Monthly Archives: January 2017

Book Review: Step-by-Step Guide On How to Plan A Baby Shower Party for Boys

Book Title: Step-by-Step Guide On How to Plan A Baby Shower Party for Boys step-by-step

Book Author: D. O. Davis

Source: Kindle Unlimited

Rating: 5 Dragon Paws 5-paws

I’m at that age where friends get married and have kids. Happy and proud time of our lives!

So, in my culture, we celebrate the arrival of a baby after the baby is born, preferable 3 months after birth. Here, in USA, there’s such a thing as a baby shower which is done before the baby arrives (during the mom-to-be’s 2nd or 3rd trimester).

This book is great and is available through Kindle Unlimited.

One of the best tips is that to not make the party during holidays and or important sports events because, wait for it, baby showers are not only for mom-to-be’s and her lady friends but nowadays, men can be invited to the showers, too!!! I totally didn’t know that. I also didn’t know about the games and prizes and food. Now, I can easily plan a party and I may need to in the next months to come. ^_^ As I said, a good time.

This book is recommended for those who are planning a baby shower and not necessarily for baby boys. Just change colors from blue to pink. 😉 It’s a fast read, has a ton of useful links and just gives you great ideas.

I really liked the Winning Plate game which is considered a game and it’s super easy to do, plus a neat idea. Could be reused for other types of parties. With all of my working hours, family time, and writing time, I stopped going to parties long time ago so this was a nice way to get back into the groove.

 

Book Review: Sunset Reads: Damian & Layla (Sunset Reads #2)

Book Title: Sunset Reads: Damian & Layla (Sunset Reads #2) sunset-reads

Book Author: D.C.Triana

Source: Received a copy as a gift for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5 Dragon Paws 5-paws

Sunset Reads is a story about two people falling in love in the universe of Sunset Reads which was started with the book 1 of the series. I do hope that D.C. writes a story for Henry, he needs to be happy after not getting the girl of his dreams.

The cover is very pretty and as eye catching as the first.

The pacing of the story line was really good and it didn’t feel like months had passed between the beginning and the chapter of Damian’s return. However, there were some typos that were a little nagging which is for why I took off some from the main rating. The novel ended on a good note with a happy ending. The FBI agent got the girl and the girl got a nice looking future ahead of her.

In my review of the first book, I wrote: “One of my favorite side characters was Cristina’s brother, Henry. I’m wondering if there will be a novel about him and one of Cristina’s best friends unless I’ve read the hints wrong.” Interesting how I come back to him without even remembering that I did… oh and where was Obi, Christina’s dog? We saw Christina’s growing family, but didn’t hear about her book projects which would have been nice to see…though I do see the point of omitting that information cause the book was about a different couple.

Oh, and those two should really learn to respect others…in a way of not making them uncomfortable 😉 Talking of course about Damian with Layla. Very well written scenes for those of us who like steamy romance. Oh, and this wasn’t really a slow romance, more of a ride of this one and I think that I was the plan.

I highly recommend to the readers  (18+ years) who love reading about romance stories in one universe.

The gift of short story for SHADOW SUMMIT

The King’s Nephew

A foul curse escaped my mouth as I was barely able to hang on to the cliffs.

That was a close call. I maneuvered myself to a ledge and pulled myself over. Heaving slightly, I laid down for a break and shielded my eyes from the scorching sunlight.

My sword never felt this heavy before and I was angered at my king for sending me to find that traitorous bastard of a sorcerer. The king told me that there would be lands given to me upon arrival with his head in my bag. I needed those lands so my daughter would finally have a dowry. I couldn’t wait till my wife would stop her nagging. She thought she was marrying a warrior with enough lands for his children, not a warrior who had mere acres for himself and her. Greedy woman.

Quickly and carefully, I got back onto my feet and stared at my destination – a cave hidden to the left about four meters away. According to scouts, it was the sorcerer’s favorite spot.

