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Excerpts

Sometimes, you read a wonderful book and regardless of how great a review you write about it, you cannot really tell anyone how worthy the  book is. That happens to me often. You? Has that happened to you?

Here are some excerpts of a book I read recently. Maybe they can give you an idea of how good this one is.

“And he was tired. In the end, that’s what everything came down to, the reason for every problem that tangled his life — the simple weariness of trying to fix things that were broken.”

“Barney Moore called out for the God of Blessing, and the God of Cruelty answered.”

“(She put something in me, he thought, and then he thought, No, she took something out)”

“…people don’t weep because they’re weak, but because they’ve been strong for too long.”

“Only its eyes remained steady and unchanged–deep pools of blue that penetrated Reggie’s heart into even his darkest places and yet loved him still.”

“They came, if for no other reason than to remind themselves that they had stood up when they wanted to like down and believed when all that was scattered before them called for doubt. They came to sing and dance and break bread not in spite of their bent hearts.”

“Sometimes you think a story’s ended, but really it hasn’t, and all you have to do is turn the page.”

From When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey.

 

 

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I know a lot of non readers that think having to read is nothing short of going to hell.  I love reading.  Reading is like heaven to me  However, some of the books that I have read are responsible for sending me to hell!

This is Banned Books Week.  The American Library Association sponsors a number of activities to highlight the fact that banning books is censorship; that banning books restricts our freedom to read any book we choose.  I think almost every one of us has read a book that has been banned or challenged at some point. (Challenged books are books that a person or group of people tries to get banned.)  Many of the titles are or have at some point been required reading in school, be it primary, intermediate, secondary, or higher education.

The Bible has been on the Banned Books List.  How many of you were required to read To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher In the Rye, The Giver, The Great Gatsby, Grapes of Wrath, 1984, Animal Farm, Catch 22, Call of the Wild?  All on the Banned Books List.  How many of you have chosen to read Lolita, Gone With the Wind, The Harry Potter series, The Color Purple, As I Lay Dying, A Clockwork Orange, Sophie’s Choice, or In Cold Blood? Yup, all Banned Books at one time or another.

Maybe you haven’t read any of these titles.  Maybe you don’t think any of these are any good.  I would actually agree that some of these aren’t the best books or just are not to my taste, however I would stand up and say that anyone that wants access to any book should have that access.  Governments should not be able to take that right away.  Schools should not be able to take that right away.  Churches should not be able to take that right away.  Or anyone else, with the exception of parents restricting access to their children who are too young or too sensitive for some of the topics covered in these books.

One of my favorite list of banned books is found on Goodreads. It’s called Books I’m Going To Hell For Reading. It lists 100 books  I’ve read about 48 of them.  Check the list.  I’m pretty sure you’ve read at least 25 from that list, at least you have if you’re in the USA or went to school in the USA.  Check it.

Celebrate Banned Books Week by reading a banned book.  There are a lot of them out there, unfortunately.

Later this week I’ll tell you about the time a parent challenged a book I was teaching in 5th grade…a district approved and district supplied book.

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introducingBLUE

Luther Siler

                   Luther M. Siler

Luther Stiler is a fellow blogger who blogs at InfiniteFreeTime. He is also a writer, teacher, husband, and father.  He lives in Northern Indiana with his wife and son and what he describes as an assortment of pets.  He writes about space gnomes and Mars.  Please read about his writing and his books then pass the link around to your friends by sharing through your social media avenues!  Leave a comment for me or Luther if you so desire; they are welcomed!

Luther On Luther
I like to write books that you pick up on the first day, read on the second, and reread on the fourth.  When I was a kid I was fanatical about rereading books that I loved over and over and over again– I have probably read the Lord of the Rings trilogy four or five dozen times– and while I love the work of many authors who write challenging, thought-provoking Works Of Immortal Literature, my number one goal as an author is to entertain.  I want my books read at a gulp, and I want you to lose sleep because you couldn’t put them down.  I like cinematic; I like action.  I’m not the author who carefully paints a picture of every detail and scene in my books because I don’t want to do anyone’s imagining for them, and I’d rather be remembered for a thrill-ride of a story than the life-altering sanctity of my prose.
I mean, hell, I write books about trips to Mars with a mad scientist and potty-mouthed gnomes with laser guns.  There is seriousness in my work, here and there– and my forthcoming Searching for Malumba (sometime in October, hopefully) is actually a nonfiction book about one of the few things in my life I do take seriously, which is my job as a teacher– but I need humor and excitement and fun more than I need to be taken seriously.  The back cover of my novelSkylights carries the single greatest quote about my work that I’ve ever gotten from anyone: “A perfect, fun summer read.”  That’s what I like to write.  It’s exactly the reaction that I wanted.  And hopefully I’ll get to keep writing many more of that kind of book.
Skylights

August 15, 2022: the Tycho, the most advanced interplanetary craft ever designed by the human race, launches from Earth on an expedition to Mars. The Tycho carries four passengers, soon to be the most famous people in human history.

