Book Thoughts: Butterfly

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Rochelle AlersButterflyis a sweeping drama of Seneca Houston.  Seneca comes from a middle-class family in upstate New York with a controlling Mom, a genius brother, a cute baby sister and a warm nurturing Dad.
Where’s the conflict? Everywhere!
  • Seneca vs. her mother’s fear and jealousy
  • Seneca vs. her sister’s envy
  • Seneca vs. her own personal demons (fear of success, intimacy, men, being controlled, getting pregnant…)
Seneca’s fears may seem commonplace however when you’re an-up-and-coming international supermodel her fears take on a life of their own.  At eighteen, Seneca was studying at NYU as a film & theatre major.  However, a model-turned-photographer, Leon Mitchell, felt she should be in front of the cameras not behind them.  After three years doing catalog work, Leon convinced her to meet a high-powered agent, Booth Gordon; and that, shall we say, is history.  Seneca Houston was reborn as Butterfly who glides down the runway.
Her personal life wasn’t quite as golden as her blossoming career.  Take a ride with Seneca and read about the seedier side of the glamorous world of high-fashion modeling.  Tag along through all of Seneca’s up’s and down’s in this slow-moderately paced book.
If you enjoy romances with well-developed characters, realistic dialogue and a hankering to read about male eye-candy then Butterfly’s for you!
Rating: 3.5 Blogairy Notebooks

The GRIMmest Interview & Giveaway You’ll Ever Read

Raynetta Stocks, author of The Grim, stopped by to chat with me about her book which debuted in May of this year.  I read it and loved it!  Read the review here.
I loved the book so much I wanted to share it with a lucky winner — hopefully, it’s YOU.  This way, you can take a journey with Jaycee, Maddy & Tony to see how deep and grim this particular rabbit hole is! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself! Tee-hee.)  Oh, did I mention this is a 5-star rated Amazon book??

So, after reading what inspired Raynetta to write The Grim enter the raffle today!!

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If you don’t win, buy it on Amazon

What inspired you to write The Grim?

The Grim is semi-autobiographical since I struggled with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) myself some years ago.  As I began writing the novel, I realized that I struggled to complete the portions where I was subconsciously having Jaycee confront issues I hadn’t dealt with myself.  But, the writing was therapeutic in that way.
Do you have training in psychiatry or in the field of mental health?
I do actually.  I’ve worked with an outpatient mental health clinic for seven (7) years now.
How did you go about researching for this book?
I did still do a great deal of research for the novel.  I visited several inpatient psych wards to investigate what real ward living was like and procedure that is taken daily by the caregivers to those patients.  It was very insightful.
If The Grimwere made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters? Jaycee, Maddy, Tony & Tina?
I would love to have Jaycee and Aaron played by Zoe Saldana and Channing Tatum.  I think that would be a brilliant on-screen match!  Maddy would best be played by Dakota Fanning; she has a great combination of innocence and depth.  Jay Hernandez would be an incredible Tony and Tina…well, I can’t think of one person in Hollywood, at present, with the youth and depth of Tina.  Perhaps an unknown would best fill those shoes.
When did you first begin writing?
I’ve always written, since I first learned how.  I was given my first journal at six years old, and I haven’t stopped since.
Was there a pivotal moment/experience that let you know this was your passion?
I’ve always loved to write, but it was not always my primary passion.  Initially, I wanted to be a lounge singer, and that was the dream I pursued.  When I realized I was selling more lyrics than gigs I decided to let writing take the driver’s seat.
Why did you choose the indie route to publish as opposed to the traditional route?
The best part of indie publishing is creative freedom.  I can say and write what I feel without all the political parameters.  Some of the topics I discuss in The Grim would have been vetoed by a traditional publisher, especially for a new author.
Will there be a follow-up/sequel to The Grim?
We’ll see…
Tell us what makes you happy, mad and/or sad beyond belief? Why?
My family makes me happy beyond belief.  They are my happy place, the safe haven I run to when angry or sad.  What makes me mad/sad beyond belief is hearing the injustices, neglect, and pain inflicted upon children.  I can’t stand it.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Thoughts: Love Walked In

Francine Howarth, a wonderful UK writer, has brought us a fast-paced romantic thriller with Love Walked In.  The extra spice of the British dialect to tickle our ears and whet our appetites for me.  As a wonderful nod to her growing fan base here in the US, the leading man is American with beautiful eyes that can go from dark midnight blue to stormy cloudy skies but the intensity is still the same — sizzling!

