Sunday, August 14, 2016

JUNE by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

The new novel JUNE, written by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, is a book that everyone can find something to relate to in it. The story is told in two very different periods of time in America, 1955 and 2015JUNE touches on American pop culture as well as evolving issues important to Americans such as race, sexuality,love and money.  The story also features a hint of the mystical, in the form of dreams, as well as some suspense and danger.  Indeed, Beverly-Whittemore has a writing style that can be compared to the great American writer Ray Bradbury.

Cassie Danvers is only twenty-five years old but she has reached a stopping point after her grandmother dies. She goes to stay in her family mansion that is literally crumbling around her ears.  Unsure of what to do next she is pulled out of her malingering by a movie star who wants to know if Cassie is related to her via the movie star's own famous father, movie icon Jack Montgomery. Cassie is then forced to confront her own families' history and if her grandmother, June, had secrets she had never told anyone. 

Lots of money and hidden secrets are involved as the story is told while shifting between the two periods of time. Cassie is looking for her future while examining her grandmother June's past.  Life suddenly gets very interesting as questions about her grandmother's relationship with the movie star Jack Montgomery come up as well as questions about all of her grandmother's past relationships with family and friends.  What and with whom will Cassie's future involve now?

Miranda Beverly-Whittemore has an interesting website about her works at http://mirandabw.com .  She is also the author of the New York Times bestseller BITTERSWEET. Her new novel JUNE was available for sale this year May 31st, 2016. It was published by Crown Publishing Group.

*I received this book for review from Blogging for Books who also provided the book jacket image.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Stealing & an Onward Meme

Today I am combining participation with Sunday Stealing where we steal memes with our very own ONWARD MEME.


The ONWARD MEME (You don't have to go straight, but you do need to try to move forward.)

1.  What are three things you could unclutter to help simplify things?

2.  What are three things you need to do this week that you have been putting off for the longest time but should just go ahead and get done.?

3.  What are three small steps you can make to start a journey to a bigger goal?

4.  What are three simple things you haven't done for awhile that could bring enjoyment to your day or your family?

5.  Share three things you do to help get yourself moving on days you feel sort of meh or blah.

6.  What are three things you should give up that are really not productive for your life or for your family?

7.  What two simple upgrades can you do in your home or for yourself or your family life that would make you feel like you had been upgraded?

8.  Do you have any thoughts on moving onward or forward?

p.s. Hang in there. You got this!
*there are no right or wrong answers, it is just whatever the question means to you...!

SUNDAY STEALING: THE JACKAL MEME
This week's Sunday Stealing is taken from a realty blog for a place called Downing-Frye. It is THE JACKAL MEME as it is reportedly shared between them there jackals...
If you wish to participate in SUNDAY STEALING go to www.sundaystealing.blogspot.com

1. Who is your favorite musical artist?  One of my favorites is James Taylor.

2.  What is your favorite album by what artist?  I don't have a favorite artist, but one reason I like James' Taylor's music is it is poetic and can be cheerful.  My favorite song of his is WHENEVER I SEE YOUR SMILING FACE. 

3.  Who is your favorite blogger?  I don't have a favorite blogger but I do like to page through and read blogs.
4.  If you could meet anyone, (dead or alive) who would it be and why would you want to meet them?  I'm not sure, and that is such a often repeated question. 
5What did you want to be when you grew up?  A Mom and a journalist.

6.   What is the most interesting piece of Trivia that you know?  Well it's bible trivia, and it's that Jesus prayed for the future Christians that hadn't been born yet. 
7.  If you could live in any point in history when would it be and why?  I am grateful to live in the present when we have things like antibiotics, and air conditioning!

8.  What do you think of the election so far?  THREE WORDS.  MEDIA CIRCUS & NIGHTMARE.

9.  What is your favorite TV drama and why?  Lately I have watched various assorted things on TV, HBO'S  BIG LOVE, an English soap called CORINATION STREET, and the English and American versions of SHAMELESS.  I learn a lot about human nature from all of t hem.
10.  What is the most interesting job you ever had?  Oh well my jobs are mostly my "day jobs" but I felt privileged to sit with people in hospice before to comfort and help them.  I was able to sit with my own grandmother as well. 

Happy Sunday Stealing, and thanks for coming out ya'll!


* meme image credit to Sunday Stealing
* image from Onward Meme credit to Onward.






Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thirteen Random Things About Me

Just a little assortment of oddities about me.

