Friday, March 17, 2017

Out with the old in with the New

A lot has been happening here this year. First of all I want to thank of the authors whose books I reviewed. More reviews are on the way, so stay tuned. Also I want to thank all the people for all of their support. I couldn't have done it all without you.  And a special thanks to author KA Moll for stopping by two weeks ago to chat.  For more on her interview see the link below:


Meet Author KA Moll


After much discussion, we finally decided to turn the back room of our garage into a bonus room. The room is about 300 square feet and is perfect for a baseball party. Previously we held them in our living room that had limited seating. In here we can put in a few couches and maybe a recliner.


Before pic


Previously, this space was an ugly cheap looking workshop with the only window painted shut. There was no air circulation in there, creating a stale environment. We mostly stored unused items here. It was depressing to go in there and we rarely visited the room. We saw the potential, which is why we pursued the project.

The glass in the windows provided some light, but only part of the day. Before the ceiling and walls had been all paneling, creating a dark cave. There was an old doorway leading into the garage behind where the TV now sits.

On the day of demo I remember feeling as though a weight was being taken off my shoulders. No more dense space. The first to go was the makeshift corner workstation that was in another dark corner. Secondly, was the old ugly window as well as the glass French doors. Who ever thought of putting these types of doors in a this type of building, I don't know. Instead we put a single door and an attractive window, adding a good amount of light to the room.


Room 1


The process took several weeks to complete.   Each day we'd go take a peek at the room and see the progress. It wasn't until they patched the wall's doorway that I began to see the finished result in my head. By the time the drywall was up, it was already a new room.

Above the room, we created attic space for additional storage. We now have pocket lights in the ceiling, casting an inviting vibe. Ideally, a wet bar would be nice, but at least we have a place for beverages. Maybe some day.


Room 2


Along one wall we created closet space. Eventually we'd like to convert one of them into a powder room. That would make the space ideal. For now it’s a great place to hide boxes. The barn doors add a rustic touch. We had considered pocket doors but I'm so glad we chose these instead. Now all we need to do is furnish it. A couple of couches and maybe a recliner would be really nice. Or if someone is getting rid of a billiards table, let me know.



New Exterior


This is the finished outside of our once useless room. We plan to put a large plant in the corner to the right of the front door. We have also considered getting an awning to shield the front window from the intense summertime sun. We enjoy sitting outside throughout the year and this patio is one of the spots where we like to hang. Who would have thought that an old dusty room could be transformed into something as nice as this? I can totally see us with our friends in here rooting for the Dodgers. On the grill we'll have the burgers and dogs.

We are very excited that our room is ready to be the party room. Baseball season is just around the corner too. Go Blue all the way 2017.

As I mentioned above, I've read some really good books this year, including KA Moll's 'Blue Ice Landing', an adventure that takes you to the far ends of the earth. This is one you don't want to miss. I will be sharing my review for this book next week, so mark your calendars and tell your friends. I am looking for people to discuss her book.


Blue Ice Landing Cover



Until next time,

Lynn


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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Meet Author KA Moll


Good afternoon friends and welcome.  Today I have a special treat for you.  Author K.A. Moll has stopped by to chat.  She is busy underway with several writing projects, one of which is discussed below.  I read her book, 'Change of Heart' and reviewed it on 26-Aug-16.  This is definitely one to put on your reading list.







What is ‘Change of Heart’ about?
It’s a story about high school sweethearts, reunited after two decades. It’s about how these two women move beyond hurt feelings and shattered trust to rekindle their flame that still burns hot.


What was your inspiration behind the book cover for ‘Change of Heart’?
The cover for ‘Change of Heart’ is from a watercolor created by my biological sister, Cindy. Her work is also on the cover of “For A Moment’s Indiscretion.” I don’t know how she managed to get inside my head to capture this story in her painting…but she did. I was adopted as a preemie and didn’t find her until I was in my forties. It never fails to amaze me how we connected. It feels as if she’s been a part of my life forever.


Did you do any types of writing while you were in school?  If so, did you receive any awards or recognition for your work?
I was on the school newspaper in high school and I took writing/literature courses in college.


