Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “Behind the Door,” by Author, P. C. Zick

  • Title: Behind the Door, Book 4 in the Behind the Love Series
  • Amazon Author Page: P. C. Zick
  • File Size: 2535 KB
  • Print Length: 167 Pages
  • Publisher: Self-published by the author
  • Publication Date: May 16, 2017
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B06XK79QZK
  • ISBN-10: 1545593647
  • ISBN-13: 978-1545593646
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Literature, Military Fiction, Romance

*I was given an advanced reader’s copy of this book by the author for review purposes*

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

A VOLUPTUOUS WOMAN UNLUCKY IN LOVE. A WOUNDED PSYCHOLOGIST ON A MISSION. AN UNDENIABLE ATTRACTION WITH AN ETHICAL DILEMMA.

Sally Jean Compton is in love. And this time it’s with a man who isn’t in love with someone else. Dr. Brett Gorman arrives in Victory to help the veterans of Deer River with PTSD symptoms. When tragedy strikes, neither Sally Jean nor Brett are prepared for what happens next.

The shocking aftermath of the terror of PTSD untreated leaves the entire town of Victory reeling. But none are more affected than Sally Jean and Brett who must deal with their own pasts and the trauma left behind.

When Sally Jean seeks out the expertise of Dr. Brett, the psychologist of the river folks, they discover an intense attraction that leads them both to learn about themselves.

But before anything happens, Sally Jean must learn she deserves to be loved, and Brett must forgive himself for the death of his friend and his sister, his wife. It’s a rocky journey to love.

Behind the Door is the fourth novel in the Behind the Love contemporary romance series that features sizzling attractions, dramatic confrontations, and intertwined and complicated lives. Set in the fictional small town of Victory, Florida, friends fight and love and form families of their own choosing.

BUY BEHIND THE DOOR TO START READING ABOUT IRRESISTIBLE CHARACTERS FILLED WITH PASSION.

MY RECOMMENDATION:

Love has found Sally Jean Compton and James Luther once and for all. Head over heels for each other, the two plan their life with an eye toward marriage. Sally Jean couldn’t be happier. James has finally found meaning in his life. Life is the sweetest it could be for two people in love.

Until that day. In the blink of an eye, the couple’s future is changed forever. Sally Jean is devastated as she tries to reason out the turn her life has taken. Thank goodness for her friends who help her cope.

Leah, from Soup’s On (featured in book one), asks Dr. Brett Gorman, a psychologist with a specialty in PTSD to help the veterans deal with the situation. The town of Victory, Florida will never be the same. The doctor agrees, and when he meets Sally Jean, he struggles to keep his composure under control. He is clearly smitten with her. Never has he felt such a connection before. With Sally Jean, Brett Gorman feels alive.

Unfortunately, Sally Jean has her own issues. When her past rises up to suck her down into the morass once again, Dr. Brett is there to help her muddle through. However, Sally Jean doesn’t see their relationship as anything more than great sex. Will Dr. Brett be able to help Sally Jean gain the self-confidence she needs to be part of a loving relationship?

Behind the Door, is the last book in the Behind the Love series. Don’t worry, each novel stands alone. The characters do overlap from novel to novel, giving the reader the chance to get to know them in different situations. That is one of my favorite things about the author. P.C. Zick creates characters that remind you of your friends or maybe even yourself in similar circumstances. There is always someone you can relate to.

I have read so many romance novels that I have lost count of them all. Most of them blend together with predictable plots. Yet, these books have been different. I have loved this series from start to finish. In fact, I haven’t read the third book and will now backtrack to complete my journey to Victory, Florida. The characters have stuck in my heart, and they are like visiting old friends.

MY RATING:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars



Author, P. C. Zick

About the Author

Bestselling author P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

The three novels in her Florida Fiction Series contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife—both human and animal—supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.”

Her contemporary romances in the Behind the Love series are also set in Florida. The novels in her most recent series, Smoky Mountain Romances, are set in in Murphy, North Carolina. She is currently working on a new romance series, Rivals in Love. Join the Crandall family of Chicago as the siblings find love despite their focus on successful careers. All of her books are stand-alone reads, even if they appear in a series.

Her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters, handsome heroes, and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.

Links:

Behind the Altar – https://www.amazon.com/Behind-Altar-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B00N2WPFD0

Behind the Bar – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V41FL26

Behind the Curtain – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JTHQ5I

Behind the Door – https://www.amazon.com/Behind-Door-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06XK79QZK

Subscribe to P. C. Zick’s Newsletter and never miss a thing! – http://bit.ly/2neozgi

Amazon Author Central

Website: pczick.com

Blog: Living Lightly pczick.wordpress.com

Facebook Fan Page

Follow on Twitter: @PCZick


P.C. Zick is also an editor. Her services include editing, proofreading, formatting, coaching, and consultation on publishing. Please visit her website, The Manuscript Doctor, to find out more about her services and rates.

