Thursday, November 20, 2014

Resting Place, A Graveside Diary by Pamela Little, Nonfiction / Personal Memoir, Review

In search of a resting place, Pamela went to her final one—her grave site. Tackling life from the perspective of death, she addresses her darknesses, including alcoholism, food addiction, bipolar disorder, and her self-diagnosed “post-divorce destruction disorder.” Over the course of four years, a new light begins to emerge, beckoning her back from the living dead.
Demographic: Women - divorced, overeaters, or bipolar
 
 
 
Pamela Little
Pamela Little's writing career began in the fifth grade when she won The Evans Award for Drama for a play she wrote overnight titled The Case of the Missing Watch.
She went on to win two American Pen Women prizes for creative writing in high school. While a college student, Pamela earned recognition from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and the Annual Hemingway Days Festival for her newspaper journalism.
As a professional, Pamela wrote the "Family Matters" column for five years at The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, managed communications for a tourism agency, attended the Betty Ford Center's Professionals in Residence program on scholarship, and worked for a Montessori school. She also received the Gannett Award for Best Enterprise Reporting and numerous accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists.
As a writing coach, Pamela helps people organize their journal collections and publish their diaries. Through her ministry Soul Custody, she creates and conducts Marriage Memorial Services for divorced families. Pamela is currently at work on a series of daily meditation books to help parents after divorce. The Resting Place, A Graveside Diary, is her first book.
Visit Pamela Little at www.restingplaceonline.com
Purchase on Amazon in Kindle or Paperback
My Thoughts:
If you asked me my first thoughts on the book, I would say it is a strange book. It's different from anything I've read so far, and I've read a lot of books. It is not a book that can be rushed through - I am a fast reader and I stress - this book cannot be read fast. Not that you can't speed read it, I guess you could. It's a little hard to explain other than saying it is a slow read. The words will not allow you to read it quickly.
Pamela Little has experienced a lot in her life and with The Resting Place, takes the reader on her journey to find her resting place while still alive. She buys a cemetery plot and goes to her final resting place each day to write and meditate on her life.
Pamela Little felt that in order to tackle her "living" life, she needed to begin to assess her life from death moving backward. We all have darkness in our lives, some more than others because of different struggles. Pamela Little suffers with some pretty powerful life-altering darknesses which include "alcoholism, food addiction, bipolar disorder, and her self-diagnosed “post-divorce destruction disorder." Just one of these would topple most people.
In the book, she takes us through her struggles and how she finally finds her resting place within herself. I identified with her "post-divorce destruction disorder" having been through a traumatic divorce and alienation of children. I understand her search to find that resting place. It is a long journey that ends back where you start - within yourself.
Pamela Little is blunt, honest, and sometimes a little crazy in her memoir. She decides to view life from death's view in an effort to live life to its fullest. It is a spiritual journey. After reading this book, I think I understand the journey bi-polar sufferers go through and how it affects their outlook on life. While I would describe the book as a little strange, it is a good book. I'm giving The Resting Place four stars.
I cry now because I care so deeply about myself, maybe as equally as I care for them (daughters) now. I am so worth living for! I have missed myself while I was dead. I can breathe now. Easily. Finally, I can rest in peace (while alive.)
 
Pamela Little says her mission is to "help people see things from different perspectives" and she does in her half humorous, half insightful voice in her new memoir The Resting Place: A Graveside Diary. Yes, graveside. And not the grave of a dearly departed but her own grave that she will eventually call home. Her journal entries reveal her life--her strengths, her weaknesses--through deep reflection with a story arc that grabs the reader by the hand and takes her along for the journey.-        Matilda Butler, award-winning author and co-founder of WomensMemoirs.com
 
 
My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Always With You by Andrea Hurst (Review, Tour)

Always With You
 
 
Author: Andrea Hurst
Publication Date: February 6, 2014
Pages: 348
ISBN978-1495326783
Genre: Women's Fiction
Format: Paperback, eBook (.mobi / Kindle)

