Tag Archives: family

The Other Shore by Tracy A. Ball (Book Showcase)


Sometimes two wrongs are the only way to make it right.

Power-couple Angela and Mitchell Point wanted to build a family. Instead, they got torn apart and pieced together separately. Without warning, their old and new lives collide in a Castaway meets Hope Floats tale of love lost and life recovered.

When every choice breaks a heart, doing the right thing is impossible.

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He gave her a tour of his brother’s estate. They raided the refrigerator and hung out in his game room playing table football. 

“You’re good at this,” Nolan said after her second straight win.

“Every single group home Deidra and I lived in had at least one.”

From the interviews after the rescue, Nolan knew she had no other relatives, but she hadn’t spoken about it before now. “How many homes did you live in?”

“Six or seven. I don’t remember.” She moved over to Rob’s ping pong table. 

He followed her over and served first. “May I ask about your family?”

“You may.” She slammed the ball hard enough to make him stretch. “No clue about our dad, or dads. One day, our mother took us to social service. She sat us in a chair and said she was going to the restroom.” The ball bounced back and forth between them. “Or so we’ve been told. I wasn’t quite a year yet and Deidra was two. We were lucky. They kept us together. We don’t have any hard feelings or psychopathic tendencies I’m aware of. Just one of those unpleasant happenings in life.”

“You seem healthy. Not a psychopathic tendency in sight.” His serve whooshed past her.

She gave a girlish squeal that made him chuckle. “Healthy lungs too.”

“I’ll get you for that!”

The game ended when the last ping pong ball rolled under the sofa. “Do you want to move the couch, or move on to the next game?”

It was a three-piece reclining sectional. “No, thanks.” She laid her paddle down and pointed to the pool table. I have no clue how to play this game, but I’m going to brutalize you.”

“Brutalize me?” The idea wasn’t at all unpleasant to him.

“Oh yeah. I’m dangerous.”

It wasn’t long before he discovered how dangerous. She repeatedly knocked the balls off the table and once lost her grip on the pool stick.

“You’re not dangerous. You’re a menace.”

She laughed, agreeing with his assessment. “Mitch tried to teach me once. You can see how that turned out. That was before we stopped having fun.” She paused. Her wood-brown eyes, glossed over with unshed tears, took on a smoky hue. “I’m sorry. That was ungracious of me.” She laid her pool stick down and turned her back to him. “I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.”

Likewise, Nolan set his stick aside. He joined Angela on her side of the table, leaning against the rail. “You’re not ungracious. It’s all right to speak the truth.” He touched her shoulder. “Even about the dead.”

Angela glanced at him and then away.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

 She sighed. “I shouldn’t think negatively about him.”

“You can’t feel guilty about that. He was human and so are you.”

His compelling tone drew her in. “I had a great marriage. That can’t be denied but… but sometimes, it wasn’t good. I don’t remember precisely how I felt at the time, but I…I recall not liking some of it. We had money and jobs and freedom. We bought stuff and did stuff and people were always envious. Mitch loved that. People envying the illusion we created. When I let myself dwell on it, I can see that’s what it was: an illusion. He never forgot my birthday, but he couldn’t remember to stop at the dry cleaners. The big deal things that everyone talked about—no problem. The little things… hanging out in the kitchen while I put away the dishes, teaching me to shoot pool or keeping a dumb promise—that was always missing. Part of me feels stupid and selfish. He did so many great things, why should I care about doing the dishes together? If I wanted one, he’d have gotten me a housekeeper.” She shut up then. 

Her rigid stance, the way she hugged herself, and her too-tight control told him she needed to talk. He let her.

“We wanted a baby. I’m not sure why Mitchell did—probably because it fit our success story image. No. I’m being petty. Sorry.”

“Why did you want a baby?”

“Because I love children.”

Nolan sensed there was more. He waited.

“Because a baby would need me and love me for all the little reasons nobody can see. But I’m out of luck there too.” Now, the tears came. A soft trickle, rolling across her cheek. “I have what they call unexplained infertility. There’s no medical reason why I can’t conceive. No one can tell me how to fix it.” She hunched her shoulders. “Mitchell tried to fix it. We redecorated our condo. We bought a new Mercedes. He took me to Cancun. He booked the cruise home to extend our vacation because he was fixing it. But he couldn’t fix me. Half of the time he didn’t recognize me. And now, I can’t recall the few precious moments I did have.” She turned around again, agitated and sad. Very sad.

Nolan digested the information. She was as complicated as she was beautiful. He didn’t have any words of comfort to give her. She wouldn’t receive them anyway. He picked up the pool stick and offered it to her.

She took it on reflex. 

Positioning himself behind her, Nolan adjusted the stick properly in her hands. “You put your fingers like this…  Hold the back a little higher.”

“Like this?”

“Yes. You want to slide it through easy. Like this…” 

His arms were around her, their fingers entwined as he guided her movements. Her tension ebbed away as she relaxed into him. 

This was the comfort she needed.  

