Book Review: Treasure Me, Book One in the Liberty series – by Christine Nolfi

Treasure Me by Christine NolfiBook: Treasure Me
Author: Christine Nolfi
Publisher: Christine Nolfi
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Date: April 19, 2011
Genre: romantic fiction for adults
Pages: 352
Price: $12.95 paperback; $5.00 Kindle
My Rating: Captivating characters and a story line that reels the reader in.
 

I received a copy of Treasure Me from Christine Nolfi to review.

Treasure Me starts out at a nervous pace, snagging the reader’s attention immediately. The main character, Birdie, is hanging from a ledge three stories above street level, trying to escape from a very angry man from whom she had just lifted a wallet. Now, is that enough to reel you in?

Birdie is a petty thief, taught by her mother. She has had a hard life alongside her mother who moved from town to town, stealing and playing her con games as she went, using her daughter to sweeten the con until cutting her loose at a young age, leaving her to fend for herself. Birdie learned well, and when the opportunity arose to strike it rich she grabbed at it.

Striking it rich, though, didn’t turn out to be as simple as she thought it would be. The only clue she had to hidden treasure in a lazy little town was passed down through generations and she could only hope it still existed. Little did she know her life was about to be drastically influenced by the unsuspecting people of that town in a way that would cause her much regret.

I won’t tell you any more! If this interests you then you will have to read it for yourself. ;)  But, beware: the author sprinkled flirtation, seduction and adult information (although not explicit) throughout so that this is not a book for pre-adult readers.  If it weren’t for that, I would recommend Treasure Me for advanced young readers because the main story line is a good one, well-executed with humour and mystery mixed into the interwoven relationships and fabric of the town’s history.

Christine Nolfi created memorable characters – although a couple are a little exaggerated, perhaps – who made Treasure Me a story in a fictional little town worth visiting.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

About these ads

Say what?? Tiresome blog spam

gives your eyelashes a capital way to commence when they travel into a pedigree job or change of integrity of your be. 

Say what??    The above is how a spam message began – a message waiting for my approval.  Funny, isn’t it? And I did laugh, but there are some days I am so fed up with spam it is no joke!

What gets me is … What are they thinking?! What kind of message is that? And who in their right mind would approve it?

There are some pretty legit-looking comments that are left, though, and a person has to be really on their toes to discern which ones are to be denied as spam. It does get tiresome.

I am thankful for Akismet used here by WordPress, but even then the spam messages pile up in my spam box. I’m very glad they don’t get through to my actual messages, though, so, thanks WordPress team!

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by spam? Has spam ever become more than an annoyance to you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

News about best-selling author Sue Harrison’s Alaska books! (Interview)

Today I’m doing things a little differently. For those of you who haven’t made this discovery yet on your own, I have an exciting announcement about Sue Harrison’s Alaska novels. Now you can purchase them for yourself for your electronic reader! Instead of a book review today, the rest of this post is a sort of interview and is dedicated to Sue for her relating of her e-book experience. Links are included to make it easy to find where you can purchase copies – if you are so tempted and just can’t resist. :)

My question to Sue was: Sue, I haven’t yet mentioned on my blog about your books becoming available as e-books. Do you have information for me regarding that? The following is her reply.

Lynn has asked me to share about the story of  the ebook release of my 6 Alaska novels, so this is a story about a little dream becoming a lot bigger than I ever thought it would.

In August 2012, my husband Neil mentioned that we really should look into my old contracts and see if we could get the ebook rights assigned to us by the publishers of my Alaska books, Doubleday, William Morrow, and HarperCollins. We weren’t all that motivated, thinking that it might take us a long time to jump through all the necessary hoops, but we dug out the contracts and were met with a very welcome surprise. We already owned the rights! The literary agent who represented my Alaska novels, Rhoda Weyr (now retired), had retained those rights – way back in the 1990s before ebooks were “invented,” and I am extraordinarily grateful for her foresight and wisdom.

My husband set to work finding a company that would scan my novel MOTHER EARTH FATHER SKY in preparation for us to self-publish the novel in ebook format. We found Golden Images LLC, and Stan Drew and his people did a super job for us. However, our plans did an abrupt turn around when I received an email on November 7, 2012, from Maggie Lichota Crawford. Maggie was the Avon paperback editor for my first two Alaska books, MOTHER EARTH FATHER SKY and MY SISTER THE MOON. Maggie wrote that she was now working at Open Road Integrated Media, a digital publisher based in New York City. She told us that Open Road publishes many distinguished authors digitally, including James Joyce, Pearl S. Buck, Pat Conroy, William Styron, Anne Perry…. 

