Hobbit House

Out on a back roads drive one morning recently, we passed by this little house built into a hill. I’m assuming it was once a well house or a summer cellar/storage spot…who knows? It just looked so cool and refreshing tucked into the hillside all shady and green. While I’m sorta tempted to go back, drive on up to the big house above the hill and ask the story, sometimes imagining is more fun than knowing, ya know?

From Fantasy to Parenting: Bold New Reads

Author Toby Neighbors has published a new ebook novel entitled ‘The Other Side’ on Smashwords that is perfect for fans of ‘life after death’ fantasy type stories. Toby’s imagination brings to life a very real battle between good and evil through the eyes of Alex Napleton, a twelve year old boy who has just died of cancer. Alex literally wakes into death to the sounds of battle, swords ringing and angels shouting. He is given the choice of moving on to heavenly peace or remaining as an angel in the fight against the dark side. Alex learns how strong and powerful he can be while defending light and laughter against evil forces. Go forth and grab your copy of The Other Side, available NOW at Smashwords–tis a story full of rich imagery and great detail–the sights and sounds clear to the reader with every word.

The author of this little ebook–a mom of four kiddos aged ten and under (three of them stairstep boys)–does a bang up job of showing how considerate parenting in the moment is worth the struggle. She talks about how true parenting is so very much more than corralling and controlling the rumpus all while acknowledging that there are some days that feel like you’re merely surviving to weather the next crisis.
Jessica offers up real life examples rather than just preaching ‘this is how it’s done’ to parents. She confesses to her own struggles, to her own knee jerk reactions while showing alternatives that are gentle yet effective.
Parenting Wild Things is available TODAY at Parenting Wild Things –go grab your copy and embark upon a journey that will bless you and your wild things!
**full disclosure: I received a copy of both of these ebooks in return for a review–my opinions, however, are my own**

A,B, C and 1, 2, 3: A Round up of Readings

Man o man have I been reading some good stuff! 
Problem is, I don’t like to ‘take notes’ while reading a good book…that means that I often end up getting ready to blog about what I’ve read with nothing but thoughts of ‘that was so GOOD!’ to show for it! I’ve been trying to at least stick a post-it note on the page where I read something I’d like to go back to but, truly? When I am really into a book, I just want to read and read–if the book I am reading causes me to disappear into it, mission accomplished!
I read ‘Sarah’s Key’ by Tatiana DeRosnay–such a poignant, stirring story. I was hooked by this book in that not only did I want to know what actually happened, I wanted to read it from Sarah’s perspective and witness her feelings. 
Likable, appealing characters are THE hook for stories,in my opinion. Make me like at least one or more of your characters, and I will weather just about any story plot in order to spend time with them.
An advance copy of Harlan Coben’s ‘Shelter’ found its way to me last week. Again with the likable characters…I liked Mickey’s plucky, realistic self right away and wanted to see him through this adventure. An easy read, yet far from a ‘simple’ book, I think the YA audience will enjoy this one to be sure. Mickey and his friends are teens you might find anywhere in America who have bonded amid their circumstances. They give their all and make determined, unselfish choices in order to save another friend’s life. His Uncle Myron is supportive and interesting in his own right. I might have to read the other books this author has written that feature Myron. The ending to ‘Shelter’ was a surprising one and I’m hoping it means we’re going to see more of Mickey and his support cast.
Here are a few of the many good posts geared toward writers that I have read online as of late–
there are always SO many:

*This is such a well written/well said piece by Christina Katz: Success on Twitter is how strongly you can stand in the stream of popular opinion and still express something contrary because it’s true for you: http://tiny.cc/u1ugq

*An interesting perspective on getting your writing prioritized and going for the day: http://socialmediamercenary.com/why-i-never-do-my-most-important-task-first
*Excellent post by author James Scott Bell about writing back story into the beginning of your story: http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/2010/11/great-backstory-debate.html
*Great post for those days you think your ideas have flown the coop: http://theblueinkwell.com/where-do-you-find-inpiration-for-writing/

The Secret of Everything by Barbara O’neal

After I enjoyed ‘How To Bake a Perfect Life’ by Barbara O’neal, I sought out another of her stories– ‘The Secret of Everything’– and was not disappointed. In fact, if I HAD to choose, this latest one is my favorite of the two–however, I don’t have to choose so– hey you, go read them both 😉
*I really enjoyed the characters–I say that a lot I know, but to me they make up so much of  any book’s enjoyment, the plot needs to be believable and good, but the characters make the story. Liking the characters or at least seeing where they’re coming from…it’s everything.
*The mystical connections Tessa finds tingling her senses…sounds, smells, sights… I have a particular affinity for such and this book is full of well turned phrases and descriptive moments. For example:
  • ‘The air smelled of heat and dust and something elusive and familiar she could taste on the roof of her mouth.’
  • ‘Sometimes a moment was enough. A moment was a place you could live.’
  • ‘Life came at you like a hurricane and you did what you could with whatever it blew into your hands, good and bad.’

Check it out, tis a good story

Summertime Senses

Lately I find myself thinking ‘Oh I SO want to remember this’ several times a day, over and over. Ordinary happenings feel exquisitely extraordinary, full-color and fleeting. I’ve no idea why and am not inclined to analyze, only experience.

Part of experiencing every moment, for me, is taking pictures. Without further ado–because this extraordinary, beautiful life can bring me to some seriously deep sentimentality that I shall spare you from–here are a few pictures:

That Husband o' mine took me on a four wheeler ride to an out of the way field filled with flowers

A field...of weeds...in the blazing summer sun...it made me happy, so I took a picture--okay lots of pictures.

Sunset on the Ohio...this river forever holds a special place in our hearts...