WOW Book Review: Looking West by Albert Nasib Badre

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I am honoured to be part of the WOW! Women of Writing Blog Tour for Albert Nasib Badre’s moving memoir “Looking West”, which I read and am now reviewing.
(Please note: I received an advance copy to read and review.)

My Review:

At age 14, Nasib Badre began a new life in America, leaving behind his life in Beirut, Lebanon. Badre writes in great detail about his daily life in Beirut, describing his large family get-togethers, school, home and shopping. It is quite a different life to what he finds in America.
Badre must adjust to a new language and new experiences, first in Albany, N.Y, and then Iowa. Not only did Badre have to adjust to new customs, new people, new places, he had to adjust to a new name. People had difficulty saying Nasib, so his mother added Albert to his name when they arrived in the U.S.
Badre shares his hardships and his triumphs as he masters English, makes friends, learns new skills, attends college and becomes successful.
It is a candid look at the differing lifestyles of Lebanon and the U.S. and the challenges immigrants face when arriving in a new land.
I di not know there was such a clash between the Protestant and Catholic faiths in Lebanon. I appreciated learning about the history of Lebanon and the religious struggle there.
I enjoyed this memoir very much and learned a great deal. It is definitely a book to read – especially in this time when immigrants face such terrible challenges now.
Nasib faced down great challenges to become a successful American citizen and in the process, made his dreams come true.

One quote from the book is a stark reminder of how we should be treating everyone:
“If we help the poorest and more disadvantaged move forward and improve their quality of life, then our entire society will be elevated as well.”

 

About the Book

Looking West Cover

 

In 1960, the Badre family emigrates from Beirut, Lebanon to the United States, a dream come true for fourteen-year-old Nasib.

Nasib struggles to assimilate as a teen in Albany, New York. With limited English skills, he attempts to learn new customs, make friends, and adapt to a different culture. In Beirut, the Badre family was well-known and socially privileged. In America, they are unknown nobodies. Nasib adopts his father’s name “Albert,” and to further Americanize his name, young Albert becomes “Al.”

Despite the many frustrations and difficulties, Al’s ultimate goal is to become a successful American. The new anonymity actually inspires the young man. Excited by the opportunities available to him in his new country, he determines to make a potent contribution to society.

As he strives to adapt, Al reads voraciously, becoming increasingly interested in religion and philosophy. Books become his “American friends,” and reading soon prompts him to ask deep theological questions about his family’s Lebanese Protestant roots, his mother’s conversion to Catholicism, and the contrast between the Protestant and Catholic faiths. This ultimately leads to his Catholic conversion.

Al’s search for meaning in life leads him to social activism among New York City’s poorest. And, in time, to graduate studies, where his desire is to improve the human condition through information technology.

Al Badre– like many other American immigrants–works his way through hardship to achieve a meaningful place in his adopted nation.

 

  • Paperback: 267 pages
  • Publisher: WidO Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07N6LR52T
  • ISBN: 9781947966130

Amazon Link:  https://www.amazon.com/Looking-West-Journey-Lebanese-American-Immigrant-ebook/dp/B07N6LR52T/?tag=wowwomenonwri-20

 

About the Author:  

Rhode Island Family Photography, RI Family Photography, Dimery Photography

Albert Nasib Badre is an American author born in Beirut Lebanon. He immigrated to the United States with his family in 1960 at the age of fourteen. His family made Albany, N.Y. their first home in America where he attended a private Catholic high school through his Junior year. After three years in Albany, the family moved to Iowa City, Iowa, when his father accepted a professor position at the University of Iowa. He finished his senior year at Iowa City High School, then went on to the University of Iowa where he got a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies.  After college, he spent a year as a social worker in New York City. Deciding social work was not for him, he went on to pursue graduate studies at the University of Michigan where he got his Ph.D. in 1973.

