On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Archive for May, 2018

Recent reviews of A Long and Winding Road | by Linda Brendle

CoverSome special marketing this year for A Long and Winding Road has resulted not only in lots of new readers but also in a number of new reviews. Here are some excerpts:

5 stars: Heartfelt by JaneReads * January 2, 2018 *  A Long and Winding Road takes you along on a heartfelt journey in a caregiver’s tale of love.

5 stars: Life as we will know it by Prairie House * January 14, 2018 * This is a very well-written book relating the humor, sadness, and inspiration of dealing with aging parents with memory problems. I also could relate to the relative simplicity of living in an RV and the joy of wanderlust. (more…)

Summer Heat | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on May 29, 2018:

Weather ForecastAccording to USClimateData.com, the average high temperature in Emory for May is 80 degrees and for June is 87 degrees. Apparently someone didn’t get the memo, because weather.com says that we’ve already had nine days over 90 degrees in May this year, and in the next two weeks, the forecast is for six days of triple digit temperatures. The website’s weather calendars from last year show only one day when the thermometer reached that high level, and that was on July 28 when the mercury hit 101 degrees. If this year’s late spring is any indication, we’re in for a long, hot summer.

When it gets this hot, someone who is old enough to know the answer invariably asks, “How did we survive back in the days before air conditioning?” Then, the conversation turns to all the methods we used to beat the heat. David and I have been driving the older car this week, and the air coming out of the A/C vents was just barely cool. On Sunday he stopped at the auto supply where he left the car running so it would be cool for me while he ran in to get some Freon. It didn’t work. As the temperature began to rise, I thought about how we lived back in the olden days. (more…)

Interview with Connie Ann Michael, Author of Forgotten

Connie Ann Michael Head ShotConnie Ann Michael was born and raised in Seattle Washington but recently moved to Montana. She lives with her husband and her two dogs and enjoys any activity which will get her outdoors. Connie has two sons who have successfully graduated from college.

Hi, Connie! Congratulations on your continued success as an author. Thank you for coming by to spend a little time with me and my readers. We’re looking forward to learning a little bit more about you and your work.

 

  1. When did you first begin to write?

I began to write when my boys started high school and they were busy with sports and I found I had a lot of extra time.

  1. How many books have you published at this point? How many do you have in progress and/or in your head?

I have published five books as of now. I have three books in a new series that are getting ready for editing and two or three partials and two definite ones in my head which are outlined but not written.

  1. Where does all your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from the people around me and current events.

  1. Who has been your favorite character, and who has been the most difficult to write?

My favorite character has to be Raven from my Thousand Moments series. The hardest character I have written is Oli from my Screamers series because I want readers to be sympathetic to her but I also want her to be strong.

  1. Did you have to do any research for your books?

I did a lot of research for my military romance but haven’t had to do too much for the Screamers series.

  1. What do you hope your readers will take away from your stories?

The theme I write in all my books is one of redemption. I want my readers to know that God forgives no matter how far you have gone away from him. No sin is too great if you ask for forgiveness and believe Jesus died for your sins.

  1. Sometimes scenes don’t go where you expect them to go, and characters don’t act the way you intend them to act. Have you experienced anything like that in your writing?

During my Thousand Moments series Raven and Emme’s relationship really moved in a direction I wasn’t expecting but with PTSD it couldn’t be a smooth road and I had to let it flow naturally until I could reunite them.

  1. When is your favorite time to write and where is your favorite writing place?

I love to sit outside in the sun to write and can write for a very long time outside, however it is difficult because my computer screen reflects the sun and I can’t see what I’m writing.

  1. What is your next project?

My next project is a series called ‘I wanna be’; the first book is Different. It is a young adult realistic fiction taking place in high school. It really reflects the message I want to give about no matter how far you fall God is always there.

Thanks again for your time, Connie. All the best with your current projects and all the stories you will tell in the future.

Blessings,

Linda

Connie’s latest book is Forgotten, a dystopian romance:

forgotten-coverOli left the safety of her home to spread God’s word to a world that’s forgotten He exists. She never expected to become a pawn between a mother she thought was dead and two competing sanctuaries, all of whom see her as nothing more than a tool to gain more power. But when the Governor shows up to take Oli back to the barrier, she discovers a horrible truth: her mother used Oli as a bartering chip to save herself, and she’s about to do it again.

Oli finds an ally in a scarred boy named Matty—and now he’s her only hope of survival. Unfortunately, the only way to safety is to head into a city full of Screamers. Along the way, they encounter Luca, a man who realizes Oli’s true potential, and he’s going to use her to cement his position as a powerful leader.

