Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Still Me and a ‘Stay Young’ Philosophy {+ Giveaway}


It’s a pleasure to be participating in the Blog Tour for STILL ME … AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: 24 Authors Reflect on Aging by Karen Helene Walker through MC Book Tours.

This charming, funny, and enlightening collection of essays about aging touches on a subject near and dear to me – aging and how we see ourselves. Sometimes it’s hard for me to see myself as getting older and now I know there are others who feel the same way. I’m delighted to welcome author Fran Fischer here today to answer some questions about her participation in the book.

In addition, Karen is offering a tour-wide giveaway featuring two (2) print copies (U.S. entries only) of STILL ME and two (2) eBook copies of STILL ME (International entries). See how you can enter to win below.

STILL ME…AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: 24 Authors Reflect on Aging
◊ By Karen Helene Walker
◊ Kindle: 2000 KB, 102 pages
◊ Genre: Biographies, Memoirs, Nonfiction
◊ Publication Date: April 4, 2017
◊ Language: English
◊ ASIN: BO6WWRK82K

Poignant...Humorous...Brutally Honest!

A collection of personal reflections guaranteed to keep you inspired and entertained on that journey we all travel together: The Journey of Aging.
With a blend of grace, dignity, warmth and humor, women and men from 60 to 90 and from all walks of life candidly share the blessings and pitfalls of aging – from keeping dreams alive and keeping sex lives active to dealing with retirement, loss of independence and a growing sense of mortality.

A BOOK ABOUT LIVING EVERY MOMENT OF LIFE!

Join me in giving a warm welcome to Fran as she talks about this book. Welcome, Fran.

What motivated you to take on this project?

Fran:
I was invited & since I became old & decrepit (although I don’t even remember ever being crepit) I hardly get invited to anything anymore. I didn’t want to let an opportunity slip by. I can still type without a cane. This will let anyone interested know that I’m still alive.

What value do you find in a variety of viewpoints?

Fran:
I’m always interested in hearing viewpoints that differ from mine (even though they are wrong). There’s always the remote possibility that I may learn something from them. I try to keep an open mind as long as it doesn’t get too drafty in there.

What have you learned about life and aging from this experience?

Fran:
I’ve learned that if you stay alive long enough you’ll get old. I’ve tried to avoid that by applying a “stay young” philosophy. Let me explain. My youngest son was 53 this year. I am 36. The best way to explain this anomaly is to tell you about something that I read in one of Kirk Douglas’ books. A “senior” movie actress was being interviewed. The reporter said, “Forgive me, Madame, but I have to ask. Your son (who was also a star) admits to being 56. You claim to be 63. How can this be?” Her answer (& mine): “He has his life—I have mine!”

Fran, thanks for joining us today and sharing your ‘stay young’ philosophy. I think that’s something to remember.

STILL ME is available at the following sites: Amazon (print and Kindle), Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iTunes. Be sure to add it to your shelf on Goodreads.


About these amazing authors:

Rev. Clara Alexander is an ordained New Thought minister who creates and performs sacred ceremonies, including unique weddings, funerals, memorial services, baby blessings and house blessings. She is also a popular speaker, inspiring groups with her talks on how we cling to our grudges, how we overuse the phrase “I’m sorry” and how we can live the life we love.
Wendy Brown recently retired from a career in wildlife biology, where she studied sandhill cranes and whooping cranes as they migrated from Idaho to New Mexico. Wendy eventually found a permanent home in Albuquerque, where she and her husband enjoy the sounds of sandhill cranes from their deck. Since retiring from state government in 2014.
Valerie Capps has bypassed the porch rocking chair to pursue her life-long passion for writing, thereby proving that in today’s world, life can begin again at 65! Valerie lives in Nashville with her husband and their spoiled-rotten Welsh Corgi. www.amazon.com/Valerie-Capps/e/B016VD9V72
Mary W. Clark retired from her law practice in 2007 and transferred her observation and composition skills to travel writing. She is currently working on a book about her father’s World War II experience flying “the Hump” from India to China over the Himalayas. Mary lives in Paris, Texas. www.maryclarktraveler.com
Fran Fischer: “I was born at a very young age and that happened 82 years ago, so I don’t remember much about it. I’ve crammed as much living into my life as possible, and I’m not through yet. I’ve traveled extensively and I even flew in the same zero-gravity plane that the astronauts trained in. I live in California with my first (and only) husband, and we celebrated our 62nd anniversary this year.”
Pat Garcia (Patricia Anne Pierce-Garcia Schaack) is an American expatriate living in Europe. An accomplished musician as well as a writer, she has been writing (and reading) since childhood.
Mark David Gerson is the author of more than a dozen books, including critically acclaimed titles for writers, award-winning fiction, and compelling memoirs. Known as “The Birthing Your Book Guru,” Mark David works with an international roster of clients as coach and consultant, helping them get their stories onto the page and into the world with ease. www.markdavidgerson.com
Holly Deuel Gilster plays “make believe” for a living. In other words, she is a professional actress and musician. Holly also loves painting with words as an accomplished poet, an award-winning short-story writer and a book reviewer for The Or Echo.
Aaron Gordon is a retired social sciences community college professor. He and his wife, Ellie, have been married for 65 years and have three children and grandchildren.
Ellie Gordon is a retired public school teacher who spent the best 20 years of her life in the classroom. A Chicago native, she now lives in New Mexico.
Karla “Rosie” Harper recently retired from teaching elementary school, freeing her to return to her early love of dancing. Today, when not helping out with her grandchildren, Rosie is taking dance lessons, spinning on a dance floor or performing in senior centers and retirement communities with Albuquerque’s Sugartime, as a singer as well as a dancer.
Linda Hoye is the author of Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude, available through major online retailers. A native of Saskatchewan, Linda currently lives in British Columbia (by way of Washington State) with her husband and doted-upon Yorkshire Terrier. www.lindahoye.com
E.V. Legters hasn’t so much retired as she has exchanged one life for another — from rewarding years with career and children (while pursuing the arts on the fly) to a life with the arts at its center. She is the author of Vanishing Point and Connected Underneath and is currently hard at work on her third novel. www.evlegters.com
LD Masterson lived on both coasts before becoming landlocked in Ohio. After twenty years managing computers for the American Red Cross, she now divides her time between writing, volunteer work and enjoying her grandchildren. Her short stories have been published in several magazines and anthologies, and she is currently working on a new novel. www.ldmasterson.com
Kathleen Messmer not only runs a film production company with offices in the UK and the US, she is an avid photographer and wildlife advocate. In the unlikely event that she ever retires, Kathleen plans to live on a ranch with draft horses and pygmy goats and vineyards and fruit orchards, somewhere near the water. Oh, and a cowboy...maybe. www.kathleenmessmer.com
Karen Norstad has worked as cashier/gift wrapper, secretary, boutique seamstress, administrative assistant, manager of employee stock options, executive assistant, and budget analyst. Now retired, Karen’s life revolves around lounging about, wearing PJs until four in the afternoon, obsessing over the news, reading, fusing and slumping glass, practicing piano, keeping a small balcony garden and cooking.
Matt Nyman’s nonlinear career path has included working in the geological sciences, teaching high school, stay-at-home parenting and, currently, training tomorrow’s teachers. Poetry equently resides near the surface of his existence, occasionally erupting onto paper.
Jill Plaman was born and began aging in Milwaukee, but she has lived and worked in Albuquerque since 1977. She holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MSW from the University of Minnesota. Her special interests are travel, international folk dancing, reading, hiking and spending time with family and friends.
Maureen Polikoff is a clinical social worker/ therapist who has always pursued many other creative endeavors, including painting, playing music and, now, writing. A Connecticut native, she lives in New Mexico with her husband, Michael.
MaryFrank Sanborn left Boston 33 years ago, to apprentice with photographer Walter Chappell in Santa Fe. Still in love with the beauty of the Southwest, MaryFrank photographs, writes, hikes, travels, teaches yoga and meditation, makes soups on Sundays, and dreams of the ocean and whales.
Patricia Stoltey is the author of four mystery novels. The most recent is Wishing Caswell Dead. She lives in Northern Colorado with Sassy Dog, Katie Cat and her husband, Bill. www.patriciastolteybooks.com
Susan Swiderski grew up in Dundalk, Maryland, where everybody calls everybody hon and eating steamed crabs is a sacrament. Although she’s happy in her adopted Georgia, part of her heart still lingers on the shores of Chesapeake Bay, explaining the setting for her novel, Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade. Susan is currently working on a trilogy, proof that this old gal is still a pathological optimist. www.susan-swiderski.blogspot.com
Jan Castle Walker is a retired teacher and an active artist. She lives in Davis, California with her husband, Mack. www.jancastlewalker.com
Karen Helene Walker is a novelist, memoirist and essayist and the author of The Wishing Steps and Following the Whispers. When not writing, Karen is tap dancing, folk dancing or performing with the musical group Sugartime at retirement communities. Karen is currently working on her second memoir. www.karenfollowingthewhispers.blogspot.com 

