Photo 365 #115

One of my favorite pastimes is reading. I know, big surprise. 🙂 But seriously, I love books. And I love to read, to myself and to my kids. It’s the best way I know to pass on my passion for books.

The best part? It works.
Here’s Thumper reading George and Martha by James Marshall. I loved his books when I was little, and I’ve read them to each of my kids. This particular book is an omnibus edition of all the George and Martha stories, which I’d never seen before. Our last trip to the library yielded not only this treasure, but also James Marshall’s retelling of The Three Bears and a stack of Tomie dePaola books, another author I loved as a kid.

What were some of your favorite childhood books? Favorite authors? Share ’em down below!

(c) 2014. All rights reserved.


Book promo round-up

rowlingbookI was trawling through Facebook Friday and ran across some excellent words of wisdom from Lucas Hargis:

1. Go through your “Friends” list
2. If any are published authors, click their links
3. Buy their books
4. Help authors on Black Friday, too

I spent last week promoting books in anticipation of Black Friday.  There are so many great books out there, and this is a great time to pick up a whole bunch of them to either keep for yourself or share with others as Christmas gifts.  It was seriously hard to limit myself to the books I did promote, and, as evidenced by my last post, I completely failed at the whole limit thing.

But with tomorrow being Cyber Monday, I thought this would be the perfect time to collect all those posts into one big one, a sort of one-stop book-shopping list, if you will.  So, without further ado, a list of all the books I’ve featured this month and where to find them:

Photo 365 #114

sb2Nothing today has been what I expected. I’d expected to get a whole bunch of laundry done and put away. I’d expected to get some more work done on my revisions. I’d even hoped to get a new photo editing program installed on my computer and maybe, if I was really lucky, go to the UNI play-off game with the family tonight.

But as the old saying goes, I plan and God laughs.

Instead, I was up half of last night with an out-of-sorts Thumper. Bubbles and Miss Tadpole assisted in trying to calm him down the first time, as they weren’t yet in bed, which left me feeling all sorts of warm and fuzzy. Then today, I spent the day waging war against a particularly stubborn migraine, which still hasn’t subsided. (Grrr.) Once again, it was Bubbles and Miss Tadpole to the rescue – they kept an eye on the boys when my medicine made me sleepy and did their chores without argument. Once again, I felt all sorts of warm and fuzzy. 🙂

Despite having searched high and low for someone to watch the boys so we could go to the game tonight, I didn’t get to go to the game. Everyone was busy, and by the time we thought to just buy the boys their own tickets, the game had sold out. But since I’m still not feeling that well, I didn’t mind too much.

As we headed up to meet Seymour so he could take the kids to the game, Thumper conked out in the car. He hasn’t napped in two days, so I worried that he’d wake up as soon as we got home and then not go back to sleep at bedtime. Surprisingly enough, he didn’t wake up when we got home. His eyes fluttered open for a minute while I took his coat off, but he went right back to sleep. I took this picture in the parking lot before we headed home – I just loved the lighting in it. He looks like he hasn’t a care in the world, and I hope he holds onto that peace for a long, long time.

All these things have left me feeling particularly blessed – after all, you can’t know joy without sadness. What things – or people – make you feel blessed?

(c) 2014. All rights reserved.

Photo Friday: The Food Coma Express

We went to my in-laws’place for Thanksgiving yesterday. It was a nice visit, complete with enough food for a small army: ham, turkey, corn, potatoes, rolls, deviled eggs, pickles, jello fluff, pumpkin pie (without the crust), and ice cream.

And there were only nine of us!

After all that food, it’s no wonder that this was the view on the way home:


There was some snoozing going on in the front seat, too; Miss Tadpole curled up next to Seymour and slept most of the way home. If the rest of us could have napped, too, I think we would have.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of great food, great family, great friends, and great fun. If your celebrations are continuing this weekend, stay safe! 🙂

(c) 2014. All rights reserved.

