Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

What Would the Founding Fathers Think: A Young American's guide to understanding the mess our country is in and how we get out
Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel
Captive Heart
Cobble Cavern
Caller ID
Promises
Protected,
Summer of Secrets
On Little Wings
We Lived in Heaven: Spiritual Accounts of Souls Coming to Earth
Christ's gifts to women
A Woman's power: threads that bind us to god
Scary School
Hope's journey
Blue
Targets in Ties
Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island
Venom
With a Name like Love
Sean Griswold's head


Sheila's favorite books »

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
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Monday, May 21, 2018

How to Catch a Magical by Samuel Thews: Blog Tour Promo Post & $25 Giveaway

 


How to Catch a Magical by Samuel Thews 
 If you want to catch a Magical, you have to go about it the right way. You have to have the right tools, the right training, a certain disregard for danger and a flair for the dramatic. Oh, and it helps if you inherit your father’s wicked bounty hunter skills, which give you superhuman reflexes and senses. It’s really hard without the last one. Andromeda Nyx has all the skills to be a successful bounty hunter. But after five years of training and catching nothing but Flinks–the lowest-level Magicals, the kind that think it’s funny to steal just one sock from a pair and hide it somewhere in the garden–she’s itching for bigger game. When her mentor says going out on her own to catch a Sprite is too risky, she decides to freelance. When the Sprite she catches turns out to be a messenger, Nyx is chosen as an ambassador for the bounty hunters and must travel to the decrepit world of the Magicals, Himnara. While there, she is informed of a plot by Arcanus Emerson Kain—the leader of a rogue sect of Magicals—to invade Earth for a seemingly bizarre purpose: he wants to steal people. Along with her mentor Ridge, Nyx must find a way to stop Kain before his power becomes too great.  



  Praise: 
"Samuel Thews writes a rousing tale of magic, bounty hunters and war. I suspect that I like my teenage heroines to always be confident and either compassionate and positive, or cynical, violent and jaded." 

 "Andromeda is a complex character, as are her Father and some of the others in the story. My favorites, outside of Andromeda, was Whitchurch. He was a charming, crazy and wild old bounty hunter that Andromeda meets in an enemy prison. Between his wit, his skills, his experience, his brilliance and his caring, he is just a wonderful person. The nude fishing and other zany things make him a bit crazy."  



  Excerpt 
There was a horrible gurgling sound and then the train lurched into motion. The jolt threw me back and my head smacked against the seatback. The rusty wheels squeaked and banged, the car bouncing every time one of the gaps in the wheels rolled over the tracks. But something was wrong. We weren’t going back into the tunnel. We were headed towards the cave opening. “Umm, Ridge …” I said, but he had already seen it. His huge hairy knuckles gripped the edge of the seat in front of us. Okay. What could possibly happen? Obviously the Magicals had made this train. Perhaps it would go across a hidden track to the other side of the canyon—or maybe it was able to fly. Wrong. The train went right off the edge of the tracks, doing a smashing impersonation of a lemming, and plummeted down into the gorge like a stone.



Author Samuel Thews 
 Samuel Thews has been writing stories since he was old enough to hold a pencil. As a child, he reveled in the stories of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Brian Jacques and other fantasy authors. A life-long reader, he is a fan of J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman and mystery author M.C. Beaton. He has also read Les Miserables not once, but twice. Unabridged, of course. Although his educational background is in science and law, it is still the magical and fantastical that excites him. He enjoys writing stories for his daughters, who will hear one bedtime tale and ask that it be turned into a book. Writing with a whimsical style, he seeks to evoke the light, refreshing reading experience found in fairy tales and cozy mysteries. A native of North Carolina, he currently lives in a rural part of Orange County with his wife, three children and their ever growing menagerie.
   

