Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Book Pusher: September 2018

{Note to followers: if you want an email when a new post goes up, go the right column and subscribe for emails. Thanks.}

Many ask me why I don't label my mini reviews with a ranking of 1-5. The answer is very simple. I never review books I can't give either a 4 or 5. Believe me, I read far more than eight or ten books a month. Some I don't review because they are a reread, but others I don't review because I can't give then a high rating. Rather than shame a writer who poured their heart into the story, I choose to not review. So, enjoy the books! I know you will. ;-) 


NOBLE HOUSE James Clavell: historical fiction (classed as anything before 1970)

This is another of Clavell's excellent historical fictions about Asia. This time it's Hong Kong in 1963. As always there are a lot of characters, but they are skillfully woven into the tapestry of a riveting story. The backstory of the Straun's and their company is wonderful. As always, Clavell gives a good read.


THE LIGHT OF HIDDEN FLOWERS Jennifer Hanford: Women's Fiction

Missy Fletcher grinds along in the shadow of her confident, extroverted father. But something's missing. Something she must learn. Lovely Story and Good Read.



WHERE WE BELONG Catherine Ryan Hyde: Coming of Age

A lovely coming of age story that shows what love, trust, and responsibility truly looks like.



BELLEWETHER Susanna Kearsley: historical Fiction

Kearsley's done it again! You'll get caught up in the dual timeline, root for the characters, and learn what love does to protect and survive. A brilliantly plotted, inspired story you can't miss. Read it Now!


MORGAN'S RUN Colleen McCullough: Historical Fiction

Taking a figure from history and telling his story can be fraught with many potholes, but McCulough is a master at this type of story. In MORGAN'S RUN, she takes a man who many wrote off, but who is a founder of Australia. Great Read!


DIGGING IN Loretta Nyan: Women's Fiction

Grief and life can be challenging, but allowing yourself to breathe, grow, and live is the message of Nyan's lovely story. Let Paige Moresco teach you how.


THE ART OF INHERITING SECRETS Barbara O'Neal: Women's Fiction

With an intricately detailed story worthy of long contemplation, O'Neal has created mystery, love, intrigue, and a fully realized old home--a character as much as the people. Enjoy!


UNSTRUNG Laura Spinella: Women's Fiction

This is one of the most amazing books I've read lately. Olivia Klein's life is both haunting and uplifting. I'm amazing and transported as only singing choral music has in my life. Her main character is a symphony violinist and Spinella describes the feeling of providing the door knob into Heaven that I've experienced singing in a choir. An amazing read. Get this one! Read it now! You'll never forget it.

Next Post: IWSG, of course!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

IWSG: September 2018

{Note to followers: if you want an email when a new post goes up, go the right column and subscribe for emails. Thanks.}

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Co-Hosts: Toi Thomas, T. Powell Coltrin, M.J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler!

Question: What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

Answer: I self-published my two devotionals. One was nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2009 in Creative Non-Fiction. 

Now, I'm blogging. The fiction is on hold for the moment. And that's okay. We have to be good to ourselves, too. 

Whatever your path, however you are published, make sure you treat yourself well. That's job one.

Next Post: The Book Pusher has books for you...of course!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Book Pusher: August 2018

{Note to followers: if you want an email when a new post goes up, go the right column and subscribe for emails. Thanks.}

THREE DAYS MISSING Kimberly Belle: Women's Fiction

With a tautly plotted, tightly written story of a mother's worst nightmare, two mothers become connected even though they couldn't be more different. This is a page turner of a story!


SHOGUN James Clavell: Historical with elements of Romance

Clavell's Asian Saga is a periodic reread for me. Here's the book that caused such a stir with it's debut in 1975 and it became a hit mini series as well. The book tells the story of old Japan, replete with samurai, ninja, geisha, and characters who will live forever--Toda Mariko, Yoshi Toranaga, and the English pilot who turns their live upside down-John Blackthorne. 

THE WAY OF BEAUTY Camille Di Maio: Women's Fiction

Centered on New York's Penn Station, Di Maio crafts a story of three generations of women who challenge and cooperate with the ways of life and family. Good Read!
LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb: Historical Fiction

Told through evocative letters from the home front and the trenches of WWI, the authors enchant, intrigue, and best of all, honor our ancestors for their steadfast honor and love. Good read!


