Book Review: Above All Things by Tanis Rideout
4 Stars , Fiction , Historical Fiction , Latest Posts / January 31, 2013

Article first published as Book Review: Above All Things by Tanis Rideout on Blogcritics. About: Above All Things by Tanis Rideout is a historical fiction account of George Mallory’s 1924 attempt to climb Mt. Everest. It is still not known if Mallory’s attempt was successful or not. 400 pages Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam Language: English ISBN-10: 0399160582     My rat­ing for Above All Things– 4 Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic format* Thoughts: Above All Things by Tanis Rideout (website | Facebook | @tanisrideout) is an excellent novel which moves at two speeds, slow (Ruth Mallory) and fast (George Mallory). Ms. Rideout succeeded in creating an engaging book filled with excellent descriptions and believable characters. The parts which I found the most fascinating were the climb on Mt. Everest. The author does not romanticized the climb, I could feel the chills, the heaviness and other ailments which come at being at such a high altitude. Ms. Rideout brilliantly juxtaposes between Mr. Mallory’s celebrated climb and only a day in the life of Mrs. Mallory. You could not help but feel the helplessness of the couple as they missed, craved and thought about each other but were still supportive from afar. To…

Guest Post: My Approach to Writing
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / January 30, 2013

Today’s guest author is Lisa April Smith, who will sharing her approach to writing. She is author of three books: Dangerous Lies, Exceeding Expectations and Paradise Misplaced – a genre she has named “Suspense with Sizzle.” My Approach to Writing  Lisa April Smith  I’m often asked at book events, “Are you ever stymied by writer’s block?” And I am delighted to reply that I’ve never experienced writer’s block. I think the reason for that has to do with my concept of work. When I was at IBM I didn’t ask myself if I was in the mood to do something. I looked at the tasks at hand, prioritized them and got to it. In the process of constructing a book, I have many varied ways to be productive. Editing. Plotting. Incorporating my latest epiphany. Creating a calendar so that I know how old characters are during the time frame of the story. I maintain a separate file that has the physical appearance, ethnicity and traits of every significant character. Except when we’re traveling, five to six days a week, I’m at my desk about 7:00 am and quit between 1:00 and 2:00. But whether I’m at my desk or not,…

Tightwad Tuesday — Affordable eBooks — World War II
Latest Posts , Tightwad Tuesday / January 29, 2013

This week I thought I’ll find some free books dealing with World War II. If you follow this blog you know that I read a lot of WWII books, I find that period in history both horrifying and fascinating at the same time. With each book I read, I discover something new, some new fact or story. There were tremendous acts of disgrace and horror, but also many acts (unfortunately not as many) of humanity and kindness. At the time of this post, the books below were free or $2.99 — please check before downloading.         The Battle of Stalingrad: A Very Brief History by Mark Black Digital List Price: $2.99 Kindle Price: $0.00 includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet You Save: $2.99 (100%) Want to learn more about history, but don’t think you have the time? Think again. The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the most important campaigns of the war in Europe, inflicting huge losses on the German forces; losses from which they never really recovered. This is the story of a battle raged for almost seven months, and was often fought from street to street, with soldiers engaged in close quarters combat. By the end, the number…

Book Review: The Inventor and the Tycoon by Edward Ball
5 Stars , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / January 26, 2013

Article first published as Book Review: The Inventor and the Tycoon by Edward Ball on Blogcritics. About: The Inventor and the Tycoon by Edward Ball is a non-fiction book about two pioneers, a murder and motion pictures. The author is a National Book Award winner for his previous book Slaves in the Family. The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy to two winners of this book –to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post. 464 pages Publisher: Doubleday Language: English ISBN-10: 0385525753     My rating for The Inventor and the Tycoon– 5 Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic format* More Books by Edward Ball Thoughts: In The Inventor and the Tycoon, author Edward Ball has infused the famous and the infamous into a story so large it might as well be fiction. The story involves capitalism, money, murder, trains, horse racing ,photography and the beginning of moving pictures. Leland Stanford, “the richest man west of the Mississippi”, railroad tycoon, robber baron, patron of the arts and a hippophile had one question on his mind: do horses’ hooves leave the ground when they gallop. Enter photographer Eadweard Muybridge who will try to prove Mr. Stanford right and, unbeknownst to the two of…

Fun Facts Friday: Virginia Woolf
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / January 25, 2013

