Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Freebies

Here's more great reading for the weekend ahead:

Download free e-books at

My review of "Rollback" by Robert J. Sawyer is available on EzineArticles.
Download his short stories at sfwriter

Browse free e-books at fictionwise


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Nelson's Illustrated Guide to Religions: A Comprehensive Introduction to the Religions of the World by James A. Beverley

Have you ever wondered about the roots of Islamic Militancy, the schism in the Anglican Communion or the history of Kabbalah? What are the teachings of the Satanic Bible? Who is the founder of the Scientology religious philosophy? What are the rules for Sikh living? James A. Beverley has left few stones unturned in this comprehensive and well researched introduction to the religions of the world.

Religion is a complicated topic and in today's world it's more important than ever to understand the beliefs of our neighbors. Beverly's book provides a welcome means of exploring the origins of religion regardless of your own particular faith. Although the analysis is from a Christian perspective each religion is approached with love and tolerance. Information is presented in an objective style without bias, partisanship or judgment.

The book provides information, timelines, key principles, and profiles of primary leaders for Baha'i, Branch Davidians, Buddhism, Christian Science, Christian Sectarian Groups, Hinduism, Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, Judaism, Mormonism, The New Age, Orthodoxy, Protestantism, Roman, Catholicism, Satanism, Scientology, Sikhism, Unification Church and Witchcraft.

I believe this is a must have for students and teachers of religion but the easy to read format made it a good resource for a layperson like myself. It certainly helped me to accomplish my goal of understanding people of other faiths and what they believe. Anyone with a curiosity and desire to learn will benefit from reading this book. My copy has already been borrowed by a friend and I expect I won't see it back for awhile.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (May 19, 2009)
ISBN: 978-0785244912
Pages: 644
Price: $39.99


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

The long holiday weekend is over and it's time to get back to business. I'm so glad it's raining today. If the sun was shining I'd be walking on the beach and then I'd feel guilty. So today I'm posting a reprint of a review I have on EzineArticles and then I'll be working on the book.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Gail Pruszkowski

When my eight year old granddaughter told me there was a book she wanted and they sold it at Barnes and Noble I didn't waste any time. I knew nothing about the book but in my opinion any book that gets a kid that excited and asking for a trip to the book store is a good thing. An hour later we were browsing the book shelves and looking for "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" by Jeff Kinney. There were four different volumes on display and she couldn't make up her mind. After glancing through them I bought all four.

Greg Heffley's mother makes him keep a diary and he takes readers through a year of middle child and middle school drama. Greg writes about how his parents embarrass him and his older brother plays tricks on him. He's the typically awkward boy trying to get through the mishaps and bullying in school. His best friend, Rowley, starts to become more popular and Greg tries to ride his coattails but ends up testing their friendship.

This book may be written in a boy's voice but my granddaughter loved it. No sooner did we get home than she was settled in a comfortable chair with volume one. She read 138 pages, only stopping when her mother came to pick her up. Her review - it's funny! Obviously Kinney knows how to relate to kids.

Sometimes he pushes the envelope of good manners and language but my granddaughter was able to laugh at the antics while knowing it's wrong to call other kids "morons," and it opened up a discussion, a good aspect of any reading experience.

The books were adapted from the online series which started in 2004. They're graphic novels written in the style of a journal and interspersed with hilarious hand drawn pictures.

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid" appears on, an educational site for teachers and kids. It provides educational games and resources.

Reading Level: Ages 8-13
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers (April 1, 2007)
ISBN: 978-0810993136
Pages: 224
Price: $12.95

Gail Pruszkowski reviews for "Romantic Times BOOKreviews" magazine and her work has been published in the "Cup of Comfort" Anthologies.

Article Source:


Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Freebies

It's a sunny 72 degrees at the beach. If I look out from the balcony I can see people dipping their toes in the ocean. Gotta get out there. But first here's a few freebies.

Suvudu Free Book Library
"We know it can be hard to navigate the countless fantasy and science fiction series out there and figure out which ones are right for you. Well, we're here to make those tough decisions a bit easier on you. With the Suvudu Free Book Library, you can read the first book in some of our most acclaimed series absolutely free! We're kicking off the library with five full-length novels for you to sample, but we'll be adding new titles on a regular basis, so be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you're the first to find out what our newest free offerings are!"

