Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017

Hey guys it's Carly, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I have to say, I was very excited about this Christmas. It wasn't because of the gifts I would receive or even what I had given as presents. It was about time. That's right, time. You see, for years, we have either gone to a relative's house to celebrate or we would have an open house for friends and family to drop in. Over the years, the number attending these gatherings has dropped significantly due to some passing away and others gaining grandchildren so new traditions were made. For the past few years I have just been burned out, not about Christmas, but with all the running, cleaning, buying, cooking, etc... it seems I never had time to just sit back, relax, and enjoy. Well this year was different. This year we did a quiet Christmas and I have to say, I am really enjoying it. Don't get me wrong, I love my family and friends. Spending time with them is fun, but far from relaxing. This morning I woke with the knowledge that I didn't have to go anywhere, I could stay in my pajamas all day, I could color in my adult coloring book, I could write on the new book, I could build the gingerbread house with my daughter. If I didn't want to clean the bathroom, I didn't have too. Get the picture? It was just pure relaxation. Tomorrow, I have to go back to my day job 😒 but at least I have a job to go back to and for that I am grateful. I will also go back with a better attitude because I wasn't working my behind off making sure the house was clean, the food was cooked, and the decorations spot on. 

Today, I woke at o'dark thirty because my daughter wanted to open her presents. We did manage to get breakfast down her first and then the festivities began. Once done, I didn't have to rush to put things away, we were able to go through our gifts and enjoy them. I didn't pick up the paper mess until almost noon. We built the gingerbread house. I colored a picture in my adult coloring book (very stress relieving) and while I did that, some story lines ran through my head. I do plan on writing a little today, but won't sweat it if I don't make a certain word count. 

Over on the Carly Jordynn facebook page, I have been doing three days of giveaway contests. The first one was on Saturday. People had to tell me what the best Christmas gift they received at the age of 12. There were some interesting answers. My daughter picked Rachel Dixon as the winner with the afghan her grandmother made her. Rachel won a signed copy of Forest of the Mist: Travelers, signed copy of Forest of the Mist: Awakening, and a Carly Jordynn T-shirt. Yesterday, was Church. We had a wonderful Christmas Eve service that I always enjoy. Yesterday was also day two of the giveaway contest. Lisa Dirkes won with James Dean as the celebrity she would like to spend Christmas with. Lisa won a signed copy of Sasha Bishop: Retired Slayer, Sasha Bishop: Shifter, and a Carly Jordynn T-shirt. Today is Christmas. The last contest today is to name a gift you always wanted for Christmas and never got. Today's winner will be announced tomorrow and will get a $25 Amazon gift card. 

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas by either rushing to and fro or taking it nice and slow. See you guys in 2018!


Friday, December 15, 2017

Book Review: Secrets from Myself by Christine Hart

Today on Carly's View, I will be reviewing Secrets from Myself, the newest book from author Christine Hart. This book is geared toward a middle school audience, but I enjoyed reading it too. To get a taste of what this book is about, take a look at the blurb below.

Eleven-year-old Katelyn has always heard voices and had visions. She's long suspected she is hearing from past lives. But when she runs away from home and hides out with an old friend in Vancouver, her visions become more real. She finds herself writing the words of someone else in a diary, the words of someone whose fate was deeply impacted by the Komagata Maru incident. As Katelyn learns more about the Komagata Maru and the person communicating with her, she realizes that she must correct a wrong from the past.

When I first started reading this book, I assumed it was about older teens, maybe around sixteen or so. I was a bit surprised by how young the characters were. I was intrigued from the beginning of the book and read it straight through. I thought the premise was pretty cool . . . a girl writing in her diary in another language and as somebody else. That would be freaky for any one to deal with, but the character, Katelyn, is only eleven years old. 

The story crosses over between Katelyn's life and the life of the girl writing in her diary, Akasha, who has been dead many many years. Katelyn has to deal with her mother taking her to psychiatrist, being institutionalized, being put in a temporary facility for girls, and meeting with social workers to determine if she is well enough to return to society. Akasha had to deal with her boyfriends overbearing father, an arranged marriage between her love, Sanjay, and a girl he had never met, an attempt to immigrate from their home country to Canada, and a horrible accident that changed their future forever.

