Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Top 5 Tuesday - Top 5… Fave Characters K - O



Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme that explores different topics. Originally created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, it is now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads. For a list of September topics you can click here. To participate, link your post back to Meeghan's blog or leave a comment on her weekly post.

Top 5… Fave Characters K - O


Katniss Everdeen is one tough young woman. She winds up the adult in her family and hunts to keep them fed. She volunteers as tribute to protect her younger sister, Prim. Without even trying, she becomes the face of a rebellion, and she will survive to spite them all.


Lois Lane might be Superman's love interest, but she is also an award-winning journalist for the Daily Planet. Intelligent and determined, she was one of the first female characters to appear in superhero comics. Lane has evolved over the years, but I remember the Lois from the 70s and 80s in her various comic book and TV show forms.



Moaning Myrtle is a former Ravenclaw student whose ghost haunts the second floor bathroom where she was killed by Tom Riddle. Bullied when she lived at Hogwarts because of her appearance, she returns after her death to seek revenge against her tormentor, Olive Hornby. Because Harry is kind to her, Myrtle develops a crush on him. It is one of the reasons she can't keep secrets from him. Though she annoyed a lot of people, Myrtle could be helpful from time to time. 




Nancy Drew, along with the Hardy Boys, introduced me to the world of amateur sleuths that I love to this day. The daughter of a lawyer, Nancy is clever, independent, and has a life filled with social activities, sports, and volunteering. She started solving mysteries as a teenager. 


I'm sure if I thought long and hard about it, I would find a character in a book for teens or adults that I love whose name begins with O. I simply didn't want to think about that because this big, blue octopus, voiced by Fred Savage on the TV series, is too adorable to ignore. My girls loved the adventures of Oswald, his dog Weenie, and his friends Daisy and Henry when they were little.

That's my list for this week. Hope you enjoy it.


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Covers That Remind Me of Christmas



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I tried the new Blogger for this post. It didn't work. It wouldn't access any of my photos from the blog. So, I'm officially not trying it again until I have to. 😝

Jana really should be careful about freebies from now until the end of the year. Pretty much, 2020 has been one ridiculous mess after another, so I'm focusing on the only holiday that even the Pandemic Grinch won't ruin.

Top Ten Covers That Remind Me of Christmas


I loved this book! It's the story of Santa Claus. 



Hubbard has such great Christmas covers. They make me want to spend Christmas with her characters.



One of my favorite Christmas book covers and a fabulous story.


This story has nothing to do with Christmas, but the town being shut down by a blizzard in this cover really reminds me of Christmas. 


Small towns and snow always remind me of Christmas.


Wouldn't this be a pretty place to spend Christmas?



Clever to have the main characters inside a Christmas ornament.



I have to ask why orange on this cover? The Grinch is what reminds me of Christmas, but orange? 


Scrooge carrying Tiny Tim means Christmas.


This cover shows the true meaning of Christmas. 

What was your cover freebie today? 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Sep 14



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend. Prayers go out to anyone in the Pacific Northwest who is impacted by these horrible fires. One of my author friends is sleeping with her clothes on tonight, their important belongings packed in case they need to evacuate. Gosh, I wish 2020 ushered in some relief and kindness for the last few months of the year.

My mind has been on many things, so Saturday was the first night I had a chance to sit down and read. I am halfway through this book.




I need to start this next one soon.





My review for this next one will appear at An Imperfect Christian Mom on September 30.




I picked up this one from the publisher's website.



I also saw Karen White posted on Facebook that she typed THE END on her latest Tradd Street book due out in 2021. So, now I really want to read the only book in that series I haven't opened yet.


I am determined to read more Christmas books this year. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Book Review & Giveaway: Out of No Way by Roje Augustin

The life of two amazing women emerges in Out of No Way by Roje Augustin.

Follow the life of Madam C.J. Walker and her daughter A'Lelia Walker told in a variety of poetic forms as Madam rises from poverty to affluence.  It is the story of a woman who achieved the American Dream, but was denied the rights and protection of the American Constitution. Witness the mother-daughter relationship unfold as both struggle with challenges not unlike what mothers and daughters deal with today. Such timely topics for today's world are found within this poetic drama, that you cannot help but wonder have we really changed?