“He better be there,” I whispered to the wind and kept climbing.

Only a sorcerer could get up this high. A man without physical training would fall to his doom.  

About four meters later, I was drenched through for the rain goddess, Tohil, decided to make my climb harder.

All the better, I thought, I could pretend to be in need and get close to him without raising suspicions.

I entered the cave at a jog and shook my body. Rain drops fell around me and I was reminded me of my dog, Tania. She loved playing in the rain.

Slowly my eyes adjusted to the dim light and I looked around. There was a dim fire pit to the right and someone was lying with his back turned to me. It would be simple to end the person’s life, but what if it was not the sorcerer? Before, I could take action, I needed to verify that the person was the right target.

Look for the tattoo on his ankle of a snake wrapped around a pine cone.

I cleared my throat to be polite.

The person turned around and I held in a gasp.

Before me was my old friend and nephew to the king, Roland.

Roland sat up, stretched and scratched his ankle. The flames started burning on their own and I saw the tattoo.

How could I not have known that Roland was the sorcerer?

“John?” Roland asked, looking surprised.

“Yeah.”

“What are you doing here?”

“Wife needed herbs,” I said and shrugged. “Heard they grow on this mountain.”

“Ah,” he replied knowingly. “Mandrakes.”

I decided not to reply.

“Well,” he said, “sit by the fire and warm your bones. Tohil did a good job on your clothing.”

Slowly, I sat down on one of the rocks.

“You can take off your armour,” Roland reminded me, “it would be more comfortable.”

I shook my head no and watched him make tea over the fire.

“Why are you here?” I asked.

His blue eyes shined bright over the flames. “I needed to get away.”

“How did you get up here?” I persuaded. “I don’t remember you caring for physical training.”

Roland smiled. “With my powers, of course.”

That threw me off guard and my expression showed it for Roland laughed, hard.

“Fear not, my old friend.” Roland turned serious. “For I’ll tell you a story of how my uncle plotted to kill me.”

Do I believe him?

“The king loves power and hates responsibility,” Roland started, “he overtook the throne for my father after my father became gravely ill. Little too late did I learn that my uncle hired a sorcerer from afar to curse my father. By then, my father was already buried and my secret had been divulged by the evil man to my uncle and new king. Knowing full well that I’m the heir to the throne and not being able to father a child, my uncle decided to keep a close eye on me for fear of me telling the people that their new king was a murderer.”

“It’s been months since the correlation,” I commented, “I’m surprised that you didn’t say anything.”

Roland smiled sadly.

“I would have,” he agreed and continued, “but, the evil sorcerer came back after the deed was done. He wanted more power for himself and so he brewed a potion for my uncle. The potion would help him father a child, but only if taken during a full moon. Now, the queen is pregnant and I’m no longer necessary to the throne.”

“It could still be a girl,” I thought out loud.

“It matters not for she can marry a prince,” Roland replied. “My time is over at the kingdom and I was wondering on who he shall send after me. It was a real surprise to see my former friend.”

Bile rose to the surface and I was grateful for the cup of tea that Roland gave me during his speech.

Do I believe him?

“Who is this evil sorcerer?” I asked.

I were told that you’re the evil one, but I see no menace in you other than your usual character…

“You’ll be laughing,” Roland said and laughed to himself. “It’s the jester.”

I blinked, surprised.

Was Roland pulling my leg? He used to play jokes like that all the time…

“I know, right,” Roland snickered, “you did notice that the jester changed?”

“Ours was hanged for a bad joke,” I said slowly.

He shook his head. “No, but that was a good cover. The evil sorcerer came dressed as a jester to the court after setting up ours. He worked his magic on my uncle and worked it until my uncle hired him to be his sorcerer. Both of them decided to keep their real business relationship a secret.”

“How did you find out?” I asked, suspiciously.

“Magic leaves traces,” he replied, sadly, “and there’s dark magic around the jester.”

I drained the remains of my tea and looked into the flames.