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Made entirely of rum and snacks—International Bestselling Author, Tracy A. Ball is a native Baltimorean and veteran West Virginian, whose family is a mashup of cultures. She writes real and raw interracial romance with an intensity that burns because she has been busting stereotypes while teaching interracial/generational healing for more than a quarter of a century.

Tracy engages with folks from every twist of fate and all manner of experience. She has hung out with murderers and dined with people who have dined with the Pope, which is why she needs the rum…and a nap.

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Cracking The Harmony Code: Nature’s Surprising Secrets for Getting Along While Getting Your Way by Camilla Gray-Nelson (Book Review)

Print length, 190 pages

In Cracking the Harmony Code, award-winning entrepreneur and best-selling author, Camilla Gray-Nelson, reveals Mother Nature’s secret code for achieving personal and professional goals. Using “influence through instinct,” she guides you up Nature’s Harmony Pyramid to its pinnacle of success, peace and happiness.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from
iRead Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Introduction:

There were several fascinating animal facts in this section of Cracking The Harmony Code: Nature’s Surprising Secrets for Getting Along While Getting Your Way by Camilla Gray-Nelson. For example, I had no idea “ravens call their friends by name” or that “horses feel shame.” It makes you wonder how researchers discovered these two things. 

Also found in this section, Camilla Gray-Nelson admits she’s failed many times over in life. However, she’s learned from her mishaps. In life, that’s how we move forward in a positive way. We learn from our failings/mistakes and strive not to make them again. 

 

Part One & Part Two:

Trust is essential in any relationship. It’s the building block in any relationship. Without it, the foundation is not solid; therefore, harmony can not be achieved. It makes complete sense why trust is the first tier on The Harmony Pyramid in Cracking The Harmony Code: Nature’s Surprising Secrets for Getting Along While Getting Your Way.

This book discusses how to handle many personal and workplace obstacles. 

*looking for a raise

*handle workplace drama

*underperforming workers

*losing authoritative control

*disrespectful child

*trouble with the spouse

*and the list goes on…

Some solutions to work or at-home problems are pretty much common sense. Be firm, but be fair. For example, if your child doesn’t listen, then restrict access to their favorite activity. Yelling, at home or at work, is never the answer. It does not yield the results you’re looking to achieve. 

While not everything will apply to everyone, I think most people could benefit from one section or another. If you’re a new parent, recently married, or about to be either of those two things, check out the areas about how to keep things copacetic in your home. If you’re new to office life or in a management role, Camilla Gray-Nelson might have the key to help you achieve harmony in the office.

Please pick it up, and use it anytime you’re feeling unbalanced in life. Maybe it’ll get you back on track to living a more harmonious life. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤1/2


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Amazon ~ B&N
Add to Goodreads

 

Meet the Author: 

Author by Camilla Gray-Nelson

Best-selling author and award-winning entrepreneur with a company consistently listed in the Top 15 Women-Owned Businesses in Northern California, Camilla Gray-Nelson has a leg-up on her competition. Raised and living on a farm, Camilla credits her business success today to the lessons she learned from Mother Nature in her childhood! Combining a keen knowledge of animal behavior and her awareness of the human animal’s inner instincts, she reveals Mother Nature’s paradigm to all women who seek their own success at work, parenting and love. She shares the animal secret of Influence through Instinct, to more cleverly succeed in getting what we want in our professional as well as personal lives, while at the same time, maintaining precious Peace and Harmony. . . two seemingly endangered species in today’s chaotic world!

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook ~ instagram
 
 

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Whenever a Child Is Born by Nancy Diedrich (Book Review)

(Ages 3-7),  30 pages

 

In his 2014 homily for the Feast of Holy Guardian Angels, October 2, Pope Francis told those gathered for daily mass to be like children who pay attention to their “traveling companion. No one journeys alone, and no one should think that they are alone.

“According to Church tradition,” the pope said, “we all have an angel with us, who guards us . . . It is what God said: ‘I send an angel before you, to guard you, to accompany you on the way, so you will not be alone.'”

In this children’s book, angels wait anxiously and with great excitement to see which one of them will be chosen to be the guardian angel of a child that is to be born. This delightful book depicts the joy of all God’s creations anticipating the birth of another precious child. The sun shines brighter, the moon has a shinier glow, flowers grow taller, birds tweet more sweetly, and angels dance and sing with bliss, as all creation awaits another baby girl or boy.

Whenever a Child Is Born offers the perfect message for parents as it charmingly tells the story of how all of heaven and earth react to the news that a child is about to be born. The story comforts parents with the knowledge that their baby is a special gift from heaven to them, and that they will never be alone raising their child, and that their child will never ever be alone in life.

Parents never worry. No one journeys alone through life because whenever a child is born, he is given a guardian angel.

 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 
Whenever a Child Is Born by Nancy Diedrich is a beautifully written story that I can see prominently displayed and used in any religious-based school or household. It speaks of angels and the heavens and how guardian angels watch over and guide us from a child’s first breath to every moment after. 


Whenever a Child Is Born expresses the joy a child brings into this world. I have children of my own, and watching their milestones play out has been a high point in my life. 