February 19, 2023: The Tycho loses all communication with Earth while orbiting Mars. After weeks of determined attempts to reestablish contact, the Tycho is declared lost.

2027: Journalist Gabriel Southern receives a message from a mysterious caller: “Mars.” Ezekiel ben Zahav isn’t talking, but he wants Southern to accompany him for something– and he’s dangling enough money under his nose to make any amount of hardship worth it.SKYLIGHTS is the story of the second human expedition to Mars. Their mission: to find out what happened to the first.

SkylightsSkylights

The Benevolence Archives Vol. 1

Troll evictions! Dwarf pirates! Daring rescues! Angry gods! Impossible technology! Oversized bars! Pissed-off ogres! Disrespectful spaceships! All this and a mild disregard for proper wound treatment!

THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES, VOL. 1 is a novella-length collection of six short stories set in a common universe. Combining elements of space opera-style science fiction and high fantasy, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES tell the adventures of Brazel, Rhundi, and Grond, a gnome/halfogre team of smugglers.

THE PLANET IT’S FARTHEST FROM: A simple job in a saloon goes poorly for Brazel.
THE CLOSET: Brazel and Grond are hired to teach someone why gambling can be a bad idea.
YANK: Dwarven pirates. ‘Nuff said.
REMEMBER: Brazel and Grond are hired by one of the galaxy’s most powerful people for a suspiciously easy job.
THE CONTRACT: Rhundi tries to get through a simple business negotiation without anyone being shot.
THE SIGIL: Brazel and Grond encounter something horrifying on a frozen rock in the middle of nowhere.

Benevolence

The Benevolence Archives Vol. 1

The Sanctum Of the Sphere, Benevolence Archives Vol. 2

“Go rob that train.” Nice, normal. An everyday heist.

But nothing is ever normal for Brazel, Grond and Rhundi.

A simple act of motorized larceny quickly explodes into a galaxy-spanning adventure for the two thieves. Blade-wielding elves, a fast-moving global war, a secret outlaw space city, incomprehensible insectoids and one impossibly lucky human are just the start of their problems. And that’s before they learn that someone from Grond’s past has gotten the Benevolence involved…

What is happening on the ogrespace moon Khkk?

Who are the Noble Opposition?

And what is the secret of THE SANCTUM OF THE SPHERE?

Sanctum

The Sanctum Of the Sphere,

The Benevolence Archives Vol. 2

OR

The Sanctum Of the Sphere,

Benevolence Archives Vol. 2 Omnibus Edition

Luther’s email:  luthermsiler @ gmail.com

Luther’s Twitter account: @nfinitefreetime

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Friday 56

index

I’m really enjoying Rokitansky by Alice Darwin. It is about three different women, each in a different stage of their life. The chapters rotate from Moira to Tori to Ms Brown. As of this writing, I don’t yet know what connects them, although I can guess, as that has yet to be revealed. So far, very interesting and very sad.

“The letter from the stranger had made Tori cry. harry had wanted to cry watching her read it. He had grown accustomed to watching his wife have her heart repeatedly broken. He felt powerless to stop it from happening again, unable to mend her.” (55% on Kindle)

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in Linky here. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

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Please help me welcome Larry Brill, author of two published novels, Live At Five and The Patterer. Larry is a personal friend. I’ve known him since high school. I’ve read both of his novels and I recommend them. My favorite is The Patterer. For sure you should read that one if not both! I hope you enjoy this post and that you share it with your friends, followers, fellow tweeters, etc. And if you have any comments or questions for Larry, be sure to include them in the comments.

introducingBLUE

Larry Brill

Larry Brill

Tell me. Why would any self-respecting author want to be known as the “Worst Writer in America?” I’d like to think I have plenty of respect for myself. So the fact that I won that title as champion of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a contest to intentionally write the worst opening sentence to an imaginary novel, speaks volumes about me and about my work. I suppose you could make the case that writing one really bad sentence for laughs launched my fiction writing career. That sentence was reported in newspapers across the country, on CBS morning news with Charles Osgood, and as far away as radio New Zealand. But truth be told, twenty-five years as a TV news anchor proved to be a great warm-up for writing fiction.

