Friday, September 26, 2014

The Best Book I Read in September is...

It's that time of month again! Time to participate in The Cephalopod Coffeehouse! I finally get to choose the best book I read this month as part of a blog hop!

 

I don't read mysteries. I don't like whodunnits (not since reading Agatha Christie as a kid). Admittedly, and unfortunately, traditional mysteries usually bore me. 😴 I can't stand trying to matriculate and figure out why this happened or who did what. The only mysteries I typically read are true crime mysteries--you know, the sort that actually happened in Illinois or Florida or Washington state.

I'm not a huge reader of The New York Times best sellers either. No particular reason, really. I just don't usually grab them from the bookstore shelf or order them on my kindle. I don't feel the need to read something just because everyone else says its good.

Nevertheless, this book intrigued me. And maybe it was because other friends had and were reading it. But I finally broke down and read Gone Girl.

And it's the best book I read this month. I simply could not put it down. Yes, it's a mystery--but not a traditional one. Amy Dunne's journal entries recall romantic days with Nick, her husband. They wooed, they married, they fell apart--and it's all right there in the pages of her diary. Even to the point where she alludes to being afraid of him...because he just might kill her.

This is an absolute page-turner. I could not wait to find out what happened, and no matter how hard I speculated, all of my guesses were wrong.

The characters are unlikable to be sure, but there is something compelling about the plot. Flynn is a master of compounding complication upon complication without annoying or frustrating readers.

Although slightly irritating (and a bit unbelievable), the unexpected ending was satisfying. Now I'm looking forward to seeing the movie, as it comes out in the theaters next week!




1.The Armchair Squid2.mainewords
3.Berriesandmore4.Linda Kay
5.Cherdo on the Flipside6.V'sReads
7.Aristotle's Mistake8.Life Before the Hereafter
9.Subliminal Coffee.10.My Creatively Random Life
11.WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME12.Stephanie Faris
13.About Myself By Myself14.StrangePegs -- The Marvelous Land of Oz
15.MOCK!16.StrangePegs -- Many Waters
17.StrangePegs -- A Flock of Ill Omens18.Words Incorporated
19.Hub City 
1.The Armchair Squid2.mainewords
3.Berriesandmore4.Linda Kay
5.Cherdo on the Flipside6.V'sReads
7.Aristotle's Mistake8.Life Before the Hereafter
9.Subliminal Coffee.10.My Creatively Random Life
11.WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME12.Stephanie Faris
13.About Myself By Myself14.StrangePegs -- The Marvelous Land of Oz
15.MOCK!16.StrangePegs -- Many Waters
17.StrangePegs -- A Flock of Ill Omens18.Words Incorporated
19.Hub City 
1.The Armchair Squid2.mainewords
3.Berriesandmore4.Linda Kay
5.Cherdo on the Flipside6.V'sReads
7.Aristotle's Mistake8.Life Before the Hereafter
9.Subliminal Coffee.10.My Creatively Random Life
11.WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME12.Stephanie Faris
13.About Myself By Myself14.StrangePegs -- The Marvelous Land of Oz
15.MOCK!16.StrangePegs -- Many Waters
17.StrangePegs -- A Flock of Ill Omens18.Words Incorporated
19.Hub City 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Guest Character Post

I usually post on Wednesdays and Fridays, so I'm a day late drawing your attention to my guest character post on Written Love blog site. Ella Casey speaks on returning to one's hometown and the difficulties of love.

Enjoy!

Click HERE to read post.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Favorite Things Friday: Sighthounds! Meet Reyna...

I've decided to dedicate my Friday blogs to my favorite things. The first Friday of the month I will feature something inspirational; the second Friday of the month will feature my wine of the month (I really have a closet longing to write for Wine Enthusiast or Wine Spectator--ha!); the third Friday will feature a sighthound of the month (specifically, one that needs a new home); and the last Friday will feature my favorite book of the month.

So today is Sighthound Friday, but before I reveal my dog of the month, I want to take a minute to talk about her breed and the plight these dogs are currently facing. The galgo is a Spanish greyhound. They look pretty much the same, they act pretty much the same, and have pretty much the same temperament as the American retired racing greyhound. In Spain, the galgos are used for hunting, much like we would use our American hunting dogs (to flush quarry, lead hunters to them, etc.). The difference is that the galgo is not typically considered a companion animal in Spain. They are utilitarian only, and when the hunters (galgueros) are finished for the season, the dogs are discarded, abandoned, or killed (I won't even go into the unspeakable ways many of these dogs are killed, let alone how poorly they're treated in general).

There are now several organizations in Spain attempting to educate hunters and the community at large about these dogs and they fact that they're not just objects to be thrown away (many galgos are actually thrown down wells and left to die). Galgos del Sol and Baas Galgos are working hard to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome these beautiful dogs. Part of the rehoming process involves several organizations here in the states. These organizations work with the Spanish ones to ship the dogs to foster and adoptive homes here in the U.S. One of the organization is The Sighthound Underground. SHUG boasts volunteers all over the country who foster and transport these dogs when they arrive at various airports (some even fly to and from Spain to accompany the dogs' travels). SHUG also transports sighthounds (Afghans, Salukis, Borzoi, etc.) from places like Qatar and Korea.

Finally, I want to reveal our dog of the month. This is Reyna.






Reyna is a four-year-old galgo who has apparently had a very tough life thus far. More than likely she was badly abused by a male hunter, as she is fearful of men. Now, this is not to say that she will always be this way--she needs to have her trust in men rebuilt, but she might do best with experienced dog owners, a single lady, or a household of women, etc. According to her foster mom, Reyna is quiet, crate-trained, and dog-friendly. She is loving and affectionate to those she knows and approaches familiar folks for pets. Having said that, Reyna has been overlooked at adoption events because it takes her a little while to warm up to new people.

