Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Perils and Lace by Gayle Leeson - Book Blast

I'm super excited to be participating in a book blast for an author I was introduced to through her book last year.

Meet author Gayle Leeson, who also publishes under Gayle Trent, and her Ghostly Fashionista Mystery books.

I read book 1 in this series Designs on Murder and I absolutely loved it! I can't wait to read the newest installment in the series Perils and LaceSo check out the synopsis and enter the giveaway!

Other books I've featured by Gayle Leeson included cozy mystery Apples and Alibis, though from a different series.

Book: Perils and Lace

(Book 2 in the A Ghostly Fashionista Mystery)
Author: Gayle Leeson
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Grace Abraham Publishing
Number of Pages - 212 (approx.)
Digital ASIN: B086KXY34W

A murderer outwitting a quirky flapper ghost? Seams unlikely!
Budding retro fashion designer and entrepreneur Amanda Tucker is thrilled about making costumes for Winter Garden High School’s production of Beauty and the Beast. But when the play’s director Sandra Kelly is poisoned, Amanda realizes there’s a murderer in their midst. She’s determined to keep herself and the students safe, so when her ghostly fashionista friend Max suggests they investigate, Amanda rolls up her sleeves and prepares to follow the deadly pattern…

About Gayle Leeson
As Amanda Lee, she wrote the Embroidery Mystery series, and as Gayle Trent, she writes the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. Going forward, Gayle intends to keep her writing until the Gayle Leeson name. She has a series of women's fiction novellas set in a shopping mall that has been converted to include micro-apartments (the Kinsey Falls series) and is enjoying writing the Ghostly Fashionista Mystery Series, the Down South Cafe series, and co-writing the Victoria Square series with Lorraine Bartlett.

Connect with Gayle Leeson via her website and book site as well as via Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, BookBub, and Goodreads.

From my 5-star review of Designs on Murder, which was one of my Top Books of 2019:

"Gee, that was awkward," she said. "I was sure you knew."
"That I'm a ghost."

In Designs on Murder, Amanda decides to go on a hunch and start her fashion business in Shops on Main, a building housing several other small businesses. There she discovers her ability to see the place's resident ghost, Maxine "Max" Englebright.

Soon after she settles in, Amanda is confronted by the death of one of the shop owners in the building.


Enter the giveaway using the link or widget below.

Purchase Link - Amazon 

Monday, April 6, 2020

Selah's Stolen Dream by Susan Count - Spotlight

When I saw a book about horses I desperately wanted to pick it up but I already had my plate full so the second best option was to feature this book on my blog and come back to it later when I have more time.

So today, I'm featuring a spotlight for Selah's Stolen Dream, the fourth book in the Dream Horse Adventures by Susan Count.

(Book 4 in the Dream Horse Adventures)
Author: Susan count
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Hastings Creations Group
publication Date: 1 January 2020
Digital Publisher: Hastings Creations Group (1 March 2020)
Paperback: 262 pages
ISBN-10: 0997088389
ISBN-13: 978-0997088380

One girl’s victory is another’s tragic defeat.

Thirteen-year-old Selah’s perfect life unravels when her beloved horse is stolen. Then ten-year-old Emma buys the dream of a lifetime at a horse auction. When she learns the horse was stolen, even removing her hearing aid won’t drown out the voice telling her to make it right.

But two girls can’t divide the horse they both adore. So will life surprise them with an answered prayer?

About Susan Count

How many twists and turns can one person take before they figure out what they were born to do? Susan Count’s degree is in Applied Science–nothing in that prepared her to write novels for children. But one day, she began to write with no preconceived ideas. No one could have been more astounded than she was when it turned into a middle grade equine series. As a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Texas Association of Authors, she takes the craft of writing seriously and considers revision to be her super-power.

She writes at an antique secretary desk that occupies a glass room with a forest view. Fittingly, it once belonged to the same wise grandmother who introduced Susan to the love of reading via Walter Farley’s horse books. That desk has secret compartments which hold memories, mysteries and story ideas.

Susan is a lifelong equestrian and is owned by a Rocky Mountain Horse. She is convinced that the only thing more delightful than riding the forest trails might be writing horse adventure stories. She invites you to saddle up and ride along.

Connect with Susan Count via her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Purchase Selah's Stolen Dream via Amazon 

As part of the blog tour with Lori Great Escapes, there is a giveaway. Enter using the link or widget below.

