Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A Vivid Sunrise and a Linky










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Here's a peek at
my latest post
on 1camera1mom:

The Old Fishing Village of Struisbaai



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Book Review by Amanda:

Serafina and the Black Cloak



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*** If you want to comment or join the linky, then please make sure this page's permalink loads as http and not https! Also, my blog is hosted by Blogger, which uses cookies to improve your browsing experience. And, it's best viewed in Google Chrome. ***

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Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

Come link up your Wordless Wednesday
(with or without words) or any picture post
at this Picture Perfect Party Linky.
Join me on this fun and easy blog hop!


I would love for you to follow me on
and
Follow on Bloglovin

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow me on one or more links above or via email.
  • Link-up any family friendly post with a picture and follow as many new blogs as you like.
  • If possible, copy the button code below and add it on your linked post or blog's side-bar.
  • Tell others about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

The Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

This is a Wordless Wednesday blog hop.
Please load page as http and not https.


How to use the linky widget:

First make sure that you load this page as http and not https if you want to see the linky. Type in the name of your blog post under Link Title, then type in your email under Email Address (which I don't sell to anyone), then copy your permalink to your post (most link parties ask for blog posts and not blog homepages) and paste that under URL (make sure that you use http:// or https:// only once), then click Submit Link and that's it!


Visit my Blog Hops page to see the hops that I often link up to.


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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Serafina and the Black Cloak


About the Book:

Title: Serafina and the Black Cloak | Author: Robert Beatty | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | Pages: 320 | Genre: Scary Mystery | Recommended Ages: 10 and Up

Book Description:

"Never go into the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul."

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There's plenty to explore in Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt's vast and opulent home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate's maintenance man, have lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember. She has learned to prowl through the darkened corridors at night, to sneak and hide, using the mansion's hidden doors and secret passageways.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows the clues to follow. A terrifying man in a black cloak stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina's hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear, where she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must not only face her darkest enemy, but delve into the strange mystery of her own identity.

Official Book Trailer:


Purchase on Amazon:


Amanda's Review (Age 11):


There’s a girl hiding in the basement of the Biltmore Estate with her father. She has good hunting skills and pretty eyes. Others may not find her because she could get harmed.

There’s a mysterious guy who is always seen wearing a black cloak. Every day a child goes missing even if their rooms are locked. One day, Serafina sees a man in a black cloak dragging a child away.

Only one other person knows about Serafina. His name is Braeden and he tries to help her find out who the man in the black cloak is.

This is an extremely scary mystery. It’s also fun and interesting. It has a proper ending and does not leave you hanging. This book is best suited for ages 12 and up.

About the Author:
Robert Beatty
Robert Beatty
Robert Beatty is the author of the #1 New York Times best selling Serafina series published by Disney Hyperion, a spooky mystery-thriller about a brave and unusual girl who lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate.

Serafina and the Black Cloak was a #1 New York Times best seller, has been on the list for more than 59 weeks, and won the prestigious 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. The second book in the series, Serafina and the Twisted Staff, became a #1 New York Times best seller in the first week of its launch and earned a "Starred Review" from Kirkus Reviews, which said, "Even better than its predecessor, a sequel that delivers nonstop thrills from beginning to end." Enjoyed by both young readers and adults, the books are being taught in over a thousand classrooms nationwide. The third book in the Serafina series comes out in July 2017.

Robert Beatty lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina with his wife and three daughters, who help create and refine his stories. He loves to explore Biltmore Estate and the darkened forest trails where his novels take place. He writes full-time now, but in his past lives, Robert was one of the early pioneers of cloud computing, the founder/CEO of Plex Systems, the co-founder of Beatty Robotics, and the chairman/CTO of Narrative Magazine. In 2007, he was named an Entrepreneur of the Year. When asked about the inspiration for his books, Robert said, "Serafina's journey grew out of my desire to write a story about an unusual and heroic young girl for my three daughters."

