Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let’s share
some songs we’ve been enjoying lately! If you would like to play, and I
really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.
Every Monday share a few songs you’ve been enjoying lately. It
doesn’t have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites –
just something you’d like to share with others. If possible, share a
music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s),
artist(s), and/or music video(s).
If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post’s url HERE
Do you ever feel like you don’t fit in? Diversity makes the world an interesting place.
Hope the new year has started out with a bang for you too. We could see the fireworks show happening at the parks from our hotel, the Rosen Inn in Orlando, Florida.
We started out December with a couple quickie road trips and a family visit to Birmingham, Alabama. BUT the highlight was Orlando and the Citrus Bowl. It’s not very often Michigan plays Alabama and it has been since 1997, the Outback Bowl in Tampa, that we have battled. Alabama edged us out, 17 -14. We never made it to the Orange Bowl in 2000, where Michigan beat Alabama, 35 – 34, in an overtime showdown or their first meeting was in 1987, where we won 28 – 24. So, 2 out of 4 games ain’t bad. 🙂
BUT…before the game, we had some things to do.
THEN, it’s off to see some birds and gators…at Gatorland.
Mr Wonderful hunted down the pic from the Outback Bowl in Tampa in 1997. Nice comparisons. We haven’t aged a bit, have we? LOL
We stayed at the Rosen Inn and were in walking distance to the pep rally’s and all kinds of eateries and entertainment. Jim Harbaugh was supposed to show….but we all know how that goes. 🙁
Mr Wonderful is a babe magnet. LOL
We did a little tailgating before the game. A guy was going through the parking lot selling these baby yoda T shirts and I had to have one.
It has become hard to carry my SLR cameras around, so we shot with our phones. Not too shabby. We left for home right after the game. We had a great time and I’LL BE BACK WITH MORE ADVENTURES, SO STAY TUNED. Until then, happy journeys to you.
Across The Floors of Silent Seas by C S Jonson is another story I read while traveling. It looks like I was on a water reading binge. LOL How could I resist the cover and I have read some of her other work and loved it, so I felt this would be a good one too….and it was.
It’s hard to give a short story prequel four thumbs up, but C S Johnson has hooked me with this wonderful look into Paga, Jay’s world, and I want to see where they go next…and the crew?, oh yeah, I wantta know more.
Do mermaids believe in humans?
While working on a deep-sea diving assignment at the University
of California, oceanography student Jay Bishop is dragged into a
volcanic tube towards the earth’s core and certain death.
much to his surprise, Jay not only survives the fall, he finds himself
taken prisoner by a community of mermaids and kept alive as a science
experiment. Confused and disoriented, Jay’s only hope to escape back to
the surface is found in Paga, an elder of the community who believes
Jay’s unexpected arrival marks the fulfillment of a terrifying prophecy.
the community rising against them, Jay and Paga face dangerous choices
— and their consequences — if Jay is ever to see home again. Will Jay
make it back to the world on the surface? And even if he does, how can
his life be the same ever again?
I love that we start out with a rude awakening by two tiny ears and a little black nose, demanding attention.
Fred is Watson’s mom and she takes very good care of him, spoiling him with treats.
When Winifred Page moved to Estes Park, she knew it was the right thing. Throw in a hunky sheriff who has the hots for her and the occasional murder amongst friends, what more could she ask for?
I love cozies for their feel good fun and quirky characters, with mysteries that are light on the gruesomeness and just enough danger to keep me on my toes.
I wonder about her relationship with Branson, the sheriff. Will they ever get together? Will she let her guard down and allow him to become a part of her life?
Estes Park is a small town and we all know what that means. Everyone knows everyone else’s business.
Jealousy does rear its ugly head between Branson and Ben. How many bachelors can there be in a small town, and Fred has two of them vying for her affection. Who will she choose when she does decide to commit?
I think we all know what will happen when Branson tells her to keep her nose out of his investigation. After all, women sleuths are meant to sleuth. 🙂
Chaotic Corgis by Mildred Abbot is another fun-filled romp through the mystery with dogs, cats, parrots….and their humans. I look forward to the next one.
I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Chaotic Corgis by Mildred Abbott.
At the height of the summer season, Estes Park explodes with people, wildlife, fireworks, and… murder.
The Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery is buzzing with tourists, and Winifred Page and her quirky corgi, Watson, celebrate the Fourth of July picnicking with family and friends—of the human and four-legged variety. As summer blooms with romance for Fred and Sergeant Branson Wexler, murder lurks around the corner.