Was there anyone or anything in your life who encouraged you to write?   If so, what did they do?
My wife is my number one beta reader and my biggest fan. I couldn’t accomplish half of what I do without her support and input.


Is there a different genre that you’d like to write a story in and why?
No, not really. If there were, I’d have probably already written it. To date, I’ve written books in romance, paranormal, and suspense/thriller.



One day you get the call asking if you’d like to make ‘Change of Heart’ into a movie.  Who would you cast as the main players?
Wow…that’d be a nice call. Hmmmm…I guess Lily Gladstone for Jack…but she’d need a haircut. And for Courtney…I guess Stana Katic.



Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. Thank you so much for reading my books and for opening your hearts to my characters, most of whom have considerable emotional baggage.


Can you elaborate on what has worked for you to regenerate creativity?
So far, I’ve been fortunate to have not needed much regeneration. If anything, I’ve had to beat stories down so that one could move forward. If I did need to regenerate, I’d listen to smooth jazz or walk a nature trail.


Have you ever created a character (either main or supporting) who was so awful in personality that even you felt dislike toward?
Jahi in “Haunting Love” was a nasty piece of work.


What musical groups do you follow and can you describe their style?
I like Fay Wolf, Hem, and k.d. Lang. 


What is your favorite vegetarian meal?
I like most all vegetarian dishes a lot…especially Indian and Cajan…Mmmm, red beans and rice. But…I suppose my favorite would have to be my wife’s broccoli casserole.


Let’s give a shout out to TriPub books.  What would you like to say to them?
…That I couldn’t be more pleased…but they already know that.


What has been your favorite part of being an author?  The least favorite?
I pretty much love everything about it…but I suppose if I had to choose, my favorite thing would be getting to know and be a part of this amazing lesfic community. Least favorite…hummm…well I guess that would have to be marketing.


What other authors do you follow?  Which books would you recommend?
I’m a HUGE Radclyffe fan…although I must admit I like her older works better. My favorite of all her books is “Passion’s Bright Fury.” Next in line would be “Love’s Melody Lost.”


What is in the works next for you?
My work in progress is titled “To Believe In Magic.” Jack and Courtney from “Change of Heart” will be strong secondary characters in the work. If all goes well, it should release mid-summer.


Here’s an excerpt from 'Change of Heart'...


Jack opened the passenger door for Courtney and she climbed in. Then Jack walked around the vehicle to climb in the other side. She sighed as she looked over her shoulder to back out of the narrow driveway. “When are you gonna tell me, Courtie?” she asked.

Courtney began to cry.

“I can see it’s tearing you up inside,” Jack continued. “I think you’d feel better if you told me.” Courtney cried a little harder.

“Whatever it is,” Jack said softly, “it happened a longtime ago and we’ve moved on.” She shifted gears. “Why can’t you just tell me?”

Courtney hiccupped a sob.

“Okay, I’ll leave you be,” Jack said. “I guess you’ll tell me when you’re ready.”



Check out this link to my review:  ‘Change of Heart’.


Thank you all for joining us today.  Before you go, be sure to check out KA Moll’s links below:


Website: www.kamoll.com


Twitter: @ka_moll



Lesbian Talk Show Interview on writing damaged characters:
http://www.thelesbiantalkshow.com/how-to-write-damaged-characters/



Until next time,


Lynn



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Saturday, February 25, 2017

My Review of Breanna Hughes' 'A Fine Mess'

A Fine Mess, explores the lives of three women, Harper, Emily, and Kiley, who have an awakening due to a tragedy.



Harper learned her motto from her folks, never to complain about her life.  Growing up, she followed their direction and hid behind a fa├žade. Her feelings are stuck, due to years of restricting herself emotionally. Her desire to alienate herself has created more drama between certain players. Her loved ones don't understand this, but I do and realize this was part of her journey of life. She is family oriented and shows her love and loyalty many times.

Harper is independent and a creative, talented guitar musician. Despite parental pressure to do otherwise, she goes ahead and does her own thing. The author paints a precise picture of her and I could feel her passion for music. I could imagine her playing on stage in front of standing room crowd.