Virginia Woolf (25 January, 1882 – 28 March, 1941) was a strange character as we all probably heard about. In my research I found many strange and wonderful facts about this accomplished woman, some are weird, some are sad and some are funny but they are all fascinating. Here are my top favorites.   Virginia Woolf by Roger Fry  Books by Virginia Woolf Since she was a small toddler, Virginia Woolf was nicknamed “The Goat” During one summer, Woolf believed that birds were chirping in Greek and King Edward VII was cursing behind close shrubbery. When her brother in law made fun of her hat, Woolf was miserable for a full 24 hours. Woolf and her husband kept petrol in their garage during World War II (a rationed product at the time) so they could commit suicide if the Nazis would win. When Virginia Woolf went shopping, she would argue with shopkeepers about the products they have for sale and what products they should have for sale. During her life, Woolf constantly struggled with anorexia. One day Woolf and some male friends painted their faces  black, wore robes and presented themselves as the Prince of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and his entourage. They received a 40 minute tour…

Guest Post: How to Go From Writer to Published Author
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / January 24, 2013

Many people have a book inside of them just waiting to get out, yet have no idea how to go from being a writer to published author. The first step is to know what you want to write about, and start writing. I say this because writers sometimes do everything under the sun, except actually write. Perhaps, you have already written a manuscript, but cannot get an agent or publisher to read it. The good news is it easier to get published these days than ever before, if you are willing to follow some sound advice. You must know what you want to write and publish, and who to market your work to. If you are seeking a general publishing house, obtain a copy Writer’s Market by Robert Lee Brewer. On the other hand if you are writing for the Christian market you need a copy of The Christian Writers’ Market Guide by Jerry Jenkins. Both are fine books and offer a good place to learn about your specific genre. In addition, you can obtain great advice and tips from people who are in the business. Do a Google search for other writers and publisher’s blogs. Look for names like…

Book Review: A Land More Kind than Home by Wiley Cash
3 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / January 22, 2013

Article first published as Book Review: A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash on Blogcritics. About: A Land More Kind than Home by Wiley Cash is a novel taking place in a small town in North Carolina. I saw a lot of great reviews and articles about this book and thought that I might enjoy the story as well. The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book –to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post. 320 pages Publisher: William Morrow Language: English ISBN-10: 0062088149   My rat­ing for  A Land More Kind than Home — 3 Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic format* Thoughts: I had a tough time getting into A Land More Kind than Home by Wiley Cash (website | Facebook | @WileyCash). The first 80 pages or so seemed to drag and only when the sheriff was introduced did the story pick up. even though the book is cataloged under the “mystery” genre, the story is pretty much straightforward and there is no mystery per-se. From a technical aspect, this is a superb book. Mr. Wiley is extremely talented and even though I might not have enjoyed the whole of the story, I certainly enjoyed embracing the literary aspects…

Guest Post: Create a Great Leadership Team Like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / January 21, 2013

Venturing away from books a bit, Tripp Braden (website | @TrippBraden) has written a post on his experiences with early civil rights leaders when attending college. As a lover of history I found this piece interesting and enlightning and would like to share it with you (yes, you!) on this day. Post first published as Create a Great Leadership Team Like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on http://www.trippbraden.com What made Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. such a powerful serving leader? Can we use the same principles he used to help impact our world today? During the 1980’s, I was given an opportunity to interview his wife and several of his closest associates about what they felt about the civil rights movement and what made Dr. King effective as a man and as a leader. I met with several people in Dr. King’s inner circle. They included Coretta Scott King, Andrew Young, Ralph David Abernathy Sr., Jesse Jackson, and James Meredith. Each had a different perspective on Dr. King but I believe each can help us better understand the man who changed our world so much. The first thing you notice about all the people around Dr. King was that they…

Fun Facts Friday: A.A. Milne
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / January 18, 2013

Today is the birthday of British children’s author A.A. Milne (18 January, 1882 – 31 January, 1956). Most people know his most beloved creation Winnie the Pooh. The A.A. stands for Alan Alexander Winnie the Pooh and friends are based on stuffed animals that belonged to Millen’s son – Christopher Robin. You can see the original toys at the New York Public Library. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after a Canadian black bear (Winnipeg) that resided in the London Zoo and was used as a military mascot in World War I. “Pooh” was a swan. The toy which inspired the famous bear was purchased in Harrod’s in London and was called Edward Bear (as is only proper in England). Both Christopher and the family dog loved to play with the stuffed animals. Eeyore lost some stuffing over the years which caused his head to droop and gave him a melancholy appearance. Hundred Acre Wood was inspired by Ashdown Forest in Sussex. Christopher Robin took boxing classes to defend himself against bullies at school who used to tease him about the popular book series. As was customary at the time, Christopher Robin was brought up by a nanny and only met his parents…

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