Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ghost Hunters, Taps, 3-30-11 Episode


Last night the Taps team investigated a very expansive resort on Mackinac Island in Michigan. The weather was exceptionally cold and they had to take an ice breaker ferry to get there. They made it over but weren't sure about getting back to the mainland. Steve especially was concerned , because if a small plane was needed, he wasn't going to fly.Amy heard a girl's voice in the balcony of the theater where she was sitting. A door slammed on its own in another part of the resort. The sauna was investigated because it was believed someone was in there, but nothing showed up.Someone committed suicide near the resort awhile back, because his marriage proposal was rejected and it was believed he was haunting the resort.Steve left early on the last ferry leaving the island and the others left by plane.

Framing Faith - NOW AVAILABLE

NOW AVAILABLE
Framing Faith: A Pictorial History of Communities of Faith
written by: Sarah Piccini
photography by: Ivana Pavelka & ARTS Engage!

www.framingfaith.com

Framing Faith tells the story of the faith of immigrants and their descendants, spotlighting ten Catholic churches in the Diocese of Scranton that were closed due to restructuring. The churches, SACRED HEART, MAYFIELD; ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA, SCRANTON; ST. JOSEPH, SCRANTON; HOLY FAMILY, SCRANTON; ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST, SCRANTON; ST. MARY OF THE ASSUMPTION, SCRANTON; ST. MARY CZESTOCHOWA, SCRANTON; ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, TAYLOR; IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, TAYLOR; AND ST. MICHAEL, OLD FORGE have rich ethnic heritages. They are Polish, Slovak, Italian, German, and Lithuanian parishes with long traditions and deep roots. Each church was founded by immigrant groups who came to the coal fields of the Lackawanna Valley with little more than their faith in God. Their churches served as the center of the community and touchstones of the Old Country. Framing Faith traces their histories from small beginnings through baptisms, weddings and funerals to their final celebrations. Throughout the text are images from each church, visual reminders of what was for many an important part of their lives.

$24.95 at Amazon & Barnes&Noble.com

$4.95 PDF eBook

Booking Through Thursday



If you’re like me, you grew up reading everything under the sun, like the cereal boxes while you ate your breakfast, the newspapers held by strangers on the subway, the tabloid headlines at the grocery store.

What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever read? (You know, something NOT a book, magazine, short story, poem or article.)

***

Probably the oddest thing I've ever read are the informational flyers that are mailed with your bills. At the time, you think that they might yield some helpful information but they really just turn out to be advertisements for some product.



Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Breaking Bad- tv series-Season 3


I started to watch part of season three last night. Everyone is in shock after the mid- air collision at the end of season two. Walt and Skylar have separated and Jesse is in re-hab after Jane's death. Walt is made an offer of 3 million dollars to produce meth and is getting in deeper. I am anxoius to watc the final episodes of this season.

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:




Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns)

by Mindy Kaling
Publication date: November 1, 2011

Comedy's fastest-rising star takes to the page in a book of essays, personal anecdotes, and impassioned pleas.

Multi-hyphenate Mindy Kaling is an Emmy-nominated writer, the actress famous for playing the beloved Kelly Kapoor on The Office, and the author of one of Twitter's most popular and quoted feeds. She is a keen and witty observer of life, romance, and pop culture, whom the New York Times recently called "an entirely original and of-the-moment" performer and Entertainment Weekly deemed “one of the ten funniest actresses in Hollywood.”

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy shares her observations, fears, and opinions about a wide-ranging list of the topics she thinks about the most: from her favorite types of guys (including Sherlock Holmes, NBA players, Aaron Sorkin characters, and 19th-century fictional hunks) to life in the Office writers' room to her leisure pursuit of dieting (“I don’t travel, speak other languages, do crafts, or enjoy sports, but I love reading about new diets”) and how much she loves romantic comedies. Loaded with personal stories and laugh-out-loud philosophies, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is a must-read by one of the most original comedic voices working today.

Wonderous Words Wednesday



bas-relief

n.

(Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Art Terms) sculpture in low relief, in which the forms project slightly from the background but no part is completely detached from it

From the book The Summoner (page 4) by Layton Green.

The sentence is: "Grey read the sign carved into the granite in bas-relief. The Meikles Hotel."