Do you want to know more about the series and P.C. Zick’s writing journey? Click to read, “Revisioning Into Romance, by P. C. Zick.” 

Thanks for stopping by to meet P.C. Zick.  I’ll see you in the next review – after I finish reading this new book…



“Re-visioning into Romance” By P. C. Zick

 

One of my favorite things to do is to introduce authors who I consider to be exceptional writers and story tellers. Please meet my friend and author, P. C. Zick.

“Revisions are a part of the writing process for all authors, but it took a “re-vision” of my writing life to give me a new passion for my work.”

It all happened when I joined an online romance writing class several years ago. Curiosity brought me to the course because I felt stalled with my next project. I occasionally read romances, but had never considered writing one. Even after I enrolled, I considered it a lark that might spark inspiration for a new novel, but not one in the romance genre.

Up until the class, I wrote contemporary fiction and created my own form of eco-journalism within the novel form. That sounds rather snooty, doesn’t it? Someone described it that way in a review for one of my novels. I just wrote about topics that interested me, and environmental issues remained at the forefront of my career as a journalist and editor. Writing a novel with dozens of characters involved in several different subplots meant a year or more of drafting, revising, shifting, editing, revising, and finally publishing.

“No wonder I had burned out. I was ready for a break. I didn’t have a topic for another book looming, so I thought the romance class might prod my imagination. I didn’t know where it would lead, or if I’d even write a book.”

Even though I wasn’t sure where it would direct me, I prepared to take the class. I studied the romance genre. I interacted with other writers, some of them experienced romance authors with several books to their credit. I read romance novels endlessly. Some of them weren’t very good, and some of them made me sigh with envy at the ease in which a story unfolded.

“There is a general formula to a romance, but the challenge for the author comes in the approach. Cliched plots are probably more pronounced in this genre than any other, so creating fresh storylines and non-cliched characters is a must.”

I learned from the good as well as from the bad. I knew what I didn’t want to do. A glimmer of an idea for writing a romance emerged.

The more I studied and listened, the more interested I became in working on a fictional world where my characters could live and love. I created a town populated with dysfunction as its slogan. Within in the community, I designed a central location for those characters to gather at the Victory Tavern. And my first romance, Behind the Altar, was born.

The prodigal son, Dean, returns home to find his estranged brother engaged to a newcomer in his hometown of Victory, Florida. His best friend owns the local tavern and his former girlfriend still pines for him ten years later.

The beautiful newcomer, Leah, is bent on helping the area’s homeless. It’s almost too good to be true until it all starts to fall apart. Leah and Dean are irresistibly drawn to one another, the homeless project is in jeopardy, and Dean vows to help Leah.

Attraction, complications, lock-in, more complications, a breakup, and finally the “happily ever after” or HEA—all the elements of the genre. Why read it if we know the ending? Because we want to know how it all comes together. It’s why we still go see classic plays or movies redone. We know Hamlet’s fate, yet we don’t know how a particular director will present the drama, and we don’t know how a certain actor might interpret the character. We watch to see how craftily it’s done. Same thing with reading a romance. We all know how it will end, but we don’t know how the author will get us to that end.

As I delved into writing Behind the Altar, I relaxed more than I ever had in my writing. In some ways, writing romance taught me more about writing fiction than the other genres. It’s a process that must be followed, and with its rather streamlined form, the elements of plot are on display. Do it wrong, and the readers are displeased.

“Dialogue, plot happenings, the HEA—all of these must be done with finesse, which I’m still honing.”

Some members of the class suggested we write our romances for a multi-author box set—another first for me. I rushed to complete Behind the Altar. I had three months from writing the first line to having a finished product. As a result of the quick turnaround, the final product in 2014 was considered a novella—a shorter form of the novel. But I was satisfied with the final product and the response from readers. However, I knew I could do better.

When I finished, I missed the town and the characters, which led me to write another book in the series. In Behind the Bar, the Victory Tavern owner and Dean’s best friend, Reggie, finds himself at a crossroads with his girlfriend of five years. Susie, who happens to be Leah’s best friend, wants to get married, but Reggie can’t bring himself to make the commitment. The other characters all return—along with a few more added to create more complications.

When I finished, I once again found myself not wanting to leave Victory. Thus, Behind the Curtain came to life. In this story, it’s Susie’s sister, Lisa, who stirs up the town when she brings a TV crew to Victory to film a reality show. Lisa and her friend, Tommy, spar over the ethics of such a production, and sparks fly.

“Readers who read the first three books kept asking me to do one thing. They wanted Sally Jean, the sexy minor character in all three books, to have her own story.”

She interfered in relationships, yet it was clear Sally Jean was misunderstood. And behind it all, she was a nice person. I kept putting it off. I thought I’d run out of things to write about everyone. And I didn’t know if I had enough to write about Sally Jean to sustain a novella, let alone a novel.