I like that the writer provided biographical information and included historical photographs along with the telling of Walker's life. Some of the telling came in the form of what looked like letters from C.J. to A'Lelia as she traveled. One in particular came with an historical photograph that truly captured a dark part of our history.

While I enjoyed many of these poems, the Poems of Regret were especially good. I would recommend picking up this collection if you are interested in rags-to-riches stories or are drawn to dramatic poetry that pulls at the heartstrings and makes you think long after you're done.

Publisher : Boukman Press (May 9, 2020)
Print Length : 106 pages
Publication Date : May 9, 2020
Language: : English
Word Wise : Enabled
ASIN : B088F16QKL
File Size : 2207 KB

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

You can listen to the author read some of her poems at:

Elegy for my Mother
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyB2_FTY4_4

Why Our Hair is not Straight:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bFKpoVSzAE

The Lost Letters:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD5DmJr6xE0

Graves & Thrones:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS3VIuLhHuU

ENTER TO WIN A COPY OF OUT OF NO WAY BY ROJE AUGUSTIN. CLICK HERE!



Rojé Augustin is a native New Yorker who grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Her first novel, The Unraveling of Bebe Jones, won the 2013 National Indie Excellence Award in African American fiction. She wrote the novel while living in London and Sydney as a stay-at-home-mom. She established Breaknight Films shortly after her move to Sydney in 2009 to develop and produce television projects across a range of formats, including television, web, and audio. Her first Sydney based project was a podcast and visual web series called The Right Space, which explores the relationship between creatives and their workspace. Rojé continues to work as a television producer while also writing in her spare time. She is an Australian citizen who currently lives in Sydney with her Aussie husband and two daughters.



Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Top 5 Tuesday - Top 5… Fave Characters F-J



Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme that explores different topics. Originally created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, it is now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads. For a list of September topics you can click here. To participate, link your post back to Meeghan's blog or leave a comment on her weekly post.


September will prove to be a challenge for me, but I'll do my best.


Top 5… Fave Characters F-J





We meet Finnick Odair in Catching Fire. Mentored by Mags, a previous District 4 victor, he is wildly popular in the Capitol. The fact that Finnick ends up being way more than expected when you first meet him makes him a favorite and makes his death in Mockingjay even more tragic.


I grew up watching how the Grinch with his heart two sizes too small is transformed after he steals everything from the Who's Christmas and they still celebrate. Just like my other holiday favorite, Ebeneezer Scrooge, the Grinch learns a valuable lesson about the joy of Christmas. Perhaps the best part--other than this heart growing three sizes that day--is what the Grinch figured out--"Maybe Christmas...doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more?"


You first meet Harry Potter as a young orphan mistreated by his aunt, uncle, and cousin. His fortune swiftly changes when he discovers he is a wizard. But does it? Through the next six books, Harry experiences many challenges and more tragic losses as he moves closer to fulfilling his destiny of meeting Lord Voldemort in an epic battle. 


The Invisible Man may seem like an odd choice, but hear me out. Griffin is a scientist who develops a serum to render himself invisible. What Griffin believes to be an incredible scientific discovery, soon presents challenges he did not imagine. He arrives at an inn, where he soon becomes the talk of the town. He's running out of money and his landlady is pressuring him to pay his rent and get out. Griffin becomes desperate. He seeks help from others and is betrayed. He descends into madness and ultimately dies after being beaten by a mob. The psychology of this character is what draws me to him. 


I think I read more of The Hardy Boys than I did Nancy Drew in my early days. Joe Hardy picked up most of his detective skills from his father. He is good at sports, attends church, and seems to have a knack for fixing their van's mechanical issues. He's a bit impulsive, which attracts me to him as a character. Good thing his brother Frank is more cautious.

What do you think of my choices? Do we share any of the same ones?

Monday, September 7, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Sep 7



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Happy Labor Day! I hope you're getting some time off this weekend. I didn't accomplish as much as I planned, but we took a nice drive up along the Mohawk Trail on Sunday and snapped some nice photos. I'm knee-deep into an editing project for a novel I love, and I'm working on the next chapter of the women's fiction story my sister and I are writing.

As for reading, here is what's been going on.

My review of this book appears here.



My review of this series appears here.







My review of this next book appears at this blog on September 9.



I started this one yesterday. My review should be posted within the next couple of weeks. 