Hatchette Book Group is offering a download of
Serial by Jack Kilborn.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Satellite Radio Rocks!

My new car came with a three month trial subscription for XM. I never wanted satellite radio. Why pay for something you can get for nothing. So what if you have to listen to a few commercials in between the good stuff. Besides I have a six CD changer and a jack for my iPod. Who needs it? But this wasn't costing me anything and I had a three hour drive to the beach in front of me so I tried it.

I went to channel 86 first. Gregory Issacs was singing "Night Nurse." Wow. I was impressed. When "Caribbean Rhythms" on WRTI went off the air I was heartbroken. It got me through umpteen Saturday mornings of OT at work.

I went through the other music stations - rock, the decades, country, show tunes, jazz, alternative, blues, world music, classical and on and on. Then I went back to 86. Yep. It was no fluke. Yellowman was singing "Disco Reggae." I could have three hours of classic reggae if I wanted. This was all good but I like a little talk radio once in a while. News, Sports, Right America, Left America, Middle America, Oprah, Book Radio...
What? Book Radio? I listened to a story about pirates for a few minutes. This was sounding better and better.

I moved on to Radio Classics. A familiar drawl caught my ear. Westerns are not my thing but this guy was playing a darn convincing cowboy. I listened to the whole thing. Turns out it was Jimmy Stewart playing Britt Ponset in "The Six Shooter." The episode "Cora Plummer Quincy," originally aired in 1953. The gist of it was - Cora Plummer remarried soon after her husband died and her son was convinced the man was after the family ranch and money. He tries to get rid of him, but Britt steps in and saves the day.

It reminded me of the days I'd come home from school and listen to stuff like this on the radio. My drive went by in a flash. Am I a convert? You bet. Could I get all this on CD or iPod? Maybe. Would I have bought "Six Shooter." No. So there it is - the magic of discovery. The fun of hearing something different, something I wouldn't have thought to buy. If only I had a convertible, I'd sit in my car and listen for awhile.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Anticipation is half the fun!

I'll be heading to the beach soon and if you could see my foyer you'd think I'm going away for a year. I can't believe how much stuff I'm bringing. Three suitcases are sitting by the door stuffed with shorts, tee shirts, bathing suits, etc. My writing bag has paper, pens, notebooks, address book and calendar. The beach bag is packed with sunscreen, sunglasses and my iPod. A very heavy carton is packed with books and magazines. There's even a bag of groceries, just coffee, Sweet & Low and Coffee mate. Another bag is waiting for my laptop...

And yet I know I forgot something. So here I am checking my list and scratching my head and JP gives me the lecture.
"You know they sell all this stuff. It's not some remote island. If you forget something you can always buy it there."
"Yes but what if the stores are closed when I get there?"

It's not likely. So what's my problem? No problem. I just love the whole packing thing. For weeks now I've been making lists and checking them twice. Each item I pack reminds me that I'm going somewhere. Anticipation is half the fun. It's always been this way. No matter what the destination, being surrounded by maps and checklists and bags is exciting. And even if the other half doesn't measure up, right now I'm having a blast.

Buy at


Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Freebies

Love Romance? Here's a chance to get acquainted with Harlequin Books.

"In honor of Harlequin's 60th,
Barnes and Noble is offering 16 FREE book downloads. Download one title, or all sixteen, and let the pleasure begin."

"Be one of the first to read Jason Starr's latest novel from Minotaur Books, to be published in August 2009. Sign up to receive your free e-galley.
Panic Attack

This week C.J. West marked his 25,000th download for a free copy of Sin & Vengeance.
The program isn't over. There's still time to get your own copy at
Sin & Vengeance

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

People are still reading - Books!

Yesterday I took the car in for service. The service manager offered me a shuttle ride home, but when he told me my car would be done in less than an hour I opted to wait. I had my copy of "Shanghai Girls" with me so I was good. Four other people shared the waiting room with me. Four of us had books open on our laps - hardbacks at that. Even though the "The Today Show" was blaring on the TV, we all sat with our noses buried in our books. I get lost in a good story; noise doesn't bother me at all. But were the others really reading? Or was it just camouflage, a clever way to discourage attention. I snuck a peek at what they were reading. Although I couldn't see the titles I did note that everyone was at least half way into their books. And the two other women and one man looked totally absorbed.