With a friend’s life in danger, Fred and Watson doggedly pursue the investigation, even as Fred finds herself once again at odds with the police department. But caring for two chaotic corgis while navigating emotions from the past in the midst of solving a mystery might be too much, and Fred hits a roadblock.
As relationships are tested and secrets exposed, Fred might lose more than one person she loves…
ABOUT MILDRED ABBOTT
Reading the Cozy Corgi series is pretty much all you need to know
about Mildred. In real life, she’s obsessed with everything she writes
about: Corgis, Books, Cozy Mountain Towns, and Baked Goods. She’s not
obsessed with murder, however. At least not at her own hands (nor paid
for… no contract killing here). But since childhood, starting with
Nancy Drew, trying to figure out who-dun-it has played a formative role
in her personality. Having Fred and Watson stroll into her mind was a
touch of kismet.
Everything about White Oaks appeals to me, from the fabulous cover to the wonderful blurb and the southern location. I was hooked from the beginning. Written in a comic style with characters that fit the southern profile, including the family’s three siblings that want to control their father’s fortune.
White Oaks is the Trapnell family’s plantation.
White Oaks starts out with a yellow Lamborghini racing into town and a foxy woman, Aimee, holding a bottle of Southern Comfort getting out. You may draw your own conclusions. lol
We also have Trainor, driving a beat up, rusted truck, feigning poverty because of his divorce from his gold digging third wife
And Marsh, am arms dealer.
Don’t forget Karen, the older sibling by another mother.
Blanton, their father, has no trouble playing them off against each other, sticking the knife in and twisting it. I’m not sure if any of them are worth the paper I am writing my notes on, even the grandchildren, who learn nothing good from their elders.
Blanton is celebrating his 90th birthday, and his wish? “I want to kill a man.”
His children’s bumbling and fumbling to grant his wish lead them on a wild mystery ride of gators, snakes, and treachery, all done with a comically light touch. There is more than meets the eye going on and I loved the twists and turns that Jill Hand came up with.
Humor, mystery, murder and a plot to bring on Ragnarok.
The characters are ones that I love to hate, at times showing some redeeming qualities as they traverse the world on a mission that has so many twists and turn I was constantly surprised.
I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of White Oaks by Jill Hand.
ABOUT THE BOOK
“An ingeniously dark comic thriller about greed, gluttony and murder that is destined for the big screen.” –Best Thrillers
Aimee Trapnell reluctantly leaves her
apartment on Manhattan’s Central Park West to return to her childhood
home in Georgia for her father’s ninetieth birthday. Also on hand are
her two brothers, wily Marsh and ne’er-do-well Trainor. With a
forty-billion-dollar inheritance at stake, they’re willing to do
whatever it takes to make the old man happy.
To their shock they learn that what
their father wants for his birthday is to kill someone. He doesn’t care
who it is. He just wants to know what it’s like to commit murder.
Betrayal, double-dealing, and
fast-paced action set the Trapnells on a collision course with an
unexpected villain. Their journey takes them from the swamps of Georgia,
to Italy’s glittering Amalfi coast, to rugged Yellowstone National
ABOUT JILL HAND
Jill Hand is a member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers. Her Southern Gothic novel, White Oaks is available on Amazon and from the publisher, Black Rose Writing. Advance readers called it a fast-paced, hilarious account of three siblings who are competing for their father’s forty-billion-dollar fortune while trying to prevent the destruction of Planet Earth. Diane Donovan, senior reviewer from Midwest Book Review praised White Oaks, calling it, “an unusually multifaceted tale that holds the ability to prompt laughter from thriller-style tension.” Jill Hand’s novel, Rosina and the Travel Agency, and The Blue Horse, a novella, follow the adventures of a young woman rescued from a railway accident in 1889 by a twenty-fourth-century enterprise in the business of time travel tourism.
Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those
neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread. If you are anything
like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in
Shayna and her two best
friends have the abilities to manipulate and control the four elements,
earth, air, water and fire. While learning to hone their growing powers,
they discover a new and malicious presence in their sleepy beach town.
Someone is performing blood magic and threatens to expose their small
magical community. So far only small animals have been slaughtered, but
then the nightmares start.
Shayna suffers nightmares of being
chased and sacrificed only to wake up bloodied and bruised. She thinks
her magical blood is the ultimate target for the final blood rite. When
an innocent girl, Tracy, is kidnapped Shayna knows it’s only a ploy to
draw her out; she can’t let someone die because of her.