Could I trust him?

I wasn’t in the high rank of warriors and so saw little of the new jester during big events. It was true that the queen was pregnant and everyone rejoiced in that fact while knowing that the royal family was truly lucky. Everyone knew that their king’s brother could not father children and that when he took the throne, Roland would be king.

There’s certainly questionable things…

My head now rested in my hand and my fingers pushed hard, moving through my hair.

This was supposed to be easy…

“You can take me back,” Roland’s words shocked me to raise my head to look at him. “I know that there’s no running in our world. Everyone knows my face. My uncle will make a speech to the people of me being the killer of my father and I would be put to death. It would be better this way than to have my blood on your sword.”

He’s willing to die and to protect my heart… he couldn’t be a liar… or he could be a fantastic actor.

“Maybe.” My words we stuck in my throat.

“Hmm?”

“Maybe I can bring back a heart and tell the king that it’s yours,” I said slowly.

Roland’s face fell. “It seems that both of us thought that our friendship was ended and yet we’re trying to protect one another. Sadly, the evil sorcerer will know that it’s not my heart. For you to kill an innocent… no. Can’t do it.”

“What if we put your blood on the heart? We cut out the heart of a pig, leave it in your blood…I mean you would be weak for a while, but you’ll live.”

“He’ll probably want it on display,” Roland said.

I shook my head. “Won’t be possible unless he likes the smell.”

Roland sighed. “I wish this was different. It’s easier just to take me in.”

“Do you want to die that badly?” I asked.

“No.”

“Then,” I said, “lets try it my way.”

He tilted his head and looked at me for what felt like forever.

I poured myself more tea in the meantime.

“If we’re found out, I’ll be far away from here, somewhere else on another continent,” he said seriously, “you’ll be hanged for your act of deceit.”

“I’ll be hanged anyway,” I said, “for my wife will not be happy to lose the promised lands.”

Roland sighed again.

“If you’re truly a sorcerer then you can make sure the jester will not figure out that it’s not your heart,” I said, “you can protect me.”

“You realize that you’re going against your king?” Roland asked.

“I realize that I have a choice to bring you in or to fake your death,” I said through anger. “I don’t like my choices, but I don’t think that I can kill you.”

“Even after our past?” I asked.

“The past doesn’t matter when it comes to taking a life,” I replied.

“Then,” he said, giving up, “I’ll give you a bag of my blood that you can drench a pig’s heart in.”

I sat back, feeling grateful once again. Finally, we reached our decision.

“John?”

“Yeah?”

“What if I truly killed my father?”

“Are you planning to come back for the throne?” I asked back.

“Maybe to marry the daughter…” Roland laughed.

“Well if I learn then that you lied to me,” I warned, “I can kill you then.”

He smiled at me. “Sounds like a plan and don’t worry, I’ll put a protection spell on you so they can’t hang you.”

“Why, thank you,” I laughed.

For the rest of the night, we remembered our past, drained some of his blood into a bag and in the morning, I killed a pig.

I haven’t seen Roland for years after that, though he did send letters. My daughter married off well and I was happy with my decision to mislead the king for the jester did show his true colors after the king’s daughter turned 10.

Trusting him was the right decision, though was indeed a fast decision.

Deity’s Soulmate (2nd Edition) Update

Hello everyone,

I know that there weren’t a lot of book reviews lately or any talks about other topics. That is because I have been revising Deity’s Soulmate with 3 awesome people!

Currently the novel is with 3 beta readers and a proofreader. Yes, those two are happening at the same time and whatever grammar issues the beta readers will find (if they will comment on it) will be fixed at the same time by the proofreader! If anyone is interested in being a beta, I wouldn’t say no. ^_^ Just send me a message.

The new synopsis for the novel:

~

“Deity’s Soulmate (Book 1)” is an 60,000 word novel set in a fantasy setting of a span of about 21 years.