  Blog Tour Schedule 
 May 21st I Am A Reader FUONLYKNEW Laurisa White Reyes, Author Why Not? Because I Said So! Koops Konclusions 
 May 22nd Room With Books Books A-Brewin' The Avid Reader Stacking My Book Shelves! Authors & Readers Book Corner 
 May 22nd White Sky Project T's Stuff Bound 2 Escape Tianna Holley, Author 
 May 23rd Simply Infatuated Mythical Books Diana's Book Reviews 
 May 24th Books Direct Maureen's Musings FLY HIGH! BookHounds
  Giveaway Details 
 $25 Amazon Gift Code or Paypal Cash Ends 6/3/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway Settings Inspired Kathy bkhabel@gmail.com

Rescue By Susan Aylworth: Book Blast and $50 Giveaway

   


  Rescue by Susan Aylworth 
What will it take to stay alive? When Dulce wakes up hanging in a giant mapajo tree, she fears she may be a lone survivor, stranded in the Amazon rainforest. What comes next may be even worse. The last thing sixteen-year-old Dulce Donovan wants to do is move away from her friends and hot new crush. But her parents insist, and she has no choice but to get on the airplane taking her to Lima, Peru. When the plane crashes in the middle of the Amazon jungle, Dulce feels lucky to survive. But as she faces injury, disease, and deadly insects and reptiles, she discovers that the price of living is high. Injured and miles from any civilization, Dulce must push her way through a dangerous jungle, looking for any miracle that might come her way.  

  Praise for the Book 
"RESCUE is exciting and fresh and inspiring. When Dulce is one of the only survivors of a plane crash deep in the Amazon jungle, she faces all kinds of dangers as she fights to survive. A fascinating insight into one of the most mysterious places in the world and a strong heroine that will make you cheer for her determination." "I found myself unable to put the book down. The story is well-crafted, with twists and surprises that kept me a little on edge, frankly--wondering what would suddenly leap out (or slither up to!) Dulce next. Aylworth cleverly weaves her considerable understanding of survival skills and of the native peoples of the Amazon throughout the story. I found myself mentally cheering Dulce on, impressed with her ingenuity at dealing with the harsh realities of her environment." "I really liked this book. It was very interesting how this young woman was able to survive this terrible tragedy."
Excerpt
"For a time I just sit, my head pressed backward against the seat, my eyes closed, thinking of how desperately I don’t want to be here, how I can’t face this, how frantically I want this all to go away. But the minutes pass and I’m still hanging in the tree, recognizing that if no one has come to my rescue yet, it’s possible no one is coming. I may just have to rescue myself." "'I am not going to die here,' I say aloud. Then I shout it to the whole forest: 'I am not going to die here!' I grasp that little lump in the tree bark with my left hand, reach up with my right, and grab my toe, yanking it free. There’s a moment of elation until I realize my left foot is slipping. I scrabble with both hands, trying to find anything to hang onto, but there’s nothing. The next thing I know I am sliding, the mapajo’s slick bark slipping by beneath me. Then there is nothing but air." "I’m almost out of the clearing when I’m stopped cold. What I see looks like a thick, bright green vine curled around the limb of a tree. What I recognize is the ambush-hunting strategy of a pit viper, a seriously venomous threat. I know what it is because Chambi pointed one out on one of our jungle walks. Silently thanking him, I change direction. We’ll avoid that risk by leaving this clearing in an entirely different direction. Even as I think it, I realize it may be foolish; we could run into poisonous snakes anywhere. I’ll just have to be careful to keep a close watch on the foliage." "I’m home! I don’t know how I got here, but I am standing on the porch of our home in Santa Cruz and there’s my mother! She’s running to me and I’m running to her. She is saying, “Marissa! Oh Marissa!” over and over and I just keep saying, “Mom, Mom, I missed you so much!” We hold each other and cry and then …I wake up aching, wishing my mother were here. I’ve never missed her or needed her more than I do now. I have never imagined I would miss her or want her this much. The missing is so painful, it almost chokes me."