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Guest Farm in the Klein Karoo and a Linky

The Hex River Valley
On Saturday we drove out to a guest farm past the Hex River Valley between De Doorns and Montagu. We were far enough off the beaten track that we had no mobile/internet reception. We were helping to host an Alpha course Holy Spirit weekend for the guys from the Christian drug and alcohol rehab where we minister. We all had a great time and it was nice to see the guys looking so happy and relaxed!

The Alpha course is also a lot of fun and is designed to fit everyone, even those who have never been to church. The guys have been going through the video series once a week with us at the rehab. They have been connecting well with the content and the true stories have been having a big impact. Many people don't know much about the Holy Spirit, if anything, so the sessions on this weekend camp were well received. We also had time to pray for each guy individually and give them words from the Lord.

A Grey Rhebok /Rhebuck

Kids - Baby Goats

Chicken with Chicks

Chicks

Chicken, Rooster, and Chicks

Red Roses

Proteas

Welcome in Afrikaans is Welkom

Proteas


A South African BBQ is Called a Braai

The Farm Road Driving Home




Related Post:

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Here's a peek at
my latest post
on 1camera1mom:

Harbour House at Struisbaai



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My Latest Book Review:

Deviant Flux and Author Interview


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*** If you want to comment or join the linky, then please make sure this page's permalink loads as http and not https! Also, my blog is hosted by Blogger, which uses cookies to improve your browsing experience. And, it's best viewed in Google Chrome. ***

*********************

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

Come link up your Wordless Wednesday
(with or without words) or any picture post
at this Picture Perfect Party Linky.
Join me on this fun and easy blog hop!


I would love for you to follow me on
and
Follow on Bloglovin

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow me on one or more links above or via email.
  • Link-up any family friendly post with a picture and follow as many new blogs as you like.
  • If possible, copy the button code below and add it on your linked post or blog's side-bar.
  • Tell others about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

The Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

This is a Wordless Wednesday blog hop.
Please load page as http and not https.


How to use the linky widget:

First make sure that you load this page as http and not https if you want to see the linky. Type in the name of your blog post under Link Title, then type in your email under Email Address (which I don't sell to anyone), then copy your permalink to your post (most link parties ask for blog posts and not blog homepages) and paste that under URL (make sure that you use http:// or https:// only once), then click Submit Link and that's it!


Visit my Blog Hops page to see the hops that I often link up to.


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Thursday, March 7, 2019

Deviant Flux by Jessie Kwak and Author Interview


About the Book:

Title: Deviant Flux: A Durga System Novella | Author: Jessie Kwak | Pages: 142 | Genre: Science-Fiction | Recommended Ages: Young Adult and Up

Book Description:

She thought nothing could come between herself and her new family. She was wrong.

It’s been five years since Starla Dusai’s home station was destroyed by the Alliance, and she’s spent every minute searching for evidence that she wasn’t the only survivor.

When she receives a tip that her beloved cousin Mona is alive and well on an asteroid station out in Durga’s Belt, she drops everything to find her. Thrust into an unfamiliar world of crime cartels and union politics, Starla soon realizes Mona is caught up in a dangerous plot — and that saving her might just mean giving up the new family she’s come to love.

If it doesn’t get them both killed first.

On sale for only $0.99 through March 15th!
Purchase on Amazon
Everywhere Else via Books2Read

Get Starfall for free on BookFunnel

My Review: 

Deviant Flux is another exciting story in the Durga System series. I fell in love with Starla in Starfall and she's back in Deviant Flux! Both Starla and Gia get to shine in the latest Durga System novella by Jessie Kwak. Starla is good at modifying and inventing gadgets. She's also deaf. Gia is a gunslinging medic and Starla's mentor. She was quite a formidable character in Negative Return and it's nice to learn some of her backstory in Deviant Flux. We also get to meet some new characters like Absolon, the weapons guy, and Aiax, the casino guy. Jessie says that we'll get to see more of them in future books. 

