Posted in Writer Musings

Easter Musings

Happy Easter, Ya’ll! 🙂  Today was a rare day and a glorious one.

I will start on the rare day first:

Today was a rare day because work was actually closed all day!  Last time we closed was on Christmas Day, so I decided we were off on Easter Sunday.  It was really nice to not have to get up and load the computer and start processing orders.  I was able to turn off my regular alarm, lazily wake up, and then have cuddle time with my dog, Ragonk.  I went to Bible Study class, then spent the afternoon with family.  It was wonderful!  I truly believe the mind and body need rest and with the industry that my business is in, it prevents that ability due to being a seven-day a week industry.  I feel the pressure of working seven days.  I am trying to create boundaries to allow my mind and body to get the needed rest and today was a first step on that journey. 🙂

What do you do to get the rest for your mind and body, Dear Bloggite?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Now, onto the glorious one:

Being a Christian, today I celebrated the Risen Christ after His crucifixion and three-days in the tomb.  Today reminds believers that Christ is alive and well and He has overcome death.  I have many friends who are Christians and many who are not, and one of the biggest differences I see in these two types of friends is the fear of death.  When you are not a believer in Christ, you view death as an ending with nothingness after.  When you are a believer in Christ, death is just the beginning of a life everlasting with Christ.  As a believer, I do not fear death, I welcome it when it is my time to go because I know I will go to a better place than this Earth.  That knowledge is so refreshing and having that knowledge, I rejoice in the life people lived after they pass and rejoice in their life everlasting if they are a believer.  It is amazing to be free of the fear of death and I wish everyone could feel that. 😀

What do you believe in, Dear Bloggites?  Do you celebrate life and death, or do you live with the fear of death each day of your life?  Share your belief in the comments below.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Phantom Of The Opera by Gaston Leroux

Hello, Dear Bloggites! 🙂  This book review is on The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux.  Now, I did not read this one, but I did listen to it.  This story is my absolute favorite love story in the world – even bigger than Prince Charles and Lady Diana! 🙂

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LerouxMost of you are probably familiar with The Phantom of the Opera story, but for those who are not, it is about an up-and-coming opera singer, Christine Daae, who believes she is receiving lessons from “The Angel of Music” for Opera Populaire.  The Opera house where Christine works is reported to be haunted by the Opera Ghost.  While Christine is learning from the Angel of Music, she rekindles a friendship with Raoul de Chagny and that friendship turns to a passionate love affair.  While Christine is building her relationship with Raoul, Eric (Angel of Music nee Opera Ghost) becomes enraged with jealousy and vows to have Christine as his own even if it means killing Raoul.

Exciting, right!  The author, Gaston Leroux, was a well-known French journalist and detective story writer when he was alive.  The Phantom of the Opera is his best-known work of literature; however, he does have other novels he wrote before passing away.  I have not read any of his other works, but I do plan on remedying this fact after listening to the original novel.

Gaston Leroux wrote an amazing novel with complex characters and a mystery to solve to boot.  The story swept you away to another time and place where you root for the love between Christine and Raoul while hurting for Eric at the same time.  The author broke down his novel to feature specific characters and what they were thinking or doing throughout the book, but you never found yourself confused or lost within the story line of what was going on.

There really is nothing to critique this novel on other than the repetitive nature when a character addresses a person – the names were repeated each time a statement was made instead of letting the reader follow the dialogue without the repetitive names.  I am sure the author wrote as the people spoke in that age, but it did become annoying at times.

I give The Phantom Of The Opera by Gaston Leroux 5 out of 5 Bookmarks!  Go pick up your own copy and read or listen to the original story.

4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

Take Me To Task…I Need To Blog

Goodness Gracious, Dear Bloggites!  I have been slacking off!  It has been three days (THREE) since I last blogged, and you guys are not taking me to task.  I need to be hollered at to keep on top of blogging, so I can share what is going on in my Journey I call Life. 🙂IMG_0432.  All that said, here is what has kept me from blogging to you Awesome People:

First, I started working my list from 2017 now 2018 and have started walking with my dog, Ragonk, and 4 of 7 in the Familial Unit (Debbie) and her dog, Pepper.  I have found that just walking an hour a day, I have so much more energy, and OMG – Ragonk LOVES to go for walks!  Just look at this grin on his face!

The Two-Faced Truth by Roy & Dee KaySecond, I have been offered a guest post on The Floating Thoughts Blog for providing an honest review on their book, The Two-Faced Truth, and have been working on that.  I am so touched and excited for this opportunity to reach new people with my written work.  I don’t want to disappoint anyone, so I am being extra picky about the story line.Paisley Showing 03-24-2018

Third, today I went and showed support for 1 of 7 in the Familial Unit (Kathy) as she and her beautiful dog, Paisley, competed in the Fort Worth Kennel Club All Breeds Show.  I am proud to say Miss Paisley won first place in her category (dachshund puppies), not too shabby for her second show.  My sister has done an amazing job with her.  In the two shows she has done so far, Paisley has won first place in one or multiple categories. 🙂

WORD EmblemFourth, I attended my first WORDfest 2.0 today.  WORD means Writer Organizations ‘Round Dallas.  This was their second annual WORDfest where they invite published authors and specialists in the craft of writing to do breakout sessions for the writers in the area.  My BFF, Tracy, went with me to show her support on my writing dream. 🙂

Fifth, I went to my monthly Off The Cuff Toastmasters meeting tonight.  I was assigned the “Funmaster” role, so I created this fun exercise for the members to do at the meeting.  I created some nifty flower pops that had an action written at the back for the member to do while passing the homemade Bling Milk Can to the next member who had to pick.  Everyone laughed and got some exercise.  I thought I did a pretty good job for a moments creativity.

All in all, as you can see, I have been busy thus the delayed posting on this blog.  I promise I will get back to posting at least every other day.  Until then, Dear Bloggites, let me know what you would like me to talk about, share, discuss, or review.  Smooches!

~4-Ever, P

 

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