AT HOME IN MITFORD Jan Karon: Christian Ficiton

In the first of her Mitford novels, Karon tells a story of decency, caring, and love. All of us can learn at lot from Father Tim and his neighbors.


MADAME TUSSAUD Michelle Moran: Historical Ficiton

There's more to the story of this artist than we know. A survivor and business woman who must thread her way through the French Revolution, she will be remembered for her artistry. This is a story that is by turns fascinating and horrifying. You can't look away from one riveting page to the next. Amazing fictionalized biography!


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

IWSG: August 2018

{Note to followers: if you want an email when a new post goes up, go the right column and subscribe for emails. Thanks.}

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Co-Hosts: Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover, Susan Gourley, and Lee Lowery!

Question: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

Answer: Don't get so wrapped up in the "win"--the agent, the contract, the publication (of any variety) that you ignore the real world--family, health--theirs and yours. Be realistic about your needs--emotional, relationship, economic. Don't put all your eggs into one basket--that one pitch, that one query, that one top agent--that you miss the good things--baby kisses, elderly parents and their stories, good time with  significant others, and siblings and friends. In a word, cultivate balance. Learn to live and create at the same time. 

Speaking of balance, I'm learning that lesson as I go. One of my chronic illnesses has decided to add symptoms that are worrisome and potentially something else entirely. By the time this goes live, I might know which. Either way, writing has had to take a backseat for many reasons, starting with my mother's health in the last year. Wish me luck. Say a prayer. Whatever your tradition, I'd love the wishes.

Update: I've developed persistent nausea. After normal CT scans of my abdomen and pelvic regions, we think the cause is my Fibro. Up to 70% of Fibro sufferers have this and it's characterized as morning sickness. At least I have meds and crackers. It could be far worse. 

Next Post: The Book Pusher has a winning list for you!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Book Pusher: July 2018

{Note to followers: if you want an email when a new post goes up, go the right column and subscribe for emails. Thanks.}

You need some books, right? I know it, so here you go! ;-)


THE SOMETIMES SISTERS Carolyn Brown: Women's Fiction

With her trademark reality and a touch of humor, Brown shows the Clancy sisters at their lowest and shows their grit and grace. Excellent Read!


THE PLASTIC MAGICIAN Charlie Holmberg: Fantasy

Holmberg does it again! Her latest enchanting story in the Paper Magician series is full of adventure, daring, and love. Fun Read! But start with book one--The Paper Magician


CAROUSEL BEACH Orly Konig: Women's Fiction

Maya Brice is hunting the magic of her childhood while grieving her present. You'll love this hauntingly beautiful story--and belive in magic again. 


EVERYTHING WE GIVE Kerry Lonsdale: Women's Fiction

With an emotional and fulfilling conclusion to her "Everything" series, Lonsdale probes the depth of love and lies, family and connection. Bu tying up her stirring story, the author provides closure for her characters--and her readers.


LONG WAY GONE Charles Martin: Contemporary Fiction

With a radical retelling of the Prodigal Son, Martin will rip open your heart and sing you home. This is one of the finest books ever.



HUSBANDS AND OTHER SHARP OBJECTS Marilyn Simon Rothstein: Women's Fiction

Rothstein has done it again! You'll laugh. You'll cry--And enjoy every page. Be sure to read Lift and Separate first. Great Read!


NEVER TOO LATE Amara Royce: Historical Romance

Never Too Late is a rousing romance with a big heart for the social ills of Victorian England. Add a wonderful flip of the usual older hero/younger heroine and it moves into welcome new territory for romances.


THE TIGER IN THE HOUSE Jacqueline Sheehan: Women's Fiction

You'll never guess the plot twists but you'll love the ride. Delia Lamott is one of the best characters ever. This is a must read now!



THE LAST TELEGRAM Liz Trenow: Historical Women's Fiction

With an intriguing story set in the WWII silk industry, Trenow invites us into Lily Verner's life and times, and her amazing ability to "keep her chin up" and carry one. A Must Read

Next Post: IWSG, of course!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

IWSG: July 2018

{Note to followers: if you want an email when a new post goes up, go the right column and subscribe for emails. Thanks.}

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Co-Hosts: Nicki Elson, Juneta Key, Tamara Narayan, and Patricia Lynne!


