"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Monday, February 28, 2011

Giveaway by Jennifer Laurens!

Want to win these AWESOME Ts and Bookmarks? Jennifer Laurens is giving you that chance!! Check out her blog.

You've Got More Mail!!!

One of my favourite movies of all time is You've Got Mail starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. If you haven't seen it, you simply must!! It's about a young woman who is the proprietor of a small intimate book store who finds her "Little Shop Around the Corner" competing with a big bookstore chain, Fox Books.  Since we are all book lovers here, you can't help but want to see this movie!! But, I digress. 

Last year I came across a tantalizing promotion on Fairfield House blog that is running again. Deborah has launched her Second Annual Fairfield House Post Card Exchange Party yesterday!!! What does this mean to you? Well, if you are the taddest bit like me, and love to receive postcards from all over, this will definitely appeal to you. Just go to the link above and join the linky list of participating blogs. Mailing addresses are exchanged via email with the understanding that they are not to be shared. Once received, you send that individual a postcard from your area (check the local dollar store) and they, in turn, shall send one to you. This runs for a limited time and promises to be a fun little exchange of "real" mail (vs. the virtual mail on You've Got Mail.) . Won't you join in?

Book Tour: Lessons From the Concrete Garden by Kurtis Smith

Lessons From
Concrete Garden
Author:  Kurtis Smith
Copyright:  2011
Self-published:  Outskirts Press, Inc.
67 pages
Includes:  Acknowledgments, Letter to the Reader, Diagrams, About the PSSE Training Program and the K-Method Group, Program Information
ISBN # 978-1-4327-6426-5
Source:  Supplied by the author for review without compensation to me

(from the back cover)  "Over a decade has been spent in research, development and field testing in order to identify and document the specific skill sets, characteristics and knowledge of a highly skilled and professional salesperson. Lessons From the Concrete Garden is a by-product of this work and is packed with insight and ideas that will explain why many salespeople struggle and most fail. It shines a spotlight on the struggling automotive industry and its selling practices and asks the question: how is it possible to spend billions of dollars on R&D, manufacturing and marketing to produce some of the most technologically advanced and complex products, then miss the mark when it comes to educating the individuals responsible for selling them? It drives the point home that salespeople are the first and last to touch the actual buyers of these products and they are probably the most important spoke in the business development wheel and are deserving of a quality and proper education.

This exciting book provides real answers and proposes real solutions for businesses and selling professionals that are struggling to find a plan of action that actually works. It discusses what to do, when to do it, how to do it and why it needs to be done. Lessons From the Concrete Garden is a Gem! This is a must read for anyone involved in selling, training or business development."

"The Concrete Garden is a metaphor for the automobile dealership sales lots.  This is where all the cars are neatly arranged and salespeople are standing at the doors or looking out the windows as if to watch them grow, while waiting for the next customer to show up."
My Review:  Kurtis Smith once worked as a car salesman,  He quickly surpassed the other salspeope in sales but then found no further assistance to keep his momentum.  No training.  His sales manager was of no assistance.  Kurtis  recognized the need for a program, some training that would provide a template for a standardized education for all inidviduals involved in sales and sales management.   He wrote "it is virtually impossible for the average person in the workforce to learn and retain new information, especially if they are expected to apply it immediately.  ...without the ability to repeat the training over and over again, the learner is forced to try to remember the content, the nuances, and even the finer points of the subject matter in order to apply them, which is quite difficult."  Kurtis then outlines the things necessary to make the learning curve easier to accomplish. 

Within the book, Lessons From the Concrete Garden, Kurtis uses the comparison of puppy training to that of teaching new and desirable behaviours within the workplace.  Quotes from fantastic leaders reinforce Kurtis Smith's theory that salesmanship isn't something you're born with, it is something that can be learned.  He has put together a program that will educate, set guidelines and includes a monitoring system to achieve success.  This book touches upon those components. Take a moment to check out his website, http://www.kmethod.com/

Kurtis Smith writes with clarity and assurance.  If I were a proprietor of a business, I would seriously want to use his methodology.  He is, by the way, available for public speaking engagments too.  I would have liked to have some in-depth teaching within this book but that would detract from his program.  Perhaps in the future he will develop a manual with The K-Method fully outlined for entrepreneurs that can be purchased separate from the program.  At the very least, one is aware of steps that can be taken to strengthen their sales personnel by reading and implementing some of the ideas touched upon here.  As he recommends, put the salesperson together first, and then his or her sales will come together too. 

This book is not limited to sales personnel.  There are some valuable ideas here to help the average person to reach beyond their current limitations to succeed.

Rated:  4/5 (reference)

For more information, visit the author's webpage www.outskirtspress.com/lessonsfromtheconcretegarden

Website Address: http://www.kmethod.com/
Blog Address: www.kmethod.com/blog

(Dewey Decimal challenge)

Meet the Author: Kurtis Smith Author of Lessons From the Concrete Garden

Author:  Kurtis Smith
With a diverse background as a United States Marine, sales and management professional as well as business owner and consultant, Kurtis Smith brings over two decades of experience and know-how to the table. He is the president and CEO of The K-Method Group, a teaching organization focused on teaching businesses, entrepreneurs and sales professionals the step-by-step processes of how to build, maintain and manage a book of business.  His vision for the company is to continually provide the content and the environment where organizations and their salespeople can acquire the knowledge they need in order for them to flourish.

Lessons from the Concrete Garden

What is your book about?
The book is about providing real answers and solutions to selling professionals struggling to do their jobs daily. It was important to me to use real examples and relatable scenarios to make my points, not theories or conjecture so I drew from over two decades of experience in sales, management and business consulting to form my thesis. I decided to use the automotive dealerships as the case study to explain how an ambiguous policy regarding the development of selling professionals is not only a failing proposition, but a recipe for disaster. It allowed me to emphasize how a lack of a system to educate and measure a selling professional’s performance against a standard is responsible for the quality of the client experience and poor sales numbers which in turn leads to high employee turnover and business failure rates, regardless of industry. The goal of this book was to spotlight the profession as a whole in order to draw attention to the fact that there is no formal education program available to its practitioners and, in my opinion, is the reason for the extremely high failure rates.

