My Blog Guest

Thursday, July 24, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: SHOUT IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION BY NICK ROSENER & ERIC LEHNEN

A simple and straight forward approach for small business owners to defining your target market and using various marketing sources to reach it. With so many social media options at our doorstep, many small business owners/entrepreneurs may feel overwhelmed. Is more better?

The authors pull from years of marketing experience to present an easily understandable and implementable plan for success. The book is broken into three sections. Part I is Building Your Marketing Plan. It includes defining your target audience, setting goals, measuring goals and more  Part II is Tools which explains various social media networks and the differences between them. I especially found this section helpful.  The authors liken each social media network to a different country with its own culture, etc.  Great example. The better you understand that concept, the more success you will have. Part III, Creative, wraps up the book with types of social media actions you might take, as well as building your following and more.


They also provide examples of real businesses who used or learned from some of these marketing techniques.  I will definitely be recommending this book as a resource and will be adding it as a resource link on this website as well as on my art blog, www.serendipitini.com.

Here's the link to the book on amazon.com

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Review—The Last to Know by Melissa Hill

This women’s fiction book centers on three women whose lives intertwine as they look for happiness in love. Anna is engaged but can’t seem to set a date and then she finds out she’s pregnant.  Eve has lived with Liam for years and has children by him but isn’t married. All she wants is to be loved by Liam, be his wife and raise his children. Sam is a successful author whose boyfriend has just proposed.  Then there’s Brooke, a book editor, reads a manuscript about these women submitted to her via an unknown sources. What is it that ties them all together.

The two most compelling characters are Sam and Eve, who are sisters. I had a difficult time with the author’s introduction of Brooke. Those segments seemed stop the action and I couldn’t understand what they had to do with the tale the author was spinning. I also felt that those sections were rather clumsily written. Brooke gushed about what an excellent manuscript and story she was screening, which created an awkwardness of the the real author, Hill, bragging on her own story which, in my opinion wasn’t as riveting as Brooke seemed to think. (Confused?  You’ll have to read the book.)


I expected this to be a love story but it takes a twist about ¾ of the way through and suddenly the story goes off in a completely different direction. I won’t spoil the surprise but it all comes together at the end. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. 

Here's the link on amazon.com

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Giveaway: The Love Story by Stenetta

Today I present children’s author Stenetta Anthony whose children’s book The Love Story released on May 6, 2014. This is her first publication; however, she is currently in the process of writing another children’s book.

Stenetta Anthony resides in the Chicagoland area with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She uses her talents as a dramatic storyteller in the public and private sectors of education as well as in the Nursery/ Sunday school department of her local church. Writing The Love Story was a milestone in her life, with her about to complete another milestone in her life, a degree in Elementary/Special education. It is never too late to fulfill a lifelong dream. 

GIVEAWAY: Stenetta is excited to give away a copy of her children’s book to one winner. Winners must live in Canada/U.S. to receive book by mail.

To enter, leave a comment in the comments section of this blog post as to why you'd like to win. Provide your email contact there as well. The winner will have a choice between paperback and e-book.  The drawing will end in two weeks. 

Book description: The Love Story tells how a conversation between a Father and his Son can change the world. The Love Story tells how this Heavenly Son must leave his home to fulfill and carry out his Father's desire, demonstrating the Love of his Father to all mankind. 

Where did you get your idea for writing The Love Story?
The idea for writing this book came from two different sources. The first one being, I was asked by my local church nursery to create a curriculum, which focuses on one biblical character; with mine being Jesus Christ. After developing this entire curriculum, it was decided that another biblical character should be used. After some time had passed, I decided to read The Love Story to a family member, who quickly asked, “were did you get that book?”  Stating I wrote it, they encouraged me to have The Love Story published.

What inspired the title of your book?
I consider everyone has a love story, including God; so I desired to share his love story between God and man.

What do you hope this book will accomplish?
The goal of this book is to share and retell the story of Jesus Christ in a simple manner; wherein, everyone regardless of age can comprehend without difficulty. It is also a goal to share the love of Jesus Christ with those who are unfamiliar with his life or life story.