And they wanted MY novels?  Wow, serious happy-dancing.

The next few months were filled with fun activities like updating and submitting my biography, reviewing cover artwork, and posing for new author photos. (Thank you, Erin Johnson!) The six novels were released in May 2013, and are available from Open Road and all ebook retailers. What a dream come true!

These are links to each novel (click link to see where to purchase book):

ebook mother-earth-father-sky 

 

Mother Earth Father Sky

 

ebook my-sister-the-moon

 

My Sister the Moon

  

ebook brother-wind

 

 

 Brother Wind

 

ebook song-of-the-river  

 

Song of the River

  

ebook cry-of-the-wind

 

Cry of the Wind

  

ebook call-down-the-stars

 

 

Call Down the Stars

 

But wait, we weren’t finished. Open Road decided to send producer Corey Maloney and cinematographer Luke Locurcio to our house to shoot a publicity video. Here’s the finished product:

Meet Sue Harrison   <– click here to watch the video

For those who are wondering, most of the video was shot here at our house and on our beach and surrounding woods. The hand hefting the axe is my husband’s. And no, we do not have that spectacular waterfall in our backyard. That is Tahquamenon Falls, located about an hour and a half drive northwest of us, and is one of the most recognized landmarks in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Open Road had another big surprise for us in September 2013. It was a Tuesday, and I had begun the mundane work of washing bedding, cleaning, and generally getting back into a routine after a three-day weekend of company. I sat down at the computer and buzzed through the emails that had accumulated and just happened to notice that one of them was from my aunt, Ruth Danner. Ruth’s message said that she’d turned on her Kindle and up popped a very nice advertisement about my novel MOTHER EARTH FATHER SKY.

I immediately did a little sleuthing, found an email from my publicist Laura at Open Road and discovered that MEFS had been selected as the Kindle Daily Deal. Wow! Was that a shocker.

The rest of the day, I was pretty much involved in watching the numbers. (I know that’s vain.) Wednesday was more of the same. Although my novel was back to normal price, people were still buying it. During those two days, MOTHER EARTH FATHER SKY rose to #3 nationwide for Amazon ebook sales, and my author ranking rose to #4 nationwide . That author ranking lasted only a few hours, but I have to admit that it was heady to see myself ranked higher than Stephen King and Clive Cussler.

Despite all this talk about fame, please know that I know fame is a very brittle, unstable foundation for life, for self-worth, or for happiness. I’m so grateful that I don’t need accolades to tell me that I’m loved. My Bible tells me that. My family tells me that. My friends tell me that. I don’t need high author ranks to motivate me to work each day in whatever way God intends. But I did enjoy my 15 minutes of fame, and this is my opportunity to thank all of you for your support, for your help, for your kind words, and for reading my books.

Sue Harrison

Thanks, Sue, for this fabulous and thrilling story of the revival of your books! 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

A few interesting blogging facts

Recently, I read some interesting facts about blogging but I don’t recall where I saw that. I had made note of a few things which stood out to me, and which I will share here in case you might like to know.

graph pie

Were you aware that 64% of bloggers blog as a hobby? Only 27% of bloggers write full-time at this. I think I would consider myself, at present, full-time – or the closest thing to it. I don’t blog every day but I try to keep up a manageable routine and schedule – however haphazard that can be at times. :)

I learned that 21% of bloggers have been blogging for more than 6 years. I started blogging in September 2008 on another site, which makes it five and a half years ago for me.

Do you know what are the major traffic sources for blogs? I’ll tell you: Search Engines make up 48% and Social Media make up 28% – which would consist of Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, and other such places. My posts are noted by me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and anywhere else I or my readers choose to mention my posts.

In January 2010 I moved to WordPress. I am pleased to be one of the 40% of bloggers who are using WordPress as their blogging platform.

Another interesting fact is that 30% of bloggers are 25-34 years of age, while 27% are 35-44 years old, and I don’t fit in either of those age groups! Oh well, I still feel at home here.

How do you rate with regard to the above facts? Do you have any other interesting things to add to this information?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

 

 

 

Sue Harrison’s “Writing the Third Dimension” – part 14: Ready, Set, Go!