Forced to go The Station, a true house of horrors that might hold the answer to the illness, Oli must save her friends and get out before she becomes the next test subject.

Pig Wars | by Linda Brendle

Published by the Rains County Leader on May 15, 2018:

DST

Can’t Someone Else Do It!

I hope you’re not as tired of hearing about pigs as I am of dealing with them, but there’s not much else going on around the Brendle homestead. When I left you last week, the visiting swine were showing their disdain for our trap by mooning the game camera before going on to tear up another section of the yard. The night after I submitted my column, they took it a step further.

Sometime after midnight, David shook me gently and said, “There are eleven pigs in the front yard.”

I rolled over, pulled the covers a little tighter around me, and mumbled, “Well, go shoot ‘em.” (more…)

Author Interview: Sonia Poynter

Sonia-Poynter__Author PhotoHi, Sonia! Congratulations on the 2nd edition of your YA fantasy, The Last Stored. Thank you for coming by to spend a little time with me and my readers. We’re looking forward to learning a little bit more about you and your work.

  1. When did you first begin to write?

I started writing in high school, but put it on the back burner because I didn’t think I was smart enough. (Often, we stop doing our passion because of that inner voice knocking us around.) I picked writing back up after my kids started leaving the nest. I found I had a knack for it and actually regretted not doing it sooner. If I have any advice to give, it would be to don’t allow that inner voice tear you down, instead keep practicing and learning!

  1. What was your inspiration for the story, The Last Stored?

Us writers are constantly asking ourselves what if questions and observing details around us that others don’t necessarily notice or care about, but often we fall into our own heads, creating stories, characters, and worlds. We live in two places—one foot in reality, the other in our imagination. Sometimes those dreams come together and our fingers can’t work fast enough to get the story out. That was the Last Stored for me.

I grew up in the forest, traipsing under fallen logs and splashing through creeks. A part of me, no matter where I am, is always there. Something about the forest, with its earthy smell, and peaceful sounds contains magic. That got me to thinking, what if, I found a door to another world and a girl was stored on Earth to save that world. Don’t we all feel like we don’t belong, that we are meant for greater things! Amber Megan Peel feels that, and deeply, and a boy is about to bring her home, to Tali!

Look around you, life is filled with magic, we simply need to believe it!

  1. Who is your favorite character in the story, and who was the most difficult to write?

Chaney is my favorite character to write for, I found him likeable, easy, and calm. He’s a sort of big brother—Viking, and who doesn’t want to have that type of guy around? He was the polar opposite of the whirlwind that is Lin.

Who was the most difficult? That would be Amber, she was so much like me, an underachiever, she never fit in, she always was looking for something more, that I found it difficult to share so much of me on the page. I’m a guarded person, but writing her helped me to breakdown those walls.

  1. Did you have to do any research for this book?

Does my life count, lol? Most places in the book are mishmash of local areas. I did change their names because they didn’t quite match up. And dealing with grief, that was something that I knew first hand because of the loss of my own father. Writing for her really helped me to deal the heartache.

  1. What do you hope your readers will take away from your story?

Hope and Magic. Look for the unexpected and realize we are all made for bigger, more glorious things! Swaro!!

  1. Sometimes in writing, the scenes don’t go where you expected them to go, and your characters don’t act the way you intended them to act. Did you experience anything like this in the writing of The Last Stored?

Sure! I am a plotter. Often, I plan out my books backwards. I know the beginning, and I know the ending, I just need to get my characters there, but like real people they have other plans and ideas. They get into mischief, and send me down plot holes. At first Amber wanted a complete different ending. After a long discussion she agreed and well, I won’t give it away, but you can find out for yourself since, I have the alternate ending included in this edition.

  1. When is your favorite time to write and where is your favorite writing place?

I love to write in the daytime and afternoon, with a glass of ice tea, while nibbling on a fudge-round. I have a serious chocolate cake addiction. All of this is done in my office which has two big windows and they look out over one-hundred-year-old trees. A nest family of squirrels often watches me. (Chocolate cake, squirrels, and trees, are my favorite!)

  1. What is your next project?

I am currently working on the second draft of a book tentatively called, I AM ABLE. I hope to be finished with it by late summer. It still needs a third draft, betas, and critique partner edits.

Quick blurb – The year is 1947, the year has always been and will always be 1947. While the sleepy community of Pleasant Valley lives a sheltered existence, free from the Commies who lurk beyond their protective wall, sixteen-year-old Able McCants discovers the monsters aren’t just on the outside. (First draft complete.)

