Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Energized by Gratitude

It has been four months. Four long months since I have written a blog post. It has been longer than that for any progress in writing my third "I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak" book or the second book in the "Shelly Martin" series.

After so many months away, surveying the horizon that is the indie author world seems like a foreign landscape. I see others plugging along and writing, editing, publishing, releasing and selling their works. I wish them well. I realize how hard they are working. I hope to get back to doing the same thing very soon. Whether I actually do is another question ...

What have I been doing the past four months, you ask?

Living life outside of the virtual reality that is social media is the only answer I can give you. Life has gotten in the way of writing and of interacting much with on-line friends or groups. But this is not necessarily a bad thing ... Taking a break from all of the on-line craziness that often times is just a major time-sucking waste of energy. This is especially true in an election year, where abnormally large amounts of energy is exhausted while discussing politics and arguing about who is the best candidate for the job.

Which brings me to the first point that I want to make about "energy".

I have a limited amount of it. We all do.

I have been using a lot of physical energy as well as mental energy dealing with caring for two pieces of property - a one-acre newly purchased plot and a 15-acre farm that my husband and I have had for about seven years. On the rare days that I am not working 10-12 hours a day on either one of these properties, I take a little time out for myself and escape for a few hours of "me" time, which usually entails a nap or a check of email or a run to town for needed groceries, animal feed and/or other sundry items.

I have even been able to take a "real" vacation this summer. Have not had one in over 10 years, so this was a big thing for me. (I went to France for 10 days with my sister. The hubs had to stay home and care for the animals).  I wished he could have gone as well, but hiring a farm sitter would have cost more than his plane ticket ...

I am not complaining at all about this rural lifestyle that I have chosen to live, quite the contrary. I am grateful that I have enough energy to do all of these mental and physical things as well as take a much-needed vacation. Many people my age and even younger do not have the energy to do what I do on a daily basis. I am thankful that I am "retired" from Corporate America at the moment and do not have to juggle an "off-the-farm" job as well.

No, complaining would take too much of my precious energy, but gratitude definitely fills the tank back up.

You see, I start my day before the sun comes up - in the arms of gratitude. I end the day after the sun goes down - also in the arms of gratitude. The connection between the two is what makes me ready for each new day. Without one or the other, the days would be much harder to get through.

Maybe tomorrow I will have the energy to get back to writing. If not, I am just grateful that I have the option not to.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Book Review Spotlight - Gypsies, Tramps and Weeia by Elle Boca


Gypsies, Tramps and Weeia by Elle Boca is book one of the Weeia Marshals series and a wonderful addition to the entire Weeia collection.

I have read each book in the Weeia collection and love this new story line as well as the new protagonist, Danni. I adore the fact that Ernie from the previous Weeia series is a large part of the latest story. Although I still miss Amy and the gang from the original series, Ms. Boca has done a wonderful job of breaking out into a different direction with this latest edition.

Paris as the setting for a Danni as a young cadet trying to prove her worth to the Weeia elite is an excellent locale for this story. Danni is wonderfully developed and is both likable and a person the reader can root for to succeed in her new assignment in France and her Weeia missions while there. She is rough around the edges, but time in Paris may just soften her up a little bit ... If Weeia leader, Patrick and her boss, Francois have their way, she might even wear a dress one day.

Looking forward to the next book in the series as a beta reader as well as a fan of the very talented Elle Boca.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Review Spotlight - A Rose In Bloom by Tamie Dearen

A Rose in Bloom by Tamie Dearen is a sweet, funny and romantic story where love finds a way -  even between two very stubborn people.

Elyssa Rose is focused on making her floral shop a success, which is hard to do when Jaxon McCall wants to buy the building that her shop is in to expand his gym business. While Elyssa and Jaxon are bickering about the building, they finally notice that they are attracted to one another. Of course, they cannot admit it, but go to great lengths to hid their growing love for one another.

I enjoyed reading this short novella and look forward to reading more from this very talented author. If you like clean, sweet and romantic novellas that have several twists and turns, A Rose in Bloom certainly fits the bill.

About the Author

Tamie Dearen has been married to her very romantic husband since 1982. They have two beautiful daughters, two amazing son-in-laws, and one awesome grandson. She plays piano, flute, harmonica, keyboards, and guitar, and loves composing and art. And she hates housework. A dentist in private practice for thirty years, Tamie stays busy playing on her church's praise team and teaching graduate students each week. In her spare time, she escapes the real world by writing books.

