Book Review: Against all Odds by Jacqui Murray

Book Review Against All Odds

Jacqui Murray’s wonderful book, Against All Odds, was published in August 2020, and her successful blog tour was picked up by many bloggers eager to share the latest book in the Crossroads Trilogy.

Book Review Against All Odds

I missed joining the tour due to a planned blogging break. Then the rest of 2020 happened. I am beyond excited today to finally share my review and a much-belated promotion of Jacqui’s eagerly-anticipated book.

Jacqui and I go way back as bloggers and fellow educators. I discovered her blog and wonderful books through another blogger. Like Jacqui’s self-published books, I seek to read books written by fellow bloggers. My Kindle is loaded with books published by these hard-working authors.

Please join me today as I share her latest book, Against All Odds. Promotional text provided by Jacqui.

Against All Odds

Tagline

Xhosa’s extraordinary prehistoric saga concludes, filled with hardship, courage, survival, and family.

Summary

A million years of evolution made Xhosa tough but was it enough? She and her People finally reach their destination—a glorious land of tall grasses, few predators, and an abundance that seems limitless, but an enemy greater than any they have met so far threatens to end their dreams. If Xhosa can’t stop this one, she and her People must again flee.

The Crossroads trilogy is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.

From prehistoric fiction author Jacqui Murray comes the unforgettable saga of a courageous woman who questions assumptions, searches for truth, and does what she must despite daunting opposition. Read the final chapter of her search for freedom, safety, and a new home.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

Book information:

Author Bio:

Author Jacqui Murray

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also an adjunct professor of technology in education, a blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for  NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, Winter 2021.

Social Media contacts:

My 5-Star Amazon and Goodreads Review

5 stars

Jacqui Murray knocks it out of the park again with the third book in the Crossroads Trilogy. Set 850,000 years ago, thoughtful and compassionate leader Xhosa fearlessly guides her people to their final home in what we know as modern Spain. Meticulously researched, the setting invites the reader to feel the heat, the flies and lurking predators as Xhosa’s people navigate their home and surroundings. Definitely a page-turner, Murray deftly weaves the flaws and ordinary humanity into the characters which flesh out the probable personalities of Homo Erectus. Despite Xhosa’s chronic headaches, Seeker’s spiritual capacity and oddness, Wind’s stoicism, and Pan-Do’s experience and capacity to accept his emotions, the People exist and thrive in a cohesive group with an insatiable will to survive. Loyal wolves round out the group and provide a unique perspective to the series relating to the domestication of some mammals. If you are into pre-historic fiction, I highly recommend Murray’s Crossroads Trilogy.

Against All Odds Cover

Excerpt: Chapter 1 The foothills of the Pyrenees

They came out of the mountains, hair frozen in sparkling strands, hands and feet wrapped in shredded pelts, ribs etched against their skin under ragged hides white with snow, faces haggard with fatigue. Blood crusted scrapes and gashes, many recent, others almost healed, reminders of the violent struggles endured on their journey.

Though their steps flagged, not one of these upright creatures exhibited a hint of defeat. All males and a few females carried at least one spear, some two, many with warclubs strapped to their backs. Despite the anxiety and fear of entering this foreign land, hope energized them today, that their migration might be at an end.

All of them—Xhosa and her tribe, Pan-do and his, Wind, Zvi, and Seeker—had been chased from their homes by enemies. In their flight, they found each other. It took time to work through their differences but now they traveled side by side, respected ideas not theirs, and called themselves the People.

Their charismatic Leaders—Xhosa, Wind, and Pan-do—were known as reliable friends to those who earned their trust and dangerous enemies to those who opposed them. Two wolves—Spirit and Black Wolf—journeyed with them. Though the People lacked the animals’ sharp claws, dense fur, and piercing teeth, each considered the other “pack” and would defend them to death.

The exhausted group straggled down the gently sloping flank, feet shuffling carefully over the slippery scree. The ground changed from talus to stunted tufts of grass, sparse and brown which made walking easier. Optimism shone from their faces even as their tired eyes flicked side to side in search of unexpected movement, ears strained for out-of-place noises, and noses sniffed.

Rather than continue across the meadow, Xhosa led the People into the shade of the edging forest.

