This Chicks Sunday Commentary: A Mother’s Love for Books

Mother’s Day is one day in the year that we set aside to specifically celebrate, honor, and love our mothers. Yes, we do love our mother’s every day but we don’t always remember to tell them that we love them. I am not a mother myself, unless you count my dog and cat as children, but I do have a special place in my heart for my own mom. After all, she is the reason why I love books as much as I do!

My love of classic musicals came from watching them with my mother on Saturday afternoons at a really young age. I fell in love with Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz and their dancing and singing down that yellow brick road. My mother decorated my room in red gingham (yes, I know Dorothy’s dress was blue!) and started giving me copies of all of the Oz books by Frank L. Baum. I still have some of them sitting in my bookcase.

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She would read these books to me at night starting my long love of fantasy novels and transporting myself to other magical worlds. I had an older brother and sister who were reading “older” books and soon began asking for her to read books I knew they were reading like Robert Jordan and J. R. R Tolkien. She read the Hobbit to me every night for a year, a memory that lingers with me. I can hear Golem’s “precious” in my own mothers voice. In 1990 my mother gave me a bound copy of The Hobbit because she also loved that same memory.

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I can envision trips to the library with my mom where I would check out 5 books at a time. I had a small bookcase built into my closet that was filled with library books. A precursor to today’s book filled shelves and kindle! I have since wondered how often my mom had to pay the late fee’s on those books. I can’t remember returning them, although I’m certain we must’ve, but I can certainly remember the wonder of checking them out and the greed of having them awaiting me on my shelf.

Today, I am honoring my mother for showing me her love for books and passing that love on. She may have come to regret it because I am always asking her if she’s read such and such and what did she think, or pushing a new favorite into her hands. I think my mother should feel proud because she did such a great job in passing on that love. So, I want to say “Thanks Mom”! My life wouldn’t be the same without my journey through Oz and Rivendell. I’ve followed my own yellow brick road and it leads to a mountain of books that I have yet to read. When you’re ready to talk about that next book, you know where to find me…

XOXO and much love!

Discussion: What books did your own mother read to you? Do you have any special Mother’s Day book memories to share?

Until next Sunday,

Debs

fullsizerender-3 My mom.

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This Chicks Sunday Commentary: This blogger’s musings about blogging

Recently I’ve thought a lot about why I started my blog. Originally I just wanted to talk about the books I was reading and maybe connect with someone who has read that same book and have a conversation. I was amazed that anyone even answered a question I asked or followed my blog. It was so much fun! My husband and family were probably thrilled because I stopped asking them if they’d read “that” book yet.  But, at some point over the last two and a half years I have gotten away from my original reason for blogging. The magic of talking about it with other people who have read the same book!blur-book-browse-256546.

Why have I gotten away from it? Well, besides having a full time job, trying to spend quality time with my husband and family, I guess the real reason is greed. LOL Really, it is so easy to get seduced by the books on NetGalley or Edelweiss. I can go on NetGalley and get lost for hours and before I know it I’ve requested 20 books that all have the same release date. Aarghhh!!! That’s the worst. Recently, I’ve tried really hard to cut back on requesting books and when I do, it’s usually to request from authors I really like or to read and possibly finish a book in a series I’ve started. Although I will say that when two or three authors books release in the same month or on the same day it can still get tricky. At times my brain goes into book overload, kind of like the whirlpool of books below.

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I also have a HUGE stack of physical books sitting in my shelves that are going unread. Some of which I don’t want to review, I just want to enjoy, you know? Lately though I feel like I need to review every book just so that I am putting out a post. It would be so easy to just let it slide and I really don’t want to!  The connections I’ve made with my fellow bloggers are fun, interesting, and keep my brain invested in something I really want to do. Have a conversation about books. How do I find that happy medium?

Here is my vow to, well, myself really, because I can’t imagine you all care about these musings… My vow is to read what I want to read, when I want to read it. Blog hop and join in on discussions with you guys, because, well, that’s part of the fun isn’t it? Write reviews because that’s what I really love to do, and hopefully inspire you all to interject with some comments.  I feel better already! Sometimes you just need to lay down the law with yourself. LOL.

Anyway, this is what was in my head this morning as I sat down to write. What’s going on in your own?

How do you all keep yourselves going?