Starla and Gia have arrived as Willem Jaantzen's representatives on an asteroid station out in Durga's Belt. They are there to strike a deal, but Starla is also looking for a long lost cousin. There's trouble on the station and the presence of Alliance soldiers makes things more difficult for her. It was the Alliance that killed her family and they haven't stopped hunting down any remaining relatives, Starla and her cousin included. Gia has her hands full trying to keep Starla safe and then she ends up meeting someone from her past. Lots of things go down in a short amount of time. Will Starla and Gia make it out alive? 

More Reviews of Jessie Kwak Books:

Author Jessie Kwak:


Author Interview:

1. What does a typical day in your home look like?

My day job is as a freelance marketing copywriter, and I work from home — which means my day can be as flexible as I want! That said, I work way better when I have a schedule.

I tend to be at my computer by 8am after some exercise and breakfast. I either work on fiction first thing, or do client work if I have a deadline that day. I’ll normally work through lunch at my desk, then take a break in the afternoon to go for a walk and dictate drafts of something. I’ll come back to my desk for another few hours of work, then make dinner (I love to cook!).

Lately I’ve been on a deadline to get the third book in my Bulari Saga finished, so I’m often back at the computer after dinner — but this time with a glass of wine and some relaxing music in the background.

Of course, this whole schedule gets thrown out the window on days when I travel with my husband. He’s a sales rep, and sometimes I’ll ride along as we drive through Oregon and Washington, working in the car or from cafes when he stops to visit shops.

2. When do you find time to read and what do you usually like to read?

I love to read!

I read every night before bed, and sometimes I’ll take breaks in the afternoons to reset my brain by reading a few chapters of something. I read a lot of science fiction, of course, but I also love thrillers and mysteries. (I’m a sucker for anything by Tana French or Tess Gerritsen.)

I read less nonfiction, and when I do it’s normally related to some aspect of a book I’m working on.

3. What was the first book that you wrote and did you publish it?

The first book I wrote took up two spiral bound notebooks, and I wrote it by hand in middle school. And — ha! No, I did NOT publish it.

Nor did I publish the book I wrote my senior year of high school, the book I wrote in college, or the next three books I wrote after that. They won’t see the light of day, but they taught me a lot!

My first published novel, Shifting Borders, came out in 2015. It was the first book that I got to the end of and thought, hey, this one actually works! After that, I had a lot more confidence in my work.

I still think about those old books, though. One of my trunk novels is a thriller police procedural set in a historical fantasy world, and I’m planning on getting back to that one when I’m finished writing the Bulari Saga. I think I’ve finally learned enough about plotting to do it justice.

4. What other authors are you friends with, and how have they inspired you?

Having other authors as friends is amazing! I found community through the internet at first, and then in person by going to different events, joining critique groups, attending write-ins, and going to conferences. My husband and I moved to Portland, Oregon, about 5 years ago and since then I’ve met a ton of the amazing writers who live in the area.

They inspire me by talking about what they’re working on, sharing ideas and tips, acting as beta readers for my work, and sharing my writing with their audiences. But mostly it’s just helpful to talk to someone who understands what it’s like to write a book.

That can be summed up something like this: “This book is murdering me and I hate everything about writing — wait, hold on, I just had this amazing thought let me go write it down! This book is going to be amazing. Or terrible. Or amazing!”

5. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Keep at it! Make friends and connections, but don’t worry about where other people are on their journey. Just keep writing and learning, and you’ll get there in the end.

6. What would you like readers to know about your latest book or book project?

I’ve been working on the Durga System series for about three years now. Originally I was writing a novel in which Willem Jaantzen (my main protagonist) was the villain. But he and his crew totally stole the show, and I ended up rewriting that book from scratch (twice) with him at the center. He’s still a notorious crime boss, but his heart’s mostly in the right place.

