Sunday, July 25, 2010

LM Preston - 'The Pack' - Review, Giveaway & Launch Party

LM Preston is back with a vengeance with her second young adult novel, The Pack. The action-packed drama takes place on a colonized Mars where children are disappearing at an alarming rate. But the kidnappings are not random. The perpetrators are targeting the sons and daughters of the planet's security force. Their goal is to create chaos on a global scale in order for their illegal drug trade to flourish. The children are merely pawns in an intergalactic game. Until they take Shamira's brother, David.

Shamira is a teenage girl whose adolescence is super-charged. She is longing for a perfect first kiss.
She is a techo-geek with exceptional computer hacking skills. A botched childhood medical procedure fuels an intense inner rage providing her with extraordinary fighting abilities. And her parents are both members of the security force, thereby placing a bulls-eye squarely on her back.

Being blind, it would seem that Shamira is an easy mark. But make no mistake, she does not think of herself as anyone's victim. She is a lethal force similar to Ben Affleck's visually impaired hero in Daredevil. Her other senses are magnified. She can hear an individual by the sound of their approaching footsteps. She can hone in on a person's unique scent. She can feel the slightest change in temperature through her skin. She uses her disability to lure enemies into a false sense of superiority. Shamira always fought her own battles - some of which she even created because she hungered to fight. There was an urge inside her, something she barely controlled. She thought to herself, I may be blind, but I'm definitely not helpless.

That is until she meets Valens, a dead ringer for a curly-haired Justin Timberlake. He tries to save her from an attack that ironically she orchestrated. Her frustration is evident, but there is no denying their mutual attraction. Shamira doesn't want his pity, but little does she know that she has secured his admiration. As an outcast, Shamira isn't good at letting people in, but Valens is determined to breach her defenses. What ultimately brings them closer together is their common goal to find the missing children whose number includes their own siblings.

Like Bella and Jacob in the Twilight saga, they favor motorcycles to follow leads throughout the decrepit underbelly of Mars society. They join forces with other teens who are victims or recent escapees of the underground crime organization, Monev (venom spelled backwards, indicative of their lucrative narcotics dealings). To topple the power structure from within, they form a pack of informants, freedom fighters and jailbreakers.

After a trip to Earth, Shamira returns to the fight physically changed. Yet her transformation doesn't ease her insecurities. Figures he'd be after the double-Ds just like every other guy. Shamira's fists balled up. She took a deep breath and reminded herself again that he wasn't hers. This is dangerous. Kids have never accepted me before. Why should now be any different? She pushed away that false feeling of hope, of true friendship, something she had always looked for when she was younger. The friendship she had tried to give many times as a younger child was only thrown back in her face and used to make her the butt of their jokes. Her younger years of hope had been torn to shreds when her friendship was used for trickery. It caused her power to be revealed and become harder for her to control. She had almost crippled a kid with her strength, a kid that almost killed her as a joke. That was behind her now, and it was a lesson she would always remember. It was this lesson that would keep Valens and this group of misfit kids away from her. She would never give her trust to another; they always used it against her.

Preston creates technology rich in detail. Generators pump fresh oxygen into the air. Holograms relay messages. Bejeweled rings serve as tracking devices. Skin-tight suits offer protection from firepower and the poison of laser shots. Motorcycles are named like pets and obey verbal commands.

Preston's writing includes violence, swearing and sexual innuendo. Teenagers will find these themes commonplace in most entertainment media, but parents should be advised that this book may not be appropriate for younger readers.

Overall, The Pack reinforces the adage - never underestimate an underdog.



The Pack by LM Preston is available for $14.99 at Amazon.com and at LMPreston.com.

A complimentary review copy was provided by LM Preston.


Also by LM Preston: Explorer X-Alpha.

Enter to win a FREE copy of The Pack (2 copies available = 2 winners!)

(1) Go to Tribute Books online shop and take a look at our titles.
(2) Leave a comment with your email address and the Tribute Books title that most interests you.

A winner will be chosen on August 5, 2010.

Congratulations to our 2 winners: mbreakfield & skgaff!

