Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Two-Faced Truth by Roy & Dee Kay

“As the law of nature holds, the more you take away from others, the greater you pay the remunerations.” ~Rudra (in Roy & Dee Kay’s novelette The Two-Faced Truth)

Hello, Dear Bloggites.  I am bringing you a special book review.  As you all know, I am all about supporting new and up-and-coming authors working the craft.  This book review is on The Two-Faced Truth by Roy & Dee Kay.

The Two-Faced Truth by Roy & Dee KayThe authors offered a free copy of this novelette for honest reviews to get the word out to the world about their amazing book. 🙂  As you all know, I love a good mystery book and I am here to tell you I just finished a fast-paced, jam pack story in The Two-Faced Truth!

The authors, Roy & Dee Kay, wrote a story that quickly captured my interest and pulled me in from the first surprise to the last!  Yes, you read it, multiple surprises were provided to me in this book.

The story is about two friends, Neel & Rudra, bound by ties so deep that everything became lost in the mix.  The friendship was forged and destroyed by these deep ties.  Love, Loss, and Destruction were palpable in this novelette.  The book was written from each character’s point of view.  One chapter was on Neel and what he was experiencing and seeing and the next would be on Rudra and what he was experiencing and seeing during the same time-frame.

The authors did a good job on creating complex characters in this book and the only thing that I would say I found distracting were the few typos in the novel.  Being a first book, typos are standard, and this book was no different.  Overall, I would highly recommend any reader wanting a fast escape from reality to pick up this book.  It is an easy and fast read.

I give The Two-Faced Truth by Roy & Dee Kay 4 out of 5 Bookmarks!  Thank you, Roy & Dee Kay for a wonderful reading experience.  I look forward to reading your next books.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

It Can Be Done! :) Angela Did It!

Great Things Quote Vincent Van GoghI know it can be done.  I have heard it many, many times before.  I have read it, discussed it, and ponder it until the cows came home; but today, I witnessed it!  You wonder what “It” is, do you, Dear Bloggites?  Well, let me explain “It” to you.

It is not sex, but something better, yeah, I said it, something better!  It is watching someone work so hard and so long, trudging through the quagmire of memory and pain, to come out on the other side, wholer (is that a word?  Well, I am using it!) than they were before and having the proof of that journey.

I was blessed to join a wonderful group of ladies at the Heart & Soul Writer’s Group tonight and I was greeted with the wonderful smiles of Pat and Lisa asking me how I have been doing and what they can do to help me on my journey of writing and after a while, Angela joined us.  She looked transformed from the last time I saw her, and in her arms, she carried the first edition of her story!  YaY!!!!!

I have watched and listened and discussed with her over the past year on the few (sadly, very few) visits I have managed to make to this group meeting about her story.  It is a story I can closely relate to because of my story.  Now, I know I am getting oddly cryptic, but I don’t want to give away her story until she has determined how she wants to present it.

I have heard that writing a book and FINISHING a book can be done, but until tonight, I never witnessed it actually happening to someone I knew.  My heart is overrun with joy for Angela and I am so inspired that I have yet another fire in my soul to get my book finished to share with the world.

Thank You, Angela, for sharing your journey with me, and I cannot wait to buy your book! Congrats!!!!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Cane River by Lalita Tademy

“Sometimes, while you wait for what you think is better, what is good enough slips away.” ~Philomene (in Lalita Tademy’s novel Cane River)

Woo Hooo!!! I am impressed I have been blogging consistently for a week or so, Dear Bloggites!  Go ME!  Okay, enough self-celebrating.  Today’s blog is over March’s Books & Broads Book Club book choice.  This month (YES, you read that right, I am caught up!), the book club chose to read Cane River by Lalita Tademy.

Cane River by Lalita TademyThe premise of this historic novel is about five different generations of a slave family, specifically, the women-folk, and how they were treated by their plantation owners and white people in general just because of their skin color.  This book was INTENSE!  The time-frame is from the 1830s to the 1930s.  The backdrop was in Louisiana on a medium-sized Creole plantation owned by a family named Derbanne.  The four main women in the book were Elisabeth, Suzette, Philomene, and Emily.

