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Didi Oviatt

Author of suspense novels Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, The Stix, and New Age Lamians. As well as the short story collection Time Wasters and (co-author of) The Suspenseful Collection. Columnist for The Conscious Talk Magazine.

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Review: Don’t Tell A Soul, by D.K Hood. 3 stars

MY REVIEW:

3 stars

Thank You NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

There is a lot going on with Don’t Tell A Soul… probably too much. I was really excited to read it based on the description, some awesome reviews, along with the first fifteen pages or so.  But, after that it was kind of rocky for me. It took me quite a while to get through this book, and it drove me nuts that I couldn’t just get attached enough to finish it faster. Some parts sucked me right in and were SO well written, but then some parts I really had to force myself to get through.

For the first half of the book I blamed it on a reading slump, but once I got over halfway through I realized it wasn’t me so much, as my dislike for the main characters and the chaos of too many angles contributing to the suspense. I would have been happy if it would have only been about the missing people with regular ol’ police force on the case, rather than both the Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff having such outrageous backstories. Their characters felt a little too convenient, and yet still rather irritatingly inconsistent.

There are two factors I loved about this book: 1. The opening was creative and sharp and it sucked me right in. 2. Each time it jumped into the disappeared victim’s stories, it was absolutely engaging. (if D.K. Hood ever wrote a horror story without the investigative aspect, I’d be the first in line to read it!!!)

Now, I really hate writing reviews that just list all the things I don’t like, so I’ll cut this short. Jenna’s character I struggled with. Sometimes she was a rock solid, brilliantly a don’t mess with me type, and I loved that… But then she would flip a switch and make weird rookie mistakes and turn into a helpless damsel. As for Kane, he drove me insane. All technical (paranoid over-thinker type), no personality.

At this point I’m about 70% sure I’ll read the next in the series. But, only because of the aspects I liked, I REALLY liked… Also out of curiosity in the potential that D.K. Hood’s writing truly has.. Not so much emotional or personal investment in the story.

DESCRIPTION:

When a body is found stuffed into a barrel at the local dump, covered in long red cuts, Detective Jenna Alton and her new deputy, David Kane, rush to the scene.

Nothing ever happens in the small town of Black Rock Falls, so Jenna believes the victim must be one of two recent missing persons, and she fears for the life of the other.

Both were strangers to the town, but there’s nothing else to link them. Jenna knows someone must have seen something, but no one’s talking; how well does she really know the people around her?

Then a disturbing clue makes Jenna suspect a connection with other disappearances in the town’s history. Just when she begins asking the right questions, she realises she’s being followed. Is she next on the killer’s list?

In a race against time, Jenna and David must unlock the dark secret at the heart of the town, before it’s too late…

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Follow the Snowflakes Book Trailer Reveal

Author Name: Angelina Kerner

Book Title: Follow the Snowflakes: A Christmas Novella

Date Published: December 15, 2017

Genre: Chick-lit, contemporary romance

Publisher: KDP Select

Synopsis:

At 28, it’s bad to be single. After four years of relationship struggles, Cat is ready to try anything.

That’s when her friend tells her about her class’ Dear Santa letters. One little boy asked for a new mommy, and she suggests Cat meets the kid’s dad, just to see where things go. Cat figures it can’t hurt…until she meets a stranger in the midst of a car accident. The man is handsome with a sad look in his eyes. He still wears a wedding band and she’s not sure his heart’s available, even if he makes her heart race. But, maybe he’s a widower? Cat wonders if she should resign herself to being an old maid, or whether she could possibly be the answer to a little boy’s Christmas wish, unless there’s a third option – a future with the stranger.

add to Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36555250-follow-the-snowflakes-a-christmas-novella

Angelina Kerner

Author Bio:

Angelina Kerner’s writing career started at a young age when she discovered that her creativity could be channeled through a bit of ink and paper.

She moved around during her younger years from Novosibirsk and Kaluga Russia to finally settle in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. This startling contrast between the fierce snow of Siberia and the bright sun of the American West is a crucial source of inspiration and humility: the forces of people is to be found not only in their spirits, but in their land too.

Angelina’s curiosity in the human condition led her to pursue courses in psychology and blossomed into a master’s degree in Topographical science. It was with a burning fire that she rejected the status quo offered to her generation, and after many meaningless jobs, she decided that writing could be the canvas in which she could express this dichotomy. While working full time behind counters and registers, she persisted in supporting her family, her full-time coursework, and her creative dreams.

