23 May 2018

A Book to Read if You Are On a Spiritual Journey [Catch a Dream by Wendy Brown-Baez]

Over the past couple of years, I've gotten closer to my faith in God. I grew up going to church and even attended a Christian elementary school, but it wasn't until recently that I took my faith more seriously. This has been such a transforming experience for me and it's been such a tremendous walk with God over the last couple of years. Which is unusual because it's also been tremendously difficult in my personal life. Anyways, so when I had the chance to read Wendy Brown-Baez book "Catch a Dream" which discusses her own spiritual journey, I couldn't wait to read it.

Here's more about the book -


A woman’s healing journey begins in a country embroiled in relentless turmoil. In Israel, the first Intifada has just begun. Palestinian frustration for a homeland erupts in strikes, demonstrations and suicide bombings and Israel responds with tear gas, arrests, and house demolitions. Lily Ambrosia and Rainbow Dove arrive in Haifa with their children on a pilgrimage to sow seeds of peace. Lily’s fascination with Jewish culture inspires her to dream she can plant roots in the Holy Land. She falls in love with the land itself, with its people, and with Levi, a charming enigma, dangerous but irresistible. Eventually she is fully immersed in Israeli life, earning her way as a nanny, hanging out in cafes with friends, and attending Yom Kippur in the synagogue. Her son rebels against the lifestyle she has chosen and war with Syria looms on the horizon. Will she be able to stay? What does she have to give up and what will she be able to keep?

Catch a Dream is available in print and as an ebook on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and IndieBound


What I Thought -

This took me by total surprise. I wasn't sure that I would like it or enjoy it as much as I did. Wendy did a FANTASTIC job of vividly describing the details of Israel and what it was like. I felt like I was there (did you know this book was based on a memoir? Read the Women on Writing interview to learn more about the author!). And I was just really connected to whether or not the main character would decide to do after she met this love of her life. I was so connected to her journey and what she would decide to do when things started to move in an unexpected direction. I felt the emotions right along with her. 

Anyways, if you are on a spiritual journey of your own, or love to Travel, go on this journey with Wendy and read her book Catch a Dream. I know you will love it and you will be glad you read it. I definitely was!

Find more about the tour by visiting this link here. You can enter to win a copy of the book this week (giveaway ends Sunday, 5/27) and you can also find out more about the author and where else she will be on the tour.

Want to read books like this one? Send me an email to nicole@wow-womenonwriting.com with your blog link and I'll make sure to let you know about upcoming tours.

Have a book you want promoted? Send me an email to nicole@wow-womenonwriting.com and I'll send you information about what WOW! has to offer.

I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

18 May 2018

A Book to Read if You Love a Good Thriller [The Pinochet Plot]


As I write this, it's raining outside and I love rain in May. It's warm and everything is just so green and lush. What a beautiful time of year! So, thanks to WOW! Blog Tours (with WOW! Women on Writing) I had the chance to review a really good book called The Pinochet Plot. Here's a little bit about the book -

Successful San Francisco attorney Will Muñoz has heard of the brutal former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, of course, but it's not until he receives his mother's suicide letter that he has any inkling Pinochet may have had his father, Chilean writer Ricardo Muñoz, assassinated thirty years earlier.

Her suspicions spur Will on to a quest to discover the truth about his father's death–and about the psychological forces that have driven his mother to her fatal decision. His journey takes him deep into unexpected darkness linking his current step-father, the CIA, drug-experimentation programs, and a conspiracy of domestic terrorism. The Pinochet Plot is not just a story of a man seeking inner peace; it is also a story of sinister history doomed to repeat itself.

What I Thought:

I really enjoyed this thriller! I'm not usually one for political thrillers as this one sometimes felt, but I thought this was captivating and well done. It was written in first person, which gave me close insight to the main character. I liked the main character a lot and enjoyed the details used to describe his childhood, family and the surroundings. The author did an EXCELLENT job of being detailed about everything the character was experiencing and it was such a richly told book. The book also takes you through some very real history which was very interesting! Admittedly, some did go over my head, especially with the CIA angle, but it was a book where I just had to see what happened! I oddly didn't like the female character, Cheryl, in the book. Yet I did like how Will's mom was portrayed and his memories of her and how she was during his youth.

Anyways this book was fantastic and a definite must read!

Visit this Amazon link to purchase a copy of the book.  

Here's also a bit about the author and where you can find him -\

David Myles Robinson grew up in Pasadena, CA. He holds degrees from San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco School of Law. After practicing law for thirty-eight years in Honolulu, Hawaii, he retired with his wife, former Honolulu judge Marcia Waldorf, to Taos, NM. Robinson is the author of three previous novels: legal thrillers Tropical Lies and Tropical Judgments, and Unplayable Lie, a golf-related suspense novel.

Find David Online:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38825244-the-pinochet-plot

David Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DMRobinsonWrite

David Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DavidMylesRobinson/

David Website: www.davidmylesrobinson.com

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Also if you want to join in with WOW! Blog Tours and find incredible books to read like this, send me an email at nicole@wow-womenonwriting.com and I'll let you know about which incredible books are available to read next!

09 May 2018

On Writing Dreams, Reality & Life

I ran into a metaphor for life while cleaning out my closet yesterday. While sorting out an old jewelry box,  I came across a clump of tangled necklaces that I attempted to unravel. One necklace came out nicely, the other two were twisted together and knotted so much I had to leave it. Part of the reason I left it, was because of what the necklace reminded me of. Take a look for yourself -



That word  - dream - that dangles from the end of a dainty little necklace is now twisted and tied up with a beady, chunky, necklace thanks to my neglect. Isn't that life though? I find as time goes by that unless you pay attention to and take care of a dream, especially one you've held onto for years, that it can end up looking messy and unsalvageable, a bit like this necklace.