He spent the next thirty years at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and today he’s Professor Emeritus of Computing. During his tenure at Georgia Tech, he was an international consultant specializing in designing technology to enhance the human experience.  Dr. Badre was an early pioneer in the field of human-centric design, with some thirty years of experience in human-computer interaction, learning technologies, and human-centric e-learning. His background combines expertise in the empirical methodologies of the behavioral sciences and the design approaches of the computing sciences.

​Dr. Badre authored numerous technical papers, is co-editor of the book Directions in Human Computer Interaction, and the author of the book, Shaping Web Usability: Interaction Design in Context, which was adopted in several dozen courses worldwide. His memoirs, Looking West, is the story of his coming of age immigration to America and subsequent conversion to the Catholic Church.

​Today, Dr. Badre and his wife live in Providence, R.I., near his son and family, where he leads a very active volunteer life, in service to the community.

 

Find Albert Online:

Goodreads:   https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/197752.Albert_N_Badre

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/anbadre

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anbadre/

Website: https://www.badremusings.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=12819942

 

———-Blog Tour Dates

Launch Day – April 8th

Albert Nasib Badre launches his tour of “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant” with an interview and giveaway at the Muffin!

April 11th @ World of My Imagination with Nicole Pyles

Nicole Pyles shares her review of “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant” with readers at World of My Imagination. Don’t miss a chance to learn more about this heroic memoir.

https://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com/

 

April 12th @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal Otto

Crystal Otto shares a 5 star review or the touching and empowering memoir “Looking West” by Albert Nasib Badre.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

 

April 15th @ Selling Books with Cathy Stucker

Cathy Stucker interview Albert Nasib Badre about his empowering memoir “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant”. Readers at Selling Books are looking forward to learning more about this touching journey.

https://www.sellingbooks.com/

 

April 16th @ To Write or Not to Write with Sreevarsha Sreejith 

Sreevarsha Sreejith reviews “Looking West” by Albert Nasib Badre. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Sreevarsha and visit To Write or Not to Write.
http://sreevarshasreejith.blogspot.com/

 

April 16th @ Lisa Haselton Reviews and Interview

Don’t miss today’s empowering and honest interview between Lisa Haselton and Albert Nasib Badre – you will want to learn more about “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant” in this touching memoir.

http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

 

April 17th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro

Well known book reviewer and fellow memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro reviews “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant” by Albert Nasib Badre.

http://applemanshapiro.com/category/book-reviews/

 

April 19th @ Memoir Revolution with Jerry Waxler

Jerry Waxler thoroughly enjoyed reader “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant” by Albert Nasib Badre and shares his thoughts with readers at Memoir Revolution. Don’t miss this insightful review of Badre’s touching memoir.

https://memorywritersnetwork.com/blog/

 

April 22nd @ Author Anthony Avina

Author Anthony Avina delights readers at his blog as he reviews the moving memoir “Looking West” by Albert Nasib Badre.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

 

April 23rd @ Beverley A. Baird

Beverley A. Baird reviews the memoir “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant” by Albert Nasib Badre.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

 

April 26th @ Breakeven Books

Today’s author spotlight at Breakeven Books is none other than memoirist and immigrant Albert Nasib Badre with his touching story “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant”. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about this inspirational coming of age memoir.

https://breakevenbooks.com/

 

April 30th @ Choices by Madeline Sharples

Today’s guest post titled “The Backstory: Letters, Photos, and Conversations” is penned by Albert Nasib Badre. Don’t miss this great post and opportunity to learn about Badre’s memoir “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant”

http://madelinesharples.com/

 

May 7th @ Bring on Lemons with Karen Levy

Israeli-American author Karen Levy reviews “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant” by Albert Nasib Badre.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

 

Connect Five

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The past two months I have been trying to connect some of my reading choices and have completed another Connect Five for that challenge at Book Date..

These books all involve following a list and have “List“ in the title.

The Birthday List by Devney Perry

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Women’s fiction, where a widow decides to fulfill her husband’s birthday list – my favourite of these books

The List by Patricia Forde

the list33846933

 

A Fantasy/dystopian YA novel.