I am always amazed at the hard work most of you put into putting out great content and discussions almost daily. How do you do think of all of these topics? Find the time to put in pretty graphics and pictures? That’s probably a topic for another day… 🙂

Until next Sunday,

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Brunch Book Tag

Good Morning everyone!  I have gotten a little behind on writing my weekly Sunday Commentary. So, I’m sitting in my chair, laptop on my lap, dreaming of a big breakfast (that someone else would cook) and mulling over some books I have recently read when I thought Breakfast… Books… Breakfast…. Books. Wait, those two things go together splendidly! There’s nothing I like better than reading a book while eating breakfast. The next time you find yourself eating one of these meals, try doing it while reading these books or one of your own.

The American Classic- Eggs, Bacon and Toast

eggs-bacon-toastCome Sundown What matches up perfectly with our American Grand Slam breakfast? Come Sundown by Nora Roberts. Bodine Longbow is running the resort side of her family’s business. She is not looking for love but she definitely finds it when Cal Skinner moves back home. Their love story is the perfect silky fried egg that you eat with toast. That piece of crisp bacon is the family drama that sideswipes your emotions taking this novel beyond a normal romance. Perfection is often what you can easily grab out of your refrigerator and make. Yep, that’s Nora Roberts to a tee!

Cinnamon Roll– An oooey, gooey wrapped up bundle of goodness. OMG….

Cinnamon-Rollimage-1 Really any Kristen Ashley novel is a guilty pleasure. It’s like that cinnamon roll that sits on the plate in front of you. You gaze at it longingly knowing that once you start eating it you won’t be able to put it down until you have licked the last bit of frosting off the plate. For me, that’s a Kristen Ashley novel. I stared at The Time In Between on my kindle and waited until I knew I had the time to read it straight through to the finish. It did not disappoint, just as that cinnamon roll never has… I wish I had one of each right now!

The Denver Omelet- with Cheese please!

Denver OMeletimg_1155  Penny Reid has written a wonderfully charming series about the Winston Brothers. These novels are quirky, fun, and have a ton of heart, just like a Denver Omelet. You have a hearty omelet filled with crunchy peppers and onion, and oh those bits of ham provide that bit of decadence and fun. In my world, I always add cheese, because well, cheese makes everything better. In the Winston Brothers world, Cletus is the cheese. If you’ve read these books, you know what I mean…

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes- 

Fluffy-Pumpkin-Pancakes-with-Butter-1img_0746 Who doesn’t love a stack of fluffy, buttery, dripped in syrup pancakes? I love them! This year I discovered the Others series by Anne Bishop. You may wonder how an urban fantasy series matches up with a stack of spicy pumpkin pancakes? Well, just as with this stack, you look at it and see pancakes. Yes, the butter is melting on the top of the stack, and the syrup is dripping off the sides. You think you know what you’re going to get. Then you take that first bite, and pow! The cinnamon and pumpkin flavor hit your taste buds. Surprise! Then you dig in and gobble up that stack. That’s exactly how I felt about this series. I had seen it and thought someday… Then when I actually picked it up and took that first bite? Wow…

The Egg Cup-

egg cupimg_1211-1 The egg cup. Oh so very civil and proper. You tap it with your spoon until you crack through the top and then eat the insides out of the shell. Alexander Rostov, the gentleman in A Gentleman in Moscow is the epitomy of civilized. Even though he is under house arrest in the grand Metropol hotel he is always elegant, cultured and charming. He and this egg in a cup had a lot in common. Smooth veneer, but with a little work you would taste that silky goodness that resides inside. All in a very civilized manner, of course!

This breakfast tag was so much fun to put together!  Warning though, if you choose to take part in this tag you will crave a massive breakfast at the end of it!

I am going to tag a few of my blogger friends. If you don’t feel like partaking, don’t worry about it!  If you do, pls tag me so I can read your breakfast match ups…

Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books

any of the ladies at Thrice Read

James @ This is My Truth Now

Eva@ Novel Deelights

Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books

Have fun with it!  Until next Sunday, (I’m off to make breakfast now!)

Deb

 

 

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Book Buying Habits

I saw this post on BookerTalk a few weeks ago and knew that I was going to steal it for my own.    Check out her blog for some more great posts!

 If you love to read, and like many of us book bloggers have an over abundance of books, whether they are virtual or physical, you may also be wondering how your book hoarding got out of control. Lol. These questions struck a chord and while answering, I learned a lot about myself.  I bet they’ll strike a chord with you too. I’d love to hear your answers!