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dancing With The Stars- 3-28-11 show

Week two of the show, seemed to show improvement with some of the dancers. "Psycho" Mike did improve a little from last week, and Romeo surprised me how well he did. Wendy Williams has a way to go and I think she might be one of the one's eliminated tonight. Ralph Macchio is still a top contender. We shall see what happens on the results show tonight.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Authors that Deserve Recognition

1. Tommie Lyn
2. Molly Roe
3. Andrea Nepa
4. LM Preston
5. Jerome Charyn
6. Karina Fabian
7. Cheryl Malandrinos
8. Robert Pielke
9. Ken Dalton
10. Larry Peterson


Teaser Tuesday - The Summoner

Here is my teaser from The Summoner by Layton Green (Pages 1-2):

The first sign that something was amiss was the lack of commerce on the streets. A few people hurried by, most of them smartly dressed and lucky to be returning home from a job in one of the surviving businesses. But in a city this poor, Grey knew, beggars and street urchins should clog the center, fruit and produce stands should feed the masses, rickety bazaars should hawk everything from cheap souvenirs to black market commodities. The absence of these gritty realities glared more than their presence would have.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The 39 Steps- Masterpiece Theater


Last night's Masterpiece Theater, The 39 Steps was very intriguing. A former intelligence agent, Richard Hannay is accoused in London in his flat and given a coded notebook. The spy is then shot by German agents. Hannay is blamed for the shooting and gets away. He is persued by the police, thus begins the cloak and dagger intrigue that proceeds the outbreak of World War 1. He then proceeds to Scotland where a German spy ring is planning to render Britain defenseless against the invasion. Along the way he is joined by Victoria Sinclair, a combative suffragette. Dangers surround them everywhere as they try to save Britain.None as great as what waits for them at the bottom of the 39 steps.

Mailbox Monday - The Summoner

I received for review The Summoner by Layton Green from the author.

A United States diplomat disappears in front of hundreds of onlookers while attending a religious ceremony in the bushveld of Zimbabwe. Dominic Grey, Diplomatic Security special agent, product of a violent childhood and a worn passport, is assigned to investigate. Aiding the investigation is Professor Viktor Radek, religious phenomenologist and expert on cults, and Nya Mashumba, the local government liaison. What Grey uncovers is a terrifying cult older than Western civilization, the harsh underbelly of a country in despair, a priest seemingly able to perform impossibilities, and the identity of the newest target. Himself. The first work in a globe-hopping series whose protagonists investigate the world’s most bizarre and dangerous cults, The Summoner is a stylish, haunting novel of mystery and suspense that will linger long after the last page is turned.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Author Interview with T. Marie Benchley & Book Giveaway of 'Once Wicked Always Dead'

My thanks to T. Marie Benchley for stopping by Tribute Books Mama and sharing her thoughts about her book, Once Wicked Always Dead.

ABOUT T. MARIE: T. Marie Benchley is an author and student in life. With a family heritage of actors/writers including famed author Peter Benchley of "Jaws and the Deep", she was introduced to classic literature at an early age and remains a passionate reader. Although the only sharks on her pages are attorneys and the monsters in her plots are sociopaths, her primary desire is to entertain her readers. Though formally educated in journalism and marketing, she is also an avid traveler, finding inspiration for her novels by studying people and listening to their stories.

** Enter to win a free copy below.


1. How did you come up with the title?

“Once Wicked Always Dead” was not my original title. The original title was to be; “Romantically twisted.” Unfortunately when I submitted the manuscript the publisher felt that it sounded too much like a romance novel and as we all know it is also filled with suspense and mystery. That evening I was discussing this with my husband over dinner, when he suggested the title “Once Wicked Always Dead.” He’s my title guy. I loved it and felt that it was a better fit with the book.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Absolutely, the first message is that it’s never too late to start your life over and be happy. You only need to find the inner strength and the courage. The second message is that everyone needs to be honest with themselves and others to be the person who they need to be in order to be fulfilled, if you are unable to do this then the web of lies and deceit will affect not only your life but those you love. The third message; at various points in our lives we need to let go of the pain that others put upon us. Forgiveness allows you to move on with your life. You need to move forward leaving behind the pain of the past.

3. How much of the book is realistic?

The story itself is completely fictional, but the restaurant Little Birds along with the owner Vickie is real and is exactly as I depict it in the story. Also the Borealis Lodge is the name of our Log Home. And one last fact is that the Bernese mountain dog named Sedona is real. She is our 147lb six year old big ball of love; who will always find a special spot amongst the pages in all of my Novels. (Yes, our children are a little jealous.)

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?

Well being my debut and looking back at it; of course, the biggest one; being pushed to release the galleys before they were ready. The editors had cut the flow of the story and in return made a lot of mistakes; that of course reflected on me. I had to go in and correct their mistakes, we were on a time restrain and the last set of corrections that I had made did not get put in before the six hundred galleys were printed and released out to reviewers and the book world. I was pretty upset but was told not to worry about this, as everyone in the business knew that galleys are an unedited and uncorrected proof, but unfortunately it reflected poorly upon my writing. Although it was received very well and I have received an outlandish amount of fabulous reviews, there were still a couple of eccentric reviewers who failed to mention that the galleys were an uncorrected proof of the story and slammed my writing. I feel that you take the good with the bad and you live and learn, but I will never be forced into releasing something out to any portion of the public before it is ready. There has also been some discussion about some of the language in the book with a few of the reviewers. The response that I have received with my readers have been overwhelming great. I write for the general population and they love it and it doesn’t bother them in the least, it’s not any worse then what you see on TV. I had to shake up the stuffy literary world a little bit and give them something to talk about, but I always had planned to tone it down in the second book. In which I did, but heightened the suspense even more!