1.  When I was very small, in the summer, children would catch lightening bugs in Kentucky as soon as dusk hit every night.  We would run around the yard catching them, although back then the lightening bugs were so plentiful  you couldn't move without running into them.  Sometimes we would keep them in jars we had poked small holes in the lid of so they could have oxygen. We would stare at them in the jars as we fell asleep then released them the next morning. Now days we feel lucky to catch a glimpse of a lightening bug in the summer as they are no longer as plentiful as they once were.  This may be because towns often will spray for mosquitoes and do other crop dusting now days and that affects the lightening bug population as well.  The wonder of the lightening bugs is diminished but we haven't  had a mosquito bite in ages. But once as a child we did have the wonderment of lightening bugs. Simple and free: lightening bugs.

2.  In my late teens I was a member of Amnesty International.  At that time participation was mostly sending post cards around the world to try and help political prisoners be freed.

3.  My mom bought me a Shakespeare for children book when I was six years old. I learned about A TALE OF TWO CITIES early!
4.  I finished with the children's side of the library in the small town we went to and started reading adult literature when I was ten years old.
5.  Some of the adult books I read as a child were LOVE STORY, FOREVER AMBER, NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA, & many Reader's Digest condensed books. Those were some of the books in my house.
6.  As a child I would sit in church services and write poetry or short stories (quite often) instead of listening to the sermon.

7.  I have a rule that once I start reading a book I have to finish it.
8.  In high school I pretended to be a fan of the writer Edgar Allan Poe because it seemed like a cool thing to do.
9.  I actually was a fan of Maya Angelou and her book "I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS".
10.  In Middle school and early high school I would skip lunch all week at school and save my lunch money to spend at the skating rink on the weekend.
11.  When I was in early high school I also would leave the skating rink early sometimes and when parents came to pick us up at the end of the evening I would pretend I had been at the skating rink the entire time. 
12.  I am a fan of CORONATION STREET, which is a English soap that used to be available on Hulu. I like CORRIE, me.
13.  I will NEVER watch the television show on ABC called THE CHEW simply because they canceled ALL MY CHILDREN and put THE CHEW on  in it's place.  ABC can take that cooking show and shove it!
 So those are some things that make up me...
....and yourself?

image credit: Onward
posted I participation of newthursday13.blogspot.com

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD: The Kings and Queens of Roam by Daniel Wallace

The Kings and Queens of Roam is a nice little read by Daniel Wallace, who is also the author of the novel Big Fish. The author looks a little crazy in his book jacket picture but then with such a creative imagination one would have to be a little bit fey :)  I would deign to be fey to be as creative as him!

Short Synopsis:

The novel is written in tall tale folklore style of the south.  A man named Elijah kidnaps a Chinese man in China named Ming Kai. Elijah kidnaps him so he can have the Chinese man help Elijah become rich by teaching him the secrets of making silk. It is during pioneer and settler times in the United States. They search far and wide for the resources needed to make silk, then build a town close to that spot.  It tells a story of luck and chance and hard work with a few friendly ghosts giving advice for good measure.  The novel also reminds us that everything didn't come up roses for immigrants to the United States, that they were often disappointed.
 
The story centers somewhat on Elijah's two daughters Helen and Rachel. After their parents die early in life Helen and Rachel spend all their time together as Rachel is blind.  Helen tells Rachel a series of mistruths about herself and the world that makes Rachel afraid and also makes her feel bad about herself.  Helen is able to do this because Rachel is blind and can't see and the two are fairly isolated the way the live in a small town.  What happens when Rachel breaks away and finds out all the mistruths her sister told her?

Practical Life Applications:

1.  This is one that is in a lot of novels and movies but: DON'T BE WANDERING AROUND IN THE WOODS LATE AT NIGHT. NOTHING GOOD CAN HAPPEN!

2.  The story talks about how the world is not an easy place and the most important thing people can do is build them a good private life where they can enjoy themselves and find comfort.

3.  Don't automatically assume even the closest people to you are telling you the truth.  There are many and varied reasons why someone could goad or cause others to believe mistruths.  In this story the girl who believed the mistruths was physically blind.  However just being na├»ve  or inexperienced can make us mentally blind to the truth as well. Don't let some messed up person's opinion, or their meanness  make you feel bad about yourself! Trolls will be trolls....

4.  The ghosts in the story knew the past and the present but they could not predict the future.  So, just like the ghosts didn't know everything there is to know, no one person in the world is right about  everything! Keep your own counsel for your life.

And there we have it, a book review off the top of my head for THE KINGS AND QUEENS OF ROAM.



Saturday, April 9, 2016

SUNDAY STEALING: ASK ASK ASK

Back with Sunday Stealing, www.sundaystealing.blogspot.com, where this weeks meme was stolen from the blog I take surveys.
"TO BE HONEST", almost any one question could be taken by itself and made into a separate blog post of it's own.  But here we go!

