#BookRelease, #TheCrossing, and Vacation Pics (not mine)

I can almost see the light of day from underneath the pile of everything I’m behind on – but it’s still just a faint glimmer.  With The Gemini Connection being released in a couple of weeks, I need to get that Facebook release party organized, put together some giveaways, and come up with teaser posts.  If anyone figures out to add more hours to the day, I’ll gladly pay you for that information.

So, a few weeks ago, I mentioned I’d started watching The Crossing on ABC – and I just found out it’s been canceled.  That seems to happen with a lot of the shows I watch, which is probably why there aren’t many network shows on my list.  Quite possibly, I’m a curse to any shows I deem watchable (except The Walking Dead!).  I was about four episodes in, so there’s no use in finishing the others.  But I also found out Fox is developing a series based on the postapocalyptic vampire novel The Passage by Justin Cronin for next fall – keep your fingers crossed on that one.

With one son on a cruise to Spain, Italy, and France, and the other in British Columbia, I’ve been receiving some gorgeous pics from them I had to share.  The top three are from Barcelona.  The youngest son had a couple of days there before boarding the ship.  He’s a total foodie and is raving about how amazing the food is.  He’s also thrilled to be old enough to get into the casino on board – Texas Hold’em and Blackjack.  The kid’s actually a pretty good card player.

The bottom two pics are from British Columbia.  The oldest son and his girlfriend went whitewater rafting with class IV rapids – the last pic is one of them.  I’d have loved to be on the raft!

Have a great week!




Love and Squalor by Jessica A. Scott #bookreview #contemporaryfiction #romance

Luthertown Heights isn’t anyone’s idea of paradise. Gangs run the streets, fighting and killing to claim territory, and the other residents struggle just to get by.

While most of the population hides behind ragged curtains and chipped concrete walls, one woman dares to venture out into the streets. As the leader of an after school care program at the local YMCA, she strives to teach the children of this embattled city that there is more to life than violence and hate.

The only thing she wants in return is someone, anyone, to call her by her real name.

Known only as “White Girl” to her neighbors, she wishes so much to be embraced by the community that she loves. Instead, though, she finds herself thrust into the middle of a war between two of the city’s most lethal gangs.

Armed only with her indefatigable optimism and the unexpected protection of a mysterious gang member known only as Slipknot, she must fight to ensure a better future for her city – and herself.

The closer she grows to a solution (and to Slipknot), the more she has to lose as the city becomes a war zone. Can she find a way to convince her community that Luthertown Heights is worth saving? Or is it useless to think that she could find love amongst the squalor? – Goodreads.com

The premise of this book is very timely and contains such an important message, with stories of violence and unrest in neighborhoods a major news topic far too often.

Annabelle’s love of her job, the neighborhood, and the children in her care is very apparent – it’s so admirable she wants to make a difference in their lives and provide a safe space for them to just be kids.  She’s determined to prove she’s not the privileged ‘White Girl’ they believe her to be, and wants to be a permanent member of the community – even after she finds herself in some terrifying and heartbreaking situations.

When Slipknot makes his appearance, it’s obvious he’s more than a stereotypical ‘gangbanger’.  He’s a closed book to Annabelle for quite a while, but when his tragic story is told, you just want to cuddle him like a puppy.  Maybe the romance between him and Annabelle is somewhat sudden, but that doesn’t make it any less adorable and intense.

Although tenacious Annabelle comes up with a commendable and highly inventive plan to bring peace to Luthertown Heights, she faces numerous challenges and obstacles.  The reader may have to suspend their disbelief a bit, while simultaneously wishing it was possible for more communities to take control back from gangs.

Love and Squalor contains some harsh situations and language (which is fitting for the situations), but also delivers a message of hope, love, and choices.

I received a digital copy of this book from the author.





Sleep With The Light On. Sarah by Teri Polen #bookreview #youngadult #horror #BlackRoseWriting

I had the pleasure of meeting Sheryl Hagan-Booth at the SOKY Book Fair last month when she stopped by my table and purchased Sarah. Yesterday, she posted a fabulous and entertaining review on her blog. Love, love, love the picture of the doll and book together!

sarah    Pull the cover over your body, don’t hang any body parts over the edge of the bed and keep your eyes shut tight. If you do that, everything will be okay. I like the way the main character, Cain, in Sarah thinks because I still hold these rules to be unbreakable even in my adult years. Honestly, who knows who or what hides in our houses during the day and night? Do we truly know the histories and stories that have gone down in our personal places of residence? Cain Shannon was finding out and not in the way he wanted to.

    After his mom, sister and he moved into their new home, strange things start to occur in Cain’s upstairs bedroom. The attic access door, located in his room, kept coming open by happenstance. No wonder his realtor mom was able to get such a…

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L1FELIK3 by Jay Kristoff #bookreview #YA #scifi #TuesdayBookBlog

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried. – Goodreads.com

My head is still spinning from all the revelations and twists in the last part of this book – like being put in a blender and turned on puree.

Think a big dose of Mad Max setting, a splash of Pacific Rim robots, and an overwhelming hint of Russia’s royal Romanov family, and you’ll have the feel of this book.  From the first page, the world is dark, gritty, dangerous, and heartbreaking, and the pace is seriously mind-blowing.  Eve may be the protagonist of this story, but Lemon Fresh steals nearly every scene and deserves a spin-off of her own, in my opinion.  The supporting cast is one of the strongest I’ve read.

The romance is sweet and powerful, but not a heavy presence, and for that I’m grateful.  But, and this is just a personal peeve, if I had to read ‘little logika’ one more time, I probably would have smacked the closest person.