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Having such a long family heritage of writers in my family I was originally worried about finding my own style and voice. Well that fear didn’t last long, after about the first 30 pages or so I found it. Writing is not the hard part, it’s the work that goes into it after you are finished, and I can’t stress enough to everyone out there to finish it! I can’t tell you how many people approach me only to say, that they started writing this great story only to never finish it. As a matter of fact, if you go on my website; TMarieBenchley.com I wrote a blog about this last month. So I can’t stress to every writer out there, that there comes a time when you need to stop with the rewrites and just finish the story.

After you finish the novel that is when the hard work begins; Submissions, Contracts, Tours, Marketing, Signings, Interviews and also amongst all of that, trying to find the time to write the next Novel. Your book is your creation and no one will care as much as you do. I occasionally think to myself what the heck did I get myself into, but just as quickly as the thought comes, it passes, as writing is a passion and I love it so. I am willing to put up with everything that comes with the business, just so I can write the stories that will entertain my readers.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I have learned so much about the publishing industry as a whole and the politics that are involved in the book industry. It’s a business, it’s not glamorous and you need to be savvy. Also pick your Agent and PR firms wisely there are so many that are useless and can do more harm than good. Be selective remember they work for you. I was very fortunate in this matter and made few mistakes but I have heard horror stories from others.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

From an early age books have always been a large part of my life, it defines me. So being such an avid reader, writing was just a natural progression, but I think it was High School when I came to the conclusion that I loved to write and started to create my own stories.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I am a big fan of the classics, Hemingway, Poe, Twain. I don’t believe I need to explain why, as that is obvious. I am currently devouring Mark Twain’s autobiography and have fallen deeper in love with him, as well as his writing. In modern day I would say Ann Rice, because her writing is almost poetic and falls off the readers tongue. I also enjoy Dan Brown; I appreciate not only his writing style but the research that goes into his stories. He is able to hold my attention until the very last page.

9. Tell us your latest news.

Since the release of the hard cover the days are flying by faster than I would like. I have been on book tour since September and now I am extremely excited to say that Costco has made a large purchase for my soft cover and I am currently on a signing tour for them. I am also in heavy negotiation with two major Motion Picture Company’s who are very interested in making a movie based upon my novel “Once Wicked Always Dead.” I am also currently finishing up my next Novel which will be released next year 2012.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

It’s so important for me to just say thank you to all of my readers. I write for you, my goal is that you have fun and are able to get your mind off from all the crazy reality of everyday life. Also don’t forget to go on my web-site and play the $1,000.00 hidden challenge you never know, you might just win some mad cash. One last thing, I would like to remind everyone that I am donating a portion of all sales from “Once Wicked Always Dead” to the Shriners Children Hospitals. If you know or have a child in need of their service there is a direct link on my web-site.

ABOUT ONCE WICKED ALWAYS DEAD: Molly Madison’s life is shattered with the sudden death of her beloved parents and the revelation of her husband Phillip’s affair—with another man. Molly heads west to Montana, resolved to run the family ranch, the Ghost Bear, and to move on with her life. Her attraction to Clayton Leatherbe, the ranch foreman, is instant, but before a romance can blossom, the ranch falls prey to sabotage by wealthy land developers determined to drive Molly out, and Clayton learns of a family secret that could put the ranch—and Molly’s life—in jeopardy. A sharp mystery that deals with the themes of family secrets, betrayal, love, and loss, Once Wicked Always Dead is a strong debut from an author with literary blood in her veins.

For more information on T. Marie and Once Wicked Always Dead, please visit TMarieBenchley.com



Congratulations to our winner: Casey Hensley!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Office- 3-24-11 Episode


On last nights episode , the office was holding a garage sale in the warehouse. The things being sold was anything from treasure to junk. Michael in the meantime was trying to find a way to propose to Holly. His outlandish and foolish ideas led Pam to look out for his decision. Holly finds out that she must return to Colorado to take care of her father.She asks Michael to go with her, and almost proposes to him, but he asks her to walk with him through the office and they recall certain memories.After all is said and done, he proposes in a room filled with lighted candles and the sprinkler alarm is set off and Holly accepts soaked to the bone. The crew didn't see him leaving and were shocked. Stay tuned.

My Book Blog Follow Friday

Inspired by the inane twitter trend of #100factsaboutme, give us five BOOK RELATED silly facts about you.

1. I prefer large print books.
2. I keep the book I am reading on a shelf in my kitchen - the room it seems where I spend the most time.
3. I'm a big Maeve Binchy fan.
4. I like to read books that are being made into movies before the movie comes out - like Water for Elephants which is coming out next month with Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson.
5. If I can't get into a book, I can't get into it and move on to the next.

