Tag Archive: Shopping

Lately I’ve noticed a lot of negative articles online about certain independent authors which many take to include ALL independent authors. I really don’t understand that thinking. There are so many more good independent authors out there than there are bad. Just because 1 indie author is throwing a hissy fit doesn’t make all indie authors bad. It really bothers me that people get grouped together under the same hat simply because they all share the title indie author.




One of the first Indie books I read was

Elemental Magic (Elemental Magic, #1)

Elemental Magic (Elemental Magic #1)  by Angela Wallace




This was an awesome indie book. Well written with and interesting paranormal storyline (see my review)




Chain Gang Elementary, by Jonathan Grant


And I just read a pretty gross (and I mean that in a totally good way) horror, supernatural, mystery, paranormal novel. I will have the review up later today as I just moments ago finished reading it.

The Red Church (Sheriff Frank Littlefield, #1)

The Red Church (Sheriff Frank Littlefield #1)  by Scott Nicholson




I think Indie Authors are terrific! Take a chance on an indie novel, I think you will be very pleasantly surprised as was I!



There are several independent author lists out on the internet. You can also look on GoodReads, Amazon and Smashwords to name a few.


I am so excited!  Tomorrow I will be holding my first guest blog.  Graham Parke, author of several novels including




No Hope for Gomez!

No Hope for Gomez!  by  Graham Parke

Winner of the Forewords Book of the Year Awards, nominated for the International Book Awards and the USA Book News Best Book Awards, featured in the Kirkus Best Indie 2011 list.

It’s the age-old tale:
Boy meets girl.
Boy stalks girl.
Girl already has a stalker.
Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.




and Random Acts of Senseless Kindness  will be be leaving a guest post about the launch of his newest novel




Unspent Time

Unspent Time by Graham Parke




Along with the quest post, Graham Parke will be offering the chance to receive free books and a chance to win either a Kindle Fire of a Kindle Touch.




My husband’s job requires that he work long hours, many weeks he works six days straight. That leaves me with a lot of time to read and of course take Simon, my blue mini dachshund out for nice long walks. Except when it’s raining…he thinks he’s the wicked witch from the west and will melt if water gets on him!




I was reading the book




Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog

Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan




As I was reading along the book, it came to a very moving part of the story and I had started to cry (yes I’m a big softie) and Simon came running over, licked my tears and then grabbed the book and and tried to hide it in his bed. He’s never touched one of my books before, and believe me I have piles of books everywhere!  Needless to say, Simon gets very anxious when I am reading a sad story.




Now Simon did like the children’s book




J.P. Trouble

J.P. Trouble by Ryan Hill




My granddaughter was spending the night and she, Simon and I were reading the story together. Jolie loves the book and claps and laughs when you read it to her and it has beautiful illustrations. Simon gets so excited when Jolie is happy and clapping that he does his happy dance. He runs in a really tight circle and then jumps straight up. Hard to describe as with his body shape it looks terribly funny! And now when Jolie spends the night, she wants Simon to sleep in with her.




Remember, if you or anyone you know is thinking of a pet, check out your local animal shelters. We have a great one here it’s the  Nanaimo, SPCA.





My husband had to go to 3 different conferences/classes on Executive Leadership. Part of the study work he had to do prior to the actual conferences was to read 3 books. The first book was (and I do love this title)




Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...about Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business

Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable…about Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business by Patrick Lencioni




Now my husband is a smart man. Part of his job is being on the computer for most of the day, and I do believe he duct tapes his phone to his head as it is ringing non stop from 4 or 5 in the morning sometimes all the way to 11 at night. And that doesn’t include all the paperwork. Thankfully he has tremendous work help. Quite frankly when he comes home the last thing he wants to do is read. His eyes are already tired from work. I suggested that he get the audio version of the book. He could listen to the book, write notes when he needed to but this way he didn’t have to read. It worked like a charm. He aced his first conference/class, he was only 1 of a few that actually finished the book.




The next book of the three he had to read was




Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap   by Jim Collins

He went straight to audiobook for it. It worked just as well as the first book and again he did well in his conference/class. There was a third audiobook that he had bought for the conference/classes but he has lent it out and I am not sure of its name.
Since he had actually enjoyed the audiobooks, I decided to give one when I took a little road trip to Victoria. I chose as my first audiobook.
I am so happy to have discovered the joys of audiobooks! There are so many to choose from. Handy to have when you want to leave your hands free. And the storytelling reminds me of some of the happiest times I remember from a child. I would go to our public library, all of the kids there would sit on the floor, in  a circle for reading time. Our librarian was an amazing storyteller. She brought to life the books she read to us.
I would really recommend that you try out at least one audiobook. I’m sure glad I did!

downTown USA

downTown USA  by  Susan Madden Lankford



This book intrigued me from the start. My husband and middle son are both amateur photographers, so I knew a little about Susan Madden Lankford. Her first book in this trilogy Maggots in My Sweet Potatoes: Women Doing Time, was a powerful visual commentary on women prisoners. I was looking forward to Downtown U.S.A. as I wanted to see what her vision would be for the homeless.