Some of the scenes are pretty tough to read, especially some dealing with Akasha's life without Sanjay. Katelyn's life wasn't a picnic either. All she wanted was to prove that this was really happening to her, that Akasha was taking over her body and mind. In the end, everything works out for Katelyn and Akasha.

I found this book to be a really good read. I liked the historical aspects mixed with the modern world. The book has a satisfying ending that wraps up all the story lines. All in all, the book is well-written, the story evokes emotions, both good and bad, from the reader, lessons are learned, and everything works out in the end. I would rate this book as 4 out of 5 stars.

I highly recommend getting a copy of this book for yourself and your middle school child.

To learn more about the author, Christine Hart, read on below:

Award-winning author Christine Hart lives on BC’s beautiful West Coast. She loves writing about places and spaces with rich history and visually fascinating elements as a backdrop for the surreal and spectacular. 

Christine has an undergraduate degree in writing and literature, along with a professional background in communications and design. She is a member of the Federation of BC Writers and SF Canada.

When not writing, she breaks stuff and makes stuff – in that order – for the Etsy shop Sleepless Storyteller.

Follow Christine Hart on Social Media:
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To buy this book and others by Christine Hart, check her out on  Amazon  at

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Celebrating Christmas with Beth Carter

Our guest blogger today is author Beth Carter. Beth is an author with Soul Mate Publishing. She also writes children's books and recently tried her hand at indie publishing. Today Beth is talking about her Christmas books, in particular, her new Christmas novella, MIRACLE ON AISLE TWO. Don't forget to enter the giveaway later in the post. Thanks for taking over the blog today, Beth.

Thank you for having me, Carly! I love having the support of a fellow Soul Mate Publishing author. As background, I’ve written four books published by Soul Mate including my debut, THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS, (its Book 2 counterpart, CHAOS AT COCONUTS, releases in April 2018); SLEEPING WITH ELVIS; and SANTA BABY, a novelette, for the SMP SIZZLE IN THE SNOW anthology.

Today, I’d like to discuss my Christmas novella, MIRACLE ON AISLE TWO, because, well, it’s the holiday season, it’s a new release, and who doesn’t love sweet, heartwarming Christmas stories?  I adore writing holiday stories. This is my third including my children’s picture book, SANTA’S SECRET.

As background, I wrote my novella quicker than any other book (even my kids’ books) because I was determined to get it published by November 1. I had never indie published before (I love Soul Mate but decided to do this in order to get my book out this holiday season!) Working 9-11 hour days for weeks, I ended up wearing wrist braces to meet my deadline and barely made it.
I’m humbled by several very positive reviews. In fact, I just received my first editorial review from UnCaged Book Reviews for MIRACLE ON AISLE TWO. It was five stars!! I’m still dancing around the house. Here’s what other reviewers are saying: “Perfect story to kick off the holidays.” “…got me blubbering happy tears. Loved the setting, storyline, especially the characters.” “Generates a feel-good Christmas spirit.” “…good things can happen—even during a teary moment at the customer service counter.” “…carried me through a whole range of emotions. Awesome Christmas story of giving.” “Single mom gets fired just before Christmas - dashing hero enters the picture ... but then there's so much more! This story is at once a fairy-tale and at the same time so grounded in detail that it feels so real - what a treat!”

The blurb will give you a good feel for the sweet tone, yet alarming dilemma in my novella, as well as the two adults, Madison and Adam. There’s also a five-year-old kindergartner, Betsy, who asks for just four gifts, which unbeknownst to her, are in dire jeopardy after her single mom gets fired two weeks before Christmas!
**GIVEAWAY** Tell me what gifts you loved as a kid? What did you whisper to Santa when you sat on his lap? I’ll choose one commenter to win an eBook of MIRACLE ON AISLE TWO!

Thank you for having me, Carly. Everyone, please follow me on social media, visit my website, and check out my books.  Merry Christmas!
Fired two weeks before Christmas, distraught single mom Madison wonders how she’ll afford to pay for her young daughter’s Christmas gifts and still keep a roof over their heads. Sleigh bells and twinkling lights are the last thing on her mind—until a handsome stranger intervenes.

Successful architect Adam Donovan dives into his work by renovating an elaborate hotel after his wife leaves him. He barely notices it’s Christmastime until he overhears a young mother’s tearful plea. Stepping in makes Adam feel like Old Saint Nick himself.

Will Madison and Adam find holiday joy—and possibly love—after discovering Adam’s secret or will it tear them apart?