“Do you smell it, Wind?” Anticipation filled her gestures.

She and Wind, pairmates as well as Co-Leaders, stood quietly, absorbing their surroundings. Light filtered lazily through the canopy, the shadowed ground dappled with patches of warmth. She sniffed in the essence of wet earth and rotting leaves, the mustiness of moss, and something else much more enticing.

“It’s there.” She pointed and strode forward, lengthening her stride.

An icy gust whipped down the hillside through the shadows and raised bumps on her arms but she ignored it. The forest gave way to open sky and searing heat. It was too hot for her thin pelt but she didn’t stop to remove it. Green stalks swayed as far as she could see, edged on one side by more mountains and the other by some sort of leaves and branches. Sunlight glinted off the rippled surface of a distant river as it curled over the terrain.

“Dung!” The scent overpowered every other odor.

Wind huffed to her side. “It’s been a long time since we smelled dung that wasn’t frozen.”

“We did it, Wind.” Her eyes glistened with relief.

For most of a Moon, dread gnawed at her courage and left her wondering if following the guidance of Seeker—a boy barely a man—was a mistake. But Seeker assured her in his ebullient way that once out of the hills, their new home base would welcome them. Xhosa wanted to believe him because she wasn’t sure what else to do. Nor did she know what to do if it didn’t work.

Wind motioned, arms inclusive, “It’s beautiful, Xhosa.”

Siri, Pan-do, Ngili, the wolves Spirit and Black Wolf, and the rest of the People gathered around Xhosa and Wind, eyes locked on what lay in front of them.

Pan-do whispered, “We made it.” His eyes were moist, mouth open…..

Thank you for taking the time to read my review and book promotion of Jacquie Murray’s Against All Odds. If you have not done so, please consider adding this to your next read!

Image Credits: Jacqui Murray; Neil Mark Thomas on Unsplash

© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Fitness Friday: No Excuses Fitness Book Cover Reveal

No Excuses Fitness Cover

As I near the completion of my book No Excuses Fitness, I’ve been experimenting with the layout of Kindle book covers.

After some trial and error, and critique and feedback from some folks, I chose this as the final candidate.

No Excuses Fitness Cover
Final Cover

What do you think?

How did I do it, you ask? Here are the tools I used: Unsplash, Dropbox, PicMonkey, Canva, and Painnt. Let me take you step-by-step.

It was surprisingly easy, using an image from Unsplash, an overlay from Canva (free version), the mobile Painnt app and my premium PicMonkey account, saving everything to my Dropbox account.

overlay example

I initially used Canva to research templates for Kindle book covers. Although the free version of Canva has Kindle cover templates, I found it very limiting, unless I bought the premium package. However, I did find a textured overlay that I exported.

Although I have a lot of my own fitness images, I decided to search in Unsplash, a free image collection website. I found a silhouette of a woman running which works for this cover and for what I want to convey. Unsplash allows users to use, edit and publish images without copyright infringement.

silhouette of runner
Original Unsplash Image

A small caveat: using images of faces from free or reduced-fee image collection sites is risky, in my opinion. They are probably OK to use for blogs, and I use these images for my PowerPoint slides, but I would steer clear of using faces in a published book or other works. How do you know the person authorized their image to be used? Lawsuits happen over copyright infringement, so keep yourself protected.

Painnt Image graphic

Once I cropped the image, I used Painnt, (a mobile app that lets you upload images to your choice of filters), to alter the image further. I chose a filter that had similar colors to the above overlay.

In PicMonkey, I used their book cover template and simply used the Canva overlay as the base. I then uploaded the image (as an overlay) and experimented with text and colors with the result you now see in the first image.

If you are a serious photographer and want to easily edit your images and create graphics for blogging and other projects, but don’t want to spend a lot of dollars, I highly recommend the premium package of PicMonkey.

Picmonkey costs $47.88 per year ($3.99/month) which now gives me free access to mobile editing straight from my phone.

I like Painnt for the filter effects. Painnt is a Microsoft product for mobile that costs $12.00 per year and eliminates the watermark.

If you are a Canva user and have a premium account, you should be able to create Kindle covers very easily.

