Indie Book Love

Got to show some love for the Indie Authors out there! So, here’s a list of some books that you might want to add to your TBR list;-)

“Charlotte E. English is one of those people who began writing as a child and never managed to stop. She published her first novel, Draykon, in 2011, and two other books quickly followed, completing the Draykon Series. To date she has written and published seven fantasy novels and four novellas, and has a head full of far more colourful, whimsical ideas than she can ever hope to have time to write.” – Charlotte E. English

For more information on Charlotte E. English, please visit her Author Page.

reap

“Casey L. Bond resides in West Virginia with her husband Elton and their two beautiful daughters. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Marshall University in 2003 with a B.A. in Criminal Justice. She has always loved to write just a tiny bit more than she loved to read. So, she put pen to paper and has authored several young adult and new adult books. Those books include Winter Shadows, Devil Creek, Pariah, Reap and Shady Bay (releasing Spring 2014)”- Casey L. Bond

Visit Casey L. Bond’s Author Page here.

“Colleen Hoover is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including the #1 bestseller, Hopeless. She lives in Texas with her husband and three children. She is the founder of The Bookworm Box, a book subscription service which donates 100% of its proceeds to charity. She also owns The Bookworm Box, a specialty bookstore located in Sulphur Springs, Tx.” – Colleen Hoover

Visit Colleen Hoover’s Author Page here.

Please connect with Tracee Boyd on twitter @traceethewriter

“H. Eugene is: A writer, author, video game player, sushi/pizza/burger junkie, powerlifter, wannabe bowler, wannabe Captain America, and father of three. He was born, raised, and still resides in the city of Detroit. Outside of writing, his career has span 25+ years in various facets of the customer service industry. His penchant for writing developed at a very early age, as he began writing stories while he attended middle school. After winning two first place prizes for poetry in high school, the fuse was lit. He hopes that through his writing, he can reach and affect many. What you will find in his books is a renewed and fresh perspective of storytelling.” -H. Eugene

Visit H. Eugene’s Author Page here, and his website here.

Well, that’s enough for today. Back to writing!

Happy reading,

KD

Cozy Indie Book Shop

If you’re ever in the Denver area and love books, you’ve got to go into the Tattered Cover! It’s one of those rare finds that feature anything and everything on their shelves. From the moment you walk-in, the sights will astound. The Tattered Cover Bookstore is a sparkling diamond amongst a sea of others, and it covers Indie Authors to boot!

Special thanks goes out to all the picture takers of this wonderful Indie Book Store!

Happy reading!

KD

“America’s First Daughter” Book Review

51trantzjll-_sx330_bo1204203200_

America’s First Daughter” by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie takes the reader on a  journey through the heart and mind of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson. While keeping to her timeline as much as possible, the authors take creative license to fill in the missing puzzle pieces. However, the insinuations stem from close scrutiny of existing letters written between the Jefferson’s and their close friends.

The book starts the day after Thomas Jefferson’s death in which Patsy and Sally Hemmings are alone in his study, quiet in their introspection of the room’s contents, facing each other with years of history between them. Sally takes a shoe buckle of Thomas Jefferson’s, an inkwell, and an old pair of his spectacles without asking. She hands over the key to Mr. Jefferson’s study, which she’d held onto for the previous forty years, and without speaking walks out of the room and Patsy Jefferson’s life.

sarah_23_large

Sally Hemmings via geni.com

The rest of the book is a flashback for Patsy with all the trials and tribulations a daughter of the American Revolution, one that also included having a father who wrote the Declaration of American Independence along with being an Ambassador to France during it’s turbulent times and subsequently the third President of The United States, experienced.

8

Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph via firstladies.org

We learn of Patsy’s harrowing flight at the young age of eight from the British away from her beloved Monticello with her ailing mother, sister and Jefferson’s ever faithful William Short while her father stayed behind to watch the advancement of troops. The authors expertly detail the torment to Thomas Jefferson’s character that plagued him throughout the rest of his life because of fleeing and the impact that had on young Patsy.

Her familial obligations solidified at the tender age of ten when her mother passed away after the lingering effects of another childbirth. Witnessing her father unravel after the devastation of losing his wife, Patsy held her father from the darkness of his grief and eventually pulled him back into the world of the living. From that point forward, Patsy’s devotion remained true to her father above and beyond her spouse or children.

The story speaks of the abhorrent nature of slavery and the Jefferson’s involvement as a southern plantation owner and President. Patsy was raised by the Hemmings slaves and knew they were her blood relatives, and it’s interesting to see her views differ from that of her father’s and how she evolves through her lifespan.

