Saturday, July 15, 2017

Book Feature of HIGHLAND FAITH by: Madelyn Hill

Carly's View welcomes writer Madelyn Hill to the blog today. Madelyn is a multi-published author who writes Highlander historical fiction. I will be reviewing Madelyn's latest release, HIGHLAND FAITH in the near future, but for today, I will give you a glimpse in the book.

Madelyn Hill has always loved the written word. From the time she could read and all through her school years, she'd sneak books into her textbooks during school. And she devoured books daily. At the age of 10 she proclaimed she wanted to be a writer. After being a "closet" writer for several years, she sent her manuscripts out there and is now published with Soul Mate Publishing. And she couldn't be happier! 

A resident of Western New York, she moved from one Rochester to another Rochester to be with the love of her life. They now have 3 children, a puppy named Cannoli and keep busy cooking, watching their children's sporting events, and of course reading!


Blurb for HIGHLAND FAITH:

Lady Faith wished for adventure. Be careful what you wish for . . .

Huntress Lady Faith MacAlister seeks adventure. Her father’s dying pledge tethers her to Wild Thistle Keep, thwarting her desire to explore the world beyond the palisade. Solace is found while hunting and providing sustenance for her clan. When snatched from the safety of MacAlister lands by a rogue bent on securing a ransom, she finds the adventure of her life.

Disgraced Captain Graeme Ross travels the high seas in search of bounty to sell in order to secure lands seized by the Crown. He longs to regain his honor in his father’s eyes and continually risks his life on the high seas. Lacking enough funds, Graeme and his crew follow Lady Faith MacAlister as she hunts. Out of need and desire, he kidnaps her. The lady captivates him for the moment he laid eyes upon her. Bold and spirited, she fights him. When he negotiates a ransom, deception tears the burgeoning romance apart.

Now, Lady Faith and Captain Ross seek to settle those differences hindering their union, despite the stretch of land and sea—and angry Highlanders standing between them.

Excerpt for HIGHLAND FAITH:

’Twas her sister’s fault.
Hope had married Aidan MacKerry, leading the MacAlister Clan together, and now they were acting like lovesick cows. Aye, they’d recently had another bairn and ’twas why they were smiling like amadans. But Faith MacAlister had enough of the cooing and kissing.
She had to leave the Wild Thistle Keep or go mad.
Hunting was the only option.
The size of the MacAlister Clan dictated hunting trips each fortnight to keep the larder full. Faith grabbed her quiver and bow, left word with the guards at the palisade to inform the lairds Aidan and Hope her direction, and left to find sustenance and peace.
And now, three days later she continued stalking the elusive stag. She kenned her sister would be close to sending a group of men to look for her in a day or so. Luckily she’d managed an agreement with her sister whom was also her laird. An agreement between sisters proved hard to negotiate, but she’d won in the end. And she hunted without escort as long as she never left without telling the guards her direction.
A sun filled day, just cool enough not to need too much clothing that may hinder her movement, but warm enough she didn’t need to start a fire to warm herself. She stretched in the britches she’d stolen from one of the stable hands. Aye, she’d tried the tartan her sister Hope loved to wear, but found it too revealing as she moved and climbed to find her prey. And a gown, the devil take them, ’twould make it nigh impossible to hunt and secure meat for the clan.
She moved quietly through the woods. Each footfall, purposeful, silently brought her closer to her elusive prey.
Aye, there he stood. In the morning mist that hovered just above the low foliage, a proud, beautiful stag who’d avoided her arrow for too long. Huge, with several points on his rack and a cocksure stance stating, I’m king of the forest. She hated to take down the magnificent animal. But he’d provide for her clan and her duty dictated securing meat for those who depended on her.
She drew her bow, stretching the sinew, straining her arm muscles as she prepared to let the arrow fly. The feather fletching grazed her cheek as she held her breath waiting for the perfect moment to release. She’d traveled far for this chance, stalked her prey as her father had taught her so many years ago with her so wee she could barely hold a bow, much less draw and aim. And today, her size may well again thwart her hunting. ’Twould be problematic once the massive stag was felled. She’d have to dress him in the field and lug the meat back with her. No matter, she’d manage as always.
Two more steps forward. Stared down the length of the arrow past the head, ready to release.
“Well, well, well. What have we here?” a man said.

 Sounds rather interesting doesn't it? You can learn more about Madelyn and her books by following her on social media!