I save all my work in Dropbox. I also pay for a premium Dropbox account which costs $120 a year ($10 a month) giving me 2TB of storage.

Below are the three covers that were voted down. They were all created using the tools as described above.

As a photographer, I enjoy using Adobe LightRoom but I save that for the serious images rather than graphic design projects. Topaz Labs, a photo editor with cool filters, is an add-on to LightRoom. Both of these are on the pricey side. I chose Painnt over Topaz Labs since I don’t use it every day. LightRoom already comes with my educator subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.

To create my final book cover, my cost was about $15, not counting the time I put in to do the work.

While on my creative cover streak, I also created a custom logo and watermark for the book and social media. What do you think?

Signature

This was created in PicMonkey, too, using text and overlay features. I was able to change colors from the original overlay. Her hair color now matches mine and I like green.

If you delve into the world of creating book covers or other graphic design projects and have a little creativity and patience, then I hope you can find the right set of tools for use. These worked for me.

Eventually I will have to design a paperback cover, too. I believe Kindle KDP has a “how-to” for that. I will keep you posted. And I will welcome any ideas and suggestions.

My launch date for No Excuses Fitness is set for early June 2020. #NoEXFit

Creating an attractive book cover is both an art and a science. Hiring a professional to create your book cover is money well-spent, but if you have skills in photography and graphic design, you can successfully create your own using the tools as I have explained.

And it was fun and a nice break from writing.

…And I need to get back to it!

Who knows? Once I finish this book project, I might delve into book cover design!

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: For the Love of #Reading and #Books

Sunday Stills: For the Love of Reading and Books
Sunday Stills: For the Love of Reading and Books

April marks our 12th month of Sunday Stills since I reinstated this photo challenge last May, 2018. A huge thank you and shout out to all bloggers who have faithfully posted Sunday Stills images since the beginning and to those who post regularly!

Let me take a moment to share some stats!

We’ve Come a Long Way

Our first month saw over 3300 visitors to my blog (not bad after my 4-month break)! The inaugural post had 95 likes, 15 pingbacks (links) and 3 re-blogs! The total pingbacks for the month of May was 44, and that was still during the WordPress WPC’s last month!

We started with the Inlinkz sharing app, which allowed folks to share their posts in the thumbnail gallery. The intention was to somewhat replicate the Weekly Photo Challenge’s thumbnails of images posted. It cost a few dollars a month, but many bloggers did not choose to use the feature. As a result, I ended the subscription in December.

Pat yourself on the back, lovingly clean those lenses, and congratulate yourselves for being inspired by photography!

Let’s Get to Today’s Photo Challenge

Today, April 7 marks the beginning of National Library Week! This week’s Sunday Stills theme is “For the Love of Reading and Books.”

Random Assortment of Books
My random assortment of books on one shelf

This is indeed a challenge. How often can images depict “reading” or “books?” Surprise me and take a look at some of my images and my interpretation of the theme throughout this post.

Do You Frequent Your Local Library?

Three years ago, I visited my local library to get a library card mostly to rent audio books for my two-hour weekend delta drives. Not only did I get a new card and tour of my neighborhood library, the librarian helped me subscribe to the Overdrive App where I can borrow e-books (read on Kindle—so convenient) and audio-books! All FREE! Yay! No wonder I love reading!

Reading and lounging
Yep, that’s me reading outside on my deck!

Because I teach at a university, I also get to enjoy its vast library.

Library books on university shelves
A long shelf of university-worthy books

To help celebrate books, and the love of reading, please visit these bloggers.

Paperback Book More Glimpses_HRoberts

Fellow blogger/author Hugh Roberts recently launched his newest book More Glimpses!

The signed paperback arrived in the mail on Saturday afternoon! This is my photo of the cover.

If you are looking for inspirational reading and books to motivate you, my blogger friend Michele recently posted this book list on her blog!

I just finished blogger and self-published author Jacqui Murray’s wonderful book, Born in a Treacherous Time (Book 1 in the Dawn of Humanity Trilogy). An excerpt from my review Amazon and Goodreads… “That Lucy has the capacity to learn and understand her environment, as well as to befriend an orphaned hominid child and injured proto-canine, speaks to the humanity in all of us and our innate need for love and acceptance.” Check out her newest book Survival of the Fittest.

