Free Book: When Night Comes

When Night Comes: Free on Amazon for one more day.

When I got Dan Walsh’s e-mail on Sunday I wanted to quickly do a write-up and and tell you all about this great book that’s free on Amazon right now. Sadly, the days have slipped by and there’s only day left to get this fast-paced suspense novel.

The story opens with Sergeant Joe Boyd arriving at the scene of a possible homicide. “Check it out, Joe. It’s pretty strange,” patrolman Hank Jensen told him.

Homicide or not, they definitely had a dead body in that bed. There was no mistaking that familiar smell… Boyd guessed the boy probably died late last night, or in the early evening. He walked to the bed and looked down at the body, then at the kid’s face.

Yeah, that’s weird.

As Sgt Boyd was contemplating this mysterious death, Jack Turner was arriving in Culpepper, GA, as a guest lecturer at the invitation of his old history prof and mentor, Thomas Thornton. Jack, with his Master’s in Military History, was planning on giving a series of lectures on WWII.

Within days Jack has several bizarre dreams. It’s like he’s gone back in time to the scenes he’s been describing in his lectures, being part of the action as it unfolds. And Jack isn’t the only one having dreams. Two students are dead after experiencing bizarre hallucinations that seemed to drive them mad.

Forced into this puzzling situation, Jack wants to discover the cause of his strange dreams. He teams up with Rachel, an old acquaintance, now an attractive young teaching assistant at the university. Together they do some investigating — but someone’s determined to stop them.

For me this book is a keeper, one I can read over several times and still shiver with the thrill of the story. And it’s a bonus that Jack returns in a second and third book in the series.

Dan says in his e-mail, “The Kindle version of When Night Comes is absolutely FREE for the next 5 days. If you enjoy reading it, there’s a sample chapter for Book 2 at the end, and an Amazon link.”

And now there’s only one more day! So if this book sounds appealing, here’s the link to Amazon .com. And here’s the LINK to his BLOG.

Book Review: Blue Hydrangeas

BLUE HYDRANGEAS: An Alzheimer’s Love Story

Novel written by Marianne Sciucco
Published by Bunky Press (April 2013)

It’s apparent to Jack that his wife has gone beyond “a little forgetful.” Their doctor is talking about Alzheimer’s and suggesting 24/7 care is needed, but Jack’s convinced he can care for her in their home. He has a negative image of nursing homes and dreads the idea of putting the love of his life in one of them.

This is an awesome tale of love, devotion — and stubbornness — as Jack grapples with the Alzheimer’s disease that is slowly stealing his wife’s mind. We can relate to his efforts to help her remember, his fear and panic when he turns his back for a moment and she’s gone. The story draws the reader into the thoughts, emotions, and desperation that many people feel who have loved ones affected by dementia.

All through the book I sensed the darker undercurrent of truth here: Alzheimer’s can hit anyone. In an informative, encouraging way, Blue Hydrangeas introduces the reader to the possibility of dealing with this disease, should it strike someone near and dear to us. And the take away point is powerful: a couple should enjoy each day they have together.

This isn’t the newest book on the shelf but well worth reading. I received an advanced reader copy of Blue Hydrangeas from the Story Cartel in exchange for an unbiased review. If you’d like to help an author and are willing to do book reviews, do check out the Story Cartel.

Photo-Tour of Dover

I’ve discovered another new blogger I’d like to introduce you to this morning. She blogs as Sojerden and has posted a pictorial Guide to several historic English cities. So if a quick tour of  Dover interests you this morning, hop on over to her latest post via Air Internet and see the sights with her.

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And now for a chuckle at the expense of some confused tourists:

All Hail Neil!

One day some years back a guide was leading a group of American tourists around the British Houses of Parliament and explaining this and that, when he saw the House Speaker crossing the corridor ahead of them, decked in his flowing robes.

The two men were friends so the tour guide called out, “Neil!” and they exchanged a friendly wave. Then the guide turned back to the American tourists — and found them all on their knees.

🙂

Thrift Shop Find: A Good Read

Book Review: THREE CAME HOME

When the Japanese army took over Borneo in May 1942, Agnes and Harry Keith and their 18- month-old son were taken prisoner along with others associated with the British colony there.  The men were put in one prison camp; the women and children in another, along with a group of nuns.