Tamie met her husband as a freshman in college when she acted out of character on a whim. One night in the library lobby, she spied a cute guy with his first name written on the back of his shirt. She called out his name. When he approached to talk to her, she pretended that she'd met him before, asking about his classes and how he liked college. To her surprise and delight, he also pretended that he knew her, but of course he didn't know her name. They continued this false relationship for two months. Each time they saw each other,an event which occurred three times per week at the cafeteria, he would pretend he knew her. Meanwhile, all of Tamie's friends were careful not to reveal her name to him. When he finally admitted his ignorance of her name, he was astonished to learn the truth. And the rest is history.

Contact Tamie on her webpage at http://tamiedearen.com.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Gladiator and the Guard by Annie Douglass Lima

I'm excited to announce that my young adult action and adventure novel, The Gladiator and the Guard, is now available for purchase! This is the second book in the Krillonian Chronicles, sequel to The Collar and the Cavvarach

First Things First: a Little Information about Book 1: 

Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire's most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie's escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time.  With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?

What is the Collar for, and What is a Cavvarach?

The story is set in a world very much like our own, with just a few major differences.  One is that slavery is legal there.  Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone.  Any slave attempting to escape faces the dilemma of how and where to illegally get their collar removed (a crime punishable by enslavement for the remover).  

Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil.  It is fought with a cavvarach (rhymes with "have a rack"), a weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge.  Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades.  You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.

Click here to order The Collar and the Cavvarach from Amazon 
for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through May 30th!
And now, The Gladiator and the Guard, with another awesome cover by the talented Jack Lin!

Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is just one victory away from freedom. But after he is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he is condemned to the violent life and early death of a gladiator. While his loved ones seek desperately for a way to rescue him, Bensin struggles to stay alive and forge an identity in an environment designed to strip it from him. When he infuriates the authorities with his choices, he knows he is running out of time. Can he stand against the cruelty of the arena system and seize his freedom before that system crushes him?

Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard in Kindle format from Amazon 
for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through May 30th

Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard from Smashwords (for Nook or in other digital formats) 
for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through May 30th!

Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published twelve books (two YA action and adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, and five anthologies of her students’ poetry). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.

Connect with the Author Online:

Now, enter to win an Amazon gift card or a free digital copy of The Collar and the Cavvarach!

Or find the giveaway at this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ad2fd99a3/?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Book Review Spotlight - Collective Mind by Vasily Klyukin

Collective Mind by Vasily Klyukin is a thought-provoking, futuristic story of the potential of the human race to do great things. It is also a story of the repercussions that occur when humankind does not know how the technology will affect the population enamored by it's grip on society.

Isaac Leroy is a young man of little means and has a sister who is gravely ill. He feels his only option to get the funds necessary for his sister's operation is to sell his creative mental energy to the Collective Mind. The Collective Mind is willing to pay a handsome sum for his level of creativity, but the outcome of this would basically render him uncreative and at a monumental loss for critical thinking. Fate intervenes in Isaac's decision to be downloaded when he becomes entangled in a terrorist plot on the very day that his mind is to be drained of its OE (Orange Energy). He leaves the download facility with his faculties intact and with knowledge of the terrible side effects that the procedure causes.

As Isaac becomes more knowledgeable of the downside to the procedure, he recruits other like-minded, highly creative people to help him in his goal to expose the true outcome to the human minds that have been downloaded. Aside from Isaac, a whole cast of characters comes into play - Bikie (a Harley-driving bar bouncer), Michelle (a world-travelling millionairess), Professor Link (the scientist who created the Collective Mind technology), Pascal (Isaac's best friend who had his creativy drained), Pellegrini (the police commissioner) and the unassuming Paul Wolanski (the man funding Isaac and Bikie's mission).

The twist and turns in the story-line kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. I could not help but root for Isaac and his team to complete their heroic mission of changing the world for the better and exposing the lies that the Collective Mind and its creators so skillfully kept hidden from the world's population.

For a debut science fiction novel, this was a very good read. The characters were well-developed and the plot was unique and different. I would definitely recommend it to those who like futuristic, thought-provoking stories that engage not only the mind, but its capacity for critical thought.