Best Reads of 2014...

(Links to my reviews)
Playing for Keeps (Neighbor from Hell #1) by: R.L. Mathewson
Lick (Stage Dive, #1) by: Kylie Scott

Link to 2013 favorite Reads

Book Review Rating

Book Reviews
One of my greatest joys is the time I spend reading. And I could go into all the reasons I love to read but in the end the only thing you need to know is I LOVE to read.
And with that in mind I love to let people know about what I am reading and if it is worth their time or not.
Please take a look at my reviews and know that reviews are subject to the reviewer. So take them or leave them here they are.
Great book, loved it. Would highly recommend it.
Good book.
This was a good book. I didn't have anything glaringly bad with it, nor did I see anything that really stood out. I liked it.
I didn't really enjoy it.
Bad, wouldn't recommend this book.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

How I Know I am a Writer

How I Know I am a Writer

I was sitting at breakfast going through emails and Facebook and saw a fascinating picture of a woman wearing nothing but her tattoos and brandishing a sword in each hand.

I show the picture to my husband and ask, “What is the point of this picture?” 

I was really expecting something along the lines of a story line.

His answer, “It’s a picture so?”

My mouth dropped open. I couldn’t believe he didn’t see a story there. A reason for the tattoos and her fighting stance. I couldn’t believe he didn’t see more than just a picture, but a story full of fighting and strength. A women, fighting for who and what she was, against great odds. A family, or love waiting for her to triumph over evil. 

When I explained that to my husband looked at me as if I was the person with a problem?!?

And then I realized, he doesn’t see the world in a picture of stories and plot ideas. How is that possible? 

I was left starring at my husband of 19 years as if I had never seen him before. 

How is it possible that people don’t see stories in pictures, in art, in music in the guy waiting at the same light with you, in the woman crossing the street? I really thought this was how everyone saw life. In varying shades of story lines. 

I live in a world of imagination and have to live with the fact that not everyone lives their lives in the world of make believe. How sad is that? I would think life would be so boring not seeing something more something unimaginable in everyday things. So that is how I realized I was a writer, a story teller a believer of things that others don’t see. 

Yes I live in a world of make believe and damn it’s a good place to live.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Guest Post with S. J. Brown -- What characters do you relate to and that come out in your writing?

What characters do you relate to and that come out in your writing? by: S.J Brown

  The characters in Close Ups & Close Encounters are the animals or critters as I call them. I relate to most of them in one way or another and I try to have that evident in my writing. My writing is a way to share the connection I feel with most wildlife.
  A coot, mentioned in Venturing Out was enjoying the solitude of a private pond. I also enjoy quiet moments alone outdoors with just me and mother nature. Taking time out from the busy world around me tends to help me re-energize.
  I encounter and write about small groups or herds of deer. White Tailed Deer in general are timid creatures that just seem to go about their daily routine. They go for hikes in the woods, which is something I enjoy doing. Hiking with family and friends helps me to connect others with my love of nature. I encounter deer a lot when they have paused to enjoy a meal. While our diets differ, I do enjoy having a good meal with family and friends.
  I write about migrating birds as well . They have a home base, but also travel to other areas. I enjoy the freedom of traveling. Leaving the familiarity of home and traveling to another locations is very appealing to me. There are a multitude of wild locations each with it's own unique appeal. Some locations offer dozens of towering trees filled with curious critters like squirrels and chipmunks. Other places have acres and acres of fields filled with berries that attract bears, or grains that appeal to small rodents and the larger critters that pursue them. Ponds and lake offer serene surrounding that appeal to a variety of animals.
  Yes, I can even relate to the elephant in the chapter entitled the Playful Pachyderm. He simply wanted to introduce himself to a new friend. Although his intentions disturbed others, he didn't really mean any harm.
  I also include animals that elude the lens when I write about my experiences. Like them I have times that I simply don't want to be bothered, like when a telemarketer calls.
  In general I don't write about characters I don't relate to in some way. Without some type of connection to a subject the writing seems to lack something. I think readers pick up on this and it diminishes the quality of the work.

~Close Ups and Close Encounters~

On a whim, S. J. Brown decided to embark on a career in wildlife photography. Armed with an inexpensive 35mm camera and a love for the natural world, her adventure began. Accompanied by her spotter and husband, she ventured to a variety of locations.
The couple soon learned that there was more to this than just camera settings, lighting, and getting the right angle. Not all wildlife is agreeable to having their picture taken, and many are not easily accessible.
Camera in hand, S. J. Brown encountered delicate butterflies, bears, birds, deer, wild horses, and more. Along the way, there are successes and failures, cooperative critters, curious subjects, and some close calls.
As a wildlife photographer S. J. Brown took her cues from her subjects. Their body language let her know when to step in for a closer shot and when to back away. When she was out in the field, she strove to observe and record not to interfere. The exception to this rule is when people pose a threat to wildlife; then she will take time to relocate a road dwelling critter to its location. Brown has saved snapper turtles from soup and other creatures from the taunts and teases of unwise humans, but she will not interfere with Mother Nature's food chain unless it involves a domestic animal pursuing a wild creature. With this in mind, she has sent many a cat away from a bird feeder and saved many a squirrel from a curious canine.
S. J. Brown's book Close Ups & Close Encounters features over fifty of her wildlife photographs as well as the stories behind getting those images. S. J. Brown's photographs and written words are her way of sharing her experiences. Introducing others, such as her granddaughter, to the field is one of her primary goals and loves. She hopes her work will give others an appreciation for the natural world.  