If you’re a YA sci-fi fan, I can’t stress enough how much you need this book.  One of the best I’ve read in this genre.  This book is scheduled for release May 29, 2018.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC.




#MothersDay, #ZipLining, and #AmWriting

Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!  My weekend was fantastic – got both sons together with a photographer for probably the last professional photos they’ll have made together, them moved the younger one out of the dorm and back home.  I’m not the kind of mom or wife who has ever been into flowers, and have always told hubby if he’s ever in doubt, go with a gift card to Best Buy or a bookstore.  There wasn’t really anything I wanted for Mother’s Day – I was just happy having both boys home.

But then Saturday, an idea popped into my head.  Ziplining!  A place just opened 10 minutes from our house, so hubby, the oldest son, and I went yesterday and had a blast!  The younger one isn’t a fan of heights, so he took the photos and held all the cell phones.  The first pic is after we finished the three runs (I’m the short one in the middle, in case you were wondering), and the other is me up on the platform – just not a very good shot.  If you’ve never tried it, go now – so much fun!

Writing was going well last week – until I was rudely and unexpected attacked by some sort of pollen/allergy/sinus juggernaut.  Thursday I was down for the count – couldn’t breathe, body chills, head splitting – I was convinced I left a trail of brain cells through the house.  When I can’t even read, it’s bad.  And the drugs weren’t working.  Friday was much better, and I even managed to see a movie with the oldest son and meet friends for dinner.  But the word count only totaled 1K  last week.  I’m not beating myself up over this, because the oldest son enters the real world in a couple of weeks, and I’m enjoying this time with him.  I’ll make up the word count another time.

Have a great week!

The Writer’s Reading Corner: Luisa Cloutier #biography #memoir #IndieAuthor

Who hasn’t wished they could contact a loved one on the other side?  To see how they’re doing…to say something you wish you’d told them before it was too late…to get closure.  There could be any number of reasons.  Today, Luisa Cloutier shares her tragic loss and subsequent journey to find peace and healing.  Welcome, Luisa!

I have read Love Never Dies by Dr. Jamie Turndorf,

I chose this book because I needed to know how to connect with my husband on the other side. Brandon had had a heart attack, he was a healthy and handsome man. I needed to reassure myself that he was with me, in another dimension, and that love never dies. I needed his spiritual guidance to make the right decisions for our business. I confirm that I had had signs that Brandon’s spirit was with me and that we were inseparable forever.

Dr. Jamie Turndorf’s book is therapeutic and gave me peace. I highly recommend reading this book to people who have lost their loved ones.


My memoir UNTIL FOREVER will be released on May 24, 2018.

When Luisa’s mother died, Luisa was left to take care of her family. Her dream of leaving Naples for a better life died too. Her life became hard work and sacrifice, leaving no time for dreaming or romance. Then one day she met a U.S Marine stationed in Italy. Though Brandon didn’t speak Italian, he understood what Luisa needed and made her feel like a princess. They fell in love, married and began to build a life together in the United States. For many years they struggled. Because of Brandon’s military service, Luisa spent long periods apart from him. Under the stress, their marriage slowly began to fracture, leading to infidelity and separation. During that time apart, both Luisa and Brandon learned what it took to make a marriage work and came to realize how much they truly meant to each other.  When they reconciled, their love grew even stronger. Until one day when everything changed and Luisa faced something she didn’t think she would ever recover from. Until Forever is the inspiring story of the power of love and the strength that lies within us when we think we have nothing left. 

“Luisa Cloutier’s tribute to her husband Brandon, is a beautifully written and engaging ‘coming of age’ journey, and the author’s distinct personality and perspective are evident throughout, creating a warm and moving memoir.” –Indie Reader

 “The storytelling is raw and honest.” –Nabila Fairuz, author of The Chronicles of Captain Shelly Manhar

Author Bio

Luisa Cloutier is a motivational and inspirational speaker and the owner of a successful personal training business. She has over 25 years of experience in the fitness and wellness industry and is a Nutrition Together Consultant and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Exercise Therapy.  Since 2005, she has been helping clients reach their personal goals and achieve happiness. With dual U.S./Italian citizenship, she divides her time between Massachusetts and the South of Italy.

Twitter:  @LuisaCloutier

#BookReview The Gemini Connection #YoungAdult #scifi #thriller #BlackRoseWriting

Gaynor at Post Apocalyptic Playground had some kind words about The Gemini Connection, and I’m thrilled she enjoyed Evan and Simon.  Jump over and visit!

Teen twin brothers Evan and Simon Resnik are fiercely loyal to each other and share an unusual bond—they experience each other’s emotions as their own and can sense where the other is. 

On their dying planet of Tage, scientists work tirelessly on its survival. Like the twins’ parents, Simon is a science prodigy, recruited at a young age to work with the brilliant creator of Scientific Innovations. To the bitter disappointment of their parents, Evan shows no aptitude or interest in science. As a Mindbender, he travels into the minds of scientists to locate buried memories, connect ideas and concepts, and battle recurring nightmares. 

When Simon mysteriously disappears, Evan is plunged into a world of loss and unbearable guilt. For the first time, he can’t ‘feel’ Simon—it’s like he no longer exists. Evan blames himself. No one knows that he ignored his brother’s pleas for help on the night he went missing. 

A year later, Simon is still gone. Evan lost his twin, but Tage might have lost its last hope of survival when it’s discovered that Simon’s unfinished project could be its salvation. Evan is determined to find him—somewhere—and bring Simon home. Their unusual connection might be more extraordinary than they know, and the key to locating Simon.