You can follow Karen and the other authors along on their tour by checking out the schedule HERE.

This tour-wide giveaway is for two (2) print copies (U.S. entries only) and two (2) eBook copies of STILL ME … AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: 24 Authors Reflect on Aging. The giveaway will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, April 4.

To enter, click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient.

Thanks for stopping by today. Be sure to check out this charming book and enter to win your own copy. Do you have a ‘stay young’ philosophy?



Monday, March 27, 2017

100 Years in the Life of an American Girl


100 YEARS IN THE LIFE OF AN AMERICAN GIRL by Suzanne Sherman
◊ Paperback: 336 pages
◊ Genre: Women in History, Family Relationships
◊ Publisher: SZS Publishing (December 24, 2016)
◊ Language: English
◊ ISBN-10: 0990452727
◊ ISBN-13: 978-0990452720

SYNOPSIS:

          Girlhood in America is a new and extraordinary look at American culture, with over fifty short personal stories by women and girls showing life as it was before age thirteen in every decade of a fast-changing century. Chapter by chapter, women and girls from around the country tell about the life and times of their preadolescent years in each of ten decades, from 1910 to 2010. Through the power of the personal, first-person narratives give an unprecedented look at the development of American culture and American women’s culture across a fast-changing century.
From life-altering inventions—like the Model T Florence’s father buys from a door-to-door car salesman in 1912—to the shifting social codes girls describe in the 1960s and 1970s, the book is a revealing look inside what’s universal and what defines a decade. Racism repeats itself in old and new ways, social change rolls out as families take new shape, and young girls help create American culture in the new millennium.
This is history in motion—entertaining, eye-opening, educational—a true story of America told in the truest of voices, with fascinating pop culture highlights, photographs, and popular girls' names from every decade. Have fun time-traveling!

If you’ve ever wondered what life would have been like had you grown up in a different decade, author Suzanne Sherman can give you some insight into that.

In her fascinating book - 100 YEARS IN THE LIFE OF AN AMERICAN GIRL - Sherman explores the changing (and unchanging) culture of your girls growing up in America. The 50-plus essays give us a glimpse of life before age 13 through the various decades.

These are amazing tales of how we have changed and continue to advance. These remarkable stories give insight into the way culture has developed and hopes and dreams bind us together.

To add depth to this impression collection, the author has also included tidbits of pop culture and the popular girl names of each decade. In addition, you can reminisce about popular television shows (after it was invented, of course), hit songs, and favorite past times.

This is a captivating book that will be enjoyed and savored by all ages for decades to come.

100 Years in the Life of an American Girl by Suzanne Sherman, SZS Publishing, @2016, ISBN: 978-0990452720, Paperback, 336 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks for stopping by. I’ll give you a hint at the decade I turned 13 in, Clackers became a popular game and John Travolta danced his way into a lot of hearts. Do you remember the hit songs, new games, and/or popular TV shows of the era before you turned 13?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Checking in and returning soon


Hi, everyone! I'm just checking in to let you know I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. I'm just juggling a lot of balls activities at the moment and haven't gotten into a rhythm where I can get everything done at once and feel good about it.

I'm delighted to be coordinating two virtual book tours (STILL ME ... AFTER ALL THESE YEARS and CREATING STORIES). Be sure to check out their schedules. In addition, I'm organizing virtual book tours for THE SNOWMAN and DREAMS, GOALS AND ADVENTURE. You can sign up now to participate. I'm loving working with these amazing authors and wonderful bloggers.