How did you choose the genre you write in?
I chose this genre specifically to educate children of all ages. As an education student, Sunday school teacher and mother I love to read children’s book. I find them in engaging, fun and exciting therefore, I choice to write for children, bringing them the same enjoyment that I enjoy when reading a book.

Are there other books on the horizon?
Yes, I am in the process of writing another children’s book. It is almost complete and hopefully should be release sometime early or mid-2015.

Any tips for upcoming authors?
Authors must decide on the completion of their finished work. Be patient with oneself, it can take a day, a month, and sometimes even years before your complete your writing. Depending on the content of your book characters, scenery and multiple aspect of your book may change. So be patient with you; enjoying the process of writing; never relinquishing the dream of having a publisher literacy work.
What format is your book available in?
The Love Story is available in paperback and e-book. Currently, e-book is only available on my publisher website; Tate Publishing. com, www.tatepublishing.com

Can you provide our readers information on how to purchase The Love Story?
The Love Story can be purchased from, www.tatepublishing.com, www.amazon.com,
www.barnes and nobles.com, or from your local bookstore using ISBN: 9781629025087










Tuesday, July 1, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: BETRAYAL BAY KAREN FENECH

I like historical romances but haven’t read a medieval one. I’m pleased with this one so I’ll definitely look for more set during this time period and by Fenech.  

The story centers on Lady Katherine Stanfield whose own castle and holdings have been invaded by the power hungry Ranulf. In the dead of night she rushes to De Lauren, her former fiancĂ© for aid. What he doesn’t know is that she’s hidden away her infant son, whom no one knows exists. She broke De Lauren’s heart five years earlier when she married William Norris.  What De Lauren doesn’t know is why she cast him aside and he loves her still though he no longer trusts her.


Her primary objective is to keep her son safe at all cost. Fenech builds good tension . There are several villains but Ranulf, is by far the most black-hearted. The dialogue, setting and characters all seem authentic. There were only a few issues I had with the story. The first was the improbability of a woman who has just given birth traipsing around  on horseback, first to De Lauren’s keep and then to her own holdings. Really? I felt she could have also had a little more romantically satisfying ending.  It seemed to end too quickly without much transition. Other than that, it’s a great read. I give it four stars.

Here's the link on Amazon

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Book Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The book has was on the New York Times top seller list 10 years ago and remains a favorite. The allegory is similar to Pilgrim’s Progress or Hinds Feet on High Places. Though not Christian in content, the book has a spiritual message of fulfilling one’s destiny. It follows a shepherd boy named Santiago who has an encounter with the King of Salem Melchizedek (from the Bible). He tells the boy that his destiny “personal legend” lies in the form of buried treasure in Egypt near the pyramids. The boy sets off on a quest to find this treasure and suffers setbacks, life changing circumstances, and spiritual advice along the way.

It was interesting to me how the author blends religions. Though I don’t feel the heart of this story is anything new, the individual quest to find and fulfill their true calling and giftedness, it is good to hear it again and be reminded of the difference of living out what we are designed to do makes in our lives. The writing is simple, the characters are flat, but that is to be expected with an allegory. It’s more about the message in the story…. I give this three out for five stars mainly because allegories are not my favorite and I don’t feel he’s really saying anything I didn’t already know, but I needed to be reminded of it, as we all do. I found it motivational and inspiring. It has affirmed my quest to pursue what I am best at despite what other people say.

Here's the link to The Alchemist on amazon.com

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Book Launch and Giveaway: Cathy Bryant, The Fragrance of Crushed Violets: Forgiving the Inexcusable

Announcing a book launch and giveaway of Cathy Bryant's new book The Fragrance of Crushed Violets: Forgiving the Inexcusable. I'm giving away one digital copy of her book. To enter, just leave a comment below stating why you would love to own a copy. Here's more about the book and author.