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop "If you could physically put yourself into a book or series…which one would it be and why?"

I would love to sit on the front porch and talk with Marilla Cuthbert and Rachel Lynde from L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series. It'd sure to be a lively conversation and I'd learn the latest about what Anne was up to. I'd love to spend time on Prince Edward Island in the early 1900s. I'm a big fan of the movies and the scenery just looks so beautiful.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ghost Hunters, Taps, 3-23-11 Epidode


Taps traveled to the Hotel Alex Johnson in South Dakota to search for the ghost of a suicidal bride, who is seen in one of the rooms. Jason brings his new member of the team, the trained ghost hunting dog, Maddie, who makes her debut.The team stayed overnight in the hotel and stayed in the rooms, that were supposedly haunted. Amy and Adam both felt like they were touched on the top of their heads in one of the rooms. I enjoy the show, especially the de-bunking.

Booking Through Thursday



Series? Or Stand-alone books?

***

I love a good series with characters you love. It gives you something to look forward to when the next installment comes out.



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:




The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared

by Alice Ozma
Publication date: May 3, 2011

When Alice Ozma was in 4th grade, she and her father decided to see if he could read aloud to her for 100 consecutive nights. On the hundredth night, they shared pancakes to celebrate, but it soon became evident that neither wanted to let go of their storytelling ritual. So they decided to continue what they called "The Streak." Alice's father read aloud to her every night without fail until the day she left for college.

Alice will approach this book as a series of vignettes about her relationship with her father and the life lessons learned from the books he read to her.

Books included in the Streak were: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, the Oz books by L. Frank Baum, Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and Shakespeare's plays.

Wonderous Words Wednesday



strata

n. pl. of stratum

1. A horizontal layer of material, especially one of several parallel layers arranged one on top of another.
2. Geology: A bed or layer of sedimentary rock having approximately the same composition throughout.
3. Any of the regions of the atmosphere, such as the troposphere, that occur as layers.
4. Biology: A layer of tissue: the epithelial stratum.
5. A level of society composed of people with similar social, cultural, or economic status.
6. One of a number of layers, levels, or divisions in an organized system: a complex poem with many strata of meaning.

From the book Swift as Desire (page 10) by Laura Esquivel.

The sentence is: "The billowing columns of mysterious, heavily scented smoke continuously rise up into the air in spirals, and I can't stop thinking that they are forming an umbilical cord that will connect my father with the celestial strata to take him back to the place from which he came.



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dancing With The Stars- 3-21-11 show


Last night's premiere show was surprising in a way.Not being familiar as of yet with the new cast, I was really surprised how well two of them performed. Kristie Alley was terrific with Maks, she really went for it. Ralph Maccio did very well, getting the high score of the evening. They all experienced the jitters of the first dance in front of a live audience there and on tv.The judges were their usual selves and at their best with their pointers. It should be an interesting and enjoyable show in the upcoming weeks ahead.Stay tuned!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves

1. Having to return a library book within 2 weeks when someone else is next on the wait list for it.
2. Books that are 900 pages long that could have been written in 300-400 pages.
3. Books that copy off the success of other books.
4. Books that are hyped just because of who the author is and not necessarily because they are good books.
5. Books in a series where you have to wait years for the next installment.
6. Books that have two many insignificant characters that you can't keep track of all of their names and where they fit in.
7. Books that aren't a satisfying read and you feel like you've wasted your time reading them.
8. Unexplainable book twists that leave you scratching your head, wondering where in the heck that came from.
9. Authors who try to write in a self-important manner by spending three paragraphs describing the sky - get to the point!
10. Books that take 100 pages before they actually get going.

Teaser Tuesday - Swift as Desire

Here is my teaser from Swift as Desire by Laura Esquivel (Pages 14-15):

The relationship between dona Jesusa and dona Itzel was far from good until after Jubilo was born. Because of race. Dona Itzel was one hundred percent Mayan Indian and she disapproved of the mixing of her race's blood with dona Jesusa's Spanish blood. For many years, she had avoided visiting her son's home. Her grandchildren grew up without her being very involved in their lives. Her rejection of her daughter-in-law was so great that for years she refused to speak to her, arguing that she couldn't speak Spanish. So dona Jesusa was forced to learn Mayan in order to be able to speak with her mother-in-law. But she found it very difficult to learn a new language while raising twelve children, so communication between the two was sparse and of poor quality.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Long Fatal Love Chase By Louisa May Alcott

This book is a suspense novel written by Louise May Alcott written in 1866. It was written two years before she wrote Little Women.

It captured my attention as it went on as Rosamond, a young girl is stalked by her so called husband, Tempest. He woos her into marrying him, and eventually she finds out his dark secrets, and runs away from him.