Early this year, I received some advice from a marketing expert:  Change the covers, lengthen the first three books into full-length novels, and write a fourth book in the series. I’d never gone back to one of my novels before, except to do minor edits. I’d never considered doing a major rewrite with the objective of lengthening the story. But then again, I’d never thought I’d write a romance or a series of romances.

What I was told stayed with me. I started with the covers, which hadn’t previously been romantic enough. Lots of romances these days have naked torsos and muscular pecs, but I couldn’t bring myself to go that route. I don’t judge anyone else who uses that type of cover, but it’s just not my style. However, I could go more romantic. My new covers all contain couples. I chose the pictures to depict how I think my characters would look in romantic poses.

Then I started Sally Jean’s story. It came easily. I really did know Sally Jean better than I thought. Simultaneously, I began rewriting the first three.

“The past three months, while I’ve completed this project have been some of the best of my writing career so far.”

I loved going back to Leah and Dean’s story and deepening their characters because they’d become integral to the stories that followed. And it was also interesting to know what happened to the other characters after Behind the Altar ends. I could then strengthen their characterizations.

And now I have a series of four books—all full-length novels and all with some type of social consciousness. Romance doesn’t have to be all fluff and silliness. Real-life issues and solutions can be woven into the plots.

“Since taking the class in 2014, I’ve written seven novels and four novellas of contemporary romance.”

I plan to write another series—this one with six stories about the Crandall siblings of Chicago. The first book, Love on Trial, releases May 23, 2017, with the second one already in draft stage. I’m also branching out from contemporary romance and am currently drafting a paranormal romance this summer.

And then there’s a book simmering in a notebook. It will take me back to contemporary fiction—or women’s fiction—as it follows a group of friends who have known each other for forty years. The time has come for them to face some truths about their lives when one of them dies. The characters are all facing sixtieth birthdays, yet they are still fighting the same demons that have plagued them since college.

“Changing gears and plunging into romance recharged my writing batteries. Even though I’ve written seventeen novels, I’m still learning and absorbing and honing. And with each story I tell, I know there’s more to study and more stories to tell.”

Did I hear someone mention murder mystery? Thriller? Sci-Fi? Young Adult?

Re-vision—it’s a good thing.

Author, P.C. Zick

About the Author

Bestselling author P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

The three novels in her Florida Fiction Series contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife—both human and animal—supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.”

Her contemporary romances in the Behind the Love series are also set in Florida. The novels in her most recent series, Smoky Mountain Romances, are set in in Murphy, North Carolina. She is currently working on a new romance series, Rivals in Love. Join the Crandall family of Chicago as the siblings find love despite their focus on successful careers. All of her books are stand-alone reads, even if they appear in a series.

Her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters, handsome heroes, and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.

Links

Behind the Altar – https://www.amazon.com/Behind-Altar-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B00N2WPFD0

Behind the Bar – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V41FL26

Behind the Curtain – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JTHQ5I

Behind the Door – https://www.amazon.com/Behind-Door-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06XK79QZK

Subscribe to P. C. Zick’s Newsletter and never miss a thing! – http://bit.ly/2neozgi

Amazon Author Central

Website: P.C. Zick

Blog: Living Lightly

Facebook Fan Page

Follow on Twitter: @PCZick

P.C. Zick is also an editor. Her services include editing, proofreading, formatting, coaching, and consultation on publishing. Please visit her website, The Manuscript Doctor, to find out more about her services and rates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by to meet P. C. Zick. You will LOVE her books! ❤

#BookReview – The Heartstone Chronicles

I must share this heartfelt review of The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy written by author and editor, P. C. Zick. This one brought tears to my eyes! ❤

P.C. Zick - Author/Editor

The Heart Stone Chronicles, Book 1 The Swamp FairyColleen Chesebro has made a splash with Book 1 in her Swamp Fairy series, The Heart Stone Chronicles. Not only is it the first book in this series, but it’s her first published novel. And it’s a gem of a story.

All right, puns aside, this novel will fascinate and inspire young women on the cusp of adulthood. Set in the swamps of northwest Florida near Pensacola, Ms. Chesebro uses the setting of the swamp to create a magical story mixed with the reality of being a teen uprooted by the death of a mother and the abdication of a father.

Fortunately, Abigale Forrester, at the age of fourteen, has plenty of people rooting for her from her mother’s best friend in Chicago, where she’s left without either father or mother, and a dear sweet aunt in Florida where Abigale is sent.