Author Susan Aylworth 
Susan Aylworth started her first book when she was nine. "It was called Buff, The Proud Stallion. I wrote eight whole pages." For her fifth grade career day, she stated her ambition to become "a rich and famous author." Decades later, she is pleased to have achieved the 'author' part of that goal. A former university professor, she enjoys researching backgrounds and careers for her novels. "It's one way to live many lives at once." Susan lives with Roger, her husband of 48 years, who is also a writer. Although they maintain a home in northern California, they currently serve as addiction recovery missionaries in the Navajo Nation. Susan loves hanging out with her seven children, their perfect-for-them spouses and 26 grandchildren. When she can't be with her blood family, she hangs with her fictional characters, the children of her mind. Rescue is her fifteenth published novel.
  Giveaway Details $50 Amazon Gift Code or Paypal Cash Ends 6/5/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.     a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Dating the Prince By Alina Snow: Blog Tour Spotlight Post and $25 Giveaway


  Dating the Prince by Alina Snow 
 Small-town girl, Katie O’Connor has always dreamed of seeing her name in lights. Check the box for fame, a movie deal, the perfect leading role that comes with a gorgeous leading man! Katie moved to Hollywood, elbows her way into auditions, lives on a shoestring budget—whatever is required to land a deal, she throws her heart into… until she’s involved in a royal kidnapping. As the future king, Prince Alexander refuses to rule from an ivory tower. Duty-bound, he intends to relate to his future subjects, regardless of their walk of life. Before his coronation, he needs a foolproof plan to outrun his security team and go temporarily AWOL. While visiting L.A., all it takes is a sound stage collision and Alex is blindsided by a headstrong woman who is simply irresistible. So much so, he calls in a favor in order to secure her help … as his pretend girlfriend. Their worlds are oceans apart, but their immediate attraction is impossible to put aside, especially their nonstop banter. Miffed at being wrangled into a situation that might blow up in her face, Katie comes up with her own plan. If The Prince is serious about walking the walk of the common folk, she’s only too happy to oblige as his pretend girlfriend. Through an ice storm, a road trip, kitchen duty, and a Texas pig race, Alex captures the hearts of the locals as well as Ms. O’Connor’s. What starts out as a deal Katie can’t refuse becomes the acting role of a lifetime… letting Prince Alexander go without a fight. A delightfully funny retelling of The Prince and The Pauper that romance readers of all ages will enjoy. On a two-week 1,500-mile road trip, Katie and Alex discover the end of the road might just be the beginning of their ‘Happy Ever After’ together.   Author Alina Snow Southern gal at heart. Alina is a librarian who adores her job. She has a degree in anthropology from Vanderbilt and loves writing offbeat romance comedy. To refuel, Alina sings karaoke, bakes sweet treats, and can be found at the Y, kickboxing. She lives in Knoxville with her husband and Callie, their doxie mix.
  Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Code or Paypal Cash Ends 5/31/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 18, 2018

Unforgettable by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen: Blog Tour Review + $25 and Book Giveaway!






Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (May 1, 2018)
  • Genre: Mystery Suspense
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524403369
  • FTC, FYI: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Synopsis
Haley has always admired her strong-willed great-grandmother Grisa. The woman survived the disappearance of her husband and thrived after her immigration to America at the beginning of World War II. But when a shocking telephone call from a detective in Germany turns Haley's life upside down in an instant, she finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew about her heritage.

The body of Ulrich Krauss has been found, and the renowned toymaker and artist has a shocking connection to Haley: he is her great-grandfather—not missing but murdered. Now, at the request of her ailing great-grandmother, Haley travels to Germany to seek answers. What she finds instead are more questions and a growing sense of danger dogging her every step. Protection appears in the form of Joshua, an attractive man from Haley's past who is in Germany on business.


Together the pair embarks on an emotional quest for the truth, only to discover that a generations-old plot is very much alive, and there are those as determined as ever to keep the facts surrounding Ulrich's death hidden—even if it means silencing his great-granddaughter for good.