***

The Pack Virtual Launch Party


Prize List:

GRAND PRIZE: Hotel Room for Orlando, FL and Busch Gardens, VA

2nd PLACE PRIZE: $25 iTunes

PARTY FAVORS: Free Copy of The Pack and Explorer X-Alpha, key chains, buttons, magnets, posters, t-shirt

To enter, purchase a copy of The Pack and email lm.preston@yahoo.com
-Name
-Purchase Location
-Email Address
-Receipt Number
-Amount Paid

For more information on The Pack Virtual Launch Party, visit http://bookpartylmpreston.blogspot.com/


Nicole Langan of Tribute Books
Spotlight Party Gues
t
http://bookpartylmpreston.blogspot.com/


Please welcome Nicole Langan, publisher, book reviewer, blogger and much more.

How are you diggin the party?
Any time books equal fun - count me in!

Tell me about yourself?
My name is Nicole Langan and I live in northeast Pennsylvania near Scranton.

Are you in the book business? What do you do?
I am the owner of a small publishing house, Tribute Books (www.tribute-books.com) and I review books at my blog Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways (tributebooksreviews.blogspot.com).

Have you read any of LM Preston’s books? Say something smashingly great about LM Preston or her books.
I've read Explorer X-Alpha. Following is an excerpt from my review: First time novelist L.M. Preston succeeds in writing a book boys will want to read. Not an easy task when 12-year-olds are more captivated by a flashing screen than a stationary page. But Explorer X-Alpha primes its audience for an action-filled look at space camp in the year 2080.

What are you currently working on?
For Tribute Books, I'm working on promoting Thumbing Through Thoreau: A Book of Quotations by Henry David Thoreau by Kenny Luck (thumbingthroughthoreau.com)

Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life by Karina Lumbert Fabian and Deacon Steven Lumbert (whygodmatters.com) which are on virtual tours for June 2010, and I'm also getting Industrial Pioneers by Patrick Brown ready for publication.

For Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways, I'll be reviewing and giving away copies of Female Nomad and Friends by Rita Golden Gelman through Promo 101 - Virtual Blog Tours with Nikki Leigh (bookpromotionservices.com) on June 16 and The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner through Pump Up Your Book Promotion (pumpupyourbook.com) on June 25.

Big things in your future?
For Tribute Books, Kenny Luck will have a book signing at the Shop at Walden Pond in Concord, MA (shopatwaldenpond.org) for Thumbing Through Thoreau on July 10. Karina Fabian will be attending the Catholic Writers Conference (catholicwritersconference.com) in Valley Forge, PA on August 4-6.

For Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways, we'll be participating in BlogMania on September 15-16 (blogmaniaevent.blogspot.com) with over $100 in book giveaways.

THIS IS THE LAST WEEK of WEEKLY GIVEAWAY PARTY FAVORS! CLICK HERE and send your contact information to the publisher for your freebies. Go to the PARTY BLOG click here

Marilyn Meredith - 'Lingering Spirit' - Review, Giveaway & Character Naming Contest

Marilyn Meredith captures the essence of an untimely death in her paranormal romance, Lingering Spirit. Police officer Steve Ainsworth is gunned down during a routine traffic stop. His 28-year-old widow, Nicole, is left alone with their two daughters, first grader Kimberly and 4-year-old Sarah. However, hearing the doorbell ring at 3 a.m. wasn't entirely unexpected.

Four months earlier, Steve had experienced a premonition. He foresaw his death on the job. To escape this fate, he moved the family from the heavily populated city of Channel Harbor to the secluded wilderness of Quail Meadow. But he never anticipated that the violence he envisioned would become his destiny regardless of location.

Meredith does an excellent job depicting the series of events that family members endure immediately following the loss of a loved one. Co-workers and neighbors filling the house. The funeral home negotiations. The lack of sleep. The mental fog. The arrival of out-of-town relatives. The bending to the point of breaking. Yet Nicole's grief isn't limited to burial preparations and the acceptance of condolences. She is visited by Steve from beyond the grave.

Nicole experiences moments with Steve, similar to Sandra Bullock's character in the movie, Premonition. Finally, she drifted off into a troubled sleep. "Nicky." Steve nuzzled her neck. Good. He was home. She turned over and he kissed her, his lips warm and sweet - the kiss a promise of lovemaking to come. "Mmmm, Steve." She held out her arms to him, but nothing was there. And then she remembered, Steve was dead. But it had seemed so real. She heard his voice, felt him touch her, kiss her. But it wasn't possible.

