27 August, 2016

Benjamin's Field Trilogy by JJ Knights - Book Spot Light

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Benjamin’s Field Trilogy
By: J.J. Knights
Forward by retired NASA astronaut Jay Apt, PhD, veteran of four space shuttle missions.
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Book One: Rescue

Forward by retired NASA astronaut Jay Apt, PhD, veteran of four space shuttle missions.

Benjamin’s Field: Rescue’ has been awarded a five-star review by the literary site ‘Reader’s Favorite’ (readersfavorite.com).

Benjamin’s Field follows a rural farm family over the course of sixty years from the viewpoint of the youngest member, Jeremy Kyner. Beginning with America’s entry into World War I, Jeremy and his family are followed through war, peace, triumph, tragedy, heartbreak, and final happiness as the reader examines the role of family loyalty versus individual need, personal liberty and how it relates to society’s demands, religious prejudice, racism, intolerance, the role of charity, and the overwhelming need for humans to forgive one another. While still in manuscript form, Benjamin’s Field, Book One, Rescue, was advanced to the “Best Sellers Chart” of the peer review website YouWriteOn.com. In Book One, “Rescue,” a widowed farmer suffers an unspeakable loss during World War I. Burdened with grief, he learns from his nemesis, a dogmatic Catholic priest, that his son’s fiance has given birth to their crippled child. Unable to cope with the child’s deformity and confounded by his illegitimate birth, the farmer is battered by those closest to him with accusations of cruelty and intolerance until he finally reveals his true feelings and the reasons underlying his apparent bigotry. Set in a historical context, Benjamin’s Field is a compelling story about human dignity overcoming adversity, prejudice, and hatred. Interwoven with lighter moments, this dramatic and moving tale will take the reader on an emotional and sometimes humorous journey.”



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Book Two: Ascent

In Book Two, “Ascent,” Jeremy Kyner, now a teenaged boy, becomes the focus of his teacher’s animosity because of his infirmity. With the help of two dedicated school friends and an unconventional Jewish blacksmith, he takes to the sky, defeating his teacher’s plans to institutionalize him and forcing her to divulge her own, dark, secret.

Benjamin’s Field is a historical novel about human dignity overcoming adversity, prejudice, and hatred. Interwoven with lighter moments, this dramatic and moving story will take the reader on a journey of inner exploration.








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Book Three: Emancipation

Book Three, “Emancipation,” opens as America is on the cusp of World War II. Jeremy Kyner, now a man, is barred from military service at a time when America is almost defenseless against marauding German submarines. Finally joining a group of volunteer civilian pilots that represents the country’s best hope to counter the Germans, Jeremy confronts a deadly enemy from an unexpected quarter and is offered a chance of achieving final emancipation.



Benjamin’s Field is a historical novel about human dignity overcoming adversity, prejudice, and hatred. Interwoven with lighter moments, this dramatic and moving novel will take the reader on a journey of inner exploration.






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Author Info


J. Knights is a retired FBI Special Agent. His assignments included violent crimes and fugitives, property crimes, civil rights investigations, and foreign counterintelligence. He was a surveillance pilot, SWAT sniper, media representative, and worked in the FBI's technical investigations program. Knights also volunteered as a Civil Air Patrol pilot, squadron commander and public information officer. He is an emeritus member of the Imperial Public Relations Committee of Shriners International and Shriners Hospitals for Children. A native of New England, Knights resides in southwestern Pennsylvania with his wife and honeybees. He has authored several published articles on law enforcement recruiting. Benjamin's Field is his first novel.



Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook


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26 August, 2016

My Writing ideas to overcome Writer's block #WritingWednesdays

I write about books that inspire me and places that interest me. Sometimes, there will be a few dull days when my thoughts become stagnant and I don't get any motivation to think differently. A blog is a wonderful platform to express our feelings but we have to write good content and present things in a unique way so that the audience won't get bored. I try to improve my writing skills, read a lot, practice and hone my skills with every new post. Here are a few ideas which help me to overcome Writer's block. These also help me to avoid publishing the boring routine content in my blog.
Source:pixabay.com

1. Books and places
Since my blog is all about these two, these are my first motivation factors to write. I read 2 to 4 books a month and write reviews for most of them. I love sharing details about the tourist places I visit,  though I don't travel very frequently. Sometimes, a day out with children, a walk in the park or any special event that I participate also join my writing list.