This insightful book reconstructs the scene immediately before the invasion, the two years and four months they were interred, and their trip home. If you don’t value your freedom enough, this book is a MUST READ.  With clarity and charity Mrs. Keith details life in the two prison camps, their ways of coping with abuse and starvation rations.  She describes guards, prison commanders and interpreters as well as her fellow prisoners.

In her opening she says,  “The Japanese in this book were as war made them, not as God did, and the same is true of the rest of us…  If there is hate here (in these pages), it is for hateful qualities, not nations.  If there is love, it is because this alone kept me alive and sane.”

Three Came Home, by Agnes Newton Keith © 1946, 1947
Published by Little Brown and Company,  Boston,  MA, USA

Agnes Newton Keith has also written LAND BELOW THE WIND, WHITE MAN RETURNS, and BAREFOOT IN THE PALACE.  Although I haven’t read LAND BELOW THE WIND, I know it describes their life in Borneo (an English colony in the South Pacific) before the war and the reviews were favorable.

Versatile Blogger Award

Back at the beginning of May fellow blogger Hussein Allam nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. As you can see I’ve been procrastinating — but now it’s time to get with it. Thanks very much for this honour, Hussein.
Versatile Blogger 1

I copied this symbol from another blogger who had posted it, and because I’m that sort of a person, I googled “Versatile Blogger Award.” One site showed all the images drawn up for this award. I counted seventy before I quit, but there must be 100 variations.

Versatile Bl 4

This is a rather nice one. Matches my header. 🙂

According to the write-up, if you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award and you should now:Versatile Bl 2

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award.
  •  Include a link to their blog.
  •  Next, select at least ten blogs that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  •  Nominate those bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  •  Finally, share with your readers seven things about yourself.

Oh, how can I pick ten or even fifteen bloggers when I know of so many who would qualify! Check out my Blogroll in the right side bar and you’ll see quite a few worthwhile blogs. I realize some bloggers I follow don’t want awards, and some a few of the ones who do accept them have just gotten an award of some kind. I usually decline awards myself, but thought “Maybe this time.”

So I’ll nominate the following dozen bloggers and let them decide if they want to pass it on:

— Dale in Quebec who blogs at A Dalectable Life. We do fiction together and exchange silly, encouraging, and delightful comments.
— Eric Wicklund from TX blogs at Momus News. With a sense of humor a lot like mine, Eric writes twisty fiction tales and sci-fi stories.
Jellico’s Stationhouse. Another creative flash fiction writer whose writing I enjoy.
— Stacey at In the Corner. A wife, mom, teacher, cancer survivor, soon-to-be published author, shares her battles with the big bad C 🙂
Tiny Lessons Blog takes her readers for enjoyable walks through the salt marsh in the FL keys.
— Cindy, a relatively new blogger has wandered the world, now lives in NJ and blogs at Bird Flight
Chrissy Adventures Another interesting Mom and blogger who says every day is an adventure.
Bedtime Book Blog An English mom with five year old twins, she reviews their bedtime story books on her blog. Great suggestions for new parents.
— Jennifer Ann Fifield, the poet behind The Writing life
That Travel Lady in Her Shoes is another blogger and book reviewer you might enjoy.
Kathleen Duncan I reblogged one of her articles here recently, excellent advice about what to say to a bereaved parent.
Jo, the Inquisitive Writer. I thought her newbie blogging tips were really helpful.

Versatile Bl 5

For those who want a more jazzy image

Seven things about me:
— I was married to Bob at age 17; a mom at 18; and became a Christian at age 21. Now I’m a grandma, too. 🙂

— As a couple we’ve lived in five provinces from AB to QC, plus my folks and I lived for a year in BC when I was  five. I’ve retained a few dim memories of travelling through the Rockies by train, looking down into deep mountain gorges. Eeek!

—We’ve “got a friend in Pennsylvania.” In fact lots of them, as we visited there quite a few times when we lived in Ontario. We’ve travelled as far south as Mississippi and as far SW as eastern Kansas. Didn’t see any sign of Dorothy, Toto, or a twister though.

— I started penpalling back in 1984 and have carried on with some of my penpals all these years since.