It is in the rural setting of Florida where…

View original post 621 more words

Colleen’s #BOOK #REVIEWS – “A Merry Mountain Christmas,” by Author, P. C. Zick

  • Title:  A Merry Mountain Christmas: Sweet Romance (Smoky Mountain Romance, Volume 4)
  • Author: P. C. Zick
  • Print Length: 102 Pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication Date: August 31, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon, LLC
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1537152130
  • ISBN-13: 978-1537152134
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Romance, Clean & Wholesome


*I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book*


“Fran is adjusting after her husband’s death when her first love comes back to town upsetting her family and leading her to inspiration. Fran first fell in love with Michael as a teenager. When he broke her heart, she married Carl and lived a happy life for more than thirty years until Carl died tragically. Just when she’s becoming fed up with the well-meaning, yet tiresome comments about Carl’s death, her first love returns, and stirs long-forgotten emotions. Rescue dogs and a love resurrected bring a sweet Christmas celebration to the Smoky Mountains.”


I like nothing better than finding a character from an earlier book starring in their own book! That is exactly what P. C. Zick did. I read and reviewed Mountain Miracles (click here to read the review) and the character of Fran, was a real standout! This novel is written as a continuation of Mountain Miracles and one of the sweetest romances. Not only that, but the characters leap off the page as if you already know them.

Fran does the baking for Beanery Joe’s, a local coffee shop owned by Cecelia Jones. Fran’s husband, Carl, is recently deceased. Life has dealt a blow to Fran, and she isn’t sure how to cope.

The one shining light that helps to keep Fran moving forward is the impending marriage of her friends, Cecelia Jones and David Bellwood. When David’s father, Michael shows up to attend the wedding, Fran realizes he is her long-lost boyfriend from high school. It doesn’t take long for the old sparks to ignite feelings that Fran and Michael had hidden for years.

The fact that Michael betrayed her and married someone else complicates their friendship. To make matters worse, Fran’s son Nick, and Michael’s son, David, struggle with their parents’ new-found relationship. Fran’s memories of Carl and their life together muddle things further ensuing in plenty of fireworks.

Fran is one of the most endearing characters I have read in a long time. I really connected with her and felt the pain of her loss, and the joy of her new love. P. C. Zick deftly spins a love story that is poignant and real. If I met Fran today, I would want her as my friend.

This story is more a journey of healing for both families. It centers on dealing with life and the choices we made in the past and learning how to forgive, and move on. The theme of getting a second chance at love resonates through the entire story.

I read quickly to find out what happened next. I could not put the book down. If you love a romance where the characters walk off the page to meet you, this is the book for you. I loved it! ❤


Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

093016_1931_SilversBOOK5.jpg

Author, P. C. Zick

About P. C. Zick:

P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

The three novels in her Florida Fiction Series contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife—both human and animal—supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.”

Her contemporary romances in the Behind the Love trilogy are also set in Florida. Her most recent works are set in the Smoky Mountains. All of her books are stand-alone reads, even if they appear in a series.

Her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters, handsome heroes, and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.

You can keep track of P.C. Zick’s new releases and special promotions by signing up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/0o6-D. Visit her website to find out more about her writing life at http://www.pczick.com and Twitter at @PCZick.

This was a me time read. ❤

me-time

 

Silver’s #Book Reviews – “Mountain Miracles,” BY AUTHOR P. C. Zick

  • Title:  Mountain Miracles
  • Author: P. C. Zick
  • File Size: 713 KB
  • Print Length: 170 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publication Date: September 13, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services, LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01JMJDZ06
  • ISBN-10: 1536850705
  • ISBN-13: 9781536850703
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Multicultural & Interracial Romance, Native American Romance

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

In the author’s words:

When Sissy Jones moves to the Smoky Mountains, she’s determined to follow her dream of owning a business by opening a coffee shop, right next door to a new paper starting up at the same time. The handsome publisher, David Bellwood, and Sissy discover an irresistible attraction to one another, but first, they must deal with mothers who aren’t always as they seem. After her mother has a stroke, Sissy must take care of her, and David must find out the truth behind his Cherokee mother’s disappearance when he was five. When Sissy tries to help David, he views her assistance as interference as he fights for his legacy. As both of them seek the comfort of family they’ve never known, they struggle to forgive, allowing the attraction to turn into something more.

My Recommendation:

When you first meet Sissy Jones you find her at a crossroads in her life. Starting over is never easy. The Smoky Mountains beckon and so does a new career. She opens a coffee shop in the small town of Murphy where Sissy meets David Bellwood, a new business owner himself. David begins a small newspaper in town, hoping to be near his boyhood cabin, where the memories of his mother haunt him.

Both David and Sissy are smitten with each other and friendship blossoms into love. Each character has issues with a parent. Sissy has a controlling mother and David has a father who is hiding a deep secret from him. As their family lives spiral out of control they find solace in each other’s arms.

This is my favorite kind of romance – You know, the kind where there is a mystery involved. David was told his mother died when he was young. Hungry for the truth, he hires a private investigator who finds the truth. Sissy tries to help but seems to make matters worse. Can their love survive?

I enjoyed this story as much as all of P. C. Zick’s novels. Somehow, she writes characters that seem to sneak their way into my heart. I always enjoy when there is a life lesson intertwined into a romance novel, and Mountain Miracles doesn’t disappoint.