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

What I Did on my Summer Vacation by: Carly Jordynn

Hey guys, it's Carly and I'm on my own blog today. How many times did you come back to school after summer break, just to have to write the essay of what you did over the summer? Since I didn't have anybody scheduled for today, I thought I would share what I have been doing so far.

School let out the last week of May. That meant that I could sleep 90 extra minutes each morning since I didn't have to get my middle schooler up for school. That 90 minutes has made a huge difference in my life. I'm loving it!

In June, I had a lot of doctor's appointments going on, not only for myself, but for my family. Thankfully, by the end of the month, all issues were resolved. 

During June, I was able to do a lot of reading both for pleasure and work. Of course, I devoured the new Cassandra Clare book, LORD OF SHADOWS. I also loved Carolyn Haine's new book, STICKS AND STONES. I have to say, the book that surprised me the most was one I was asked to read by a friend of mine. It was written by her son, Bailey, who is 17 or 18 years old...sorry, can't remember his exact age. I have known this family for many years, attend Church with them, and have dinner with Bailey's mom once a month.  I have known Bailey since he was a little boy. I'm usually leery when asked to read something written by someone I know. Sometimes it's hard to be objective or you don't want to hurt their feelings...you guys know what I mean...it's hard.

Bailey's mom gave me his book on a thumb drive. All she told me was the genre, science fiction, and that it wasn't overly long. I was in the middle of reviewing a book for my blog so I had to postpone reading Bailey's book. I finally popped in the drive one afternoon and began to read. He has written a little over 27,000 words so far and I have to say, the story is flat out amazing. I decided then and there that I would do more than just read his book and give my opinion. I edited the first ten pages. It had all the typical first time mechanical errors. By doing the first ten, Bailey will be able to see what I am talking about and make those corrections throughout his manuscript. I read the rest of the story and was pleasantly surprised. He takes you deep into the parallel world with complex characters. The thing is, he sets it up so vividly that you don't have any problem imagining it. Stating the characters are complex is a bit of an understatement, but again, he describes and writes it so well that you don't have any problems following along. There were times when his story totally took me by surprise. There was no way to predict what would happen next. Yes, folks, his story is that good. I found myself drawn in and wanting to know more. I have spoken to Bailey's mom and grandmother about this book and told them they need to seriously encourage him in his writing. He has what it takes to make it...all he needs is a little editing, which he will learn with practice and time.

For the rest of my summer, I have an appointment for new author photos, as well as, new modeling portfolio pictures for my daughter. I have a few weekend and day trips planned. Oh, another surprise back in June...a friend from college was in town for a conference. He called and we went out to dinner at Abuelos. He's still as handsome as ever, not only in looks, but in his personality. He makes me laugh. I had a wonderful time and hope to see him again some day.

At the end of this month, I have a reunion to attend at a friend's farm. The reunion is a group from the Baptist Student Union from NKU in the 1980's. Wow, the memories from that time :) Last year was our first reunion. It had been around 30 years since I had seen some of these folks. Our campus minister was able to make it in and we had around 70 people show up. Hoping this year is even bigger. It's great to catch up with everyone again.

Last but not least is the changes I am making with me. For one, I am more active in my Church which is something I have wanted for a long time now. For another, a dear friend passed away a couple of years ago. He was an athlete and I...well let's just say I could win at couch potato sitting LOL. About a month ago, I decided I would complete a 5k in his memory. I have no delusions of being able to run the whole thing, but I would like to be able to do a part walk/part run. I started a little over 2 weeks ago. The race I have picked out is in March. So far I have lost 6.6 pounds. Yesterday, I walked 2 miles in 45 minutes. Maybe when I get good enough to run some of it, my time will improve. Hopefully by March, I will be able to complete the 3 miles in an hour. That is my goal. 

Oh, before I forget, I am still writing on the final book in the Forest of the Mist series and the final book in the Sasha series. I hope to have them finished by the end of October. ETA for publication would be spring of 2018.

Hope you guys have a wonderful summer!

Carly

Follow Carly on Social Media:

www.facebook.com/carlyjordynn777
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www.pinterest.com/CarlyJordynn

Author Bio:

Carly Jordynn is a writer from Northern Kentucky. Her books are published by Soul Mate Publishing and are available on Amazon in e-book and on Barnes and Noble for paperback versions. When Carly isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, working at Church, walking, music, movies, traveling, party planning, shopping and reading.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Welcome Angela Christina Archer

Carly's View would like to welcome Angela Christina Archer, author of A ROAD PAVED IN COPPER, from the Long Valley Press. Thank you for joining us, Christina.