The incidents increase in frequency. Dresser drawers open and close. Books fall to the floor. Lights are turned off and on. While in their beds, the children see their father bend down and kiss them. After Nicole shares what is going on with her father, they both witness an armchair move. Her father goes on to say, "Unless he's trying to tell you something, trying to get you to do something. Maybe he just can't leave until he can make you understand what it is he wants you to do." This explanation is similar to the cult classic Ghost starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze.

Nicole decides to move back to Channel Harbor. Though she didn't know what it meant, the rappings, bangings, and furniture moving ceased. She no longer felt as though someone followed her. Hopefully, whatever had been holding Steve back had released him. But she couldn't help wondering if the feverish energy she expended in the packing had driven him away. Maybe he was upset with her decision.

Purchasing an older home, she slowly tries to rebuild her life for the sake of her children. However, things don't go smoothly. Longing for Steve had become a part of her existence. Neither time nor activity lessened the ache. She heard a bang, and raised up her elbow. Frowning she listened intently. It happened again, a noise she recognized. Staring into the shadowed corner of the room, she watched as the big highboy that had once been Steve's but now held her sweaters, T-shirts, and jeans, rocked violently back and forth. That hadn't happened since she'd moved back to Channel Harbor. This would definitely be a case for Jason and Grant of the SyFy Channel's Ghost Hunters.

Nicole's father offers an alternate possibility. "Because you haven't experienced any of these goings on since moving here, perhaps it's another ghost making itself known ... a ghost of someone who used to live in this house." But Nicole disagrees with his assessment. "Because, I'm not frightened. If it was a ghost I didn't know, surely I'd get some bad vibes ... but I didn't. It was just like all the times things happened in Quail Meadow." Yet her father persists saying, "But it isn't natural for a spirit to hang around this world for such a long time." But Nicole responds, "I don't know. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens. Maybe eventually he'll do something that will help me understand."

Steve is trying to tell Nicole something. This final message upends the life she thought she would lead after his death. A connection is established to someone who recently entered her life. A person who will reshape the outlook of her future in a way she never imagined.

Meredith is a master of characterization. She fully rounds out the facets of her protagonists' personalities and richly develops the details of the supporting cast. She does not hit any false notes with her dialogue and builds strong relationships among her characters. She realistically describes what a young widow would go through following the tragic death of her husband.

Overall, uncovering why this spirit lingers is an incredibly moving experience.



Lingering Spirit by Marilyn Meredith is available for $12.95 at Amazon.com and at FictionForYou.com.

A complimentary review copy was provided by Pump Up Your Book Promotion.


Enter to win a FREE copy of Lingering Spirit .

(1) Go to Tribute Books online shop and take a look at our titles.
(2) Leave a comment with your email address and the Tribute Books title that most interests you.

A winner will be chosen on August 2, 2010.

Congratulations to our winner: Debbie D.!

***

Character Naming Contest


Have you ever dreamed of being immortalized in print? Well, here’s your chance! Award-winning author Marilyn Meredith is running a contest during her Lingering Spirit Virtual Book Tour, which runs from July 6 through July 30. Marilyn will name a character in her next Rocky Bluff P.D. book after the person who comments at the most Pump Up Your Book Promotion blog stops during her tour who will be immortalized in print in her next Rocky Bluff P.D. book. This book is currently scheduled to be released in 2012. Leave a comment and get your name in Marilyn’s next Rocky Bluff P.D. book!

Friday, July 16, 2010

G.F. Skipworth 'The Simpering, North Dakota Literary Society' Review & GOT BOOKS? Giveaway

What is G.F. Skipworth's The Simpering, North Dakota Literary Society? Its founder is Farika Zingarella, a nun who was kicked out of the convent for the hefty sum she won in a 1862 poker game since "a deck of cards was a Stradivarius in her hands."

She didn't just invest her winnings, she amassed the wealth of a small nation. In order to manage the funds, a "literary society" (a name that does not give off "the odor of greed and ungodliness") was formed in the tiny community of Simpering, North Dakota.

Its female stockholders are known as "The Mighty Five." They are brazen enough to hold a world economic summit in North Dakota (without inviting the United States) and travel the globe in order to further pad their portfolios. They are:

1. Edielou Zingarella - think Katherine Hepburn. Daughter of Farika. Leader of the pack. Too rational for romance. Supreme organizer whose main goal is to continually increase the society's net worth. Doggedly pursued by the romantic sensibilities of a passionate Italian financier, who yearns to protect her. The subject of Lady Astor's cruise ship entertainment. Targeted by the evil machinations of Fascists determined to prevent her from buying what remains of post-WWI Europe through a kidnapping plot, gunfire, car chases, etc.

