will…

via Dust Fairy Tales: Absolutely Aggie by Michelle R. Eastman and Illustrated by Kevin Richter — Michelle Eastman Books

Colorful Children’s book! “Maxwell the Monkey Barber” by Cale Atkinson


A Note From the Publisher

Reference: “The Wines of Austria”by Stephen Brook



Season’s readings: Books for Halloween –

Source: Season’s readings: Books for Halloween –

Thriller recommendation. “Goliath” by Shawn Corridan & Gary Waid






Do you read more than ONE book at a time?


I love the smell and feel of REAL books, but as much as I travel, having a variety of books and magazines on one small Kindle is wonderful.

I am curious though, do you read more than one book at a time?

Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.

Sometimes I pick up a book and read it cover to cover in one sitting (my favorite kind of reading).

Other times, I might have a Mystery, volume of Poetry, and a Women’s Fiction book all going on at the same time.

I always have a book I am reviewing regarding the Holocaust, but those are incredibly hard to read in one sitting.

I also enjoy reading a Children’s book or two while I’m reading a few novels.

What are your reading habits?

Shared post :12 things authors need to stop doing, by Kyle Perkins

By Kyle Perkins. I have compiled a list of things that authors need to stop doing. It is hurting the community, as well as their own business. Some might be unaware of how grating these things are,…

Source: 12 things authors need to stop doing.

Judge a Book by its Cover! ;)

Any of these covers catch your eye? Go check it out on Amazon if one (or two) of them appeals to you. I highly recommend any of these. There is a book about Mental Illness, some General Fiction, Mystery/Thrillers, Women’s Fiction, Devotional, Children’s Books…and more! This is just a random selection of some books I like. Take a look! 30075153

What Your Support Means To Indie Authors

Author Allen


Authors have many different reasons for taking the self-publishing route. Maybe they’ve tried traditional publishing but got rejected. Maybe they didn’t get rejected but realized the possibilities present in self-publishing that might not be there from traditional publishers (percentage of profits). Maybe the authors simply want a way to share their work without having to go through the long process of submitting and having it sit at the gatekeepers desk for months or years.

No matter what your opinion of self-publishing, I think we can all admit that there is some seriously good work out there from the indie author scene. If you don’t think so, then you likely haven’t bought any indie work. As I’ve said before, there are many pieces of bad work out there, but who cares? Just like in music and movies, there will always be less than par work that gets into the mix. It…

View original post 882 more words

by G. Robert Frazier Before you crack open Pegasus Down (Oceanview Publishing), the new novel byPhilip Donlay, you better buckle up: You’re in for a hell of a ride. This action-thriller soars from start to finish with page-a-minute suspense and thrills to keep you riveted to your seat, just like an on-screen summer blockbuster. Donlay […]

via Review: Buckle up for Philip Donlay’s latest, Pegasus Down — Adventures in Writing

Shared post. An Author’s Online Presence

by Jane Friedman 1. An author’s online presence is more critical than ever to long-term marketing strategy. Industry analyst Mike Shatzkin opened the conference by discussing what he thinks is the greatest challenge right now in the publishing industry. He said that authors have long been recognized as the consumer-facing brand that most matters (to publishers […]

via 4 Lessons for Authors About the Current State of Publishing — The Young Novelist

Shared post. This book sounds great! Review | Poison City by Paul Crilley — Don Massenzio’s Blog

Originally posted on Art and Soul: A good detective mystery with supernatural elements. Fans of the Peter Grant series should definitely check this out. 4/5 stars. Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for giving me an e-copy of this book in return for an honest review. The blurb: The name’s Gideon Tau, but everyone…

via Review | Poison City by Paul Crilley — Don Massenzio’s Blog

Shared post: Indie Author News


Dear Readers: Did you forget something?


Dear Readers,

You just finished a book.

Did you forget something?

Did you leave a quick review on Amazon and or GoodReads?

Do you know the Author on your Social Network? Did you send them a PM or give them a quick shout out, letting them know you read their book?

It’s VERY important, you know.

