Oct 09

Reading in Public – “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Helprin

I’ve mentioned before that Mark Helprin’s “Winter’s Tale” is my favorite novel of all time (and also the best novel I’ve ever read).  Every year, once the weather starts getting cold and the days shorter, I reread it, and it’s about that time.

This year, I want to share my love/obsession with the world (or at least the regular visitors of this blog).  I’m going to read two chapters a week, and post my thoughts and feelings about them.  And I’m encouraging any and all of my visitors to join me, both in reading the book, and in discussing it.

I’ll kick things off right here, talking about the very brief prologue.  Even before that, Helprin starts us off with a quote that sets the tone for all that’s to follow:

“I have been to another world, and come back.  Listen to me.”

That sentiment could apply to many of the characters in the story about to unfold, and it prepares us to jump across both worlds and eras (and different times ARE other worlds; as the famous quote has it, “the past is another country.”).

The prologue showcases Helprin’s gift of prose; it’s gorgeous from the very first word.  As he opens things:

A great city is nothing more than a portrait of itself, and yet when all is said and done, its arsenals of scenes and images are part of a deeply moving plan.

He goes on to talk about New York City specifically, where our story is set, and, really, the book is one long love letter to the greatest city in the world.  We’re told about the mass of white clouds that surround the city, about which we’ll learn much more as the novel progresses.  We  also get our first reference to the the city as one great machine, about which, again, much more later.

And then we are told:

…our swift unobserved descent will bring us to life that is blooming in the quiet of another time.

This is important, as we’ll see very shortly in chapter one.  The prologue ends with an invitation:

As we float down in utter silence, into a frame again unfreezing we are confronted by a tableau of winter colors.  These are very strong, and they call us in.

Colors, both wintry and otherwise, play a large role not only symbolically, but very literally in the story, as we’ll discover early on.

So the stage is set.  We’re about to embark on a journey that will span worlds and centuries.  I hope you’ll come along with me; our first steps will be onto the snow-covered streets of pre-World War I Manhattan, which is where chapter one begins…


Chapter Index

I’ll keep an updated list of links to the individual chapter discussions here, so it’ll all be easy to find…

Part 1, Chapter 1 (“A White Horse Escapes”)

Part 1, Chapter 2 (“The Ferry Burns in Morning Cold”)

Part 1, Chapter 3 (“Pearly Soames”)

Part 1, Chapter 4 (“Peter Lake Hangs From A Star”)

Part 1, Chapter 5 (“Beverly”)

Part 1, Chapter 6 (“A Goddess in the Bath”)

Part 1, Chapter 7 (“On the Marsh”)

Part 1, Chapter 8 (“Lake of the Coheeries”)

Part 1, Chapter 9 (“The Hospital in Printing House Square”)

Part 1, Chapter 10 (“Aceldama”)

Part 2, Chapter 1 (“Four Gates to the City”)

Part 2, Chapter 2 (“Lake of the Coheeries”)

Part 2, Chapter 3 (“In the Drifts”)

Part 2, Chapter 4 (“A New Life”)

Part 2, Chapter 5 (“Hell Gate”)

Part 3, Chapter 1 (“Nothing is Random”)

Part 3, Chapter 2 (“Peter Lake Returns”)

 Part 3, Chapter 3 (“The Sun…”)

Part 3, Chapter 4 (“…and The Ghost”)

Part 3, Chapter 5 (“An Early Summer Dinner at Petipas”)

Part 3, Chapter 6 (“The Machine Age”)

Part 4, Chapter 1 (“A Very Short History of the Clouds”)

Part 4, Chapter 2 (“Battery Bridge”)

Part 4, Chapter 3 (“White Horse and Dark Horse”)

Part 4, Chapter 4 (“The White Dog of Afghanistan”)

Part 4, Chapter 5 (“Abysmillard Redux”)

Part 4, Chapter 6 (“Ex Machina”)

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Mar 18

Buy the Books!

Here’s the one-page resource for everything you need to know about me and my books…especially how to buy them!


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Apr 27

Another Preview for Fever Dream

The new book int he Dream Series launches on May 22nd, but here’s another little excerpt from the book…

When I get to room 2, I see at a glance that Connie looks terrible.  She’s got no color at all.  She stares up at me, and I can read the question in her eyes.  I shake my head.  “We’ll take care of you, Connie.  We’ll have you home before you know it.”  I say it with a lot more confidence than I feel.  The little confidence I do have begins to fade when I check her vitals.  This is exactly how Michael’s were when he was brought in.  And two months after his death, I’m still no closer to knowing why he died.