First and foremost, I’d like to thank Carly for allowing me the chance to take over her blog today! I thought I would do something fun and different and dive into a bit of history behind my latest novel, A Road Paved in Copper. Writing historicals isn’t always fun. There is quite a bit of research that goes into them, so if you pick a boring time period, it’s going to drain you. I always try to pick the time periods that interest me the most. I’m not into Regency, and while I love Outlander (Oh, Jamie. Yum!), I don’t think I’d fare too well in that era too. Sure, I’ve stepped all the way back to 1692 during the Salem Witch Trials with my third novel, When the Black Roses Grow, but I have to admit 
that novel gave me grief from the day I started it. I even shelved it three times without plans to finish it. Talk about research! Oh, and don’t even get me started on the dialect.

But back to my point! I tend to stick with time periods that I not only would love to live in, but love to study about. I suppose I got it from my dad. Who, by the way, was the one who lit the light bulb, so to speak, for A Road Paved in Copper. Anyone who knows my dad knows he likes to tell stories. One afternoon while visiting my parents, he started telling me this story about the woman who founded a small town in Nevada (my home state) that sits between Tonopah and Hawthorn called Mina. Her name was Ferminia Sarras.

After 1900, rich discovers in Tonopah and Goldfield had transformed Nevada's mining landscape. Investors scoured the state, hoping to cash in on the next bonanza, and Fermina's claims attracted a lot of attention. She became a regional celebrity who paved the way for woman miners and was also nicknamed Nevada's "Copper Queen" because of her talent for finding copper.
I think the best part of her life story was her travels to San Francisco. She spent her whole life not only mining, but traveling back and forth from the desert to the city, and the surrounding towns. Once she would gather large sums of money, she would ride to another town or the city and blow her fortune on fancy hotels, fine dining, and hoards of younger men. As soon as the money was gone, she would say, "I guess I better get back to the desert." She'd return to her mines, don her overalls, and take to the hills again.

So as you can see, she was a great woman to inspire the heroine of a story. Ava was, by far, my strongest character. While the others have always had to play a more reserved role, Ava could do anything she wanted. And boy, did she ever.

What people are saying about this book:

"This female lead is a bad ass! LOVE her!!"  
"A particular feature of this novel which was rather clever was that it managed to twist your initial assumptions and expectations of both the main character, and even the setting of the book itself."
"The ability of the author to provide us a glimpse into two such distinct worlds is truly commendable."
"It all comes together though for an unbelievably intense ending that left me a mess of tears."
“What a lovely PROPER book; intriguing, engaging, consuming and lovely to read. Just like books should be. The characters are well rounded and because of that they feel real and human. This is the first book I've read by Angela Christina Archer and I thoroughly enjoyed it, would definitely recommend it if you'd like to read a book that has substance as opposed to the fluff you get now.”

Thank you so much for stopping by today and joining me here! And, again, thank you to Carly for hosting me!

Bio:
Growing up in Nevada, reading was always a pastime that took second place to trail riding and showing horses. When she did find the time in her youth to curl up with a book, she found enjoyment in the Saddle Club Series, the Sweet Valley High series, and the classics of Anne of Green Gables, The Box Car Children, and Little House on the Prairie. Although, writing always piqued her curiosity, it wasn’t until September 2009 that she worked up the courage to put her passion to paper and started her debut novel.

When she’s not writing, Angela spends her days from dawn to dusk as a stay at home, homeschooling mom. She also works in her garden and takes care of her many farm animals, as well as loves to bake and cook from scratch. She doesn't show horses anymore, but she still loves to trail ride her paint horse, Honky, as well as enjoys teaching her daughters how to ride their horses, Sunny and Cowboy.

Links:

Book Links:

Blurb:
Armed with her six-shooter, Ava De La Vega dips the pen into the inkwell and etches her name on the Esmeralda County tax record book. A formidable force, that's what her peers have called her. The woman in a man's world, what did she know of mining ore, silver, and copper? Plenty. And it's this knowledge that makes her of the richest miners in Nevada in 1903. Of course, it also makes her a target.