We live in a world now where everyone has an opinion about everything, and we have PLENTY of places to express our opinions.

Authors work hard to create a great story for you, so if you loved their work, give them a shout and leave a quick review.

It doesn’t have to be a detailed review.

And, if you didn’t like the book, please still leave a review because ALL Authors want to improve their writing.

Just be CONSTRUCTIVE with any criticism(s) you may have.

I know sometimes I will read a book that I didn’t totally care about, but I have friends who I know will love it.

Share your love of reading!

If you love reading, please help the Authors by leaving a quick review.

Thank you.







ART: “The Complete Masters of the Poster”






Beautiful and simply stunning. Beautiful plates and artists names and tons of information. I received this from NetGalley on behalf of the Publisher in e-book format, but I imagine it is incredible in hard copy and would make an amazing gift or coffee table book.

Here is the Amazon link for Purchase:

Would you like some Coffee with your Fiction?


My life schedule is a little different from most, and I am usually able to set aside one full day a week for not much else except reading.

The weather is a deciding factor on whether I read outside on my patio, or indoors all curled up under a blanket.

Regardless, it is a peaceful ritual for me and I like to have coffee or tea, and sometimes wine, along with cookies or some other treat.

If the cold weather forces me indoors, I like to get into comfortable clothes, start a fire and play Yo-Yo Ma softly in the background.

Do you get to set aside time for reading or do you just read when you can?

What are some things you enjoy while reading?

Here are some of my favorites.

Please share yours.


Celestial Seasonings, after much demand, has brought back their Almond Sunset tea and it is delicious. A hint of orange and cinnamon are my favorite parts of the flavor blend of this tea.


Yogi Teas This is a very nice tea that helps you relax, but doesn’t make you sleepy. At least it doesn’t make me sleepy, and Everything makes me sleepy! 😉 I suggest buying these at Target instead of on-line as the price on Amazon is very high. I’ve also noticed grocery stores are lowering their prices on the Yogi brand teas.


Now, if you only one to read a few more chapters before bed, I highly recommend this tea. So soothing, and Yes, it does make me sleepy. Great

I also like hot chocolate with marshmallows, and flavored hot chocolates, such as Raspberry.

I am also on the Pumpkin Spice kick.

Share with me some of your favorite rituals or drinks!





A lovely Devotional. “Wake Up to the WORD” by Joyce Meyer



An interesting look at Men’s Style “Men and Style” by David Coggins

men and style.png


Men and Style reaches beyond standard “what to wear” advice: It is equal parts style guide and intriguing conversation about the masculine identity within the world of fashion. David Coggins explores the history of men’s style and learns from some of the most notable tastemakers in the industry and beyond. Its essays and interviews discuss the lessons men learned from their fathers, the mistakes they made as young men, and how they emerged to become better men. Some of the most dapper men in the world discuss bad mustaches, misguided cologne choices, and unfortunate prom tuxedos. All the men here have arrived at a place in the world and have a keen understanding about how they fit in it. Men and Style celebrates singular men who’ve lived well and can tell us about how they earned their worldview. They’re smart enough to absorb the wisdom that’s hidden in the world, and even smarter to wear that wisdom lightly.


An enjoyable look at men’s style told through interviews. Men are asked what they wore as a child, teen, etc. and what phases they went through.

They were also asked what their Father’s and Grandfather’s wore.

Humorous tales of bad clothing/fashion choices.

Packed with clear, easy to see photographs.

This is a great book, even if the man in your life isn’t into clothes. It isn’t that kind of book. It doesn’t tell men what to wear, or how to dress.

It is a look back and memories shared, and I enjoyed every story told.

I received this from the Publisher on behalf of NetGalley.

It will be published October 11th 2016

Here is the Amazon link for purchase:






I apologize I am just NOW learning of this, the FIRST Annual Indie Author Day! I will keep an eye out earlier next year, but I believe is this a BIG step for Indie Authors!

It is too late to join now, but below is some information I learned about.