It's gratifying to see that people still love their books. Despite the availability of so much digital media, a good hardback is tough to beat. The portability factor plays a big part, at least with me. I take a book wherever I go and I'm never bored. I haven't bought a Kindle - yet. I still love to turn the pages. And there's always that possibility that the reader would be lost or stolen and I could lose all my books. Besides what would I do with my bookmark collection?


Monday, May 11, 2009

What I'm Reading...

Prayers For Sale by Sandra Dallas

Book Description: "Hennie Comfort is eighty-six and has lived in the mountains of Middle Swan, Colorado since before it was Colorado. Nit Spindle is just seventeen and newly married. She and her husband have just moved to the high country in search of work. It's 1936 and the depression has ravaged the country and Nit and her husband have suffered greatly. Hennie notices the young woman loitering near the old sign outside of her house that promises "Prayers For Sale". Hennie doesn't sell prayers, never has, but there's something about the young woman that she's drawn to. The harsh conditions of life that each have endured create an instant bond and an unlikely friendship is formed, one in which the deepest of hardships are shared and the darkest of secrets are confessed."

Shanghai Girls: A Novel by Lisa See will be released May 26, 2009

Book Description: "May and Pearl, two sisters living in Shanghai in the mid-1930s, are beautiful, sophisticated, and well-educated, but their family is on the verge of bankruptcy. Hoping to improve their social standing, May and Pearl’s parents arrange for their daughters to marry “Gold Mountain men” who have come from Los Angeles to find brides.
But when the sisters leave China and arrive at Angel’s Island (the Ellis Island of the West)--where they are detained, interrogated, and humiliated for months--they feel the harsh reality of leaving home. And when May discovers she’s pregnant the situation becomes even more desperate. The sisters make a pact that no one can ever know."

Bookmark and Share

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Freebies

TGIF! Make your weekend more fun with some good reading and new music. It won't cost you anything but a few minutes time to download them.

Free E-books are usually distributed as pdf files. You'll need Adobe Reader software to open them.

Adobe Reader/
is available as a free download.

Download a free copy of PERSUADER, a Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child

Free Christian Fiction E-book downloads from author Donald James Parker.

Sin & Vengeance by C.J. West - Free Download

Hal SpacejockThe first book in the sci-fi series by Simon Haynes.

Download the complete soundtrack from
The Graduates DVD
- Use the discount code BOOKWORM

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What I'm Reading - Love Waits by Donald James Parker

Sword of the Spirit Publishing
ISBN 13: 978-0-578-01560-6

Love Waits by Donald James Parker is a young adult story about a fourteen year old girl who's forced to move from a small town in Nebraska to the big city. It's bad enough that Cheri doesn't know anyone, but when one of the few girls she meets finds out she's still a virgin and tells everyone Cheri feels forced to rectify the situation.

I gave a copy of this book to a sixteen year old relative so we could compare notes when we're done. When I write my review I'll include her thoughts. If you'd like to get in on the discussion here's a link to the author's website. He's offering a free download of Love Waits.

Love Waits by Donald James Parker


Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Power of Point of View

The Power of Point of View by Alicia Rasley is a book I've added to my Writing Bookshelf after it was recommended at a recent workshop. The subject was touched on in class but I wanted something more comprehensive and Rasley's book provided just what I was looking for.

Point of view is something I struggled with. It's so much more than just who's telling the story, although that is a big part of it. Rasley gives you the fundamentals, than goes deeper, telling you how to use POV to make your story more powerful. She's a good teacher and has an interesting and easy way of explaining things. Examples and exercises are included.

The Power Of Point Of View: Make Your Story Come To Life
Table of Contents:
1. What is POV
2. POV Choices and What They Communicate About Your Story
3. POV and the Elements of Story
4. First Person
5. Second Person
6. Impersonal Third Person
7. Personal Third Person: Single
8. Personal Third Person: Multiple
9. Individualizing POV
10. Levels of POV
11. Creating Alternative and Unusual Voices

Publisher: Writers Digest Books; 1st. Ed edition (March 11, 2008)
ISBN: 978-1582975245
Pages: 272
Price: $16.99


Friday, May 1, 2009

100 Articles in 100 Days Marathon Challenge Update

EzineArticles Cartoon

We're now 40 days into the Challenge and I'm on target with 44 articles published and 2 waiting for approval. Never say never!