The book is written predominantly from the point of view of Gardenia, a rebellious teenage goddess, who had her world turned upside down by one of the Fate sisters. Her easy going lifestyle of slowly learning about creation of life is destroyed after she learns the truth about humanity and after Hera’s daughter egged her on to prove the Fate wrong on Gardenia’s fate.

Gardenia’s punishment is to learn the 13 days of creation from 13 different teachers for a 100 years. However, what Zev didn’t count on was on Gardenia abandoning the family to learn from his enemy, the dragons. And to make things worse, Hera and her daughter are out to make things difficult for her to succeed. To succeed, Gardenia turns her back on her family and tries her hardest to learn about creation all the while travelling the stars and finding her soulmate.

Imaginative, amusing, and adventurous, the Goddess Training Trilogy Book 1 is a tale that will possess you to want to travel the stars.

~

A new cover is in the works as well and will be just as awesome as the first!

Since the novel is with the readers and proofreader, I will be hopefully posting the last of the short stories and more reviews of books.

Wish me luck!

Book Review: The Girl Who Could Change Fate

Book Title: The Girl Who Could Change Fate fate

Book Authors: Cassidy Ostergren

Source: Kindle Unlimited

Rating: 5 Dragon Paws 5 paws

One of the reasons of why I decided to read the book was the cover. Isn’t pretty? I do admit the synopsis fools you. I really thought it would be more dramatic, though it did have that flare.

Lacey is a fifteen year old girl with a power of changing fate and she’s not the only one. There are others with similar gifts and what’s more is that there’s an organization which is against the ones with those powers. There’s a big hint that there will be a book 2… mainly due to another organization popping in.

It is a book for teenagers, especially modern ones because there were words which I had to look up or ask my friends to define them. I can’t talk like a teenager anymore and this book proved it… yikes!

Overall, it’s a great fantasy story which can be read in one sitting. Recommended to all.

 

My music influence

Happy Friday everyone,

Today, I want to bring up a sort of a personal topic. I hardly ever get personal but for whatever reason, it’s the new year and I want to share my music experience with you.

I came to Unites States when I was 9 years old. Before coming here, the only musicians that I heard of where:

singersNot a lot, huh? Also, not really good music for kids…

I knew NO English when I came to this country. There were only two words in my vocabulary – cat AND dog. Didn’t help with making friends or understanding teachers who spoke English half of the time…the other half was spoken in Spanish (that was before we moved to another area).

After we moved to a new area, my father gained an awesome best friend, who to this day, I call Uncle. He was the first person to gift me a CD. Can you believe it? My own CD! I was so excited. I felt like I was growing up and I could own my own CD’s. Boy, was I also excited when I got a CD player. Do any of you still remember those? They were after cassette players and before iPod.

At that time period, these where the bands that the young were listening to:

music-that-i-grew-up-with So back to my first CD. My first CD was of Britney Spears. What was your first CD?

I listened to all of the songs, translated them, danced to them and was super excited when McDonald’s shared Britney Spears/NSYNC VHS with their meals. I have no idea where the VHS is at the moment, but it’s somewhere in the garage.

I, of course, had my parents get me her next album – Oops I did it again. AND- I just had to have those doorway streamers. My cat loved it! It took me a while to realize that they are annoying, loud, and in the way, but I had to have them.

I may have the third CD somewhere around the house and later with iTunes help, I downloaded her music. I still listen to her music to this day and it’s not surprising that when I think about my book characters, some of her songs come to mind.

In my work in progress (mafia story line), a college girl falls for the bad boy, a Mafioso. When I was writing the novel, her song “Criminal” had come out and I was like “Oh my god! What a perfect song to describe the character’s emotions!”

In my novella (Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted), the  main character is blind. After I finished the novella, I realized that a good song to go along with it would be “Overprotected.” Coincidence?