This sweet story is filled with the feelings and desires of a first true love relationship. Add some family drama and mystery and you have a recipe for a story that reminds you of your own first love.

This is the perfect novel for a Sunday afternoon or for a vacation. Short, sweet, and oh, so good!

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Author, P. C. Zick

About P. C. Zick

P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

The three novels in her Florida Fiction Series contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife—both human and animal—supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.”

Her contemporary romances in the Behind the Love trilogy are also set in Florida. Her most recent works are set in the Smoky Mountains. All of her books are stand-alone reads, even if they appear in a series.

Her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters, handsome heroes, and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.

You can keep track of P.C. Zick’s new releases and special promotions by signing up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/0o6-D. Visit her website to find out more about her writing life at http://www.pczick.com.

Make certain to connect with P. C. Zick through her Twitter @PCZick

And Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PCZick

Thanks for stopping by,

You’re going to love this book! ❤

Silver’s Tea Party – A Monthly Tea Sharing Event

Hello, and good day! Welcome to my May Tea Party! Much like the weekend coffee sharing event from Part-Time Monster, my monthly tea party is where I like to catch up with friends, old and new! This is also a way for me to introduce you to some great new blogs and people that I have virtually met along the way! In addition, I want to share my great love of tea, and all things TEA!

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of Wendy Anne Darling’s company. She only lives a couple hours north of us so she came down and spent the weekend. Really, I think all we did was eat and talk about writing! The fun part was that Wendy was ready for a change on her blog. I was excited to help her brainstorm! Check out her new blog here at wendyannedarling.wordpress.com. She is calling it, The Dragon’s Lair ~ A Magical Menagerie. She has some great fantasy in store for all of us!

I bribed Wendy to drink tea with me by serving chocolate chip cookies… not really! I made her a chocolate cake! 😀

I have been so busy this month that I almost did not find time to tell you about all the wonderful events that happened or are going to happen this month. Memorial Day is just around the corner and it is the perfect time to talk about the approaching summer, barbecuing, and all the fun times ahead.

First, as a proud veteran of the United States Air Force, I would like to remember and honor all the men and women who lost their lives in service to our country. This is a debt we must all pay forward by honoring them on Memorial Day. Fly your flags to honor those who died to preserve your personal freedoms.

Ignore the hyperbole of the political climate in America right now. These brave men and women deserve our respect!

Image Credit: Facebook – Enlisted Nine Flight Company

My Rocky Mountain PBS station/website shares what Memorial Day is all about:

The History of Memorial Day

“Originally called Decoration Day, from the early tradition of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths, and flags, Memorial Day is a day for remembrance of those who have died in service to our country. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of Gen. John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former Union sailors and soldiers.

During that first national celebration, former Union Gen. and sitting Ohio Congressman James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who were buried there.”

~*~

Since we last got together in April (click HERE to see what we did last month) I have joyfully finished the first draft of my novel, The Swamp Fairy. Here is a brief synopsis of what you can expect to find in my novel:

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a Ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative.

Aunt Magnolia becomes Abby’s guardian and together they claim an ancient inheritance of land that has been in Abby’s mother’s family for generations.

Abby wears her mother’s most sacred possession – a stone pendant in the shape of a heart forged from a giant mystical stone found on the very swamp land that Abby now owns.

However, Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, has other ideas. He wants Abby’s land for himself and he is willing to stop at nothing to own that land.

All Abby wants is to be part of a family again and to learn to ride horses with her two new friends, Savanna, and Blake.

The swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets and Abby is summoned by a primeval nymph who teaches her that her true destiny is to protect the primeval nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.

Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?

I am so excited to share the stories the nymphs have been whispering to me. There are much more to come and wait until next month… Our next tea party will be on June 24th, National Fairy Day!

I know I have been sharing with you all how much fun it has been to create a back and front garden at our Colorado house. I have worked hard and can’t wait until the warm temperatures are finally here. Yes, it is still cool for the most part. When you live 6000 ft. up in elevation summer can take a while.

Veggies are planted and I am excited to see the abundance that will flow forth from these sheep troughs. Now, if we can keep the thunderstorms and hail in check, I will be happy.

How about you? What have you been up to in the month of May?

My friend and author, Barbara Venkataraman, is here to talk to us about HOMOPHONES (according to the Encarta Dictionary a homophone is: a word that is pronounced in the same way as one or more other words but is different in meaning and sometimes spelling, as are “hair” and “hare.”)

Yes, that’s right! Mrs. Grammar Person is back!

Mrs. Grammar Person’s Ode to Homophones

When I give my assent, it means I concur, but my rapid ascent means I fly like a bird. (I just love homophones, don’t you?)

compliment you when I say something kind, like your meal, is superb and complements the wine. (Unless, of course, your food is talking to your wine, then you’ve had too much to drink.)

