Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

It has been so long since I posted a Top Ten Tuesday, I just had to participate today.

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

What books are on your TBR list for fall?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Musing Mondays - September 21

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme sponsored by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Is a rainy day likely to inspire you to read?

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you all had a nice weekend. I took some well-deserved time off from real estate to enjoy my family. Did a bit of gardening too.

I'm currently reading this middle grade novel that is both exciting and funny.

It's about kids trying to outwit a villain who has developed a machine that sucks the goodness out of people's brains in an attempt to wipe out goodness around the world.

I'm also listening to the fifth book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix. 

Like I said last week, I am really enjoying this series. Occasionally my daughter ruins the plot for me, but I am okay with it. Not sure I want to see all the death that is to come, though. 

As for this week's question, rainy days don't necessarily inspire me to read. Having available time does. I'm doing my best to get back into the habit of reading every night, but I've been falling asleep early because I've been working a lot.

Looking forward to hearing about your musings this week.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Holiday Fiction: Frostfire Inn by Lia Garrett

Lauren Endicott is haunted by the injustice of a father sent to prison for a murder he didn’t commit. She never expected the novel she wrote about the case to become a bestseller, one in which a thinly disguised local senator was the actual murderer, and she certainly never expected to face the town’s outrage after the senator committed suicide. Most of all, she never wanted to hurt the senator’s son, Flynn Huntington, the boy she had loved from afar, the one she knew could never be hers. After the senator’s death, the town and the Huntingtons wanted her gone, and truth be told, Lauren was glad to go. She knew Flynn Huntington hated her, and that she would have to make a life for herself elsewhere.

Ten years later when Lauren is forced to come back to town for a short stay, she has no intention of confronting her past. She’s changed her name, colored her hair, and hopes no one will recognize her. To her shock, she immediately finds herself the focus of Flynn’s attention. He’s no longer a boy, and in any other circumstances she’d be dazzled by the handsome and sophisticated man he has become. He doesn’t recognize her, and is under the mistaken impression she is an employee at the local inn. Lauren finds herself right back where she was so many years before, dreaming of someone who can never be hers.

Should Lauren tell him the truth about her identity? Or should she walk away before she breaks both their hearts?

File Size: 371 KB
Print Length: 140 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

Purchase here for only $2.99

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday: The Most Famous Goose Creek Parade by Virginia Smith

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week is:

In this first book of the Tales from the Goose Creek B&B, you'll fall in love with a small town that feels like coming home. Its quirky characters and their many shenanigans will make you laugh out loud as they touch a place in your heart.

Even though retirement is still three years away, Al Richardson is counting the days. He anticipates many enjoyable years in which every day feels like Saturday. But Al's wife, Millie, has different plans for their retirement. When she learns that a Victorian-era home is up for sale, Millie launches a full-blown campaign to convince Al that God's plan for them is to turn that house into a B&B.

But a B&B won't be the only change for the small Kentucky town. A new veterinarian has hung up her shingle, but she's only got one patient--the smelly dog belonging to her part-time receptionist. And sides are being taken in the issue of the water tower, which needs a new coat of paint...but no one can agree who should paint it.

The situation is coming to a head. Who could have imagined a town protest over a water tower? And who would believe it could culminate in an illegal parade?

Get lost in a novel that reminds you why you love reading.

I love small town stories. Not sure I've ever read anything set at a B&B before, so that makes it sound neat too.

What is your pick for the week?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Musing Mondays - September 14

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme sponsored by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Have you ever decorated your house around your love of books? Would you?

I simply have to admit it out loud--I love the Harry Potter series! I only starting listening to it a few months ago because the library had the first book on CD. I've now listened to the first four books in the series and have a hold on the fifth book (waiting impatiently for it to arrive from the library.)

It went without saying that reading this series would happen some day. I just knew it wouldn't be during the craze of it all because I don't read popular books; something about being one of the crowd that goes against my grain. Instead, I waited for the entire series to come out and be made into movies, for the e-books to be released, and two of my three kids to read the them before I even attempted it.

Fantasy not being my favorite genre, it wasn't that hard to avoid the books. Now that I have read a few, however, I can see what all the hype is about. I wrote about my epiphany in this post. Perhaps the thing I admire most about Rowling is her ability to increase the danger and tension with each book. It is also amazing to realize how little backstory is included in subsequent books: the author gives you a few glimpses into Harry's past and previous events, but doesn't bog the reader down with it. The series is worth reading to help me learn how to do that, never mind the sheer enjoyment I am getting out of them.

Have you read the Harry Potter series? If not, why haven't you?

In answer to this week's question, that is a no. I actually wanted to do a book lover's theme here and my hubby gave me an emphatic no in response. I guess I will have to live with just having a reading room one day.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Register for the 2015 WriteAngles Conference!

Registration is now open for the 2015 WriteAngles conference! The conference by writers, for writers will be held on Saturday, October 17 at Mount Holyoke College’s Willits-Hallowell Center in South Hadley, MA and offers participants the chance to mix with experienced writers and agents in panel discussions, face-to-face meetings and in casual networking opportunities.