Cassie Douglas is married to a dashing, driven, man who’s sexy and also happens to be a secret agent.  Cassie is not clear on all of the details other than she’s madly deeply in love with him and she can never tell him, No.  Her and their two children, are happy — most of the time — especially when he comes home.  It’s when he dashes out, or leaves in the middle of the night for weeks and months without end that life gets trying for Cassie.  That is, until her beloved Jamie is assassinated by terrorists.

Cassie’s life is changed forever.  Not just by his violent passing and the enormous job of consoling the children and being strong for them while dying inside herself. As the months tick by, Cassie’s life is not returning to normal.  Her son finds a computer game of his father’s that has captured his attention and the unwanted attention of others!

Cassie and her family are in danger and they don’t even know where to seek their enemy!  Within a day, American Major “Mac” McKinley, Jamie’s closest friend comes to pay his respects — 10 months later.

This fact does not immediately compute as Cassie recalls Mac’s picture vividly from an old photo Jamie kept in his wallet that is now her only reminder of him.  Mac quickly becomes the center of Cassie’s attention and very soon, her life.  She had fallen in love with him years before with is “wolfish eyes” but the rest of him was lean, strong and virile.  Cassie feels safe with Mac around but bullets keep flying and the game that her son found is seeming to implicate Mac in a number of murders. Cassie flees for her life, children in tow.

Read how Cassie’s story ends.  Does she come out unscathed with a romantic partner for life?  Does she follow her husband to the other side?  Is Mac who he says he is?  The suspense is kept up until the very end.  This is a page-turner!  Once you become accustomed to the British tone, you will love this story!

My Rating: 4.5 Blogairy Notebooks

How we DO AC…

So, last weekend we did AC.  You know the new promotion that Atlantic City media folks are pushing, right? DO AC??

You’ve seen this and other commercials, right?  Well, it got my Hun and I thinking and we took off for a couple of days to relax and not DO too much.

We had a blast!  We visited Maria’s Luncheonette on Atlantic Ave.  Tun Tavern (part of the Sheraton across from the Convention Center). We partied (well, tried to at least…) at the 40/40 Club.  [It was SO dead that night (6/2) that we left after only 40 minutes or so.]  We stopped in at the famous Angelo’s Fairmount Italian Restaurant.

And most of all we cavorted at the newly renovated Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino.  Did I mention we browsed past Flagship which is located Uptown AC?  They offer timeshares there and it’s a family-friendly establishment.  There’s also a “passive park”, the Oscar E. McClinton, Jr. Waterfront Park, right around the corner from Flagship where you can view the Marina.  Tres chic!  [Yeah, dunno what a passive park is…]

Did you know that Atlantic City is divided into three sections?

  • Uptown
  • MidBeach
  • DownBeach

Yeah.  Sure.  OK.

All the rest of us care about is — where can I win the most money?  Which casino?? [Many people say DownBeach at Tropicana…]

Anyway, here’s our trip in pictures.  Enjoy!!

Crazy NJ Parking Rules…
Angelo’s Famous Fairmount Tavern – Chicken Florentine & Chicken Cacciatori
Gold-to-Go @ The Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino (in the lobby)

LOVE this room!!

One of the shops at the Golden Nugget had this replica of the largest gold nugget found.

Really?? 40/40 dead on a Saturday night?? REALLY??
Yes — REALLY!!

Good food at great prices. So, when you’re down on your luck — go to Maria’s!
H20 Club @ The Golden Nugget (Yeah – 4 Jacuzzis outside!!!)

Tun Tavern’s Terriyaki Chicken

Tun Tavern’s Chicken Parmesan

Tun Tavern’s Tun of Wings (they are AWESOME!!)

“I refuse to leave AC!!!!!!”


Wish this bathroom were mine…
Diva me (watch out Tyra — here I come!)
You think Golden Nugget’s taking the theme too far?? 30 chocolates in a box?? For $29.95??

My Dream House on Sunrise Avenue (seriously that’s the name of the street!)
Gold pieces seen thru bullet proof glass on the gold-to-go machine

Me juggling technology

Yeah, I’m laying an egg.

Isn’t he dreamy???