This book introduces a solution in the form of Professional Standards for Sales Excellence, a set of systems and process that anyone can use to produce more predictable and consistent results as the new core competencies of professional selling and business development.

Why did you decide to write it?
I wrote the book out of a necessity to organize my thoughts in order to explain a process that is literally changing lives. There is a desperate need for a new approach to developing selling professionals and those responsible for business development and I had the answer. The problem was that the answer was more than one word and consisted of a series of systems and processes that when I tried to explain it to some, they would get this glazed over look on their faces because it was unlike anything they had heard before. The fact is that selling as a profession is not being taught at institutions of higher learning and is not looked upon as a real profession. However, when you consider that someone has to sell something in every company in order for them to stay in business; you would think that the person they hire would be of the highest caliber with the formal training to confirm what they know. Ironically it is just not the case.

I wrote this book to outline the standard and offer a solution by using the automobile industry as the case study, because what happened to them is a mirror image of what is happening in most businesses. But most importantly, it was written to give salespeople a roadmap to follow and management the understanding that without specific activities for them to measure against standards, it is difficult to do their jobs effectively.

What types of readers will be interested in your book?
The book was written to speak to three specific types of readers; the first being the selling professional who is struggling to produce consistent results and has no idea why he or she is struggling. The second is the entrepreneur or business owner who has a business and needs to put him or his sale force to work and does not know where to begin. And finally, for the sales managers who are responsible for producing results through a sales team and are still trying to manage by coercion, intimidation or even begging and pleading to produce results.

What is special about your book?
As James Dyson puts it, “Solve the obvious problems that others seem to ignore.”

Lessons from the Concrete Garden was specifically written to identify and address the reasons why salespeople struggle and fail. It provides answers that challenges the paradigm of those individuals stuck in this is the way we have always done it here mentality. It is an original thought written to provide hope for those looking for answers in a world full of sameness.

What differentiates it from other books in the same category?
I believe Lessons from the Concrete Garden focuses on substance by offering specific original solutions and not regurgitated rhetoric. My goal in this book was not to tell you what you should do, but to provide you with tangible solutions backed up with process based action plans.

Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?
No I have not. Yes. There are several other projects in the works.

Blog Tour  Links:   http://www.kmethod.com/products.php,

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly book meme where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. I love this meme!!

This last week I finished reading Remember Me?  by Sophie Kinsella.  The review is here.  I am glad to be finished it, not that I didn't like the book, but I was reading it for an extended period wherein I had to put it on the proverbial back burner to accomplish some other reviews.  There was some content that I took exception with as you will see when you read the review.

I also received, read and reviewed a title that came in the mail Wednesday and needed to be posted by the end of the month.  This post, Lessons From the Concrete Jungle, will be up Monday, February 28.  It counts towards another Dewey Decimal read!  I actually enjoyed the message here.  Anyone else out there think salespeople don't know what they're doing?  Read the book.  Oh, and I have an interview with the author Kurtis Smith that day too!

Though I finished reading Quest For the Nail Prints by Don Furr a little while ago, I finished the review to be posted March 1.  This was an enjoyable trip back in time to Jerusalem.  A real page turner!!

I also read Fires...Accidental or Arson by Richard J. Keyworth.  Mr.  Keyworth works as a fire inspector and in this book he discusses 14 cases wherein he had to determine the cause of the fire and if there was fault.  If you are fascinated with a bit of mystery, cause and effect, and a good story, you'll have to come back soon for the review.  This book is supposed to be part of a virtual book tour though no date has been decided yet.  

This week I am still reading Nana:  The Four Crystals by Guillermo Romano.  I have yet to begin the book club read At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon.  I've read it before, about seven months ago, but it is such a good book that I don't mind reading it again! I might read True Believer by Nicholas Sparks or another non-fiction or biography.  I haven't decided yet.  I guess whatever grabs my attention when I ponder the TBR stacks will win.

What are you reading this week?  Did you post reviews for books finished last week?  Take a moment, won't you, and leave a comment with a link to your It's Monday...post!  Stop by Sheila's Book Journey. Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stalk Hop Friday/ Book Blogger Hope 2/25/11

Stalk Hop Friday

Welcome to

"Stalk Hop Friday"!

Blog hops are a great way to gain more followers! This hop follows in EVERY way: Google Friend Connect, Facebook, Twitter, Feed, Blog Frog, Networked Blogs! Please Link directly to your Blog post about "Stalk Hop Friday" or Friday Follow.

** Please grab the Badge to put in your post, help spread the word and make this hop big!!
** It's a lot easier for others to leave a comment and follow you back if they have a specific post to comment on.

Coming Soon:  Book Tour for "Lessons From the Concrete Garden" by Kurtis Smith!!  Check back soon.

Book Blogger Hop

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs.

 This week's question comes from Jen B. who blogs at I Read Banned Books:

"Do you ever wish you would have named your blog something different?"

Sometimes I wish I had gone with something more creative, like Crazed Bookaholic perhaps.  My Bookshelf is perhaps rather run of the mill?  Anyway, it's out there now so I don't want to change it after all the time and effort I've put into it.  So there you be, My Bookshelf!  :)

This meme is hosted by Crazy for Books

Booking Through Thursday - Something Old, Something New

All other things being equal–do you prefer used books? Or new books? (The physical speciman, that is, not the title.) Does your preference differentiate between a standard kind of used book, and a pristine, leather-bound copy?

