29 December 2018

Weekend Writing Prompt [My Poetry Submission]


Photo via Pixabay


It's been so long since I've done any kind of writing prompt response! I discovered this via Rochelle's blog and it's led by Sammi's blog. Here's the prompt (and you can read the rules here).


Honestly, mine came to me almost immediately. So, there wasn't a whole lot of thought into it, but I just feel like it reminded me of the way you can go right into the flames of something without realizing the danger. Anyone ever feel that way?

Spark: A Poem by Nicole Pyles

I didn't realize I would ignite the fire
while I was holding 
the match in my hand.

So, how about that? I'd love to see what you come up with if you join in! 



23 December 2018

My December Sunday Post Monthly Meme



So, I wanted to do a bit more with my blog in 2019. Why not start with a look at the books and blogs that I've read over the past month. For the longest time, I've been seeing posts about The Sunday Post Meme and I'm finally going to join in! It's technically a weekly meme, but that feels a bit too much for me, but I'm taking it on as a monthly meme to join in. Well, that's the plan anyway, I may do more or less, we'll see. Find out more here at Caffeinated Book Reviewer to see details about how you can join!

Last Week (or so) on the Blog

I tossed away some old writing notebooks.

I reflected on my writing lessons for 2018 on the Women on Writing blog I contribute to.

This Week on the Blog

I reviewed a book on renewing your spirit in times of job loss. 

Read a beautiful children's book about Israel's bird migration.

Suggested some amazing things on Saturday night.

Learned a valuable lesson on writing recently.

New Arrivals



Thanks to Amazon's prime benefit of getting one book a month for free, I downloaded True Places by Sonja Yoerg. It's definitely out of my usual reading tastes and I can't wait to see how things go. Check it out on Goodreads.


Around the Blogosphere

I joined two challenges for next year!

The 2019 A to Z Challenge

The Comment 4 Comment Challenge 2019

Random Thoughts

I am tempted to put all of my books that are sitting in my Goodreads reading list into a 2019 TBR List and read and blog about it next year. Is that too much to ask of myself (considering there are 350 books and growing) or possible? I anticipate there will be some I won't finish or won't read due to a variety of reasons. Could be a fun challenge though!

22 December 2018

3 Suggestions on a Saturday Night



It's Saturday night everyone! We made it! So, it's nearing Christmas, can you believe it? For the most part, the Christmas season is pretty low key for me and my family, but I enjoy the festivities and the music. So Merry Christmas everyone!

For 2019, I have set a few goals for myself. I am hoping to get back into blogging, guest write for other blogs and start submitting short stories. We'll see how all that goes! 2018 has been a rocky year with losing my job in September (I can't believe it's been four months!) but I'm hopeful about next year. I strongly believe that God is leading me in a specific direction and I can't wait to see where He leads me!

Anyways here are my three suggestions on a Saturday night:

Saturday Night Book Suggestion: The Girl on Camera by Morgan Dun-Campbell. This book took me by total surprise. I had mixed feelings about the ending (don't worry, I won't reveal anything!) but overall it was an excellent thriller that really caught my attention. Whether you love or loathe reality TV, this is one you want to read. Find out more here.

Saturday Night Movie Suggestion: Margin Call. On my birthday, I watched Margin Call starring Kevin Spacey and Stanley Tucci. It was SO surprising. It's about the early days of the 2008 financial crisis. It isn't my usual type of movie but I was so engaged by this incredible thriller. Check it out on IMDB.

Saturday Night Twitter Suggestion: Okay, this is a Twitter account that I have been following and it's unbelievably adorable:



I don't know what I enjoy most on this account - the tweets themselves or the replies from people who share thoughts from their own dogs. Either way, it's a mood lifter that I absolutely think you should check out. Follow Thoughts of Dog here.

Want to join in? Let me know if you post about YOUR three suggestions on a Saturday night in the comments! Or if you want to guest host a "three suggestions on a Saturday Night" send me an email to npyles86[at]gmail[dot]com.

21 December 2018

A Book to Read to Renew Your Spirit [A Book Review]

As we look ahead to 2019, we are all likely making plans to get healthier, exercise more, eat less chocolate, read more books, watch less TV, and maybe even go on a social media detox. How many of us pay attention to the needs of our spirit though?

Refreshing your soul is essential to your overall health and for 2019, I suggest adding "refresh your spirit" to your list of resolutions. For me, I need that most of all, especially after losing my job a few months ago.

And if you need some guidance, I recommend taking a look at the book Time to Refresh by Karen Brown Tyson. Here is a bit about this book:

Book summary (courtesy of the author)
What happens when some part of your life comes to a screeching halt?