"Always With You is the bittersweet and poignant love story of a woman trapped between temptation and the ties that bind."
~Tracey Garvis Graves, New York Times bestselling author of On the Island and Covet.
"Hurst captivates from page one, and keeps you hooked until the very last word, in this entrancing story of the power of love and all its consequences.” 
~Melissa Foster -New York Times & USA Today bestselling & award-winning author.
"Warm-hearted, wise, touchingly written, and exploring the depths of human emotions. This book about forbidden love is not to be missed." 
~Bharti Kirchner, Author of five novels including Darjeeling and Tulip Season. 
1977 is a glorious time to be alive in the beautiful wine country of Northern California, and Cathy has everything she thought she wanted - from a thriving health food café to loyal friends.
Since the devastating failure of her short-lived marriage, Cathy has buried herself in her work and kept men at arm’s length. But when an old high school friend, Pam, brings her family for a short stay, Cathy’s stone walls begin to crumble when she meets Jamie. Jamie, whose compassion and warmth slowly break down her defenses. Jamie, whose devotion to his four-year-old daughter melts Cathy's heart and makes her desperate for a family of her own. Jamie… who is married to Pam.
A profound love that transcends time and place is impossible to resist. But is love more important than friendship? Are loyalty and fidelity an anchor or a chain? In the end, it’s all about choices – tough ones that can break hearts. Now Cathy must make the most difficult choice of her life.
Buy Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20665112-always-with-yo
 
Andrea HurstWhen not visiting local farmer's markets or indulging her love for chocolate, Andrea Hurst is an author and literary agent. Her passion for books drives her to find and write stories that take readers on a journey to another place and leave them with an unforgettable impression. She is a developmental editor for publishers and authors, an instructor in creative writing at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, and a webinar presenter for Writers Digest. She lives with her dachshunds in the Pacific Northwest, on an island much like the fictional Madrona, with all of its natural beauty and small town charm.
Her published books include Always With YouThe GuestbookThe Lasy Dog's Guide to Enlightenment and Everybody's Natural Food Cookbook, and she co-authored A Book of Miracles.
To learn more about Andrea and her books, visit www.AndreaHurst-author.com.
Join her on Facebook for book giveaways and more delicious recipes and scenic photos from Madrona Island at www.facebook.com/andreahurstauthor
Connect with Andrea:
Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE
My Thoughts:
I enjoyed Always With You. Plain and simple, it was a good book. The cover was beautiful and that alone will draw you to the book. 

I have been reading quite a few romance books lately and this book had a different spin on it. The story was a little long, but I'm sure how the author would have shortened it without cutting out some of the "meat" of the story. 
The writing was good. I enjoyed the characters. The book had characters you fell in love with and on the flip side, one or two that you wanted to slap silly. The story is set in the Nappa Valley and it was nice to spend time there, albeit through a book. I was drawn into the scenery and wanted to stay there. I went along on scenic drives and canoe rides down a river and then sat on the shoreline basking in the sun. I enjoyed cooking along-side the characters. 
Summarizing, Always With You by Andrea Hurst is a good book. It had a different storyline and the characters were very likable. I found no errors worth mentioning and the surprise ending was the best part of the book. I'm giving Always With You five stars. It's a light-hearted read and a great one for the cold, wintry nights coming up. 



My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Persuaded by Misty Dawn Pulsipher (Review)