Good question, though difficult to provide a definitive answer to, honestly.  I love to browse through new and used bookstores.  I love the smell, the sights, the feel of both.  Given the choice, I would fill my shelves with new books, but I cannot afford to be a book snob.  So here's what I do.  If I am shopping for something for bookclub, which necessitates a new book each month, I gravitate to the second-hand bookstore.  For that special book, one I am dying to read and cannot wait for, I go for a new book.  I love to check out the shelves of both.  If I find something I like in a new bookstore, I will buy it if the price is reasonable.  I have to confess, though, that I often buy more books at a second-hand bookstore.  The price is right and quite often the variety is excellent. 

PS  I do love a good leather-bound book, new or used.  Who doesn't? Sometimes the patina of a used leather bound book, softened with use, is more attractive.  So there, how's that for definitive? 

Given the choice, what is your preference?  Please leave a comment below with a link to your BTT post or answer in the comment itself.  Don't forget to link with the originator, Booking Through Thursday.

This Something Old, Something New theme of the week is hosted at  Booking Through Thursday, a book and reading blog.

Book Review: Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

Remember Me?

Author:  Sophie Kinsella
Copyright:  2008
Publisher:  The Dial Press ( a division of Random House, Inc.)
389 pages
Also included:  Praise For Sophie Kinsella's Novels (incl. Shopaholic series), Also By Sophie Kinsella

If you enjoyed the Shopaholic novels you will likely find Remember Me?  just as memorable.  Imagine yourself in a hospital bed, in a private room, with the creme de la creme for amenities.  At your bedside sits your mother.  Everything's fuzzy.  You're told you are married and your handsome husband, who happens to be a multi-millionaire, is arriving soon with your sister.  Going to the washroom to freshen up, you are startled by the image in the mirror.  Peering back at you, under the stitches and bruises from the accident, is a beautiful woman with perfect teeth, glossy brown hair and a trim figure.  That's not you, you think.  When did I become this woman?  The last thing you remember is leaving a club with your best friends and tripping and falling on the sidewalk as you ran for a taxi.  You recall thinking; "there's nothing I can do -- this is really, really going to hurt...."  That was 2004.  It is now 2007.  She doesn't even realize that she was in a car crash just days before.  Where are those lost years?

Remember Me? is a fast read.  The main character, Lexi, is likeable, funny and your everyday girl and you root for her.  Amid office politics, estranged friends, and amnesia, she struggles to find herself. She strives for that knowledge in her marriage, her family relationships, her estranged friends.  And then there's the architect Jon. 

This novel is far more graphic than the Shopaholic series.  Since I loved the two that I have read, I wanted to read something else by the same author.  While I enjoyed the story behind Remember Me?, I must warn sensitive readers of the sexual content, profanity and the topic of adultery.  These factored in my level of enjoyment.

Rated 3/5

Agatha Christie Reading Challenge Carnival: How to Join the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge

Agatha Christie Reading Challenge Carnival: How to Join the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge

Are You an Agatha Christie Fan?

Be a participant in the monthly Agatha Christie Challenge Blog Carnival which is published 22-23 of each month.  It is an opportunity to submit your Agatha Christie reviews and updates to each carnival.  So when you write a review or an update about your progress in the challenge, then the next step each time is to submit your post to the Carnival here .

The carnival has various categories:
Miss Marple
Tommy & Tuppence
Hercule Poirot
Superintendent Battle
Short Stories
Discoveries (here you can submit interesting Agatha Christie related websites that you've discovered)

Join in the mystery and adventure each month, on the 22 or 23, for more Agatha Christie.  I recently reviewed Murder on the Orient Express (also published as Murder in the Calais Coach).  Stop by for a read, won't you.

Hosting this Agatha Christie Reading Challenge Carnival is Kerrie.  "You can submit a link to any postings you have made that review Agatha Christie books or relate to interesting articles about Agatha Christie by going to the Carnival collecting space and putting in the URL, your details, and a comment about the post. The closing date for each month's Carnival is the 22nd of the month. The Carnival will appear on the 23rd."  See her blog for further details.  Come join the mystery!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Theme Thursday - Touch

Theme Thursday was created by Reading Between Pages. Theme Thursdays is a fun weekly event that will be open from one thursday to the next. Anyone can participate in it. The rules are simple:

A theme will be posted each week (on Thursdays)

*Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from the current book you are reading
*Mention the author and the title of the book along with your post
*It is important that the theme is conveyed in the sentence (you don’t necessarily need to have the word)
Ex: If the theme is KISS; your sentence can have “They kissed so gently” or “Their lips touched each other” or “The smooch was so passionate”

This will give us a wonderful opportunity to explore and understand different writing styles and descriptive approaches adopted by authors.

This week’s theme is – TOUCH (any body contact)

"He hesitates, then drops a kiss on my cheek and strides away." ~ page 341, Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella


WWW: Wednesdays is hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading.

To play along, just answer the following three questions....

*What are you currently reading?
*What did you just recently finish reading?
*What do you think you'll read next?

What are you currently reading?  I am finishing Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella and am slowly progressing through Nana:  The Four Crystals (time has been occupied of late but it is looking up starting tomorrow for more hours of reading pleasure!).

What did you just recently finish reading?  The Help by Kathryn Stockett and Quest for the Nail Prints by Don Furr (book tour March 1 including book review)

What do you think you'll read next?  Fires...Accidental or Arson by Richard J. Keyworth, True Believer by Nicholas Sparks, At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon (bookclub read for March) and perhaps another from my TBR pile.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award!!

I am honoured to be chosen to receive this award. In accordance with accepting this award I would like to thank Bonnie from Hands and Home. I greatly appreciate it. Thank you! You've started my day with a big smile!!