I write Literary Snark. It’s not an official genre, as far as I know, but it does capture the essence of my two published novels and the one I am working on at the moment. One reviewer said my books are like “A Saturday Night Live skit with a plot.” I write because it makes me smile, and I write because I want to make others smile, too.

Obviously I didn’t invent Literary Snark. There are tons of authors out there writing witty, intelligent, laugh-out-loud books. Carl Hiaasen does it with crime capers. Christopher Moore does it with paranormal fiction. My kind of humor goes like this: my novel The Patterer imagines what would happen if you dropped today’s TV newscast (write what you know, you know?) into the hands of a rascal street actor back in 18th century London. It mixes pop culture with historical figures. Our hero goes about giving news reports that borrow liberally from things like the theme song from Gilligan’s Island, and quotes Humphrey Bogart from Casablanca.

Now what? The idea for my current novel in progress came from my high school reunion a couple of years ago. A number of us got caught up in a discussion that nearly every baby boomer confronts to one degree or another these days. It’s wondering what we might do differently if we could go back and do it again. So I dreamed up a guy who is going through a mid-life meltdown and decides to recreate his high school days by moving back home with his drug-addled hippie parents, and going back to school, getting a job at the old campus where his high school sweetheart now works. It’s a comedy about a second chance to catch the girl that got away.

Book synopsis and info after all the links, please read on.
Where to find Larry Brill’s stuff:
www.larrybrill.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5aYK3rdmc0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHXSkvGfkOs
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Larry-Brill/e/B00C9KOWVW/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1426871790&sr=1-2-ent
Barnes & Nobel: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-patterer-larry-brill/1117079520?ean=9780988864344
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLarryBrill
Twitter: https://twitter.com/larbrill
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7042414.Larry_Brill

LiveAtFiveAmazonSm

Live @ Five
If success breeds contempt and adversity builds character, the life of Hunter Riley should be a springboard of inspiration to everyone treading water in the shallow end of the talent pool.

Hunter has been working his way down the ladder of success from nightly news anchor in the country’s largest television market until he finds himself running the pathetic small-town newsroom at KDOA-TV in Bakersfield, California. When the station’s owner threatens to cancel the newscast and fire the staff, Hunter hires a topless dancer named Sugar Kane to anchor the news and manufactures a heart-wrenching crusade to save an old folks home. It’s a desperate attempt to ride sex appeal and a made-for-TV crisis to take KDOA from ratings doormat to number one.

The result is a hilarious clash of ambitions in the world of TV news where perception is reality, and reality just gets in the way of a good story. How far will Hunter stretch his personal and professional ethics to save the newscast from the ratings trash heap? The answer will keep you laughing until the final credits roll.

Stay tuned.

patterer coverBlue

The Patterer
What would it look like if a smart-aleck news guy invented the TV newscast 200 years before the invention of TV? That’s what our hero, Leeds Merriweather, has done in 1765 London.

Leeds is scratching out a living as a common street performer, a patterer, using his wit and storytelling skills to draw crowds on the streets of London in order to sell newspapers and all manner of literature. He wants to be a respected journalist and start his own publishing business instead of being a mouthpiece for others, but the poor bloke has been cursed with fine, handsome looks, a strong voice and straight teeth. In other words, he’s too pretty to be anything more than a patterer. He knows he’ll never make enough money as a patterer to finance his dream until…

Inspired by a chance, drunken encounter with Benjamin Franklin, Leeds invents the daily “news performance,” and assembles a zany cast of characters to help him pull it off. The story follows Leeds’ hilarious rise to celebrity status as history’s first newscaster and his humiliating fall from grace when he risks it all for an affair with a conniving upper class married woman. In the end, Leeds learns a lot about himself, and the price of love, honor, and the power of news, where blood and lust make the world go ’round—though sometimes in personal ways you’d never expect.

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Friday 56

Coming-Home-cover

This week’s Friday 56 comes from Holly Kerr‘s novel, Coming Home. It’s a scene between two sisters at 56% on my Kindle.

“I didn’t know what to say to her. All my life I had never known what to say to her, how to make her understand me, what I could say that wouldn’t frustrate her. I still didn’t know what to say. So I stood there in the room until the chill slowly disappeared.”