Are you on Goodreads?

Visit These New Sunday Stills Participants

March’s Sunday Stills themes attracted 5 new bloggers to the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge. Please drop by their blogs and say hello!

Light Motifs

Wild Daffodil

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Minding My Ps with Qs

Little Borneo Girl

Do you enjoy reading and books? Show us your interpretations! You can link all week!

Camera graphic
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49 Days In 1988: Week 31 – First Night – Hugh’s Views & News

Night sky

Many thanks to Hugh for featuring me on his blog today!

This weekly feature shares accounts from his journal written in the 1980s and introduces bloggers’ book project and favorite 80s songs!

If you have not visited Hugh’s blog yet, please stop by!

Photo by Emre Gencer on Unsplash

via 49 Days In 1988: Week 31 – First Night – Hugh’s Views & News

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Focus on Fitness | Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

Go get fit by walking up stairs

Go get fit by walking up stairs
photo by Unsplash

Welcome to the launch of my page “Focus on Fitness!”

Subscribe to Terri’s Fitness newsletter!

Join “Terri’s FIT Readers” as I write my book “No Excuses Fitness”. Twice a month, I will share the latest fitness trend…

Source: Focus on Fitness | Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

Book Review of Toni Pike’s The Rock of Magus

Book Review The Rock of Magus by Toni Pike

Book Review The Rock of Magus by Toni Pike
original image by Unsplash, edited for publication

I am pleased to share my review of Toni Pike’s book, The Rock of Magus: Code Red in the Vatican, the second in the Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller series.

Author Toni PikeAbout the Author:

Toni Pike is the author of The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series: “The Magus Covenant,” “The Rock of Magus,” and “The Magus Epiphany.”

She is also the author of “100 Secrets to Love, Health and Wealth,” a guide to finding a job and creating a life that you love.

Toni believes that coffee and long walks are an essential part of any day. After starting her career as a veterinary surgeon, she taught high school and later had a successful career in the public service. Toni lives in Canberra, the capital city of Australia, with husband Jon. Her main passions are writing, travelling, and spending time with family and friends.

 

From Pike’s Amazon page:

A CRISIS IS BREWING IN THE VATICAN – AND ONLY ONE MAN CAN PREVENT DISASTER…Jotham Fletcher is back in a race against time to stop a sinister cardinal, a libertine sect and a homicidal priest.

“FEATURING: a fast-paced and gripping plot, murders, police investigations, a political conspiracy, terrorism, religious mysteries, fascinating historical details, Vatican traditions, a love story like no other and an ending that you won’t see coming.”

5 stars

My 5-Star Amazon and GoodReads Review:

If you enjoy religious conspiracy thrillers, you will love Pike’s exciting, fast-paced adventure that takes readers to Rome and into the Vatican.The Rock of Magus, A Jotham Fletcher Mystery

Similar to Dan Brown’s main character, Robert Langdon in The DaVinci Code, Pike’s central character, Jotham Fletcher, also possesses unequaled expertise in a particular subject, in this case, the shadowy, religious figure Simon Magus.

I find it fascinating that Pike built her series around this little-known historical figure, a magician and cult leader at the time of the Apostles. Magus is mentioned in the Bible in Acts 8:9-24 as he tries to “buy” the anointing of the Holy Spirit, but was rebuked by the Apostles as a sorcerer and wicked charlatan.

The heart of Pike’s adventure lies in this fictional, 21st-century Simonian Sect, whose cult followers are nothing short of fanatical, according to her series.

Pike sets the scene for suspense, thrills and twists that lead readers to believe that Fletcher may not solve this mystery, as insurmountable odds stack against him and his female partner. I found the book to be a nail-biter and a page-turner!

The characters are believable, with Fletcher expressing doubt at one point, but using his shaky confidence to navigate the labyrinthine Vatican grounds as he and Madena attempt to solve the mystery.

Pike’s research is extensive and written from the perspective of having visited Rome. I personally love it when authors write from their intimate knowledge of a subject and from the locations they have been.

I highly recommend this adventure series and am looking forward to book #3, The Magus Epiphany.