I'm also busy with a couple of away from the computer type things that are taking a lot of my attention. I promise to be back soon with some amazing books to tell you about. 

Thanks for checking in on me. Take care and enjoy your day!! 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Roux the Day {+ Giveaway}


ROUX THE DAY by Linda Wiken
◊ Series: A Dinner Club Mystery, Book 2
◊ Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
◊ Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
◊ Publisher: Berkley (March 7, 2017)
◊ Language: English
◊ ISBN-10: 0425278220
◊ ISBN-13: 978-0425278222

SYNOPSIS:

In the latest mystery from the author of Toasting Up Trouble, the Culinary Capers dinner club is back in business when a charity casino event makes a real killing…
 
Event planner Jennifer “J.J.” Tanner is planning a cruise ship casino night—and she’s really going overboard. She even arranged for radio DJ Connor Mac and TV personality Miranda Myers to help the good times roll. But the party comes to a screeching halt when Miranda is found dead on the main deck...
With a boatload of suspects, the police focus in on J.J., who, though recently linked with Connor, never knew he was once engaged—to Miranda. With Half Moon Bay’s gossip mill running full tilt, J.J. turns to her fellow dinner club members to help fish for clues and keep herself out of hot water...

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES

With amusing characters and a fun cruise ship casino night setting author Linda Wiken quickly draws readers into her delightful story.

Moving at a steady pace, the story holds your attention until the very end. The twists and turns along the way will keep you on your toes as you try to uncover the killer’s identity. The setting comes alive through the author’s vivid descriptions.

The characters are well-developed, realistic, and very likable. The secondary characters enhance the spunky storyline. The author has created a fun atmosphere readers will enjoy visiting again and again, as well as characters they feel they know as friends.

ROUX THE DAY is an entertaining mystery that will be hard to put down once you begin. An added bonus is a number of tempting recipes at the end and a sneak peek at the next installment in the series.

Roux the Day by Linda Wiken, A Dinner Club Mystery (Book #2), Berkley, @2017, ISBN: 978-0425278222, Mass Market Paperback, 304 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks to the wonderful folks at Penguin Random House, I have a print copy of ROUX THE DAY by Linda Wiken to giveaway. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only and will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, March 29.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. A winner will be selected by the Rafflecopter widget and I’ll send an email with the subject line “Thoughts in Progress Giveaway.” The winner will have 72 hours to reply to the email or another winner will be selected. PLEASE be sure to check your spam folder from time to time after the giveaway ends to make sure the notification email doesn’t end up there. If you win and you’ve already won the book somewhere else or you just decided for whatever reason you don’t want to win (which is fine), once again PLEASE let me know.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Don’t these book covers from Penguin Random House grab your attention and have you looking closely for bits of detail? Do you think a cruise ship is a good setting for a murder mystery?


Monday, March 20, 2017

I’m Traveling Alone {+ Giveaway}


I’m always intrigued by thrillers and author Samuel Bjork is making his American debut with a definite winner, I’M TRAVELING ALONE.

Thanks to the lovely Sara and the wonderful folks at Viking & Penguin Books, I have a copy of Samuel’s new book to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for more giveaway details.

A chilling and fast-paced thriller in which two detectives must hunt down a vengeful killer – and uncover the secret that ties each of them to the crime

This book (Penguin Books; $16; ISBN: 9780143108627; On-sale: March 14, 2017) is already a global success—a bestseller in 10 countries—with rights sold in 30 countries. This is the first in a fresh new crime fiction series from Penguin.

A six-year-old girl dressed in doll’s clothes is found lifeless in the countryside wearing an airline tag around her neck reading “I'm Traveling Alone.” This shocking murder prompts police investigator Holger Munch to assemble a special unit for the case, including his protégé, Mia Kruger.
Mia is in a self-imposed exile, haunted by memories, but upon viewing photographs of the girl she discovers the number 1 scratched into the girl’s nail. Instinctively feeling there will be more murders, she finds herself sucked back into the violent crimes unit. She soon finds a link between this case and the unsolved abduction of an infant girl six years prior, as well as a mysterious reclusive religious community residing in the woods.
Mia leads the team in tracking down a revenge-driven and ruthlessly intelligent killer. But when Munch’s own six-year-old granddaughter goes missing, Mia realizes that the killer’s sinister game is personal, and I’M TRAVELING ALONE races to an explosiveand shockingconclusion.
        