A two year hunt goes on and he finds her at every turn and he is enjoying the hunt. A priest, named Ignatius aids her and is loyal to her throughout.

The lengths she has to go through to rid herself of her stalker keeps you interested. This novel is definitely worth the read.

Mailbox Monday - The Other Life & So Much Pretty

I received for review The Other Life by Ellen Meister from Knitting and Sundries.

What if you could return to the road not taken?

Happily married with a young son and another child on the way, Quinn Braverman has the perfect life. She also has an ominous secret. Every time she makes a major life decision, she knows an alternative reality exists in which she made the opposite choice-not only that, she knows how to cross over. But even in her darkest moments-like her mother's suicide-Quinn hasn't been tempted to visit . . . until she receives shattering news about the baby she's carrying.

Desperate to escape her grief, Quinn slips through the portal that leads to her other life: the life in which she stayed with her exciting but neurotic ex- boyfriend, and is childless. The life in which-as she is amazed to discover-her mother is still very much alive.

Quinn is soon forced to make an impossible choice. Will she stay with the family she loves and face the painful challenges that lie ahead? Or will a more carefree life-and the primal lure of being with her mother-pull her into her other life for good?

This gripping emotional journey is both shocking and poignant . . . as the bonds of love are put to the ultimate test.

***

I received for review So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman from Simon and Schuster.

When she disappeared from her rural hometown, Wendy White was a sweet, family-oriented girl, a late bloomer who’d recently moved out on her own, with her first real boyfriend and a job waiting tables at the local tavern. It happens all the time—a woman goes missing, a family mourns, and the case remains unsolved. Stacy Flynn is a reporter looking for her big break. She moved east from Cleveland, a city known for its violent crime, but that’s the last thing she expected to cover in Haeden. This small, upstate New York town counts a dairy farm as its main employer and is home to families who’ve set down roots and never left—people who don’t take kindly to outsiders. Flynn is researching the environmental impact of the dairy, and the way money flows outward like the chemical runoff, eventually poisoning those who live at the edges of its reach.

Five months after she disappeared, Wendy’s body is found in a ditch just off one of Haeden’s main roads. Suddenly, Flynn has a big story, but no one wants to talk to her. No one seems to think that Wendy’s killer could still be among them. A drifter, they say. Someone “not from here.”

Fifteen-year-old Alice Piper is an imaginative student with a genius IQ and strong ideals. The precocious, confident girl has stood out in Haeden since the day her eccentric hippie parents moved there from New York City, seeking a better life for their only child. When Alice reads Flynn’s passionate article in the Haeden Free Press about violence against women—about the staggering number of women who are killed each day by people they know—she begins to connect the dots of Wendy’s disappearance and death, leading her to make a choice: join the rest in turning a blind eye, or risk getting involved. As Flynn and Alice separately observe the locals’ failure to acknowledge a murderer in their midst, Alice’s fate is forever entwined with Wendy’s when a second crime rocks the town to its core.

Stylishly written, closely observed, and bracingly unexpected, So Much Pretty leads the reader into the treacherous psychology of denial, where the details of an event are already known, deeply and intuitively felt, but not yet admitted to, reconciled or revealed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Author Interview with Richard Denning & Book Giveaway of 'Tomorrow's Guardian'

My thanks to Richard Denning for stopping by Tribute Books Mama and sharing his thoughts about his book, Tomorrow's Guardian.

ABOUT RICHARD:
I was born in Ilkeston in Derbyshire and live in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands. I work as a General Practitioner with a North Birmingham practice. I am 43 and married with two children.I am a Young adult sci-fi, historical fiction and historical fantasy writer. I also write book and board game reviews and online articles on historical and gaming related topics. I own my own small publishing house Mercia Books and I am part of a board game design house Medusa Games.A keen player of board games and other games I am one of the directors of UK Games Expo (the UK's largest hobby games convention). I am a board game designer and my first Board Game 'The Great Fire on London 1666' was published by Medusa Games and Prime Games in October 2010.

** Enter to win a free copy below.

1. How did you come up with the title?

The story is about a boy who finds he can travel through time and has to decide how to use that power. Will he use it for self gain, will he help men who want to change history to their version or will he protect our world and our history and future. It is that idea of Tom and his friends protecting history and ensuring that the world of Tomorrow is as it should be that is behind the title.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I am not sure there is a deep meaning behind it but themes of loyalty, courage and sacrifice are explored. On the whole though it is (I hope) an entertaining adventure story. I don’t think I actually read that many books myself that are about profound and significant issues. I have to deal with a lot of hard and difficult choices and problems in my job as a GP (Family doctor) so when I read books I am looking for something escapist. That does not mean it does not make you think.

3. How much of the book is realistic?

The historical periods that are visited have been researched. These include the Great Fire of London in 1666, Alexander the Great’s camp, the Battle of Isandlwana in 1879 and a U-boat in 1943. I have tried to recreate those as faithfully as possible. I do explore some theories about time travel but of course at the end of the day it’s a time travel book and so that part of the book can never be realistic as such. However I hope the method of time travel I use, with its limits and opportunities is consistent and believable within the fictitious world I have created.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?