The author, Lalita Tademy, created this work of fiction based on stories she heard about her great, great, great, great grandmother, who happened to be the girl in the fifth generation in the book.  While the time and experiences shared in the book were based on historical facts, the story line itself was a work of fiction created from the author’s own mind on how life might have been like for her great, great, great, great grandmother.

I normally do not like reading books like this, however, I found myself enjoying the dynamics of each complex character and how the women found a way to overcome what life threw at them no matter how the dice rolled against them.  I found this a very emotional read and enjoyed the book until the end.  The end pissed me off so much that I threw the book across the room.  It ended with one of the female characters “Rosa Park”-ing the bus.  No flack against Rosa Park and no jab meant to that movement, I just felt that it was wrong to end the book in that manner.

I give Cane River by Lalita Tademy 3 out of 5 Bookmarks.  I only recommend this book to avid readers that love the history of the Civil War time.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

“No matter how much we may love the melody of a bygone day or imagine the song of a future one, we must dance within the music of today or we will always be out of step, stumbling around in something that doesn’t suit the moment.” ~May Crandall (in Lisa Wingate’s novel Before We Were Yours)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Ya’ll!  I am writing this book review on February’s book chosen by The Books & Broads Book Club: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate.  I was hesitant about this book based on the story line.  It sounded very depressing and I do not like depressing…LOL

Before We Were Yours by Lisa WingateThe story line is about five siblings who were kidnapped from their river home while their Mom and Dad were at the hospital for their Mom to give birth to their twin siblings.  The story follows Rill Foss and her determination to protect her sisters and brother when they are taken to Georgia Tann’s Memphis, Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage.  The story toggles from 1939 to Present day while the different stories are played out throughout the book.  Present day finds an up-and-coming politico, Avery Stafford, who moves back to Aiken, South Carolina to help care for her father who is fighting Cancer and to get her name out there to take his place in the Senate if he passes from the Cancer.  During her time in Aikin, Avery, meets an older lady named May Crandall who sets her in motion to find the long-hidden secret of her family’s history to find out how May Crandall is associate with her grandmother, Judy Safford.

Onto the review, Dear Bloggites.  This story is an emotionally draining story in my opinion.  It is written in first person (which I hate) and toggles between 1939 Tennessee and present-day South Carolina.  Even though I do not like first person, it worked well in this book because of the different players you are following throughout.  Lisa Wingate created well developed characters in this book and even though the topic was deep and depressing, you did find moments of humor and lightness to help comfort the reader and give them a break from the heaviness of the subject.

The story became very predictable as I read the book and by the middle, I had already figured out who each person was and how it was going to end.  This was sad for me because, while I am reading a depressing topic, I was hoping the author would put a twist in there so the reader was surprised by the ending instead of underwhelmed and left with a feeling of, “Meh, okay.”  The book is a work of fiction but is based on real life events that happened in Memphis, Tennessee with Georgia Tann and her kidnapping of children from poor homes to place them (at an expensive cost) in the homes of financially well, established members of society.

I give Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate 4 out of 5 Bookmarks.  If you don’t mind depressing topics, go out and give this book a whirl.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: News Of The World by Paulette Jiles

“This is writing.  This is printing.  This tells us of all the things we ought to know in the world.  And also that we ought to want to know.” ~Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (in Paulette Jiles’ novel News of the World)

Hi Ho, Dear Bloggites.  This book review is on January’s Books & Broads Book Club choice.  In January, the book club read News of the World by Paulette Jiles.  The setting and premise of the book was interesting.  The book was set in 1870 North Texas.  Of course, I was immediately intrigued because that is the part of Texas where I live.

News of the World by Paulette JilesThe book was about Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an elderly man who travels through Northern Texas and stops in towns reading the latest news from papers he picks up along the way.  In Wichita Falls, Captain Kidd is approached to take a young orphan, Johanna, who had been kidnapped four years earlier by Kiowa raiders after killing her parents, back to her relatives in San Antonio.  The journey was a 400-mile trek through rough terrain, but Captain Kidd agreed to return Johanna to her family.