2. Mary Beth Tomes - think Harry Potter's Mrs. Weasley. A simple housewife with a heart of gold. A devoted schoolteacher. Takes Europe by storm with her recipe for cherry pie. Missing a toe on her left foot. Full of good old country sense. Goes toe-to-toe with the sophisticated verbal repartee of a corrupt French official. Teams up with her rifle-toting, frontiersman husband to rescue Edielou from imminent danger.

3. Priscilla Thistlewaite - picture a more eccentric version of Emma Thompson. A complete Anglophile. Enamored with the British theatre. Would love to inhabit the life of a fictional character rather than her own. Referred to as "Her Ladyship." Saved a child in Simpering from a runaway carnival bear. An upturned nose is her most distinguishing feature. Known for her self-produced monologues.

4. Gillian Bolzner - think Marilyn Monroe. The daughter of a world-famous variety act. A beauty queen. The object of men's desires. A soldier's pin-up girl. A blond songstress whose theme is "Sunny Is As Sunny Does." Loved by all. Knows nothing but show business. Wishes to leave the limelight behind. Attracted to a man who has no idea who she is.

5. Ida Bolzner - picture an older version of Wednesday Addams. The twin sister of Gillian, but her polar opposite. Gothic, dark, gloomy, brooding. A feared seer - her second sight is always on target, when she chooses to divulge what she knows. Loves rainy days. Favors Transylvania and the remote parts of Russia during her European tour. Jealous of Gillian. Meets her soul mate along the way.


Skipworth’s writing style reads like a script taken from the annals of the Ziegfeld Follies or a current broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keilor. The narrator is present in the story making comments and offering advice. At times, the asides veer the narrative off course, for example the background on Simpering’s oldest soldier, but overall one can easily imagine the narrator laughing along with the reader at the characters’ antics.

Overall, a fictional feminine undercurrent is added to the power structure of U.S. history.


The Simpering, North Dakota Literary Society by G.F. Skipworth is available for $14.50 at Amazon.com and at RosslareBooks.com.

A complimentary review copy was provided by Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

http://gotbooksevent.blogspot.com Enter to win a FREE copy of The Simpering, North Dakota Literary Society as a part of our Got Books? giveaway.

(1) Go to Tribute Books online shop and take a look at our titles.
(2) Leave a comment with your email address and the Tribute Books title that most interests you.

A winner will be chosen on July 24, 2010 midnight.

Congratulations to our winner: Kailia Sage!


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Henry David Thoreau!

July 12, 2010 marks the 193rd anniversary of the birth of Henry David Thoreau. Generally unrecognized in his own day or, worse, dismissed as a second-rate imitator of his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau has emerged as one of America's greatest literary figures. Walden; Or, Life in the Woods (1854), his account of two years spent living in a cabin on the shore of a pond in his native Concord, Massachusetts is universally recognized as the preeminent piece of American nature writing, though it is far more than simply a nature book. Civil Disobedience, the account of and justification for his night spent in jail as a protest against slavery, particularly through its influence on such activists as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, has had wider political impact around the world than any other American literary document. As a prose stylist, Thoreau has been acknowledged by writers as disparate as Robert Louis Stevenson, Marcel Proust, Sinclair Lewis, and Henry Miller to be their master.

This past Saturday, author Kenny Luck of Thumbing Through Thoreau: A Book of Quotations by Henry David Thoreau traveled to Walden Pond to participate in the 69th Annual Gathering of the Thoreau Society. Thoreau Society presenters spoke about how Thoreau and transcendentalism have inspired them as artists, photographers, and, of course, as teachers and educators. Presenters came from the global community, including: Bulgaria, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States. Thoreau and the transcendentalists continue to inspire readers around the world.

Following is selection from Luck's introduction for Thumbing Through Thoreau:

As I stood on the edge of Walden Pond, about to make a symbolic leap into what had become in my mind a sacred place, Hawthorne’s poetic observation was not present in my thoughts. For a summer day, it was unusually cold; a light mist rose above the surface of the water; and having forgotten my towel and bathing suit at home in Pennsylvania, I was forced to strip down, making do with what I was wearing in that revealing moment. I hung my clothes on a nearby tree branch and began inching my way toward the water. It was a ritual Henry David Thoreau, one of America’s first literary giants, had performed countless times during his stay in the woods.