                      * Goodreads * Amazon * Deseret Book * 

My Review
I really liked this book! It had so many things going for it. It had historical aspects from Germany pre-WWII, it was a murder mystery, a light beginning of a romance, and so much suspense. The novel is told from two different perspectives, first from Haley who is a devoted great-grandaughter to Grisa whose husband disappeared before the start of the second world war. Many years later her husband's body is found in the walls of a home in Germany. This is where everything heats up. Haley travels to Germany  at her Great-Grandmother's request to figure out what happened to Ulrich. Grisa is dying from cancer so Haley fulfills this request. She also is helped by a friend of her brothers who also becomes her friend and future love interest. 

The second point of view is told by Otto, whose father and grandfather were responsible for Ulrich's death. The reader knows this, but it's just as suspenseful as you follow along hoping that Haley and Joshua figure out what's going on. I really like reading a book where you pretty much know what's happened and will most likely happen, but you get to sit on pins and needles as the characters flounder around in danger. I loved the relationship that Haley had with Grisa and also the blooming friendship/romance that she had with Joshua. He also has his own struggles that Haley helps him through. 

Overall, this book was a quick read for me. It had plenty of suspense to keep me turning the pages. I loved the history woven into the pages, and now I want to know more about the paintings that went missing in Germany during WWII. I recommend this book to anyone that wants to read a mystery/suspense with a touch of romance. ***There is mild violence without embellishment.***


 Meet the Author:   Award-winning author, Ronda Hinrichsen (also writing as
Kathleen Marks) and her family own a small farm located between the beautiful Rocky Mountains and the Great Salt Lake where she regularly sees eagles, hawks, owls, and ducks. Lots of ducks. She is the author of independently and traditionally published non-fiction, romantic suspense and speculative books as well as numerous magazine articles and stories for children and adults. She also enjoys teaching about writing in conference and classroom settings. To learn more about Ronda, visit her website at rondahinrichsen.com.


Blog Tour Schedule:

*May 14th: https://brightlystreet.com/, http://mybookaday.com/

*May 15th: http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/, http://empowermoms.net/, https://www.rockinbookreviews.com/

*May 16th: http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/, https://joyinthemoments.wordpress.com/, http://www.blogginboutbooks.com/

*May 17th: https://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/, https://ldsandlovinit.blogspot.com/

*May 18th: http://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/, http://www.wishfulendings.com/, http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/, http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/

Enter the Blog Tour Giveaway: $25 and 
Free Copy of Unforgettable
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Book Blast Giveaway and Author Interview for: Safe House By Shannon Symonds

Safe House Book Blast

About the Book

Safe House
Genre: Adult, New Adult, Young Adult, LDS, Mystery, Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Publication Date: July 11, 2017


True, it was her prison, but it was also her sanctuary.
Where can you turn when your house is not safe? In a small coastal town in Oregon, Amber and Kelly know the deadliest people sleep down the hall. As they attempt to escape the violent, domineering men in their lives, despair fights against faith and hope as an introduction to the Book of Mormon promises them a haven they can’t find in their homes. But getting out of these abusive situations is not as easy as it appears. With their lives spiraling out of control, can they have faith that God’s grace will save them?

About the Author

Shannon-Symonds
Shannon Symonds announces her first book, “Safe House,” a 2017 Whitney Award Nominee released by Cedar Fort Publishing and Media in July of 2017.
Shannon worked for 15 years as an Advocate. Shannon lives in a small seaside town where she works, writes, runs and paints. She believes the word can be changed one heart at a time and then even small acts can make a difference.