Pretty good premise, yes?  Sadly, I did not like this book.  Many, many times I found myself wondering what the purpose was of the author, Paulette Jiles, when she decided to write this story.  Not only was it boring, but there seemed to be no core purpose in the storyline aside from traveling 400-miles.  I know fiction does not have to have a purpose, but it does have to make sense and this book did not make sense to me with how it was formatted.

When it seemed like some action was going to happen, I was disappointed to see nothing happen, and the minimal moments when there was action it was underwhelming.  The characters were not as developed as I like and there were moments of humor and moments of emotion, but not enough to keep me engaged as much as I could have been.

There was great imagery and some clever sentences in the book, but it did not help this book capture my attention like so many other books have.  Throughout the book you followed Captain Kidd and Johanna as they travel on the road and he tries to reteach her the English language while learning what certain Kiowa words meant.  I know the author really tried to engage the audience, it was almost palpable during many scenes, but she just could not take it the rest of the way through.  Kudos to the author for writing a passion project, because that is the only thing that makes sense to me after reading this book.

I give News Of The World by Paulette Jiles 2 out of 5 Bookmarks.  Happy Reading!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

Self-Help Books For Writers

Hello, Dear Bloggites!  I am pleased to say the Women in Publishing Summit ended with a bang! 🙂  I have many new things and thoughts to take in and formulate understanding in my brain from what I thought I knew and what is the reality when it comes to writing books.

I was taught the different lengths of written work determines the “name” assigned to them: i.e. short story, poem, novella, novel, epic novel, chap books, etc.  However, during this Summit, I have learned that there are such a wide variety of book types between the genres and sub-genres.  Did you know that there is a sub-genre for “Books you can read in 45-minutes or less”?  BLEW MY MIND!!!!

While I continue to take in this new information I learned, there were several books the guest authors shared or wrote for writers and entrepreneurs alike.  Really, any person who owns their own business, no matter what it is, can dub themselves entrepreneurs.  So many people stick with “Small Business Owner” but really, you have an entrepreneur’s heart for business.  No matter what you call yourself, as long as you stay true to yourself and your beliefs, you are golden. 🙂

Okay, back to the authors and their books.  While, I want to purchase many more, there were three that I immediately had to have.  Below are the three books and what they are about, as well as, a brief reason why I wanted that specific book:

  1. The Four Types of Dogs Every Business Needs by Bella Vasta

The Four Types of Dogs Every Business Needs by Bella VastaDescription: Building a business was never meant to be done alone.  There are certain key players that every business needs in order to grow their business and have a balanced life.  Without the right team, business owners risk suffocating in their own efforts and ultimately throwing their entire life out of balance.  While using the metaphor of some of the most popular breeds, learn what dogs every business must have on their team so they can all play together having an enjoyable time in the dog eat dog world of business.

The reason I bought this book is two-fold: I love dogs (especially terriers, as you know, because I own one) and being a small business owner, I am constantly burning the candle at both ends and always wonder how these other business owners find the people to allow them the freedom of enjoying their hard work.  I have read this book, but for continuity, I will wait to give any reviews until I have read all three. 🙂

2.  The Artful Edit by Susan Bell

The Artful Edit by Susan BellDescription: The Artful Edit explores the many-faceted and often misunderstood-or simply overlooked-art of editing.  Brimming with examples, strategic tips, exercises, and a series of remarkable interviews with such writers as Michael Ondaatje and Ann Patchett, Susan Bell’s vigorous investigation into the history and meaning of the edit reminds us that editing is much more than a computer spell-check-it is an art.  Like The Elements of Style, The Artful Edit is a must-have companion for every writer.

The reason I bought this book is obvious: I need to learn to edit my written works smartly so that when it is sent to an editor or published, it will not have any errors (hopefully).  I own The Elements of Style and am very excited to read what this book has to say.

3. Mindset Switch! by Tonya Rineer

Mindset Switch of Tonya RineerDescription: Mindset Switch is the solution for anyone who wants more than average success, yet finds themselves stuck in a loop of negative self-talk, limiting beliefs, and self-doubt.  This book does what no other book on mindset does.  It highlights the holistic interplay between how thoughts and feelings become ingrained in us as disempowering beliefs, and how that cycle repeats itself, sabotaging us over and over again.  Citing existing mindset research, along with the Laws of Attraction and Vibration and introducing her own tried and true system for identifying triggers, Tonya’s book is for those who are new to mindset and personal development work as well as those who are already familiar with the basic concepts and are looking to advance their practice.