I need to start this next one soon.





My review for this next one will appear at An Imperfect Christian Mom on September 30.





I picked up this new release for my Kindle on Sunday. This was self-published by a member of my writing group. It is her third book. I hope to read it soon.




What's on your reading schedule this week?




Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Top 5 Tuesday - Top 5… Fave Characters A-E



Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme that explores different topics. Originally created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, it is now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads. For a list of September topics you can click here. To participate, link your post back to Meeghan's blog or leave a comment on her weekly post.



Top 5… Fave Characters A-E

This may be a bit of a challenge for me since I don't always remember character names unless I love, love, love them. Let's see how I do.



Anne with an E is one of my favorite all-time characters. Brought to Green Gables by accident, her impulsive nature and huge imagination gain her the favor of just about everyone in Avonlea. 


Beulah is an outspoken freed black woman who tests everything main character Reed Jackson believes as a man who grew up in the South. Reed has returned to his family's plantation in a wheelchair after the Civil War. When his father deems him unfit to run the plantation, Reed moves west to Fenton, Missouri, where he meets Belle Richards and Beulah. His life will never be the same.


Cedric Diggory is hard not to like. Sorted into Hufflepuff House, he went on to become a prefect and captained the Hufflepuff Quidditch team. He competed against Harry in the Triwizard Tournament. Ultimately, he is murdered. His tragic death, however, inspired the students of Hogwarts to rebel against Dolores Umbridge.


Dorothy lives a simple life with her dog Toto on her aunt and uncle's farm. This young girl finds herself and her canine companion in the land of the Munchkins when a tornado tosses her house up in the air and it lands on the Wicked Witch of the West. Along the way to finding the Wizard of Oz, and hopefully her way back home, she inspires her new friends to follow their own dreams.




I almost left this one for later in the alphabet, but it's my favorite Christmas story. Ebenezer Scrooge is the miserly, grumpy, nasty businessman featured in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. His transformation after the visit from the ghost of his former business partner and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future is nothing short of a Christmas miracle. I watch the Patrick Stewart version of this story every year.


So, what are some of your favorite book characters from A - E? Do we share any of the same ones?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books that Make Me Hungry



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Well, well, well, this will be a fun topic. Who doesn't like thinking about food? For the record, I am a junk food junkie. I've simply had to trim back my bad habits as I've gotten older. The funny thing is, I'm not a huge fan of culinary mysteries. Weird, huh?

Top Ten Books that Make Me Hungry


I know I have talked about this book a lot lately, but it really is one of my favorite books since I started blogging. Southern fiction is known for its food, so it should be no surprise you will find recipes in this one.


Amish fiction is one of my favorite genres. The two authors whose work I read the most are Charlotte Hubbard and Vannetta Chapman. Food plays a large role in their Amish communities, and each author has recipes from books on her website. 


I bought the next two because I found I wasn't using my kitchen appliances to their fullest. I've made a few of the recipes from the Air Fryer Cookbook, but I haven't used The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook yet because most of the recipes call for adding gluten, which I don't have here and haven't been able to find.



I cracked this next one open a few times, but haven't really dug into it the way I want to. Netflix created a documentary series based on Salt Fat Acid Heat in 2018. I'm watching it now.


This next book I bought more because of its Little House on the Prairie tie-in than the recipes, but it has 80 comfort food recipes that remind me of the show and of times long ago. 


This next book is all about creating a life-giving legacy in your home through rhythms, routines, and rituals, growing relationships, celebrating life, being in service to each other, and shaping a certain family culture based on love, and combining personalities, history, events, and traditions. For me, part of how I show my love for my family and serve them is cooking--which I truly enjoy. 


The Hunger Games trilogy reminds me of food more because of the lack of it in the districts than because of its abundance in the capital. As part of its summer reading program, our library used to have someone who would teach the kids how to make foods from the series. It was a neat way to celebrate the books. 


Though I mentioned at the beginning that I'm not a fan of culinary mysteries, I don't mind food playing some part in the story, and these next books are fun. Abigail Keam's Josiah Reynolds mysteries have a few titles with food--or drink--in them: Death By a Honey Bee (close enough), Death By Bourbon, and Death By Chocolate. 




That's my list. Do we share any titles? What are some books you think I should add?