2. Round ups and Gratitude lists
This is an easy and fun way to write when I am really stuck and doesn't have much time to write a post. I usually list down the books that I read last month with a brief description of each, linking all my reviews. A quick one, right? I love the idea of listing down all good things that made me smile as a gratitude list and I am practicing this every month.

3. List posts
I love making lists! Top 5 books that I liked or my top 5 parenting lessons or my top tips to manage a fussy eater. This is another unique way of presenting my content without thinking hard.

4. Making a note of ideas
I know, most of my fellow bloggers follow this as well. We tend to forget a few ideas when we can't write about them immediately. Ideas popup anytime ☺ during a shower or in the middle of night or during a public transit to office. I use Evernote to note them so that I can check these in my laptop and write in detail whenever I get time. This app syncs to both my smart phone and laptop, making it easier.

5. Reading
When I am badly stuck and demotivated to write, I take inspiration from other blogs, facebook groups, trending topics in social media, magazine articles etc., Reading generates more ideas. What do you say?

So.. that's about my writing ideas. What about you?

Writing this for #WritingWednesdays hosted by Corinne at writeTribe.
 This week's prompt - "Where do you get writing ideas from?"

Until next time,




25 August, 2016

The Devil's Analyst by Dennis Frahmann - Book Spot Light


Mystery, Thriller, Crime 
Date Published:  08/11/2016

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Danny Lahti had it all: fame, fortune, friends, love - and an obsessed stalker.
Obsession can be a powerful curse. What happens when you think your world is perfect, but someone behind the scenes is determined to test you in every way possible? As the clock ticks toward the year 2000, Danny's world starts unraveling without explanation. An unknown hacker unleashes a digital attach on his Internet company just months before its public debut. A prowler attempts to break into his historic mansion which houses, according to Hollywood rumor, secret vaults. A long-time friend goes missing. Is it all coincidence, or are these just the first feats by a crazed admirer determined to force the truth from Danny?
And what is the truth? The complicated days that follow force Danny to have another look at his own relationships, misdeeds, and damaged past. But will he ever learn the lesson that will satisfy the devil who taunts him?




Excerpt

C  H A  P  T  E  R    O N E 

Midnight 
Twenty minutes to midnight, and the ice on the frozen lake outside cracked. The loud reverberations of winter echoed through the night and invaded Danny Lahti’s peace.
Danny was prepared to let time  move  forward  in   whatever incremental way  it chose. At that moment . . . sitting on a sofa  in  an enormous  room  near  midnight  .  .  .  huddled  within  a  century-old hunting lodge  of a long-dead lumber tycoon . . . on  the shoreline of a lake  nearly forgotten in  the isolated woods of  northern Wisconsin, Danny Lahti was not concerned about the potential for a technological apocalypse as time turned to the year  2000.
But  he  did   feel   on   the  brink. Something was   about to  happen. Things should change;  they needed to change. He  couldn’t  really say why.   Danny never  felt he  was   the   introspective  type.  But he   had always felt connected to a larger universe, one  in  which he  received premonitions of what was to come.
The  end  of the century. Or maybe the start of a new  millennium. It depended on  the pundit. But  computers only  knew what they were programmed to  know, and   they weren’t  programmed to  deal   with changing from 1999  to 2000.  Maybe early computer  scientists never thought about a century starting anew. December 31, 1999  could prove an  existential threat. They called it “Y2K.” Who knows, maybe every generation deserved its opportunity to restart the clock.
For   Danny,  his   past  was   too  painful,  but   the  future  felt  too uncertain. In a way,  his life could be the snowdrift-covered lawns that surrounded  this house. On  the surface, the drifts were unblemished and  glistening in the weak  moonlight. But beneath their surface, under the  shapeless accumulated flakes,  were the  remains of years of living. If Danny had  the time and  the tools and  the  energy, he  could shovel his  way  into discovering the   dead flowerbeds, the   abandoned lawn furniture, and  the  century’s worth of trails across the  grounds. But who could be  bothered?  Eventually, the warm sun  of  spring would surely melt the snow. Just wait. The  past would be exposed.
Danny had  always been the kind  of person willing to wait. When he was only  twelve, his mother committed suicide and  he found her dead body. He  waited then,  always expecting someone  would eventually arrive  to  explain  what  had   happened  and   why.   When  his   father withdrew   into   a   hermit-like   life    that   barely  acknowledged  his adolescent son’s existence, Danny still waited. Someone would surely make his  father forget his  dead wife  and  remember his  child. He  was still waiting.
And  when Josh  came into his  life,  promising an  escape from these cold  woods into the warm, loving life  of the Los  Angeles sun,  Danny followed and  waited for Josh’s direction.
He  waited. He  always had.  Perhaps he  always would. It was  his nature not to rebel and  not to question, to try to be good  and  not rock the   boat.   A  new   year, a  new   century, a  new   millennium, not even “Y2K” could change that. Because Danny Lahti had  never been able  to find  the  energy to  grab the  reins of his  own  life. And  he  didn’t intend to start now.  And  yet something was changing. He felt it.
The  ice cracked again.  Nineteen minutes to midnight. 






