Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King

Hello, Dear Bloggites. 🙂  I am bringing you another book review from my favorite author, Stephen King, who partnered with his son, Owen King, to write the book called Sleeping Beauties.

I have read almost ALL of Stephen King’s books and have the rest on order to read but I have never read one of his son’s books.  I was looking forward to seeing how their writing styles complimented or contradicted each other, as well as, how well they meshed together in the book.

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen KingSleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King is about a small town that is struck by the latest disease hitting the world called the Aurora Flu aka The Sleeping Sickness which causes women of all ages to grow a cobweb type of cocoon around their bodies once they fall asleep.  If you were to wake up these women in the cocoon, they became feral animals attacking and killing whatever or whomever woke them from their sleep.  There was one female, Eve, who seemed to not be affected by the disease which cause a big fight among the townspeople.  Some wanted to take her to kill or study her and some fought to keep her alive until it wore off in a few days as Eve promised them.

I did not know what to expect out of this book when I first bought it.  I know Stephen King’s voice in all his written works, but I did not know Owen King’s voice, so I was a bit concerned about how well the book would flow.  The story flowed well, you could tell the different voices at the beginning of the writing but as the story continued, the two author voices became in unison thus making the storyline easier to read without any tone changes.

The characters were developed, and several had their own unique personalities and quirks and throughout the book you did get the background stories of each of the key players.  While I enjoyed the book, I did not find myself invested in any one character.  I do not know if it was due to the many players in the book or if it was due to the actual story line.  Either way, I was not consumed with wanting to know the next move as I normally am while reading a Stephen King book.  Overall, I enjoyed the book, but it was anticlimactic for me in the end.

I give Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King 3 out of 5 Bookmarks.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: It Tickled The Whiskers Of My Soul by Rebecca Rose

“It took me a long time to learn that not all pain is pointless.” ~Rebecca Rose (in It Tickled the Whiskers of My Soul)

It Tickled the Whiskers of My Soul by Rebecca RoseHello, Dear Bloggites!  I know, I was supposed to make a post yesterday, but I intentionally delayed it for today because I am bringing you a special book review.  The author, Rebecca Rose, emailed me offering her latest book for free if I was willing to give an honest review of it after I was finished.  Of course, I do my best to never turn down a request for a review, but this one was extra special because I “met” Rebecca via email when she published her first book, I’ll Be Fine, and requested a review.

I loved that story so much, that I talk about it to this day!  So, of course, I jumped at the opportunity to read her newest release, It Tickled the Whiskers of My Soul.  This is the author’s third book but second published under her name.  This book is a story of what the author has learned over time about life, belief, and self.  The book is formatted into a separate “love letter” for each topic.

This book was written in a loving, intimate style that made you feel as if you were sitting with the author while she explained what she has learned from life.  The pictures are a joy and will bring a smile to your face even if you think you are the grumpiest person alive.  Each letter has a theme in it and the author goes into detail about what journey she took to realized that specific theme i.e. true self, fear, laws of attraction, intention, etc.

I loved that even though this book is on spirituality, it is not preachy or skewed to one view or another, so it is written for all to read.  I enjoyed reading how the author found her way through situations and time.  So many people do not view “bad” or “hard” times as a learning experience and I think this book would help people realize that even though the situation may be less than optimal, it is always better in the end.

I give It Tickled The Whiskers Of My Soul by Rebecca Rose 5 out of 5 Bookmarks!  Great read for people looking for ways to deal with life. 🙂

P.S.  THANK YOU, Rebecca, for the Honor of reviewing your book! 🙂

~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

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

The Struggle Is Real, People!

Hey, All!  It’s me again.  I know, SHOCKING, two blogs back-to-back, and even more shocking, they are not on book reviews!  I am still doing my reviews as I read, but as you can see, with the lack of review posts, that I have not been reading (Bad, P, Goofy JugglingBad!!!).

We all start the new year with grand goals and plans for our life and most of us see those grand goals and plans fizzle as the months go on, well guess what, mine fizzled as soon as it was out of the proverbial gate at the beginning of the year.  I love to write, I love to read, I love books, as you know, Dear Bloggites, and I make plans to do this, and this, and this, and then life says, “Deal with THIS!” and all my plans get scattered to the wind.