Another aspect of this book that I loved was the in-depth plot development into the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings. I’m happy they didn’t shy away from the controversial nature of slave owners and the many children they had with their slaves. It left me wanting to research what happened to the generations of Hemmings that followed and where they ended up in life.

thomas-mann-randolph

Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr. via Firstladies.org

From the turbulent relationship with her alcoholic husband, Mr. Thomas Randolph, to the proposed relationship with a lifelong family friend, Mr. William Short, and the tragic lives of a few of her eleven children, Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie weave a delectable tale of truth and fiction to keep the reader not only entertained but racing through the 624 page book.

portrait_of_william_short

William Short via wikimedia.org

For those on the fence or not interested in Historical Fiction, I’d advise you to give “America’s First Daughter” a chance. You’ll be yearning for more!

Happy reading,

KD

Novice Writers Beware

 

Kristen Lamb’s Blog is the end all of blogs to help writers of all stages of development. She’s an encyclopedia of knowledge, and her words of wisdom are taken to heart by many alike. Today’s blog post provides fantastic advice for all the novice writers out there wanting book reviews;-) It’s the “Dos and Don’ts” on asking for book reviews.

Enjoy!!

Lately, I have been getting a ton of emails from hopeful writers wanting me to write reviews of their books on my blog. Somehow, somewhere I ended up on some marketing guru’s “list” and if I find out who it is, it will not be a good day for that person since they are charging […]

via 5 Ways to Make a Blogger Want to Stab Us in the Face — Kristen Lamb’s Blog

“Thank You” & An Update

A huge ‘Thank You’ to all those who voted! The results are in, and the winner is….

‘Drum roll’

Albert Einstein!!!

albert-einstein-genius

Galileo and George Washington Carver tied for second;-)

It’s nose to the grindstone on my second book of The Protectorate series, I’m busy outlining the third book which will include Albert Einstein:-) AND I’m putting together a review on “America’s First Daughter” by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie.

Moreover, there’s the TBR list! Next up…

9781567318975_p0_v1_s260x420

Thank you for taking an interest in my writing, and I wish you all a fantastic weekend!

Happy reading,

KD

 

Who Would You Meet?

George Washington Ate What?

portrait_of_george_washington-transparentA well known founding father of the United States of America, George Washington has been dissected, praised, lauded and ridiculed for centuries. His life has been scrutinized on a microscopic level in life as well in death. Multitudes of biographies abound on this man who would willingly give over the power to rule for a simple life on his plantation.

My latest book in The Protectorate series intertwines with the life of Mr. Washington. I’ve devoured historical accounts found in newspapers, word of mouth quotes and books in an attempt to unravel this larger than life person. After all, he was a man.

So, upon my research, I’ve stumbled across some little known tidbits of information that struck me as either funny, sad and even surprise. The journey to learn every last morsel of information on this formidable man has left me in awe and with even more questions.

Today, I wish to pass on some little known morsels of information. Enjoy!

  • In the Fall of 1787, George Washington drew up a contract with a gardener who had an itch for the drink: “if allowed four dollars at Christmas, with which to be drunk four days and four nights two dollars at Easter, to effect the same purpose; two dollars at Whitsuntide, to be drunk for two days, a dram in the morning, and a drink of grog at dinner and at noon.”
  • On the night George Washington passed away, his close friend, Dr. Thornton, rushed to Mount Vernon only to find Washington had already passed away. However, Dr. Thornton wanted to try to resurrect Mr. Washington, “in the following manner. First to thaw him in cold water, then to lay him in blankets, and by degrees and by friction to give him warmth, and to put into activity the minute blood vessels, at the same time to open a passage to the lungs by the trachea, and to inflate them with air, to produce and artificial respiration, and to transfuse blood into him from a lamb.” Now, that’s devotion! Blood transfusions??? Tracheotomy???
  • Obviously, the resurrection didn’t happen as family/friends intervened, and he was peacefully buried in “Washington City” under the Capitol building. Wait! That’s not correct;-)
  • Washington was originally supposed to be buried in Washington D.C. under the capitol building but never got there. He is buried with his beloved Martha at his home on Mount Vernon.
  • George Washington never wore a wig! Even though it was the fashion at the time, he simply powdered his own curly locks. His true color? Reddish brown;-)
  • Washington avoided public speaking as much as possible because it would make his hands shake, not to mention the difficulties of speaking with false teeth. It was reported that he was “painfully awkward when delivering a speech.”
  • Speaking of false teeth, Washington had them, but they were NOT wooden. Instead, they were made of “bone, hippopotamus ivory, human teeth, brass screws, lead, and gold metal wire.” mountvernon.org
large_dentures-transparent

mountvernon.org

  • George Washington was born the first child of a second wife which put him at a disadvantage when his father died. George’s father, Augustine Washington, died when George was eleven. The family estate went to his eldest half-brother Lawrence. Mount Vernon was inherited by Washington in 1761 when Lawrence’s wife, Ann, passed away in 1761 and no heirs were alive. However, he rented Mount Vernon in 1754 from Ann when she remarried.
  • Washington wanted to join the Royal Navy at the young age of 14, but his mother refused. So, he became a surveyor and the rest is history.
  • Washington had a contentious relationship with his mother. “He visited, but out of obligation rather than affection, and the impression emerges that he simply did not like her.” – Washington’s Circle: The Creation of the President by David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler
  • Washington was unanimously elected to be President of the United States which has yet to happen since.
  • George Washington enjoyed mashed sweet potatoes and coconut (Yum!), cherry pies, hoe cakes (pancakes made with corn) and string beans with almonds.
  • George Washington popularized the mule in the United States.
  • Washington grew hemp on his plantation. However, it was used for making ropes and sailing canvas, not to smoke;-)

Well, I could go on and on about George Washington. He’s simply a fascinating person and one that helped to begin a country. If you’d like more information on this enigmatic giant, please visit www.mountvernon.org OR visit Mount Vernon in person (there’s really nothing quite like it), The Surprising George Washington by Richard Norton Smith or google to your heart’s content.