Emily is Harper's younger sister and is a bit on the rebellious side. Underneath, she has a tender heart. Emily isn't afraid to speak her truth. She tends to do things without thinking of the long term effects. This has caused tension with Harper. I really like Emily. She has integrity and I can see the love she has inside of her. She is a true leader and I know she's going to do well in life. She's liked by everyone and is her own person. I found the way she held her own ground was admirable.

Kiley is Harper's best friend who has been always there for her. Underneath her coat of armor, is a talented and beautiful artist, just spreading her wings. She is also an excellent marketing rep for Harper. Her strength is loyalty. She would do anything for both sisters. It took me some time to warm up to her, and you'll see what I mean as you read along.

Life throws the sisters a curveball that changes the direction of their lives. Each choose a different path. And even though there are trials, never did they lose sight. Both women realized they needed to change in the midst of it all. The energy of these scenes got intense and I felt devastated.

There is an eternal battle between hearts, creating very intense drama.  Raw feelings emerged from the pages.  I can't tell you more without spilling the beans. 

There is enough heat in the book to steam up a mirror. The scenes are full of romance and tastefully described.

There are many points of view in the story. There were two that, although were well expressed, slowed the flow of the story. On the other hand, I enjoyed reading inside the minds of the three women. This was so well written that I felt like I knew them.

This story has a lot going on and kept my eyes glued to the pages. I just love the title, too. The author added narration that touched me, creating more depth to the story, and held my attention. As a SoCal resident, I was tickled pink that it takes place right here. She points out many popular places in LA, some of which I have yet to visit. This story can be read in an afternoon, so you're going to want to carve out time. Enjoy.






Here is an excerpt:

Standing in the near-empty parking lot in front of Tyson’s Bar, Harper tried her best to not let nerves get the best of her, but was failing miserably. She gripped her black guitar case in one hand, while she removed her other gig bag from her shoulder and grasped the handle with her other hand. She didn’t know why she was this nervous. It’s not like it was the first time she’d been here. Tonight, however, was different. Tonight, she’d be putting her guitar to use. It never failed. Before any performance, there was always a wave of anxiety that washed over Harper. It usually subsided once she took the stage, but the moments leading up to it were the worst. Harper tried to shake off any fears she had creeping deep into her psyche and walked in, hoping that a drink would do the trick.

Her eyes shifted focus between the stage and the bar. She looked around for a familiar face–her parents, her boyfriend–but they weren’t there yet. It was still fairly early and there were only about a dozen people there at the moment, so she traipsed over to the bar, figuring a drink should take precedence over setting up for her debut at this particular venue.

She maneuvered her way through the tables and chairs, stopping suddenly when she took notice of the girl behind the bar looking rather apathetic as she arbitrarily arranged some cocktail napkins and then wiped down the bar. She didn’t think too much of Kiley when she first saw her, but when she finally spoke, it was enough to make a lasting impression.


Four Stars



Until next time,


Lynn


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Friday, February 10, 2017

Impromtu Adventure

Hello everyone and welcome to you all. Recently things have been really busy for us. We were in a situation where we had to buy a new car. Both of us really like our old car, a Pontiac Vibe, a vehicle no longer being made. We pursued a few sites and found one that we liked on Car Fax. The only thing was that it was located up in Sacramento. This excited me because I love road trips. Thank goodness for ride services because in past times we would have had to rely on a cab or else park our car at the airport in short term parking and pay a heafty fee. It was an easy process and we got to the airport with plenty of time to spare.

At our terminal, they had us board the plane outside via a ramp. This was a first for me as I was expecting to walk through the raised walkway like we always do. Thank God the weather was cordial that morning.


img_0224


This time our plane ride went smoothly, without the hint of turbulance. It was nice being above the clouds, gazing at the sunlight out the window. On the decend, the clouds were so thick that you couldn't see anything, but the color grey.   By now both of us were very excited and visualizing ourselves driving the new car.

We had to take a train to the other side of the airport to meet our Uber ride.   I've been up to Sacramento many times and at one time my wife briefly lived there. We got lucky with the weather since it has been raining and was supposed to rain last Saturday.   Instead we had partly cloudy and sunshine with a decent temperature. Usually it is cold and rainy up here during the winter months.