Author Interview

1. What top 5 books do you currently have on your TBR pile?
​5) I just finished Traci Abramson’s version of, Safe House, and loved it. I would like to go back and read the 1st book in the guardian series. I met Traci at Storymaker’s ​ Conference in Utah and she is not only fun and entertaining, she is as deep and caring as the characters in her stories.
4) I am currently reading, The Road to Freedom, by Shawn Pollock. I look forward to reviewing it on my blog. Already, I love his descriptions.
3) I want to finish Melanie Bateman’s The Time
​ Key
.​ ​I am part way through and have had to read other books. I look forward to finishing it.
​2) One by One by David A. Bednar. My daughter is a relief society president and she said the book was invaluable. She recommended I read it in relation to my work with survivors.  I have it downloaded in my Deseret Book, “Book Shelf,” and will listen while I clean, weed, and work.
1) The Book of Mormon, Old Testament. A little time with the scriptures on my iPhone, or audio each morning fills my spiritual bucket. I can’t face the world without bolstering my faith. We live in pretty tough times. I  believe, no matter what you believe spiritually, time spent on your physical, mental, and spiritual growth is time well spent.
2. What does your writing process look like and specifically what did it look like for Safe House?
I run daily on the beach or cement seawall called the “Prom,” by my house. I usually see the story I am working on like a movie while I am running. I think about the characters and spend time with my imaginary friends. Although I had the story outlined before I started writing Safe House, dialogue and little details were worked out by the sea. When I got home, I sat by my fireplace and wrote on a laptop.
When I wrote Safe House, I began in the winter. I spent many nights by the fire writing and then calling my sister Stacy to read to her, or reading my work out loud to Scott​. When I finished it,  I mailed it to Stacy and my cousin Kristi who red-penciled it and sent it back. They were my greatest cheerleaders.
I sent it to one publisher, who referred me to another. I rewrote the whole thing, changing a main character and had Stacy read it one more time. Stacy suggested I name it, “Saving Grace.” We were both excited by the name Grace, I changed my main character’s name.
I was so afraid to send it in, I let it gather dust for a while. Stacy kept pushing me. Finally, I sent it online to Cedar Fort. I will forever be grateful to Stacy for pushing me, and Cedar Fort for publishing my first novel.
Stacy passed away from Cancer a week before she could hold a hard copy in her hand. I gave her the first PDF copy and if you open the cover, you will see the book is dedicated to her. Stacy worked on the “Christmas Box House Foundation,” with Richard Evans, and did many other service projects internationally. She never told anyone. She never asked for attention. She gave all the credit to God. I am so grateful my sister Stacy and I had the Safe House adventure together and that I get to give her the credit she deserves.
3. What can you tell us about the sequel to Safe House (your current WIP)? What is this story about and when will it release?
The sequel to Safe House is a stand-alone story which takes place in the same beach town of Necanicum on the Pacific Coast as Safe House and with some of the same characters. Reader’s favorite characters like Advocate Grace James, her family, and Joe Hart are back. You will also meet Hope.
Grace James, Sexual Assault Advocate, and single mother is seeing signs of sex trafficking in the small coastal town of Necanicum, but what she doesn’t see is a way to do her job and protect her own family while Morgan, her ex-husband is out of prison. Will she and officer Joe Hart be able to stop the spreading evil before Hope Experience Flanagan, a homeless 17-year-old disappears forever or will Morgan take Grace’s life at the same time as he and his partner Vlad plan to take Hope to sea forever?
​I have an outline and a partial manuscript! I am so excited about this story. I love the characters. I currently run in the morning, work with foster youth at FosterClub during the day, and write at night. The draft will be complete June 1 if I can keep up the pace. I hope to have copy edits done in June. A book takes time to put together after it is approved by a publisher so I don’t have any dates yet.
4. Can you tell us what a day in the life of Shannon Symonds, Author looks like? What type of writing schedule do you have and what other obligations do you have on any given day?
​I think I am a pretty typical woman, I have more work than hours in a day. I wake up at 5:30 and run. I have my hair down to 5 minutes. Unfortunately, I just can’t get my shower down to less than 20 minutes of luxury. I am a gluten free, dairy free, fun free kind of eater, so I pack breakfast and lunch for work and listen to scriptures.
During the day, I work at FosterClub, a national non-profit headquartered in Seaside, Oregon with an office in Washington D.C.  I am the Outreach Manager. About 27 interns join us each summer for training and then go out and work with youth, state-level stakeholders, child welfare professionals, and policymakers across the country. It is busy!
After work, during the week, I write. I usually eat by the computer. I drag it to bed and write until I can’t stay awake any longer.
My daughter, her husband, and my adorable grandson Elliott live with me. Occasionally I break away from writing to bike ride with Elliott or take him for a walk to the beach. Fridaynight is date night. Saturday is run and family time. We fish, clam, have bonfires, hike, and kayak.  If it rains or storms, I write (Sometimes I pray for more rain!)
I never write or work on Sunday. Sunday is for family and good books. I have six children and their families. We try to get together a few times a month on Sundays. During the summer about 50 of my closest relatives also come to town and stay in my house, our family beach house, “Lassie Hame,” which is just down the road, or my sister’s  nearby “River House.” So I need to get my next book done before the gang gets to town June 17th.
My parents also have an apartment in my house and stay with me for 3 or so months a year. I love it when they come. My mother is a wonderful cook and helps me with the flowers. When I write in the evenings, she comes in to read or keep me company by the fire.
So you see, all in all normal. Trying every day to serve others and figure out what is good, better, or best.