You always look at a book and say – ah I should have said this there, or referred to that there. But overall I am very happy with Tomorrow’s Guardian.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?


Getting the plot right. That part takes time. In fact before I write much I try to plot the book out in detail. That is the time when you have blank pages and have to wrench the ideas out of your mind. Once you have the chapters and scenes sketched out the actually writing is quite quick.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned a certain amount of historical fact through the research of the historical periods. I also learned some time travel theory and physics. Out of writing the book I think I have learned how to pace a book better and create tension and excitement. At least I hope I have.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I have always loved books. I also enjoy fantasy, sci fi and horror and just wanted to see if I could come up with a story. Actually it was wanting to create a world I enjoyed playing in – for actually in the case of Tomorrow’s Guardian and my other books the world I create can start to become quite real. You start to KNOW how characters will act and how they will deal with a crisis or happening. When I return to the same characters and surroundings as I write a sequel there is a feeling a little bit like coming home after a trip away.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

JRR Tolkien is my favourite author overall for his world was so detailed that it is a joy to read about it. The opening chapters of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are wonderful and if I am stressed I only have to dip into the shire to feel at peace. Of modern authors I would have to say the best are Terry Pratchett and Bernard Cornwell. I have read pretty much all of their books and spent many holidays reading about Diskworld or Sharpe’s latest adventure. Pratchett in particular has a way of looking at issues of our world through the prism of the diskworld. He has dealt with computers, the internet, wars, the media and many other aspects of our own world but examining them in the diskworld.

9. Tell us your latest news.

The sequel to Tomorrow’s GuardianYesterday’s Treasures will be out in May or June. A new version of my Dark Ages Historical Fiction, The Amber Treasures will be published soon as well.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Well pop along to my website and you can read excerpts of any of my books for free as well as see the trailers. My books are on Kindle and other ebooks as well as Paperbacks. I even have an audio book version of The Amber Treasure for free on my website.

ABOUT TOMORROW'S GUARDIAN: Tom Oakley experiences disturbing episodes of déjà-vu and believes he is going mad. Then, he discovers that he's a "Walker" - someone who can transport himself to other times and places. Tom dreams about other "Walkers" in moments of mortal danger: Edward Dyson killed in a battle in 1879; Mary Brown who perished in the Great Fire of London; and Charlie Hawker, a sailor who drowned on a U-boat in 1943. Agreeing to travel back in time and rescue them, Tom has three dangerous adventures, before returning to the present day. But Tom's troubles have only just begun. He finds that he's drawn the attention of evil individuals who seek to bend history to their will. Soon, Tom's family are obliterated from existence and Tom must make a choice between saving them and saving his entire world. Tomorrow's Guardian is a Young Adult Fantasy Novel.

For more information on Richard and Tomorrow's Guardian, please visit RichardDenning.co.uk



Congratulations to our winner: Lindsay Cummings!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Destination Truth - 3-17-11- Live episode

Last night Destination Truth went live with their crew to investigate the Duckett's Grove Castle in Ireland on St. Patrick's Day to discover the truth about the frightening "Banshee". The castle was huge and proved to be very eerie. The grounds were amazing and sounds were heard. The tower of the castle was seen by many watching the show to have some kind of presence in the window-like opening. Jael was sent up to do an investigation alone and she was frightened beyond words climbing the old rickety, not so safe stairwell.Once she made it to the top, she kept hearing footsteps as if someone was climbing up to where she was, trully scary . All in all it was an interesting show being that it was live and the unexpected could happen.

My Book Blog Follow Friday

How did you come up with your blog name?

The story behind my blog name is pretty straight forward. I am the mother of the owner of Tribute Books (my daughter, Nicole) and it's where I'm the part-time, volunteer office manager.

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop "Do you read only one book at a time, or do you have several going at once?"

For the most part, I can only concentrate on one book at a time. Sometimes I'll start a book, but if a more interesting one comes in, I'll leave it and come back to it at a later time. However, I never read two or more books simultaneously. I would get too confused! :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Special - "Call Me Kate" only $3.28 at Amazon

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day!

Our title of an Irish lass Call Me Kate is only $3.28 at Amazon!

Click here to order: http://tiny.cc/kao3b
...

Mom's Choice Award Winner

Coming of age amidst the seething unrest of the Civil War era, feisty fourteen-year-old Katie McCafferty infiltrates the Molly Maguires, a secret Irish organization, to rescue a lifelong friend. Under the guise of "Dominick," a draft resister, Katie volunteers for a dangerous mission in hopes of preventing bloodshed. Katie risks job, family, and ultimately her very life to intervene. A series of tragedies challenge Katie's strength and ingenuity, and she faces a crisis of conscience. Can she balance her sense of justice with the law?