Here we go!
     Where Do You Buy Your Books?

I buy my books several ways. The one click option on Amazon is a dangerous, dangerous thing. Luckily you can return books pretty easily if you have buyers remorse, but I usually don’t. Locally, here in Nashville we have a great local bookstore called Parnassus books. I’ve been known to spend an hour or so perusing their selection. I’ve also ordered directly from an author’s website a time or two.

     Do you ever order books, if so do you do it in store or online?

I order books online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, but if I truly love a book and want it for my library I’ll order it from my local bookstore. It’s really important to me to support local stores. Buy local!!

     On average, how many books do you buy in a month?

Does Kindle Unlimited count? If so, probably 4 to 5 a month. Then if I read a series that I must have for my library that number can go up. My most recent series purchase was Anne Bishops Others series. So. Awesome.

     Do You Use Your Local Library?


Recently in one of my Sunday Commentary posts I actually explored my local library. The big branch in downtown Nashville was so gorgeous.  I hadn’t been there before, but I do have a library card and use it a LOT. Through the app Overdrive you can read ebooks that you get directly from your library. Audio books and movies too! When I discovered the Overdrive app it really cut down on my spending.  I have been wondering though how an Author gets paid for those library ebooks. If you know, pls comment below!

Want to read that post about my own local library? Click HERE!

      If so, how many books do you/can you get at a time?

I don’t know about physical books, but I can check out 10 at a time on my Overdrive app. I am always hovering around 10.

      What is your opinion on Library books?

I like them, obviously! Total money saver.

      How do you feel about charity shop, second hand books?

We have a store that accepts used books, or buys them back and gives you store credit. It’s called McKay’s Books. I always have a bag to take in. I do usually give the credit to someone in my family though. I like the idea that my books are going to be read by someone else and I have somewhere to take them. I don’t ever want to throw a book in the trash.

     Do you keep your read and TBR pile together/on the same book shelf or not?

My books are scattered. My sister and I share a few bookshelves in our living room where all of the unread books are shelved. We have a system where we put a post it note in the front cover with our initials on it so we know the other person has read that book. I usually move the books she has read to my own shelf in my room. Then I have the pile next to my bed that I tell myself I’m going to read next. Yeah, that doesn’t always happen because a new book comes out or something my sister reads was GREAT and I have to read it soon, etc. those piles are a constant work in progress.

      Do you plan to read all the books you own?

My first instinct is to scream YES! But, I would need an alternate universe or two, with multiple Deborah’s in each one to possibly read every book in my TBR. 

      What do you do with books that you own and that you feel you’ll never read/felt you didn’t enjoy?

I am putting up a Little Free Library in our front yard and I hope to pass along a lot of my books that are neighborhood friendly to random readers. However, there are certain genres that are probably not going to be acceptable to the neighbors. LOL. Those I will pass on to friends or give to McKays as a trade in. 

      Have you ever been on a book buying ban?

Nope. Though after writing this and thinking about all of the books I need to read I probably should.

      Do you feel that you buy too many books?

Maybe? I buy less than I used to so it’s a step in the right direction!
I hope you all have enjoyed reading about my book buying, borrowing and lending habits! I’d love to hear what you think of my responses or even to hear what your own answers would be!

Have a great weekend and Read On!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Laini Taylor Book Signing for Strange the Dreamer #Sundayblogshare

Laini Taylor
Authors Sharon Cameron (left) and Laini Taylor (right)

Laini Taylor, author of the the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, had a book signing at my local bookstore, Parnassus Books. For an hour before she signed her newest book, Strange the Dreamer, she and fellow author Sharon Cameron asked and answered questions.  I was excited to see Sharon Cameron, who I’d forgotten would be at this signing. She is the author of one of my favorite young adult books from last year, The Forgetting. If you haven’t read that book, I highly recommend it!  You can read my review of The Forgetting, here.  I think she was supposed to be the moderator for Laini’s book signing, but she ended up answering some questions, as well as asking a few. Continue reading “This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Laini Taylor Book Signing for Strange the Dreamer #Sundayblogshare”

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: The Big Ripoff #Sundayblogshare #editorial

