My interview over at The Art and Craft of Writing Creatively is HERE

Purchase my book Images of America: Detroit Lakes HERE

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

WWW Wednesday (May 29, 2013)

 Hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you'll read next?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (May 28, 2013)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Teaser #1
A wolf dove at me just as I righted the motorcycle.

Teaser #2
I knew the others were just behind me.

~pg. 90 Blessed by a Demon's Mark by E.S. Moore

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

S.J. Brown Virtual Book Tour: Tips for Better Wildlife Photography

Tips For Better Wildlife Photography
By: S. J. Brown

When you are in a new location or out of your immediate area chat with the locals.
They are the best source of information you can get.

Research, research, research. No, it isn't fun but the more you know about the animals you might encounter the better your chances are for getting a good shot. 

I use 35mm film, but I do have a piece of advice for digital photographers. Spending to much time enhancing your images on the computer really hurts your images and your reputation.

Pay attention to the animals behavior, it can tell you a lot.

Find a spotter you work well with. That extra pair of eyes in the field can get you a lot of shots you would have missed.

Always carry a spare camera, extra batteries and a poncho.

Trees, rocks brush etc make great natural blinds.

Public lands are great places to find animals.  Wildlife management areas outside of hunting season, state parks, wildlife refuges, etc.

Revisit locations to see what other animals are roaming around that you may not have seen the first time.

As my spotter says, vertical, vertical, vertical.  As photographers we can get into the habit of taking lots of horizontal shots.  But cover shots need to be vertical.

Keep shooting! 

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  /  Print 


 My eight-year-old daughter and I quite enjoyed S.J. Brown's book, "Close Ups and Close Encounters: A View From Behind the Lens". The book features some nice photographs of wildlife ranging from a squirrel, butterflies, birds, and larger animals like giraffes, elephants, and bears. The paper quality is quite good, it is neither glossy nor too flimsy so the images show up well.

I have to say though that the photographs almost take a backseat to the stories of how S.J. Brown captured these images. The stories are grounded and down-to-earth and provide personal insights into the photographer's journey as she photographed each subject. The stories are informative and peppered with occasional humor. My daughter and I wish there had been more photographs and it would have also helped if the author-photographer had provided locations for where the subjects were photographed. Other than that, this made an interesting and quick read. – Z Hayes (Amazon)

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 16, 2013

Book Review: Blast from the Past by Lauren Carr

Series: A Mac Faraday Mystery
Publication Date: January 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
Source: author in exchange for an honest review

Mac Faraday returns with the usual trouble just around the corner. Lauren Carr takes this new mystery into the past life of Archie Monday, formally known as Kendra Douglas, who witnessed a mob murder when she was young and has been in witness protection since. Now the mob has found her and they aren’t going to leave her alive for a second time. Eventually there are three murders to solve and the trouble comes trying to link the common thread or are they unrelated. Never fear though, Mac and his half-brother, David O’Callaghan, are on the job along with Archie and Gnarly, the German Shepard. Archie doesn’t want to relocate so she ends up just moving in with Mac (they were eventually going to do that anyway). David is already living in the mansion and when Marshall Randi Finnegan ends up there also to help protect Archie sparks fly between them. Even though there is many different plot lines running around I didn’t feel like it was confusing, just had me constantly wondering who did it.

The thing with Carr’s mysteries is she always injects some good humor. I have grown to absolutely love Gnarly. He is a stand out character and should have his own book. Another great aspect of her mysteries is that fact that you will always be kept guessing. You have all the clues but there are a few wrenches thrown in that keep you from tying them together until Carr is ready for you to. I recommend any of the Mac Faraday novels for all mystery lovers.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Top Ten Tuesdays (May 14, 2013)

This is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week bloggers share a list of books for the prompt given.

This week the topic is: 
Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects (abuse, suicide, grief etc or something personal hard for you)

There are many tough subjects that are hard for me to read. Especially when it comes to bullying and suicide. Below is a list of several different books that I have read or that were recommended to me.

1.  Shut Up by Marilyn Reynolds

2. The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

3. Kissing the Rain by Kevin Brooks

4. The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy

5. Beaches by Iris Rainer Dart

6. Shooter by Walter Dean Myers

7. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

8. Lucky by Alice Sebold

9. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

10. Down Sand Mountain by Steve Watkins

Monday, May 13, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (16)

What is Stacking The Shelves all about?

We are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you’re anything like me, you are probably hoarding books and even though you are excited about your latest book arrival, it might be a while before you get to review it and Stacking The Shelves is a good way to express your undying enthusiasm for those titles!

How to participate? Just head on over to Tynga's Reviews and sign up!


The Queen's Rivals by Brandy Purdy
Predatory by Alexandra Ivy; Nina Banks; Dianne Duvall; Hannah Jayne
Hearts of Shadow by Kira Brady
As Twilight Falls by Amanda Ashley

Happy, Happy, Happy by Phil Robertson
Star Trek: Into Darkness by Alan Dean Foster

Since it was my birthday my hubby got me a gift card to Barnes and Noble so I purchased the following e-books. I also bought myself the last Sookie book to read as a gift to myself..:D

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Audio Book Review: Iscariot: A Novel of Judas by Tosca Lee

Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Format: Audio CD: Unabridged edition
Source: publisher in exchange for an honest review

Wow. This was a really deep novel. The reader is taken to the very heart of a very complex and conflicted man. Tosca’s storytelling of Judas’ life makes you rethink everything you know and have been taught. Judas did not come by his decision lightly when he turned Jesus over to Pontius Pilate. He didn’t even know that is what he was doing. He thought he was saving Jesus but his limited knowledge of the law (even though he really did think he knew everything) was used against him.

Judas starts his life out being the son of a traitor and it seems everyone he attaches to becomes one also. In Jesus, he thinks he finally found someone to believe in so he joins the Nazarene’s followers in hopes of finally being free of Rome’s rule. Unfortunately, Jesus has other plans and so begins the frustration on Judas’ part. He never understands why Jesus just won’t toe the line a bit instead of always going against the old Jewish laws.

Iscariot: A Novel of Judas is worth reading. Not only for the recreating of the harsh living of people back then but for the different view of the life of Jesus Christ. The reader is taken on a journey through the eyes of Judas and dives into why a man who has obvious devotion for the Nazarene ends up betraying him.