It’s Monday! What are you reading?

2a2It’s Monday! What are you reading?

In keeping with my new year’s resolution to read a financial book every month, for the month of February, I just finished…

The ABC’s of Money by Natalie Pace

 

 

 

 

 

51ya1G294+LI found this book completely enlightening and useful. It wasn’t filled with the usual drivel about skipping that cafe latte so you can pay your rent. It was filled with good and sometimes brutal truths about how to spend and how to save, starting with the old adage of paying yourself first. By the time you finish the chapter on debt, you’ll understand that old adage in a whole new light. They’re not just words, they are solid principles to wealth. My favorite part of the book was the simple mathematical equation of putting 10% away at 10% interest for four years, and you will have your yearly income saved. Do this for twenty-five years, and your savings will make more money per year than you do. Isn’t that awesome? My second favorite part of the book was the easy to understand pie chart on how much money you should have in which investments. I love pie charts!

The best part of this book is that it’s usual FREE on Kindle, completely in keeping with my budget! So, hop over to Amazon and pick up a copy. Let me know what you think.

Ms. Pace’s Amazon Page

Ms. Pace’s website

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

2a2It’s Monday! What are you reading?

 

I just finished “Letters to Kezia” by Peni Jo Renner.

 

 

 

 

 

24512890This is one of those rare books you cannot put down until you’ve finished it, and I read it in one sitting. The characters are based upon known facts of the author’s ancestors, and she has transformed them into a ripping tale of trust, lies, and deceit. Mary Case was a colonial woman of Connecticut, seduced into trusting a man who almost became the death of her, literally. Her daughter, Kezia, was the product of that tangled web, and Mary ultimately faced the task of telling Kezia the truth about her life and her father. The characters are rich and compelling. Their adventure is fascinating.

Author’s blurb:

It is 1693 in Hereford, Connecticut, when Mary Case, the spinster daughter of a Puritan minister, finds herself hopelessly smitten by the roguish thief, Daniel Eames. Betrothed to a man she does not like or love, she is soon compelled to help Daniel escape from jail. Suddenly, she finds herself on the run, not only accused of being Daniel’s accomplice, but also of murder.

The fugitive pair soon finds solace-and a mutual attraction-among the escapee’s Algonquin friends until two men from Daniel’s dark past hunt them down. After Mary is captured and returned home to await trial, a tragedy takes the life of her younger sister, revealing a dark secret Mary’s father has kept for months. But just as Mary learns she is pregnant, she makes a horrifying discovery about Daniel that changes everything and prompts her to develop an unlikely bond with his mother, Rebecca, who soon saves Mary from a shocking fate. It is not until years later that her daughter, Kezia, finally learns the truth about her biological father and family.

Letters to Kezia shares a courageous woman’s journey through a Puritan life and beyond as she struggles with adversity and betrayal, and discovers that loyalty can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

Letters to Kezia on Amazon

Author’s Twitter page

Author’s Facebook page

 

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

2a2It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I read “The Black Thread” by Margaret Muir a couple weeks ago and enjoyed it, so I moved on to another of her books –

“Sea Dust” by Margaret Muir.

 

 

61vYKE2ksDL._SL1200_The story of Sea Dust is an adventure and a voyage. Set in the mid-1800s in England, Emma is stuck in a life she can no longer tolerate. Her son is now a teenager and setting out on his own. Her husband is an abuser. She wants a new life. Her journey takes her aboard an Australia-bound ship where she is often treated as poorly by members of the crew as she was by her husband. Be warned – there is some grit in this book that may shock the faint of heart.

I’m always amazed when an author can write a whole book that takes place in one tiny venue, and Ms. Muir nailed it. There are some surprises at the end that shake up the story line, but they felt rushed. I think the ending could have been its own book, and perhaps, became a series about Emma Quinlan. She is certainly interesting enough to warrant her own set of books.

Ms. Muirs website

Amazon link

 

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

2a2It’s Monday! What are you reading?

 

This week I read “The Horror Challenge Volume 1” by JH Glaze.

51EeThL0gXLWhat a fun idea this is!! Through The Horror Challenge page on Facebook, anyone may suggest a topic for a flash fiction story. Author JH Glaze has taken these random topics and turned them into short stories of less than 1500 words that will give you goosebumps. As a writer, it’s a very creative way to keep your juices flowing. As a reader, ordinary subjects and objects can give you chills you never imagined. If you like short reads while on the train or waiting for an appointment, pick this up and keep it with you. You won’t be bored, that’s for sure!

