Saturday, September 10, 2016

Spotlight Saturday: QUARTET, The Hunt, Book 2

This month starts another giveaway -- that means you have a chance to win a FREE BOOK from Goodreads -- and from me, of course.

Go to Goodreads and click on the information for giveaways, and look for QUARTET, the 2nd book in the YA fantasy series, THE HUNT.

Who are the Hunt? Children sent from an endangered world in another universe/dimension of reality, to protect them from a despot who wants to command their Talents. Given into the keeping of the Hounds of Hamin, the members of the Hunt have been separated by time as well as distance. They know each other by the scars--rows of teeth marks--on their wrists. Some have been in our world for decades, others have only been here for a few years. They have to find each other--and soon, before more enemies show up to destroy them--and find a way back home to save their world.


Cinden Lai is a firstborn, a member of the Hunt. She found sanctuary with a reclusive old woman when the Hounds of Hamin brought her to Earth, but now her dreams and the increasing storms make her think it is time to leave her safe haven and seek out members of the Hunt.
When a rich old man claims she is his missing granddaughter, Cinden knows he is lying, but she can't prove it -- not without endangering the Hunt. He knows too much about her, and claims he has her brothers and sister. That is reason enough for her to investigate. Are the other three part of a trap, or in need of rescue?
When four members of the Hunt come together, amazing things can happen...but they also discover a traitor among them, and learn a countdown has started: Time is running out for the Hunt, and life on Earth can be fatal for them in more ways than one.
ISBN/EAN13: 192206663X / 9781922066633 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Off the Bookshelf: THE BIG BOOK OF KOMBUCHA, by Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory

A friend of mine jokes that when we made the shift from being readers to writers, we went from word addicts to pushers.

Well, that's starting to feel like the same situation when it comes to kombucha. What is it? Essentially, fermented tea -- but there's so much good stuff that enters the tea during the fermenting process, between the yeast and good bacteria.

I bought a couple bottles, after reading about kombucha when I proofread a book. Can you say YUM? Then I did some research and learned about all the health benefits. Hey, any excuse to start an addiction, y'know? Then the price started adding up, when I tried to make it a daily habit.

Then a few weeks ago, I took the big step -- I investigated making my own, instead of paying around $4 a bottle, for something I wanted to drink at least once a day for health benefits. That's when I found this book. Yeah, it is a BIG book, but it holds a whole lot more than just a guide for home brewing and flavoring.

The history and folklore is fascinating, along with the science, the steps to take, the options, the pitfalls to avoid, troubleshooting guide, and yeah, the recipes. Lots of recipes. There's more to kombucha than just drinking. There's vinegar, there's candy, salads, bread, jerky and beauty products and ... the list goes on. Considering all the uses for everything that goes into making kombucha, it's a truly self-sustaining and bio-friendly project. I just decanted and bottled my first batch, and got more going, and I'm looking forward to having a lot of fun experimenting with flavors and all the other options. I wouldn't be able to do it without the thorough education provided by this book.

Warning: Kombucha is addicting! Try it, and you'll be glad you did. Yeah, I'm a pusher now. Not that I'm going to willingly give away my precious few first bottles, but ... hmm, Christmas presents!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Can You Help an Author Out?

What a DEAL!!! Get a free book -- all you gotta do is write a review on Amazon.

Until September 20, my newest Neighborlee, Ohio novel (fantasy, humor) HERO BLUES is available on Story Cartel. If you haven't heard about Story Cartel before, it's a place to get ... taa daa ... FREE books, and a chance to win prizes, just for downloading books to read and review. Sound good to you?

Would you help me out by downloading, reading, and reviewing HERO BLUES? I guarantee you'll like it, and even laugh. Money-back guarantee (oh, yeah, that's right, you're not spending any money .... )

Here's the link. Please help me out -- and have some fun while you're at it???

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


YA fantasy, set in Northeast Ohio!
Published by Mundania Press -- also set in Ohio!


Monday, August 29, 2016

Off the Bookshelf: THE BLOOD OF OLYMPUS, by Rick Riordan

Alas, we come to the end of the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, the further, expanded adventures of Percy Jackson and his demi-god companions from Camp Half-Blood.

The blood in the title refers to the blood of two demi-gods that must be spilled before Gaea, the earth-mother, the vicious, vindictive ancient proto-goddess can arise and essentially wipe all life off the planet. She's kind of ticked at having been put down by several generations of her offspring and if Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Percy and Annabeth and Jason and Piper and the rest of their team on the Argo II face one fast-paced perilous mission after another, while Reyna and Nico and Coach Hedge are scrambling to transport the recovered statue of Athena to Camp Half-Blood before the Roman demi-gods from Camp Jupiter can attack. It seems some misguided egotistical self-proclaimed prophet believes that if the Romans wipe out their Greek cousins, then the big mental/emotional problems the gods have, constantly torn between their Greek and Roman personalities will settle down, and then they'll be able to deal with Gaea. Well, Octavian is an idiot, as is proven by his well-deserved demise.  Unfortunately, it appears that one of our seven heroes is taken out at the same time ... maybe ... prophecies aren't exactly written in stone, y'know.

Whew! Lots going on, and I have to admit I was sometimes lost, because it has been so long since I read the last book in the series, that I forgot some of the adventures referred to. Major fun. One of those books you need to set aside huge chunks of time, so you can just keep reading. Satisfying ending. Although I must admit, I wouldn't mind more adventures. Although, just like on Stargate ... how many times can they save the world before it gets kind of ... redundant? Kudos to Riordan for satisfying characters and scenarios.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016

Off the Bookshelf: THE PRO WRITER MINDSET, by Jennifer Blanchard

Want to read a book that gets you fired up about your writing career -- and intimidated at the same time? Want to be inspired -- and groan every time you come to the homework section of the book?

PROFESSIONAL WRITERS ... gotta do a lot of things they don't like. Face it. Yeah, it's more fun to sit in your quiet corner -- or the local coffee shop, or wherever you write best -- and just write and dream about fame and glory. Well, there's work involved in being a professional. Pull up your big girl pants and get to work! Learn to LIKE all the non-writing stuff. Make it automatic. Be a professional in your brain, attitude, and actions.

You need to think like a professional, according to the author. Put your mind in the place where you're already acting like someone who does the hard work and practices the discipline. Act "as if" -- meaning putting into action the things you want to happen, as well as already living as if your success is there.

Well, that's my interpretation of the lessons. I just finished reading the book a day ago and there's still a lot swirling around in my mind. A lot of groaning over exercises "do I GOTTA?" put into practice. One little mind trick I need to figure out how to apply is what she calls "working from" instead of "working toward." I want to be a specific place in my career, but instead of figuring out how to get there, I figure out what it's like already being there, and kind of work backwards. Okay ....

There's a lot to devour, a lot to apply, and a lot of exercises to analyze yourself and motivate yourself, packed into this little book. One big hurdle I need to overcome is my classic response to advice people give on promoting their books: "WHO has the TIME?" Well ... a professional writer makes the time for all that stuff.

Aarrgghh .....  So, here we go!