BOOKS AND BLOGGING PHILOSOPHY

Philosophy is defined as a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought. Well, my theory is if I can add at least 10 new books to my Wishlist and move at least 5 older Wishlist selections to my TBR list every month, then life is a ice cream sundae. And if I can find those 10 books from at least 5 new blogs each month then that's the cherry on top.

NEW VISITORS AND OLD- WELCOME!

NEW VISITORS AND OLD- WELCOME!
Well, I've made it almost 5 years now, so for better or worse, I continue on. I tend to blog in spurts as the urge to be creative erupts. As I don't have an artistic bone in my body, you will see very few changes in the layouts. Hey, I'm a reader not an artist like so many of the awesome bloggers I follow. I know you don't always have the time but if you stopped and looked, take a half a minute and say your piece. Recommend a book that you have enjoyed or hated for that matter. Thank you to all who visit.
Oh, and I moved my Google Friend Connect info and share this buttons to the top, as without our friends, who are we?


Monday, January 1, 2018

The Perfect Christmas Gift

Growing up in a small town, Granite Falls, North Carolina,  in the 1960s was both tough and fun. My Dad had left the Navy and moved my Mom, me, aged 6 and my siblings, 4 and 2 from Long Beach, California back to their hometown of Granite Falls after serving his country on a Naval cruiser, the USS Rochester, for ten years. He would be gone for six to nine months on tours and then at home on base for three (hince the eighteen month difference between my siblings and me. He managed to get my Mom pregnant every other time he came home:). He had the opportunity to visit Hawaii, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, the Philippines and many other places that a farm boy could only dream of. 
He didn't feel it was fair for my Mom to carry the whole load alone for raising three small children without any relatives for backup and took what the Navy taught him as a welder back to this small town where he worked for the next thirty years for what was to become PNG. We lost him pretty early to a massive heart attack at only 56. 
Granite Falls  was the typical Hallmark/Mayberry smalltown. The kids walked to school, to the library, downtown and all over with no worries or fears. The downtown area had a Five & Dime where as kids anytime we had a nickle to spend, we would visit. You could go there and "shop" for hours and see (what seemed to us) thousands of items to buy, mostly penny candy.
Every Christmas our aunts (who were very young teenagers and always glad to walk us downtown as it meant they got to flirt with the boys at the drugstore) would take us on our annual Christmas shopping trip to the Five & Dime to spend our carefully hoarded coins for presents for our Mom & Dad. This year we knew exactly what to get my Dad as he had been watching TV one day and we heard him say to my Mom "Now THAT'S what I want for Christmas this year!" We were so excited to be able to get this "perfect" Christmas gift because we knew it was something he had seen and we knew we could actually afford it.
Now remember back in the 60's the guys wore their hair slicked back like James Dean or for you younger guys Fonzie.
My Dad had the thickest, curliest, black hair (most of the Williams' in my family had that awesome trait) and I was always jealous that my siblings had it while mine was dishwater blonde, thick and curly, though it did morph into a rich dark brown later on. We thought his hair was so beautiful and looking back at pictures of him and his siblings now, they looked like Hollywood models.
Well, to continue with the "perfect Christmas Gift", it was a tube of Brylcreem. Brylcreem is what my son today calls hair product and it is still available for sell, who knew!


An Icon 
Since 1928.

Brylcreem was an instant hit with British soldiers during WWII. It quickly became standard issue for military pilots, who had a reputation for being cutting edge and sophisticated, to keep their longer hair perfectly in place during intense air battles.

Through the decades the look has stuck. From slick 50’s ad execs to today’s red carpet. 89 years later, the look continues to be an icon of men’s style.

Their earlier punch line had been "A Little Dab'll Do Ya" and the 1965 commercial my Dad  had seen was "Are you man enough to try it?" Here is the commercial thanks to Youtube. Actually it was rather creepy. Between the actor, music,  and the tone, it reminded me a bit of the opening sequence for a Twilight Zone episode.