News that is current is fresh and brand new, but if I give you a currant, I have a raisin for you. (Warm cinnamon buns with raisins—yum!)

cursor is the arrow on your computer screen, a curser likes swearing to say what he means. (He won’t be invited to my tea party, I assure you.)

When you’re discreet, there are no news releases, but when you’re discrete, you’ve gone all to pieces. (Try to keep it together, either way.)

If you need help, you should elicit advice; but for something illicit, you should always think twice. (Or maybe thrice…)

flair is a talent you can boast about, but when tempers flare, you’d better watch out. (Some people do have a flair for drama.)

hanger will keep your clothes wrinkle-free; a hangar is where your airplane should be. (At least that’s where I keep mine.)

hearty meal is filling and good, but a hardy lumberjack can chop lots of wood. (He’ll be ready for that hearty meal.)

When something is humorous, you’re having a ball, but injure your humerus and it’s not funny at all. (I’d rather laugh than cry, wouldn’t you?)

When you incite trouble, you’re said to foment, but have an insight and it’s a eureka moment. (A nice thought bubble beats causing trouble)

Someone who knits makes something cozy and nice, but someone with nits is infested with lice. (Heavens! I feel itchy just thinking about it.)

maze made of maize is hard to navigate, but maize on a cob means there’s corn on your plate. (Pass the butter, please.)

medal of honor is something you win, but meddle (the verb) means you like to butt in. (I only meddle when grammar is at stake.)

wave of my hand says ‘good-bye my friend’, but I wouldn’t waive a chance to visit again. (Adieu, mon Ami!)

Author, Barbara Venkataraman

Award-winning author, Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law and debt collection.

She is the author of “Teatime with Mrs. Grammar Person”; “The Fight for Magicallus,” a children’s fantasy; a humorous short story entitled, “If You’d Just Listened to Me in the First Place”; and two books of humorous essays: “I’m Not Talking about You, Of Course” and “A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities,” which are part of the “Quirky Essays for Quirky People” series. Both books of humorous essays won the “Indie Book of the Day” award.

Her popular Jamie Quinn Mystery Series includes: “Death by Didgeridoo,” “The Case of the Killer Divorce,” “Peril in the Park,” and just released, “Engaged in Danger”–the fourth Jamie Quinn mystery!

Follow Barbara on her blog, “A Trip to the Mobius Strip,” atbarbaravenkataraman.blogspot.com. Thank you, Barbara. I love all the word play! Did you know that I belong to an active writing community here on WordPress? It is simply amazing all the creativity that goes on around here.

BOOKS!

I had several more friends publish books this month or the last couple of months. How exciting! Many congratulations to all of you! ❤

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha, from her blog, A Cooking Pot, and Twisted Tales, just released a book of poetry called, Out of the Silent Breath. You can find it on Amazon here.

My dear friend, Annette Rochelle Aben (click the link to visit her blog) released a book of Haiku in March. Somehow I missed this and had to add it since Haiku is one of my favorite forms of poetry! It is called, A Haiku Perspective 2016. This book can also be found on Amazon here.

One of my favorite “romance authors,” P.C. Zick (click the link to visit her blog) just released a new book called, Unshod. This is a collection of short stories with a western theme. You can find this book on Amazon here. The book is currently listed as FREE for Kindle!

Another author I really enjoy, C. S. Boyack, just released a new book called The Playground. Caution! The Playground is only suitable for mature readers, due to violence and mature themes. It sounds like a creepy suspense thriller that you won’t want to put down! You can purchase this book on Amazon, here. His blog is called Entertaining Stories at coldhandboyak.wordpress.com.

I try to subscribe to Amazon alerts on all the authors I have reviewed. If you would like to be included in my monthly tea party, please contact me and I will be glad to add you!


With summer just around the corner, it is soon going to be too warm to drink hot tea all day. That is where iced tea comes in. In the Southern United States, “sweet tea,” is a daily drink all year round. I have been told that you must be from the south to make the best sweet tea!

Of course, my favorite iced tea is:

Just one of these babies and you will sleep for a week! LOL! Seriously…

Anyway, I believe there is much that goes into the making of a good iced tea. I like to make “sun tea.” I use a clean glass pitcher, fill it with cold water, add the tea bags of my choice, and set it in the HOT Colorado sun! It makes a superb tea, and when you add some stevia you will quench your thirst in no time!

Although, I have tried this same method using cold water and tea bags in the fridge and it tasted just as good. It all depends on what you are looking for and how much time you have.

Are you looking for an A+ ICED TEA?

The first step is to decide what appeals to you taste-wise. My husband loves sun tea made from Lipton Tea Bags. For me, it always ends up too strong. I prefer using some of the herbal blends. If you have a strainer basket, loose tea makes an excellent beverage. It seems stronger than the bags so make sure you experiment first to find what you like best.