Hundreds of Libraries and Thousands of Indie Authors Across North America
expected to participate on October 8th, 2016

On October 8th, 2016, libraries across North America will host local events for the first annual Indie Author Day, and will then come together at 2 pm Eastern for a digital gathering that will offer inspiration, information and advice for authors from publishing industry specialists. This event will bring the indie writing community together through the library system both physically and digitally.

As indie publishing continues to gain ground, there are many authors who are still struggling to find their footing in the publishing world and get discovered. By working with their local library to build an audience within their communities, authors are able to find local fans that will help carry them to greater renown. Through Indie Author Day, libraries are encouraged to support their local writers and authors are driven to make that crucial connection with the libraries in their communities.

“Participating in Indie Author Day helps libraries of all types and sizes leverage their expertise to connect their communities with unique titles and authors that they may not otherwise read. It provides the perfect opportunity for all of us to join together to position libraries as the go-to place to discover the next great read,” said Dee Brennan, Executive Director of Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS).

And now, with all of the tools and guidance now available in libraries and beyond including SELF-e, Pressbooks Public, BookLife, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and more, libraries are in a better position than ever before to truly make an impact in the lives and careers of local writers. As the self publishing and indie industries grow, writers who might not have been discovered through traditional channels are able to get their voices heard.

“Publishing your own work is more viable today than ever before and the Independent Book Publishers Association is honored to support those who choose this entrepreneurial path,” said Angela Bole, IBPA CEO. “Indie Author Day will provide a chance to discuss publishing options, learn best practices and celebrate successes with a tribe of forward thinking writers, publishers and librarians.”

With a growing list of partners including IBPA, Publishers Weekly’s BookLife, Library Journal’s SELF-e, Pressbooks Public, RAILS, Massachusetts Library System (MLS), Soon to Be Famous and BiblioLabs, libraries and authors participating in Indie Author Day will gain support from all walks of the book publishing industry.

“Library Journal is proud to be involved in helping libraries engage their local writing communities and help them find the best indie books,” said David Greenough, General Manager & Group Publisher of Library Journal. “Over the past three years, we’ve seen this movement grow and evolve, and Indie Author Day will be the first instance of bringing this whole community together on one day to raise awareness of self-published books and demonstrate its place as a vibrant part of the publishing ecosystem.”

“We have been amazed at the level of engagement so far,” said BiblioLabs founder and CBO Mitchell Davis. “Over 70 libraries have already signed up to host local events even before the site has launched and the official announcement has gone out. We expect over 400 libraries to participate in the first year of this annual event, which is pretty amazing. Indie Author Day comprises a super group of partners and is an inspiring project to be a part of.”

“Behind most great authors is a great local library, which is why is excited to be part of Indie Author Day. BookLife offers terrific resources for indie authors, including free Publishers Weekly reviews, but there is no substitute for the type live, in-the-flesh community and support a great library provides,” said Carl Pritzkat, VP Business Development at Publisher’s Weekly.

Many of the partners will have their staff participating in local events at their own libraries. The details on who will be featured in the digital panel presentation that will take place at 2 pm EST on Indie Author Day will be announced mid June. This panel of industry experts will offer insights on the publishing industry to participating libraries and authors.

For more information on Indie Author Day, please visit If you are interested to be a partner on Indie Author Day contact ~source the web



Helpful tools for the working woman and working Mom. “Mom Boss” and “#Girl Boss”





Where Sophia Amoruso’s #GirlBoss left off for young millennials breaking into the business world, Mom Boss picks up and continues the mission for all the entrepreneurial moms out there.
Mom Boss proves that being successful isn’t about degrees or sacrifices, it’s about balance and power. It’s where instinct meets intelligence. Every mom has it in her to be a badass business woman. Nicole Feliciano charts the course for building a successful career without sacrificing being a great mom.


I am not a Mom, but this book is hands down the most useful one I have read for the working Mom.

You are able to achieve the success you want in work/life, you just have to figure out your way and path and go for it.

Redefining what Working Mom means. A great and informative read with the actual tools to help you get where you are heading.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review. It can be purchased on Amazon at the link below:



In the New York Times bestseller that the Washington Post called “Lean In for misfits,” Sophia Amoruso shares how she went from dumpster diving to founding one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world. 