It was June 2007, and this was my second trip to Walden Pond. I had visited the previous summer but resolved only to walk along the shoreline, avoiding the seduction of the water. “This time,” I thought to myself, “I am going in.” Although I was initially reluctant, once the water rose past by waistline, I felt an extraordinary release. I made one final push off the rock where I was standing and let go. I let the water take me. Feeling free from constraints, I had transformed into one of Hawthorne’s angels, baptized by the clear, cool waters of the pond.

My experience at Walden Pond that day was emblematic. It was the culmination of a two-year journey which led me to Concord, Massachusetts, where I hoped to retrace the steps of a man who I had never met, but felt an extraordinary affinity towards. Moreover, I saw a little bit of myself in Thoreau. Here was a man who, despite the conventions of his day, shunned every comfort and convenience. Thoreau once refused to take a doormat, for instance, offered to him by an elderly woman, hoping to avoid what he called the “beginnings of evil.” It seemed like something I would have done had I not read about it first. For the first time in my young life, I met my literary and intellectual soul mate.

In celebration we invited a host of bloggers to participate in honoring one of the greats of American literature with us.

**The Clever Mommy Chronicles Blogmania Giveaways**
September 15-16, 2010

What a Mom Wants Giveaway #1 (total value- $150)

-Party Starter Kit from Oh Goodie Designs ($150)

What a Mom Wants Giveaway #2 (total value- $105)

-Personalized Domino Necklace from always B designs ($12)
-Pair of earrings from The Peach Tree Brooklyn ($15)
-Charm Bracelet from Charm Factory ($25)
-So Happy gift set from Candied Bath Bakery ($18)
-Warmer with bars from Scentsy ($35)

What a New Mom Wants Giveaway #1 (total value- $135)

-Handmade Designer Crib Bedding Set from Susie Cues- blanket, sheet, changing pad cover, and a pair of little shoes ($135)

What a New Mom Wants Giveaway #2 (total value- $113.50)

-New Mom Prize Package from Strawberry Kids- Angel Baby gift set, Milkies, Fuzzi Bunz cloth diaper, Soothies, Breast Pillow, and Charlie's Soap ($113.50)

What a New Mom Wants Giveaway #3 (total value- $98)

-2 Week Supply of Lactation cookies from Milkin' Cookies ($21)
-Full size bag of Rockin' Green Soap from Rockin' Green ($23)
-$25 from Amelie Jo ($25)
-Gift package from Sarahsewta- Lovie and bib ($29)

What a New Mom Wants Giveaway #4 (total value- $83)
-Diaper Bag from The Purse Blogger ($50)
-Pumpkin Maternity t-shirt from Bella B Maternity ($33)

What a New Mom Wants Giveaway #5 (total value- $50)
-$25 from Pat-a-Cake Baby ($25)
-$25 from Sew So Sweet Boutique ($25)

TOTAL of all giveaways: $734.50



**My Overstuffed Bookshelf Blogmania Giveaways**
September 15-16, 2010

The theme is From My Shelves to Yours! will include a signed copy of The Crescent by Jordan Deen, two shirts that are vampire and werewolf themed, a notebook, bookmark swag, a few ARCs and more!



**Deanna's Tidbits Blogmania Giveaways**
September 15-16, 2010

The theme Let Me Take You to Dinner! will include $25 gift card (winners' choice) along with Cowgirl Chocolates for dessert! There will be 4 winners.



**Nomie.Eco.Ware's Blogmania Giveaways**
September 15-16, 2010

There will be over $200 in giveaway items with two themes:
Eco-Ware:
Handmade with LOVE:
$25 gift certificate to her SHOP




Proud Book Nerd**Proud Book Nerd's Blogmania Giveaways**
September 15-16, 2010

The giveaway total is over $200:

Athena's Little Owl ~ Gorgeous Earrings (photo on site)
Brixiana ~ A vintage book
Caroline Clemmons ~ A PDF of one of her books
Creative Artworks ~ Bookmarks
IvyLeaf ~ Bookmarks
Jackie D's Knit Boutique ~ Knit mittens
Lovely Pieces Design ~ Tote bag
Michael J. Sullivan ~ A signed copy of one of the books in his Riyria Revelations series (winner's choice)
Phineas and Lou ~ Knit hat
Sadie Olive ~ Vintage copy of David Copperfield
Serendipity Rose ~ Beautiful earrings



**This Mama Loves Her Bargains' Blogmania Giveaways**
September 15-16, 2010

The two themes are "It's EASY Being Green" and "Made by Mom, Loved by Kids."