This book will help you ditch your limiting beliefs so you can, take control of what you want and create a life that, before now, you could barely imagine was possible.

The reason I bought this book is because, like most people, I live with constant self-doubt when it comes to things I am passionate about, such as writing.  We all live with that negative voice in our heads that sub-consciously set us up for failure before we even begin.  This book covers the triggers and gives advice on how to beat them before they do any damage plus change your negative mindset into a positive one.

Well, that is it for now.  I will be back with a review on all three books once I have read them all.  Also, look for first book review of the year in a little bit.  It is still a passion of mine to help all writers by providing reviews, so that is something I will always do on this blog.  Smooches!!!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

Remember When…

Let’s turn back time to 2017.  Remember when I posted New Year, New Start 2017 on January 1, 2017?  Don’t remember, Dear Bloggites, click the link, take a moment to read the post, I can wait right here for you.  Let me know when you are back.

Okay, now that you are back, I had grand plans with those three key words: Change, Passion, and Luck.  Today, I was flipping through my notebook of the different scribbles I make, some on new written works, some on classes, some on random thoughts to do something with, on this flipping excursion, I came across this:

Goals 2017

Now, if you look real close, you will see the graph I made on adding one new thing each month.  January just had ‘Skin Regiment’ which I started (thus the check over it); February added ‘Get Dressed’, odd goal but those of you who work from home will understand the ease it is to just stay in the PJs all day; March added ‘Workout’ to the other two items.  Now, as you already have noticed, I did not check off ‘Get Dressed’ or ‘Workout’ and the ensuing months, I added nothing, nada, the big fat 0!

All those goals and plans withered away and died as life began demanding all my time.  Also, the items and sub-items for Change, Passion, and Luck, did not happen.  A synopsis of the goals and if it happened or not:

Change 1: I will find myself on my own again with my son, the dog, and the guinea pig with no roommate for the first time in, geez, years – Did not happen and we lost my son’s guinea pig earlier this year.  Still hoping the roommate moves out but until he can find sustainable money coming in, I don’t see it happening too soon. 😦

Change 2: I have been paying for a gym membership for the past year and have not utilized it…going to utilize this gym membership to change my health for the better and reach the weight I am happiest at once again – Did not happen, however, I did let that gym membership close and now I paid for an entire year at another gym closer to my house, maybe this year…

Change 3: My current business is surviving this lull in the industry and seems to finally have bounced back…continue to find ways to build income from this business – My current business is still struggling and my co-worker is looking for another job because there is not enough work for two people to do (if you have not figured it out, my roommate is my co-worker).

Change 4: I am going to take advantage of the social invites I get and start actually going – Didn’t happen, I am getting better, but not where I wanted to be.

Passion 1: I have a wordsmith business…I plan on growing this business up, one client at a time and look forward to the new relationships I shall make along the way – While I have had some clients, it is nowhere near where I wanted to be at this time now.

Passion 2: I am now looking at taking myself seriously as a writer and growing this part of me on a personal level…My goal is to sign up for some form of writing class each month to build my talent as a writer and start opening doors to the publishing world to promote myself as a writer – I did good with the classes for the first three months, as well as, writing, but then life scattered the classes and writing to the wind.

Luck 1: I know with every situation I face, I will need a little luck in finding my way – Luck is still my friend but decided to work in the background and not allowing all the doors and opportunities to be opened.

Luck 2: Waking up every morning…just start finding things to fill my time outside work – Did not happen.  Waking up did, but nothing outside work.

As, you can all see, my goals and plans were dust in the wind rather quickly.  Now that a new year is here and pretty much at the same point when last year’s goals petered out, I am ramping up my determination and going to push through everything to obtain these goals this year.

I hope you travel on this journey with me, Dear Bloggites, because it is lonely sometimes and encouragement and especially accountability go a long way.  If you do not see me posting for a while, shoot me a comment here and give me the proverbial “Kick in the Ass” to get me going again.

~4-Ever, P