 

Love, Life and the List by Kasie West

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a YA romance, another favourite – Abby tries to improve her art by making a list

 

The Wish List App by Sylvia Tara Dyer

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A comedic Romance

 

Let Me List the Ways by Sarah White

 

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YA romance, with a diabetic main character.

 

I am enjoying this challenge. As I chose books for other challenges, I try to make connections with others I have read. Then I usually have to research other books on that theme and try to find them. I find I am reading books I probably wouldn’t have, as the books are by authors I don’t know. And many books end up earning 5 stars on Goodreads.

Finding Your Idea -Guest Post by Linda Kane

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I am very pleased to host Linda Kane today, whose thriller Black Madonna is a on a blog tour with Wow- Women On Writing.

Linda is writing about finding the idea for your book and offers advice for all writers.

Welcome Linda.

linda and Shari- cropped

 Finding the Idea
Things that you’re interested in, will interest your reader. So ask yourself, what am I interested in? This question should be your jumping-off point. You’ll hear the advice to “write what you know.” Yet what draws forth our best energy and talent is often the desire to learn more about things we don’t know.

The first step in finding the idea for your novel is to discover your world.

My book, The Black Madonna A Pope’s Deadly Obsession came from my desire to know more about the lost documents found by sheepherders written by Jesus’ apostles. It helped me figure out who my characters would be, where the action would take place, and what would go on in that setting.

Your choice should always be informed by your interests, so immerse yourself in books, television, movies, and anything else that inspires you. This will help you to create the building blocks for your novel.

Trust your own tastes. You’re going to be working with these ideas for a long time, so choose things that interests you enough to sustain you.

Finding the core idea for your novel, is essentially what your book is about. In this question, you are establishing the main ‘idea’ . It is the biggest, most essential promise that you’re making to your reader and should always reflect the story’s highest stakes. You promise your reader by the end of the novel will (as in Black Madonna) will Luci find the lost codex written by Jesus?

Your sole dramatic question depends on understanding the motivations of your hero and villain.

 

Be sure to check out all the stops of the tour for more writing advice from Linda and reviews and contests.

Blog Tour Dates

April 1st @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Come by today and celebrate the launch of Linda Lee Kane’s book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obession. Read an interview with the author and also enter to win a copy of the book.
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

April 2nd @ Break Even Books
Make sure you visit Erik’s blog today where you can catch Linda Lee Kane’s blog post about heroes and villains.
https://breakevenbooks.com/

April 3rd @ Words from the Heart
Rev. Linda Neas will be reviewing Linda Lee Kane’s book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession. 
https://contemplativeed.blogspot.com/

April 5th @ Words from the Heart
Stop by Rev. Linda Neas blog where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s blog post about heroes and villains.
https://contemplativeed.blogspot.com/

April 8th @ Jennifer’s Deals
Visit Jennifer’s blog where you can read her review of Linda Lee Kane’s exciting historical mystery book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
https://www.jennifers-deals2.com/

April 10th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog
Stop by Bev’s blog today where you can read her thoughts about Linda Lee Kane’s historical mystery Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

April 11th @ Oh for the Hook of a Book
Visit Erin’s blog today where she shares her opinion about Linda Lee Kane’s exciting book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
https://hookofabook.wordpress.com/

April 12th @ Bookworm Blog
Stop by Anjanette’s bookworm blog where you can read author Linda Lee Kane’s post about creating suspense. Plus, be sure to check out the interview with the author as well!
http://bookworm66.wordpress.com

April 13th @ Chapters Through Life
Visit Danielle’s blog where you can read her interview with author Linda Lee Kane and hear more about this interesting writer!
https://chaptersthroughlife.blogspot.com/

April 15th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog
Visit Bev’s blog again where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s guest post about finding the idea.
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

April 16th @ Amanda Diaries
Visit Amanda’s blog where she reviews the exciting historical fiction book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession by Linda Lee Kane.
https://amandalsanders1989.wordpress.com