Last year, 2017, I promised myself that I would get back to writing my novel I started before my Dad’s Cancer spread and was put on hold for me to take care of him and his needs.  I was blessed to have those last months with my Dad, but I promised myself after he passed that I was going to focus on my writing.  So, Dad passed in August of 2016, and I miss him every freaking day, he was my best friend and my sound board, and I flounder now when I am struggling with things.

I promised myself 2017 would be the year my writing career took off, and I was doing well for the first month and the second month: I was taking writing classes, signing up for writing retreats, writing daily on my novel, etc. and in the third month, my business got busy, so writing was put off due to long days of working my business.  That busyness carried into the fourth month with writing classes going by the wayside along with the writing because my brain was fried from the demands of work.

The fifth month rolls around and I found myself in the hospital with my sister who almost died.  We spent two months in the hospital, her fighting for life, and me fighting for her rights while she could not.  Praise God, the fight won and Four of Seven (my name for her in the Familial Roll Call) came back to us.  She struggled for many months, but she was alive and had all her faculties.

By the time all this took place, I found myself facing the last few months of the 2017 with minimal progress on my writing and all my plans and goals shot to hell and resting where all writing projects go to die.  So, I rallied.  I promised myself that 2018 was going to be the year my writing career took off (sounds like a bad case of ground hog’s day, the movie) and I was going to change my work hours to accommodate my time to allow focus on writing.  I was going to blog regularly, book reviews and writing progress and whatever I want to share, and I was going to start on the classes again and try and give the writing retreat another shot.

Then January 1, 2018 was here, and I was laid up with a severe case of the Flu.  For the first two weeks, I was in bed, barely working, and wishing I was dead just to make the terrible feeling go away.  I recovered from that only to find that my body has decided it wants to start causing me issues with more intense pain aside from my chronic pain I live with from the car accident I had in 2005.  It hurt to move a finger, and I am still struggling with this factor as of today.  But, once again, my plans and goals for my writing career were blown out of the water.

But guess what?  I came prepared with a rope to pull it back in.  Well, sort of.  I am doing writing classes and I am getting so stoked and encouraged that I am feeling the tingle in my fingers and the yearning in my brain to put pen to paper (or finger to keystroke).  Something I honestly have not felt since before my Dad got sick.

See, I can make all these plans and set all these goals, but if the desire and passion are not there, the plans and goals are easy to disregard.  Without passion, any activity or goal becomes work, or for me, just another job after hectic days with my business.

I did not get it until I started listening to all the different authors who were interviewed in the Women In Publishing Summit offered by Alexa Bigwarfe and sponsored by Vivante.  This is not a plug for anyone, however, I do want to thank Alexa for bringing the passion back for the writing mojo I love.  Alexa’s book, Ditch The Fear-Just Write It!, had the greatest statement that spoke to me.  The statement was, “Warning.  This is no ordinary plan.  It is the ass-kicker you need when you want to give up.”

This statement may not mean anything to you, but OH MY GOODNESS, it was like I was slammed in the head with a resounding, “DUH!!!!”  That passionate writing mojo said, “Oh, yeah!  Now we got it!”  I literally heard these two thoughts (heard thoughts…whaaat?) in my head as soon as I read that statement in Alexa’s book.

There will never been the perfect time to have my “writing career take off” – Life Happens.  Life will ALWAYS happen.  I will always have road blocks being thrown up at me when it comes to writing.  Why, you ask?  Because in order to achieve something worthwhile, you will always have challenges testing you and your determination to obtain that achievement.

With this new thought process, I am now embracing my passionate writing mojo and I am just going to do it, no matter what.  Even if I am waking up at 4:30am wide awake after falling asleep only 30-minutes to an hour before, I will write.  I have thrown out the plans and goals and I am just going to write.  It doesn’t matter what I write or even how well I write, as long as I write, I will be organically working those plans and reaching those goals.

Goofy SurprisedIt is so refreshing and freeing to think this way.  I love it!  So, you and I will be having almost daily chats, Dear Bloggite, because I want to share my Journey with you and maybe you will decide to share your journey, no matter what it is, with me, I would love to be there for you and support you in this Journey we call Life.

My challenge to you today: Think about your life.  Is there something you always have an intent to do but somehow never get around to doing it?  What can you do, to make that intent happen?  Are you going to need to throw out the plans and goals, like I had to do or are you going to have to tweak your life a little bit to make it happen?  Let me know down below in the comments. 🙂

~4-Ever, P