Welcome back! Over the next many months we invite you to return here, specifically on the fourth Thursday of each month for the newest installment of Sue Harrison‘s teaching: Writing The Third Dimension. You can read all the segments by clicking on the page title WRITING THE THIRD DIMENSION, found under Writers’ Helps & Workshops on the drop-down menu. Please feel free to ask questions and leave comments for Sue. Now for the topic for month fourteen:

********

“Writing the Third Dimension” – part 14: Ready, Set, Go!

I have a terrible time making a good first impression. I either come off looking stuck up because I don’t say anything at all, or like an idiot because I talk way too much.

The good news is that most people are willing to overlook that first sentence or two that does (or doesn’t) come out of my mouth, but, when we shift our focus from social situations  to novels, that first sentence becomes all important. For many people, including editors and agents, the first sentence is all they need to determine whether or not they read the book.

So let’s discuss two important things you need to learn about writing a first sentence.

1. The first sentence doesn’t have to be written first.

Duh. Of course, you don’t need to write it first. But seriously, you don’t. Since that first sentence is so important, it sometimes stands like a wall, blocking off every strong intent, every beautiful word, every delicious story that could follow, because the writer chokes.Trust yourself, go on with the novel. Start the marathon, but, when you return to that first sentence, consider your prime target.

IMG_1426photo credit: Neil Harrison

Strangely enough, your prime target isn’t craft or artistry. It isn’t even voice, although all those things are important.

2. Your prime target is your reader.

Allow me to share the first sentences from three very different manuscripts that I’m working on. (The titles are “working titles,” which means they’ll probably be changed.)

1. From TAIL FEMALE, “I’ll be fifteen next apple harvest and I got me a baby girl one years old and she’s named Chinaberry Scott.”

2. From WISH, “If you pace it off, the cement floor measures six feet wide and nine feet long, and the ceiling stands high enough that I can’t reach the camera mounted in the corner, even with a running jump.

3. From BONE FIRE, “The morning the giant walked into the village, Rose was stirring a bag of stew that hung over the outside hearth.”

Whatever weaknesses these first sentences contain, each carries one important attribute. It targets the reader, because most readers are going to stop and say, “What?”

My best advice about your first sentence? Write a sentence that holds a bit of mystery in its gut, so it pulls your readers forward into that story you can’t wait to tell them!

Strength to your pen!

Sue

*Writing the Third Dimension, copyright, 2010 Sue Harrison*

Sue HarrisonBestselling author, Sue Harrison, has written two Alaska trilogies: The Ivory Carver Trilogy and The Storyteller Trilogy, and a middle readers’ book SISU. Prior to the publication of her novels, Harrison was employed at Lake Superior State University as a writer and acting director of the Public Relations Department and as an adjunct instructor in creative writing and advanced creative writing. For more information, click here. To inquire about booking Sue for workshops or speaking engagements this year, click here.

Thanks for joining us! Please feel free to leave your questions and comments. We invite you come back April 24, 2014, for part 15.

Important info about Alzheimer’s research! My rant

I’m on a rant! Please indulge me.

As you know, Alzheimer’s disease (one high-profile aspect of dementia) has invaded my family and taken over a major part of my life. Today I have very important information to share with you.

Before you read further, I would like it if you would take this Alzheimer’s quizRight click on the link so you don’t lose your place here.

Much research is being conducted to learn how to prevent, slow, predict Alzheimer’s disease, but study of the actual brain of Alzheimer’s patients cannot be done until after death. I recently learned that the main focus of study is of the male brain because it is easier to work with due to the female brain being more complicated due to hormonal changes and differences. This means that drugs formulated to help Alzheimer’s patients are geared more to the male brain! This is shocking since more women are afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease than are men! Now, does that make sense to you?

I don’t know about you, but that does not sit well with me. Alzheimer’s is following the generations in my family and I for one do not want to have to rely on ill-targeted studies and drugs should it come to that for myself or any other woman in my family.

There are not many causes I believe in enough to commit to support, but Alzheimer’s research is one in which definite strides are being made and support is not misused. In fact, Nova Scotia is a leading force in research and progressive work in learning about this disease. I’m proud of that fact. I also see the huge and urgent need of continued research for breakthroughs. I truly believe that for the generation of my own offspring there will be discoveries made to determine very early if an individual has the actual disease and then stop it from progressing further, thus saving the individual from the horrible regression due to a deteriorating brain. Although now there is a blood test that can reveal if a person has the gene, at present the drugs we have, at best, sometimes slow the progression but cannot stop it. 