Time to Refresh: A 21- Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined, highlights Karen Brown Tyson's journey through the Bible following one of three layoffs in her life.

Watch how God leads one woman on a 21-day journey through the Bible and teaches her how to G.L.O.W.— gratitude, listen, observe and witness.

Print Length: 68 pages
Genre: Nonfiction, Self-Help
Publisher: Constant Communicators
ISBN: 978-0692170489

Time to Refresh is available to purchase on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

What I Thought

I lost my job around the time I had the opportunity to read this book. The author takes you through a day by day journey through her own layoff and gives you words of inspiration, scripture references, and prayers to take with you each day. It's a book that to truly obtain a sense of renewal that the book describes you must take action each day that is described in the book. It may be a fast read but in reality, taking it one day at a time, it's the perfect length.


Losing your job isn't easy but Karen's book helps you get a better outlook and see it as an opportunity, not just a loss.

Be sure to purchase your copy of Time to Refresh by visiting Amazon.com. 

About the Author

For the past 25 years, Karen Brown Tyson worked for Fortune 500 companies in the fast food, pharmaceutical, and telecommunication industries. Today, Karen is the founder of Constant Communicators, a lifestyle business that helps people improve their business writing skills. Time to Refresh:  A 21-Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined was released in August 2018.  Karen lives in North Carolina with her husband and son.

You can find Karen at -

Personal Website - www.karenbrowntyson.com 




Want to read amazing books like this? Send me an email to nicole[at]wow-womenonwriting.com and I'll make sure you hear about our next blog tour! Are you an author wanting to be featured on blogs like mine? Email me at that same email address and I'll give you information about WOW's blog tours.

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

17 December 2018

A Book to Read for the Child Who is a Leader at Heart [Book Review]

Were you a leader as a kid? Or do you have a child that is a leader at heart? They are probably the ones who make up the games (that was very much who I was a kid) and like to be in front. Maybe the first in line to go to recess and gather the troups for a fun game. Maybe they are curious and aren't afraid to show it. If that sounds like a child you know, then you may want to read the book All Eyes on Alexandra by Anna Levine.

Book summary

 In All Eyes on Alexandra, young Alexandra Crane is terrible at following her family in their flying Vee. She can’t help it that the world is so full of interesting distracting sights! When it's time for the Cranes to migrate to Israel's Hula Valley for the winter, Alexandra is excited but her family is worried. Will Alexandra stay with the group, and what happens if a dangerous situation should arise? Might Alexandra—and the rest of the flock—discover that a bad follower can sometimes make a great leader?

Based on the true story of Israel’s annual crane migration.

Print Length: 32 Pages
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Publisher: Kar-Ben Pub
ISBN-10: 1512444391
ISBN-13: 978-1512444391

All Eyes on Alexandra is available to purchase on AmazonBarnes and NobleTarget and Thrift Books.

What I Thought

This book was so charming! What spoke to me about this book was Alexandra's curious nature and desire to lead. This reminded me so much of what I was like as a kid! I couldn't help but smile at the line, "She may not like to follow, but Alexandra sure knows how to lead." Ah that was so me! (And me still! Reminds me of an interview I went on in my high school years and I blurted out how one of my weaknesses was that I didn't like being told what to do. Ha!). Anyways, in addition to a charming character, the illustrations were absolutely gorgeous. It's the type of illustration I would love to buy. 

Plus, this also gives you information about Israel's bird migration! I never knew about this at all, so I learned something when I read this book.  I absolutely 100% recommend this book!

About the Author, Anna Levine



Anna Levine is an award-winning children’s book author. Like Alexandra Crane, the character in her latest picture book, she loves to explore new worlds. Born in Canada, Anna has lived in the US and Europe.  She now lives in Israel, where she writes and teaches.

You can find Anna Levine online at --

Author website: http://www.annalevine.org/

Twitter: @LevineAnna 

Instagram: @booksfromanna 

About the Illustrator, Chiara Pasqualotto



Chiara Pasqualotto was born in Padua, in northern Italy, currently teaches illustration and drawing classes to children and adults, in particular in Padua during the summer at the Scuola Internazionale di Comics and in Rome. Since 2008 she's been living in Rome and working with illustration professionally: her first picture book, Mine, All Mine! was published in 2009 by Boxer Books (UK), since then she published with Oxford University Press, Giunti, Terranuova and some American publishers (Paraclete Press, Tyndale, LearningAZ, Kar-Ben Publisher).