Photo 365 #113: Triumph

I had a great picture in mind for this challenge.  It’s a picture of Bubbles when he was little, having made it through the tube on the playground.  He emerged from it feeling victorious, and reached to the sky in joy.

Or at least that’s how I remembered the picture.

I dug it out of my external hard drive this morning and discovered that his expression was a little less triumphant than I remembered.  Okay, a lot less triumphant – it looked like he was about to cry.

Well, so much for feeling victorious.

But then I ran across these pictures.  When he was little, we used to go apple picking at a local orchard every fall.  Most of the trees were too tall for him to reach, but there was this one that had some particularly low-hanging fruit.  He was determined to help us pick apples, so he went over and immediately began tugging on a beautiful red apple.

It put up quite a fight, but he was victorious in the end.  Triumph never tasted so sweet. 🙂

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

One last recommendation!

Well, two more, actually.  First up, I’d like to recommend The Showing by Will Macmillan Jones.  In a departure from his usually comedic genius, he’s put together “a gripping, scary read” and, having read some of his flash fiction pieces in 416, I can vouch for his ability to scare. 🙂

So, what’s The Showing all about?  Well…

It was a house Mister Jones knew too well, his family’s house.
Here it was, again for sale and he could not resist being shown around.
But his visit has roused that which was sleeping – how many will die before it can be laid to rest?

If you knew how much of this story is true, would you want to sleep with your light on tonight?

Now if that doesn’t stir your interest, I don’t know what will.  Oh, maybe this excerpt from Will’s website will do the trick:

Spend your Thanksgiving with a great book!

ctdkHappy Thanksgiving, everybody!  Yes, even today, I’ve got a book recommendation for you.  This one is currently free on Amazon, but only for one more day.  Luckily, I’ve got the scoop on Cedric the Demonic Knight by Valerie Willis right here:

Known for hunting the supernatural, no mortal man realizes Lord Cedric is one of Sorceress Morrighan’s abominations. After competing in a tournament, he is wed to a Lady of the Court, Angeline. Cedric’s senses begin to overwhelm him and he struggles to decipher his feelings; Are they a creation of his incubine bloodline or truly heartfelt emotions for the girl who has lost it all to him? He finds himself forced to choose between falling in love or continuing his suicidal quest to kill his creator. Epic battles against all manners of beasts and demons fill this story with memorable antagonists such as Morrighan and her two sisters; Romasanta the Father of Werewolves; Succubus Queen Lillith and many more. Find yourself engulfed in lores and history long forgotten from the 12th Century and beyond.

And here’s a handy dandy excerpt, because…Well…Because why not?

Photo 365 #111: Edge

If the following picture seems familiar, it’s because you’ve likely seen it before in sepia:


I took this picture back in 2007.  I was doing someone’s senior pictures, and I couldn’t help taking a few shots of this bridge for myself.  It’s an old railroad bridge spanning the Iowa River, but it hasn’t been used for trains in I don’t know how long.  I have a deep and abiding love for the relics of my state’s history, a bit of which you can read about here.

How about you – what are some of your old loves?

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

Next up in the holiday book promo is…

btpBetter Than Perfect by the incomparable Tricia Drammeh.  Tricia has a whole host of novels available, and you should all go and read every last one of them, then pay her to write more.

Also?  Tricia is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, so, you know – help a girl out.


What’s Better Than Perfect all about?  Behold, ze blurb:

Twenty-three-year-old Karlie is in the type of rut some people never escape from. With few friends, no boyfriend, and no plans to graduate from college any time in the immediate future, Karlie is as stuck in her ways as the elderly neighbor she spends all her time with.

When her world is invaded by two surly twins bound for criminal court, a too-good-to-be-true love interest, and a cute cop who keeps showing up at the most inopportune moments, Karlie can either fight against the changes in her life, or embrace them.

Sounds great, don’t you think?  I checked out the first little bit on Amazon and found myself relating to Karlie almost immediately.  If you want to know what I mean, then check this out: