Dear Diary

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Pre-release Buzz


I gotta tell you, I read 2 novels from Tierney James in 2016. Her latest offering, Dark Side of Morning, was given to me (pre-release) to review. To describe this book in one word...


WOW!


A little bit romance, a little bit Indiana Jones,  a little bit country, (and yes) a little bit rock & roll. As with her last book, "Dance of the

Devil's Trill", James takes a topic (this time American Indian culture) and pulls you in... completely.  she weaves a fantastic picture of history, and fills in the edges with all of the good and bad of the present. This blend of the "then & now" makes the reader feel as if the wild tale they are reading, could actually happen.


Her heroine,  Cleo, is smart and yet human. She makes mistakes,  she is sentimental and a total romantic ( in spite of herself). And Wind Dancer, (our tall-dark-&-handsome hero) is EXACTLY what a hero should be.  Dedicated to the woman he loves,  strong in the face of danger... and of course, easy on the eyes ♥


The whole book is filled with a cast of unforgettable characters,  who all do their part to keep you curling your toes in anticipation through to the very end. The story itself is filled with magic, danger, intrigue,  government conspiracy,  forbidden love, stray dogs, pizza.... well you get the idea! 


And then, as if the story wasn't already awesome, I find out it's Book #1! woohoo! This little fact made my day, because I blew through it in just a few days. I was a little bummed out that the book ended so quickly. ..  I wanted MORE! And it turns out,  I'm gonna get more. Yay!


So all in all, The Dark Side of Morning was a delightful read. Cheers to you Tierney James, your novels never disappoint.


5 stars!

*If you want to get in on the pre-order,  here is the Amazon link:


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NCQN6FN/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1482952559&sr=8-1&keywords=dark+side+of+morning+by+tierney+james

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There is so much I could say about this book. I can only imagine the time and energy it took to research all the history and theological lore that went into The Devil's Prayer. The imagery was so vivid, I could see everything.


The author's  story telling is solid. I was apprehensive at first, when I realized virtually the entire book was basically a woman's journal. But I quickly found that telling this story through journal entries was the best way to do it. I actually felt like I was reading a real journal, like the events unfolding in those pages were real events. They pulled me deeper down the rabbit hole than I had anticipated, and it was marvelous.


The ending was rather abrupt & left wide open. At first I thought it was merely to leave plenty of room for a sequel. But the more I thought about it, the more I discovered that the ending had to be that way. It allows the reader to decide for themselves what the ultimate outcome should be. And believe it or not, the somewhat unresolved/cliffhanger ending gives the reader hope.


This book was one of the best books I read in 2016. I recommend this book to anyone who loves history, theology or mysteries.

The most shocking thing I found, was that this is a debut novel. Clearly this author is one to watch.  I cannot wait to see what he does next.


☆☆☆☆☆

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A Year Of Creative Writing Prompts



I love, Love LOVE writing prompts. The challenge of taking a ready made idea and transforming it into my own unique piece of writing makes my mouth water. I participate writing in several prompt exercises posted to groups on Facebook. And I am  constantly checking out different FB pages to see what kind of writing prompts they have to offer.


I found the ultimate, the holy grail, the Atlantis, the El Dorado, the fountain of youth of writing prompts. Put out by Love in Ink, the book, “A Year of Creative Writing Prompts” is exactly that. 366 days (yes, they remembered leap year)  of various prompts, spanning a ton of genres.


The book is set up like a daily devotional. Three prompts a day: a single word prompt in the morning to get your juices flowing, a general prompt at midday, and a unique or unusual story prompt for the evening. Love in Ink did a masterful job at blending the genres, so everyday holds new and challenging exercises for your inner muse chew on.


Don’t  like the randomness? Only want to stick to one genre?? No prob Bob! The prompts are ‘re-listed by genre and prompt style in the later chapters. It couldn’t  be easier to use, no matter what you like to write. I have found that most of these prompts even work for those who write poetry/prose or children’s stories.


What a pleasure it was to read through these prompts. I have already used a few of them, and am having a blast. If you want to stimulate your creative side, sharpen your writing skills, cure a bad case of writers block, or if your out of ideas for the next great American novel, I HIGHLY recommend “A Year of Creative Writing Prompts”.


☆☆☆☆☆  All day long! :-)

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By, Bonnie Hearn Hill... super lady!

GOODBYE FOREVER, BY BONNIE HEARN HILL

                        ☆The Review☆


For starters, I went into this book with a bit of a handicap. You see, I had never read a "Kit Doyle " mystery by Bonnie Hearn Hill before. While I've been busy reading other books, the characters in GOODBYE FOREVER, have been living quite an exciting life.


Fortunately  for me, this author does a masterful job of filling you in, without being obvious that she's  filling you in. I never felt like I had to stop and read her previous Kit Doyle mystery in order to fully enjoy this one.


I love that this story takes place in Central California. I love that it highlights the uniqueness and sometime dangerous quirks in our weather, and I was deeply appreciative of way she hinted at the agricultural aspects of Central California. AND, Bonnie Hearn Hill showcased California's natural beauty as well.


This tale of mystery centers around young people, mentally disturbed tweens & teens who thanks to a quack psychologist are now more disillusioned than ever. There's  something deliciously creepy about evil mastermind children. I found myself torn between hoping they would get straightened out and hoping they'd all fall in a hole.


Enter "Kit" Katherine Doyle, a crime blogger, radio host, stubborn mule, and cool chick with a huge heart. If anything crazy ever happens to me, I want Kit Doyle to be the one who goes to bat on my behalf. This author has created a truly lovable character, full of flaws, who isn't afraid to take chances for those she loves.


GOODBYE FOREVER was a rollercoaster ride. I laughed, I almost teared up (big girls don't  cry... as far as you know), I yelled at the book, you name an emotion, I probably  had it. If I was going to be critical, I would be critical of the punishment of Lucas, the main antagonist. I would say I was left wanting more justice. Or, maybe I'm just a sadist.


Overall, this fast paced thrill ride was worth reading all Day LONG! It was written beautifully, with solid lovable characters (except for that one kid... Grrrr!!!!!!) backdropped by my favorite place, California.  


GOODBYE FOREVER, By Bonnie Hearn Hill is available on Amazon right now. Get your tookus over there and get yours today.

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I'm a reviewer!

It's fantastic where writing a book has taken me. I have met so many talented & interesting people, I have been exposed to new & creative ways to hone my own craft...  the whole experience has been very humbling and exciting.

Well, now I can add reviewer to my list of "New things". I was asked to do a review... before the book is even released! No pressure, the author is only a good friend, a solid mentor, and extremely  talented author. No pressure, right?

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CALCULATED REGRETS, by THOMAS JAST


☆the review☆


You know, it's stressful writing a review!


Welcome to my first ever, book review... let's get the technical stuff out of the way, shall we?


Thomas Jast did an excellent job. The story is fast paced, dialed in perfectly, and definitely  has its own voice. I loved the way he projected the story forward, by sometimes employing short, journal-like paragraphs. (as opposed to long & windy descriptions the reader doesn't  need)


I must say, I am one of those people who loves it when the antagonist is winning. I will cheer on a villain all Day LONG! The main character, voice of the book, and all around bad seed is a cool customer named Alex. She is calculating and dark. She's  vindictive and brilliant. Oh, and she's a total sociopath... and a drunk, in fact, if the Olympics had a drinking event, Alex would be all GOLD.

And yet, it was so easy to love her, then hate her, then love her.... well you get the point.


Calculated Regrets does a masterful job of letting the reader see what actually goes on inside the head of a potential psycho. I found myself being taken in by her excuses, believing her lies! Thomas Jast should have marketed this novel as a handbook for handling sociopath's. FABULOUS!


This book was jammed packed with good old fashion intrigue & lively characters. Who knew that office drama could be so juicy? Or so dangerous?? And the best part? There's  a SEQUEL !! It's  called Mixed Messages.


How exciting, my first book review, and the book ROCKS!

Thank you Thomas Jast, you get five stars☆☆☆☆☆


ps. poor Tom :(


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Don't wait!!