I love books that are located in beach towns and magical communities. There are so many elements I like about the book, her nightmares, waking up bloody and bruised…I want to know what is going on. I picked this up on 7.31.12.
As soon as Kill Sleep Repeat hit my Kindle, I began reading. I cannot let one of her thrillers sit on my virtual bookshelf. I must know who will be put through hell this time.
Stay focused. Remain in character. Don’t get murdered. For Charlotte, they are rules to live by.
Charlotte is a flight attendant and an assassin, which makes it easy to travel to her marks. Her victims pay the ultimate price. She’s married to Michael, with two daughters, but no one knows her secret. She is a sociopath, no conscience, no remorse and revels in wrapping her hands around her marks neck until no sign of life is left, but they are all villains in their own right. Her father was a sheriff, so maybe that’s where she comes by her need for justice.
She killed for the first time when she was in college, but Britney King doesn’t let it be just a murder. This the first twist that caught me offguard and I am loving it.
Do we ever really know someone? Their true thoughts and feelings? What they are doing when we are not with them? How long can someone hide the truth from their spouse, their family, their friends? How long before they all figure out who you really are…a sociopath.
Henry…is a good or bad? Can she trust him?
JC…well, I see him being a big problem and I’m not sure who he really is…until…
The website. I love how she handled that. Adds a little something extra, which is something Britney King manages to do in each and every story. It’s the little details that make a story something special.
Britney King is excellent with book surprises and I was hit with one after another, each larger than the first. I never saw the direction we would go, the danger and intrigue. I want to say more, but I want you to experience this for yourself, so mum’s the word.
As I read Kill Sleep Repeat, I was totally in Charlotte’s corner. She may be a vigilante, taking the law into her own hands, but I want her to succeed and survive. I want her to get her revenge when she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. Kill or be killed.
I bounced between 4 and 5 stars, but because it is an ARC, I will overlook the tiny issues I had because it is just that good!
I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of Kill Sleep Repeat by Britney King.
From the bestselling author of The Social Affair and HER comes an intense and deadly provocative thriller which follows a woman who, in a fight for survival, realizes her job may cost more than it pays.
Several times a week, Charlotte Jones leaves suburbia behind and boards a chartered flight to parts unknown, where she wraps her hands around the necks of marks for just as long as she has to.
Then she goes back to domestic life with a paycheck, defense wounds, and the sense that she can handle anything.
Which is good, because being a wife, mother, and sociopath, with an insatiable taste for murder, gives the term work-life balance new meaning. When one life unexpectedly bleeds into the other, leading to a secret admirer and borderline insta-fame, Charlotte is forced to ask herself if she really can have it all.
Slick and unsettling, Kill, Sleep, Repeat is a cunning tale of deception and desire that begs the question: Do we ever really know people the way we think we do?
ABOUT BRITNEY KING
Britney King lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, children, two dogs, one ridiculous cat, and a partridge in a pear tree.
When she’s not wrangling the things mentioned above, she writes
psychological, domestic and romantic thrillers set in suburbia.
Currently, she’s writing three series and several standalone
The Bedrock Series features an unlikely heroine who should have
known better. Turns out, she didn’t. Thus she finds herself tangled in a messy,
dangerous, forbidden love story and face-to-face with a madman hell-bent on
revenge. The series has been compared to Fatal Attraction, Single White Female,
and Basic Instinct.
The Water Series follows the shady love story of an
unconventional married couple—he’s an assassin—she kills for fun. It has been
compared to a crazier book version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Also, Dexter.
Around The Bend is a heart-pounding standalone, which traces the
journey of a well-to-do suburban housewife, and her life as it unravels, thanks
to the secrets she keeps. If she were the only one with things she wanted to
keep hidden, then maybe it wouldn’t have turned out so bad. But she wasn’t.
The With You Series at its core is a deep love story about
unlikely friends who travel the world; trying to find themselves, together and
apart. Packed with drama and adventure along with a heavy dose of suspense, it
has been compared to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Love, Rosie.
The Social Affair is an intense standalone about a timeless
couple who find themselves with a secret admirer they hadn’t bargained for. For
fans of the anti-heroine and stories told in unorthodox ways, the novel
explores what can happen when privacy is traded for convenience. It is
reminiscent of films such as One Hour Photo and Play Misty For Me.