For parents of young readers, some children should be able to decipher individual words such as animal names and their sounds. Even if a child hasn’t learned to read yet, you can always point to a particular animal and ask what sound it makes. 


While the story was cute, Chris Diket (the illustrator) must get credit for creating all those endearing images. His style reminded me of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes’ drawings. 


Good job, both of you! 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Author Nancy Diedrich

Nancy Diedrich was born and raised in South Louisiana, where storytelling was not just an art form, but an authentic way of communicating. Everyone had a tale to tell! This was, more than likely, where her love of communication developed. With undergraduate degrees in English and speech, and graduate degrees in psychological counseling, Nancy learned that words can educate; they can entertain; they can inspire and they can heal. In Nancy’s career, she has been a teacher, a counselor and an author, where the power of words always guided her in interaction with her students, clients and readers. Nancy’s value for genuine communication extends beyond her career, to the anchors of her life, which are her faith, her family and her friendships.

Whenever A Child Is Born is Nancy’s first published children’s book. In it, the reader gets a glimpse of this author’s compassion for family, and her gift of faith, as the story tells how all of heaven and earth react to the news that a child is about to be born.

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January River by Bernard Jan (Book Showcase)

Five friends. One dog. One river carrying a secret.

When one of their friends goes missing, everything comes crashing down for the small group of childhood friends in the small town of Greenfield. Ethan takes it hard. Then he loses his dog, his only consolation.

Hoping to start anew, Ethan leaves Greenfield and moves to New York City. Far from the ghosts of his childhood and the river that gives and takes life. There he finds his one true love and builds a career as a bestselling author.

But how long will Ethan’s happiness last as doubts creep back into him and shatter his reality? And will his reconciliation with the past come at too great a price?

All rivers carry their secrets, but not every river keeps its secret forever.

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Ethan McCoy lay in the grass, stretched out to his full length. He flung his head back and unbuttoned his shirt, exposing his neck and the pale skin of his chest to the sun. His rolled-up sleeves were already drenched in sweat. Perspiration ran off his forehead, dripping onto the jacket folded under his head in a faux pillow.

Ethan removed the light-sensitive glasses from his nose and wiped the sweat off with a handkerchief. Inhaling deeply, he stared at the sun through unprotected eyes. The scent of Greenfield invaded his nostrils, conquering his throat, lungs, and heart. Inside him the memories were waking up, ignited by familiar feelings from the past.

In the strong light he felt a pain in his eyes, forcing him to close them. So that he might suffer too, he didn’t move to escape into the protective shadows. Determined to stay exposed to heat that reached him from the vast distance with such strength, he willed the sun to cause him pain. Wanted it to numb his senses and make him oblivious to any and all experiences—both pleasant and unpleasant. Most of all, he wanted to let go of the internal pain that refused to leave him alone after all these years.

He wished one pain could soothe another. The physical could annul the emotional. Even as he thought it, he knew it was in vain. He also accepted there was no cure for that pain. At best, it might be blunted some day and become just a painful reminder of his past.

But it would never disappear.

Because if it did, Greenfield would no longer exist. The artificially created grove beside the river in which he now rested, would vanish too. The same for Willy, then Jason, Derrick, and Sarah. Riv and . . . Susan. Could they evaporate, all of them? Did he have the right to ask that?

Or, what if it were possible for all of them to remain in their reality where they belonged? While he—Ethan—disappeared? Both could be possible only by some supernatural phenomenon. Something that could never happen.

Eventually moving into the shadows, he took off his shirt, shoes and socks and continued with his fantasy. Recalling. Or gathering up the strength and determination to do what he intended. Well, that’s what he planned on saying if someone asked him why he was there. So far, nobody had. Nobody knew. He arrived less than an hour ago. He hadn’t gone to the town, but had come straight to the river. To the place where everything had begun. Therefore, it only seemed fitting that it be where the beginning of the end transpired. The place where he would insert a period at the end of a life story. If he got lucky, he’d tear out a blank page and start anew. No memories. No past.

Without the bad memories, he could live in peace.

However, if he were honest with himself, that would be equally impossible to achieve.


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The Last Conception by Gabriel Constans (Book Showcase)

Word from Gabriel Constans: “Our #movie has been sold for domestic & international distribution! Staring #NazaninMandi@CallieSchuttera. Directer @gabby_Ledesma_. Read the #book before you see the #film.”

 

Passionate embryologist, Savarna, is in a complicated relationship, with two different women, when she is told that she Must have a baby. Her conservative East Indian American parents are desperate for her to conceive, in spite of her “not being married”. They insist that she is the last in line of a great spiritual lineage. In the process of choosing her lover and having doubts about her ability, or desire to conceive, Savarna begins to question the necessity of biology and lineage within her parents’ beliefs and becomes forever fascinated with the process of conception and the definition of family. Threads of Dan Brown (DaVinci Code), Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Sister of My Heart) and The L Word (Tv series) flavor this colorful tale of awakening, romance and mystery.

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Amber Skye
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful and thought-provoking novel!
Reviewed in the United States on May 19, 2018

 

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