Check out the The Rock of Magus on Amazon.


I am always thrilled to read books published by fellow bloggers!

In fact, Sue Loncaric, who writes the incredible blog Sizzling Toward Sixty, introduced me to Toni Pike, with whom she went to high school in Australia. You never know who you will meet in the world of blogging! Read more about Toni on Sue’s blog Becoming an Author in Midlife.

To find out more, please join her on Facebook (Toni Pike – Author) or follow her on Twitter  @piketoni1

Read and follow Toni’s blog at ToniPike.com 

You can also follow Toni on her GoodReads Author Page

What books have you read lately? Have you left a review for the author?

My Book Review of Have Bags, Will Travel

Kaye shares valuable advice for navigating airport security, planning for purchases and dealing with germs.

Kaye shares valuable advice for navigating airport security, planning for purchases and dealing with germs.

I am pleased to share my review of Have Bags, Will Travel, written by fellow blogger and author, D.G. Kaye.

Author D.G. Kaye About the Author
Canadian D.G. Kaye is a non-fiction writer of memoirs about life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues. She is the author of five books to date: Conflicted Hearts, Meno-What? A Memoir, Words We Carry, Have Bags, Will Travel, and P.S. I Forgive You.

You can follow Debby on her Amazon Author Profile. Did you know an Amazon author profile is set up to publish your blog posts?

Speaking of blogs, head over to Debby’s blog DGKayewriter and read her recent post Caribbean Tales and Tips and Shopping, if you didn’t get enough of this book. Debby’s blog is not just about her fabulous books, but includes reviews of other bloggers (myself included) and lots of great blogging advice!

Once on Debby’s blog, consider following her social media accounts.

Now for the book! To get you started, here is an excerpt from her chapter Airport Security:

Book Cover Have Bags, Will Travel DG Kaye
Used with permission

“Returning home from a vacation is always a nerve-racking event for me. Instead of flying home and basking in the memories of the wonderful time I’ve just had on vacation, I repeatedly go through my receipts from the trip so I can carefully calculate how not to exceed the fixed limit we’re allowed to bring back without penalty. I must remember which receipts correspond to the tags I’ve already cut off so I can take them out of the pile. More math!

Most people don’t worry about such things—but I have to. It’s practically like my face is on a milk carton: HAVE YOU SEEN THIS WOMAN SHOPPING? For decades now, I’ve been consistently pulled over at customs. A planeload of people pick up their luggage and sail through the exit doors to freedom, and one person (and her husband) get singled out for interrogation. This happens on ninety percent of my trips. Why is it that I’m picked out of two hundred and fifty passengers to be interrogated? I lament, but I’m familiar with all the tricks by now: don’t wear flashy jewelry, don’t dress up, try to blend in. I can’t help it, though. I have what I’ve identified as shopping face. . . “

Check out Have Bags, Will Travel on Amazon!

5 stars My Five Star Review:

What I love about this novella-length book beside the fact that it’s a fast, entertaining read, is Kaye’s hilarious look inward at herself and her serious addiction to shopping. Her book reads like a series of fun blog posts, highlighting her signature, conversational style, while sharing useful travel information!

A seasoned traveler (well, except for the over-packing part—but life is short, right?), Kaye deftly reminisces her early days of travel when life was simple and “travel was a joy.” (Before TSAs!). She then describes how her obsessive shopping habit has created the need for smart packing and planning.

With everything she has purchased over the years, one would guess she has an extra house for all her goodies! Kaye’s love for travel and adventure is evident as she shares hilarious exploits and nail-biting moments on her many trips that include London, Paris, Venezuela, the Greek Islands, and on to Las Vegas and Arizona.

Kaye shares valuable advice for navigating airport security, planning for purchases and dealing with germs. Her idea of packing sockettes in her purse to wear through the TSA line after removing her shoes is brilliant.

Kaye’s chapter “Admitted Germ Freak” resonates with all of us as we hear more of the dirt, grime and germs associated with hotel rooms, public restrooms, and restaurants.

***

Like Kaye, I do love to shop and often bring souvenirs and must-have bargains and other items home with me, whether by plane or by car.