Dennis Frahmann is a former journalist and marketer,who now resides in Cambria, CA. He is the author of two other novels: Tales from the Loon Town Cafe and The Finnish Girl.

Contact Links

Purchase Links
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Until next time,


24 August, 2016

Riker's Calling by Rico Lamoureux - [Book Review]

Book Details:
Title: Riker'sCalling
Author: Rico Lamoureux
Genre:Mystery, Crime thriller
Publisher: www.DramaticNovellas.com
Source: A free e-copy from the author

Blurb:
From school bullies to the crime-ridden streets of his hometown of Los Angeles, Jeremy Riker has always felt the need to do something about the injustice surrounding him. Just as he sets out on his journey as an urban warrior, he unknowingly gives rise to an obsessive adversary, who ends up becoming one of the most notorious serial killers the city has ever known. Dubbed by the news media as The Spyderco Killer, the methodical psychopath roots himself deep into Riker's life for the long haul, until his own madness propels everything into an intense climax.

My Review:
I  am reading a crime thriller after a long time. I loved Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes, enjoyed thrillers from that time, but crime and violence don't interest me much.

This is the story of Jeremy Riker who wanted to join the police force but, ends up starting a private detective agency with his guide Max. Due to some reasons, he becomes an enemy to a serial killer and thus loses the lives of a lot of his close friends and supporters. He is stuck in a dangerous situation where he doesn't know the next target of his opponent. The serial killer is clever and takes every step with caution without leaving any clue. The Spyderko killer is in no hurry to kill and takes his own time enjoying the thrill of revenge. Can Riker catch the killer? What is the reason behind these horrendous murders? This forms the remaining story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced novel. It's a page turner divided into parts connecting the dots slowly and cleverly without revealing the reason behind the murders till the last part. The title is apt though I didn't like the cover much. It's just around 75 pages. 

Pros:

  • A short and quick read
  • Suspense element till the end
  • fast paced
  • Characterization is good


Cons:

  • The narration can be better
  • Too much violence


My Rating: 4/5
PS: I have received this book from the author in exchange of an honest review and this is my unbiased opinion on the book.

Purchase Link:



About the Author:
Rico Lamoureux considers himself a dramatist. He believes too much emphasis is put on genre nowadays, and not enough on actual story. From Historical Fiction to Contemporary Romance. From shocking Horror to edge-of-your-page Thrillers. A great story transcends genre, with dramatic elements being the utmost of importance.

Until next time,

23 August, 2016

Love to win by Lisa Ricard - Book Promo





Fireflies Series, Book Three
Contemporary Romance
Date Published: July 30, 2016
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She hates to lose…
Competitive barista Brenna Kinkaid loves a challenge, and she’ll do whatever it takes to win, especially when it comes to her nemesis, Dante Caravicci. But when forced to team up to save their best friends’ wedding, Brenna recognizes that Dante might just be her ultimate win.
He plays to win…
Restaurateur Dante Caravicci won’t quit anything until he can claim success. He’s bided his time, but he’s used to taking big risks and surviving, so he figures he’s got nothing to lose by playing for Brenna.
Hearts at risk…
These two fall fast, and it looks like a win-win—until a competition pits them head-to-head and one of them goes way too far. A nudge from an improbable source may be the only way these two competitors will ever admit that the only way to win is to lose their hearts.


Other Books in the Fireflies Series:

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Publisher: Black Opal Books
Published: June 2015

She can’t let go of her dead husband…
Maddie Kinkaid believes her late husband, Jack, gives her advice on everything from ordering a pizza to hiring a carpenter, so when she finds Caleb Walker’s business card on Jack’s desk, she’s convinced that he’s the guy to remodel her kitchen.
He can’t decide if she’s worth the risk…
Caleb is a single father, and protecting his young son means avoiding romantic entanglements. But there’s heat in every kitchen, and sparks ignite between Caleb and Maddie—until disaster strikes.
When Jack goes silent, Maddie’s guilt consumes her, and it looks as if she and Caleb will never find their happily-ever-after—at least, not without a little help from Jack…
LOVE BUILT TO LAST began as the award-winning short story Fireflies, and is now the first novel in the Fireflies series.




Excerpt

“Well, I like that,” Brenna said. “My own mother likes your cake better.”

Dante regarded her with amusement. “Not everything has to be a competition between us, does it? What difference does it make which of us bakes the better cake?”

“Or sautés the better shrimp?” Brenna said, remembering Dante’s shrimp dish from Thanksgiving that she, Rebecca, and Maddie had all deemed to be almost better than sex. Not that she’d tell Dante that. She blew out a tired sigh. “I’m sick of losing to you in the food department. I try to so hard to be creative, and you whip something up at the last minute that takes home the gold.”

“Is it really that big a deal?” He raised his brows.

Brenna stared at him a moment and made him laugh when she said, “Bet your ass! I hate coming in second on anything, especially to you. And say what you will—” She poked his chest with her finger for emphasis. “—but you’re just as competitive as I am.” He moved back a step and she poked him again. “You don’t like to lose at anything either.” One more poke. “You always do whatever you have to do to win.”

Dante’s eyes narrowed, but his lips curved. He stepped forward against the press of her finger, forcing her to step back—once, twice, thrice—and she sucked in a breath when her hips bumped against the counter. She reached behind her to grab the edge of the countertop, and her eyes widened when Dante rested his hands on either side of hers, hemming her in as he had done in the storeroom.

Brenna’s heart sped to triple speed. Dante leaned down and she parted her lips, in spite of herself, when his mouth stopped a mere breath away from hers, so close she swore she felt the radiating heat. A second passed, and another. His gaze dipped to her mouth. Brenna licked her lips and her eyes fluttered shut in anticipation, and then the stubble darkening his jaw tickled the skin of her cheek with the barest touch, and his warm breath against her ear made her shiver when he whispered, “You’re right. I’ll do whatever I have to do to win. You’d do well to remember that, sweetheart.”

He pressed his lips against the tender skin just below her earlobe and made her shiver again, then stepped back. Brenna stared at him, her mind whirling.

“It’s late. I’ll follow you home when you’re ready to go, make sure you get there safe,” he said. “And relax, I don’t expect to be invited in. I know you just want to be friends.”

Brenna still gripped the edges of the counter, her eyes wide and lips parted in surprise when he disappeared out to the porch.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa Ricard Claro is a professional editor, award-winning author, and Pushcart Prize nominee with published articles and stories spanning multiple media. She resides in Georgia with her husband of more than three decades and counting, is mother to three (a ruggedly handsome son and two stunningly beautiful daughters—​Lisa might be a little biased), and dreams of one day living at the beach. Seriously dreams of it. As in, she’s already decorating her dream beach house. In addition to an array of sand dollars and seashells, she keeps a framed sign hanging in her office: Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses Welcome Here.
Lisa is also a lover of dogs and cats, and has a heart for rescues. This is why you will find a rescued pet companion in every one of her books. Sometimes they are part of the story line (Pirate the dog, in Love Built to Last), and sometimes they’re already ensconced in their forever home with one of Lisa’s characters (Pavarotti the cat, in Love to Win). As you read Lisa’s books, watch for the rescues!
While Lisa is a fan of storytelling in all genres, Romance is her favorite because she believes everyone deserves love and a happily-ever-after. But she adores a little mystery now and then, too, so keep an eye out for Lisa’s authorship of a whodunit one of these days soon.