Samuel Bjork is the pen name of Norwegian novelist, playwright and singer/songwriter Frode Sander Oien.

Oien wrote his first stage play at the age of twenty-one and has since written two highly acclaimed novels, released six albums, written five more plays, and translated Shakespeare, all in his native Norway.

Oien currently lives and works in Oslo. I’M TRAVELING ALONE is his American debut.

Thanks to the wonderful folks at Viking & Penguin Books, I have one print copy of I’M TRAVELING ALONE by Samuel Bjork to giveaway. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only and will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, March 28.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. A winner will be selected by the Rafflecopter widget and I’ll send an email with the subject line “Thoughts in Progress Giveaway.” The winner will have 72 hours to reply to the email or another winner will be selected. PLEASE be sure to check your spam folder from time to time after the giveaway ends to make sure the notification email doesn’t end up there. If you win and you’ve already won the book somewhere else or you just decided for whatever reason you don’t want to win (which is fine), once again PLEASE let me know.

Thanks for stopping by today. Do you know thrillers such as this? Do you enjoy reading books by foreign authors?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Cold Pressed Murder {+ Giveaway}


COLD PRESSED MURDER by Kelly Lane
◊ Series: An Olive Grove Mystery, Book 2
◊ Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
◊ Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Cozy, Mystery
◊ Publisher: Berkley (March 7, 2017)
◊ Language: English
◊ ISBN-10: 0425277232
◊ ISBN-13: 978-0425277232
 
SYNOPSIS:

Eva Knox and her quirky Southern family are back in the second in the “intriguing”* culinary mystery series.
 
It’s the pits for the attendees of the annual Farm Family Fare in Abundance, Georgia, when olive oil farmer Eva Knox finds herself in the middle of a murder case...
Eva and the residents of Knox Plantation are oozing with excitement over the activities planned for the Farm Family Fare. The weekend event consists of two days of tours, exhibitions, music, tastings, and, most important, cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs from the Chow Network. The enthusiasm, however, begins to dribble away after one of the star chefs goes missing—and is later found dead in the back of a refrigerated truck.
The scandal gets messier after the police discover that Eva’s sister Daphne spent the night with the victim right before he died, making her the prime suspect for his murder. It’s up to Eva, with the help of her other sister, Pep, and her best friend, Precious, to track down the real killer before Daphne finds herself squeezed into handcuffs...

INCLUDES RECIPES!

Author Kelly Lane pulls you into COLD PRESSED MURDER with her quirky characters and the charm of a small-town setting.

The story flows smoothly and at a good pace. The twists and turns will keep you on your toes until the killer is revealed. The charming setting is inviting and captivating. The author’s vivid descriptions make you feel you’re there with the action.

The zany characters are likable and well-developed. The protagonist is easy to relate to and the supporting characters add depth to the story. The author’s blend of humor with family loyalty makes for a well-balanced tale. The author also weaves in a bit about olives and includes several tempting recipes to enhance this culinary mystery.

An enticing tale you’ll enjoy from beginning to end.

Cold Pressed Murder by Kelly Lane, An Olive Grove Mystery (Book #2), Berkley, @2017, ISBN: 978-0425277232, Mass Market Paperback, 352 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks to the wonderful folks at Penguin Random House, I have a print copy of COLD PRESSED MURDER by Kelly Lane to giveaway. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only and will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Sunday, March 26.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. A winner will be selected by the Rafflecopter widget and I’ll send an email with the subject line “Thoughts in Progress Giveaway.” The winner will have 72 hours to reply to the email or another winner will be selected. PLEASE be sure to check your spam folder from time to time after the giveaway ends to make sure the notification email doesn’t end up there. If you win and you’ve already won the book somewhere else or you just decided for whatever reason you don’t want to win (which is fine), once again PLEASE let me know.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Do you enjoy stories that include recipes? Do you usually try the recipes or just add them to your list of dishes to prepare later?