Check out seriouseats.com to find “The Tea Lovers Way to Make the Best Cold Brew Iced Tea.”

That’s it for the glorious month of May. Remember to do what you love and I will see you next month for our special fairy celebration!

Thanks for stopping by,

Silver’s Book Reviews – “Behind the Altar,” by P. C. Zick

  • Title:  Behind the Altar, Book 1 of the Behind the Love Trilogy
  • Author: P. C. Zick
  • File Size: 949 KB
  • Print Length: 147 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1500455121
  • Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Publication Date: September 16, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00N2WPFD0
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Contemporary Fiction

Leah Bryant has a perfect life. Engaged to the local minister, Jacob Davis, in the town of Victory, Florida, Leah spends her spare time running “Soup’s On,” where she feeds and cares for the local homeless people in the area. When the church board votes to stop funding the charity, Leah’s life is thrown into chaos. Leah’s passion is fueled by the knowledge of what it was like to be homeless. Jacob’s mother, Geraldine found Leah on the streets as a teenager and welcomed her into her own home years ago. For all appearances, Leah has been truly blessed.

The same day Leah learns of the decision from the church board prohibiting the use of the church kitchen to cook for the homeless, Leah meets Jacob’s brother, Dean, as he rumbles into town on his Harley. Leah finds herself inexplicably drawn to Dean. Between his muscles and tattoos, there is an intensity that overwhelms Leah, leaving her breathless. Jacob has never had this effect on her.

Dean feels the attraction to Leah also. Her natural goodness and compassion for people are a tonic that feeds his soul. The harder they struggle to stay apart, the more they are drawn together experiencing a passion neither has ever known.

Nevertheless, there is a dark secret that threatens to derail the Davis family just waiting to explode this lover’s triangle into a million pieces!

Recommendation:

I don’t know about you, but I adore a romance that is filled with magic, especially when it is obvious that the two characters belong together. “Behind the Altar,” explodes with sexual tension and sizzles with passionate ardor.

There is just something about a man riding into town on a Harley that gets a woman thinking about romance. Of course, you know he is a bad-boy from the start. He’s riding a Harley! With very little imagination, I could picture “Dean,” being played by the handsome, Jeffrey “Dean” Morgan, who is the good-looking private investigator, currently playing on the television series, “The Good Wife.” I can’t help but ponder if P. C. Zick had the same image in mind when she created the character of Dean. One can only hope.

This story revolves around small town America, with all of the incongruities and biases that exist in society on full display. The book is not suitable for younger readers as there is sexual content present. However, I found the love story between Leah and Dean to be real and honest. I thought there was a moral to this love story, about never judging a book by its cover, that was woven throughout the story line, but I will let you be the judge of that.

I look forward to following the life of these characters as they evolve and heal from the tragedies and rewards of true love in the upcoming Behind the Love Series. Book 2, “Behind the Curtain,” is the next book in the series.

My Rating:

Character Believability: 4
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5

About P. C. Zick:

Bestselling author, P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

Many of her novels contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife – both human and animal – supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.” Her Behind the Love trilogy – contemporary romance – is also set in Florida, but she’s now working on a series set in the Smoky Mountains.

Her fiction contains the elements most dear to her heart, ranging from love to the environment. All of her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.

You can keep track of P.C. Zick’s new releases and special promotions by signing up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/0o6-D.

Visit her website to find out more about her writing life at http://www.pczick.com.

Make certain to connect with P. C. Zick through her Twitter @PCZick.

And Facebook at P C Zick.

Thanks for stopping by! I’ll see you all again.

Mindful Monday – “Discovering the Truest Pleasures,” by P.C. Zick

It’s a great honor to be a part of Mindful Monday. I’ve enjoyed reading this feature on Silver Threading as it always provides inspiration for moving forward. When I was asked to participate, I leapt at the chance to put forth my own experience with finding the “silver threading” in my life, particularly right now when my husband and I are going through major changes.

I finished reading The Truest Pleasure by Robert Morgan this past weekend. This book sat on my shelf—a literal shelf, not on my Kindle—filled with books I’ve been meaning to read. The Truest Pleasure probably sat there the longest and has made five moves with me.

P. C. Zick and the book, “The Truest Pleasure,” by Robert Morgan

The book sat, waiting for the perfect moment when I needed it most, in the place where it would speak to me the loudest.

That moment came this past week after we moved—along with this book—to our new mountain cabin in North Carolina. Since Mr. Morgan writes in the very setting where I’m now setting down roots, I thought it appropriate to read after unpacking the box marked “Books to read in North Carolina.”

The new house

Set in the years after the Civil War, the novel follows the life of Ginny from girl to woman, wife, and mother. The life of mountain folks in those days required stamina and grit. Her marriage to Tom fluctuates from lust to love to anger and back to love again through the years they labor together to make their farm flourish. Mr. Morgan writes in honest, gripping prose and paints pictures of the mountains and its flora with precise detail. As I sat on my porch surrounded by those same mountains, I felt the cool breezes of more than one hundred years ago and smelled the pine sap and heard the water gushing over rocks on its way down the mountain.