April 19th @ Bookworm Blog
Stop by Anjanette’s bookworm blog where you can read her thoughts about Linda Lee Kane’s book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
http://bookworm66.wordpress.com

April 19th @ Jill Sheet’s Blog
Make sure you stop by Jill’s blog today where author Linda Lee Kane talks about finding the idea.
https://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

April 20th @ Madeline Sharples’ Blog
Stop by Madeline’s blog where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s blog post about life as a writer.
http://madelinesharples.com/

April 21st @ Coffee with Lacey
Grab some coffee and visit Lacey’s blog where you can read her review of Linda Lee Kane’s exciting thriller, Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
https://coffeewithlacey.com/

April 22nd @ Cassandra’s Writing World
Visit Cassandra’s blog where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s guest post on research.
https://cassandra-mywritingworld.blogspot.com/

April 23rd @ Joyful Antidotes
Come by Joy’s blog today and find out her thoughts on Linda Lee Kane’s exciting book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
https://joyfulantidotes.com/

April 24th @ Bring on Lemons
Stop by Crystal’s blog today where you can read her review of this exciting historical fiction book, Black Madonna.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

April 25th @ To Write or Not to Write
Visit Sreevarsha’s blog where she shares her thoughts about Linda Lee Kane’s exciting thriller Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
https://sreevarshasreejith.blogspot.com/

April 26th @ To Write or Not to Write
Make sure you stop by Sreevarsha’s blog again where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s fascinating blog post about the anatomy of a thriller.
https://sreevarshasreejith.blogspot.com/

April 27th @ A Day in the Life of Mom
Visit Ashley’s blog and check out what she has to say about Linda Lee Kane’s exciting historical mystery Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
https://adayinthelifeofmom.com/

May 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Be sure to stop by Anthony’s blog today where you can read his opinion about Linda Lee Kane’s exciting historical mystery Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

May 4th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
May the 4th be with you on this day! Be sure to visit Anthony’s blog again where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s guest post on the anatomy of a thriller as well as an interview with this incredible author.
https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

May 6th @ Cassandra’s Writing World
Visit Cassandra’s blog again where you can read her review of Linda Lee Kane’s book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession. Plus you can also enter to win a copy of the book!
https://cassandra-mywritingworld.blogspot.com/

 

WOW Book Tour of “Black Madonna” by Linda Lee Kane

wow logo

I am honoured to be part of the WOW! Women of Writing Blog Tour for Black Madonna: The Pope’s Deadly Obsession by Linda Lee Kane, which I read and am now reviewing.

(Please note: I received an advance copy to read and review.)

My Review
Linda Lee Kane has crafted an historic thriller based on the history of the Cathars, a religious sect in the 12th and 13th centuries France and also of the early tarot cards. Both fact and fiction have been blended to create a fascinating dual timeline story: present day Luci de Foix and 12 the century Esclamonde, thru her diary.

The religion and history of the Cathars is highlighted and makes for an interesting backdrop for Luci, as she tries to discover truths and the codex of Jesus.

There are many factions wanting what she is seeking, but who is she to trust? Where is the codex and the treasures? As Luci follows the clues from the tarot cards she finds, we are drawn onto the mystery and intrigue.

At times very violent (but the history of the early church was violent), it nonetheless is an interesting read.

Be sure to check the back for Kane’s reveal of more detailed information about the tarot cards as well as what was fact or fiction in each section of the book.

 

 Book/Information

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Luci de Foix was nine when her parents were killed in a car accident. But was it an accident? Unbeknownst to Luci, a group known as The Order, under the protection of the Pope, has been watching her family for many years, waiting for the day that a diarywritten in the thirteenth century would be delivered to her family-a journal that contains a key to a lost codex-and they would do anything to get it. Early one morning, when Luci is twenty-nine, a bloodied young man delivers a book, claiming it’s from her lategrandparents.
Plagued by panic attacks that have left her crippled, Luci struggles to overcome her fears, avenge the death of their family, and search for the lost codex. But who can she trust? Everyone seems intent on betraying her, even the gorgeous, enigmatic Max, a man with secrets of his own.