I wish I were a scientific genius who could come up with the answers to save so many lives from the agonies of Alzheimer’s disease. There is so very much we don’t know about it … what causes it, what triggers it to start, how to stop it, how to prevent it, how to cure it. There are guesses, lots of those, and there are studies which have found diet has a lot to do with trying to fend it off – foods that make a positive difference for the brain (coconut oil being emphasized now) – but when one is in a family stalked and oppressed by Alzheimer’s that is not enough.  Answers, helps, a cure, PLEASE!

I found a website I would like you to visit. It is called Hope Knot. The name comes from the Hope-Knot project – to combat women’s brain aging disorders. A beautiful design was created by a renowned jewellery designer whose family has experienced the devastating effects of dementia. He explains the inspiration for the design, which I hope you will go HERE to check out for yourself.  Here is what is said on the site: The Women’s Brain Health Initiative wanted an icon to raise awareness and escalate concern over the unchecked growth of dementia and other aging brain diseases in women.

Here is additional good information about Alzheimer’s.

There is more I could say but for now I will simply thank you for permitting me this rant. You can see it is a cause I believe in. I urge you to please visit the website, and if so inclined, make a purchase of that beautiful jewellery to support the effort and honour the many women afflicted – or who will be afflicted – with brain disease. I did.

If you took the Alzheimer’s quiz what were your results? I missed one.

There is talk of a blood test now that will reveal if someone has the Alzheimer’s gene. If given the chance, would you want to know ahead or would you prefer to wait (if you have it) until it is obvious? If you knew ahead, would it change your life?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

PS:  From the Hope-Knot website:  Almost 70% of new Alzheimer’s sufferers will be women. What makes this fact even more alarming is that there is little understanding of why this is the case, and there are no studies currently being undertaken to explore the discrepancy. We at the Women’s Brain Health Initiative intend to change that.

 

 

Book Review: Adventures in Mother-Sitting – by Doreen Cox

Adventures in Mother-Sitting by Doreen CoxBook: Adventures in Mother Sitting
Author: Doreen Cox
Publisher: Olmstead Publishing
Date: January 1, 2010
Genre: Memoir (adult reading)
Pages: 266
Price: $18.00; Kindle under $6.00
My Rating:  A good book for anyone caring for a loved one with dementia

* from the book blurb: ADVENTURES IN MOTHER-SITTING is a memoir that speaks to a journey through grief, through losses of many kinds.

I read this book with the intention of reviewing it, especially since I also am a caregiver of a loved one.

Adventures in Mother Sitting is a book written by the daughter of a woman with Alzheimer’s disease. Doreen Cox wrote from raw and real emotions and experiences. She took the reader through her journey, preserved in journals, in a way that draws the reader into her life, and into her home which she shared with her mother for whom she became a “care bear”.

Three things that stood out to me in a less positive way are:  1. I have never read anything where the author used quotation marks as freely as in this book.  2. It felt as if chapters 11 and 12 yanked me right out of the story and were not necessary.  3. Some repetition seemed unneeded as the reader can understand what was said and will likely remember most of it from before when encountering things that relate back.

Now, that out of the way, the great things about this book are the honesty with which the author wrote and her willingness to share it all. She told in great detail, some parts difficult to read because of the exposed reality of the disease, about how Alzheimer’s (dementia) steals from its victim. Not only are memories stolen, but the memory of how to do even the simplest things disappears. The brain is confused and damaged by the disease, affected in such a way so as to make it stop relaying the usual messages we all take for granted, such as how to eat, dress, carry on a conversation. There is so much to learn about Alzheimer’s, so much to understand in caring for someone afflicted. Doreen opens a window into seeing what it is like living with that horrible disease, and how acutely needed are love, compassion, patience, understanding.  She also bravely shared how it sometimes became too much for her when she was sleep deprived and exhausted, and how she coped – or failed to cope – with the demands on her.

Adventures in Mother Sitting is told with humour, love, and tenderness, but also with a sometimes shocking truth. It is raw, revealing, and perhaps awkward for some people to read, but it should be read anyway.

Two years ago I wrote a review of Still Alice  – a fiction novel about a woman who learned she had Alzheimer’s, and covers two years of her life as the disease gradually takes over her brain’s ability to function. It is a book highly recommended among caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients, and during our Alzheimer Caregiver Support Group meeting this month I recommended Adventures in Mother Sitting by Doreen Cox.

If you are facing dementia in any way, particularly as a caregiver of someone so afflicted, I suggest you read this book. It will help you to understand more from the viewpoint of the caregiver, enabling you to see from the author’s experience how the disease changes a person’s abilities and mind to that of total dependence.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)