I would like to say I’m a travel buff myself, but I have not traveled abroad other than to Mexico (I live in California so that’s not saying much!). The very thought of over-packing, paying extra fees or having my bags gone through at airports, makes me want to travel by car! My hubby and I have paid for a heavy, extra bag at airports in Mexico, but that big duffel was filled with windsurf supplies like wetsuits, harnesses, helmets and other water-related gear for both of us. I think I brought four pairs of shoes for my last windsurf vacation, and one of those pair was my water booties!

Spring is just around the corner and travel for many is imminent. Pick up Have Bags, Will Travel today!

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My Book Review of The Heart Stone Chronicles: Part 1, The Swamp Fairy

Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy book review

Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy book review

It is with great pleasure I share this review of The Heart Stone Chronicles: Part 1, The Swamp Fairy, by Author Colleen M. Chesebro.

Colleen ChesebroBut first, let us go back over two years ago, when I first met Colleen in Fall 2014. Her blog was then called “Silver Threading.” She introduced readers to The Swamp Fairy. Here is an excerpt:

“It was a warm morning in November the first time I saw the swamp fairy. The fog curled around the tops of the trees and the autumn breeze smelled of fragrant flowers, even though the early frost had killed all the wild flowers. I inhaled the intoxicating fragrance and peered into the dense foliage near the road. It was a lovely peaceful morning.

I was out for my regular morning walk. I had taken the narrow back road behind Blackberry Ridge where I lived. This morning I could hear the chirping of birds, as tiny bugs hatched on the warm autumn wind, buzzed about my head. I saw something darting about in the underbrush. At first I thought it was a bird. Whatever it was it made a pleasant humming sound. The humming had a mystical quality to it.

My heart started to beat faster as I approached the bushes. I could barely see her she was so tiny and brown. She blended right into the dead and frost browned leaves hanging from the branches…”

And the legend of the swamp fairy was born!

How many of us have had visions or have seen supernatural beings? I saw a UFO once…but, that’s for another post…or not. My point is we all have abilities to be in touch with the supernatural, whether or not we believe in it.

I was entranced by the notion that she saw a fairy. She deftly hooked readers about the swamp fairy and built the lore of the Naiad nymphs even then. She wrote numerous posts that gave readers an intimate and fascinating view of her creative process as she began to write her book.

From the Author:

The book reveals the story of Abby Forrester, a 14-year-old orphaned girl who is entrusted with saving a community of fairy nymphs from certain ecological destruction. Along the way, Abby learns about friendship, love, and what it means to actually belong to a family.

Colleen’s writing explores ecological situations in the multicultural world of today. She combines real-life historical events into her writing to create experiences that will continue in the hearts and heads of her readers.

5 starsHere is my 5-star review:
The story centers around Abigale, a young teen uprooted from Chicago to live with her aunt in Florida. Insecure about starting over, she is already aware of her uncanny psychic abilities but is reluctant to understand her mother’s legacy, left to her in the physical form of a green calcite pendant. Surrounded by friends and extended family, she uncovers a complicated and unlikely destiny and fights hard to preserve it.

The Swamp Fairy Book CoverImagine being new in town and holding on to startling secrets—the ability to telepathically communicate with animals, as well as the swamp’s very treasures—the sacred calcite stone, the rare, pink sundew plants, and the fairies. Explaining these revelations to anyone would certainly make Abby more of an outcast than she already feels.

One can’t help empathize with Abby as she navigates through her own insecurities while discovering her growing strengths and staying true to the fierce love for her friends, family and, of course, the fairies.

Chesebro’s characters are carefully crafted and lend relevance to the story as it unfolds. The town’s welcoming teenagers who quickly befriend Abby are artfully tempered against the bullies who treat her with disdain.

Even if fantasy is not your genre and fairies aren’t your “thing,” they make a minimal appearance here, but enough to generate the lore around which the hub of this charming story revolves.

Chesebro’s setting of the swamp area in gulf-coast Florida is deftly and descriptively written where readers can feel the humidity of the warm sunny days as well as hear the buzz and hum of the insects associated with the South.

The author includes her own haikus that also set the tone for each chapter. “A foggy sunrise, winding a path towards day, the sunlight triumphs.”