Print Length: 210 Pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Publisher: Dark Rose Press
ISBN-13: 978-1941851586
ISBN-10: 1941851584
ASIN: B07KJR5WBH

 

About the Author

linda and Shari- cropped

Linda Lee Kane is an author of fantasies, thrillers, and contemporary fiction works. She is the author of Death on the VineChilled to the Bones and an upcoming re-release of the The Black Madonna ‘A Popes Deadly Obsession’. She lives with her husband, two dogs,  and seven horses in California.  “Whether I am writing for adults or children, the war between my days and nights is reflected in my books. Although the tendency to acknowledge the light and dark sides of life is often disguised in my work, it’s always there, lurking just out of sight.”

You can find Linda at her website: https://www.lindaleekane.com/

You may also follow her on Twitter at @llkane2152.

You may also follow her on Amazon and GoodReads.

 

— Blog Tour Dates

April 1st @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Come by today and celebrate the launch of Linda Lee Kane’s book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obession. Read an interview with the author and also enter to win a copy of the book.
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

April 2nd @ Break Even Books
Make sure you visit Erik’s blog today where you can catch Linda Lee Kane’s blog post about heroes and villains.
https://breakevenbooks.com/

April 3rd @ Words from the Heart
Rev. Linda Neas will be reviewing Linda Lee Kane’s book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession. 
https://contemplativeed.blogspot.com/

April 5th @ Words from the Heart
Stop by Rev. Linda Neas blog where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s blog post about heroes and villains.
https://contemplativeed.blogspot.com/

April 8th @ Jennifer’s Deals
Visit Jennifer’s blog where you can read her review of Linda Lee Kane’s exciting historical mystery book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
https://www.jennifers-deals2.com/

April 10th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog
Stop by Bev’s blog today where you can read her thoughts about Linda Lee Kane’s historical mystery Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

April 11th @ Oh for the Hook of a Book
Visit Erin’s blog today where she shares her opinion about Linda Lee Kane’s exciting book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
https://hookofabook.wordpress.com/

April 12th @ Bookworm Blog
Stop by Anjanette’s bookworm blog where you can read author Linda Lee Kane’s post about creating suspense. Plus, be sure to check out the interview with the author as well!
http://bookworm66.wordpress.com

April 13th @ Chapters Through Life
Visit Danielle’s blog where you can read her interview with author Linda Lee Kane and hear more about this interesting writer!
https://chaptersthroughlife.blogspot.com/

April 15th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog
Visit Bev’s blog again where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s guest post about finding the idea.
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

April 16th @ Amanda Diaries
Visit Amanda’s blog where she reviews the exciting historical fiction book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession by Linda Lee Kane.
https://amandalsanders1989.wordpress.com

April 19th @ Bookworm Blog
Stop by Anjanette’s bookworm blog where you can read her thoughts about Linda Lee Kane’s book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
http://bookworm66.wordpress.com

April 19th @ Jill Sheet’s Blog
Make sure you stop by Jill’s blog today where author Linda Lee Kane talks about finding the idea.
https://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

April 20th @ Madeline Sharples’ Blog
Stop by Madeline’s blog where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s blog post about life as a writer.
http://madelinesharples.com/

April 21st @ Coffee with Lacey
Grab some coffee and visit Lacey’s blog where you can read her review of Linda Lee Kane’s exciting thriller, Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
https://coffeewithlacey.com/

April 22nd @ Cassandra’s Writing World
Visit Cassandra’s blog where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s guest post on research.
https://cassandra-mywritingworld.blogspot.com/

April 23rd @ Joyful Antidotes
Come by Joy’s blog today and find out her thoughts on Linda Lee Kane’s exciting book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
https://joyfulantidotes.com/