Hanna Elliot had worn the ring faithfully at first. Some part of her still clung to the hope that all was not lost. As the days turned into weeks, she finally took it off and set it atop her dresser. When weeks gave way to months, the ring finally went back into its box, where it gathered dust until it was moved to Hanna’s unmentionables drawer. For the first few years, she had taken it out on the anniversary of the day she’d received it, allowing herself to wallow in what might have been.
She had been all but stamped out of Derick Wentworth’s mind.
Sure, he thought about her occasionally, especially on cloudless nights when he lay on the bow of the Laconia looking up at the stars. But as time went on, Derick began to feel grateful that it hadn’t worked out, for one thing was certain: if he ever did settle down, it would be with someone who knew her own mind. Someone who went after the thing she wanted without hesitation. Someone who would never allow herself to be persuaded otherwise.
Misty Dawn Pulsipher
Misty Dawn Pulsipher was born and raised in Utah. She attended Snow College where she developed a love for writing. Misty served as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Washington, D.C. area. She and her husband now reside in Maryland with their three children, two dogs, and the colony of squirrels that lives in their back yard. When she's not writing or procrastinating an edit, Misty is reading, baking, sewing, playing the piano, or bribing her family to play Monopoly with her. Visit her Facebook page or author blog: mistydawnpulsipher.blogspot.com.
Available (Kindle) on Amazon
My Thoughts:
I absolutely loved this book. Once you read the book, you realize just how much the cover depicts the story. I sometimes miss this by reading on a Kindle. When I read an actual physical book, I look at the cover every time I pick up the book and I do miss that sometimes.
The story was sweet with a few surprises thrown in and although you think you know the ending, there are a few places in the book that will make you doubt yourself.
Spoiler alert here (which I do not normally do) but I have to say it. What about the ring? That was truly the only disappointing thing in the entire book for me; to close the book and then remember that there was nothing about the ring. I will not explain it any further.
I read other reviews that indicated this story followed along with Jane Austin's Persuasion, which I have not read so I can't compare. I did enjoy this sweet love story. It was a chance to see how two young people who didn't work out in the beginning, get a second chance, and what they do with that second chance.
The writing was great and the errors were nominal in the book which made it an enjoyable read. The characters were well developed and I enjoyed all of them, not just Hannah and Derrick.
I'm giving Persuaded by Misty Dawn Pulsipher five stars and recommending it.

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Behind the Glass by Kristen Morgen (Book Review)

by: Kristen Morgen
Publish Date: 6/30/14
Published by: Kristen Morgen
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Add to Goodreads
Rebecca Jordan’s life is simple, disciplined, and uncomplicated, at least on the surface. Then she meets a handsome stranger/secret admirer named Michael Vale one fateful late night at a bookstore café. As a focused but struggling photographer with a passion for art, her outwardly happy world is turned upside down during this life-changing encounter when she quickly realizes she has met her soul mate. The undeniable attraction between them and their intense, immediate connection seem picture perfect as they discuss the shop’s local artwork, until Rebecca abruptly ends the chance meeting with no explanation.
Betraying Brett, her loyal, loving boyfriend, is something Rebecca can never bring herself to do. Driven by a strong moral code and molded by divorced parents and a tumultuous childhood, she struggles to stay away from Michael, but fate and circumstance intervene, bringing them back together time and time again. As much as she resists, there is no denying her true feelings for him and the simple fact that Michael understands her in a way Brett never has. Michael proves to be everything she’s ever wanted, but remains just out of her reach.
Behind the Glass tells the story of Michael and Rebecca’s extraordinary love and the many unconventional stages their relationship must go through. Their morals and their faith in true love and in each other will be put to the test as they learn that meeting one’s soul mate does not come without obstacles.
Kristen Morgen
Kristen Morgen, an up and coming new adult contemporary romance author, can’t remember a time in her life when she didn’t crave designing, creating, discovering, and using her imagination in some way. Educated and trained as a licensed architect and working at her own architectural firm for many years, her true passion has always been writing. An avid reader from a very early age, the romance genre is admittedly her favorite guilty pleasure - a hopeless romantic to the end.
Kristen loves the art of shaping words and sentences into relatable stories while creating rich characters for her readers to connect with. She enjoys exploring relationships and discovering the little reasons people fall in love with each other while uncovering deeper truths. Honing her craft in her free time and choosing exactly the type of story she wanted to tell, Kristen presents Behind the Glass as her debut novel.
Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, she currently resides in Connecticut with her husband and two daughters. Never one to let her creative mind sit idle for very long, in her free time she is currently hard at work on her next novel and reads almost anything she can get her hands on.
Twitter - @kristenmorgen
Buy Behind the Glass for Kindle on Amazon
My Thoughts:
The cover to Behind the Glass is quite striking and once I began reading the book, I realized that it was a painting, which was fitting for the book and most appropriate.
I enjoyed the story, but there was something that took me a little while to put my finger on. The book was very emotionally detailed in the writing and allowed me little room for exercising my imagination. The writing was too perfect. Each emotion was described in such detail that I tended to lose track of what I was reading. I found that I didn't care for this particular style of writing.
The ending of the story was predictable, but most books are and this wasn't a problem for me. The story line is sugary and sweet with emotional turmoil thrown in throughout the book. I think that people who enjoy a good, predictable, sweet romance will love this book.
I have read a lot of books, but this is the first of its kind for me and I am a little unsure as how to rate it. Each individual sentence was a perfect sentence in its own right, but the story was too detailed for me. I enjoy exercising my imagination and this book didn't allow me to do that. The story was there, although lost in the detail, so I am going to give the book 4 stars.
My LifeOne Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Perfect Holiday by Michael Banebrook