And now, here is what to do when receiving this award:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered.
3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

In accepting this award I, in turn, would love to acknowledge the following bloggers who have fabulous blogs:

http://antique-art-garden.blogspot.com/  - Antique Art Garden
http://lifewiththreedogs.blogspot.com/ - Three Dog Blog
http://ohboy-orgirl.blogspot.com/ - Oh Girl, We're Parents
http://lonadawn.blogspot.com/ - Hocking Hills Garden
http://agardenerinprogress.blogspot.com/ - A Gardener in Progress
http://www.lovesbooksandtea.com/ - Loves Books and Tea
http://rav4adventures.blogspot.com/ - Deep Canyon
http://krensgarden-karen.blogspot.com/ - Quarry Garden Stained Glass
http://soulaperture.blogspot.com/ - Soul Aperture
http://www.obsessiveneuroticgardener.com/ - An Obsessive Neurotic Gardener
http://www.anoregoncottage.com/ - An Oregon Cottage
http://pilskalns.blogspot.com/ - Garden Delights
http://gardeninginasandbox.blogspot.com/ - Gardening in a Sandbox
http://theplacesigo-marieelizabeth.blogspot.com/ - The Places I Go
http://kreiderskorner.blogspot.com/ -Kreider's Korner Photographs

Some of these awesome blogs have been "friends' for a little while and some are new to me.  They are beautiful in their ability to portray that which is near and dear to them.  From collecting antiques and art, to touching people's lives through their words, to gardening, and lovely photography, they all are in my favourites.  I send this award to them in acknowledgment to their contribution to the blogging sphere.  Because of them, the virtual world is that much more beautiful. 

Teaser Tuesdays 2/22/11

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
"Look, I have to go," I say in a rush. "I'll get Eric for you." My legs wobbly, I unlock the bathroom door and head out, holding the phone away from me like it's contaminated."
~page 232 Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. I love this meme!!

This past week has been a bit slower as far as accomplishing reading.  I did finish reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  See my review here.  I also read Quest for the Nail Prints by Don Furr.  This is a terrific Christian novel about time travel back to the time of Jesus.  To be released March 1, 2011, my review/book blog tour will commence in concordance with the release.

This week I am reading Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella.  I am about halfway through it.  This was a night time read that was put by the wayside while I read author submitted novels for review.  Sophie Kinsella is a humourous writer who can bring even the issues of amnesia into a funny perspective.  Also on my coffee table is Nana:  The Four Crystals.  I just started reading this novel, the author's first published work.  Desperate for his own sense of meaning, Serge finds himself in the jungles of Belize on a quest for four crystals.  He believes these four crystals will define for him his purpose in life past, present and future.  Oh, and there's an enigmatic woman involved too!  It's been a bit of a slow start thus far but I shall continue forth to see Serge's outcome.

Upcoming reads will likely include True Believer by Nicholas Sparks and possibly a re-read of At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon for bookclub. I have ten books on my TBR pile so I need to select at least one of those to be read this week.

What are you reading this week?  Did you post reviews for books finished last week?  Take a moment, won't you, and leave a comment with a link to your It's Monday...post!  Stop by Sheila's Book Journey. Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!!

Just Received: William and Kate: a Royal Love Story, A Pointed Death, Hot Leaders Cool Facilitators, Utopia Texas , and Tell to Win

I've enjoyed a cornucopia of packages in my mailbox this week.  Just Received is where I share the contents of those packages and introduce you to some new authors and their novels, biographies, non-fiction, etc. as the case may be.

Here's what I'm excited to have discovered this week:

William and Kate: A Royal Love Story
Author:  Christopher Andersen
Copyright 2011 Andersen Publications
Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster, Inc.
312 pages
Includes Colour photo section, Sources and Chapter Notes and Bibliography
Source:  I won this book from the publisher.

(from the back cover)  "Theirs is the story of two young people who found each other in college, came perilously close to losing what they had forever, and pulled back from the brink at the last possible moment.  Theirs is the story of private moments stolen for public consumption, of harrowing car chases, of scorching personal dramas played out behind the scenes, of calm heads prevailing in times of panic, and of a singular devotion made stronger by time."

The Saga of William and Kate is one thing above all else:  a love story. - from William and Kate:  A Royal Love Story

A Pointed Death (First in the Pointer Mystery Series)
Author:  Kath Russell
Copyright 2010
Publishers: Self-published
337 pages
Source:  Provided by the author for review purposes without remuneration of any kind.

(from the back cover)  "Can modern love, biotechnology, and murder mix?  They do so exceedingly well in the edgy new thriller, A Pointed Death by Kath Russell.  When techno whiz Nola Billingsley finds her former employee, an amoral creep who was stealing from startup companies, dead, she doesn't shed tears.  But she is determined to solve the crime, even as she begins falling for the detective assigned to the case.  Soon, though, both her life and her love are on the line,.

Can she solve the case-
and save her relationship?

With the help of her short haired pointer Skootch and the stunning backdrop of San Francisco, Nola unravels a helix of clues to find a murderer.  A Pointed Death reinterprets the thriller as never before.  Smart, funny, and full of plot twists and turns, A Pointed Death introduces a feisty female heroine solving crimes in the world of high finance, bioscience, and technology."

Hot Leaders Cool Facilitators: Learning to Lead One Meeting at a Time
Author:  Bart R. Wendell, PH.D.
Copyright 2010
Publisher:  Networlding Publishing
162 pages including Table of Contents and End Note
Source:  Supplied by the author for review purposes.  No remuneration was paid.

(from the back cover) ``Discover what great leaders know about meetings from a trusted advisor to CEOS and Boards.  Meetings are leadership laboratories, intense microcosms in which the leader`s style and substance are uniquely on public display.  Once someone has convened a meeting, his leadership will never be the same again.  This book is about how leaders can consciously use meetings to develop their executive skills from good to great.  Bart Wendell, Ph.D. is a business consultant and psychologist.  A master facilitator and trusted adviser, his clients have included The International Monetary Fund, PBS, NPR, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Fidelity Investments, The Ford Foundation, The United States Air Force Academy, and Rock Tenn, and he is a past seminar instructor at The Harvard Business School Executive Leadership Program.

Utopia Texas
Author:  Betty Byrd
Copyright 2008
Publisher:  Outskirts Press, Inc.
299 pages
Source:  Supplied by the author for review purposes.  No remuneration paid.