As Uber drove us, I felt a sense of deja vous. It turns out that the car dealer was located about 1 mile from where my wife used to live many years ago. Uber dropped us off at the dealer's lot. We walked about 20 feet before we saw the car sitting up front, looking as bright as ever. We were both excited.

We got in the car and were off on our test drive, with the owner in the back. Soon after, however, we encountered a problem; the brakes pulled. This put us both on high alert, but I didn't sense any danger. Nonetheless the owner took us to his repair place to get it checked out, saying safety was his number one concern for us. Turns out the emergency brake rear rotate needed attention.   He replaced the back brakes, pads, and rotars with new ones, no charge to us, while my wife and I enjoyed a nice cup of joe at a nearby Starbucks.


img_1471


Afterwards we continued with our test drive. We got onto the I-80. It was refreshing to travel at the posted speeds since back home you often times inch along the freeways, even when it isn't rush hour. Also no one was running red lights, like I've seen occasionally down here. There was no congestion on the surface streets. I felt a sense of freedom being in the car.

Back at the dealership, he shaved more money off for us, making the deal even better. As we walked out to our new car, we agreed that this was the funniest test drive we'd ever been on.

Later we went for a drive around town.   The brakes were smooth as well as the ride. The first thing we noticed was that the roads up here isn't congested like they are down in LA. It took us a moment to get used to it. It was fun driving by places that I've been to before and it brought back good memories. We settled on Del Taco for lunch, which, I've been to this location.

Later we drove back down to LA along the l-5. We were both pumped up, but stuck to the posted speeds. Since it was still daylight, we were able to see a lot of the countryside. Thankfully we encountered no bad weather. Along the way, we manage to get some homework done. All in all this was a fun adventure and I'm glad we did it.

Stay tuned for my next blog. I am reviewing Breanna Hughes' A Fine Mess. You don't want to miss this one. Be safe and have fun.


book-cover


Until next time,

Lynn


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Featured photo subject to copy write.
Blog photos compliments of Charliwhiskey.






Friday, February 3, 2017

My Review for Samantha Jacobey's 'Christmas Eve'




author-photo_

'Christmas Eve' is the sequel to 'Christmas Candy.' It is a new chapter in Candy Parker's life. She is back with a brand new attitude. She and her family are living in the home of the fireman, Gary, who had rescued her mom, Lanelle, and young son, Dakota, from the fire that destroyed her home the year before.

They are getting married and Candy is scared. She fears that she won't be able to offer him the life she believes he deserves. Their relationship is very evolved and the love for both people is deep. This guy is amazing in all aspects. Yet she is fixated on one thing about him.

Candy grew up in a single parent household and found that she needed to put forth a lot of effort and faith to get the things she wanted out of life. Nothing was handed to her. Her fear of having money is great, yet she wants to move forward with her life. I really felt she was ready to change.

Candy loves her family more than anything and is always there for them. Her son is the joy of her life and the author clearly shows it. There were a few touching mother-son scenes that may cause your eyes to tear. Mine did.



christmas-eve


"Her heart beating wildly inside her chest, Candy squeezed his hand. It’s ok, she steadied herself. They had rehearsed for this moment a few days before, but standing there, before his family, she found each breath a struggle. Her lips curled into a large grin, she waited as his fingers smoothed a few hairs out of her face."

Samantha Jacobey - Christmas Eve

Candy also has to deal with Gary's family as she is not comfortable with their ample lifestyle. She puts on a smile even though her insides are shaking. Gary's mother, Evelyn, is very controlling and not very accepting. He loves his mother, yet is now put in between the two women in his life. I found Evelyn to be annoying and at times I wanted to set her straight. This character was well thought out and the story shows it.

At the same time a secret from the past emerges, putting Candy in a difficult situation.   Candy is forced to deal with this. Her frustration and fear were clearly felt, bringing empathy out in me.  One supporting character made me angry. This made the story even better and you're going to have to read the book to find out more.

Candy has dreams, like all of us. What she wants more than anything is a loving home.   Deep inside of all of this, she is a strong woman. All she has to do is allow herself to grow.  The question is will love prevail.

The pace of the story is fast and can be read in an afternoon. The author included very clear descriptions and many times I felt like I was in the scene with the characters. The author also added a nice touch by naming all of the chapters.