Well, we did our shopping, keeping the "perfect gift" a secret and really excited because though both Mom & Dad kept guessing what we'd bought, they never got it right. 
Christmas day arrived and we opened our gifts full of excitement. Now in those days money was tight so we usually got a new outfit of clothes for school, a stocking that always had an apple, an orange and some nuts in it and generally one toy, a doll if you were a girl and a set of cowboy pistols and a hat or a truck if you were a boy. There weren't these endless piles to open like today. And we appreciated what we got and played with it for years. 
My Dad was the quiet type that always waited for everyone else to open their stuff and admire it before opening his. We were so excited and couldn't wait for him to open his gift. Finally, he gets it open, pulling each piece of tape off and excruciatingly unwrapping it without tearing the paper (back then you saved all the paper and bows to use again the next year). 
He looks at the tube of Brylcreem kind of funny and thanks us. We are so excited as we tell him we heard him telling our Mom that that was what he wanted for Christmas this year. To our amazement, he looks at my Mom and she looks at him and they both burst out laughing. My Dad laughed till he had tears in his eyes  and every time he would catch my Mom's eye all day they both would break out into laughter. He assured us that we had gotten him exactly what he wanted though he couldn't say it without falling down laughing. 
It wasn't until years later that we realized that he had been teasing my Mom when he saw the commercial and was talking about the WOMAN coming out of the tube. He faithfully used the Brylcreem over the next year with my Mom teasing him each time  and both of them laughing  for years over his "perfect gift". The one thing I remember more than anything about my Mom and Dad while growing up was the laughter and love they shared. My Dad though a very quiet man, was one who enjoyed teasing my Mom and making us all laugh. I hadn't realized till sitting here writing about this memory how that teasing quality and his ability to make us laugh is also one of the most endearing qualities of my husband's. Thirty five plus years and he still makes me laugh.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Blog Tour For THE DESIRES OF A DUKE : Historical Romance Collection

Eight historical romances featuring roguish dukes willing to risk it all to get the lady their heart desires.
Out Dec 12th– The Desires of a Duke: Historical Romance Collection
Follow the blast and enter to #win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


Title: The Desires of a Duke
Authors: Darcy Burke, Grace Callaway, Lila DiPasqua, Shana Galen, Caroline Linden, Erica Monroe, Christina McKnight, Erica Ridley
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: December 12, 2017

Available for a LIMITED TIME ONLY!

Enjoy eight historical romances from bestselling authors, featuring dashing, roguish dukes who are willing to risk it all to get the lady their heart desires. When these powerful, bold men take a chance on love, nothing can stop them.

THE FORBIDDEN DUKE by
Darcy Burke
The Forbidden Duke helps ruined Eleanor find a second chance for happiness. What will she say when she learns of the role he played in her downfall?

THE DUKE WHO KNEW TOO MUCH by
Grace Callaway
A spinster and rake join forces to catch a murderer. Wills clash and passion flares; will they risk all for love—before it’s too late? 

THE DUKE’S MATCH GIRL by
Lila DiPasqua
The only woman Leo, Duke of Mont-Marly, has ever yearned for is the adorably unconventional beauty who got away. Suzanne creates and selling matchsticks, elixirs for the ill…and is still so damned alluring. Leo is determined to give her a Christmas beyond her wildest imagination...

WAITING FOR A DUKE LIKE YOU by
Shana Galen
Pursued by assassins, Princess Vivienne of Glynaven escapes to England. The Duke of Wyndover aids her, but is he the man she’s been waiting for?

WHEN I MET MY DUCHESS by
Caroline Linden
The Duke of Wessex realizes he’s about to marry the wrong woman when he meets his bride’s sister…and the wedding may become a scandal.

I SPY A DUKE by
Erica Monroe
A governess entering into a marriage of convenience with a duke gets more than she bargained for, as he's also a spy for the crown.

THE MISFORTUNE OF LADY LUCIANNA by
Christina McKnight
The Duke of Montrose has only one choice: find a wealthy heiress to wed. When his quest brings him to Lady Lucianna, he can’t deny that he wants her for more than just her dowry.

THE DUKE’S ACCIDENTAL WIFE by
Erica Ridley
The unflappable Duke of Ravenwood meets his match in this rollicking New York Times best-seller!

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks


Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since.
Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

You can visit her online at the following places: Website Facebook | Twitter Goodreads | Amazon

Monday, December 11, 2017

Review & Excerpt Tour For A CRUEL KIND OF BEAUTIFUL By Michelle Hazen


We are thrilled to be celebrating the release of Michelle Hazen’s Rockstar Romance, A CRUEL KIND OF BEAUTIFUL! This is the first installment in her Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll series. Follow the tour for reviews, excerpts, guest posts, plus enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card!  


Title:  A Cruel Kind of Beautiful
Author: Michelle Hazen
Release Date: December 4, 2017
Publisher: Self-published
Series: Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 344


If you can’t get to the Big O, can you get to the happily ever after? 

Jera McKnight loves music, swoons for hot guys, but sucks at sex. Jacob Tate is her perfect storm: a pun-loving nude model with a heart as big as his record collection.

When a newspaper-delivery accident lands him in her living room, he’s almost tempting enough to make her forget she’s never been able to please a man—in bed or out of it. Sure, he laughs at her obscure jokes, and he’ll even accept a PG-rating if it means he gets time with her, but he’s also hiding something. And it has everything to do with the off-limits room in his apartment. 

Jera pours all her confusion and longing into her drum kit, which pays off when her band lands the record deal of their dreams. Except just like Jacob, it might be too good to come without a catch. 

She doesn’t know if her music is good enough to attract a better contract, or if she’s enough to tempt a man like Jacob to give up his secrets, even if they could fix her problems between the sheets. But if this rocker girl is too afraid to bet on herself, she might just end up playing to an empty house. 

Goodreads → http://bit.ly/2faEOp3

Buy Now: Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo


A CRUEL KIND OF BEAUTIFUL Excerpt
Copyright © 2017 Michelle Hazen

“If this is about sex, here’s the thing: I like sex. Every kind of sex. And I can make it unbelievably good for you.” He says it without a hint of a blush, and no trace of arrogance. The temperature of my skin rockets up.
I swallow to combat my suddenly dry mouth. I really, really want to roll him on top of me and forget that no matter how hot he makes me, I’ll be left panting and straining and unfulfilled at the end.
I want to pretend I don’t know better.
“This isn’t a romance novel,” I tell Jacob. “It doesn’t work like that. You can’t just put on some Barry Manilow and call it making love, and be so gentle with me that my head explodes into a rain of fireworks. I tried all that, and it sucked.”
I push up to sitting, my eyes darting away from him as I rub one hand down my opposite arm. I hate how ugly it makes me feel to talk about this stuff.
“No matter how excited I get, I can’t finish. My ex tried to help me get over it, and it only made the whole thing worse for both of us.”
“Look, I get that. I listened to that shitty voicemail he left you. But it doesn’t have to go that way, Jera. Did you know that seventy-five percent of women have trouble experiencing orgasm through vaginal sex? Only fifteen percent of women have the same trouble once additional stimulation is provided.” He sits up too. “Have you tried toys? Even just a little booster like a vibrating cock ring? What about fetishes?”
I blink, at a loss.
“Fetishes can be really unique, and they are often biologically based,” he explains. “Not linked to trauma or anything weird. They’re incredibly powerful. You could have an insane gummy bear fetish or something and just have no idea that's what you need to get excited. Have you read much erotica?”
My cheeks burn and if my mouth isn’t hanging open, it’s only because I’m too shocked to move.
“I might have done some research,” he admits.
“Oh really? I thought I accidentally hit play on my Sexual Dysfunction for Dummies audiobook. How are you not blushing right now?”
“I like talking about sex.” He shrugs. “And it’s important to you. Of course I want to know as much as I can. Besides, I’m an engineering major. Taking things apart and figuring out how they work is kind of what we do.”
That pulls a reluctant smile from me, because that is insanely nerdy but also sweet, and more than a little embarrassing. I don’t even want to see all the ways I’ve besmirched his browser history.




Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Go HERE for my review

Michelle Hazen is a nomad with a writing problem. Years ago, she and her husband ducked out of the 9 to 5 world and moved into their truck. As a result, she wrote most of her books with solar power in odd places, including a bus in Thailand, a golf cart in a sandstorm, and a beach in Honduras. Currently, she’s addicted to The Walking Dead, hiking, and Tillamook cheese.

Follow Author:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Pinterest



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour & Giveaway For A PATH THROUGH By Janna Olsen Spratt


A Path Through
Janna Olsen Spratt

Genre: Memoirs/Biography

Publisher: Book Venture Publishing LLC

Date of Publication: 08/21/2017

ISBN: 978-1-64069-799-7

Number of pages: 106
In this tribute to the faithfulness of God, the author shows the thread woven through everything from the car accident they walked away from which totaled the car to the last chapter of finding purpose in the pain of being alone. This is a story of overcoming poverty, early marriage, divorce and finding love a second time around. It’s a story of a parent’s tenacity in prayer for a wayward child and of holding on to faith when a seventeen year old grandson dies suddenly at school.

God promised He would take us through the trials.



Excerpt:


Little did I
know as I packed my books in February that I would unpack them two months
later. And as I prayed for the Lord to lead us to where we should go, I did not
know that my husband, Larry, and I would not be going to the same place.

We were planning
to move back to the Abbotsford, Langley, area in BC where we had lived some
twelve years earlier. It all started with a conversation over lunch with Dwayne
and Maureen, our son and our daughter-in-law. We were talking about seniors’
housing being in short supply and that it might be a good idea for us to think
about where we would like to live and putting our name into some places.

Our plan was to
move back to the coast into an apartment, and from there we could decide which
seniors’ housing would be the right place for us to make an application for. We
needed to look for an apartment there, so we decided we would drive to Surrey
to visit our son, Dustin, and his family, and from there we would search.

Larry would be
eighty years old on March 4, and we could celebrate his birthday as well as
look for a place at the same time. Our children planned a big party with our
family and friends. This was a milestone for Larry because his life had nearly
been cut short a few times before this, and making it this far was somewhat of
a miracle.

Someone has
said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” We were praying
about what we should do, and it seemed to us that this was a way to test the
waters. We left Castlegar the morning of March

1. Our plan was
to travel halfway, stay overnight at Princeton, and finish the trip the next
day.

We would be
traveling through mountain passes which could have snow on the highway, so we
wanted to give ourselves lots of time. Larry was a truck driver with more than
three million miles behind him, so he was not too concerned about driving.

Although there
was quite a bit of snow in the first pass, we made good time, arriving in
Princeton early in the afternoon. The next morning after breakfast, we set out
for the final part of our trip. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we felt good
about the trip thus far.

There was quite
a lot of snow on the Hope-Princeton Highway, but

Larry was not
concerned. Our 2008 Toyota seemed to handle the road conditions well. When we
passed the Hope turnoff and began the divided freeway with two lanes going each
way, we felt we had it made. The worst was over!

We passed a semi
and were still in the left lane when suddenly the left front wheel got caught
in a deep pothole. Larry struggled desperately to keep the car on the road, but
it seemed as if a force stronger than him wrenched the wheel out of his hands,
and we were immediately airborne.

I called out,
“Lord, help us,” as the car flew off the road into the median which was full of
snow.

Everything
happened so fast; it seemed as if we were watching a movie, spellbound. We sat
there with our seat belts on while the car careened crazily down the
embankment, spinning around and doing donuts and other turns. As we spun
around, there was a lot of snow going across the windshield. The back end of
the car slammed into the snowbank as we fishtailed, and the trunk opened,
spilling suitcases and some of the other contents.