Sophia Amoruso spent her teens hitchhiking, committing petty theft, and scrounging in dumpsters for leftover bagels. By age twenty-two she had dropped out of school, and was broke, directionless, and checking IDs in the lobby of an art school–a job she’d taken for the health insurance. It was in that lobby that Sophia decided to start selling vintage clothes on eBay.

Flash forward ten years to today, and she’s the founder and executive chairman of Nasty Gal, a $100-million-plus fashion retailer. Sophia was never a typical CEO, or a typical anything, and she’s written #GIRLBOSS for other girls like her: outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success, even when that path is windy as all hell and lined with naysayers.

#GIRLBOSS proves that being successful isn’t about where you went to college or how popular you were in high school. It’s about trusting your instincts and following your gut; knowing which rules to follow and which to break; when to button up and when to let your freak flag fly.

I loved this book. Growing up, I always heard go to this school, learn this skill, become this, do that. Follow this path.That path was not for me.
There isn’t a set time line there isn’t a map.But this book is close to a map, for the ‘misfits’.
Those who don’t want the typical path towards their dreams.
I highly recommend this book.
Blazing your own path and taking detours can lead to success as well.
I purchased this book myself and you can grab your copy at this link on Amazon:

Military thriller. “On Edge” by Albert Ashforth




When a former Army buddy is murdered by an Afghan military colleague, U.S. Army Special Investigator Alex Klear is called back into action in Afghanistan to investigate what is thought to be a classic “green-on-blue” killing. Alex finds Kabul in a state of chaos, partly under government control, partly controlled by the Taliban.

From the beginning, he suspects that the Army has identified the wrong man as the killer, and that an innocent Afghan soldier has become the victim of a complex frame-up. His suspicions are solidified when he discovers that his friend had been investigating a massive fraud at Kabul Bank. As Alex is drawn into the epicenter of the biggest bank fraud in history, he finds his efforts systematically thwarted by both the American and the Afghanistan governments.

In the lawless streets of Kabul and into the far outreaches of Afghanistan, Alex relentlessly hunts his friend’s killer—and uncovers the truth. In real-life, a shameful incident kept mostly out of the media—a monumental embarrassment to both countries.


Realistic plot, characters and story-telling. A very good read. If you like Andrew Gross, you will certainly enjoy this author.

The scenes are fantastic. Albert Ashforth makes you feel like you are really there.

I highly recommend this book. I will read more by this author in the future, that is for certain.

I received this from the Publisher on behalf of NetGalley.

Here is the Amazon link for purchase:

Stay Safe During Hurricane Matthew!

January Gray Reviews sends good wishes and safety out, to those in the path of this hurricane, and those already affected by it.

Evacuate if ordered to do so. Hunker down with a good book, and STAY SAFE! ❤




“Michael’s Story” Beloved III by Sara St. John




Michael is a man of his word, he promised Kira he would tell her his story. Though he is grief stricken not being certain Kira will recover, Michael feels led by the Holy Spirit to tell his tale.

Join Michael in the retelling of his life; through the high highs and the low lows. Step inside his world, discovering what makes him tick.

If you adored Michael before, prepare to fall in love with him all over again.


Author Sara St. John sent me book three of this series, because she said it is the ‘least mushy’ of the three, and we all know I am not into “mush” 😉 However, this has me wanting to start from the beginning and read the whole series, although this one is perfect as a stand alone.

The book opens up with Michael telling you he is at the “Midwest school for the gifted”, and he certainly is gifted, although others don’t see it that way.

Except for his Grandma, who is a true treasure.

The story continues with him telling you about his life and adventures, and his relationship with God.

This is a book you will read slowly and hold close to your heart, as it reminds us that our relationship with God, does not mean we will have an easier path, but we do have HIM to lean on.

I highly recommend this book/series!

Go read about Sara and get her lovely books at this link:

Reader’s go check this out!