The Fragrance of Crushed Violets: Forgiving the Inexcusable
The Fragrance of Crushed Violets: Forgiving the Inexcusable is a companion Bible study booklet on forgiveness written to go along with the spiritual theme of the fifth Miller’s Creek novel, A Bridge Unbroken by Cathy Bryant. The book is designed to work for either individual or group study. A women's Bible study group has been formed on Facebook, and will be studying the topic of forgiveness using this book beginning July 1, 2014. We would love to have you join us at LifeSword: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LifeSword/. We'd also love to have join a Facebook Book Chat about the book on Tuesday, June 17th from 6-7 p.m. MDT: https://www.facebook.com/events/744001765650524/

Book Description:
What do we do when a loved one, boss, co-worker, friend, or enemy seem determined to bring us down through an attack? How do we handle it when their assault is personal, public, deep, unjust, unfair, and unfounded? Take it one step further. How do we deal with meaningless acts of destruction and death, say in something similar to the Twin Towers incident or a school shooting, especially when the offender shows no remorse? Do we file it in our brains and rack it up to “one more senseless act” and chance to think that God somehow messed up?
In short, how do we move past the hurt and anger to a place of forgiveness?
Join us as we examine relevant scriptures about forgiveness and come away with a scriptural understanding of:
  • what forgiveness is and what it isn’t
  • God’s role in the process of forgiveness
  • what Jesus did at the cross for each of us
  • our mandate to forgive as we’ve been forgiven
  • what gets in the way of forgiving others
  • how to truly forgive
Quotes From the Book:
"Ultimate forgiveness can only be found in God, because all sin is ultimately against God."
"Forgiveness isn't natural; it's supernatural."

“…through forgiveness, we reveal to a watching world the perfect illustration of what Christ has done for each of us.”

Print Version Purchase Link
Kindle Version Purchase Link
About the Author:
Cathy Bryant writes both Christian fiction and devotional materials. She’s written devotions for The Upper Room devotional magazine, two devotional books, and for various online devotional sites including her own website, www.CatBryant.com. The Fragrance of Crushed Violets is her first Bible study booklet.

Cathy's standalone novels are set in the fictional town of Miller's Creek, Texas, where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth's front porch beckons. Her debut novel, Texas Roads, was a 2009 ACFW Genesis contest finalist and has been on the Amazon Kindle Best-Seller list. Since then she's added four other books to the Miller's Creek novels, the latest one released in Spring 2014. Readers have compared her novels to those of Karen Kingsbury and Nicholas Sparks and have called Miller's Creek the Texas version of Mayberry.


A native Texan, Cathy currently resides in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico with her minister husband of over thirty years. When she’s writing, you can find her rummaging through thrift stores, hiking through the wilderness, or up to her elbows in yet another home improvement project in the mountain cabin she calls home.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Book Review: The Blue Last by Martha Grimes

This is my second Martha Grimes, Richard Jury Novel. Inspector Jury is asked by a Mickey Haggerty a DCI with the London City Police to help him solve a mystery surrounding two skeletons unearthed at the site of the Blue Last, a London pub destroyed during a bombing raid during World War II. Haggerty believes the child, now a grown woman, who supposedly survived the bombing is an impostor posing as an heiress to the Tyndale Brewery fortune. Sub plots include Jury's own painful memories of being orphaned during the second world war and the quest by his friend, Ambrose Plant, to help prove or disprove that a painting purchased in an antiques store by a friend is an authentic Masaccio.

Of course, there's a murder to be solved as well, when Simon Croft, a family friend of the Tyndales and son of the Blue Last's owner  is found murdered and a book manuscript he was working on detailing events during WW II is missing. Jury's investigation leads him into danger.

In her usual way Grimes creates memorial characters and sensitive descriptions and interesting plotlines which keep me turning pages. The ending, however, leaves plenty of questions, especially about Gemma Trimm, the mysterious ward of Oliver Tyndale. Grimes picks up those threads in the sequel but to determine how well she does that I'd have to re-read that book, The Grave Maurice, (which happened to be the first Richard Jury I read).

I thoroughly enjoy Grimes' sensitive style. I felt the ending could have been handled a little better...I had a lot of questions at the end. From now on, when I read one of her books, I plan to take notes in order to better track characters and sub plots. It may have helped with this one. I give this three out of five stars, primarily because I felt there we too many unanswered questions, but then, I could just be slow on the uptake.

Here's the link on amazon.The Blue Last