In the right home and with a lot of love and patience, Reyna has the potential to overcome her fear of men. She does need to be in a cat-free home, as she's trained to hunt fast, furry critters, but other dogs are fine.

If you are interested in Reyna, you can submit an application through The Sighthound Underground. Reyna's adoption fee is $300.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mission Book Signing #1: Accomplished!


This past Saturday I was in Kingsport, Tennessee (my hometown and the setting of Song from the Ashes) for my first book signing. It took place at River Mountain Antiques & Primitives in the middle of the downtown (and right next to the annual Oktoberfest celebration). 
I should preface this by say that I absolutely detest being the center of attention (I think that may be a common personality trait of writers), so the idea of two hours of attention was daunting.
 
 

We arrived around 12:15 and set up (my mom came with me to help with the sales, and my step-father and husband came along to offer moral support). No one was in the store at 12:30, but the signing didn’t start until 1 p.m., so we sat and waited patiently. At first I was afraid no one was going to come. It’s a strange feeling to know that people are coming (or not coming) to see you.






 
 
Around 1:15, people started to flood in. I couldn’t believe it! People who knew me from elementary school (!), people who’d read the article in the local newspaper, people who were friends of family—they were all coming into the store to meet me. And the really amazing part was that people were buying my book!





 Two hours actually flew by, and I had a wonderful time talking to people and seeing family and friends I hadn’t seen in ages.  





It was a relief when it was all said and done and we could head to the clubhouse for the launch party, where friends and family joined us for drinks and food. (Unfortunately, we had so much fun at the party that we forgot to take pictures!) A million and one thanks to my mom and step-father who put lots of time, energy, and dollars into the party!

 Now on to the next book signing this Saturday at Book Lover’sBazaar at Tackett’s Mill in Lake Ridge, Virginia!
 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Character Interview

I had never heard of a "character interview" before doing a virtual book tour. Basically, as the name suggests, it involves an interview with a character from a novel. When I first received the request, I was completely blocked with fear (it seemed like such a strange thing to do), but then I got over myself and realized that it was a very creative way to feature the book!

Today's virtual book tour stop is at The Literary Nook: an interview with Landon Kingsley, the main character in Song from the Ashes.

Enjoy!

Character Interview at The Literary Nook.

Wednesday I'll discuss the wonderful book signing and party from this past weekend and display some pictures!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Signing this Weekend!

So this is it! My first book signing EVER happens this weekend at River Mountain Antiques & Primitives in Kingsport, Tennessee on 120 Broad Street from 1-3 p.m. For those of you who don't yet have your copy, you will be able to purchase Song from the Ashes on the day.

I should also point out that River Mountain Antiques is one of the coolest stores you'll ever visit! They sell unique and beautiful clothing, hand-made jewelry, locally made foodstuffs, vintage and contemporary merchandise, household decor, and ...wait for it...antiques! Anyway, the store is a real gem and it's right in the middle of the downtown, near the train tracks and old train station, in the most charming part of Kingsport (at least I think so).

Here's a link to the store's write-up in a local online magazine called Examiner and a promotional video.



I hope to see some of you there!



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

An Interview and a Giveaway!

I think I'm much happier doing virtual interviews than I ever would be if they were in person.

Check out my interview on Emilie Hendryx's site Thinking Thoughts and you can register for a free giveaway of my book!

INTERVIEW

Thank you for hosting me, Emilie!

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Day at the Scottish Games with Two Greyhounds

Last weekend my husband and I attended the Virginia Scottish Games.

For anyone who isn't familiar with the Scottish Games festivals, these are annual celebrations including events such as terrier races, border collie sheep herding, clan kiosks, authentic food, whiskey tasting, and vendors selling kilts, tartans, tams, etc. In Virginia, the festival is usually held in The Plains, near Middleburg, but the Scottish Games in general can be found all over the country.



I'm of Scottish heritage, so this festival appealed to me on an ancestral level, but also because of its dog-friendly nature. Chase and Trinity happily joined us on our adventure.





So what great activities did with partake in? Next to none. Why? Because when you have greyhounds, you cannot walk more than three feet without someone stopping you with a barage of the following questions?

"Is that a whippet?"

"Can I pet your dog?"

"Is that a Great Dane?"

"What kind of dog is that?"

And invariably, fellow greyhound owners attend these events, and you end up in a forty-five minute discussion about greyhounds, rescues, racing history, geneology, etc.

Here is a list of a what my husband and I did  at the Scottish Games besides stop and talk to people about our dogs:

  • Looked at one wool sweater (but we never made a deicision about buying it because people were stopping to talk to us about our dogs)




  • Watched half of a sheep herding event (Chase and Trinity were too restless to stand still for more than a few minutes)




  • Bought food (but had to stand and eat, and as Trinity jerked at the end of her leash,  the remaining contents in my bowl of haggis flipped over and into my purse)

  • Drank a beer (successfully)





  • Stepped and fell into a hole badly bruising both knees

  • Viewed British imported and antique cars (but only saw a few--waylaid talking to other greyhound owners whose dog was distantly related to our retired racer).




Finally, exhausted after three hours of talking to people and seeing next to nothing, we walked what seemed like three miles back to our car and headed home to collapse.

The dogs had a great time.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Two Book Tour Stops Today!

I have two virtual book tours overlapping at the moment. My tour with Pump Up Your Book starts today at The Examiner.  I'm also visiting Celia Kennedy's blog today with Fiction Addiction tours. You can check out that link HERE and enter the amazon gift card giveaway!