As most of you know, I finished my first novel, Midnight Metamorphosis. It was hard work, but totally rewarding when I think to myself that I actually completed writing a novel. Wow! It would be wonderful to get it published traditionally, but I know that takes a lot of time and effort. I have sent out some query letters, synopsis, chapters, etc., and have gotten a bunch of rejection notices. Frustrating, but also not unexpected. I had a friend tell me that she got 300 rejections before she got a yes. Well, that could take years just to get that many sent out!  Lol.  I do have a full time job, husband, and other responsibilities. I have my blog too!  Which I totally enjoy and will not give up. Other than posting a Chapter a week on my blog, and also on Wattpad, I have been busy with life doing other things, and trying to kick start myself into sitting down and getting started on the second book in my series. This week, I got an unexpected call at work that gave me a jolt.

A publishing house named Dorrance Publishing called and said their researchers found my title while searching the newly copyrighted books on some website. Not sure how that happens, but I guess nothing is private anymore. ( My husband tells me they found it on The Libary of Congress website.) Anyways, after an exciting phone call, I have lunch with my husband and we decide to look into this publishing house. Apparently, it’s a big scam. They actually try to get up to $11k out of people by doing what a normal publisher would do for free ( or at least a % of book sales)!  Of course, I felt really let down, but in my experience when things happen that easily, it’s too good to be true!

SCAM ALERT!!!

The good thing about this scam happening to me is that it lit a fire under my ass. I may not get published the traditional route, but I may self publish on either Kindle, Smashwords, or even both if that’s possible! 
My question to all of you is this – Have any of you self published? Who did you go with? Is it working? What are the challenges? What are the great things about it? Anything you all could tell me would be a great help!

Have a great week!

Deb


P.S. Also, if you have a moment, read the chapters I’m posting weekly. I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

This Chick’s Sunday Commentary: Authors could solve the worlds problems…

I love reading fiction for many different reasons; I can escape from reality, I can explore different lands, I can fall in love over and over again, I can learn new languages, I can have great sex, I can can fight oppression, and I can be a hero. The list goes on and on! If you follow my book reviews you know I like books where the underdog wins, women find the power within to beat bad odds, where “race issues” are played out between humans and elves-vampires and werewolves, where basically the world becomes a better place because people WANT to make it better in these books. Of course, there is always a happy ending, or at least a sequel where the characters I love will get to take that battle to the next level.

I love that these life themes are played out in Young Adult books, so girls can learn empowerment and boys can learn how to work with others to change the world for the better (Snow Like Ashes).

I love that romantic fantasy can be between two different races. One race who lives in the day and one in the night, and even though the darker race has large teeth and the lighter race is considered horrifyingly ugly because of the lightness of her skin, they still open people’s eyes to the love in their union. They set a good example for acceptance and unity (Eidolon).

I love that those in power can learn from the humanity in one individual, even if they are an alien,that makes them change their behavior towards an entire race (Star Nomad).

I also love that I can escape into a fantasy world where a small group of individuals battle against an egomaniacal President who is infected with a deadly virus and win that battle (Justice Ascending).

All of these themes, although played out in fiction, give me hope that the light of humanity exists. After all, these authors are writing about things that exist in our every day life- hatred, bigotry, love, war, friendship, honor, and ultimately the power of good people doing great things. These themes must have resonated because these authors are successful and fans buy their books in bundles!

I would like to make a suggestion on the next book our leader should read. Nicola Yoon could teach you about how deportation feels from a teenagers viewpoint in The Sun is Also a Star, or maybe you could learn compassion from a nice interracial love story set during the Civil Rights Movement in Alissa Cole’s Let it Shine. Really, I’d love it if he would read the moment in Rebecca Zanetti’s Mercury Striking when the virus takes hold of the President and he becomes a psychopath, there are some frightening similarities.

I guess what I’m trying to convey is that writers have been fighting and solving these real life themes for generations. The books I mention above are all books I’ve read recently, but you can find great ideas in the classics as well. Maybe what we need from our worlds leaders, besides the obvious things like compassion, intelligence, thoughtfulness, a good world view, etc. is also to be well read. Well read in Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Young Adult novels, Mysteries-all of these genres, and others, have some great solutions to the problems our world is dealing with right now. You may have to look past the fangs to find them, but the solutions are in our fiction novels.

It’s something to think on-

Please click each book below to read my reviews on each, and to link to buy.