Mr. Glaze’s website – click here

Mr. Glaze’s Facebook page – click here

Amazon link – click here

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

2a2It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I just finished “The Black Thread” by Margaret Muir. I enjoyed it so much, I’m now reading another of Ms. Muir’s books, “Sea Dust.”

 

61AXSnGugNL._SL1025_Honestly, I got this book for free through one of her promotions quite a while back, and it’s been sitting in my Kindle collecting dust. Now, I feel bad that it took me so long to get to it.

It is a story of a young girl named Amy Dodd living in England in the late 1800s. Amy had disillusion of grandeur about who and what her absentee father was, and when she found out the truth about the man, it nearly destroyed her. Luckily, she had the strength to change her situation and by the end of the story, you feel quite happy that her reality wasn’t exactly her reality. On the negative side, I found the descriptions of the landscapes and scenes a bit wordy for my taste, and I caught myself skipping over a large amount of paragraphs just to get back to the story. I tend to be on the impatient side, so that’s not a criticism of her writing in the least, only of my personality. On the positive side, it was a really, really good story with a great plot twist. I read the book in one sitting and would recommend it to anyone as a rainy-day read. You’ll find yourself rooting for poor Amy and cheering at the end.

Ms. Muir’s website – click here

Amazon link – click here

 

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

2a2It’s Monday! What are you reading?

This book is part of my New Year’s resolution. I don’t know if it will happen, for I’ve retired from the music business on two occasions thus far and always get sucked back in, but I’m looking to retire again within the next few years. Even if I don’t end up retiring, I still want to be in a good financial place so it’s my choice. I need to get caught up from moving out of state back in May, which consisted of using my credit card to purchase new appliances for my new house. Somehow, I figured it would be cheaper to buy new stuff than to pay movers to ship old stuff. When I say old, I mean ancient. I could have sold them as antiques. On top of that bill, I still carry some debt from my son’s college education. I’d also like to get my car paid off. For 2015, my resolution is to make this happen. Like most people, I always have the best of intentions to save, invest, pay off bills, etc., but as with most things in life, if you don’t stay motivated, you won’t get things done. So, during 2015, I vowed to keep myself motivated by purchasing a financial/investment book on the first of each month. I spent the first six days of January browsing Amazon and searching for something I found interesting. On the seventh day, I found it! I’ve listened to his radio show on occasion and was always interested in his financial process, but I’ve never taken the next step to engage myself in his philosophies. Well, I jumped aboard his ship and I am intrigued. The book is “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey.

51g2DdD31VLI’m going to say two things about this book. 1) I wish I had read it when I was younger. 2) I’m buying the book for my kids.

The process is logical, it’s genius, it’s how our grandparents lived before culture brainwashed us to live beyond our means and on credit. If we hear long enough and loud enough that living on credit is a good thing, eventually we start to believe it. It’s a lie! I’ve always had a good credit score, but my goal now is to have a ZERO credit score. You’ll have to read the book to understand that. 🙂  You don’t need to be “credit worthy” if you have CASH!

This is not an easy financial program. In fact, it’s a bitch. It requires sacrifice and focus and motivation, but, in Dave’s words, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”

Dave Ramsey’s website – click here.

 

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

2a2It’s Monday! What are you reading? Yes, I know it’s Tuesday. Yes, I know this is a day late. Thanks for catching that and letting me know. 🙂

This week I read a book called

“Love Well: Living Life Unrehearsed and Unstuck”

by Jamie George.

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I’ve heard Jamie speak many times as he is the pastor at a church near my house, and I attend his Sunday services when I’m in town. The man can tell a good story. He brings Bible stories to life as I’ve never heard before, and he often has brilliant insights on life and love, so I was so excited to read his new book.

If you are in need of a new way to frame your thinking, or in a rocky relationship, or simply looking for ways to improve your life, you will love this book. I’ve been exposed to “New Thought” ideas for a long, long time, so I didn’t find anything particularly mind-blowing in this book, but there were a few things that struck me and stuck with me.