As I was discovering his story, I started writing a set of standalone novellas about members of his crew, including his deaf goddaughter Starla, his trickster lieutenant Manu, his surgeon/warrior Gia, and all the other characters who kept walking onto the page. They’re one big complicated family, and it’s been really fun to explore the depths of their love and friendship.

7. How many books to you plan to write for this series?

I currently have three standalone novellas in the Durga System series, and I’ll be publishing a 5+ book series (The Bulari Saga) starting this spring. Once I’ve wrapped up the Bulari Saga, I’m toying with the idea of writing a series of space-pirates-meet-Indiana-Jones style books about Starla’s parents.

8. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

I’m torn between the money I spend on conferences (for professional development and to meet other writers), and the money I spend on my editor, Kyra Freestar. She is worth her weight in gold!

9. Does your family support your career as a writer?

Absolutely. My parents have always been very supportive, as have my extended family. (I have a massive extended family who stay pretty close — much like Starla.) My mother has read all my books and told me that they’re amazing (even the terrible early ones), then pointed out all the typos.

And my husband is the biggest reason I’ve gotten as far as I have today. He supported me when I wanted to take the leap to freelancing, and he’s supported me working overtime to try to make fiction writing a viable part of my business. He’s my first reader and my biggest critic, and he’s never let me get away with a boring plot point or weak character.

I’m passionate enough about writing fiction that I probably would still be doing it even without the support of my family, but I wouldn’t be where I am without them.

About the Author:

Jessie Kwak is a freelance writer and novelist living in Portland, Oregon. When she’s not writing B2B marketing copy, you can find her scribbling away on her latest novel, riding her bike to the brewpub, or sewing something fun.


Disclosure: I received an eARC of this book and this is my honest review.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

2 Birthdays and a Linky


We had a double birthday last week! Amanda turned 11 last Thursday and I turned 44 last Sunday. One of Amanda's gifts was a 20,000+ LEGO set from my in-laws of the US Capital. I realize that I still need to update Amanda's header on this blog and Facebook page to reflect her age!

Samantha and Amanda picked flowers from the garden and made a pretty bouquet for my birthday. Robbie made waffles and bacon for breakfast. One of my gifts from my in-laws was a locally distilled boutique gin called Six Dogs. I posted photos of it on Instagram

My mother-in-law also took us out for lunch at the Oumeul (Old Mill) Bakery and Café at Du Toitskloof Cellar. All 4 kids were at home this weekend, so even if I don't get Mother's Day photos with all of them, I now have these!








Jessica, me, Samantha, Amanda, and Jeremiah





***************************

Here's a peek at
my latest post
on 1camera1mom:

Harbour House at Struisbaai



*********************

My Latest Book Review:

Dragon Chameleon Books 5 and 6

Dragon Chameleon: Silver Eyes by [Wilson, Sarah K. L.]

*********************

*** If you want to comment or join the linky, then please make sure this page's permalink loads as http and not https! Also, my blog is hosted by Blogger, which uses cookies to improve your browsing experience. And, it's best viewed in Google Chrome. ***

*********************

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

Come link up your Wordless Wednesday
(with or without words) or any picture post
at this Picture Perfect Party Linky.
Join me on this fun and easy blog hop!


I would love for you to follow me on
and
Follow on Bloglovin

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow me on one or more links above or via email.
  • Link-up any family friendly post with a picture and follow as many new blogs as you like.
  • If possible, copy the button code below and add it on your linked post or blog's side-bar.
  • Tell others about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

The Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

This is a Wordless Wednesday blog hop.
Please load page as http and not https.


How to use the linky widget:

First make sure that you load this page as http and not https if you want to see the linky. Type in the name of your blog post under Link Title, then type in your email under Email Address (which I don't sell to anyone), then copy your permalink to your post (most link parties ask for blog posts and not blog homepages) and paste that under URL (make sure that you use http:// or https:// only once), then click Submit Link and that's it!


Visit my Blog Hops page to see the hops that I often link up to.


Read More

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