The point is that we as writers may not be aware of outside influences on our minds from other sources. I was certainly surprised that the very first song artist that greeted me in United States would be coming back to my life through my writing. Yes, ideas are mine and I owe them completely, but it’s nice to know that I can still connect to the first music artist. I may not know modern song writers, but I can still connect with Britney. Thank you to Britney for still being out there.

Well, I just have to mention my 2nd edition of Deity’s Soulmate. I would say that if I connect it to her music somehow, it would be with the song “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman.” Gardenia, the main character, goes through years of training and with her relationship with her family, it made her grow up hard. It takes a while for her to realize that she’s not yet a woman until she meets her soulmate… cheesy I know, but hey it works. Life struggles.

So, I have a question for you guys.

What was your first CD? Favorite artist? Did that artist influence you in any way? Can you still connect with them when you’re feeling down? If you’re a writer, is there a song writer who speaks perfectly for your characters? 

Thank you for reading and have a happy weekend!

The gift of short story for Tammy @ a word about books

Breaking through the Fear

I watched as her body slowly relaxed, the pain disappearing and a look of wonder now sporting on her elderly face. It was a wonder that she’d been here for a week and I only noticed her now. Her pain was painful to look at.

“Thank you,” she uttered weakly and reached out to touch my hand.

I pulled away quickly and shook my head. Her answer didn’t evade my senses. Usually people questioned me to no end, but she didn’t and that was nice. I was thankful in return, however, I still couldn’t allow her to touch me for if she did, the amulet’s power would have been used for nothing.

She nodded and then looked out the window.

Quickly, I fixed my gloves and returned the amulet around my neck, hiding it under my shirt.

“Want to hear a story?” the elderly woman questioned.

It was my turn to nod.

“It happened on a moonless night,” she began, “and the girl was ten. She was crying under one of the village’s totems. Her sobs reached the ears of a bear spirit who decided to ask the reason behind her tears.”

There was a pause while the woman got more comfortable against her pillows.

““Why are you crying, little girl?” the bear asked. The girl replied with, “my grandfather is ill. He’s on the edge of the underworld.” The bear looked surprised. “Do you know what that means?” The young girl shook her head uncertainly. “I think that he’ll be going on a journey and I’ll never see him again.” The bear smiled. “Yes, a new journey that everyone takes at one point of their lives.” The girl nodded and continued crying. Through sobs, she said, “I want to help him. I want to give him something to remember me by.” The bear was impressed for the little girl knew that she could help her grandfather and didn’t ask for things that could not be given by anyone, including spirits.”

“So sad,” I whispered.

The woman shook her head. “Nadya. There is no such thing as sadness. People have created such an emotion and with it fear for their own stupid purpose. Everything happens for a reason.”

Then what’s the reason for my curse? Why was I cursed to be lonely forever since the age of five? Why can’t I be happy? No, sweet lady. There is sadness in this world and it wasn’t created by humans, it was created by demons.

“The bear spirit picked out a flower by the little girl and it started glowing. “Give this flower to your grandfather for his safe journey.” The little girl was startled. “How can a flower keep him safe?” The bear laughed. “It can for it’s a gift from his smart granddaughter.” That same evening, the little girl gifted her grandfather with the flower. Her family was proud of her and were thankful to the bear spirit after they heard her story. Grandfather passed away that night with a smile on his face.”

“Good ending,” I told the nice woman. “Well relatively speaking.”

The elderly woman laughed and it reminded me of the bear.

“Thank you for healing me, Nadya,” the elderly woman said.

I gulped and got up. “I need to go on my rounds. I will see you later, Genie.”

As I exited her room, I heard, “I hope that you learned a lesson from the bear spirit.”

👧

The next day, during my rounds, I walked into Genie’s empty room. The window was open and flower petals were escaping from the stems that held them hostage.

“Where’s Genie?” I asked Patty, a passing nurse. “Was she released.

Patty shook her head. “Genie passed away peacefully in the night. I’m sorry.”

My purse slid down my arm and my vision became dotty.

“Hey!” Patty yelled, grabbing me by arm.