One thing he said, and I’m paraphrasing, was that if you ask someone to tell you their story, beginning with a moment in their life that radically changed their path, you will always hear a moment of light, of awe, of wonder. No matter how horrid or sad or tragic their story begins, they will always mention that flash of redemption – the moment they realized their bad situation created a positive result they never expected and certainly didn’t see at the time. I’ve been experimenting on friends and family without their knowledge. Yes, no matter what their story, it always has a bright light at the end. They say things like, “But if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” Let them talk and wait for it. It always comes. Wow! If nothing else, it’s good to know that things usual turn out for the best, and if this is so, we can relax, knowing we will see the redemption in our situation eventually. Just realizing that takes the stress level down a notch.

I adore Jamie George. Check him out.

Jamie’s website – click here.

Journey Church Franklin – click here – where you can listen to Jamie’s podcasts.

Amazon link – click here.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? – A Time of Traitors

2a2I just finished A Time of Traitors by David Lawlor.

The benefit of being a writer is having writer friends, and I’m proud to say, David is one of my friends.

He just released the third story about Liam Mannion, but each are stand-alone stories and do not need to be read in order. Liam is a 1920s Irish Republican Army fighter who has a host of spy/traitor/hero friends and enemies. If you love old spy movies, you will love this book. It is vividly narrated in scene, character, and dialog. I could picture Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall all the way through it. 🙂

 

81c3BFc+RTL._SL1500_Blurb from Amazon

It’s 1921, and LIAM MANNION is embroiled in the murky world of informers and spies; the IRA has announced a truce, and the British and Irish leaderships are taking their first tentative steps toward signing a treaty.

Liam and his fiancee, KATE, are tasked with finding republican rotten apples, some of whom are intent on foiling the fledgling peace talks. For Kate, the Brigade Intelligence Officer, that means asking awkward questions of trusted allies – questions that reveal a traitor. For Liam, it means travelling to London and collaborating with the British police to find a killer.

As the search unfolds, a devastating revelation from Liam’s past will make the hunt more personal–and deadly–than even he could imagine.

 

Amazon link click here

Authors web page “History with a Twist” click here

 

 

It’s Monday! What are you reading? – Many Lives, Many Masters

2a2I just finished Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian L Weiss.

I was speaking with a friend who recently lost her father and she found peace in this book. I had heard of it many years ago but never read it. We recently lost a family member and I thought I’d read it before recommending it to loved ones. I found it to be a fast-paced story and totally engrossing, and I read it in one sitting. If you are familiar with the precepts of reincarnation, you won’t find anything new here, but the story is an interesting journey nonetheless. If you are not familiar with any theories of reincarnation, this book may blow your mind. If you are interested in reincarnation at all, I highly recommend this book. It is well written and a great story.

 

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Blurb from Amazon:

As featured on Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday,” the classic bestseller on a true case of past-life trauma and past-life therapy from author and psychotherapist Dr. Brian Weiss—now featuring a new afterword by the author.

As a traditional psychotherapist, Dr. Brian Weiss was astonished and skeptical when one of his patients began recalling past-life traumas that seemed to hold the key to her recurring nightmares and anxiety attacks. His skepticism was eroded, however, when she began to channel messages from the “space between lives,” which contained remarkable revelations about Dr. Weiss’ family and his dead son. Using past-life therapy, he was able to cure the patient and embark on a new, more meaningful phase of his own career.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? The Kiss of the Concubine

2a2

 

 

 

 

I just finished…

The Kiss of the Concubine

by Judith Arnopp

 

 

 

917aga--6ZL._SL1500_Blurb from Amazon

28th January 1547.
It is almost midnight and the cream of the English nobility hold their breath as King Henry VIII prepares to face his God. As the royal physicians wring their hands and Archbishop Cranmer gallops through the frigid night, two dispossessed princesses pray for their father’s soul and a boy, soon to be king, snivels into his velvet sleeve.
Time slows, and dread settles around the royal bed, the candles dip and something stirs in the darkness … something, or someone, who has come to tell the king it is time to pay his dues.
The Kiss of the Concubine is the story of Anne Boleyn, second of Henry VIII’s queens.

 

This is the same tale of Ann Boleyn and King Henry VIII we already know, but it’s told from Anne’s point of view, which puts a unique spin on her, personally.  Looking at the story from a different angle was enjoyable, and I couldn’t put the book down. I don’t know what it is about these characters that intrigues us so, but Judith Arnopp fulfilled our desire to know more. Thoughts, yearnings, and motivations are brought to a new light as Ms. Arnopp reveals Anne’s side of the story. Bravo!