I am waiting for the next chapter of Candy. If you like, you can read 'Christmas Candy' first. Here is an excerpt from this fine story:

Candy stared at the dress hanging on the back of her door. A creamy winter white made entirely of lace, it hung just below her knees when she had tried it on, and she knew that it was the one. Her veil a simple mesh that covered her face and topped her head with cream colored roses, she couldn’t wait to wear them.

As a girl, she had stopped dreaming of such things about the time her father died. She felt as if she had lived in a dark tunnel since that night, always running, trying to escape, but there had been no light at the end. Not until Gary came into her life, and even then she couldn’t see his light for so long; hadn’t wanted to see it.

Her fingers lightly caressing the lace skirt, she smiled. “We’re going to have a beautiful life,” she breathed. “Dreams really do come true.” Dropping the fabric, she packed her backpack and headed down stairs. She wanted to get to the school early and be ready for her last exam of the year.


christmas-eve


I am recommending this story for everyone who loves the end of the year holidays with some romantic drama.


Five Stars.


Until next time,

Lynn


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Friday, January 27, 2017

Rainy Day in Socal

It was raining cats and dogs last Sunday afternoon. SoCal has been in a drought for nearly four years and we're finally getting dumped on this year. We were itching to get out so we went to visit a friend, who lives forty miles away.

Our friend needed to run an errand so we all got into the Jeep and went for a drive in the rain. We noticed flooding all over the place, including cars parked on the main road halfway underwater. Each detour road was blocked. I have only seen scenes like this in pictures.

On the way back to her place, we took the freeway, which was fine for about a mile then traffic came to a standstill. Desperate people drove up the embankment to exit the jammed road. I have never seen anything like this in my life and I grew up in the Midwest where it rains a lot.


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This was so bizarre. Never did I think I would be caught in a flash flood with rain pelting my Jeep. As we sit there patiently, it was really tempting for us to put the Jeep into four wheel drive and drive up the embankment with the others. I'm glad we didn't because the risk isn't worth it.

At the same time, I can't complain. I was with two great people, my wife and our trusted friend. We took the situation lightly by staying positive and not panicking. We enjoyed a few laughs and talked about the King of Queens episode where Kevin James and Ray Romano went golfing in weather just like this.

As I was sitting in the backseat, I allowed myself to feel gratitude. I have wanted it to rain for so long and now we have an abundance. It feels good knowing that all of the greenery is being watered. I thank Creator for providing rain for us.

We have a special tree in our backyard that is really benefiting from the extra rain. It is a Norwegian pine tree that my wife has had since it was a baby. It has been to various places, but now it's permanent home in the backyard and is flourishing. Our other plants are now established, so this will help them grow more.  I enjoy rainy days. I get to go out to my covered patio with a cup of coffee and sit there and watch the droplets fall.   It is so peaceful to hear it's soothing sounds. And the smell of fresh light rain, that's the best. When I was younger I used to think that I was going to melt if I get went out in the rain. Now it just pelts on me and rolls right off my back.

We continued to sit in the standstill. We witnessed a couple of cars driving backwards and a lot of cars driving on the shoulder of the road. It felt like we were in the middle of an a evacuation. In the below picture, a truck drove over the median to illegally exit the freeway. I'm so glad no one was honking either. It is so aggravating to have to put up with angry blasts, most which are not for an emergency.


img_1436


In church on Sunday they spoke about taking rests. I believe that our adventure on the I-710 was a big one for us. Sometimes the Universe or God creates them to force us to be with ourselves. This was a trial for all three of us. Although we know each other well, we had to be observant of everyone's emotions. I kept reciting the prayer that we say each week, "God is the love that I am." This really helped because previously this experience would have been frustrating. That day, I sensed no danger and was in the moment the entire time.

Over two hours had elapsed and we were still inching along, the rain never let up. They closed off the road at the next exit and we had to get off. It was a madhouse. Once again some people were driving aggressively. As we were exiting, we looked over and saw that up ahead the freeway was flooded. Fire trucks were everywhere.

Finally we made it off the freeway and took our friend home. Thankfully, we encountered no problems on the way home. It felt so good to pull into our driveway.


Until next time,

Lynn


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