In the midst of a stressful time period, I've managed to keep writing. What is the "dream" now though? Is it the same as when I was a kid? Of course not. The dream has always been to write and get published, but seeing that dream at 31 is far different from how I saw that dream at 10. Working with authors with WOW to promote their book as well as reading and reviewing books for authors through this blog have both taught me that publishing a book is only step one. It takes more than a good story to get readers. I've read and reviewed many books that didn't get on the bestsellers list and also deserved far more attention than they got.

So, my dream has gotten a bit tangled due to reality as well as the messy qualities of life. It's hard not to let that happen. To untangle the dream from reality and life is work, much like it will take work to untangle that necklace. With patience and determination and an unfailing ability to never quit, I can untangle the dream.

That necklace now sits in a prominent place in my room. Not because it's such a beautiful clump of cheap jewelry, but because it represents something that needed reminding. Don't let go of the dream, but don't neglect it either.




06 May 2018

Loose Ends By Caroline Taylor [A Book Review]

 As spring slowly inches it's way closer to summer, I had the chance to read a good thriller about two characters trying to figure out the truth while running from danger.

Here's a bit about the book (courtesy of the publisher):

In the midst of Bicentennial celebrations, Carson Mahoney narrowly escapes a home invasion that reduces her house to rubble. In a West Virginia commune, her sister Cam kills the commune leader. Now both sisters must flee. Already a suspect in her secretive husband’s murder, Carson fears the police will suspect her of arson and put her in jail. It happened before, back when the two sisters were teenagers, imprisoned in a foreign country. It cannot happen again. But running away is also not an option. Cam needs to find the innocent whose life she has saved. Carson must find the thugs who destroyed her home and her livelihood. All too soon, the sisters learn how impossible it is to hide and how difficult it is to trust those who offer help. Will they survive long enough to clear their names? Caroline Taylor has written a tightly woven thriller full of female empowerment and bravery, with strong women seeking justice and formidable opponents in their way. With twists and turns, jolting from the present to the past, readers will be holding their breath until the very end.

What I Thought:

This book was a great thriller! I enjoyed both characters Carson and her sister Cam, and I just had to continue reading to see what happens. Things really start out with a bang in this book and you are taken right into the heart of the troubles. I enjoyed the character Carson especially and thought that Cam was sort of a mystery. The dynamics of their lives and the danger they found themselves in was interesting and captivating. Definitely a book worth reading!

About the Author

Caroline Taylor is the author of two mystery novels, “What Are Friends For?” and “Jewelry from a Grave,” one nonfiction book, “Publishing the Nonprofit Annual Report: Tips, Traps, and Tricks of the Trade,” and numerous short stories and essays, which are featured on her website at www.carolinestories.com. A collection of short stories, titled “Enough: Thirty Stories of Fielding Live’s Little Curve Balls,” is forthcoming from Literary Wanderlust in April 2018. A longtime resident of Washington, DC, she now lives in North Carolina.

Purchase a copy of this book on Amazon now.

This post contains an affiliate link for which I will receive small compensation if you purchase through my link. 

02 May 2018

The Vines We Planted by Joanell Serra [Book Review]

Two things I really enjoy - wine and books. So, why not read a book that has a winery setting? Kind of amazing, if you ask me! As the seasons change from rain and clouds to shining sun back to clouds again, I had the pleasure of reading The Vines We Planted by Joanell Serra. 

Before we get into what I thought, here's a little bit about the book:

"In the heart of the California wine country, secrets seem to grow on the vines that Uriel Macon’s family have tended for generations. Uriel, the winery’s young widower, steers clear of complicated relationships. He prefers the lonely comfort of his vineyard and his horses, until he is reminded of his love affair with Amanda Scanlon; a relationship that ended when she abruptly left the country years ago under a cloud of mystery.

When Amanda returns to Sonoma because of a family crisis, she tries to mend the broken relationships she left behind. In addition, she seeks the truth about her parents’ complicated history and her own parentage.  But Amanda’s unveiling of the past has devastating consequences. In the midst of California’s beautiful Sonoma Valley, the Scanlon family struggles to overcome harsh realities with dignity and grace.

Both Amanda and Uriel stretch to take care of their families, which are facing immigration issues, marital crises, and loss. While navigating these challenges, the couple must decide if they trust themselves to love again, or to finally let each other go.

A Sonoma local, author Joanell Serra’s debut novel is captivating, poignant, and uplifting, demonstrating how seeds planted long ago continue to grow. Sometimes into a strangling weed, sometimes offering a bountiful harvest."

What I Thought

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. First of all, I enjoyed the setting. The writer really knew how to take me right into the heart of the winery and the country setting. I felt like I was there, I loved it! I appreciated the romance in the book and really rooted for the characters along the way. The characters were well written and the pace of the book really kept me going. I couldn't wait to see what happened. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend this to anyone who loves a blend of drama, romance and a strong family core throughout the book.

Be sure to pick up your copy by visiting this page at Amazon.com. 

Meet the Author

Joanell Serra, MFT lives with her growing children, husband and dogs in the lovely Sonoma Valley. After years of publishing short stories, essays and plays, The Vines We Planted is her debut novel. She can be found polishing her second novel at a coffee shop, sipping a perfect Cabernet in a Sonoma winery or at her website:www.JoanellSerraAuthor.com.

Find Joanell Online:

http://joanellserraauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Joanellserrauthor/

https://www.instagram.com/joanellserraauthor/

http://joanellserraauthor.com/author-blog/

I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.  This book is part of a WOW! Women on Writing blog tour! Interested in being part of a book tour or promoting your book with WOW? Send me an email to nicole [at] wow-womenonwriting [dot] com.

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