Keynote speakers for this 30th writing conference are award-winning author Susan Stinson, and Carol Edelstein, author and co-director of A Gallery of Readers, a monthly reading series and independent press. WriteAngles 2015 offers eight new panels and workshops, opportunities for participants to meet one-on-one with an agent, and a new legal clinic. For more information, and to register, please visit writeanglesconference.com

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Book Review: Guilt Free Motherhood: A 5-Step Guide to Reclaiming Your Time, Health & Well-Being by Amber Khan

Which mother out there hasn't felt guilty at one time or another? I think I've carried around more than my fair share of guilt over the years. In Amber Khan's Guilt Free Motherhood: A 5-Step Guide to Reclaiming Your Time, Health & Well-Being, moms learn how to free themselves from the power guilt has over them.

Khan gets right to it, helping the reader discover what she feels guilty about and letting you know you're not alone. As she acknowledges, times have changed and moms are pulled in more directions than ever before. In Part One, she talks about different things that can make moms feel guilty and overwhelmed--like being unable to say no (something I really struggle with). In Part Two, the reader learns to recognize the "guilt traps" they fall into. From balancing family life and career, to neglecting your health, to over-committing, and more, Khan takes the reader through these traps so the reader can understand what she's dealing with. Then in the final part of the book, Khan provides a 5-Step Guide to help you live a guilt-free life.

The author has kept this book to only 154 pages, so it's easy to read, but still offers a ton of great information. It's not a philosophy where you are expected to totally change your life. It's realistic and will help you learn how to take things one day at a time. The exercises get you thinking how to make this work best for you.

If you're a mom who feels guilty for one reason or another, I believe Guilt Free Motherhood can help.

File Size: 905 KB
Print Length: 154 pages
Publication Date: April 29, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

I received a copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

I have read this book for the following challenge:

Monday, September 7, 2015

Musing Mondays - September 7

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme sponsored by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: If you were forced to spend the rest of your life in a library, a museum, or a zoo, which would you choose — and why?

Happy Labor Day, everyone! Hope you're all enjoying a good read.

Thanks to Jenn for today's awesome random question. She is so creative.

This is a tough toss up between library and museum, but ultimately I would need to go with library because there is no way I could ever get bored. There would always be something new to look at, read, or do. While museums do their best to keep things fresh for their patrons, they have mainstay exhibits, and I fear over time I would get weary of seeing the same things.

Is there a great museum you could recommend? How about a favorite library?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Interview with Jill Kemerer, Author of Unexpected Family

Jill Kemerer writes contemporary Christian romance novels with love, humor and faith. A full time writer, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules. Besides spoiling her mini-dachshund, Jill adores magazines, M&Ms, fluffy animals and long nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Jill loves connecting with readers, so please visit her website, jillkemerer.com.

Thank you for having me today!

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in farm country. We lived a few miles from Oakley, a small town in mid-Michigan. I spent a lot of time running around barefoot, playing with my sister and cousins and sitting around reading. We moved to Saginaw, Michigan when I was twelve, and I think I’ve been moving ever since!

When did you begin writing?

It was a cold January day. I was twenty years old. I’d finished my college homework, so I read a romance novel. Well, I didn’t like the book and figured I could do better than that! I grabbed a cheap spiral notebook and began writing. My characters would fall in love, and they wouldn’t have all those pesky problems the other fictional couples seemed to have. Twenty-two pages later, the book ended. Turned out the problems were the point! Yes, I had a lot to learn, but once I started writing romance, I never looked back. I’ve been writing them ever since.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I write my books during the day, but I write blog posts, short stories and other projects whenever I can sneak a few moments.

What is this book about?

Unexpected Family is about a single mom who finally gets the guts to tell her ex-husband they have a daughter. Here’s the back-copy:

His Surprise Daughter

After five years apart, Tom Sheffield is shocked to find his ex-wife, Stephanie, on his doorstep. The news that they share a child he's never met sends him reeling. Four-year-old Macy has his eyes, his mouth and, from their first encounter, his heart. Things with her mother are much more complicated. He doesn't understand what went wrong between them or why she kept their daughter a secret. And he's afraid of falling in love all over again. Yet he feels a glimmer of hope that somehow he can convince Macy and Stephanie to stay in Lake Endwell—and with him—for keeps.

What inspired you to write it?

Inspiration comes at the worst time! I was trying to fall asleep, and all of a sudden, I thought what if a guy got a call from the police saying, “Your wife and daughter were in an accident,” and the guy responded, “But I don’t have a wife or daughter”?

I got up and wrote it down. The idea would not go away, and the basis for Unexpected Family was born.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

The road to publication was not only bumpy, it was steep! I wrote twelve novels and submitted nine before getting a contract. I’ve been writing for over twenty years, but I’ve only been writing full-time for eight. Last year, I finally got the call I’d been waiting for. My debut novel, Small-Town Bachelor, released in April. It, too, is set in Lake Endwell and features Tom Sheffield’s sister, Claire.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

No. God used the time to draw me closer to him. I gained humility and confidence in my writing. I’m thankful for every step of my journey.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Readers can find purchase links to all major booksellers on my webpage for Unexpected Family. Paperbacks are available in stores such as Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Kmart and local grocery stores.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Never give up! And don’t let worries and doubts keep you from writing. Some authors get published with their first or second book. Some self-publish. But if you’re like me and want a traditional publisher, just keep trying. I’m living my dream, and you can too!

What is up next for you?

The third book in the Lake Endwell series will release sometime next spring, and I’m currently writing the fourth book. I love my job!

Thanks again for having me today!