WHY CARPE DIEM MATTERS


When I was in high school I loved English class. I was that one kid that looked forward to the reading assignments and the creative writing prompts. Other than lunch, it was really the only thing I truly enjoyed in school.


My senior year, we had to write scary stories for Halloween. HELL YES! I put pen to paper, (that's  how we did it in those days, insert old person joke here→_____________________) and proceeded to belt out a classic ghost story. One part Twilight Zone, one part Goosebumps, I told the story of Thaddeus Bernum, and his unfortunate stay in a haunted house.


We all got to read our stories out loud. Poor old Thaddeus scared the crap out of the class. I was thrilled. To be 17 and able to have that kind of power over other people's heebie jeebies was an incredible  feeling.


So what ever happened to Thaddeus? Alas, somewhere along the line, I misplaced that story. I did that with a lot of stuff I wrote back then. I was young & had all the time in the world. Riiight ???


In the back of my head, I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I wanted to see my books on bookstore shelves, (that was the only way to get books back then, insert old person joke here→____________) to hold book signings... The problem was, I was lazy. After all, I have all the time in the world. Riiight???


Then life did that thing it will do, if you let it:  It took over. Before I knew it, I was working and blowing my money on fun and falling in love and getting married and paying a mortgage and mowing lawns and potty training puppies and AHHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!! Suddenly, I wasn't  17 anymore.


Fortunately, I got off my ass and made my dream a reality before I turned 90. I wrote a book!


Am I sorry that it took me well into my 30's to pursue my dream? No. In fact, he'll no. I got in the game before the clock ran out and I get to share this dream with my husband. In fact, it's his influence that keeps me going. But that's  me. what about you? Are you pursuing your dream?


CARPE DIEM!!!!!


Don't  make your Thaddeus Bernum wait 20 years like I did. Whether it's writing, or art, or plumbing!! Seize the Day, and make that dream a reality.


Otherwise, you could end up a greeter in a Wally☆World, wondering where all that time went. (insert old person joke here→____________)


→Disclaimer← no, I'm not a greeter in Wally☆World.......... OR AM I???

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Jolly old Saint Nick!

There's  nothing I hate more than the "War on..." fill in the blank. We got the War on women, the War on terror, the War on fetuses, and of course, the War on Santa .  recently, I read a news article where a 10 year tradition was halted because of the War on Santa.

Kindergartners were denied a class field trip to a local cafe in San Jose. Why? Because one lone parent had a problem with Santa. A school tradition, kindergartners would walk to a local cafe, drink hot cocoa, and visit  Saint Nick. How cute is that?


Apparently. .. it's not.


The parent cited intolerance and blah  blah blah. Come on!  Santa transcends faiths. He has more meaning than that. And since I'm  a writer, not a news commentator,  I decided to make the case for Santa... in verse:


KEEPING THE CHRIS IN CHRISTMAS


they say it's the most wonderful time of the year

where adults set aside their anger and fear

and children can whisper in Old  Saint Nick's ear

everyone loves the Chris in Christmas


no matter your religion, or color or creed

the chill in the air stamps out the greed

generosity abounds and fulfilled is every need

as we embrace the Chris in Christmas


but his magic is a delicate flower

bickering can can cause the taste to sour

starved of tradition, our children will cower

when we lose the Chris in Christmas


to diminish Chris Kringle is utterly sad

no matter your faith, he's  more than a fad

and he's  deeper in meaning than a list of good & bad

there's a need for the Chris in Christmas


he represents tolerance at its very core

to set aside the need to settle a score

that you can love thy neighbor as never before

when we nurture the Chris in Christmas


Santa is an example of who we should be

a generous spirit for mankind to see

his message of giving sets the whole world free...

let's  keep the Chris in Christmas


If you want to read the article, here's the link:


http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Santa-Field-Trip-Canceled-Jewish-Mom-Accused-of-Waging-War-on-Christmas-362670321.html?_osource=SocialFlowFB_BAYBrand


Merry Christmas, everybody♥



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Created by Molly Neely