Deborah

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This Chick has written a novel! 

You are probably wondering how I’ve found the time, and looking back on it I have wondered the same thing LOL.  I love to read and my favorite types of novels are fantasy with a hint of romance, although as you know I read other genres too. I had this idea kicking around in my head and started writing it down, and before I knew it my novel was finished (it took awhile ;)) I would love to get published but know that it is an incredibly difficult challenge and could never happen, although I will try. However, I want some feedback!  Will people like it? Is it good? Did I waste my time?  Being an impatient individual, and living in the land of social media, I am going to release a chapter a week on Wattpad.  I don’t have a clue how Wattpad works, but since I muddled my way through WordPress and have become semi successful with a pretty decent following, I decided to put on my big girl pants and try it out!  I will post that link on WordPress, weekly, and would love it if you all would read along and let me know what you think!  Really, I am serious.  Feedback would be great!  Also, if any of you have any tips on how to be more effective on Wattpad, I would love to hear them!

My novel is called Midnight Metamorphosis. It’s about a young girl named Avery who discovers after the death of her mother, that she is not an average girl. Her parents forbidden love created a child that was prophesied to either save their people, or be the catalyst to their end. She is in high school and with the help of her new friends figures out her powers, crushes on a couple boys, and fights evil demons. A normal teenage life, right? 

Here’s a sample from the Prologue of Midnight Metamorphosis:

I walked into the kitchen pulling my sweatshirt down over my head. My mom was at the stove, scrambling a couple of eggs for breakfast. She reached over and laid her hand against my cheek, then reached back to help me pull my hair out from under the neck of my sweatshirt. Smiling, she turned back to the eggs pushing them around in the pan.

      “I have to run up to Chandler today to deliver some kits to a store that’s going to start selling them.” She said, turning to split the eggs between two plates on the counter. She set them on the table and sat down in the seat across from me.

     Taking a bite of my eggs, I nodded cautiously, knowing what was coming next. I opened my mouth to say at the exact same time as my mom “If anything happens to me..” We both trailed off and my mom laughed nervously.

Please click on my book cover below for the Prologue to my novel Midnight Metamorphosis.

Thanks!!   Deborah

This Chick’s Sunday Commentary: Like Books?

I started my book review blog 14 months ago as a way to combine the two things I love. Reading and talking about the book I was reading. I typically read 3-4 books a week and if I had read something great I wanted to shout it out to the world! Typically it was only my sister or my friend Ana who I told, as they both also read quickly, waiting eagerly for them to finish it so I could have a mini book discussion with them. Below are some of my favorites!


So, I started a book club, eager to get more people to read the books I liked so I could discuss them with others. However, I got frustrated when I had to read books that other people wanted to read. Lol. I’d find myself putting the book off until I had to read it, sometimes the night before.  I felt like I was in school again, and I hated that.  Although, I did like getting together for drinks and food! Here’s the group of ladies below, notice all the drinks and only one book.  Lol. ( I am on the left with the black and white patterned shirt…)


Really, I started my blog to get myself writing again. I had this idea that by writing reviews, it would start the creative juices flowing again, and it did!  I spent the last year writing my first novel, and finished it!  Yeah me! But, even when writing, I was thinking of all of the books I wanted to read and talk about. So, this post is a thank you to my followers that may or may not enjoy the books I read. That may or may not be influenced by my reviews. That may or may not have the same opinions about those books.  If you don’t, let’s talk!  That is, after all, the reason why I started this blog.  To talk about books to other people who love them as much as I do.

What is your favorite book?  Who is your favorite author to push on someone who is looking for something to read? What book did you just LOVE last year so much that you wanted to shout it to the world? What book are you reading right now?

Isn’t it fun?!!!

Deb

Believe – A True Christmas Short Story (part 3)

To start at the beginning Read:

Believe- A True Christmas Short Story ( part 1)

Believe- A True Christmas Short Story ( part 2)

My mother came from a very large family. She was the second of nine children, Paula, Katherine, Steven Margaret, Nancy, Mary, Theresa, Paul and Clay. The order may not be correct, but my mom was second in a long line of children. My mother came into the living room and sat next to me on the couch. Tears were running down her face. She told me the phone call was from one of my aunts. My uncle Steve had killed himself in my grandfather’s home. Continue reading “Believe – A True Christmas Short Story (part 3)”