On the plus side, Connie is an adult, with a stronger body to try and fight this – whatever it is – off.  Hopefully, that’ll be worth something.  “She’s been like this all weekend, Doctor,” Julia says, and it’s only now that I take notice of her.  She’s the spitting image of her mother – just like I am of mine.

“Do you know when it started?”

Julia answers me.  “I noticed Saturday morning she was looking really tired, all day long.”

“Thursday,” Connie pipes up, barely louder than a whisper.  “Thought it was a cold.  Thought it would go away on its own.”

That’s exactly what we all thought about Michael’s illness, at first.  And we – I – wasted a day before sending out tests to try and track down what was wrong with him.  Not this time.  “Monica, let’s get a full panel on her.  The works.”  While she begins to prep Connie to draw blood, I fill out the sheet authorizing the tests, and I check just about every box.

You can pre-order it at Amazon right now!


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Apr 26

Book Launch – “Full Color” by Traci Hayden


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Apr 25

My Sexy Saturday – Dream Student edition

So it’s time for another edition of the My Sexy Saturday blog hop.  This week, I’ve got a scene from the very first book in the Dream Series.  It’s the morning after Sara and brian have gone to bed together for the first time…

“I’m not saying this for your ego, I really mean it–it’s never been like that before for me.”  But then again, I’ve never felt this way about anyone before.  I’ve never needed someone the way I do now.  And I’ve definitely never lost myself in it the way I did–we did–last night.  I’m sure that’s got a lot to do with it.

I’m glad it was like that for him.  They say you always remember your first time, and–this is exactly the kind of thing Beth meant when she said I’m a hopeless romantic–it’s supposed to be special and wonderful and perfect and all of that.  I’d say that last night qualified on that count.

I wish my first time had been like that, instead of what it was, with Richard, the time I didn’t want to think about this morning.  Rotten, awful, terrible, pick your adjective.  And I can’t think of another time that I’ve ever felt worse about myself.

We lie in bed a little longer and he asks me something else.  “What happened to you?” and as he asks he’s got his hand on my belly.  Right over my scar.

“Oh, that?  You noticed it?”  It’s funny.  The two boyfriends I’ve had since it happened never noticed, or if they did they never bothered to ask.

“Well, I saw it last night, and after about two seconds it went right out of my mind,” he says, going quite red.

“I should hope so,” I laugh.  “Anyway, I had my appendix out, senior year of high school.”


“The night before the prom.”

The book is FREE on Kindle!




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Apr 24

Hot for Friday blog hop – Dream Student edition

Welcome to the Hot for Friday blog hop, and this week’s theme is a “Hot Kiss.”  I’ve got a sweet moment from the end of book one of the Dream Series, DREAM STUDENT:

 “So what happened to me?”

That’s less funny.  “Your right ankle is broken, you’re probably going to have that cast for six weeks or so.  And you’ve got some bruised ribs.  And,” she’s fighting to suppress a giggle.  “A laceration of your left buttock.  You landed on a nail when you went down the stairs.”

“I don’t understand.  That’s not funny.”  I don’t think I appreciate her laughing at my injuries.

“No, it’s not.”  Except obviously it somehow is.  “Just–I guess you better not ever break up with Brian, otherwise you’ll have to explain to your next boyfriend why you’ve got a scar on your butt.”  If I had enough energy, I’d try to sit up and smack her.

Brian picks that moment to walk in the door, bouquet in hand.  “Those are so pretty,” I say.  “So nice.  Come here.”

Beth takes the flowers out of his hand as he leans over me.  I can’t pull myself up, but–I don’t have to.  Brian’s found the lever to raise me up, and now my head is level with his, and he kisses me.

“I was so scared, when you fell.  I saw you were breathing, but–God, I don’t ever want to lose you.”  That was the worst moment out of all of it, that first instant when I didn’t know if he was–if he was alive.

“I don’t want to lose you, either.  Why don’t we just never lose each other, how about that?”

I kiss him; it seems like a good answer.

It’s all the answer either of us needs.

It’s FREE on Kindle!


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Apr 24

Cover Reveal – “Sunk” by Renea Porter


By: Renea Porter

Cover Reveal April 24th

Release Day: May 19th 

The darkness claws at Raine Sims,
bringing her farther in.
There was no escaping it and no
one to bring her out of it. The burden of loss weighs heavily on her, reminding
her every day that there are no guarantees in life. Every day is a struggle
every day she puts on a façade just to get through. She’s already lost her
husband to divorce and now her child in death… It’s all too much to grasp.
But a chance encounter with Sly
Wilkes is all it takes to come completely undone.
Sly Wilkes is always in control,
in every situation, including in the bedroom. He’s mysterious, and Raine has
definitely piqued his interest. However getting to know her isn’t all that
easy. Raine’s guarded and believes she deserves to feel the pain and the
darkness that surrounds her.