Call Me Kate is suitable for readers from eleven to adult. The story is dramatic and adventuresome, yet expressive of daily life in the patches of the hard coal region during the Civil War era. This novel will appeal to readers of the Dear America series, as well as more mature readers who will enjoy the story's rich context and drama.

Qvc - St. Patrick's Day Show

Every St. Patrick's Day, QVC hosts products brought by people from Ireland. They are very entertaining people and very uplifting. Their Irish brogues are a joy to listen to while they are talking about their items.You really get the history of Ireland and some videos in the mix.Everything from jewelry to cd's are sold. It is a very interesting show to watch if you wanted a taste of the Irish culture.My daughter and I visited the qvc studio a few years ago and went on a tour of how they do the show and had a meet and greet with Jane Tracey, a long time host and extremely nice person. She answered any questions we had and signed autographs. She happens to be one of the hosts on the St. Patrick's Day show every year. Afterwards we had to stop in their store and purchase a few things.

Booking Through Thursday



The news has been horrifying and addictive this week, with catastrophe piled on catastrophe, to a degree that–if I had read this in a book or seen it in a movie–I’d be protesting that it was just too unlikely, too farfetched.

But, topics for novels get ripped from the headlines all the time. Or real-life events remind you of fiction (whether “believable” or not) that you’ve read but never expected to see. Or real life comes up with an event so unbelievable that it stretches you sense of reality.

Hmm … I can’t quite come up with an outright question to ask, but thinking about the theory of fiction and how it can affect and be affected by real world events can act as a buffer between the horrific events on the news and having to actually face that horror. So … what happens when the line between fiction and reality becomes all-too slim? Discuss!

***

I felt the same way on 9-11 when the towers collapsed. You couldn't mentally process what you were seeing - it looked like a scene out of a movie that came to life.

That's why I like my reading material to be light - an escape from reality. To step into another world and leave this troubled one behind - even if it's only for a few moments.



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Glee- 3-15-11 Episode


On Glee last night, New Directions decides to use original songs for regionals. The first songs they wrote didn't go well with Mr.Shue, he thought they just weren't good enough for regionals.After he gave them a few ideas what to do, they got it together. They won the regional event hands down over Sue's Aural Intensity and The Dalton Academy Warblers.
Quinn's desire to become prom queen prompts her to get close to Rachel in order to get her away from Finn. Kurt finally gets to sing a duet with Blaine,and Blaine reveals his feelings for him.
The show ends with Rachel getting the first MVP award from Mr. Shue.

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:




Rivals in the Tudor Court

by D.L. Bogdan
Publication date: May 1, 2011

As Queen Catherine's maid and daughter of the Duke of Buckingham, the future seems bright for Elizabeth Stafford. But when her father gives her hand to Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk, the spirited young woman must sacrifice all for duty. Yet Elizabeth is surprised by her passion for her powerful new husband. And when he takes on a mistress, she is determined to fight for her love and her honor. . .

Naïve and vulnerable, Bess Holland is easily charmed by the Duke of Norfolk, doing his bidding in exchange for gifts and adoration. For years, she and Elizabeth compete for his affections. But they are mere spectators to an obsession neither can rival: Norfolk's quest to weave the Howard name into the royal bloodline. The women's loyalties are tested as his schemes unfold—among them the litigious marriage of his niece, Anne Boleyn, to King Henry the VIII. But in an age of ruthless beheadings, no self-serving motive goes unpunished—and Elizabeth and Bess will have to fight a force more sinister than the executioner's axe...

Wonderous Words Wednesday



Velocemente!

Italian adverb

quickly; rapidly

From the book The Swimming Pool (page 5) by Holly LeCraw.



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lord Of The Rings- The Movie


I decided to watch The Lord Of The Rings trilogy again, because I loved it the first time around and needed some good entertainment. Seeing the hobbits in their happy little village, and the destination and trials Frodo and Sam had to face to get the ring destroyed,made for a lot of hours of good entertainment.
The trilogy continues to have a great effect on modern fantasy and endures in its popularity.
If you have never read the book or seen the movie, you have to give it a try, you won't be disappointed.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Book Characters I Would Want as Family Members

1. Beth March - Little Women
2. Ree Drummond - The Pioneer Woman
3. Prim - The Hunger Games
4. Kathy - Never Let Me Go
5. The Goat Lady - The Goat Lady
6. Ryan Buell - Paranormal State
7. Elizabeth Gilbert - Eat, Pray, Love
8. Jacob Jankowski - Water for Elephants
9. Sookie Stackhouse - Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse series
10. Emily Benedict - The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Teaser Tuesday - The Swimming Pool

Here is my teaser from The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw (Page 1):

"Toni has gotten a job," he said. At the Cape. Where he and Toni were, and she was not. "A babysitting job."