(from the back cover) "Are wealth and status worth the price-when that price is your own daughter?  Author Betty Byrd has seen it all-including drilling her very own oil well!  She now brings her unique vision and experience to Utopia Texas, a riveting tale of Brya Harrison, a woman created by chance and circumstance.  Part gambler, part geologist, Brya knows that in the West Texas oil country upbringing my not matter, but status is everything.  She has worked hard to secure her position, but she finds her plans unravel when she discovers that her daughter, Olivia, is somehow "different", and is forced to face the unfathomable-one startling revelation at a time.  Drawn into a maelstrom of events fueled by her daughter's indiscretions, Brya sets out to cover each one up-whatever the cost.  But will she be able to combat the demons plagueing her daughter as skillfully as she is able to face down her competition in the cutthroat world of big oil?

In this stunning followup to the author's debut novel, Trinitiy's Daughter, Betty Byrd has woven a brilliant tale of wealth, greed, love, and the pursuit of power-and how one particular woman holds her own in the male-dominated oil business."

Tell to Win:  Connect, Persuade, and Triumph With the Hidden Power of Story
Author:  Peter Guber
Copyright 2011
Publisher:  Random House
247 pages
Source:  Supplied by the YouCast for review purposes.  No remuneration paid.

(from the back cover) "If you can't tell it, you can't sell it.  More and more, success is won by creating compelling stories that have the power to move partners, shareholders, customers, and employees to action.

In Tell to Win, executive and entrepreneur Peter Guber shows how to move beyond soulless PowerPoint slides, facts, and figures to create purposeful stories that can motivate, win over, shape, engage, and sell.  To validate the power of telling purposeful stories, he includes a remarkably diverse number of 'voices'-master tellers with whom he has shared experiences.  They include YouTube founder Chad Hurley, NBA champion Pat Riley, film director Steven Spielberg, and physician and author Deepak Chopra.

After listening to the book's extraordinary mix of tellers, you'll know how to craft, deliver, and own a story that is truly compelling-one capable of turning others into viral advocates for your goal."

And that's what was in my mailbox this past week!!!  Some really excellent reading that I am excited to read and share with you!  Now, to just fit it all in.......

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Book Blogger Hop!!! Yay!

Book Blogger Hop

Join me in the book blogger hop and pop around the WWW.  You'll discover some amazing book blogs out there.  So say hi and leave a link to your blog so I can return the favour.  If you like what you see, please follow.  I offer the option to follow by email, Stumble Upon, GFC, and networked blogs (facebook).  This blog hop is sponsored by Jennifer at Crazy for Books.

This week's question:
"What book(s) would you like to see turned into a movie?"

Since The Help is already in film production, another book that I reviewed recently, Deed So, would make an excellent movie!!  Set in the same time period as The Help, Deed So takes place in Maryland, USA.  Amid the turbulence of the '60's, war in Vietnam, segregation, and feminism, young Haddie struggles to find her way through it all.  She can't wait to grow up and leave this little town.  She has bigger things in her future.  When she witnesses a murder her life turns upside down and the town is in uproar!  There's picketing, arson, fear and increased racial tension as the case goes to court and Haddie is called as a witness.  I think it has the makings of a blockbuster!  Read my book review and see if you agree.  Deed So can be purchased on Amazon.  (I am in no way compensated to provide a positive review.  This book is one of my favourites this year!)

Do swing by to visit our host too!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fun Follow Friday 2/18/11

Welcome to Fun Follow Friday hosted by Simply Stacie and My Wee View. The goal of this hop is to get new Google Friend Connect Followers for your blog and be introduced to new blogs to follow!

I hope you will like My Bookshelf and decide to follow.  I read and review books of many genres and host some book tours too.  Make yourself at home, browse around and be friendly.  You may want to check out my most recent review of The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  Did you know The Help continues to be on the top 50 list since its publication in 2009?  That is staying power!!

Please leave a comment with a link to your blog so I can stop by for a visit.   The main goal is to have fun and follow the blogs that interest you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Book Review: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help

Author:  Kathryn Stockett
Publisher:  G.P. Putnam's Sons, published by the Penguin Group (Amy Einhorn Books)
Copyright:  2009 by Kathryn Stockett
Pages:  444
Acknowledgments and "Too Little, Too Late" included at the novel's end

(from the cover) "Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss.  She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger.  Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child.  Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi.  She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job.  Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation.  But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk.  And why?  Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times.  And sometimes lines are made to be crossed."

My Thoughts:  My interest in this novel was tweaked by a niece who read it for book club in the States and by recommendations from others who'd enjoyed it.  The fact that this book placed #1 on the highly acclaimed New York Times Bestseller list increased my desire to read this much talked about novel.

I looked up the book on the penguin.ca site and found this book is recommended for adults ages 18 and up.  There's a rumour about this book being adapted to film and USA Today's Book Buzz confirms it saying it will likely hit theatres fall 2011.  Paperback editions have been scheduled and  rescheduled due to the overwhelming sales of the hard cover edition of The Help.  Published February 2009, it has remained in the top 50 for book sales ever since.  That is saying a lot for a debut novel!  According to Audrey's books in Edmonton, Alberta, the paperback edition should be available in February 2011.  But that may have changed yet again as I've heard rumour that it may be April 2011.  Such success intrigues more readers to see what all the publicity is about!

The Help entices you, introducing you to some genuine dynamic characters. Through the turbulent 1960's, spanning a period of two years,  one becomes acquainted with segregation, the lines drawn within the community, the abuses that a blind eye is turned to.  Not all "the help" fare badly, though, and The Help makes known the loving relationships that developed between "the help" and the families they cared for and served. 

This is the story of three women, Eugenia (known as Skeeter throughout the novel), an Ole Miss graduate and writer; Aibileen, maid and caregiver in the Leefolt household; and Minny, maid to the Foote household.  Their lives become dangerously entwined when they embark together on an endeavour that will shed light upon good and bad, employer and employee, and make the world take notice.