Snippet

Grace drove up the winding road, high among large new homes. They sat along the edge of the lush Oregon forest on the Pacific Coast Range Mountains. She didn’t have to look too hard for the address. An ambulance and two lit up police cars, lights silently rotating, marked the last home at the top of the steep road. Light spilled from every window and the open front door. Ancient pines and a dark old growth forest swayed in the wind behind the house. On the front porch a woman was arguing with a medic, holding a bloody rag to her face…
…Making her way to the house, she walked between patrol cars and crossed the lawn. The ambulance driver had a clipboard and was trying to explain to Emily, the victim, that she needed to sign a waiver stating she was refusing services. Ignoring the ambulance driver and looking at Officer Hart, Emily was speaking and gesturing rapidly, demanding they leave her alone.
The officer she was spitting mad at was young and good-looking. Grace didn’t know how anyone could yell at Hart. His name was absolutely appropriate. Seeing Grace, he half-smiled, showing dimples, looking grateful for the interruption.
Flashing her own half-grin, her color rose. Looking down, she hoped he hadn’t noticed.

Giveaway

Safe House Book Blast Giveaway
Enter the giveaway HERE.
Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Book Blast Schedule


SLB Tours Button for Team

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice by Evy Journey




Gina’s grandfather was a French chef whose life was cut short by a robber’s bullet. The only lasting legacy he could leave his family was his passion and talent for cooking.
Growing up poor but with a mother who is a gifted cook. Gina learns cooking a great meal is an act of love. An art that sustains and enhances life.

A world of new challenges, new friends, and new loves opens up for her when she’s chosen to cook for a Michelin-starred restaurant.

But danger lurks where one never expects it.
Can her passion for cooking help Gina survive and thrive in this world of privilege, pleasure and menace?





~ Universal Amazon Link

Kobo ~ B&N ~ 








Evy Journey, writer, wannabe artist, and flâneuse (feminine of flâneur), wishes she lives in Paris where people have perfected the art of aimless roaming. Armed with a Ph.D., she used to research and help develop mental health programs.


She's a writer because beautiful prose seduces her and existential angst continues to plague her despite such preoccupations having gone out of fashion. She takes occasional refuge by invoking the spirit of Jane Austen to spin tales of love, loss, and finding one’s way—stories into which she weaves mystery or intrigue.