The cover of Downtown U.S.A. helps set the stage for our journey through the lives of some of America‘s homeless. We start with the eyes, the windows of our souls. These eyes are just arresting, beautiful, intoxicating and at the same time frightening, scary, creepy. The eyes compelled me to open the book, I wanted more!


As I slowly made my way through this book, the combination of powerful photos and poignant stories, saddened and yet, at the same time, lifted me. I felt for each of the people photographed, the surly, the happy, the crazy, the addicted. But it wasn’t just sadness, or pity there was also amusement, joy and the biggest feeling of all, respect. Respect for these people and how they’ve coped, how they’ve shared their stories, how even with everything that life has thrown at them, they can still carry on. And respect for Susan Madden Lankford for making this beautiful book that shows how quickly life can change, and how people can survive those changes.


Filled with interviews of people such as Micheal, Papa and Mrs.Walton and filled with incredible photos, observations, and stories by Susan, this wonderfully visual and written commentary on the homeless is a must read/view! If you are a photographer, you really must view this book!

I buy a lot of my books at second-hand stores and charity fund-raisers and am also given many through friends and family. Every now and then my husband will buy a book or magazine, usually something to do with computers (he’s an Apple nut) or CB radios. Recently he got a very well-preserved 1978 hardcover catalog from  Radio Shack. It’s rare as the hardcovers were for use in stores only.







It’s in great shape, has great pictures, and the colors inside are still crisp. There are no tears or rips.




There is however a problem. It smells. Bad. Really Bad!




I’ve come across several smelly books before. Some are just smelly but some (like this one) is damp as well.  A few years ago I found a few different things that worked for me for eliminating smells and or dampness.




This is for damp, smelly books:  Get 2 plastic containers (1 large, the other small enough to fit inside the large one with at least 1 inch of air between the 2), the smaller container need to be big enough to hold the book with a little air around the edges of the book. You don’t need a lid for the smaller container. The second container needs to be bigger and have an airtight lid. Place a thin layer (one to 2 inches) of kitty litter on the bottom of the larger container. Place the book inside the smaller container, and then place them on top of the kitty litter. Put the air tight lid on the big container and leave for at least a week. The kitty litter will remove the moisture and it will also absorb the smell. I’m told rice works as well, but doesn’t do as well with the odor. You can sprinkle baking soda on the pages and leave it sitting in the sun, this will eliminate dampness and does help with the smell as well.




If the pages aren’t damp there are several ways you can remove odors. Use unscented dryer sheets, cut into strips, and place strips every 20 pages or so, put into a plastic bin or bag and let sit for 3 days minimum. No dryer sheets? You can use a thin layer of cornstarch lightly brushed on each separate page, let sit for 24 hours and brush it off. It works really well, but is very time-consuming.




If the odor is particularly bad you can use a product called Book Deodorizer, it’s used the same as kitty litter, can be used up to 6 months (depending on how many books you need to deodorize, and then can be composted as its biodegradable.




No matter what we do to protect our books, things sometimes happen anyway.  If you have solution for eliminating dampness or odors in books please share.

To all the mom’s, grandmas, great…you get the picture  HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!



I hope you all have a wonderful day, doing whatever if you like to do. If you get some private time and would like to read can I suggest for a light action, romantic comedy, check out



The Stephanie Plum Novels (Stephanie Plum, #3-5)

The Stephanie Plum Novels by Janet Evanovich



They all have some good humor, some romance and some actions, a great light read for mom’s day.



If you are more interested in a good mystery novel from an up and comer (this is his 2nd book) try out


Two Graves

Two Graves by D.A. Graystone



The Police in Kesle are tracking a serial killer. Each murder is more brutal, more unhinged and more bloody that the ones before. Will they get their man before he gets another victim?



And if you’re looking for the most touching YA or teen book I have read in a while try out



The Trouble With Half a Moon

The Trouble With Half a Moon by Danette Vigilante



Want a good cry for the right reasons? Try this one out. This is Danette Vigilante’s debut YA novel but it is an amazing read for anyone!



And of course if you’re a horror fan, how can you go wrong with a good old Stephen King



The Stand

The Stand by Stephen King,



(though not the Tommyknockers…lol)





Banned books…

I am a member of GoodReads, one of the places where I receive several of my books that I review. It’s a great site, lots of discussions on various subjects, groups to join and giveaways to enter (these are just a few of the great features of GoodReads, and other sites like LibraryThing (yes, I’m a member there too). One of the groups I joined focuses on banned books. It covers all the aspects of banned books, from when and where they were banned, what year, why they were proposed for banning and the eventual outcome.



Its surprises me to find out some of the books banned. I think one of my biggest surprises was to find this one

On the Banks of Plum Creek

On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House #4)


1997—Two parents in the Fort Garry School Division in Winnipeg complained about this
book. The title is part of the renowned series that inspired the TV series Little House on
the Prairie.
Objection—The classic children’s book, based on tales of the settlers in the American
West, was said to contain several references offensive to aboriginals. But school
superintendent Henry Izatt said: “Stories like this are an important part of our history on
this continent. Simply eradicating them from shelves does not seem to be the answer.”
Update—A committee of teachers, parents, and other members of the community
prepared to examine the complaint and report back to the administration, but in the
meantime the complaint was withdrawn.