She dared to believe in her talents, and most importantly, in her ability to make a real mark on this world.

Like any creative soul, there was time for doubts, self-loathing, and loneliness, but never fear. She worked on countless experimental narratives, universes, genres, until her voice crystallized into her first published narrative. She is now the author of Deity’s Soulmate and Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted. Her next project involves a competition for a beautiful phoenix. Angelina currently divides her time between her family, work, writing, lots of cats, and two celestial dragons.

Author Links:

http://www.kernerangelina.com/ (Website)

https://www.facebook.com/AngelinaKernerFiction (Facebook)

https://twitter.com/kernerangelina (Twitter)

https://kernerangelina.live/ (Blog)

https://www.pinterest.ca/angelinakerner/ (Pinterest)

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14651070.Angelina_Kerner (Goodreads)

Pre-order Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07733X13J?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/follow-the-snowflakes

Book Trailer Link:

https://youtu.be/9I9tcpMrg4s

Book Trailer Reveal Organized By:

R&R Book Tours Button

Link: http://rrbooktours.com

 

Coming Home To Paradise Valley … (update on a new western)

A few weeks ago I announced in a post that my sweet Grandma wrote a book! My Grandma’s A Writer! I’m so excited for her to finally be chasing her dream, and to top it all off SHE IS SOOOOOO TALLENTED!! I’ve never in my life came across a woman so loving, genuine and humble, so I think when this book is released I’m going to bawl my eyes out with pride!

Here’s a little progress update: I’m helping her type up a second draft and I’m almost finished with it!  Next up is a few rounds of revisions and edits hopefully to be completed by the end of the holidays so we can get this beautiful piece of writing on the shelves!

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Here’s a little bit about the story: Coming Home To Paradise Valley, An Old Fashion Love Story by Doris Mangum is a beautiful soft romance that truly represents a lovely heartfelt era. The setting is absolutely to die for! It’s based in a small countryside town in Utah. Terry is a spitfire cowgirl who, at 19, seemingly has it all. Her family, along with her best friend Brad, are all fantastic. I love them!  Terry winds up in the path of a Rodeo Cowboy TJ, and he turns her entire world upside down.

Terry’s story is one of a kind. It’s emotional, I’m talking jam packed! It covers a long period of time so the reader is able to really experience Terry’s ups and downs. It’s full of love, grief, growth, family bonds, and long built relationships.

I may be bios, but I’ll tell you now that ADORE this book!

Did I mention how excited and proud I am of my grandma?

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Here Is A Little Bit Of A Sample:

Terry’s hair swung back and forth like a horse’s tail swishing flies as she worked and day dreamed. She had hoped Brad would have been home from college in time to take her to the Rodeo. But, he had decided to take some summer classes and couldn’t get away until tomorrow.

He wanted to be a Veterinarian, and was trying to get through school as soon as possible. Oh well, she thought. The Thursday night Rodeo was not that great anyway. Friday and Saturdays were the best. Someone came in the door just then, and interrupted her thoughts. Her heart jumped. Maybe Brad had come home early, she hoped at first, but her gut feeling told her otherwise. She was almost afraid to turn around because the half-scared, half-excited feeling told her that once she did, her life would never be the same again.

“Be with you in a minute.”

She threw over her shoulder as she reached to put the grill brush in its place. A chill ran up and down her spine as a deep voice said,

“No hurry Blondy, I only want a coke.”

Terry slowly turned and looked right into the most handsome face she’d ever seen on a man before, including her dad and Brad. He had eyes as dark blue as the midnight sky on a moonlit night. His hair lay back in thick black waves, except for one rebellious curl that insisted on falling over his left eye. Driving women of all ages crazy. He had a perfect black mustache, not too big and not too small. Terry froze in her tracks and for the first time in her life, she was speechless. The only thing that crossed her mind was, Dear Lord, let him be over six feet tall.

He lazily looked her up and down, and she felt like she was standing naked in the city park. Finally, he gave her a dimpled crooked grin that made her break out in goose bumps. He slowly got up and walked toward the Juke-Box. It gave her a chance to catch her breath and regain her composure. It also gave her a chance to look him over. He had broad muscular shoulders and arms, and narrow hips that were way to sexy in his tight Levis – which made her blush to even be thinking such a thing. He was well over six feet tall. Get a grip, she scolded herself.