Questions: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

Answer:
Ah! The question everyone asks and really doesn't understand if they don't write. ;-)
I do hope to finish my Women's Fiction MOTHER'S DAY and possibly its sequel--FRIENDLY FIRE--but at the moment I'm dealing with many family and personal issues. If they are finished, I'll self-publish. I know in the past I hunted an agent and a contract, but personal issues make that dream a bit daunting. I know my needs have changed. I have no deadlines, no conferences, no queries, and no pitches lined up and don't expect to. 

My needs have changed based on my health. It's a good feeling to take the stress off and just enjoy writing again. 

Here's to us all! Writers through thick and thin.

Next post: Why the July Book Pusher post, of course!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Book Pusher: June 2018

{Note to followers: if you want an email when a new post goes up, go the right column and subscribe for emails. Thanks.}


THE HIDDEN SIDE Heidi Chiavaroli: Women's Fiction (multiple time lines)

No matter which side you're on about gun safety and violence in school, you owe it to yourself to read this amazing story. Chiavoroli shows all sides with compassion and insight. Be sure you read this one. Amazing!


WHEN NEVER COMES Barbara Davis: Women's Fiction

Avoidance, abandonment, and all the hurts one wants to bury can shut doors to our happiness. Christy Lynn Parker is a master at shutting doors. Davis's latest story is a glorious look at learning to open them. A must read!


THIS I KNOW Eldonna Edwards: Women's Fiction

This is a sweet story of spirit and love, truth and belief. The Carter family will touch your heart and bring you to tears of understanding. An excellent book!


WORTHY Catherine Ryan Hyde: Women's Fiction

This is one of the best stories about the meaning of family and home. And there's a good dog at the center too.You owe it to yourself to read this one. It's one of the best stories I've ever read--and I've read a lot of good stories. ;-)


SEND DOWN THE RAIN Charles Martin: Literary Fiction

This is an amazing story of no greater love. Martin takes his characters and their hearts opens and drains their pain. Then restarts it again. Must read--Do Not Miss!



THE UNDOING OF SAINT SILVANUS Beth Moore: Women's Fiction

Moore's first novel takes a reader into the heart of New Orleans. It's a journey you don't want to miss. With her characteristic empathy on display, she tells a story of forgiveness and redemption. You don't want to miss this one--and the Book Pusher can't wait for Moore's next novel.


THINGS I NEVER TOLD YOU Beth Vogt: Christian Women's Fiction

The real world of sisters comes alive in Vogt's story. How many ways can sisters miscommunicate and take one guilty that isn't their to own? All I can say is the resulting forgiveness will win your over. 


THE MARTIAN Andy Weir: SF

This is a total Science Fiction rush! Brilliantly written, The Martian is a great example of maintaining character voice throughout a narrative. Andy Weir has written a compulsive, hard SF story that's so human. Everyone who reads it will care about his main character. Bravo!

Next Post: IWSG, of course!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

IWSG: June 2018

{Note to followers: if you want an email when a new post goes up, go the right column and subscribe for emails. Thanks.}


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Co-Hosts: Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!


Question: What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

Answer: My characters always come with names attached. Changing them due to too many starting with one letter or trouble saying their names is a fight that must require much thought. I know I had a man named Manuel and another named Mack. I changed the former to Emmanuel after much thought. At the risk of a bit of ribbing, he fought it for a bit, but then admitted that his full given name had always been Emmanuel. He'd just hidden it well. ;-) 

Titles can be harder to find. I'll admit that often they come quickly, but those aren't as easy to defend as the discovery of plot and character arcs takes place. Changing titles happens as the story develops makes sense. 
<><><><><>

Try this link of resources for Free Lancers. Thanks for Gail Mandeville for sharing it. 
And a link for tickle your funny bone...and see yourself in. ;-) 
Plot Bunnies, Plot Chickens, etc. 

Next Post: Books, Books, and more Books! The Book Pusher has been busy!