As the car was
spinning and slamming into banks, the big back window smashed in, as well as
the backside windows. The backseat was filled with snow. My glasses flew off
and were later found in the snow in the backseat, and my left hearing aid flew
out and was later found on the dash.

At one point we
started to climb the bank toward the traffic on the eastbound side, but it was
a steep incline, and we were kept from going there. For one second I saw it, I
thought we might go into it; but instead the car rolled back, turned, and came
to rest on its right side on two wheels leaning against a snow-covered bank.
Larry had to brace himself with his feet in order not to fall down on me.

In the midst of
all this turmoil, we sat there with our seat belts on.

Strangely, we
felt protected. The front window did not even have a crack in it, the front
side windows were untouched, and the air bags did not deploy.

We were not
seriously injured.

I reached for my
cell phone, began dialing 911, and then a man was standing there, peering in
the front window, asking if we were all right.

We shouted we
were okay. Just then two RCMP officers appeared. They were traveling by and saw
what happened. One of them had been headed west, and the other one was headed
east. Coincidence?

A truck driver
had stopped and come to help, as well as some other men. There were at least
six men there. When we said we were all right, with us still in the car, they
put the car back on four wheels. They opened the doors and helped us out of the
car, asking again and again, “Are you sure you are all right?” We assured them
we were a little shaken but otherwise all right.

We each had two
men, one on each side, holding on to us as we trudged through the deep snow
across the median and up the bank to the highway. We waited in the police car until
the ambulance came. After the paramedics checked us out and the police took our
statements, we were taken to the Fraser Canyon Hospital at Hope, British
Columbia, for further examination.
Besides being

shaken up, Larry had some cuts on his hands and arms which were quickly
bandaged. The cuts were probably from the shattered glass when the back windows
smashed. I had a black eye. I must have banged my head on the window frame, although
I did not remember just when it happened.

About the Author:

Janna Spratt is the author of a collection of poetry, QUIET REFLECTIONS, and two children’s books; BILLY GOAT AND THE RED NECKERCHIEF and FUN AT NANA’S HOUSE. After she was widowed in 2011, she found a passion for life in writing. This fourth book is her story of faith in God that does not quit in spite of the challenges that come. Her goal is to realize her God given purpose in life and to live it to the best of her ability.




a Rafflecopter giveaway




Thursday, December 7, 2017

Release Week Blitz & Giveaway For SEA OF STRANGERS By Erica Cameron



Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for
Sea of Strangers 
(The Ryogan Chronicles #2)
by Erica Cameron
presented by Entangled Teen!
Grab your copy today!

Congratulations Erica!


Know your enemy if you want to survive…
The only way for Khya to get her brother back alive is to kill Varan—the immortal ruler who can’t be killed. But not even Varan knew what he was doing when he perverted magic and humanity to become immortal.

Khya’s leading her group of friends and rebels into the mountains that hold Varan’s secrets, but if risking all their lives is going to be worth it, she has to give up everything else—breaking the spell that holds her brother captive and jeopardizing her deepening relationship with Tessen, the boy who has been by turns her rival and refuge since her brother disappeared. Immortality itself might be her only answer, but if that’s where Khya has to go, she can’t ask Tessen or her friends to follow.
Sea of Strangers 
(The Ryogan Chronicles #2)
by Erica Cameron
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES

GR


Erica Cameron is the author of books for young adults including the Ryogan Chronicles, the Assassins duology, and The Dream War Saga. She also co-authored the Laguna Tides novels with Lani Woodland. An advocate for asexuality and emotional abuse awareness, Erica has also worked with teens at a residential rehabilitation facility in her hometown of Fort Lauderdale.


 Giveaway Information:


Sea of Strangers Prize Pack, including:**
* A signed copy of Sea of Strangers
* A $20 Visa gift card
* A swag pack
**For international: 1 copy from book depository and a $20 Visa gift card