Sidewaysgravity**Sideways Gravity's Blogmania Giveaways**
September 15-16, 2010

The theme is "Sit back and Relax" with items to help you relax and lots of bath goodies. The giveaway is open internationally and there will be three winners (one US, one CAN, one INT)!



**Truth Be Told's Blogmania Giveaways**
September 15-16, 2010


The theme is "Make A Bold Statement" with a giveaway value of over $200. Sponsors include: Faith Heart (Link to: www.etsy.com/shop/FaithHeart), Anna Pereira on Etsy (Link to: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AnnaPereira), Michelle V Custom Leather (Link to: http://www.michelleverbeeck.com/), Navpress (Link to: www.Navpress.com)




**Women's Life Link's Blogmania Giveaways**
September 15-16, 2010

The theme is "Make Over Your Life" with 3 prizes: 1. Corrective SkinCare products, Life Link Coaching gift certificate, Image Consulting gift certificate (valued at $400); 2. Michelle Copeland skin care products, her book, Life Link coaching gift certificate, Imange Consulting gift certificate (valued at $425); 3. De Vita Skin care products, Life Link coaching gift certificate, Image consulting gift certificate (valued at $400).



BWS tips button**Mom to Bed By 8's Blogmania Giveaways**
September 15-16, 2010

The theme is "I Love Tree Hugging" with eco-friendly, organic and vegan products from businesses that participate in green practices.





Writing Is A Blessing**Writing is a Blessing's Blogmania Giveaways** September 15-16, 2010

Heather Zahn Garner of HEATHER GARDNER PHOTOGRAPHY will be offering a handcrafted journal and Rebecca Davis of REBECCA DAVIS DESIGNS will be donating a very lovely necklace.



**Lovin' & Livin' Life Reviews' Blogmania Giveaways** September 15-16

The theme is "Books Galore" with at least a $100 giveaway value of books, book lights, swag, etc.



**Reflections with Coffee's Blogmania Giveaways**
September 15-16, 2010


The theme is "Reflections with Coffee" and packages will be made up of journals to reflect in, pens or markers to write with, and of course, anything coffee-related.

One giveaway is a journal I enjoyed reflecting over. My daughter gave it to me one Christmas, and I gave it back to her a couple of years later after I filled in the pages. Want to write some reflections "You're Just My Type because..." to someone in a card? The winner will get a card made by Handmade by Rebecca. Praying time is a time of reflection with God. Praying in Color is a book that comes with a sketchbook for colorful prayers.



**A Writer's Mind - Sky Purington's Gab Spot's Blogmania Giveaways**
September 15-16, 2010

The theme is "Books & More" with over $100 in giveaways including three print romance novels, numerous E-copy books and gift certificates.



Custom Boutique Graphic Design**Studio Chic's Blogmania Giveaways**
September 15-16, 2010

Here’s a sneak preview of the lovely sponsors for September’s Blogmania event. Prize package valued at over $700.00!

1. Jane Micheal
2. Chic Girl Designs
3. Jewelry By Jackie
4. Gabriel Horn
5. DC Handbags and Accessories
6. Dahzay Designs
7. The Paper Princess
8. RELM Handmade
9. A Dash Of Kennedy
10. I Am Joolien
11. Elsa Coburn Designs
12. Altered Image
13. Avon
14. Pure Intox
15. Urban Spice Emporium
16. Ellie Blossoms
17. Me!!



**Freebie Spot's Blogmania Giveaways**
September 15-16, 2010

The them is "Football Kick-Off." The giveaways is at least $100 of items relating to football, sports and the outdoors.



**Past the Print's Blogmania Giveaways**
September 15-16, 2010

The theme is "Beach Retreat" and the winner will receive all the necessities of relaxing on the beach, and many new releases from Turquoise Morning Press, including Renee Vincent's historical romance Ræliksen.



Curling Up By The Fire”=**Curling Up by the Fire's Blogmania Giveaways**
September 15-16, 2010


The giveaway will feature at least $100 worth of books, jewelry, candles, prints, and scarves including items from sponsor, Kim's Cottage Art.