​#ASMSG #CircleofBooks #IARTG 


Graham Diamond’s bestselling classic


Great Sci-Fi reads! Cobalt (book 1) & Crimson (book 2) by C G Blade




A mind-blowing mystery deepens around the first Trinity Series novel Cobalt as a former wounded patriot is thrust into a world surrounded by greed, corruption, and tyranny. This is an action-packed twisting story of regeneration, retribution and renewal. Fans of historical science fiction and lovers of satire will find this first novel in the series to be a huge page-turner. Cobalt is dedicated to our Armed Forces, science fiction fans, and the early pulp writers. Hang on tight, this ride might get a little genetically controlled! – Pseudosynth Press



The main character in this book is named Petra, and I have my first ever crush on a female Character! I LOVE Petra! I want to BE Petra, and if I cannot be her, I want to meet her! 😉

This book is set in the year 2076 and Petra is reborn from a test tube out of Cobalt.

This book is fast paced, and full of action. A true adventure.

I also like the humor in this book.

Here is the Amazon link for purchase:



Crimson is a mind-bending science fiction novel and a nod to the Hammer Film Studios of the 1960’s. This satirical sequel to Cobalt is a thought-provoking binary conspiracy with a deep rich Crimson soaked story. Set six-months after the takeover by the Pseudosynths, this is an all out full-tilt-boogie freight train out-of-control action-packed novel. This twisting turning technologically driven story is one ‘hell’ of a ride and contains the mother of all retrofits! -Pseudosynth Press

The second novel in the Trinity Series- Crimson unleashes hell on earth…PKD must find a way to stop it, or at least slow it down. Is Crimson who you think it is? What root framework makes Petra ‘moral’ in her decisions? Something comes back to bite her in the…well you know.


This book is the 2nd in the Trinity series and it takes things to a whole new level! It is a great follow-up to Cobalt, and you will not be disappointed!

This was a page turner I could not put down!

Just when you think you are being taken in one direction boop you are pulled into an entirely different one!

Highly recommend!

Here is the Amazon link for purchase:


A story within a story! “Big Flies” by Keith Hirshland



After Chester Daniel David, highly celebrated travel writer and hospitality critic, dies in an automobile accident, his son, Leland, is the heir to his prosperous estate. Among the late writer’s possessions are stacks of magazines hidden in an attic that suggest that his stories about his world travels were less than authentic.

As Leland grew up, it seemed as if his father was never home. If he wasn’t at the exotic locations depicted in the various publications, then where was he? And what was he doing?

In a witty mystery that simultaneously follows the lives of the father and son, clues that Chester leaves behind point to notorious unsolved crimes committed within a fifteen-year span:

  • The D. B. Cooper plane skyjacking and ransom demand in the Pacific Northwest
  • The theft from a Caribbean museum of a twenty-four-carat-gold cross recovered from a sixteenth-century shipwreck
  • The inexplicable vanishing of $1 million from the Chicago First National Bank
  • The theft of a collection of priceless artifacts from a Mexican anthropological museum

As Leland unlocks the mysteries surrounding his father’s true life, he finds himself with even more unfathomable questions that he never anticipated asking about his family—and himself.


This is Keith’s first foray into Fiction writing, and he did not disappoint. I was first introduced to him by his non-fiction memoir, “Cover Me Boys, I’m Going In.”

Link to that review and book here:



The pace of this book was perfect. I like the format he used of Past/Present. You get two stories in one as the layers of the mystery unfold. The Father tells his part of the story (Past), and the Son tells his part of the story (Present).

I also like how Leland (the son) tells about his relationship with his father.

They both feel real and…human in this book.

Author Keith Hirshland did a flawless job of taking real life (yet to be solved) mysteries, and adding a Fictional twist to them!

Very satisfying and complete read.The plot, writing and characters are perfectly written. I did not skim at all. Smooth and complete read that I highly recommend.

Here is the link for purchase of Big Flies:

Amazon Launches Powered by Indie Author Promo! Indie Authors you might want to check this out!



