Monday, May 28, 2018

Nothin' Beats a Classic!

I love a good classic. I've been trying to add in a few classics to my reading list in the last few years, as I didn't read very many of them when I was growing up. Are there any other contemporary-written novel lovers out there who'd like a bit of a nudge to dip back into the classics?

I think I can help with that!

In June, the challenge is to read classic or vintage books. To me, these are books published at least 50 years ago. Please include the year of publication when sharing which books you'll read for this challenge.

Need some ideas?

Monday, May 21, 2018

A Perfect (for me) Stay-cation!

Summer is practically upon us, as thermometers and The Weather Channel folks have been telling us. What are your plans? Are you getting ready for a vacation?

Or how about a stay-cation?

That's what I'm doing right now!

I have two weeks off from my copyediting and tutoring jobs but no money to travel this time. So, I've decided a stay-cation is the perfect vacation for me. How am I spending it?

Catching up on household chores, for one thing, but that sounds like too much work to focus on for long.

The fun stuff includes:

Monday, May 14, 2018

Things I Never Told You by Beth K. Vogt + GIVEAWAY

Beth Vogt recently switched from writing contemporary romances to penning women's fiction. She's talented at both genres, but I think she's found her niche. I guzzled her latest story, Things I Never Told You, in only three days.

Here's my review, as published on Goodreads. The pictures here are new for your benefit, friends. They include a few of my favorite quotes from the book. Stay tuned for the giveaway at the end.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book. A positive review was not required. What follows are my honest thoughts and opinions.

This five-star, page-flying book felt very much like a soul-deep, sister-love letter to Ms. Vogt's own sisters, which enhanced the emotional aspect of this story for me. Surprisingly, I only teared up a couple of times in this maiden read. I have a feeling that will change in future readings. This is an amazing and deeply emotional story.

One thing I really enjoyed about it was how the mood reminded me of one of my favorite movies: Collateral Beauty. Both that movie and this book feature journeys toward accepting the realities of loss and grief. That's a journey that's crucial to our existence, because nothing lasts forever here on Earth.

The pace of this story was super fast. I flew through over 400 pages in only three days. Three days, y'all! That's pretty epic for me and that many pages. The content of the story -- all the ups and downs, drama, misunderstandings, love, passion, and heart of the Thatcher sisters' lives -- wasn't always easy to read about, but the toughness of this story is handled with such exquisite grace and redemption and humor that I couldn't help but become completely immersed in the story world Ms. Vogt had created. Of course, her characters helped out a lot, because they were very realistic and, quite frankly, studies in human nature. I admire how Ms. Vogt was able to craft such true-to-life perspectives and draw out the inner thoughts that make familial relationships so tricky to navigate.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Giggle and Butterflies - a Short Story + Contest

Are you ready for another original short story?

I had a blast writing this one, and I hope you enjoy the lightheartedness of it. Stay tuned till the very end, because there's an opportunity for you to help me figure out what to write next.

* All material under COPYRIGHT by Andrea Renee Cox. This story may not be copied, reprinted, or quoted without prior written permission. *

Perspiration dribbled down the arm Jessica was scrubbing with. She wiped her brow with the other, just-as-sweaty forearm, and pushed herself to finish cleaning the base of the shower stall. Would the soap scum spots never come completely clean, no matter how many different cleaning products she applied, along with elbow grease? She huffed, and the puff of air flicked a few stray strands of ginger-colored hair away from her face. Unfortunately, the hair flopped back and stuck to her cheek.
A few minutes later, when she felt her arm was going to fall right out of its socket, the upbeat tones of one of her favorite classic songs tripped into her range of hearing. Fred Astaire’s voice lilted about dancing cheek to cheek with his gal. A smile spread across Jessica’s face, and she found new vigor for her chore.
Suddenly, the rag was ripped from her hand.