Traveling back and forth from Tonopah, Nevada and San Francisco, Ava blazes the trail from the dirt and grime of her mines to the fanciest hotel rooms, enjoying the finest wines, the most decadent meals, and the company of attractive young men.

Unfortunately, for Ava, she doesn’t see Craig Harrison coming.

A miner from the snowy Klondike, Craig has traveled from the harsh Canadian mountains down to city streets of San Francisco. Not looking for work, he's happy with the comfortable life away from the deep mines, the dirt, and the ever sought-after gold.

Unfortunately, for Craig, he doesn’t see Ava coming.

Excerpt:
I lifted my glass and sipped the wine again, clicking my tongue as I set it back down. I knew the back and forth game about to occur between us, a battle of wits, a battle of landowners.
I fought to protect my land.
He fought to steal it.
“Is that the stance you are going to take, then?” I asked. “That you know nothing of the recent attack on my homestead?”
“Well, when one isn’t involved then usually they know nothing of the events that transpired.”
“Isn’t involved?”
“That is what I said, isn’t it?” He paused for a moment as if to exaggerate his defense. “Billy Jack and his men haven’t worked for me in over two years. I have no more control over that man than you do. What he does is his own business. I know nothing of his actions, nor do I order him to do my bidding anymore.”
“I highly doubt that.”
“You know, one shouldn’t hold onto resentment and anger when it comes to the past.”
“I don’t hold concern over what happened all those years ago anymore, and I haven’t for a long time.”
The smirk on his lips told me that a rebuttal sat on his tongue, and yet, he didn’t utter a word. Ah yes, another method of denial—silence—as if to say how dare I come at him with this. Did I not know who he was? Did I not know what he was capable of?
I did know, though.
It was he, who didn’t know what I was capable of doing.
“Is there anything else I can do for you today, Ava?” he finally asked. Indifference breathed through the tone of every word.
“I beg your pardon?”
“I’m rather busy and, quite frankly, I do not wish to waste any more of my time speaking with you if you are only going to accuse me of actions I know nothing about.”
“I know you calculated the attack on my homestead.”
He slightly shook his head. “As I told you before, I didn’t.”
“I know you did.”
“But you can’t prove it.”
I rose to my feet and yanked dozens of red satchels from my handbag, dangling them in my fingers for a few minutes before I tossed them on the table. A few of them fell open and coins rolled from the material, dropping to the floor with a few clangs.
Walter scrutinized the bags, but didn’t move an inch. A detail he hadn’t seen coming. A detail that pinned him to the crime. Evidence he couldn’t refute and that condemned him as though he was there that day.
“I’m sorry to inform you that you lost all of your men in the attack,” I continued. “I know you ordered the attack on my homestead.”
I stepped forward until I stood next to him. I leaned down, my face inches from his, and my hot breath whispered against his skin.

“And if you plan another one, I promise that I’ll gun you down myself.”

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Joanne Guidoccio talks Boundaries

Carly's View welcomes author and guest blogger, Joanne Guidoccio. Today Joanne talks of setting boundaries and how they can be beneficial not only on our time, but our health and wellness. 

Make sure to check out the giveaway at the bottom of the blog!

Thank you for joining us Joanne. 


On Setting Boundaries by: Joanne Guidoccio

Many positive traits have been associated with Sir Winston Churchill, among them the ability to set effective boundaries. Whenever I struggle with this essential life skill, I recall the following anecdote:

Sir Winston hired a young aide to be his gatekeeper. On the young man’s first day, Sir Winston said: “Occasionally, I like to take a brief nap to rejuvenate myself. It’s never more than fifteen or twenty minutes. While I am napping, I am not to be disturbed unless there is a crisis.”

Eager to please, the young man nodded. “Very good, sir.”

Sir Winston persisted. “No, not very good. Everyone who comes to you will say they have a potential crisis and I must be awakened. To avoid any confusion, I will tell you what I consider to be a crisis. It is an armed invasion of the British Isles. Anything less than that can wait.”

No other particulars were given, but I’m certain that Sir Winston enjoyed many undisturbed naps.

Several years ago, I witnessed another example of effective boundary setting, this one much closer to home.

On a cold, blustery January evening, I dawdled and took my time, hoping for a cancellation of the monthly meeting. The roads were treacherous and ten more centimeters of snow were expected before midnight. The cancellation didn’t arrive, so I ventured out. I drove slowly and arrived at the same time as Sarah, another executive member. While struggling to find parking spots, we grumbled about the weather conditions.