Amazon has announced that during the month of October they are putting the spotlight on self-published authors. They are putting the spotlight on content submitted via Kindle Direct Publishing, CreateSpace andAudiobook Creation Exchange. The celebration will include a dedicated Amazon landing page and special features on Facebook.

There are thousands of titles written by indie authors on the new landing page and readers are finding it difficult to find some good e-books. Some readers have dived deep and have basically said unless an authors title is on the first three pages, it is going to be challenging to have any visibility. I have heard reports that the curation seems more bot-driven than real people doing editorial oversight.

It will be interesting to see if putting the spotlight on indie authors all month long will lead to more sales. Amazon is planning on conducting a series of interviews for their social media pages to introduce new writers to the public.

Right now there are no discounts or promotions planned. Readers will have to pay full price for any of the content they decide to purchase on the new landing page

Amazon Launches Powered by Indie Author Promo


Amazon has announced that during the month of October they are putting the spotlight on self-published authors. They are putting the spotlight on content submitted via Kindle Direct Publishing, CreateSpace andAudiobook Creation Exchange. The celebration will include a dedicated Amazon landing page and special features on Facebook.

There are thousands of titles written by indie authors on the new landing page and readers are finding it difficult to find some good e-books. Some readers have dived deep and have basically said unless an authors title is on the first three pages, it is going to be challenging to have any visibility. I have heard reports that the curation seems more bot-driven than real people doing editorial oversight.

It will be interesting to see if putting the spotlight on indie authors all month long will lead to more sales. Amazon is planning on conducting a series of interviews for their social media pages to introduce new writers to the public.

Right now there are no discounts or promotions planned. Readers will have to pay full price for any of the content they decide to purchase on the new landing page

Readers! Go check out NetGalley for free books! (borrowed from another blog)

Those who follow this blog know I read constantly–far too much, but it’s not something I can control. I curl up with a good book, start on page one (or the preface), lose track of time, and suddenly I’ve finished the book and am looking for the next. As I roll through book after book, […]

via I’m in Love With NetGalley — WordDreams…

Cancel your plans and read this book! “The Killing Game” by J.S. Carol




From the first to the last page, I was completely and utterly at the mercy of this book. I was turning the pages like they were on fire, it was that good!!!’ Bibliophile Book Club

Imagine you are having lunch at an exclusive restaurant, filled with Hollywood’s hottest stars.
And a masked gunman walks in and takes everyone hostage.
You must bargain for your life against a twisted individual who knows everything about you.
He also has a bomb set to detonate if his heart rate changes.
If he dies. You die.
You have four hours to stay alive.
What would you do?

A heart-stopping thriller with plenty of twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat, for fans of Peter Swanson, Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay.


Cancel your plans or hurry up and finish your chores, because once you start this book, you will be unable to put it down!

I loved the pace of this book. Within the first couple of pages, (If I remember correctly, it was a page and a half), you were introduced to the main character, and then BAM!!!

Action, action, action!

Buckle up because there are a lot of twists and turns, and this Author will wreck your emotions, because you will connect with EVERY character. I mean EVERY single one of them. (remember that, because that is the only clue I am giving you.) 😉

The way J.S Carol portrays Hollywood and the media? SPOT ON! The media plays a huge role in this book, and you will find yourself nodding your head and thinking, “Yes, that’s exactly how the media works and portrays things to the public.”

I look forward to reading this book again in the future.

Even if your TBR list is huge, go ahead and get this one, because you will definitely want to read it.

The current pre-order price is 2.99. This book was SO good, I would happily pay full hard back price. It is THAT good!

After you read it, come back and let me know if you figured it out, because I didn’t and I’m usually pretty good and figuring things out! 🙂

It will be released October 13th and is available at this Amazon link.

Even if your TBR list is huge, go ahead and get this one, because you will definitely want to read it.



Elie Wiesel Was the World’s Moral Compass

The Pen Hustle With Brandy Cavalli

Written by: Ronald S. Lauder

Thirty years ago, I traveled to Auschwitz with Elie Wiesel. I had been to the camp before. I had seen the barbed wire, the barracks, the guard towers. I had stood in the gas chambers where a generation of Jewish children perished as the hands of evil.