Without a doubt, connecting with readers is the best part of this
gig. You can find Britney online here:
Today I am excited to be taking part in the Seizing Success: A Woman’s Guide to Transformational Leadership Audio Blitz. Written by Mary Key, Ph.D. and read by Melanie Carey. Seizing Success, offers a complete guidebook to succeeding as a woman in leadership as you strengthen your internal compass. I invite you to check out this inspiring audiobook and be sure and enter the giveaway before grabbing your copy!
The turn of a year usually stimulates us to reflect on the past year and think about what the upcoming year might look like. This year is a big deal since we are moving to a new decade. Where do you see yourself in 2020? For the remaining new decade? For those of you who lead others or aspire to, what kind of a leader do you want to be next year? In 10 years?
In Seizing Success: A Woman’s Guide to Transformational Leadership, Dr. Mary Key serves as your personal executive coach as she identifies the essential core competencies and support you need to excel as a woman in leadership. She offers strategies, tools and action steps that can make all the difference in having a successful, fulfilling career and life. The stories and examples will not only engage you but inspire you to be your personal best.
In this book, you will learn how to:
Positively impact your career and life paths by changing your mindset and employing evidence-based strategies that work.
Succeed as a leader in whatever field you chose and learn how to navigate some of the obstacles unique to women in leadership as you build on your strengths.
Build a peer forum network that supports you in your career and life and also serves as an accountability system to help you manifest your dreams.
At the end of Seizing Success, you will have a complete guidebook to succeeding as a woman in leadership and a strengthened internal compass so that you follow your “true north” and feel fulfilled in your life.
Dr. Mary Key is an international consultant, author, speaker and executive coach. She is President of Key Associates, Inc., an organizational transformation consulting firm committed to helping leaders and organizations grow, particularly women.
Key has worked with Fortune 500 companies, Inc. 500 winners and government entities. Among others, clients have included: Ericsson,
CitiFinancial Retail Services, Nokia, Nissan, Infiniti, Baycare Health
System, ACG, Baptist Health Care, Bausch & Lomb, Wyeth Nutrition, Jack
Morton Worldwide, Mission Healthcare System, Stanford University, Tribridge, Vector Solutions, myMatrixx, Waymo, and many not for profit and government agencies and boards.
She is the founder of the Key Women’s Leadership Forums. The purpose of the women’s forum is to bring together executive women to focus on pressing issues, leveraging their influence and aligning their careers with what is purposeful for them.
Key recently authored Seizing Success: A Woman’s Guide to Transformational Leadership, and has written many blogs other books including CEO Road Rules: Right Focus, Right People, Right Execution and The Entrepreneurial Cat: 13 Ways to Transform Your Work Life. Key received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and her BS from the University of Massachusetts. She was selected to be part of the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF), Leadership Florida, Athena Society and the CEO Council of Tampa Bay. For more information, please visit: KeyAssociatesInc.com or contact us at 813-831-9500.
One winner will receive a signed paperback copy of Seizing Success and a $25.00 Amazon gift card from the author. (INT winner will receive copy from Book Depository and gift card)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Carmen Webster Buxton approached me, asking if I would like to read her Wakanreo series. I have read some of her other work and enjoyed it, so I said yes. She sent me the lovely books and I put them near the top of my reading list. Aliens Vows is Book II in the series.
I accidentally read Alien Vows out of order in the series, but the story is Yulayan Bellaire’s life so I feel the books could stand alone. Each book is one character’s story, but I immediately picked up Book I, Alien Bonds to learn her mother’s story and how Yulayan came to be.
We start out with familiar problems, racism of the alien kind, wanting to keep one race separate from the other. Just goes to show how much everyone has in common. We all want the same things…sorta.
She is mixed race, part Terran (human) and part Wakanrean. She is also divine and I looked forward to seeing what that meant. She is alone, unapproachable, because of her status…until Kamuhi Hailoaka, a Terran (he is half human and half Wakanrean) physicist. He quickly becomes enamored by her. He isn’t counting on shahgunrah, he is going to woo her.
Wakanreans find their mate through a biological process called shahgunrah. It’s like imprinting is for werewolves.
Their courtship and interactions are frank, sweet, and innocent.
It took me a while to get the hang of the alien words, meanings, and names, but I put my own spin on them, making them my own and easier to pronounce.
I quickly became immersed in their world, which Carmen Webster Buxton did an awesome job of creating. I love the unique characters and got lost in their romance. Yulayan is brave, adventuresome and willing to do whatever is necessary to be with the one she loves.