Facebook ~ Website ~

Twitter Facebook Group ~

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Character Casting
Gina/Regine Lambert—23, mixed blood from her mother (half Chinese’ half French) dark lush hair, creamy skin, large blue eyes, a generous mouth, and—her Mom says—a straight noble nose like Gwyneth Paltrow’s. A 5’7” body with curves in the right places. You wouldn’t call her voluptuous, though. She’s a cook at a haute cuisine restaurant and comes from a working class neighborhood, a little naïve but hopeful and quick to learn.
Brent Hansen— a tall man of about thirty, dark brown hair, gray and piercing but melancholic eyes, fills his jeans and jacket with palpable strength. He’s a homicide detective, has a law degree from a prestigious university, and a passion for truth and justice which he doesn’t want to complicate with a committed relationship.
Leon Barrett—29, a pair of very blue eyes on a well-tanned face crowned by bronze, wavy hair, tall, filthy rich, family of old money, polished, fussed over look. A playboy who enjoys the chase and has a need to win but never commits. Devoted to preserving his Barrett legacy, he works as his father’s right hand man.
Mrs. Lambert—Gina’s mother, oldest daughter of a Chinese mother and a French chef who was murdered in his artisanale delicatessen. Worked at fast food restaurants to help support her mother and sisters before she could finish high school. A great cook who taught Gina cooking is an act of love.
Marcia—Gina’s best friend, easy-going pastry chef in her early 30s, a little overweight. Frank, experienced, and smart.
Cristi—Gina’s childhood friend, red-brown hair and dark eyes, expertly accentuated, curvy. Shy and unsure of herself.
Laure—French woman in her thirties, chef de cuisine and owner of the restaurant Gina works for.
Sabine—Gina’s younger sister to whom she feels close
Mr. Lambert—Gina’s father, emotionally distant from his family
Maurice, Gerard and Bernie—Gina’s brothers

-->
Excerpt 2:
At this restaurant, the second one I’ve worked for, the clientele comes from the moneyed class. Privileged with money to spare. Money to put aside for a full-course dinner costing hundreds for two people. And that’s without the wine. I could never dine here unless I gave up my apartment, banked all my earnings, and slept in my car or a homeless shelter for a whole week.
Our regular customers are often fifty years or older and established, and come twice, sometimes thrice a year for special occasions. Dining here twice a month? The guy at Table 29 must be worth diamonds to the restaurant.
I get shivers in my spine entering the dining room. I’ve only been in it when it’s empty, quiet, and bright from lights and white tablecloths. This evening, the lighting is subdued and—yes—romantic, warmed by candles and small vases of bright yellow chrysanthemums on tables. Nonintrusive, soft music plays against the hum of voices from every table.
Table 29 usually sits four, but tonight it holds only two people. I’m surprised to see that they’re quite young. Maybe about my age or a little older. And attractive. Now I’m even more curious. And intrigued. Mature and rich or nearly rich, I’ve seen a lot of. But filthy rich and young? Well, I must at least sneak a peek at what this priceless diamond looks like.
For now, though, I’m a willing peon, as grateful as strawberry blond is when I started learning the ropes in this exclusive eatery. So, I focus on the course I’m serving Table 29. How I perform at this restaurant decides whether my career goes haute cuisine or a la Burger King. But that last choice is really no choice at all. I’ll work my butt off to make sure it stays that way. It’s my future, after all, that I’m slaving for.
I recite to myself the script we’ve been trained to deliver. The script is quite simple, but this is my first foray into a dining room full of privileged clients. And hives are sprouting on my arms just thinking that I’m serving my creation to the restaurant’s most valued client. If this guy doesn’t like my dish and blabbers to Laure about it, I can kiss my future in haute cuisine goodbye. Laure is well-loved and well-known, and a word from her can make or break culinary dreams.
 
-->
I quickly glance, first at his date then at him, vaguely taking in how they look. I take a deep breath, smile at neither one in particular and say, “Medallions of raw ahi, wasabi hollandaise, on a bed of diced cucumbers, vernissage cherry tomatoes, and capers, finished with a sprinkle of toasted nori. Bon appetit!”
Distractedly, my fixed smile still on, I wonder if “filthy rich” Table 29 guy holds my cooking future in his manicured hands—or, more likely, on his pampered taste buds. I take a couple of steps back, so they can start eating. Maybe I can catch a glimpse of whether he likes my dish or not before I go back to the kitchen. I’m also waiting for that “buzz” I’ve been made to expect. Nothing yet. Anything to say about my creation? Maybe that’s what it takes.
But I’m new in this game and still a coward, so I chicken out as he picks up his fork. I control the urge in my legs to run backward to the kitchen. Be at your best, Gina. Be cool. But my ego will be in tatters if Mr. Filthy Rich doesn’t like the dish.