Read the entire article on

Rest In Paradise
E. Wiesel, may your memory of memories NEVER be forgotten or overlooked.

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Impossible to put down! “The Girl Before” by JP Delaney




In the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception.

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.


Once I picked up this book, I could not put it down until I was finished. I just HAD to know what was going to happen next.

The Author does a great job of going back and forth between Emma’s story and Jane’s.

Just…so disturbing and realistic, I felt like I was in that house!

This is one of those books where when you are finished reading, you need to sit back and take a breather and think about.

It is still on my mind and I read it a week ago.

Definitely add this one to your weekend reading list.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Here is the Amazon link for purchase:

“Earth Psalms-reflections on how God speaks through nature”by Francine Rivers



Millions of readers have been transformed and inspired by Francine Rivers’ bestselling novels Redeeming Love and A Voice in the Wind. Now, in this weekly devotional, the beloved author invites you to join her in seeking the Creator through the marvelous natural world we live in. Francine shares observations she’s gathered over a lifetime of exploring―abroad and in her own backyard―and reflects on how they might apply to your daily life. What do the majestic redwoods, the persistent woodpecker, or a glorious sunrise reveal about our artistic and generous God? How could that change your outlook or the way you handle adversity?

Stunning photography, Scripture excerpts, applications, and prayers accompany Francine’s reflections, inspiring you to be encouraged. Be challenged. Be comforted. God’s power is immense; His attention to detail in precise; His love for you is vast and unfailing. The proof is all around you.

MY THOUGHTS:91rnfyrtuql

Down to earth lessons and reminders. Observe nature and learn from her. The tree does not worry about whether or not it will bloom again when Springtime comes.

We overwhelm ourselves with things that are not healthy for our lives.

Nature knows the way.

God reminds us through Nature every day, that HE knows the way.

I highly recommend this lovely book.


Q & A with Francine Rivers

Author of Earth Psalms

 New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers has published numerous novels—all bestsellers—and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her Christian novels have been awarded or nominated for numerous honors and in 1997, after winning her third RITA Award for Inspirational Fiction, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. Francine’s novels have been translated into over 40 different languages, and she enjoys bestseller status in many foreign countries.

  1. What motivated you to venture into your first nonfiction title?

I love reading nonfiction but had never tackled it. When I shared with someone in South Africa about doing “earth psalms” about the way God speaks to me through His creation, someone mentioned turning those essays into a devotional. I love devotionals and read a new one every year, so the prospect of writing one was exciting. Tyndale partnered me with Karin Stock Buursma and we worked together as a team. I thoroughly enjoyed everything about the project. 

  1. Was it hard to share personal stories about how God has worked in your life without the safety net of fictionalization? 

Sharing personal stories about how God works in my life is a pleasure, and I love hearing how God has worked in other people’s lives, too. It’s the life experiences and hope we share with one another that brings God even closer. It shows how personally involved the Lord is in His children’s lives. 

  1. Explain the title. How did you come up with the idea of Earth Psalms? 

A psalm is a song, and the earth and everything on it, in it, above it, and beyond it is God’s creation. Everything God created sings praise to Him, and I believe also teaches us many lessons about our Creator as well. It’s exciting to look at things we might have taken for granted and see what they teach us about the Lord. We are never to worship any created thing or even creation itself. We are to worship the Creator, Jesus Christ, the Word that created it all. 

  1. What will readers find inside the pages of Earth Psalms? 

Readers will find an earth psalm (essay) about something God has created and a lesson God has taught me through it. There are questions for readers to ponder or use for journaling: Reflect, Apply, Connect with God. There are also some additional facts, Scripture, and hymns, as well as beautiful pictures. The earth psalm essay was my part. The enriching questions and details are Karin’s, and the beautiful artwork was put together by Jennifer Ghionzoli at Tyndale. 

  1. What was it like working with a collaborator for the first time? 

Working with Karin Stock Buursma was a pleasure. We talked about any editing that needed to be done, the questions and elements of the devotional. I hope to work with her again.