April 24th @ Bring on Lemons
Stop by Crystal’s blog today where you can read her review of this exciting historical fiction book, Black Madonna.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

April 25th @ To Write or Not to Write
Visit Sreevarsha’s blog where she shares her thoughts about Linda Lee Kane’s exciting thriller Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
https://sreevarshasreejith.blogspot.com/

April 26th @ To Write or Not to Write
Make sure you stop by Sreevarsha’s blog again where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s fascinating blog post about the anatomy of a thriller.
https://sreevarshasreejith.blogspot.com/

April 27th @ A Day in the Life of Mom
Visit Ashley’s blog and check out what she has to say about Linda Lee Kane’s exciting historical mystery Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
https://adayinthelifeofmom.com/

May 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Be sure to stop by Anthony’s blog today where you can read his opinion about Linda Lee Kane’s exciting historical mystery Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.
https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

May 4th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
May the 4th be with you on this day! Be sure to visit Anthony’s blog again where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s guest post on the anatomy of a thriller as well as an interview with this incredible author.
https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

May 6th @ Cassandra’s Writing World
Visit Cassandra’s blog again where you can read her review of Linda Lee Kane’s book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession. Plus you can also enter to win a copy of the book!
https://cassandra-mywritingworld.blogspot.com/

 

Slice of Life Tuesday

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Today is Slice of Life Tuesday – the weekly writing challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.

I just finished reading The Garden of Happy Endings by Barbara O’Neal. I thoroughly enjoyed the book – a 5 star read for me.

Elsa, the main character, a minister, has lost her faith and has taken a sabbatical from her church. Throughout the book she interacts with so many interesting characters – from Father Jack to Deacon and her sister.
She has many discussions and meditations on faith. One phrase still resonates.
Do what is yours to do

It got me thinking – what is it I am supposed to do? For 30+ years, I was a teacher and loved being one. When I retired, I had plans to volunteer, to write, to create and for several years I did. Then my hubby’s health deteriorated and slowly those things slipped away. I wrote a bit, created a bit, but I had to give up my volunteering at a school.
I just renewed my teaching certificate. I can’t imagine not having it – even if I don’t teach. It is a solid reminder of what I was.
But:

what is mine to do now?
What do I want/need to do?
What is being asked of me?

Like Elsa, I have to reach deep and seek out new answers. I want to believe the answers are there and that I will find what is mine to do.

Sunday Check-In – ROW 80

 

ROW80LogocopyThis is my first check-in of the new Second Round.

ROW 80 provides a special way to encourage/nurture one’s writing – they provide accountability, with the belief that we all have lives, so we do the best we can.

This past week I have concentrated on writing a bit each day (around 500 words, which was my number 1 goal) as well as organizing my writing and articles I plan to read.

I have several romance novels started, so read them to see which I hoped to work on this round. i also re-read several of the picture book scripts I have completed. This will help me move forward, as I write and revise.

I have been able to create my daily collage cards for the A to Z April Blogging Challenge.

Of course I’ve been reading each day. But I have been sick with a cold, so I did not do much more than that this week.

As my head clears, I hope to write for longer blocks of time and get more accomplished.

 

SOL and Top Ten Tuesday

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Today is Slice of Life Tuesday, a weekly challenge hosted at “Two Writing Teachers”, but it is also “Top Ten Tuesday”

TTT

A meme I participate in occasionally, Top Ten Tuesday, had an interesting topic this week: “Reasons Why You Choose a Book”
It made me stop and think about why I do choose a book to read.

My Top 10 Reasons Why I choose a Book to Read

(The books i have listed are all books I have read this year and I’ve given a 4 or 5 on Goodreads)

1. I love an author
Right now, I am devouring books by Sarah J. Maas, Samantha Chase and Morgan Matson.
But there are so many authors I love, and when one of them publishes a new book, I have to read it. Authors like Susan Kearsley, Louise Penny, Jude Deveraux, Penny Reid, Jill Shalvis, to name a few.