The story moves along at a quick pace with a satisfying ending that sets up the plot for the next book in the series. Although this book is geared toward teens and young adults, I recommend this book and series for anyone who cares about the environment, relationships, and real family values.

I look forward to reading Colleen’s blog, Colleen Chesebro, Fairy Whisperer, as she hopefully shares again her creative processes as the next story unfolds.

The book is available in paperback and Kindle formats on: Amazon.

Find Colleen on Goodreads.


Read my book reviews on For the Love of ReadingI am one lucky blogger to know so many of my peers who are writing and have written books in a variety of genres. Are you a blogger with a story to tell? Let this blogging community be an encouragement to you!

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Glimpses Book Review and Author Round-Up

Glimpses Book Review and Author RoundUp

Glimpses Book Review and Author RoundUp
original cover image used by permission

If we were having coffee today, I would share with you my review of a fabulous new book from one of my favorite bloggers!

To me there is nothing like enjoying a few moments with a hot beverage while reading a good book.

Hugh Reading Glimpses
This may be YOUR reaction while reading Glimpses. photo used by permission

Let me introduce you to Hugh Roberts, blogger at Hugh’s Views and News.

Roberts says that he chose the title Glimpses because “that is what you are about to get—glimpses into the everyday lives of people who are about to be led up a path they were not expecting.”

Not only is he a brand-new author, fellow bloggers tell me he is possibly the nicest gentleman you will ever meet in person or in the blogosphere!

You can view his book on Amazon.

5 starsHere is my 5-star Amazon review:

Glimpses is a delightfully twisted set of short stories inspired by author Roberts’ blog. If you follow his blog, you may recognize a few of his terrifying tales reminiscent of stories in the sci-fi genre of Twilight Zone or Outer Limits peppered with a dash of horror. “The Truth App” is the piece de resistance in this collection of 28 stories. Roberts’ biting wit and deft tale-telling will have you reading on the edge of your…well, your reading device! A great read that will have you begging Roberts for more!

If we were having coffee today, I would urge you, readers, to support your fellow bloggers’ publishing endeavors. I am proud to know a growing number of bloggers who have self-published works. Not only am I astounded by their writing abilities, but also by their encouragement of my writing as well. Many of these bloggers self-published their first book within the last year!

Judy Martin
Janice Wald Mostly Blogging
DG Kaye Writer
Ali Isaac
Sally G Cronin
Marsha Ingrao
Jo Robinson
Ronovan Writes
Toni Pike
Margaret Andrews
Marcia Meara
Tina Frisco
Linda Bethea
Jessica Edouard
Kathy Gottberg

And publishing in 2017:
Colleen Chesebro

Please stop by and visit their blogs where you will find links to their books. Give yourself or a friend a lovely holiday gift of a book. And if you enjoyed it, please leave a review on Amazon! We authors really appreciate those reviews.

coffee cup celebrates weekend coffee shareJoin Part-Time Monster’s blog for the Weekend Coffee Share!

 

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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Who Has a New Book? I’m a Guest Author on D.G. Kaye

Better Blogging with Photography cover

Better Blogging cover

I am honored to be a guest author on DG Kaye’s Guest Author Friday feature today! She is a prolific author with many books. Please visit Debby’s website for the rest of the article!

Originally written and published on:

Who Has a New Book? Terri Webster Schrandt – Better #Blogging with #Photography

I Am a Self-Published Author!

Cover Better Blogging with Photography

After several weeks of cobbling together a couple of blog posts and a whole lot more information, I can proudly share that my first self-published e-book, Better Blogging with Photography: Maximize Your Blog Using Your Own Images, hit the Amazon Kindle store!

I want to thank the Academy…woops, wrong dream!

Seriously, I want to acknowledge and thank fellow blogger Jo Robinson,  a self-published author in her own right, for her services, support and encouragement. Check our her page for the launch of her newest book, Writer’s Publishing Workbook!

Let me just say to you, my fellow bloggers and writers, that if I can do this, so can you.

Once you publish on Amazon, you can create an Author’s Central page. And here is the link to Amazon for the book. I would not mind one little bit if you decide to buy my book!

I will share a post in the near future about my self-publishing journey. Now, onto my next book!