Kathryn Stockett gives voice to those who were seldom heard.  She has been criticized for assuming to write from the perspective of those known as "the help".  I think criticisms have been too harsh in that respect.  The author grew up in Jackson Mississippi, her family had a maid, Demetrie, whom her family loved.  She is intimately aware of the racial tensions of the time and sought to share this which is a topic close to her heart.  She may have taken literary license in doing so, but her goal was achieved.  More of us are aware.  Hopefully none who read this novel will come away unchanged.  "Wasn't that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought." (quote from The Help).  I know these characters will be with me for a while and the  lessons learned from this book will last forever.

The only criticism I have is the use of profanity (the use of the Lord's name in vain is common throughout the book) and the scene with the intruder on Celia's property. I don't want to give anything away, but the sensitive reader must be aware. The Help is a proverbial eye-opener complete with true to life antagonists and protagonists.  It took me a while to really get into this novel due to other commitments upon my time, but once I did I could hardly put it down.

Rated 4/5 (I would rate it a full 5 were it not for the language and rather graphic scene with the stranger in the garden which detracted from the overall satisfaction I had in reading this novel.)

Some of my favourite quotes from The Help:

"Everyone knows how we white people feel, the glorified Mammy figure who dedicates her whole life to a white family. Margaret Mitchell covered that. But no one ever asked Mammy how she felt about it."

"All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe."

"It seems like at some point you'd run out of awful."

"There is no trickier subject for a writer from the South than that of affection between a black person and a white one in the unequal world of segregation. For the dishonesty upon which a society is founded makes every emotion suspect, makes it impossible to know whether what flowed between two people was honest feeling or pity or pragmatism." (Howell Raines's Pulitzer Prize winning article "Grady's Gift")-Kathryn Stockett admired this quote and used it in her summary Too Little, Too Late.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whatcha Reading Wednesday 2/16/11


1. Grab your current read, go to the page you are on and post the next full sentence you are about to read.

2. Link back to Busy Moms Who Love To Read

Here's mine: 

"As I inhale her familiar smell of dogs and tearose perfume, it's ridiculous, but I feel tears rising."

Page 23. Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella

Book Review: Deed So by Katharine A. Russell

Deed So
Author:  Katharine A. Russell
Copyright 2010
RWWRA Publishing
428 pages (not incl. acknowledgments)

(from the back cover)" A young girl struggles to understand a tightening web of racial and generational tensions during the turbulent 1960's in the astonishing new novel, Deed So, by Katharine A. Russell.  All twelve-year-old Haddie Bashford wants is to leave the closed-minded world of Wicomico Corners behind, int he hopes that a brighter future awaits elsewhere.  But when she witnesses the brutal killing of a black teen, Haddie finds her family embroiled in turmoil fraught with racial tensions.  Tempers flare as the case goes to trial, but things are about to get even hotter when an arsonist suddenly begins to terrorize the town.  Can Haddie help save her town, and herself?

Gorgeously written and filled with warm, luminous characters, Deed So is both a snapshot of a tunultuous time and a moving coming-of-age story of a remarkable young girl."

This is a fascinating page-turner that takes one back in time to a small fictional town in Maryland, USA during the turbulent 1960s.  Slavery is abolished but schools are still segregated.  Many still hold to the racial bigotry of generations previous.  It's the story of 12-year old Haddie and her perspective on life in small town USA.  Haddie feels smothered, everyone knows eachother's business and she can't wait to grow up and move away.  When she witnesses the murder of a black youth, Haddie's life and the whole town becomes engulfed in the turmoil of the times. 

Deed So is not written as if a 12-year old wrote it, but is presented in the language of an adult with memories of that age.  Deed So is a moving, and, at times, on the edge of your seat, fictional work that spans several genres including drama, action/adventure, suspense, YA and adult.  All the characters are so extremely vivid in their description and behaviours that the reader comes to know them.  This is one of those lovely novels that involves the audience so that for it to end is a disappointment.  I wanted to continue to follow Haddie's life.  Her story could continue on and be more, perhaps a series of novels.  She is that strong of a character.  I don't know of many novels that span the years from childhood through adulthood in a serial format but perhaps this one could and should.

Rated 5/5

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays 2/15

MizB of Should Be Reading hosts Teaser Tuesdays. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here's my teaser for this week.  (yes, I am still reading The Help!!)

"Missus Walters turns and hobbles toward the door, the colored nurse in tow.  'Well, call the papers, Bessie' she says. 'My daughter's mad at me again.'"  (page 332, The Help by Kathryn Stockett)

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.  I love this meme!!

This past week I started and finished three books, two of which were in PDF format.

A Bucket Full of Love by H.C. Wingert.  This wonderful little book is a positive reinforcement for children of divorced parents, bringing an understanding of love and acceptance through the kind words of a loving grandmother.  See my review by clicking on the title. (PDF)

Dragonfly by Ed Piolalla.  This is a book of poetry written by an award winning journalist, love poems that is.  It begins with a short story, followed by poems of love, some rather intimate.  Also includes a few poems by a couple other authors.  See my review by clicking on the title.  (PDF)

The other book I began and finished this past week was a dynamic book called Deed So by Katharine A. Russell.  The review will be posted perhaps later today if I get a chance.  Based in the turbulent 1960's, this story takes place in a ficitonal town in the state of Maryland.  When a young girl witnesses the murder of a young black man, her life and her family find themselves caught up in the turmoil as the town sees the case go to trial.  An exciting read!!

This week I continue full force in completing The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I also plan to make a small dent in my TBR pile.

What are you reading this week?  Did you post reviews for books finished last week?  Take a moment, won't you, and leave a comment with a link to your It's Monday...post!  Stop by Sheila's Book JourneyThanks for stopping by and have a great week!!