It is perfect for sitting and reading from cover to cover, and to also refer back to as needed.

This comes in Kindle edition, but due to the type of book it is, and the lovely photos, I highly recommend getting a hard copy.

This would make a lovely gift for yourself or a loved one.

I received this from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Here is the Amazon link for purchase:

Chalk Dust Stories by Pedro Freire Costa



Chalk Dust is a collection of short stories set in Portugal, with plots full of twists and turns, with real characters that display unusual traits. The stories are piercing, moving, unpredictable, and at times, touching and hilarious.

What sort of intimate secrets can an eighty-four-year-old spinster lady, who has always lived with her sisters, hide from her family?

A story that swings across four decades in the history of Portugal involves a teenager, who witnessed the sudden death of his father far away from home. He grows up as an orphan with the austerity of his uncle’s home and with the tenderness complicit of his father’s former lover. As narrator, why does he tell us he was so keen on staying in an old dusty and mouldy hotel room in Aveiro overlooking the lighthouse on the estuary?

A wealthy middle-aged doctor proposes to save the assets of a friend, a businessman, who’s on the verge of bankruptcy. What sorts of twists bring to the plot a sudden metamorphosis of the proposal?

A bull that behaves like a dog quietly following its master, unaware of the power of its horns, has its tragic destiny set by the attitude and the despair of its master—a story rooted in cultural features.

On the edge of a large estate, there is a hamlet where a handicapped young man of uncertain origin lives; what underlies the tenderness and protection of the priest who looks after him?

Card players in a public garden are common. How far can a bet go? A sordid story? Spooky? Funny? Freak? A caricature?


Beautiful and delightful stories based in Portugal. Funny, sad, thoughtful. I highly recommend this book, as the writing and style is very unique.

A lovely book of short stories.

I received the book from the Author in exchange for my review.

It can be purchased on Amazon at this link:


The Naked Cookbook by Tess Ward


I enjoyed this cookbook, as it presents healthy living as a lifestyle, not just another fad diet. The recipes are interesting and include ingredients that are easy to find.

I received a digital copy of this book, but have been told the cover and binding are a little off putting as it is nothing but unsealed cardboard. 


A thrilling weekend read! “METHOD 15/33 by SHANNON KIRK



Imagine a helpless, pregnant 16-year-old who’s just been yanked from the serenity of her home and shoved into a dirty van. Kidnapped…Alone…Terrified.

Now forget her…

Picture instead a pregnant, 16-year-old, manipulative prodigy. She is shoved into a dirty van and, from the first moment of her kidnapping, feels a calm desire for two things: to save her unborn child and to exact merciless revenge.

She is methodical—calculating— scientific in her plotting. A clinical sociopath? Leaving nothing to chance, secure in her timing and practice, she waits—for the perfect moment to strike. Method 15/33 is what happens when the victim is just as cold as her abductors.

The agents searching for a kidnapped girl have their own frustrations and desires wrapped into this chilling drama. In the twists of intersecting stories, one is left to ponder. Who is the victim? Who is the aggressor?


If you are looking for a weekend read to curl up, this fits the ticket! You will read it from cover to cover in one sitting.

Darkly disturbing, but you will be unable to put it down.

Many unexpected twists and turns.

A unique twist on the kidnapping scenario.

I received this from Oceanview Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Available at Amazon in Kindle, Hardcover and paperback, at the link below:

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January Gray Reviews is an Independent blog and is not affiliated with any Publisher, Agent, Promoter or Book Seller. January Gray Reviews does not make any guarantee to increased exposure or an increase in book sales due to reviewing/blogging and sharing your book(s), Author Spotlights, Cover Reveals, Giveaways and anything else associated with the exposure of your book. January Gray Reviews gives unbiased reviews and does not receive any form of payment or gift from the Author, or anyone requesting the review. Receiving a free book in exchange for review does not influence nor bias the opinions or reviews posted. This exchange of free book-free review (including blog posts and social networking posts), is considered fair and even trade by both the Reviewer and Author (and/or other involved party requesting review.)

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