Kindle Version is available on Ups & Close Encounters: A View From Behind The Lens

The print version, also filled with beautiful full color photographs, is also available:
Close Ups and Close Encounters: A View From Behind The Lens  

Really loved this book. The pictures were fabulous and the stories were well written and kept me glued to the pages. This book is for every age group and I am so glad I purchased it. Parents can even read this book to their children and the pictures that accompany them are beautiful. I would gladly recommend this book to anyone. – J. Gonce (Amazon)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

How do you come up with your book ideas with Marianne Spitzer author of Gypsy Spirits

How Do You Come Up With Your Book Ideas?

by: Marianne Spitzer

That’s a very good question. I can find inspiration in most anything I see that interests me. I also use life events to write my books. I have a muse who will do cartwheels when she knows we have found a good idea. Her name is Blooderfly. She prefers horror and mystery stories, as do I. My inspiration for Gypsy Spirits came from a real life event. The first scene in the book was an argument between Annamarie and Daniel, two of the man characters. That argument and the utterance of the Gypsy curse actually took place one July morning between my ex-husband and me. There are a few Gypsy facts in the book my mom told me. She heard the stories from her grandmother. Other than that, it’s all imagination. I also find inspiration in pictures. A friend posted a picture of iron gates held up by a huge brick arch sitting alone in the midst of the woods. I wrote the short story, The Forgotten Gates, from an idea that popped into my mind while looking at the image. Another image of a frightening clown brought back a memory of being lost inside the fun house with my dad when I was six. I wrote the short story, The Fun House. It is the first in a series of “Evil Doll” short stories. Gyspy Spirits and the sequel, Annamarie and Magdalena, are available on Amazon now as e-books. I am working on the third book in the trilogy, Lena, now. I have also self-published a supernatural mystery, THE LETTER, which I wrote for 2011 NaNoWriMo. I had a small idea of an evil grandfather and it bloomed from there. The sequel, Old Man Malone Returns, will be available early this summer. My family wonders how I can see things in images they don’t see, or how I come up with my ideas out of the blue. I am not exactly sure. It is something that has been with me for a very long time. The first scary story I came up with was when I was eleven. I told my brother a spooky tale as a bedtime story one night. Unfortunately, he was only three at the time. He didn’t appreciate it and screamed at the top of his lungs. My mom didn’t appreciate it either and I was forbidden to tell my brother any more stories. However, I did get the idea for the short story, The Witch’s Cross. I thought it was worth it although my brother says the thought of the story still scares him. Isn’t that the idea of writing a horror story? Happy reading!!

About Marianne:

I was born in Milwaukee, and lived there until I was eighteen. Then I spent eight years in Washington state and California before returning to Wisconsin. I love eerie places and books. I began with a love of Nancy Drew books and as I grew I found H.P Lovecraft, Agatha Christie, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among others. When I am not writing, I am reading or watching sunsets. I have been writing short stories since I was in grade school. Most were in the form of essays relating real life events. Many were purely imaginary trips to magical places and times. I enjoy making up stories about people I meet or see on the street. I can see a story in a picture, especially if the picture is eerie. My imagination runs wild and free. I have self-published a book of essays and a book of children's stories for my granddaughter, Brittney. Gypsy Spirits is my debut novel and the first in the series of three "spirit" books. I have self-published the second "spirit" book, Annamarie and Magdalena. I also self-published a supernatural mystery, THE LETTER. I plan to have the sequel to THE LETTER out this year and the third "spirit" book available winter 2013/14. From there I am sure my muse will guide me into another story plot.


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Gypsy Spirits

Author: Marianne Spitzer
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 2012
Genre: Paranormal/Mystery

Spirits? Madness? Which haunts Daniel? His teenage bride, Annamarie, must answer the question while she deals with her husband’s controlling behavior and abnormal fear of spirits he believes exist in the surrounding woods near their home. During an argument, her anger erupts and she yells a few odd words at her husband, Daniel, which she explains is her Gypsy curse. A bad day at work convinces him the curse is real, but after the brutal death of his best friend, his belief in the curse and his terror of the spirits escalates. Annamarie begins to have foreshadowing dreams of a young Gypsy girl who resembles her in every way. As the dreams become more vivid and frequent, Annamarie begins to fear her utterance of a Gypsy curse may have brought spirits into their lives. When they both have the same dream, she believes Daniel’s fears may be real. They feel they may be close to answers when a human killer enters their lives. With two battles to wage they must stand strong together. Frightening events spiral out of control and Annamarie must fight for her husband’s safety, his sanity, and her own.

Purchase Links:
Amazon – Print and Kindle

“Highly recommend this book. Excellent story mixing love, family matters, mystery and spirits. The end will really surprise you as it did me.” – Carolyn on Amazon

Monday, May 20, 2013


Hello to everyone, welcome to my new blog site. I have to apologize to everyone that has tried to access my blog in the last couple of weeks. So sorry to you all. Several weeks ago my website and blog crashed and I was left to rebuild it all. With the help of course of the amazing Jaycee Delacruz of Sweet N’Spice designs. I wouldn't be able to get up and moving without her. 

Here is what is going on in the next couple of weeks on my new and improved blog: 

UpComing Blog Tours:
     Gypsy Spirits by Marianne Spitzer, guest post
     Close Ups and Close Encounters by S.J. Brown, guest post

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