Book Review - A Bucket Full of Love (children)

A Bucket Full of Love
A Book for children of divorced single dads who are missing their absent mom.
Author:  H.C. Wingert
Copyright © 2008 H. C. Wingert
Outskirts Press, Inc.
http://www.outskirtspress.com/ or http://www.abucketfulloflove.com/
ISBN: 978-1-4327-2604-1
24 pages
Source:  PDF edition from the author

(from the press release) "A Bucket Full of Love is a book for ages four and older that provides compassionate answers. It follows the emotions of a little girl who feels sad and lonely. She lives with her dad and she hasn't seen her mom for a long time. She misses her so much that she tries to come up with reasons for her absence and how she might solve the problem. Finally she gets to share her pain with Grandma. Will Grandma's advice enable her to cope with her sadness and confusion? The book will teach Kids the reality and value of the love that surrounds them--from dad, grandma, grandpa, as well as siblings."

A Bucket Full of Love is a beautifully written answer for children living with their fathers following divorce and for their families.  This children's book lovingly assures the child(ren) that their mother still loves them despite her absence in the family, using the analogy of a bucket.
I was very touched reading this children's book.  Though written for a somewhat limited audience, it would be suitable in a school library, a public library, and in a counsellor's, psychologist's or psychiatrist's office as an aid in assisting children through the emotional upheavals of divorce.  It could also be adapted for use within a family where one parent is deceased.
There is another version written for children of divorced parents missing their absent fathers. (see interview with the author).

Rated:  4.5/5

Copies of A Bucket Full of Love are available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Outskirts Press.

About the Author:

H. C. Wingert has authored her own newsletter for many years and has been published in several newspapers. She enjoyed a multi-faceted career as mother, in the administration field, in management and most recently as independent professional.

H. C. Wingert was born in the Czech Republic, grew up in Germany and has a degree as an Industrial Business Merchant, earned in Germany. She also obtained a Management Degree at Montclair State College in New Jersey and she resides with her husband in Southern California. For more information, visit the author's webpage www.outskirtspress.com/H.C.Wingert .

Interview With the Author:

What is the title of your book?
A Bucket Full of Love (about kids w. dads), also A Bucket Full of Love (for Mommy’s little girl) (about kids living w. mom) This one is published through Xlibris – available also through  Amazon.com

What is your book about?
A Bucket Full of Love is a book for ages four and older that provides compassionate answers. It follows the emotions of a little girl who feels sad and lonely. She lives with her dad and she hasn't seen her mom for a long time. She misses her so much that she tries to come up with reasons for her absence and how she might solve the problem. Finally she gets to share her pain with Grandma. Will Grandma's advice enable her to cope with her sadness and confusion? The book will teach kids the reality and the value of the love that surrounds them--from dad, grandma, grandpa, as well as siblings.

Why did you decide to write it?
Almost 1 in 2 marriages end up in divorce and 65% of those involve children. There isn’t a child alive that hasn’t been touched by divorce. I am the child of divorce and helped my granddaughters successfully deal with the divorce of their parents. They treasure and quote the bucket whenever they get disappointed or sad.

How did you get your book published?
I never tried to find a regular publisher, I never was very patient. I had heard it takes forever and I wanted to get the book out to the children that need it – so I heard about self-publishing and pursued this venue with Outskirts Press.

What types of readers will be interested in your book?
Even though it deals with divorce, many lessons can be learned from this book by all kinds of children, such as empathy, tolerance, understanding, and most of all the confidence that all children possess “a bucket full of love”.

What is special about your book? What differentiates it from other books in the same category?
There are many good books about divorce out there, some are lighter and some are more serious. This book lets children know that the parent understands their concerns, worries, feelings of guilt and tolerates their longing for the other parent, therefore, it lets parents and children form a much closer bond.

Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?
A Bucket Full of Love (about children living with their dad) (published through Outskirts) was followed by A Bucket Full of Love (for Mommy’s little Girl) about children living with their mom (published through Xlibris).

My next book is called “You’re always Part of my Heart” about a little boy who just got a new baby sister, and he is confused and sad because the whole household, including him, had to change somewhat to accommodate the new baby. He then takes heart and queries the whole family about their love for him, and he discovers that no new love can replace another because no two loves are alike. He learns a lesson that will reassure him and help him for the rest of his life.

Love is in the Air: Book Review: Dragonfly (book of romantic poetry)

Author: Ed Pilolla
ISBN: 978-1456471406
Publisher: CreateSpace
Date of publish: Dec 31, 2010
Pages: 80

Press Release: Torrance, CA - Jan 25, 2011 - Author Ed Pilolla has released his latest book of romantic poetry entitled Dragonfly, just in time for Valentine's Day.

Dragonfly is a collection of love poetry, told in various voices. A short story sets up fifty eight love letters. Author Pilolla states, "I wrote the book as sort of a challenge to myself. I was 38 and single, without any prospects, once again. What the heck did I know about love? Nothing. So I wrote, using muses past and present to inspire me. I ended up discovering some beautiful places within me."

Sample poetry included in Dragonfly:


Be careful.
You do something to me.
You breathe life into me like a skilled glassblower.
I take shape from the way you hold me, turn me, wiggle me and puff-puff
into me.
Cooled, I am your precious trophy. But display is not my nature. I can
hold heat, and spill fire onto the world. I can catch the sun and throw
diamonds of light through your eyes....

I received this as a PDF for review from the author.  It is an intimate collection of prose by Ed Pilolla, including a couple poems by other authors.  Discover is one of my favourites in the book Dragonfly.  I read this book of poetry in one sitting and felt, almost, as if I were an intruder lurking in the shadows, a witness to a love affair.  Ed is good with words, his poems flow easily, provoking visual contemplations of the relationship between man and woman.  This book of love poems is, at times, quite intimate.  If you like that, you will truly enjoy this collection.