About Sonia’s current book:

Cover

After the sudden death of her parents, making it through the day is a struggle for Amber. In the midst of her grief, an exquisite bird perches on her garden fence and shows her visions of a vivid landscape and a dark lord slouching upon a throne. She thinks the visions are tied to her sorrow. But when a boy appears to tell her she’s the last of her kind, she wonders if she’s just lost her mind.

Cree of Din is tasked with one job: Bring Amber home. For seven years, Cree has trained as her protector, and it is the ultimate responsibility. Failure means Amber’s certain death. The Returning has begun.

Amber and Cree must return to Tali, a world of unimaginable splendor and equally unimaginable horror, and defeat the dark lord, Lorthis. If they can’t, not only will Tali plunge into darkness, but so will Earth.

Sonia Poynter writes books with a common thread of wonder. She found that golden string under the crumpled leaves of her favorite tree when she was but a child, since then she has been unraveling it and weaving it onto the pages of her books. Her first book, The Last Stored, was published through Anaiah Press.

Buy The Last Stored here: https://amzn.to/2EZyknA

Web site: www.soniapoynter.com/

Facebook:www.facebook.com/SoniaPoynterAuthor/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: @soniapoy https://twitter.com/SoniaPoy

Thanks again for your time, Sonia. All the best with The Last Stored and with all the stories you will tell in the future.

Blessings,

Linda

 

We STILL have pigs! by Linda Brendle

Published in The Rains County Leader on May 8, 2018:

nothing is simpleTwo weeks ago I wrote about my lack of knowledge about feral pigs and my lack of desire to learn. However, it seems that I’m destined to learn about these destructive eating machines whether I want to or not.

When we first realized we had a pig invasion, our first thought was “traps.” It seemed easy, clean, and something other people would do for us at no cost because 1) it’s something they enjoy doing and 2) they can eat or sell what they catch. Unfortunately, nothing is ever quite as simple as it seems, and trapping pigs is no exception. (more…)

Book Review: Factor Man by Matt Ginsberg

Cover Factor Man

5 Stars

About the book:

Ginsberg takes readers on a digital thrill ride where the protagonist holds the key to the most revolutionary and powerful technology since the atomic bomb. This mysterious character, who calls himself Factor Man, is set to change the world with a single algorithm, making him (or her) one of the smartest, richest and perhaps one of the most wanted person on the planet. By factoring larger numbers, Factor Man claims to be able to break the public key encryption that could shut down the internet. The press wants to interview him. The Chinese Government wants to kill him. And the FBI wants to protect him. But first they have to find him!

My review:

Several weeks ago I received an email from a publicist offering me a complimentary digital copy of Factor Man because I make no secret of the fact that I love a good thriller. There were no strings attached to the gift, but I am happy to recommend this unique novel to anyone who enjoys a puzzling mystery that will give your brain a good workout.

The story begins when a mysterious character who identifies himself/herself only as Factor Man contacts a reporter named William Burkett. Through a series of emails, he lays out his four-year plan to turn the worlds of higher mathematics, Cyberspace, and high finance upside down, and he offers Burkett exclusive rights to the story. Through these emails, the author cleverly educates those of us whose math education stopped at plane geometry and whose knowledge of the Internet is informed mostly by Abby and McGee of NCIS fame so we can understand the rest of the story.

Once the groundwork is laid, the story moves into the real world as more people are introduced into Factor Man’s scheme. What was at first believed to be a hoax by a crazy mathematician looking for his fifteen minutes of fame becomes an international happening that can either usher in a new era of peace and prosperity or send the world economic and political systems crashing back into the dark ages. The final segment of the story is full of FBI, CIA, and other agencies as well as spies, contract killers, and suspense that kept me up until the wee hours to find out what happened.

Matt Ginsber is a highly intelligent man with a wide variety of interests. I’m very glad that one of his interests was writing an amazingly entertaining story, and I’m hopeful that he’s interested in writing another one soon.

About the author:

GinsbergMattAuthorMatt Ginsberg got a doctorate in astrophysics from Oxford when he was 24. He quickly came to his senses, however, switching to artificial intelligence and teaching at Stanford for a decade. He’s been on the front page of the New York Times and, surprisingly, was happy about it. He’s been a political columnist and published playwright, and constructs crosswords for the Times. He has written about a hundred technical papers. And one novel.

Find Matt Ginsberg on his website.

Buy Factor Man on Amazon.

Blessings,

Linda

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