BOOKS AND BLOGGING PHILOSOPHY

Philosophy is defined as a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought. Well, my theory is if I can add at least 10 new books to my Wishlist and move at least 5 older Wishlist selections to my TBR list every month, then life is a ice cream sundae. And if I can find those 10 books from at least 5 new blogs each month then that's the cherry on top.

NEW VISITORS AND OLD- WELCOME!

NEW VISITORS AND OLD- WELCOME!
Well, I've made it almost 5 years now, so for better or worse, I continue on. I tend to blog in spurts as the urge to be creative erupts. As I don't have an artistic bone in my body, you will see very few changes in the layouts. Hey, I'm a reader not an artist like so many of the awesome bloggers I follow. I know you don't always have the time but if you stopped and looked, take a half a minute and say your piece. Recommend a book that you have enjoyed or hated for that matter. Thank you to all who visit.
Oh, and I moved my Google Friend Connect info and share this buttons to the top, as without our friends, who are we?


Monday, January 1, 2018

The Perfect Christmas Gift

Growing up in a small town, Granite Falls, North Carolina,  in the 1960s was both tough and fun. My Dad had left the Navy and moved my Mom, me, aged 6 and my siblings, 4 and 2 from Long Beach, California back to their hometown of Granite Falls after serving his country on a Naval cruiser, the USS Rochester, for ten years. He would be gone for six to nine months on tours and then at home on base for three (hince the eighteen month difference between my siblings and me. He managed to get my Mom pregnant every other time he came home:). He had the opportunity to visit Hawaii, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, the Philippines and many other places that a farm boy could only dream of. 
He didn't feel it was fair for my Mom to carry the whole load alone for raising three small children without any relatives for backup and took what the Navy taught him as a welder back to this small town where he worked for the next thirty years for what was to become PNG. We lost him pretty early to a massive heart attack at only 56. 
Granite Falls  was the typical Hallmark/Mayberry smalltown. The kids walked to school, to the library, downtown and all over with no worries or fears. The downtown area had a Five & Dime where as kids anytime we had a nickle to spend, we would visit. You could go there and "shop" for hours and see (what seemed to us) thousands of items to buy, mostly penny candy.
Every Christmas our aunts (who were very young teenagers and always glad to walk us downtown as it meant they got to flirt with the boys at the drugstore) would take us on our annual Christmas shopping trip to the Five & Dime to spend our carefully hoarded coins for presents for our Mom & Dad. This year we knew exactly what to get my Dad as he had been watching TV one day and we heard him say to my Mom "Now THAT'S what I want for Christmas this year!" We were so excited to be able to get this "perfect" Christmas gift because we knew it was something he had seen and we knew we could actually afford it.
Now remember back in the 60's the guys wore their hair slicked back like James Dean or for you younger guys Fonzie.
My Dad had the thickest, curliest, black hair (most of the Williams' in my family had that awesome trait) and I was always jealous that my siblings had it while mine was dishwater blonde, thick and curly, though it did morph into a rich dark brown later on. We thought his hair was so beautiful and looking back at pictures of him and his siblings now, they looked like Hollywood models.
Well, to continue with the "perfect Christmas Gift", it was a tube of Brylcreem. Brylcreem is what my son today calls hair product and it is still available for sell, who knew!


An Icon 
Since 1928.

Brylcreem was an instant hit with British soldiers during WWII. It quickly became standard issue for military pilots, who had a reputation for being cutting edge and sophisticated, to keep their longer hair perfectly in place during intense air battles.

Through the decades the look has stuck. From slick 50’s ad execs to today’s red carpet. 89 years later, the look continues to be an icon of men’s style.

Their earlier punch line had been "A Little Dab'll Do Ya" and the 1965 commercial my Dad  had seen was "Are you man enough to try it?" Here is the commercial thanks to Youtube. Actually it was rather creepy. Between the actor, music,  and the tone, it reminded me a bit of the opening sequence for a Twilight Zone episode.



Well, we did our shopping, keeping the "perfect gift" a secret and really excited because though both Mom & Dad kept guessing what we'd bought, they never got it right. 
Christmas day arrived and we opened our gifts full of excitement. Now in those days money was tight so we usually got a new outfit of clothes for school, a stocking that always had an apple, an orange and some nuts in it and generally one toy, a doll if you were a girl and a set of cowboy pistols and a hat or a truck if you were a boy. There weren't these endless piles to open like today. And we appreciated what we got and played with it for years. 
My Dad was the quiet type that always waited for everyone else to open their stuff and admire it before opening his. We were so excited and couldn't wait for him to open his gift. Finally, he gets it open, pulling each piece of tape off and excruciatingly unwrapping it without tearing the paper (back then you saved all the paper and bows to use again the next year). 
He looks at the tube of Brylcreem kind of funny and thanks us. We are so excited as we tell him we heard him telling our Mom that that was what he wanted for Christmas this year. To our amazement, he looks at my Mom and she looks at him and they both burst out laughing. My Dad laughed till he had tears in his eyes  and every time he would catch my Mom's eye all day they both would break out into laughter. He assured us that we had gotten him exactly what he wanted though he couldn't say it without falling down laughing. 
It wasn't until years later that we realized that he had been teasing my Mom when he saw the commercial and was talking about the WOMAN coming out of the tube. He faithfully used the Brylcreem over the next year with my Mom teasing him each time  and both of them laughing  for years over his "perfect gift". The one thing I remember more than anything about my Mom and Dad while growing up was the laughter and love they shared. My Dad though a very quiet man, was one who enjoyed teasing my Mom and making us all laugh. I hadn't realized till sitting here writing about this memory how that teasing quality and his ability to make us laugh is also one of the most endearing qualities of my husband's. Thirty five plus years and he still makes me laugh.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Release Week Blitz & Giveaway For SEA OF STRANGERS By Erica Cameron



Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for
Sea of Strangers 
(The Ryogan Chronicles #2)
by Erica Cameron
presented by Entangled Teen!
Grab your copy today!

Congratulations Erica!


Know your enemy if you want to survive…
The only way for Khya to get her brother back alive is to kill Varan—the immortal ruler who can’t be killed. But not even Varan knew what he was doing when he perverted magic and humanity to become immortal.

Khya’s leading her group of friends and rebels into the mountains that hold Varan’s secrets, but if risking all their lives is going to be worth it, she has to give up everything else—breaking the spell that holds her brother captive and jeopardizing her deepening relationship with Tessen, the boy who has been by turns her rival and refuge since her brother disappeared. Immortality itself might be her only answer, but if that’s where Khya has to go, she can’t ask Tessen or her friends to follow.
Sea of Strangers 
(The Ryogan Chronicles #2)
by Erica Cameron
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES

GR


Erica Cameron is the author of books for young adults including the Ryogan Chronicles, the Assassins duology, and The Dream War Saga. She also co-authored the Laguna Tides novels with Lani Woodland. An advocate for asexuality and emotional abuse awareness, Erica has also worked with teens at a residential rehabilitation facility in her hometown of Fort Lauderdale.


 Giveaway Information:


Sea of Strangers Prize Pack, including:**
* A signed copy of Sea of Strangers
* A $20 Visa gift card
* A swag pack
**For international: 1 copy from book depository and a $20 Visa gift card


Blog Tour Confirmation Holiday Giveaway Tour


Win a bundle of 10 amazing urban fantasy and 
paranormal romance novels 
from some of today's bestselling authors. 
Plus EVERY contest entrant will win a free ebook. 



Book Tour For THE DEMON WITHIN By Josh Gagnier


The Demon Within
The Last War #1
Josh Gagnier
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication:  February 2015

ISBN:  9781520103358
ASIN:  B00T69ZCRC
Number of pages:  213

Paradise or The Abyss, you decide

Joe grew up listening to the voice in his head. It helped him through school, helped him gain wealth in his career.

The final temptation of power was too much. He hadn't considered the cost.

Now he must find a way to defeat The Demon Within.

Little does he know, his every move is being recorded. Every misstep is being judged. As he gets ever closer to winning over his demon, heavenly eyes watch from above. Some root for his success while others hope he'll fail.

While Joe fights his demon on the battlefront, the angel Michael fights for his Soul.

Will Joe win out?

Will Michael be able to save Joe's soul?

Or will the Demon win and thrust Joe into the Abyss.

        Excerpt:

“You must be new
to these parts.  Name’s Belath,” says a
figure standing over a young man lying against a large trash compactor.  A look toward the sound of the voice reveals
what appears to be an older man who, by the looks of him, has had, to put it
lightly, a less than spoiled life.  His
dark skin is loose with an almost leathery roughness, like a stretched hide
left in the sun too long.  Several of his
teeth have long escaped the captivity of his smile and those left plot against
the warden.  The lines of time can be
seen through his mostly grey with spattered black scruff.  His posture is the only thing that doesn’t
match his rundown appearance.  He stands
straight and proud holding his shoulders square, almost in a protest, refusing
to look weak.  He bears the righteous
indignation of an innocent man facing the gallows. 
“Just passing
through,” replies a shaky voice trying to sound formidable.  A young man, thin, but seemingly fed well
enough, slowly stands and dusts himself off.
His posture seems closer to a beaten animal than a grown man.  His boots are scuffed and old, but the heel
gives him a few inches in height, which is probably why he wears them.  His knuckles are cracked and healing; more likely
from the heat than any type of hard labor.
The dark circles under his eyes and his unkempt appearance hint that he
hasn’t slept an entire night in years.
His jacket makes him appear even smaller, as it is a few sizes too big
and has small rips that don’t appear to be from wear and tear.  He probably fished it from a dumpster.  His jeans seem to be the least worn of the
man.  Though dirty, they're nearly
new.  This poor sap doesn’t look like he
could fight his way through a paper bag.
The only things that don’t match his overall demeanor are his eyes.  Visibly swimming between pale yellow and
bright green, they draw you in and make you trust him. 
“Well, ya may
want to make yourself scarce before patrols make their rounds.  They let me stay because I’m the only one
within a few hundred miles with a distiller.
I can’t guarantee they won’t haul you off to camp,” Belath warns.
“What’s your name son?”
“Don’t want to
know you.  I’m not your son and I’m not
staying.  Just need a little rest,”
replies the young man.  He pulls his hood
over his head and turns to walk down the alley toward the main street. 
If he were
watching where he was going instead of ignoring the world around him, he would
seen the group of four large men, obviously armed, moving quickly toward
him.  He would have heard Belath’s
warning, and wouldn’t have cost himself such precious time.  Belath reached him just in time to be added
as a target.  The young man realized what
was happening a moment too late.  A fist
hit him square in the side of the head, knocking him to one knee.  Belath runs to his side and helps him to his
feet.  The men must have recognized
Belath because three of them took a few steps back.  Even the big one, the apparent the leader,
took a hesitant step backward.  They must
have decided they had the advantage because they began to advance yet again. 
“Gentlemen, do
not ring a bell you can’t unring,” says a stern, direct voice.  It came from the young man who, only moments
earlier, seemed too weak to speak.  “This
is a fight you will not win, regardless of your numbers,” the young man
continues.
In response, the
leader grabs a bat from one of his men and swings at the young man’s head.  Before anyone can realize what is happening,
the young man lunges at the leader.  In one
motion, he sidesteps the life ending swing, pulls a long black knife from a
sheath under his jacket, and plunges it deep into the leader’s temple with his
right hand while grabbing the bat from the ground with his left.  With his next step, he swings the bat at his
second target, and finds such purchase the man’s head nearly spins
backward.  Next, the young man yanks the
blade from the leader’s head and stabs the third man in the side of the neck,
almost as a cobra striking its prey.  The
young man looks for the last of his adversaries, and sees him running down the
alley toward the main streets.  The young
man takes a deep breath, lifts the bat, takes aim, and hurls it at his
target.  The bat’s aim is precise and the
man falls to the ground, screaming in pain.
As the young man calmly walks toward his now-felled enemy, he cleans the
blood off of his knife on his pant leg, and puts it away with such dexterity it
can’t be known exactly where the sheath is hidden. 
“Today you
benefit from being last, sir,” says the young man as he sits on the ground by
the last man’s head. “Enough whimpering! You merely broke your ankle on my
bat.  I have no desire to take your
life,” he says as he pulls out a cigarette and lights it. “You will do
something for me.  To that end, I spare
you life.” His voice is calm yet direct, “You will tell whomever you work for
it was Jekyll who reduced these men to corpses.
You will tell him this and,” he takes a long, slow drag of his
cigarette, and continues, “you will tell them this, and you will tell them,
they do not wish to meet Hyde.  Do we
have a deal?” the last being more statement than question. 
The man,
believing he is being played, but not wanting to die, gives an exaggerated
nod.  The young man stands and begins
walking back to where he had been resting and calls out over his shoulder. 
“Belath, I guess
I’ll be staying a while longer,” once again speaking in the same shaky voice he
had spoken with earlier.
 


                               
Visit the Author:


https://www.facebook.com/joshgagnierauthor/


Josh has had a knack for writing from a young age; mostly poetry.  The Demon Within is his debut novel and, according to Josh, nearly wrote itself.  He is a US Army veteran and has been deployed to the Balkans and Middle East.  He has been an IT professional for about a decade. 
 
Many of the events in The Demon Within were taken from Josh's life and "put through the fiction blender" as he puts it.  When pressed for more details, he said he couldn't give specifics for fear of "giving spoilers," but, he did say the book includes fictional spins on things ranging from childhood bullying to being placed in the Las Vegas foster care system.

He currently lives in Columbus OH with his family and is working on book two of his 'The Last War' series.


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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway For ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS EVE By Elizabeth Hoyt

Once Upon a Christmas Eve
 (A Maiden Lane Novella) 
Elizabeth Hoyt
From Forever Yours / $1.99 eBook

Adam Rutledge, Viscount d'Arque, really rather loathes Christmas. The banal cheerfulness. The asinine party games. And, worst of all, the obligatory trip to the countryside. His grandmother, however, loves the holiday—and Adam loves his grandmother, so he'll brave the fiercest snowstorm to please her. But when their carriage wheel snaps, they're forced to seek shelter at the home of the most maddening, infuriating, and utterly beguiling woman he's ever met.

Sarah St. John really rather loathes rakes. The self-satisfied smirks. The sly predatory gazes. Oh, and the constant witty banter rife with double meaning. But in the spirit of the season, she'll welcome this admittedly handsome viscount into her home. But as the snowstorm rages, the Yule log crackles, and the tension rises, Sarah and Adam find themselves locked in a fiery, passionate kiss. If love is the true meaning of Christmas, it's the one gift this mismatched pair can't wait to unwrap.


Elizabeth Hoyt is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with three untrained dogs and one long-suffering husband.



Find the book here!

Social Media Links:
Follow Elizabeth Hoyt on BookBub: http://bit.ly/2tyf2ja
Follow Elizabeth Hoyt on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2uvYH2N

There are 15 eBooks up for grabs.