Will Sly be able to help Raine see she deserves more?

Or Will the pain forever remain?



About the Author
Renea has always had her nose
inside of a book ever since she could remember. She has wrote ever since she
was young enough to write, never showing anyone what she was writing. Initially
she started writing Coming Back to You without intending to publish, but her
hubby of 15 years encouraged her to publish it. And she did. She couldn’t
imagine never writing. Its in her blood.
Her mind is always wondering, plotting and full of ideas. Even her hubs
questions her sanity sometimes, because she well her characters are real. They
feel real.

Books By Renea

Back To you

Bare Hearts

Driving Layne (Unspoken Truth Book 1)

Switching Lanes (Unspoken Truth Book 2)

Outbound Lane (Unspoken Truth Novella)


Mirror Mirror


All Available on Amazon:



All Available on Barnes & Noble


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Apr 23

Join the party!

I’m thrilled to be participtating in a Facebook event to promote audiobooks – both mine and those of several other fantastic authors.  Click the link above to join the event, and you’ll be eligible to win free copies of the audiobooks, as well as checking out a whole bunch of great authors!

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Apr 22

Cover Reveal – “Talon” by Shevawn Michelle”


By: Shevawn Michelle

Cover Reveal April 22nd
Life has a funny way of getting us to where we ultimately belong. Even if that isn’t what we had pictured for ourselves.
Talon had it all, or so he thought. A nice home, a great career, a wife whom he loved more than life itself. For most, it takes a lifetime to achieve your dreams, but for some, those dreams are achieved early with determination and hard work. That was Talon. But one tragic accident would strip him of everything. 
Kimberlyn is a single nurse, who spent the last three years of her life scraping by to save enough money to buy her dream home. That dream home brought her to Talon. When Kimberlyn enters the picture, can she help put the pieces of Talon’s life back together? Or is he already too far gone? 





Shevawn Michelle lives in a small town just south of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, three furbabies, turtle, and two hermit crabs. When she isn’t writing, she is reading and blogging. She has a love for fishing, campfires and grilling out with family and friends.
You can connect with her here:


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Apr 22

Paranormal Wednesday Blog Hop!

Welcome to my stop on the weekly Paranormal Love Wednesday blog hop.

Here’s a moment from book two of the Dream Series, DREAM DOCTOR.  This is from the prologue…

Sara is surprised, but only for an instant; then it becomes clear to her what’s going on.  This has happened before; this is not her dream at all.  She doesn’t cry, or scream; she simply closes her eyes and pleads – already knowing she will not be answered – “Please, God, not again!”


I open my eyes, and I know before I can even force them to focus what I’m going to see.  The clock reads 3:05 AM.

It was always three o’clock in the morning last time, too.  At least I didn’t wake up screaming.  Or bite off Mister Pennington’s arm again – my stuffed rabbit is still in one piece, right here in the bed with me.  I didn’t even wake up Lumpy, who’s living up to his name, snoring away at the foot of the bed all tangled up in the sheets, or Beth, down on the floor, looking more comfortable sleeping on an inflatable mattress than I would ever be.

I’m not going to tell her about this.  Or Brian.  Or anybody.  Especially not today.

It’s almost funny, except it isn’t at all.  I haven’t had any of these dreams in a year and a half, not since “it” happened – except one time, last summer.  When Brian was dreaming about me, and I saw it.  But that was the only time.

Talk about luck.  Of all the times for this to start back up, for my brain to start picking up signals again, it has to be the night before my wedding.

The book is on sale for just $0.99!



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Apr 21

Book Tour – “Intercepted by Love” by Rachelle Ayala


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Apr 21

Cover Reveal – “Clover’s Adventures” by Sandra Shrewsbury

Clover’s Adventurers

By: Sandra Shrewsbury

Cover Reveal: April 21st

Expected Release Date: June 4th

Clover is a bunny who lost his mother at birth.
He is scared and needs someone to take care of him. He has to learn things on
his own and when he ventures out to find a family who will love him, he finds
more than just someone to take care of him. He finds special friends who teach
him what is more important in life.


Sandra hails from West Virginia, where she lives
with her family. She spent ten years working in the nursing profession. She loves
to read, no matter what the genre is. However, her favorites are Romance,
Supernatural, and Non-Fiction. This love for the written word inspired Sandra
to begin her own writing career. Using her own life experiences, Sandra brings
Addiction to the surface with her Addiction Series. Now for her next book she
is doing an adult romance novel. Midnight Desire will let Sandra experience her
passion for romance. She is also writing a children’s book for her
granddaughter called Clover’s Adventurers. It will be out next month.
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