“What’s your favorite tune, Blondy?”

“Terry.”

“What?”

“The name is Terry, and you can play anything you want. They’re all westerns and I like them all.”

She heard him chuckle as he selected a song. He came back and set down at the counter again.

“I take it you don’t like to be called Blondy,” he said.

“Blondy is a cartoon character. Here’s your Coke if you want anything else you will have to wait for Elle. I’m officially off duty as of twenty minutes ago. Of course if you’re starving I could fix you something, I guess.” She answered a little irritated.

“No, I ate at my trailer, unless of course Ella is better looking than you are, which I doubt.”

“See for yourself,” she answered as Ella walked in the door. “There she is now, at last.”

Ella was a happy go lucky heavy set middle aged woman, who never let anything upset her. Especially the time. She was never on time for anything. But, her bright happy disposition seemed to light up the whole room wherever she went. Even though her slothfulness irritated Terry she couldn’t help but to love her and laugh at her far-out excuses. Terry grabbed her bag and hurried out the door before she got involved in whatever reason Ella had for being late this time. The tall handsome cowboy was hot on her heels.

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Feels like a great day for a QUOTE DAY! Enjoy!

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Six Step Improvement Exercises To Benefit Any Writer #theconscioustalk

Writers come in all forms. From inexperienced to extraordinary, covering every topic or genre imaginable– plus some. No matter what the topic at hand, there is a person who can write it. Then there is a person who can write it better. Whether we’re new to the vicious literary game of outdoing one another, or if we’re perfectly confident and seasoned, there are still two things we all have in common as writers. A: No matter how much of an awesome writer we are, we can always use improvement. And, B: We all have some days that are, well, far less creative than others.

If it’s an off day and we’re drawing a blank, if we’re between projects and need a little skill buffer, or even if we’re bouncing around looking for tips because we’re utterly hopeless in terms of focus on our current project, then don’t fret there’s hope. Basically if we’re struggling all around to keep our heads in the game, then here is an exercise to help improve oneself while killing time, rather than an aimless WiFi browse.

Step One: Sit yourself down to that PC and crack open a fresh clean new document to dirty.

Step Two: Find a…..

CONTINUE READING HERE!

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The Versatile Blogger Award!!

A BIG THANK YOU!:

This award is such an honor!  I was nominated by Prei with Let’s Talk Precious blog. Prei is fairly new to the blogosphere, which is actually quite a shock because her site is beautiful! It’s motivating, uplifting, and every well put together!  I can’t wait to watch her blog grow and to learn more about Prei’s travels!

HOW IT WORKS:

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NOMINATIONS:

  1. Write-Escape
  2. Book Addict live
  3. booksfromdusktilldawn.wordpress.blog
  4. Tea and Tales
  5. Raistlin0903
  6. Books, Books and More Books!
  7. The Veiled Facet
  8. Ginger Ocean
  9. Let’s Do It
  10. Darque Dreamer Reads
  11. Touch My Spine Book Reviews
  12. 15 hoursE. Denise Billups, Writer
  13. Robbie’s inspiration
  14. Plot Monster
  15. 5 daysBuckets on a Barefoot Beach

SEVEN FACTS ABOUT ME (I’ll make them quick ones):

  1. I love food, and I even post a lot of recipes and great foodie referrals, but in all reality I can’t cook for the life of me. I wish I could, and I try. Oh Lord, do I try!!  But ultimately I suck at cooking. I’ve even lit a couple of kitchens on fire… literally!
  2. Speaking of fire, I love it. I’m what some people call a pyromaniac. I think fire is beautiful. (Of course you have to respect it and be very careful with it. Never get too carried away. I promise I know this!)  That said, I’ve been known to build some pretty fantastical bonfires in my day. I could watch flames dance for hours.
  3. There are seven paperback books out there with my name on the cover, including my latest and greatest, it’s a cold case thriller that I released last month, Search For Maylee.
  4. My musical preference is a wide enough range that if it were a person, it’d be a  multiple personality, loony-bin bound whack job. If I could pick three artists past or present to sit down with all at the same time to have a drink and shoot the shit… it would be Willie Nelson, Lady Gaga, and 2pac… Call me crazy but I think they’d be a wonderful mix of hang out friends!
  5. I have two kids. One is five and one is turning three in a couple weeks. The younger of the two recently decided that her favorite thing to call people is ‘you cow’.
  6. I’m a columnist for The Conscious Talk Magazine. And, I LOVE it!!
  7. I’m thirty-two years old and my ultimate life goal is to be a New York Times Best Selling Author before I reach my forties!!!  WISH ME LUCK!