1.  If you were stranded on a desert island, who do you wish to be with?  Well...this is an oft asked question, but I would need a army engineer who could build things.

2.  What do you feel right now? Lazy :)

3.  What chocolate is your favorite?  I am not that sophisticated to have a favorite chocolate.  Just chocolate is good!

4.  Why did you create a blog account?  To learn to blog.  It was actually a suggestion in an article from O magazine. O as in Oprah.
5.  Who is your favorite blogger?  I don't have a favorite but I do like to page through blogs.
6.  When was the last time you cried?  Right at this moment I'm not sure...!

7.  What kind of music do you listen to?  I listen to mostly Rock, R&B, and pop hits from the 1970's on up to the present.
8.  Do you have trouble sleeping at night?  Well I have been finding out why people go to bed early; in case they have to poop the rest of the night.
9.  Did you try to change for a person> ?  I suppose I have before, for my family or school, etc.  Which the Spanish word for Jesus is Jesus.

10.  Do you prefer jeans or shorts?  Jeans please.
11.  Are you in a good mood or bad mood?  Lazy
12.  Do you have a grudge against anyone>?  Yes, no, maybe?  I'm technically a hillbilly lol.

13.  Are you a crybaby?  Focus!
14.  When people praise you for your features what physical feature do they praise? Eyes
15.  What hair color do you prefer? NICE N EASY
16.  If you can change anything about yourself what is it? To be better at math.

17.  Can you live without internet?  Of course I can, since I lived without it the majority of my life.
18.  Have you ever experienced being hysterical ? I guess, yes.
19.  What are you thinking about right now? These meme questions, other family members, motivation.
20.  Have you ever been hurt so bad you didn't have words to explain how you feel?  No, I always have PLENTY of WORDS.
21.  Do you have trust issues? Ha!
22.  Do you believe in the phrase " if it's meant to be it will be?' Not 100 percent, no.
23.  Do you believe in Destiny? Yes, and no.

24.  How do you look right now? Pale
25.  Did you ever feel like you are not good enough?  Since I am human, yes.
26.  Favorite city?  Nashville.  Tennessee that is.

What are a few of your answers to these questions?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thirteen Coloring Tips

The adult coloring craze has been sweeping the nation but all those swirls and loops and circles are not always so easy to get used to. Here are some tips to help keep, or to get, that coloring swirl on.







1. Buy a small hand-held pencil sharpener.  It will be needed to sharpen the colored pencils to help refresh their color and smoothness of coloring.  If the color starts to look dull sharpen the pencil as often as you like to refresh the color.




2.  All those swirls and lines can be a challenge  to fill in so it is good to start with coloring the small areas first.  Then it feels freer to make the broad sweeping strokes needed to fill in the bigger areas.


3.  Set a timer for the desired amount of time wanted to color to keep track of desired stopping and starting times. It may be easy to lose track of time. 

4.  Don't get discouraged.  Keep trying.  If you have ever colored at all previously in life it may take a little while for "it to come back to you." Also a picture that is being worked on may not look that great while it is being worked on, however wait for that moment it will start looking better and  that it seems to come together.

5.  Each colored pencil will actually color two to three variations and shades of the same color depending on how hard the pencil is pressed down on while in use or how broad or close the strokes with the pencil are made with. Have fun experimenting with this.

6.  Buy small $1 packs of colored pencils at the Dollar Tree and other discount stores in order to obtain a slightly different shade of the colors you may already have.  This cuts down on boredom as the more colors and shades of a color you have the better it is.

7.  In my opinion, Crayola brand colored pencils color smoothest and blend colors together easily.

8.  DO blend colors together with colored pencils to get different shades of colors in order to have a good variety.  For example, use a lighter color such as yellow under a green color to get a shade of green you don't have available in a pencil. 

9.  The DollarTree stores do have coloring books in a box marked as relaxing coloring and the price is one dollar.  They run out quick so keep checking back if they are not displayed the first time.

 
10.  The more expensive coloring books that run from 10 to 18 dollars are worth the money as they have so many templates to color they will be in use for several months.  They also are made of better quality paper then the cheaper 1 dollar coloring books. 
 
11.  Don't worry about conforming to certain styles, colors, or standards. Everyone is free to color and make their picture look however they want it themselves.
 
12.  These rainbow pencils that change color are so much fun and will automatically do a lot of the shading for us without much effort.
 
13. The most important thing is to have fun and relax! No pressure.
 
 
 
 
 
Images Credit: Onward
 
Participation with Thursday Thirteen at newthursday thirteen@blogspot.com