Keep up with the rest of the blog tour including book reviews and interviews.
April 1 – Baroness' Book Trove – Book Review & Literary Gold – Spotlight
April 2 – I'm All About Books – Spotlight
April 3 – Here's How It Happened – Book Review
April 4 – Brooke Blogs – Spotlight & Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Author Interview
April 5 – FUONLYKNEW – Spotlight
April 6 – Christy's Cozy Corners – Book Review & Nadaness in Motion - Spotlight
April 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – Spotlight
April 8 – eBook Addicts – Spotlight & The Power of Words – Book Review
April 9 – Readeropolis – Spotlight
April 10 – My Reading Journeys – Book Review

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Fire Molten and Ash by Clarence Barbee - Book Review

Fire Molten and Ash by Clarence Barbee is a short and diverse poetry collection divided into 3 parts: Heat, Fuel, and Oxygen; kind of like the recipe you need to get a fire started.

When I first started reading Fire Molten and Ash I felt lost in the pieces. I liked some parts of the wording and how Barbee phrases his pieces but I was lost. I'd read the poem from start to finish, silently or out loud, but in the end, I wouldn't 'get' it.

Bit by bit, I got used to Barbee's style and there were a few political poems in there; some of which I could relate to, because who hasn't been keeping up with news about US politics, but some were too US-focused for me. For those who don't know, I'm an Egyptian living in Egypt so the details of US politics can sometimes evade me (especially now that I no longer work in the news business).

But back to Fire Molten and Ash, there were a few pieces that wowed me including "Crudeship," one of those political pieces.

Many of the poems in this collection are relatable, especially "To Continue" and "Sometime Before Tomorrow and 5pm," which talk about life and work and the two combined. These two pieces were 5-star poems for me.

I also loved "#Fragile II." It's a brilliant poem, using the hashtag #vss which is short for 'very short story.'  All of the pieces in the second segment of the book "Fuel" have the #vss hashtag.

I read Fire Molten and Ash in one sitting in March but I've postponed the review to April to coincide with National Poetry Month.

Overall rating for Fire Molten and Ash is 3 stars.

Note: I received a free copy of Fire Molten and Ash from its author Clarence Barbee in exchange for an honest review. This did not in any way affect my review.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Takhayyal writing prompt 106: Red Sea Dreams

Welcome back Ladies and Gentlemen, Artists, Poets, Writers, Authors, Dreamers, Friends and Family; Welcome EVERYONE to Nadaness In Motion's monthly picture-prompt writing challenge Takhayyal or Imagine.

Arabic for Imagine, Takhayyal is a challenge for writers of all ages and genres; a place to spark creativity and explore new genres.

Finally April is here, which where I'm from means lots of wind and dust and in other parts of the world, it's when flowers bloom. But considering the on-going coronavirus pandemic, even if there are blooming flowers somewhere no one will be out to enjoy them.

That said April is National Poetry Month. So combining poetry month with home-confinement for many across the world, and some reports that the earth is finally breathing since humanity is cooped up, I think it is fitting to have another nature-inspired writing prompt.

This time I'm featuring photography from friend Sara Shaker. You can follow her on Instagram for more photography and nature photography.

I was with her when this picture was taken in Abou Galloum, the Red Sea, Egypt. It's a gorgeous location for snorkeling and diving. Once this pandemic recedes, I highly recommend you visit and take a swim.

So, look at the image, there are corals beneath the water, and let your imagination take flight. What happens beneath the pristine waters of the Red Sea? If you were there right now, what would you do? Do you have fins to swim with the fish?

Photography by Sara Shaker, near Abou Ghalloum, the Red Sea, Egypt

Whether you write short stories, flash fiction, poetry, thoughts, an imaginary situation, an artistic thought; you name it and write it.

Whatever you can write, Takhayyal is a place for all creatives to have fun and imagine. 

Leave your piece in the comments below or post it on your blog and share the link here. All pieces will get comments and be shared on social media.

General rules:
·        No nudity, violence, and/or abuse.
·  Use the image for inspiration and write your piece in the comments below or publish it on your blog and leave the link to it in the comments
·        Your piece MUST be inspired in some way or other by the above picture
·        Multiple entries allowed
·     It is not required but it is a nice and encouraging gesture to comment on others' pieces.
·        Feel free to add your Twitter handle (@....) so I can tag you in my tweets or tag me @NadanessSobhi and I'll retweet you :)


Friday, March 27, 2020

Change, a poem by Nada Adel Sobhi

It's all around us
From the rising and setting
Of the mighty sun
To the trees
Shedding their leaves
– to even snakes
Shedding their skins –