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Upheld by The Grace Lane Authors - Book Tour + Giveaway




Upheld: Ordinary women discovering an Extraordinary God

Life happens. Ordinary and extraordinary events fill the days and nights, but regardless of the circumstance, God is there. We’re five friends who, over the course of a decade, learned to recognize the heavenly touches in our lives. We share our stories in a series of short vignettes, as glimpses of the profound and practical ways God lifts us.
First as a newlywed and then as a young mother, Rebekah awakens to the daily light that comes from realizing how often and simply the Lord touches her life. Jeni nurtures a child with special needs and learns that strength and support are only a prayer away. Elizabeth forges a new path towards renewal and regeneration after she exits the roller coaster ride of her spouse’s addiction. Faith discovers the beauty of reminders from a loving Heavenly Father that she has worth and the precious gift of agency. Dawn opens her mind to the understanding that no matter what happens peace can abound and everything will work out.
In Upheld: Ordinary women discovering an Extraordinary God we invite you to walk with us, explore the nooks and crannies of life, and have joy in the knowledge that you are not forgotten. As you read, we hope you will also discover God upholding you in your own life.

 ~ Website ~


Five women have joined together under the pen name, Grace Lane, to write about their personal experiences in hopes to inspire and uplift others.  The following character sketches will give you a little insight about each author.




Rebekah: 
Writing about motherhood and her husband’s health struggles, Rebekah lives true to the meaning of her name—to bind. Life’s experiences have shaped her into a wise, steadfast daughter of God who has the beautiful ability to make others laugh through her clever wit.
Jeni: 
Jeni’s stories revolve around the loving care of her son with special needs. Knowing that he will not live out his childhood, she’s armed with strength and determination to give him the best life possible. The bright hope Jeni finds through the Savior will encourage the lowest of hearts.
Elizabeth:
Elizabeth is passionate about sharing the Light of Christ. You’ll feel this in reading about the challenges she faces with her spouse’s addiction and divorce. Through sophistication, uplifting words, and a touch of spunk, she’s a modern-day disciple “gathering in the fold” and feeding His sheep.
Faith:
A woman of intuition, Faith has a distinctive gift for understanding people. Her personal goal in life is to help women recognize their potential in whatever role they fill. She writes about her battle in overcoming abuse as a child and her fight with low self-esteem.

Dawn:
A single mom for ten years, Dawn not only believes the motto “Light trumps darkness”, but she lives it every day. Her short stories are about finding God after a heart-crushing divorce. Dawn touches many lives through her unwavering testimony and simple ways.


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Snippet #4 -
It’s the shortest month and the leanest month. This week I have night class and I need to bring dinner for everyone. I worry about how to feed my family for the week and still take my turn feeding my classmates...

On my way into the grocery store, I say a little prayer in my heart. “Please let the lettuce be on sale.” Well, the lettuce is on sale, the broccoli is on sale, the milk is on sale, the onions are on sale, the pineapple is on sale, the bacon is on sale, the sour cream is on sale. Everything I need for my class and my family is on sale. I buy what I need for half of what I would normally spend. 

I do what I can and God makes up the difference. --Dawn


Dawn Top Ten List - 
Top 10 books:
Book of Mormon, Gift from the Sea, Tipping Point, Harry Potter Series, No Doubt about it, The Hiding Place, The Secret Garden, Diary of Anne Frank, The Hundred Dresses, Little Women

Top 10 Desserts:
Tuxedo Cheesecake, Lemon Cream Cake, Rootbeer Floats, Hot Fudge Sundaes, Cool Caramel Crunch, Oreo cookie dessert, Peach cobbler, Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, French and German pastries, Cinnamon Rolls




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