Now, I must get back to writing the second book in The Protectorate series! Stay tuned!

 

Happy reading,

KD

John Grisham or Bust

john_grisham_2009

His works rival the best, his tenacity and perseverance are unquestionable, but how much do we know about this writing giant? Most people know his name, but when asked about the man behind the novels, I was at a loss. I could name his works from A Time to Kill, The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Rainmaker, and the list goes on. I marvel at his writing ability and creativity, but I couldn’t really describe the man.

john-grisham-a-time-to-kill-arena-stagejpg-94471a9abbfd041d

I have an internal desire to know what drives someone so successful in the line of work that I strive to get a foothold in, and what better way to learn craft than studying the best. It pays to know what compels someone to write, their backgrounds and history. I dare say most people write from their own loses, triumphs or dreams. So, it was with great pleasure that I studied up on the man behind the legend.

John Grisham, born on February 8, 1955 to a cotton farmer and homemaker, started his life on a farm in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The second of five children, John moved with his family to several places after his father changed from farming into the field of construction. Moving from Louisiana to Mississippi, John’s family landed in Southaven, Mississippi in 1967 when John was 12.

According to an article published in The Clarion-Ledger, John’s father was quite the storyteller as well as being the deacon in his church.

While in high school, John played football and basketball, but his heart stayed true to baseball. He dreamed of becoming a major league player after school. It wasn’t until senior English that he became intrigued by Steinbeck and read voraciously. However, writing wasn’t in his immediate future. He took several back-breaking jobs before deciding on attending Northwest Mississippi Community College. According to a friend, John was reserved to those unknown, but relaxed around his friends.

514xgfj93ol-_ac_ul320_sr178320_

John believed his arrival at Northwest would be the budding of his plans to be a major league player, but after failing freshman English, yep English, he rode the bench and decided to leave. Next up was Delta State University, but when the baseball plans fizzled and his coach recommended he hit the books, John agreed and ended up at Mississippi State University. However, he hadn’t found his path as he changed his major three times in subsequent semesters, but he eventually majored in Accounting at Mississippi State and graduated with a law degree from Ole Miss in 1981.

After a decade of practicing law in Southaven, Mississippi, he got the writing fever and proceeded to write a couple hours before work, during breaks and even after work. He read up on historical fiction and well known authors as well. Eventually he took the leap, against his friends advice, and quit law altogether to move his family to a farm. He worked on his first novel for three years before getting a deal with an unknown publishing company and spent his energies on begging friends to buy his book and holding book signings whenever he could.

John was discouraged after “A Time to Kill” wasn’t an initial success, and upon further encouragement from his agent, he wrote a second novel which launched his career. “The Firm” was made into a movie after his agent sold the rights for $600,000, and of course, the rest is history.

51rojyvkcfl-_sx279_bo1204203200_

John went from absolute obscurity selling his books out of the trunk of his car to being one of the all time best selling authors. His formula of hard work and perseverance are something to keep in mind for any aspiring author or for anyone in different fields. Never give up on your dreams!

I hope you found this article inspiring and insightful, and I hope you never give up on your dreams:-)

Keep writing, keep reading, keep dreaming!

Happy reading,

KD

P.S. If you’re interested in reading any one of his books, check out his Penguin Random House site!

 

Book Shop Love!

I love, love, love finding new book shops to drop into if traveling, and I enjoy surfing the web to find cozy spots all over the world. Just one look at these and my mouth salivates to escape into their depths never to return. Alas, everyone must eat, drink and sleep, but it never hurts to dream;-) So, take a look at some of these book shops and drop in if you can!

our-location-wideCharlie Byrne Bookseller is an Irish bookshop in Galway City! I could live here for days;-)

a815966604970905c878a0a29952d167

Le Bal des Ardents is a bookstore in Lyon France. Who wouldn’t want to visit? Bibliophile’s Corner by Olga gives a wonderful account of the history behind the name!

daunt-books-london-kitapci-1

Daunt Books in London could keep me entertained!

jmtunnellarge

How awesome is this?! I’ll make sure to visit The Last Bookstore LA on a visit to California. I’d call this my tunnel of love!

I sure hope you’ve enjoyed these cozy corners. I’m always on the lookout for others;-) Stay tuned, and…

 

Happy reading!

K.D.