Contact Links

Purchase Links



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Until next time,

20 August, 2016

Weekend rain #FridayReflections

It's raining here this weekend. This means, no outdoor activities 🙁

I would be dull with the weekend completely spent at home, but today I relax watching a downpour from our patio. Sometimes,
It gives great pleasure to me to watch the nature. It's cloudy and dark outside with trees looking fresh, washed by rain and lawn looking greener than usual. Evenings are pleasant too with full moon in the sky and cool breeze on the face.
Source:pixabay.com 

Also, on a rainy day I feel more lazy than usual and want to sleep for more time. I saw someone yesterday carrying a transparent umbrella and you know, it is  lovely to walk in the rain with a transparent umbrella where we can see water dripping on us. I want to drench in rain without umbrella too and leave paper boats in the small stream of rain water. My kids would enjoy that for sure now. Iam not very fond of both eating and cooking, but sometimes I crave for the spicy mirchi bajji and masala bathani which we get in Andhra on the streets on any rainy day. Ah! And cannot forget the taste of roasted corn !
Source:pixabay.com 

So, this is what making me smile today- A free write watching rain ☺

What made you smile today?

Until next time,


Linking this to #FridayReflections hosted by Corinne and Sanch.
Prompt: what makes you smile? What makes you happy?


Living my Imperfect Life

14 August, 2016

The Art of Blissful Parenting by Sharon Ballantine - [Book Review]

Book Details:

Title: The Art of Blissful Parenting

Author: Sharon Ballantine

Genre: Non-fiction

Publisher: Balboa Press

Source: A free review copy from the author


Blurb:

What if you had the ideal relationship with your children? This book is for every parent that wants to have a powerful bond with their kids. Parents have the opportunity for newfound freedom and joy when they teach their children about their Internal Guidance System. Tools and guidance are offered in this book for exacting the art of blissful parenting by practicing alignment. Family is important to all of us, and being a parent is not easy.

It's fun and easy to work with the Universe and a short lesson in the Law of Attraction is part of this script. Parents--live and also teach your children how to manifest what they want by thinking in a more positive way and deliberately creating their lives. This book helps parents work with their young children, into being a teenager and on to being a healthy young adult.

My Review:
I picked up this book inspired by the blurb. Parenting is a difficult journey and every parent wants to learn the techniques to make this learning process joyful for themselves and children.  


Initially, the author explains 'Internal guidance system' and how it helps to control our thoughts. The book introduces us to the law of Universe and how we can train our thoughts and feelings to spread positive vibrations around us and that the Universe will return back the same. So, before moving to the parenting advice, this insight itself seemed very useful for me.

As per the book, we can teach our children to believe and practice their internal guidance system so that they will become a better individual. We cannot be with our children always guiding them and helping them to take right decisions in their lives. As a parent, our main aim is to make them a responsible adult who can solve their problems independently without anyone's support. This book serves as a good guide for implementing the same.

I am not into self-help books as I feel, they are very preachy and boring. But, this book is not preachy and is realistic with some examples. The title is apt and the cover design is pleasant with blue color which signifies peace. 
The narration is slow paced and easy to understand. I recommend this to every parent who want to guide their children and experience a stress-free parenting.

My Rating: 4/5

PS: I have received this book from the author in exchange of an honest review and this is my unbiased opinion on the book.

Purchase Link:

Amazon

About the Author:
Sharon Ballantine is a Parenting Coach and certified Law of Attraction Life Coach. She has successfully raised three children and is the author a new book "The Art of Blissful Parenting."
Sharon is the founder of "The Ballantine Parenting Institute," her online parenting program.



Ballantine is a sought after speaker, and was host to her own Internet TV Show with Conscious Evolution Media Network from 2013-2014. The platform of The Sharon Ballantine TV Show featured a conversation with passionate spiritually minded guests. Sharon also had her own column with Beliefnet.com "Parenting on Purpose."

Sharon was interviewed on TV, February 15, 2016 for her new book release, "The Art of Blissful Parenting" on KING 5 New Day Northwest, a live daytime talk show in Seattle. Ballantine has been interviewed on several radio shows including Blog Talk Radio in Los Angeles, Chat with Women radio show in Seattle and Conscious Evolution Media Internet TV in Denver. Her interview with Hay House Radio will air by summer '16.

Sharon's website is SharonBallantine.com which features weekly teaching blogs, podcasts and slideshows. You can see her educational videos on her YouTube channel, Sharon Ballantine.

Sharon lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Jay.


Until next time,




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