(I found this online at Canadian Banned Books, 1997)



Now I do understand that aboriginals or native Americans, or whatever the correct term is right now, (and I mean no disrespect when I say that) could be upset because of how a few references were stated but quite frankly I really don’t understand why. The Little House books have always been and will probably always be my favorite children’s series. I never as a child (or as an adult reading aloud to my children), found anything offensive about them. But why would you propose to ban this book and not Little House on the Prairie which had many more negative comments regarding native Americans?



And then there’s

The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger



Now I never liked this book, but not because I found it offensive and worthy of being banned but because I just thought the novel sucked. I found it hard to read because I just thought it was badly written.



And there are of course thousands of other books that have been banned or been proposed to be banned over the years. I personally think that if you think a book is offensive to you, don’t read it. If you think its inappropriate for your children, don’t let them read it (oh and BTW, when you tell a child not to read a book, follow through, be the parent, don’t let them read the book!).



You know what I mean…if you don’t like blood, gore and death why would you read a horror book? If you don’t wish to read about sexual encounters, steer clear of erotica (oh and why is it do you think that people make a big deal about erotica and yet romance novels, which usually have at least 1 explicitly written sex scene are okay) You get the picture.



I just really have a problem with other adults trying to tell me what I can read, or watch on television and….you get the picture.



I don’t believe any book should be banned! Oh and one final thought on this, for all the nice people out there that jump on the ban that book bandwagon without even reading the book in question…REALLY???

The Colors of Malent

Debut authors Tim Adams and Sam Inzerillo, have finished book 1 in their new Young Adult fantasy novel The Color of Malent series. They are working now on books 2 and 3.



I met Tim Adams at an online site. I offered to review his upcoming novel, The Color of Malent, and asked if I could also do an interview with both he and Sam Inzerillo.  I was thrilled when they agreed and also offered a copy of their YA fantasy novel for a giveaway.  I will have the pleasure of interviewing  both men later this month or early next month as a blog interview and will be offering a giveaway of their YA fantasy novel The Color of Malent as well.




For as long as she can remember, Alara Martin has had strange dreams about a beautiful, faraway world. They increase with intensity as she approaches her fifteenth birthday, and Alara has a hard time distinguishing them from reality. She thinks about them constantly—and wonders why no one else in her family experiences them.

After suffering from a particularly traumatic and vivid nightmare, Alara learns an astonishing truth from her parents: she is not their real daughter! Alara is devastated by the news and riddled with more questions than answers. Who are her real parents? Where does she belong? And why do these strange dreams plague her every night?

Alara’s daily routine is interrupted by extraordinary landscapes, unbelievable creatures, and strange waking visions. Her search for answers will thrust her into the middle of a conflict for which she is completely unprepared. Can Alara’s destiny really lie in the world of Malent? And how can Alara leave all that she loves in her current world for her true heritage? Desperate for help from anyone who will listen, Alara fights to uncover her real identity—before it’s too late.



This will be my first interview and giveaway on my blog!  I am super excited but of course a little nervous as well. I am really looking forward to learning about Tim Adams and Sam Inzerillo and finding out more about how they got together to write, why they decided on Young Adult fantasy to write, and more about their new book, and the series. If you have any suggestions or comments, please let me know.




A rather dreary morning, I was up early to take my stepson to football camp.  He volunteers his time to coach younger children football.  He’s been involved with our local minor football league first as a player and now as a coach.   I really admire him for volunteering several hours a week to teach and coach younger kids.  Not many 19-year-old guys would do that, more should!


And not just 19-year-old boys either.  Anyone who has an interest could really help out in their own community by volunteering a little time.  If you are a reader/book lover, there are many programs which could use some help.



Literacy programs are always looking for volunteers to help people of all ages learn to read, as are programs to read to seniors or house bound people. 





If you’re a foodie, there are meal programs for children, seniors, and the homeless.  Local food banks need food donations year round, which requires no time, just the cost of a can of food.


Animal programs are also in desperate need of help.  Want a dog but don’t have the space, or can’t have one where you live?  Volunteer a few hours of your time at a local ASPSA and walk some of the dogs.  You’ll have a nice walk, with dogs who will love you to pieces.  You get the joy of spending time with an animal and know that you are making things better for them.



Don’t like dogs but love cats?  They might not like to go for walks, but they certainly like to have a little attention, some grooming and some love.  And if none of these interest you, all you have to do is look on the internet and you’ll be able to find something that is right for you.  Remember all it takes is a little time!



Want something farther from home?  There are several global volunteer services that are always looking for new people.  There again, there is something for everyone.  Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself “What does volunteering have to do with books?”  Well not much, unless, as I say, you use your love of reading and books to help out.

Now I’m off to our local Literacy Book Sale here in Nanaimo to volunteer some of my time to help people find some good reading material.  I’m sure I’ll also be “volunteering” some of my cash for some new reading material as well…LOL…Have a great day all, and please remember, when you volunteer your time, you’re helping everyone to have a better life!

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