It was funny and sweet, as she tried to figure out her feelings, which were not only new to her, but…well, I don’t want to spoil anything, so you will need to find out for yourself.
As I read along, the world opened up to me and the characters came to life. Alien Vows was so much more than I expected and I can hardly wait to read Book III, Aliens Skies, which I will begin shortly, after going back to read Book I, Alien Bonds. I am sooooo loving this series. They are out of this world.
I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Alien Vows by Carmen Webster Buxtonn.
Yulayan Bellaire has
grown up knowing she’s different. Her mother is human but her father is
Wakanrean. No matter how Wakanrean she looks, no matter how much she
tries to blend into Wakanrean society, her human half is still there.
Still, Yulayan expects to mate as all Wakanreans mate, totally by
chance, as soon as she comes near a man with compatible pheromones. And
then one day she meets Kamuhi Hailoaka, a physicist from Terra who finds
her unique genetic combination appealing, and she discovers that her
human half is more in control than she had thought possible.
ABOUT CARMEN WEBSTER BUXTON
Carmen Webster Buxton spent her youth reading every book published by Ursula LeGuin, Robert Heinlein and Georgette Heyer. This combination of far-future worlds, alien cultures, and old-fashioned courting customs influenced her writing, especially in her ThreeCon series.
Carmen was born in Hawaii and experienced a
childhood on the move, as her father was in the US Navy. Having raised
two wonderful children, she now lives in Maryland with her husband
Charlie, and a beagle named Cosmo. She writes science fiction and
romance, mostly set in the far future, and the occasional fantasy.
has published several books, including THE SIXTH DISCIPLINE and its
sequel NO SAFE HAVEN. TRIBES, SHADES OF EMPIRE, and THE NOSTALGIA GAMBIT
are in her ThreeCon series; these books are set in a shared universe
but do not share any characters. WHERE MAGIC RULES (a novella) is her
only published fantasy. KING OF TREES crosses genres, as it is a time
travel/alternate history/science fiction novel with fantasy overtones.
SARONNA’S GIFT is her first book to be available as a paperback as well
as an ebook, and the first overt romance. TURNABOUT is young adult
dystopian science fiction that starts in the real world. ALIEN BONDS is
another science fiction romance, the first book in a planned trilogy.
The second book is ALIEN VOWS. The third book ALIEN SKIES will come out
Carmen often blogs about ereaders, digital publishing,
writing, and speculative fiction. Visit her blog to see what’s coming
out next! To send her feedback on her books, send email to
carmen.webster.buxton (at) gmail.com.
OUCH! It starts out with a bug bite. And, it’s all downhill from there.
Casey is the environmentalist type, so it is no surprise finding her working for the Green Swamp Zip Line Adventure and Camp. It allows her to keep a close eye on the Swamp.
Doctor Phillip Edwards was trying to control the mosquito population by sterilizing them, then releasing them to compete for the females, hopefully limiting reproduction.
Cody is a cop, her brother, AND a major dick!
A hurricane. A chemical plant. Flooding in the Swamp. Mosquitoes. Horseflies. All of monstrous proportions. All viscous and hungry. What could possibly go wrong? LOL
Is that buzzing I hear? Did something just poke me? Is that a creepy crawlie making itself known? Shivers run up and down my spine as I read.
A swamp is already a dangerous, creepy place and Green Swamp only becomes more so as the days pass. And, we do have a surprise or two in store for you, so don’t be complacent. There is more than meets the eye going on.
Want to go on an adventure? Come on in. I dare ya.
I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Infested by Carol Gore.
Swarms of powerful mosquitoes sucking victims dry. Insatiable horseflies feasting on living flesh. Huge roaches with a ferocious bite. No tent is safe at the Green Swamp Zip-Line Adventure and Campground.
Camp manager, Casey Lovitt, and entomologist, Dr. Phillip Edwards, must go up against powerful business interests and cover-ups from the local sheriff’s department to stop the deadly infestation. And with the busy tourist season fast approaching, time is running out. Will Casey and Phillip stop the onslaught of hungry bugs, or will the bodies continue to pile up among the long-buried secrets of the Green Swamp?
ABOUT CAROL GORE
Carol Gore examines the absurdity of life on earth by writing horror and humor, sometimes at the same time. Aside from writing, she’s a yoga enthusiast, a painting hobbyist, and a lifelong voracious reader. She lives in the rural south with her husband and two sons.
Follow her on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/CarolGo40107621