Rated 3/5

About the author:

Ed Pilolla was an award-winning daily newspaper reporter for several years. When the newspaper industry tanked, he did some full-time volunteering, traveling and began writing books. Now he works mostly as a freelance photographer for AOL's Patch.com.http://www.edpilolla.com/.  Copies of Dragonfly may be ordered through Ed's website.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Welcome to Stalk Hop Friday and Blog Hop

Stalk Hop Friday

Welcome to "Stalk Hop Friday"! It's hosted at: Mrs. Marine and the Tiny Troops, Novel Bloggers, Two Peas in a Pie, and Aspergian Tales! This one is a little different from the usual, instead of just following on Google Friend Connect (GFC), each week the "Follow Theme" will rotate to something different! There will be two linky's each week, one for the Theme and one for GFC!

So everyone has a chance to participate!

**The RULES**

**If you're a new follower be sure to leave a comment and I will follow you back (it may take me a day or two)

**Hop around the Links ("Stalk" each other) Follow others, Follow Back, have fun!

GFC Linky: Follow the Host Blogs

Mrs. Marine and the Tiny Troops

Novel Bloggers

Two Peas in a Pie

Aspergian Tales

Link directly to your Blog post about "Stalk Hop Friday" or Friday Follow below!

**Please grab the Badge to put in your post, help spread the word and make this hop big!!
Check out this post Sudden Moves.

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky list below!!

The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don't have time to Hop today, come back later and join the fun! This is a weekly event! And stop back throughout the weekend to see all the new blogs that are added! We get over 200 links every week!!

"Tell us about one of your posts from this week and give us a link so we can read it (review or otherwise)!"

Yesterday I reviewed an amazing Young Adult novel, Sudden Moves, by Kelli Sue Landon. See my review here.  My author interview is posted here.

Sudden Moves - About the Author Kelli Sue Landon

Kelli Sue Landon is an up and coming author with her debut novel, Sudden Moves, now available for purchase. See my review here

Meet the author:
"I am a mystery/suspense fan of books and movies. I love anything that can keep me on the edge of my seat and look forward to a book or movie that I can't tear myself away from. I hope to achieve that in my writing." - from  Kelli's blog.

Kelli Sue Landon was born in Peoria, Illinois. Her published short stories include The Diary, Pizza Night, and Campfire Dreams. She is employed by the United States Postal Service in Peoria. Sudden Moves is her first novel.  FIRST BOOK SIGNING - Saturday MARCH 5, 2011 - I KNOW YOU LIKE A BOOK, 4707 Prospect in Peoria. 2:00. Books will be on sale there.

Kelli is giving away four copies of Sudden Moves A Young Adult Mystery on http://www.goodreads.com/.  Contest ends February 21, 2011.

Author Q&A:

What is your book about?
Sixteen year old Michelle Martin grows suspicious when classmate, Katie Brashers, doesn't return after a spring break trip to Florida.  Michelle is worred because she let Katie borrow a family heirloom that needed to be returned to her.  She talks it over with her best friend, Tami, and Katie's boyfriend, Brad, who is crushed over her sudden departure.  Together, they snoop around the neighborhood and learn more and more about what happened to Katie and her family.

Why did you decide to write it? 
I had the idea in my head since I was in high school.  I started it as a story, but it evolved into a full length novel.

How did you choose this topic?
I have always been a fan of mystery ever since my mother gave me a book by Mary Higgins Clark when I was a teen. I wrote short stories ever since I was a teenager, mostly mystery or the horror genre. Mysteries keep me on the edge of my seat and when I write about young adults, there’s more conflict - they have more obstacles (not the use of a car, sneaking around behind parents’ backs, cutting class, etc) which makes it more exciting to me.

Did it begin as a school assignment?
No, this idea came from one of my classmates who left on a trip to Florida, never to return. We were told she had moved there. We never found out why. This is what sparked the mystery and I wrote Sudden Moves 25 years later.

Have you always loved writing?
Yes, when my parents moved out in the country, with no neighbors, there was nothing to do. I would sit in my room, get out a notebook, and make up stories. It was all for fun - the stories are really bad when I read them back today. As an adult, I have taken many writing classes through the mail and online.

Which character is most like you?
Tami - the best friend. I always had her wild side, but had the strict parents like Michelle had.

How did you publish your book?
I self-published through Outskirts Press.

What is your target audience?
Teens or women who will be taken back to their high school years.

What is special about your book?  What differentiates it from other books in the same category?
This book is about regular teenagers, not the supernatural or vampires, which seems to be the norm right now.  They react as normal teens would react in their situation.  It's a YA mystery, but evolves into a more adult finale.  These kids learn a lot on their quest to find Katie.

Who is your favourite author and did they influence your writing style or genre?
My favorite authors are Mary Higgins Clark, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Sandra Brown, and Janet Evanovich - Evanovich being the most influence with her writing style. I love suspense with some comedy thrown in! One of my best influences as far as mystery (twists and turns) is screenwriter M. Night Shyamalan. I love making someone’s mouth drop at the end of my stories.

What are your plans now?
I am getting close to starting my third novel, set in the summer after graduation - the graduation gift is a trip to a beach house. I don’t have the story in my mind yet, but there will be news of bizarre murders taking place.

I also just published a short story compilation (50 pages) of eight short stories. I did this on createspace.com. I may try this for my 3rd novel if this goes okay.

How close to publication is your second novel?
My second novel, Nightmare at Camp Forrestwood: A Young Adult Whodunit, is due out around April/May. Publication started in the middle of January.

Will Sudden Moves eventually be available in bookstores?
I am just now starting on book signings. I have one next month at a small local book store and I have tried for one at Borders. No answer as of yet. I am unknown, so it will be hard to get Sudden Moves in stores - Barnes & Noble and Borders can order it for anyone who requests it.
Oh, I also have a radio interview coming up on www.theauthorsshow.com - not sure when it is going to be on the site, but I record it by phone next Sunday

Sudden Moves is available as a hardback, paperback and ebook format (Kindle/Nook, etc.).  See Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Outskirts Press for purchases.



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