—I was editor/publisher of a penpal newsletter for four years when we lived in Ontario. Canaquest Friendship magazine was started by Pauline Campbell; I took over from her.  I’m also a published author with one children’s book to my credit: The Rescuing Day.

— I’m a cancer survivor. Treated for breast cancer when I was 27 and thankfully never had a recurrence. Almost 37 blessed years! (However, I developed chronic lymphocytic leukemia four years ago and was treated last year. I’m doing okay now.)

— I might be a fairly good artist today if I’d ever had lessons. It’s on my bucket list to someday paint a picture.

“Strawberry Cream Cupcake” Missing Ingredients

Book Review:
Strawberry Cream Cupcake & Murder
(A Dana Sweet Cozy Mystery)

By Ann S. Marie
National Bestselling Author
Indie Published

Recently dumped by her finace, Dana has inherited a cupcake cafe from her deceased Grandmother. She’s moving back to Berry Cove, Ontario, intending to turn this cafe into a profitable business again. We read very often in the first couple of chapters how the business was going under and Dana has to make a profit or lose her life savings. Readers are also told quite often how much she misses her grandmother. Most of this could be deleted or switched to the “show, don’t tell” technique.

This first book was a freebie, so I’m really looking a gift horse in the mouth. However, I’m not sure who appointed Ms Marie a national best-selling author. The structure of some sentences and wording of some phrases makes me suspect English isn’t her first language. For example:

— Dana couldn’t read any further. Heat rushed to her chest.

— “It’s not true,” Inga added with her thick Russian accent rolling her R, yet again.

— She noticed the detective glancing at her neck when she swallowed. He probably thought she was guilty of sin. Which, of course, she wasn’t. No where even close.

A few overly long sentences actually came off quite amusing:

— Her eyes were wide and her jaw fell open as she looked at Brad slumped over on his desk, a cup of coffee turned over, spilling on the side of the desk, and a half-eaten strawberry cream cupcake topped with a high frosting with a spoon dug into it from the Cozy Cupcakes Café right there by his left hand.

— But Katie had been such a darling sweetheart seeing how Dana had been pulling all-nighters just as she’d done back in college, getting the disastrous bookkeeping records straight that had been neglected since Nans passed away by her elderly accountant who had started to have trouble with his memory, locating receipts and his failing eyesight. Poor thing.

I did finish the story, but this isn’t what I’d call a reader-friendly mystery. Instead of clues being introduced so readers can try their hand at divining whodunit, in the last chapter Dana informs the suspect that she’s gone online and learned points of his/her personal history. She then rattles off a bunch of incriminating info and makes the accusation. Rather a letdown for the reader.

The potential is there for a good story, but there are too many flaws in the telling of it, IMO. Dana could be a more sensible, likeable character. She doesn’t come off as the type to manage a business, IMO. A seasoned editor could have improved this book A LOT. However, the writer has some real fans judging by the Amazon reviews — AND she’s achieved her dream of getting a cozy mystery series written. As long as you don’t keep repeating the same mistakes over and over, practice should make perfect.

If you decide to give this writer a try, she has written seven books in the series. This first one is free on Amazon. (Note: Front cover designs and titles are similar to Joanne Fluke’s well known Hannah Swensen Mystery series, so don’t be confused.)

Becoming a Mom

On Saturday I like to highlight another blogger who has written something informative or inspiring. Today I came across Chrissy’s article on becoming a mom. When did the realization first hit home and how did it feel?

I thought you others might enjoy reading this, too.

ChrissyAdventures

That moment you realize you are a Mom!

How to describe that moment? That moment when it hits you, when it all comes down like a ton of bricks and reality steps right in your face – You’re a Mom, a Mother, the one trusted source of information about vomit, diarrhea, diaper rash & common illnesses.

Not during pregnancy, although many women experience revelation then, but when that young one is in your arms. That’s when it’s real.  That moment when the mental connection is made. I’ve heard some say it was in the hospital it hit them, but not for me. Oh no, it was after I got home. Suddenly, I realized how helpful the hospital staff had been during the first couple of days. They didn’t come home with me. There was no help really!

Nothing prepares you for it – not books, movies, seminars, or pregnancy classes. Nope, no stories…

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