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The Growing Self Blog Award!!!

I’m so excited to be nominated for the Growing Self Blog Award! This one is completely new to me, and it’s beautiful! I was nominated by Dani over at Touch My Spine Book Reviews blog. Now, let me just tell you… there is no one out there who deserves this award more than Dani!  Her blog is awesome, her heart is gigantic, and she’s Hilarious! If you don’t already follow her, then do it!

What is the Growing Self Blogger Award?

“The Growing Self Blogger Award has been created to acknowledge and celebrate amazing individuals, in the blogging community, who are persevering through life’s challenges not only to GROW as individuals, but to reach out and help others GROW as well.” ~Roda

The Rules:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank the individual that nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Describe the award and mention the creator: Roda @ Growingself.blog
  • Nominate up to 5 blogs. Remember, the purpose of this award is to specifically celebrate those individuals that make a difference in the lives of others.
  • Give 1 reason why you nominated each individual.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

I Nominate:

  • AJ with A Petite Slice O Life blog. AJ’s blog is very well-rounded and sets such an outstanding example for healthy eating, healthy interactions with friends and family, as well as exercise and personal progress.
  • Amber Newman with A Creative Newmie blog is the every definition of inspiration. Every one of her posts are delicately laced with care, and bursting at the seams with uplifting wisdom.
  • Prei with Lets Talk Precious blog is absolutely glowing with Self Growth! This blog is a delight, and I’m choosing Prei because she is a woman who’s packed to the brim with independence, accomplishment, fitness, and exploration.
  • Alexis Rose with Untangled blog. After reading Alexis’ memoir Review: Untangled, by Alexis Rose 5 stars I will always put her at the top of my strength and admiration list! Talk about a human full of resilience, growth, and determination!  Not only is she deserving of this award, but she is an amazing author with a very personal story to share. Check her out!
  • Last but most definitely not least, Savannah Esposito (AKA Savvy) with the Millennial Mrs. and Mom blog. Savvy is quite the Psychology guru and her bog is chock full of helpful mommy information. That’s not to mention a couple of my favorite of her newest articles in The Conscious Talk Magazine. WOW, talk about inspirational in knowledge on some very helpful relationship subjects. Check this stuff out!!  Rape In Relationships: What Happens Next and “The Four Horsemen Of Apocolyps” in Relationships as well as Childhood Lost To Technology.

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Has It Really Been A Month?

I can’t even believe it’s been a full month since I released Search For Maylee! I just want to throw out here how grateful I am for everyone who has read my book so far. I’ve been completely washed over with positive comments and it means the world! Help me to celebrate Search For Maylee’s one month release-aversary by enjoying this short excerpt:

Threatening tears welled in her eyes, confirming the quiver of her voice to be genuine. Of course Jeremy noticed the hesitant display of emotion. He already knew that Autumn had a secret, one that she’d reveal when she was ready, and not a minute before. It didn’t matter that he wanted to push her for more information, because he didn’t actually dare too. Jeremy knew more than what he was letting on, and plus it was visible that Autumn might snap with violence, or even worse, cry. Soothing emotional women had never been Jeremy’s strong suit, so he left it be. She’d come around eventually, and patience was always on his side.

The thinking wheels in Jeremy’s head were practically visible on the curves of his face. A pulsing clench of his jaw read ‘piss off’ and the wrinkles on his forehead shouted ‘I can’t believe we’re doing this’.  With a mere flick of his hand, but no words, Jeremy pointed the way. It was in the exact opposite direction of the clearly visible freeway sign sitting comfortably at the stoplight to their left. Jeremy sunk himself into the seat, leaning far enough back that he could barely see out the window. Then he pulled the hood of his light jacket up over his head and crossed his arms over his chest. He was irritated, but compliant.

After a full hour’s test drive, Autumn learned two stiff facts. The first fact was that she had definitely chosen the right car. Not a single person so much as glanced in their direction. The second was a much more sickening fact, there were places in this city that were equally as disgusting as they were heart wrenching. In merely one morning, and without even exiting her vehicle, Autumn had witnessed a drunken mother slapping around her toddler, a hooker sleeping on her street corner after a long night’s work no doubt, and two groups of young men exchanging drugs and money in plain daylight. That’s not to mention the windowless apartment buildings, and heavily ‘caution’ taped sidewalks.

Description:

Since Maylee was abducted from her high school the very month of graduation, her Aunt Autumn has never lost hope in finding her. It’s been three years. Autumn has finally reached inside herself and found the courage to track down an old lead. She moves across the country to find him. Will Autumn be able to pry Maylee’s case back open? More importantly, what will Autumn uncover in the process of searching for Maylee? It’s a cold dark world we live in, and she is about to find out just how cruel it can be. Strength and determination are on Autumn’s side and she will do what ever it takes.

Thoughts on Oneself… Redefining, Finding, and Reinventing..

I’ve never been a really big fan of the term ‘reinventing oneself’.  I’d rather hear ‘finding oneself’ or even ‘redefining oneself’.

Reinventing, in my opinion, kind of sounds like coming up with a new and unique way to make oneself into someone they’re not. Lets break this down. The word invent can mean two things:

  1. Create or design (something that has not existed before); be the originator of.  In this case it fits the phrase, so use it all you want. I guess its pretty awesome to be an originator of oneself.  BUT, here is why I’ve never liked, and never used this saying. Definition number…..
  2. Make up (an idea, name, story, etc.), especially so as to deceive. Every time I hear this saying, my mind automatically wanders to the word ‘deceive’. As in, its a lie. Naturally when I hear someone say they are going to reinvent themselves I think…. Hmmmm so you are going to lie and pretend to be someone you’re not??

Use this phrase all you want. Again, this is just my opinion. I won’t judge, I’ll just be thinking in the back of my mind — Shit, I really wish you would have used one of those other words!

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NOW, lets get to the entire point of this post and talk about the other options.  Here is why I love the terms ‘finding oneself’ and ‘redefining oneself’.  Every time I hear someone say either of the two, a smile automatically pulls at the corner of  my lips. Especially when it’s someone I love!

First lets explore the word Find. There are also two meanings here, and they are both completely commendable in terms of ‘oneself’:

  1.  Discover or perceive by chance or unexpectedly. I love this. Anyone who can try new things consistently, explore the world and get to know themselves is AWESOME! It takes bravery to ‘find oneself’. Discover your own likes and dislikes. Reach into your heart and soul. Follow your intuition and know your own perception on life in general. Finding oneself, in my opinion, is the best way to build confidence and self-love.
  2. Recognize or discover (something) to be present… This definition is kind of a riddle when it comes to ‘oneself’.. And, its a beautiful one! When finding oneself you must live in the now. Be present. How do you feel right now? What do you like about today? What do you love about yourself this very second? FIND IT!

Lastly, ‘Redefining Oneself’. This is also a beautiful thing to do. We all go through times in our life when we feel a little bored, frumpy, wilted, or just flat out down. It shows in our faces, and it’s felt in our words…. Or lack of for that matter… Even the most confident people need to explore the ‘redefine’ option from time to time and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! Redefinition is refreshing and sometimes utterly necessary! Let’s explore the meaning of define.

  1. State or describe exactly the nature, scope, or meaning of... Obviously this means if we are to define ourselves, literally, then we must state (or list so to speak) our qualities and our nature. So, how do we ‘RE’-define, you ask? We dig down deep. It still needs to be real, be you, but it has to be the actual factual true blue you. The parts that you love and that makes you, well, you!  In order for to redefine ourselves, we must get rid of everything in our lives that doesn’t feel right. We must de-junk the clutter that just doesn’t fit. Rewind a little, and get ourselves back to the ‘you’ that you ‘found’ in the first place. Once you can list your qualities in a way that is true to oneself, then you can honestly say you have re-defined yourself.
  2. Mark out the boundary or limits of… Hmmmm, another riddle? … Sort of!!  The synonyms listed by this definition can most definitely help to solve the conundrum. They are as follows: determine, establish, fix, specify, designate, decide, stipulate, set out…. This is such a beautiful list of words, when it comes to oneself. These words are the exact reason I stated that re-defining oneself is refreshing! It’s like you’re on a mission to set out and fix yourself in order to decide and determine whats right for you!  Like I said, beautiful.

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I had a beautiful unplug over the weekend, and it was just the ticket!

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