The Smoky Mountains

Stress has dominated our lives for the past few months. Moving our things to three different locations as we enter into a major transition, and my husband’s struggles with his health, created more problems and issues than I’d like to contemplate right now. We’ve been in drama mode for far too long. It’s easy to lose sight of the important things as the trivial dominates most days.

It’s been difficult to focus on the positive when so many missiles come hurtling at us. I fight the learned responses from my childhood where I grew up with a mother who was certain our family had a “curse” over us. She called it just that. My husband referred to a “jinx” on us one day when everything seemed to be conspiring against our move. I blew up. My usually positive husband now spouting the philosophy of my mother, one of the unhappiest people I’ve ever known? No, I was not going back there to those old tapes.

So he stopped after my annoyed outburst. We moved forward. We really don’t have too many things going against us. We are just trying to do too much in too little time. It’s easy to let those little things become the big things of our life. It takes a concerted effort to look around and realize we’re really very fortunate in this life we’ve chosen.

“The first night at the cabin, I backed into a ditch.” – P.C. Zick

After spending almost every moment together for the past ten days, my husband and I drove back to Pennsylvania so he could return to his job while we figure out the next steps toward his retirement. We sat in the living room where he kept interrupting my reading. I hoped to finish the last chapter of The Truest Pleasure that evening before my work week began the next day.

“Where’s the remote? Where are my socks? I’ve lost my keys/phone/wallet. How do I reset the clock on the microwave?” His incessant questions and dramatic declarations jarred as I answered or retrieved each of his requests. I felt put upon at the very least.

Then I read this passage in Robert Morgan’s book:

“Suddenly I saw all the things I had hated about Tom I could just as well have loved. Maybe that was me seeing through other eyes. Maybe Locke was right about me refusing to accept Tom’s gifts. I saw what fools we had both been. All our quarreling had been such a waste.”

I looked over at my husband, sitting in his recliner snoring with his mouth open. The annoyance I sometimes felt with his loud chainsaw snorts suddenly disappeared, and I felt warm gushes of love wash over me. He woke just then, and looked at me with his beautiful blue eyes I’d fallen in love with as a teenager.

My Hubby

“Hey, baby,” he said. “What’s going on?”

What’s going on? A change in attitude is what is going on.

The truest pleasures sometimes lie buried underneath the leaves and weeds, just like the rich soil in the forest. We only have to push aside the debris to find the fertile gold in our lives.

P.C. Zick in her kitchen

I’ve practiced finding the “gifts” in my husband this week, and a miracle has occurred. He’s finding them in me as well, and we’re softer with one another, leaving the criticisms aside and instead finding the commonality, which allows us to work together. When fools turn wise, life becomes easier and less stressful despite the chaos that still remains.

Yesterday, yet another challenge faced us. We’ve been trying to decide what to do with our boat. After a day of struggles with loading the boat up and taking it to a boat ramp where we couldn’t put it in the water, we were hot and discouraged. But then, the most wonderful thing happened.

“It’s time to sell the boat,” I said, not for the first time this summer, but always to dissent and disgruntlement from my husband. I waited for his explosion to my oft-repeated statement.

“I agree,” he said. The struggle ended.

Sometimes it takes life’s annoyances to bring us peace. It’s all in how we view and react to them. Last night we kept grinning at one another as if we’d unwrapped a present.

Thank you, Robert Morgan, for leading us to our truest pleasures.

And thank you, Colleen, for helping us discover our “silver threading” once again.

Maplehurst – Just before our wedding in 2010

I would like to give a most gracious thank you to P. C. Zick for sharing her poignant moments of mindfulness with us all. It is sometimes the simplest of things that brings us full circle with life.

Would you like to read more from this talented author? I did a book review, of “Trails in the Sand,” by P.C. Zick and you can find that link here. In addition, you can connect with her on social media:

P. C. Zick Links:

Amazon Author Central –  http://www.amazon.com/P.C.-Zick/e/B0083DPN4E

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22P.C.%20Zick%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall

Website: www.pczick.com

Blog: Living Lightly – www.pczick.wordpress.com

Facebook Pages:

P.C. Zick, Author

Florida Environmental Novels

Civil War Journal

Twitter: @PCZick

Would you like to share your mindfulness journey with others? If you are interested in sharing your goals or aspirations, I want to highlight your journey here on Silver Threading. Send me an email at silverthreading@gmail.com and I will be happy to feature you on a guest post. This is our journey into mindfulness. The more we share and learn from each other, the better our journey becomes.

Remember, this is not a challenge.  This is an offering of support.  If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday goals you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making.  If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary.  My main aim here is to give and get support to become more mindful of the things we all take for granted in our lives.