You can find Chiara Pasqualotto online at -




Want to read great books like this? Send me email at nicole[at]wow-womenonwriting.com and I'll make sure you hear about our next blog tour! Are you an author wanting to be featured on blogs like mine? Send me an email to that same address and I'll let you know about WOW's blog tours!

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

07 December 2018

Tossing Away Old Writing Notebooks - My Refreshing New Start


Today, I went on an exhibition to organize. It comes in waves for me, but this time was different. It all started when I came across old collages I made during high school and early college years that I would put in the front and back of binders. The hobby faded when I stopped subscribing to magazines, but these old collages remained stuffed in a weathered tote bag, unseen for years. Today, I decided to toss them and felt a pang of remorse, but almost immediately felt relief.

Then I came across a bag filled with notebooks and loose notebook paper filled with stories, freewritings, ideas, and character sheets. Quite a few were from high school (I couldn't help but wince at those.) Many were from early college years, which - let's just be honest - weren't that much better than the stories from high school years. And as I read through this huge stack, I knew it was time to let them go.

I tossed away character sheets and several chapters from a novel idea I had about people living on a street called September Drive (there were many versions of this novel and nothing quite clicked for me). I tossed away notes from the fantasy novel I wrote in high school (there is still many pages from this world I created somewhere in my closet). I also tossed away illegiblle story scenes that were aimless and unfinished. I tossed away short stories I wrote for class taught by a teacher who refused to let us turn in genre-based writing. I threw away the unfinished novel from that same year in college when I tried NaNoWriMo the first time (I tried reading it and couldn't even tell you what it was about).

Like with my collages, I felt bad about tossing these. Then when I got started, I realized how much I needed to do this. Was there a time that I would read through these stories and use them for inspiration? Maybe. Yet, I know I won't look back with regret and wonder what came of these scraps of myself as a writer, because I am ready to grow and move on. 

I recall reading writing advice from somewhere that said if you want to try and finish a story you left undone years before, start the story fresh. I agree with that advice. 

I still look at notebooks for inspiration, but I realize that the notebooks I use for inspiration now are more recent reflections of who I am as a writer. Maybe 10 years from now I will go through my notebooks from my late twenties and early thirties and wince at my failed attempts while smiling at my endless determination. 

Even as I say goodbye to this old version of me as a writer, it's still proof to me that writing will always be something I am pursuing. I love telling stories. It's a love and desire that God put into my heart before I even knew how to read. Today was proof of that and also proof I'm ready to let go and grow.

Do you hold onto old notebooks and stories?


04 December 2018

Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson [A Book Review}

This book is part of the WOW! Women on Writing tour and I'm so excited to join in! And it's my birthday today, so total win all around.

About the Book: 

Hank and Norm were living the good life: two friends with plenty of money, homes in a lovely California retirement town, and no problems except for the boredom that felt almost fatal. Then Mai came into the picture, the love of Hank’s life during his CIA days in Saigon, desperately needing his help to save the son he’d never known he had. Boredom was over, as Hank and Norm hit the road, following the few clues Mai could give them in search of a man who desperately wants not to be found. What they find is a slew of lies and hidden truths, strange characters, improbable danger that has them fighting to survive, and the happy lesson that their lives are far from over.

What I Thought:

The tone of the book captured me immediately. Through Hank's eyes, it seems like his life was pretty much over, especially considering his wife was no longer alive. Then a former lover comes into the picture and he sets off with his best friend Norm to find someone from the past. This book absolutely kept me on the edge of my seat. It's a thriller with a great tone and personality. The chapters weren't long so that seemed to increase the pace of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Hank and Norm together, in particular, it was like the ultimate road trip experience with them. While the book sometimes switches points of view to other characters, I enjoyed their parts the most. It's the sort of action-packed exciting book you want to read because it also reminds you that right when you begin to think life is all done with you, it kicks right into gear.

Be sure to pick up a copy of your book by purchasing on on Amazon or add this book to your Goodreads list. 

Favorite Quotes (I credit the book blogger Books and Bindings for inspiring me to add my favorite books to reviews! I love that she does that!):

'"No matter what happens in our search, I think we owe Mai a debt of gratitude for getting our asses out of Sunrise and back into the land of the living." He gestured at the wide open, deserted, and desolate space ahead and grinned. "Even though there isn't actually anything living in sight at the moment."'

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

'"I've read all your books," Norm said. "There seems to be a recurring theme about fathers dying or going missing. Am I right?" 

Derek shrugged again, still looking at his father, a wry smile playing on his lips. "I guess I'm going to need a new theme."'

About the Author




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.

You can find this author over at:

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. If you want to read great books like these, send me an email to nicole[at]wow-womenonwriting.com and I'll make sure you hear about the next WOW! tour! 
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