The Problem…
At forty-eight, attorney Kori Sarcotti is taking a beating. Her husband is under investigation, the FBI is serving her warrants, and her firm is sending her on road trips just to get her out of the office. But when her grandmother, and woman who raised her, passes away, things go from bad to intolerable.
The Solution…

Not long after her grandmother’s funeral, Kori finds herself stranded in the small town of Mule Creek, where she meets unsophisticated rancher AJ Crawford. When AJ asks her a question that both shocks and delights her, she admits that her predicament had become ‘The Perfect Holiday’.
Michael Banebrook
 
Michael Banebrook was born in Tucson, AZ and spent most of my his in Utah. He loves to travel, and not only travel, but live over seas. According to Michael, "That's how one really learns about the country and the people. I've lived in FranceGuatemala, and Japan, each time for two years. I love to study foreign languages and Chinese is next on my list. Ni Hao ma? I'm married and have for kids. I love to hike, (not extreme, more like strolls through the woods) I like to cook and watch movies. I started writing a few years ago and I love it. I take my laptop with me everywhere and if I have even five minutes, I pull it out. It takes me a long time to read a book for two reasons, first, reading puts me to sleep. If you have that problem, then you know how frustrating it is. Second, I read analytically. I underline and take notes. I never read just for fun. I'm always learning. I love to hear from my readers, so touch base with me on twitter or on my blog."
My Thoughts:
I'm going to begin with the cover in telling you my thoughts on this book. The cover was beautiful. It had an air of mystery about it which you feel as you read the book blurb. The cover and the blurb would definitely have drawn my attention in a bookstore and would have had me skimming the first few pages and then tossing it into my buggy.
I enjoyed the history of the characters as it intertwined throughout the book. I was surprised at how poignant this information would become towards the end of the book.
I also enjoyed the how the two protagonists appeared to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. On one hand, you have Kori, a sophisticated woman lawyer holding her own in a man's world, and on the other side, you have AJ, a laid-back country cowboy with a slow drawl. As the reader, you sense that something is going to happen because of the tension sparking between them.
AJ has been widowed for a few years and dipping his toes in the dating scene via the internet. He's just not finding "the" woman out there. Kori, is taking a back road vacation on the advice of her boss, who is really just interested in keeping her out of the office. Her car breaks down and we could say the rest is history, but it's the history that keeps you riveted to the book and turning the pages.
The writing was good. The author did a great job of switching back and forth between the voices. There was great humor and teasing among the protagonists and their friends that lent an everyday conversation feel to the story.
I am giving The Perfect Holiday by Michael Banebrook five stars. It was an easy going read that I really enjoyed and I think you will too.
Purchase on Amazon
My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55.