"Babysitting! Our Antonia?" She laughed with crazy relief. See, you worry for nothing–

And then he told her where.

"What?" she whispered, her laughter gone, gone. "Anthony. You can't let her."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Letters To God - The Movie

Letters To God is a very inspirational, heartwarming story based on a true story about Patrick Doughtie's son Tyler. Tyler is an 8yr. old boy suffering from cancer, who loves writing letters to God. He gives them to his mailman, Brady, who has problems of his own, especially a drinking problem. Brady doesn't know what to do with the letters and eventually starts reading them. His life begins to turn around through these letters. His best friend Sam, a girl, sticks with him through everything. Tyler eventually passes away and Sam dedicates a mailbox for God, saying that "his life was a letter to God". This was a truly inspiring story.

Mailbox Monday - The Swimming Pool

I received for review The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw from Boston Bibliophile.

Marcella Atkinson was a married woman when she fell in love with Cecil McClatchey, himself a married father of two. On the same night their romance abruptly ended, Cecil’s wife was found murdered.

Seven summers later, Marcella is divorced and estranged from her daughter, mired in grief and guilt. But when Cecil’s grown son, Jed, returns to the Cape and finds Marcella’s bathing suit buried in his father’s closet, this relic of the past sets in motion a passionate affair. In this twisting, sensuous novel of devotion and infidelity, mistakes of the past must rise to the surface.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Guest Post with Christopher Nicholson & Book Giveaway of 'The Elephant Keeper'

My thanks to Christopher Nicholson for stopping by Tribute Books Mama and sharing his thoughts about his book, The Elephant Keeper.

ABOUT CHRISTOPHER:
A prizewinning radio documentary producer who has worked for the BBC World Service, Christopher Nicholson rode an elephant for the first time at Chitwan National Park in Nepal. He has been interested in natural history his entire life, and many of the programs he produced for the BBC revolved around the connection between animals and humans. Because of a love for the novels of Thomas Hardy, Nicholson and his wife settled in Dorset, England, with their two children.

** Enter to win a free copy below.

The title came easily. Sometimes it's hard to find the right title, but here I knew at once that it should be called The Elephant Keeper. In that title, the word 'keeper' is at least as important as 'elephant'. For me, this isn't a novel about two elephants in 18th century England, but about the life of a man who looks after two elephants in 18th century England. It's a significant distinction. The Elephant Keeper, I'd say, is not conventionally an animal novel at all, but a novel about our complicated relationship with animals. We are animals ourselves; and if the book has a message, I suppose, it may be that we should think more deeply about our animal nature and about what that might mean in our dealings with other animal species. Not that I'm very keen on novels where the messages are too blatant.

It's not a true story, in a historical sense - very few of the details of the story are based on historical fact - and yet it's the kind of story that might be true and that I wrote as if it were true. Much of the novel plays with ideas of truth and possibility in relation to fiction. The ending is the part of the novel that has aroused the most controversy. I needed an ending that avoided what might seem a sentimental conclusion, and yet I suspected that, in a strange way, many readers would want the sentimental conclusion. So that was a tricky little problem to work out; but, in general, writing the novel was a joy. Elephants are wonderful subjects to write and think about - they are such engaging and fascinating creatures, with contradictory qualities in equal measure: they're very big and strong and potentially violent, but they are also gentle and sensitive and inclined to be peaceful. I like to think of an elephant as a light creature in a heavy body, which is also how I like to think about novels.

I tend to love particular novels more than particular novelists. Among contemporary writers, I greatly admire the work of J.M. Coetzee, whose 1980 novel Waiting For The Barbarians seems to me one of the most perfect pieces of fiction I've ever read, with not a word out of place. A writer who once haunted me is the mid 20th century English modernist novelist Henry Green - his 1945 novel Loving is a very beautiful affair. For some years, when I started out writing fiction, I found myself trying to write like Henry Green, and failing, of course.

I'm writing another novel now but I don't know how it'll work out. It's an experiment and it might go wrong, so I won't say too much now. Although it's not about elephants or elephant keeping, an animal has somehow worked its way into the story. I'm waiting to find out what's going to happen.

ABOUT THE ELEPHANT KEEPER: England, 1766: After a long voyage from the East Indies, a ship docks in Bristol, England, and rumor quickly spreads about its unusual cargo. In the final two crates is a pair of young elephants, in poor health but alive. Seeing a unique opportunity, a wealthy sugar merchant purchases the elephants for his country estate and turns their care over to a young stable boy, Tom Page. It takes time for Tom and the elephants to understand each other, but to the surprise of everyone on the estate, a remarkable bond is formed. The Elephant Keeper is a captivating tale of love and loyalty between one man and the two exotic animals that change the lives of everyone who encounters them.

For more information on Christopher and The Elephant Keeper, please visit the book's Harper Collins page.



Congratulations to our winner: Ellie!