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in Linky here. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

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Friday 56

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in Linky here. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

nightingale

I finished The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah about 5 this morning and near the end, I found today’s passage. I know it’s further than 56% but this one called out to me and I want to share it with you. It’s from 83% on my Kindle.

“I love you, Papa,” she said quietly, realizing how true it was, how true it had always been. Love had turned ito loss and she’d pushed it away, but somehow, impossibly, a bit of that love had remained. A girl’s love for her father. Immutble. Unbearable but unbreakable.

“How can you?”

She swallowed hard, saw that he had tears in his eyes.

“How can I not?”

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Friday 56
Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in Linky here. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

No art work for this book today but I hope you like the quote from Arturo Islas: The Uncollected Works Edited by Frederick Luis Aldama. Arturo Islas was my favorite professor in college and a lot of my love of writing and even my writing voice I owe to him so I hope you enjoy this.

“In the first weeks of that first year you were gone, I awakened to unbearable feelings of loss, self-recrimination, emptiness, nothingness. There was no sense of time moving in that house where you and I had lived together for three years. In the darkness and intolerable silence of that empty space (empty? I was there, wasn’t I? I didn’t think so, I felt annihilated) I was even afraid of the light slowly creeping into my bedroom.”

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I don’t think I am prudish but some might see me as such. I don’t know, maybe it’s old age. But then again, I’m “one of those” that has never used certain four letter words in my entire life and don’t see myself ever using them. My parents always said that using “foul” language was a lack of education. They said only those who could not otherwise express themselves would use such language. And I’ve always been “the good girl”, the “obedient daughter”. It doesn’t necessarily bother me when I hear a “well placed” expletive because sometimes that’s the only way the strength of an emotion can be conveyed. For me though, it doesn’t feel right and so I choose not to use such language.

I also find these days that I am bothered by explicit sex scenes in books as I read. Not all sex scenes but there are those that just appear in a book for the sake of it, not because they belong. There are such scenes that go way too far in describing what is going on in a book that is otherwise not at all gratuitous. The scenes just don’t fit in with the storyline or the characters. Those bother me. And then there is also the fact that in books, as in movies, sometimes less is more. Sometimes an inference is much better than explicit details. I’m actually thinking there should be some kind of rating on books to let the reader know what they are getting themselves into. I’m not saying that such books should not be written, published, or read. I’m just saying that I would like to know if such scenes are in the book before I decide to spend money and time reading them. Maybe I would just rather use my own imagination in those scenes instead of having someone else tell me who did what to whom and how many times.

So maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s old age. Maybe it’s a sign that I don’t fit in with “modern” times. And yeah, maybe I’m just a prude!

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Please help me welcome Joanne Huspek, author of two published novels, and a personal friend. I hope you enjoy this post and that you share it with your friends, followers, fellow tweeters, etc.

introducingBLUE

Joanne Huspek

Joanne Huspek

Joanne Huspek is an author who lives in the frozen tundra called Michigan, where she helps her husband run a business while attempting to keep warm.

During the summer months, she can be seen puttering around the garden, trying to save her tender veggies from marauding squirrels.

Joanne self-published Virtually Yours as an eBook in 2012 and Finding Cadence as both eBook and physical copy in 2014.

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself. What do you do for fun?
There’s not much time for fun around my house! Besides writing, which I do for fun and escape, I like making wire wrap jewelry. I’m especially interested in using fiber and basket weaving techniques in my designs, which is difficult because wire can get very brittle. I like rocks and stones, too. Otherwise, my other “fun” is inventive cooking, eating well, and enjoying fine wine.

Q: What do you like most about the genre you write in?
I do not stick to one “formula” genre. I write about women and their problems. I’ve written serious literary (Finding Cadence) as well as romance mixed with mystery (Virtually Yours) and have tried my hand at YA a couple of times. I love writing from a woman’s point of view. I lovingly call my work “mom-lit” – chick lit for those of us who used to be chicks. Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.

Q: Where is your favorite place to write?
I have a favorite comfy chair in my bedroom, and if that seat is taken by my cat, there’s another downstairs in the family room. I find it intimidating to write in public spaces like in cafes or libraries. To write fiction, I need absolute silence and a minimum of distractions – hard to do in my life, but I manage to carve out some quiet time.