Once inside, we found the meeting in full swing. The other members were drinking tea while listening to a lengthy report. We took our places and sat through a poorly organized meeting that accomplished nothing. As for the teapot, it was nowhere in sight. Seething inwardly, I decided to resign at the end of my term—five months away.

When the Chairperson asked if there was any further business, Sarah put up her hand and said: “In the interest of self-care, I have decided to resign my position. I’m giving two weeks’ notice.”

The chairperson nodded and thanked Sarah for all her contributions.

I alternated between admiration and envy. While I admired Sarah for her forthrightness, I wished that I had been able to resign so elegantly. Her example inspired me and I ended up leaving six weeks later, instead of waiting out the five-month term.

Lessons learned...

Be Clear and Concise

There is no need for long, drawn-out explanations. When Sarah said “In the interest of self-care,” everyone in the room knew exactly what she was talking about. As a stay-at-home mother who was home-schooling four children and trying to launch a new business, she couldn’t afford any energy drains. As for Sir Winston, I can’t imagine any visitor coming up with a counter-excuse to “an invasion of the British Isles.”


Trust Your Instincts

Certain people and situations can be toxic to our health and well-being. We cannot and should not ignore that persistent headache, nausea, or feeling of discomfort that seems to come out of nowhere. Our bodies are attuned to all vibrations and will send messages if there are any perceived threats. When discomfort or resentment arises, someone is either taking advantage or not appreciating us. Since Sarah and I were volunteering our time, it was much easier to resign from our roles. In some cases, it may be necessary to take distance while slowly disengaging.

Be Calm

There is nothing more powerful than a definitive No delivered in a calm manner. In full control of her emotions, Sarah didn’t shake or tremble when resigning her position. And I don’t think Sir Winston shouted any of his concerns.

Blurb from Joanne's latest book, TOO MANY WOMEN IN THE ROOM

When Gilda Greco invites her closest friends to a VIP dinner, she plans to share David Korba’s signature dishes and launch their joint venture— Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario. Unknown to Gilda, David has also invited Michael Taylor, a lecherous photographer who has throughout the past three decades managed to annoy all the women in the room. One woman follows Michael to a deserted field for his midnight run and stabs him in the jugular.
Gilda’s life is awash with complications as she wrestles with a certain detective’s commitment issues and growing doubts about her risky investment in Xenia. Frustrated, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers decades-old secrets and resentments that have festered until they explode into untimely death. Can Gilda outwit a killer bent on killing again?

Excerpt from TOO MANY WOMEN IN THE ROOM

“I’m a nobody here,” David said, glancing down at his plate. “And with my credit rating, none of the banks would endorse a loan. I’m screwed.”
“What if I backed you?” I couldn’t believe I was speaking so casually, all the while my heart beat at an alarming rate.
David rubbed a hand over his chin and flashed a grin at me. “Gilda, darling, you’re sweet to offer, but I don’t think you know what’s involved here.”
Susan nodded in agreement.
Were they playing me, I wondered. Since winning nineteen million dollars in Lotto649, I had encountered many sharks who hoped to prey on my easy-going nature. A quick Google search would have revealed my three-year-old lottery win. Old news, but still there on the second and third pages.
“Would one hundred thousand dollars be enough?” I asked. “In case you don’t know, I won a major lottery several years ago.” Since winning, I had received many proposals from across the province and had backed three local ventures. In each case, I had chosen to remain a silent partner.
David’s right hand trembled as he poured himself another glass of wine. Susan’s mouth dropped open, and she gave a little gasp.
“I take it that’s a yes,” I said.
More mild protests followed, and another bottle of wine disappeared. We were all a bit tipsy when we shook on the agreement. And so Xenia was born.

Book Trailer for TOO MANY WOMEN IN THE ROOM


Buy Links for TOO MANY WOMEN IN THE ROOM

Amazon (US): https://is.gd/NRjAXT
Amazon (Canada): https://is.gd/1pX3Bn
The Wild Rose Press: https://is.gd/1mns8Q
Barnes & Noble: https://is.gd/NFHdlS

Bio of Joanne Guidoccio

In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio retired from a 31-year teaching career and launched a second act that tapped into her creative side. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne...


Giveaway:

Click on the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.