2. Books suggested by other bloggers or friends
I have a huge TBR list of books other bloggers have suggested and this has led to some amazing reads:
The last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Love, Life and the List by Kasie West

3. A book to fulfill a reading challenge
I participate in a lot of reading challenges and many times, a chose a book I might not have read because it meets a theme or criteria for a challenge. I read these and loved them. Now Ai am looking for more of their books.
Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig (tech. book)
One and Only by Jenny Holiday (one in title)
Getting Lucky by Katie Graykowski (shoes on front, Luck in title – met 2 criteria!)

4. I love fantasy, paranormal and magical realism. I am fascinated by the imagination of the author in creating new worlds, exciting adventures.
Anything by Sarah J. Maas
Carnival of Secrets by Melissa Marr
Magical Shift by Vella Day

5. I love books on time travel. It usually combines romance and a look at another time period.
Rose Garden by Susan Kearsley – my absolute favourite of this genre

6. It has won or been up for an award
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

7. The title or the cover appeals to me, especially when I’m looking in a bargain bin or in a thrift shop. It’s a great way to find a new author to love.
The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O’Neal
The Great Christmas Knit-Off by Alexandra Brown
Love Letters by Katie Fforde

8. Sometimes I just feel that I need to finally just read a book I have been putting off for a long time.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Princess Bride by William Goldman

9. I seek out diverse books, to open a window on a diverse world.
The 57 Bus by Danielle Slater
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

10. Novels about second chances, enemies to lovers, older woman younger man, but definitely happily ever after. Yes, I am definitely a romance reader.
One Day in December by Josie Silver
This Time Forever by Mona Ingram
Band on the Run series by Samantha Chase

 

But then as well, there are also books I love about …

… highlanders

— books and bookstores

… misfits and lonely hearts

… cozy mysteries

…WW1 and WWII novels

and the list could go on and on!

I am fortunate now to be retired, so that I can finally read to my heart’s content. I enjoy reading from different genres, different age groups as well.

What are your reasons for reading a book??

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ROW 80 -Round 2 Goals

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ROW 80 provides a special way to encourage/nurture one’s writing – they provide accountability, with the belief that we all have lives, so we do the best we can.
For the past two years I have not been consistent with my writing and have had little contact with ROW 80.
But I need the accountability and support and I so want to resurrect my writing. So, I am diving in and declaring my goals for this round.

Here are my goals for Round 2:

Writing/revising:
1. Write daily – at least 500 words daily.
2. Finish first draft of middle grade novel.
3. Write at least one picture book a month
4. Outline/plot a novel and start work on first draft.
5. Revise at least one novel.
6. Enter at least one writing contest and/or twitter pitch party.
7. Write at least 1 other post weekly on writing blog (besides ROW80 posts)
8. Continue to work on memoir.
9. Write a short story each month.

Reading
1. Read several picture books for study purpose each week
2. Read 2 books on writing as well as articles
3. Read often for pleasure.

ART
1. Create daily
2. Take part in “A to Z April Challenge”
3. Continue with weekly ABC Challenge as well as other creative challenges

Follow Healthy Habits:
1. Walk at least 3x a week
2. Drink 6 – 8 glasses of water a day
3. Record healthy eating/exercise in health journal daily.

 

March Reading Round-Up

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March here in Ontario has gone out like a lion – with 2 inches of snow covering the ground.

But March has also been a busy month – of reading and writing. I took part in a daily writing challenge hosted by “Two Writing Teachers”, one I have done for several years and thoroughly enjoyed. I also took part in a picture book study through ReFoReMo – studying picture books to use as mentor texts. I was able to read 46 pbs.