Q: What’s your next project?
I’m editing the sequel to Virtually Yours, called Virtually Yours Forever. I hope to release it by the end of this year, fingers crossed. I’m working with a developmental editor and he wants to weave in a parallel story line having to do with the Internet (again!), so this is no small undertaking. After that, I need to edit a YA I completed years ago, and finish the accompanying romance (same story, told in the mother’s point of view).

The Books:
Finding Cadence
The Reeds (Cadence and Carter) seem to have it all: an enduring marriage, wealth and social standing, a thriving business, and talented pianist son attending a West Coast conservatory. But an accident on an icy Michigan highway leaves Cadence Reed an unexpected widow. After the funeral, Cadie learns her loss is not limited to Carter’s passing. Layer after layer of secrets are revealed, exposing Carter as a philandering sociopath who has left his family in a precarious financial state. Her heart broken, her world in shambles, Cadie and her son embark on a journey, across the country and into Cadie’s past. Cadence must look deep inside herself to find the will and a means to survive.

FINDING CADENCE explores deception and depression, the intricate and tentative bond of relationships, and one woman’s determination to overcome pride and adversity to find the strength to carry on.

Finding Cadence

Finding Cadence


E-book contains questions for discussion.

VIRTUALLY YOURS
VIRTUALLY YOURS is the offbeat and humorous journey of the on-and-offline relationships of six women who met and maintained a lasting friendship on the Internet. The Virtual Moms embrace a newbie – with a secret – and the dynamic is changed, adding an unexpected twist to the lives of the friends.

Virtually Yours
Thanks to the prodding of sassy Manhattanite Janna Abraham, the Virtual Moms allow North Carolina stay-at-home parent and romance novelist Asheley MacDaniel, entree into their club. A recent Iraq War widow and alone with an adorable young son, Ashe proves a sympathetic figure. Although some of the members initially balk, Ashe fits in easily — perhaps too easily — sharing valuable insights on the personal dramas of Missy and Laurel, while gaining strong rapport with Ally and Skye.

Skeptical Celia is not as easily swayed as her friends. Who is this Asheley MacDaniel, and why are the VMs in virtual love with this newbie? Why is Ashe so secretive, and why won’t she email photos of herself and her five-year-old? And who was the stranger who answered the phone when Celia called?

Ashe has a secret, all right, one that the girls do not learn until after the friendships strengthen. Just as Ashe lands a book deal, Celia has enlisted the services of a private investigator and the truth now lies in an envelope in her hands. But before the truth can be told, Ashe decides to make the long drive from North Carolina to New York City to bear all to Janna in person, even as the revelation could cost dearly.
E-Book Includes Questions for Discussion

Coming soon! Stay tuned…Virtually Yours Forever,
It’s a Virtual Moms wedding!

After four years of cyber and long-distance dating, Janna and Ashe are finally taking the Big Step – making their relationship legal. They’ve invited the women in their private online group, the Virtual Moms, to the grand festivities in New York. However, Real Life mama drama threatens to upset the proceedings.

Matronly Ally believes her husband is going off the rails – with the friendly, sex kitten neighbor next door. Can she leave with danger a driveway away? Frazzled Laurel is still single-handedly supporting her family and wondering how to fund her son’s college education, when she is offered an off-beat position she’s not sure she can accept. Ex-beauty queen Missy finds herself stretched thin between two needy teenagers, an established career and a glamorous ‘dream’ job – complete with fast-talking hunk. Super-confident, ultra-organized Celia has taken the reins as matron of honor for Janna, completely ignoring the potential groom who is knocking at her own door. Lost in the preparations, Skye is curiously silent and withdrawn.

Janna quickly heads down the path toward Bridezilla status as she obsesses over the vision of a perfect ceremony. There’s also that slinky designer gown she chose. She’ll need to lose five pounds in order to be wedged into it. Ashe spends most of his time in Bonnie Doone on the pretext of getting the old home ready for sale; instead of packing, he recalls bittersweet memories about his beautiful first wife who died in Iraq.

Added to the chaos is the sudden appearance of Master Perturbation, the new bitchy blog sensation that’s taking the Internet by storm. The posts mirror the lives of the real life Virtual Moms. Could one of the VMs have penned the hurtful blog?

As the clock ticks closer to the nuptials, the group threatens to fall apart. With a record-breaking Nor’easter dumping two and a half feet of snow up and down the Eastern Seaboard, and with Janna and Ashe fussing, will they – and the rest of the VMs – make it to the ceremony?

Where to find Joanne Huspek
Joanne Huspek’s blog
Facebook
Twitter
Medium
Goodreads

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