Each changes and grows
Even the river that flows;
There is a power
To their change

So do our emotions
And moods
We shed the cold
For the warmth of spring
And the heat of summer

Is all around us
Sometimes expected
Other times not so much
And yet
We often resent it

It takes us out of our shell,
Our comfort zone, our routine,

But like the trees
We grow with every change
We open our eyes
To new challenges
To a new world

With every change
We mature a little,
Become a little wiser

It can be an opportunity
We just have to learn
To embrace it
And grow
A little wiser
Along the way

Photography by Mahmoud Mansi - Takhayyal Writing Prompt 105 

Written Friday, 27 March 2020 at 01:03
(During the Corona Virus Pandemic)

I originally wanted to keep this poem till April for National Poetry Month, but someone told me it was "perfect for this time" so I decided I'm celebrating National Poetry Month a little early :)  

This poem was inspired by the March 2020 writing prompt (Image above, photography by Mahmoud Mansi)

Monday, March 23, 2020

Write Your Book in a Flash by Dan Janal – Book Review

"No one cares how many words your book contains. They care about reading the right content."

Write Your Book in a Flash by Dan Janal is a great book and reference for anyone planning to or working on a book but struggling to finish the first draft or later drafts. The book comprises tons of tips and you can easily go through it.

I'd recommend you read Janal's book either while writing your book or before you start. It's a reference book. I have a book I want to write so I'm planning to reread Write Your Book in a Flash as I write it so I can apply the tips mentioned inside.

"Confused readers don't buy books."

Janal references a ton of books in his own. As a book mentoring coach, he's read a lot and therefore shares much of what he's learnt and what he has used to write his own books (he gives examples from his works and others').

The first important question Janal asks the reader, and potential author is: "Why do you want to write a book?"

While Write Your Book in a Flash primarily deals with writing non-fiction books. That said, some of the advice can be applicable to fiction; like starting where you feel comfortable and how to edit your book.

"People want information. They know they aren't reading literature. If you solve their problems, you're a hero. If you don't help them, you're a zero."

Some honest tough love there with the above quote but Janal is 100% right. As opposed to reading novels, short stories, and poetry, people reading non-fiction and self-help books have desires and ideas other than wanting to be entertained. They pick up a book because they want to learn something and/or solve a problem.

My problem? Writing my books, whether fiction or non-fiction. The sitting down and getting started. I've picked up several hints from Janal's book for either categories.

One of the things I liked about Write Your Book in a Flash was Janal's promise in the first chapter that he would teach the reader how to "overcome procrastination and conquer your limiting beliefs so you can write and finish your book" and goes on to deliver on that.

One of my favorite pieces of advice in Write Your Book in a Flash is Janal saying "Don't get married to your title." As a copywriter, I know what it feels like when you write a title that just wows you and you try to stick to it but then things don't go as planned.

I like how Janal uses his own books as examples. Regarding the "don't get married to your title" advice, he says that Write Your Book in a Flash was originally named How to Create an Outline for Your Book.

"Ugh!" he says about his former title. "That title told me what the book was about but it wasn't catchy. It also didn't convey the benefit to readers. Why would they want to write an outline for their book?"

Here's another tip about writing titles: "To find out what your prospects think of your title, you must ask them."

I must note that it took me a while to start Janal's Write Your Book in a Flash, which I got as a review request last year, because I had this fear of reading self-help books. But I have overcome that fear (to an extent) and I'm working on reading more non-fiction books as a means of self-learning and self-development.

I like Dan Janal's brutal honesty in the book. As writers, we are often afraid of how we will be received or when simply tell others we're working on books. But Janal's honesty comes like a reality check. He's been there, done that, and he's giving you the important tips and the more important "don'ts."

"Who do you think is the worst person to ask for feedback? No, it's not your mother. The worst person to ask is YOU, because you are NOT the target buyer of your book."

See what I mean? :)

There are tons more tips and quotable bits in the book but that would make my review much longer.

So overall, I think Write Your Book in a Flash is a must must-read. It's a book you can easily read once, twice, or several times. Think of the book as your tutor before and while you're writing. I highly recommend it and plan on reading it again once I start working on my non-fiction book.

Overall rating for Write Your Book in a Flash by Dan Janal: 5 Stars

It's worth mentioning that Write Your Book in a Flash was one of my top books of 2019. There's a list that I just updated with the new review. (I finished reading the book in December 2019 but just posted it in March 2020).

Note: I received a free copy of Write Your Book in a Flash from the publisher in exchange for a review. This did not affect my review in any way.