It’s that time to share what I have been reading this past month. The total read for February was 28 books (+ the 46 pbs) with the following breakdown:
Fantasy –1
SciFi – 0
Paranormal – 3
Romance – 15
Historical romance – 2
Women’s Fiction – 1
Classics – 0
Non-Fiction – 1
Picture Books – 46
YA – 2
MG – 2
Magical Realism – 1

Diverse books – 11

I decided this year to record in more detail where the books originated – from the library, on my TBR shelves, an e-book, bought /gifted or a charity read (Bought from a charity store). Here’s the breakdown
Library reads – 61
TBR books – 0
e-books – 11
Charity reads -2 (Thus $4 donated to charity)

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I had planned as well to do a separate post for my Jane Austen Reading Challenge, but for now, I will post it here:
Confession time – I did not read /finish any of Jane Austen’s novel. I started both Persuasion and Mansfield Park, several times in fact, but did not get very far with either. I did read an enjoyable novel inspired by Jane Austen: Second Impressions by Pepper Basham.
I also read a NF picture book on Jane’s life:
Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen by Deborah Hopkinson
I enjoyed a number of stories inspired by Jane Austen from the book:
Jane Austen Made Me Do It, edited by Laurel Ann Nattress.

I hope to read Persuasion next month and other JA inspired books.

 

Here are the books read for my favourite challenges:
Popsugar Ultimate Reading Challenge (Through Goodreads)
4. Book that should be turned into a movie: The Birthday List by Devney Perry
9. Book you meant to read in 2018 – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

11. Book with item of clothing on cover (high heels) – Getting Lucky by Katie Graykowski
36. A ghost story – His Haunting Kiss by Heather Marie Adkins

52 Books in 52 Weeks
8. Set in the Victorian Era: Bargaining with a Rake by Julie Johnstone
13. Featuring music: I read a trilogy “Band on the Run” by Samantha Chase:
One More Kiss, One More Promise, One More Moment
25. Name of Colour in title – No Tan Lines by Kate Angell
28. Discusses mental health – Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

Beyond the Bookends.
The theme for March was “read a Newberry winner”:
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Monthly Key Word Challenge
The key words I chose this month was “Luck”
Getting Lucky by Katie Graykowski

Monthly Motif
The theme this month was “Royalty, kingdoms, empires”.
Carnival of Secrets by Melissa Marr

Diversify Your Reading
The genre was science and technology: Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

Connect Five
1. Five books that I read and connected because their authors’ first and last initials were the same, were
Carnival of Secrets by Melissa Marr
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
A Piece of My Heart by Sharon Sala
A Wanton Woman by Vanessa Vale
Bargaining with a Rake by Julie Johnstone

2. Five books that I read and connected because they all had “One” in the title
A trilogy “Band on the Run” by Samantha Chase:
One More Kiss, One More Promise, One More Moment
One Day in December by Josie Silver
One and Only by Jenny Holiday

Favourite Books Read This Month
This was an excellent month for reading books that I rated a number of books a 5 at Goodreads.

The Birthday List by Devney Perry
One More Moment by Samantha Chase
One Day in December by Josie Silver
One and Only by Jenny Holiday
The List by Patricia Forde
Love, Life and the List by Kasie West
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Carnival of Secrets by Melissa Marr
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
The last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan
Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

April Goals
Once again, I hope to read more of my TBR books. (Many of the charity books become my TBR books anyway)

I am linking with the following:

 

Month in Review 6

Month in Review at Book Date

 

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Best of the Bunch

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Day 31 – March Slice of Life

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Today is Day 31 of the March Slice of Life – the daily writing challenge hosted at “Two Writing Teachers”.

The last day of March. The last day of the The month started like a lamb but has definitely gone out like a lion. I awoke to 2” of snow – the world a winter wonderland again.
March SOL started slow for me, with hope that I would be able to slice each day. And on this last day, I can look back and say I did it!
I have gained renewed resolve to keep writing daily. I have overcome challenges to slice each day. Using the Encyclopedia of Me gave me a framework most days and I used it thankfully.
I also visited numerous blogs – some familiar and some new. It was always a treat to read other’s slices.

Thank you to “Two Writing Teachers” for hosting this challenge – it has been an enjoyable experience.