I Love to Read







Chew & Digest Books







The Writings of Robert G. Pielke


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ann Putnam "Full Moon at Noontide" Review & Giveaway

For anyone who has walked side-by-side in the culminating steps of the life of an elderly person, Ann Putnam's Full Moon at Noontide is a healing balm. She understands. She's been there three separate times. Her Uncle Henry. Her father. Her mother. Being with someone in their final years, days, hours is both a hardship and a privilege. She explains, "... pure love becomes when it is distilled through such suffering and loss - a blue flame that flickers and pulses in the deepest heart."

The shared episodes are poignant. They involve handicapped seating, Maalox glasses, falls, and catheters - "the fragility of it all." The three senior citizens begin to function as one unit. While backing the car out of the driveway, her mother drives, her uncle looks left and her father looks right while shifting gears. Yet their teamwork is not enough against Mother Nature. During a winter blackout, they are without heat and electricity for five days. Safety in numbers is no longer a guarantee.

The house is sold and the trio is uprooted to University House, an upscale retirement community near where Putnam lives. It is considered a "dangerous business" to make friends when "death was a fall, a sneeze, a heartbeat away" so they "kept their attachments light." Putnam is honest about her role in their lives. When her uncle nearly loses her father's wheelchair into oncoming traffic while leaving church, Putnam feels guilty about not making the effort to take them herself. However, she knows that it will tie up her entire day serving as chauffeur and running errands. She presents a realistic picture by admitting to her own shortcomings.

Uncle Henry was also difficult - "the evil twin." When Putnam's daughter describes him as "another grandfather." He responds, "But then that would mean I'd have to have had sex with your grandmother." He had a high appreciation for shock value. Putnam goes on to say, "My uncle was so difficult those last years, and my parents gave up so much to have him there. It had seemed so anguished at the time, but in fact it has left no bitterness. For the last twenty years, my uncle came along everywhere they went, how they couldn't bear to leave him behind."

Putnam's memoir beautifully chronicles their final moments.
While Uncle Henry is dying in the ICU, her father is being treated above him on the sixteenth floor. She is comforted by the words of the ICU priest, Father Bill when asked how he can stand working in a hospital: "Oh, but this is a luminous place. It shimmers, if only you can see it. There's a thin membrane separating the physical and the spiritual. We should walk with one foot in each place always. This place reminds me to do that. It's a thin place."

Putnam recounts witnessing Uncle Henry's final moments. "Now his breathing changes. Two little puffs of breath, then a long, breathless silence that stretches out between one world and another until he catches it up again and pulls himself back into this life. He's emptying the body of air. But there is no gasping, no death agony, just little puffs of air, little commas of breath, the sweet, soft sound of the spirit going someplace else. His eyes are open. The light has not gone out. All the times I had left him, and gone home to eat or sleep, to take up the threads of my life as best I could, and I thought please let go, please let this all be over, please just slip away softly into the night. Now I am grateful to be here and think how easily I might not have been."

Putnam is also there when her father enters the death fugue as explained by a nurse - "What you see when you look at him is not what he's experiencing. He's not really in his body like you think. He's someplace else now and doesn't want to be called back." Terror drives Putnam from the nursing home during the death vigil. She has a failure of nerve and panics. Upon her return, the hospice chaplain arrives. "Go away! I want to scream, but polite to the end, I hold my tongue. They think I need company for this final stretch. They don't know I've been here already. They don't know how strong I've grown. I didn't know it myself until now. This is sacred space, and I want it all to myself. I have no need for interpreters now. Father Bill is all I need, and he's hidden safely inside. 'We are not our bodies. We are not our minds. We are not our emotions, though they are all part of us. Our truest self is a spirit place that has always been there. He's going toward it now. Everything else is falling away.'"

She is also witnesses her mother's death. "After my father died she took to studying the obituaries in the paper. 'When I read that someone died after a short illness, I think how lucky that person is. I'd be grateful for those words after my name.' I know she's thinking of how long my father took to die. Just after midnight, my practical, no-nonsense mother dies. I watch her spirit leave her body within moments, watch her face change into a death mask before me and become someone else. It's all right. She'd wanted to be out of her body for so long - no ambivalence here, not a moment wasted going where she wants to go. Come on up, the twins say. It's great up here. My father reaches down to give her a lift."

Overall, this is a must-read for anyone who has witnessed firsthand the passing of a loved one.

Full Moon at Noontide by Ann Putnam is available for $22.50 at Amazon.com and at AnnPutnam.com.

A complimentary review copy was provided by Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

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