I was thankful that I was wearing a coat and she didn’t touch my skin.

“How?” I asked, regaining my composure.

“It was her time, dear,” Patty replied. “I know that our patients usually survive their illnesses and we have people coming to this hospital for our good karma, but we do lose one or two in a while.”

I nodded and watched her leave.

It was impossible. Genie couldn’t have died… not after I used my amulet on her.

Slowly, I made my way to the outside courtyard and sat down on a bench. Tears slid down my face and I wished for a hat to cover my face.

“Why are you crying?”

Startled, I looked up into the most beautiful eyes that I’ve ever seen. They reminded me of a magical forest.

“I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye,” I said and it felt like the wind hid my answer.

“Ah,” he replied knowingly and sat down next to me. I scooted away but he sat closer.

“Excuse me?”

He laughed. “So you must be Nadya.”

I blinked.

“The gloves are the dead give away,” he explained. “A nurse told me about a volunteer who always gloves. She said that everyone loves her and patients feel better around her.”

“She’s exaggerating,” I replied.

I’ve spent here too long. I need to move on. Simple enough since I don’t really have friends in this town, just acquaintances.

“Not what Genie said,” he replied.

Now, I really looked at him.

His short black hairs danced in the wind. His green eyes seemed to see right through my soul and his black suit didn’t help, either.

“I need to go,” I told him and got up.

He rose with me and grabbed my hand, pulling off one of my gloves. “You have such white hands. You should let them out more to be in the sun.”

I was too shocked to move and I watched and then felt his hand on my hand. It was coming, his death and I was powerless to stop it. When seconds passed and nothing happened, I blinked and stared at him.

“H… how?”

“Names Armel,” the young man said and let go of my hand. “I’ll see you later, Nadya.”

He walked away, whistling.

My feet stayed rooted to the ground.

What just happened?

👧

Over the next couple of weeks, my life had turned upside down. Someone could finally touch me and I looked forward to seeing Armel. They weren’t romantic touches, but around him, my gloves were gone. It hadn’t happened in twenty years and it felt weird yet amazing.

However, he was really good at dodging my questions. He knew about me and I didn’t know anything about him. I, even, allowed him to look in on my sessions with patients and my use of amulet. And after weeks of us spending more and more time together, he showed me his amulet.

It was identical to mine.

Knowing that this time, he couldn’t escape my questions, I attacked. “What does your amulet do?”

“While yours heals,” he replied, “mine takes away life.”

I gasped and a realization hit me.

He nodded. “Yes, after you healed Genie, she spoke to me and I helped her cross over.”

“Why?”

“Because she was ready to move on. My amulet is like a flower that helps someone have a safe journey in our next step of existence.”

“How?”

He smiled. “There’s a need for balance. You haven’t been cursed as you think you are.”

I blinked.

“At some point,” he said, “you became scared of your power and that fear turned your body into a killer.”

I stared at my hands. “How do you know so much?”

“I know many things,” he replied. “As a young child, you were pressured to help everyone your family knew and that pressure materialized into a killing instinct. To protect anyone from shaking you senseless until you agreed to help, your body started to reject touch. Your family started viewing you as a curse and you were turned to the streets and yet survived the harshness of our society.”

Tears slid down my face. I haven’t cried this much in years. I didn’t think any tears were left within me.

“Have you met anyone like me before?” I asked. “How are you able to touch me.”

He smiled and wiped away my tears. “I have and I helped them pass through their fear. I can help you. You’re old enough to say goodbye to fear. ”

“How?” I asked. “And, will I see you again? It feels like our time is ending somehow.”

“I will always be in here,” he said and poked my chest at where my heart was. “Close your eyes.”

Slowly, I did and felt his lips on mine. They were soft. His breathe reminded me of a cold winter night. I felt my barriers break and opened my eyes to see him fading away.

I smiled. “Thank you, bear spirit.”

He winked at me and I was left alone in the courtyard.