Saturday, May 31, 2014

May Monthly News

Welcome to May Monthly News!
I hope all you mom's had a great mother's day!
You will notice a low amount of books reviewed. Rest assured I read more than that, but they are touring at later dates.



MOVIES:
  1. Devil's Due
  2. Out Of The Furnace
  3. Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses (recommend)

Yearly Total:  36 Books, 7 Products & 15 Movies


DIY:

Book of the Month:


Book of the Year:





SPECIAL POSTS:

ALPHABE THURSDAYS (Get To Know Freda):
A Is For Animals                   A Is For Asleep
B Is For Books                     B Is For Best Friend Bella
C Is For Cake                      C Is For Cookies
D Is For Dad(s)                    D Is For Dream (Come True)
E Is For Elvis                       E Is For Ewok
F Is For Freda                     F Is For Festive Family
G Is For Gangs                    G Is For Game
H Is For Hobbies                  H Is For Hooked
I Is For Inked                      I Is For Insane
J Is For Jalapeno                  J Is For Juice
K Is For Kids                       K Is For Kitty
L Is For Live Music               L Is For Love
M Is For Mom                      M Is For Munchies #Recipe
N Is For Noob                      N Is For New
O Is For Older                     O Is For Orange
P Is For Poetry                    P Is For Photography 
Q Is For Quiet                     Q Is For Quit
R Is For Religion                  R Is For Routine
S Is For Soup Nazi               S Is For Songs
T Is For Two Things             T Is For Tea
U Is For Unique                    U Is For Up
V Is For Vince                     V Is For Violets

Mike Martin, Author of Beneath the Surface, Interview

Please give a warm welcome to Mike Martin.
He joins us today to talk about his newest novel and answer a few questions I had for him. 
Mike, welcome to my world. Why don't you fill us in about yourself.

I was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now live and work in Ottawa, Ontario. I am a long-time freelance writer and my articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. I am the author of "Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People” and I have written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.
The Walker on the Cape was my first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. The Body on the T was the second book, and Beneath the Surface is the third installment in this series. I am a member of Ottawa Independent Writers, Capital Crime Writers, the Crime Writers of Canada and the Newfoundland Writers’ Guild.


You can find me on the web at

You can read about my books at



You can follow Sgt. Windflower on Facebook at



Please tell readers about your current book.
Beneath the Surface is the third installment in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series which is set in Newfoundland on the very easternmost tip of Canada. It is the next adventure of Sgt. Winston Windflower, an RCMP Officer and a Cree from Northern Alberta who is stationed in the small community of Grand Bank, Newfoundland. Much to his surprise Windflower falls in love with this part of the world and a certain redhead who lives there.
Beneath the Surface is about solving crime, including suspicious deaths, human trafficking and corruption at the highest levels of society. But it also about food, lots of food, and fun and friends and the ever-present fog that shrouds the truth and keeps it hidden, far beneath the surface.

When did you know you would be a writer?
I have always wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I just didn’t know how to go about doing that. It didn’t seem a viable career option when I was young so I tried to find jobs that had an element of writing. That included correspondence and policy writing and later led to both speech-writing and editorial positions. But none of that satisfied my writing itch. Finally, one day I told my partner that I wanted to be a writer. In fact I told her I had decided that I was a writer.
Then I wrote a short piece that got picked up by a magazine for $25.00 and the rest they say is history. Except for nearly starving to death as I tried to carve out a career as a freelance writer. But I kept at it and over a period of time I did manage to eke out an existence. I have published thousands of articles in print and online since that time but I also remember the early days when I wrote for nearly nothing and got 10 rejections for every acceptance.

How long did it take you to write your first novel?
Once I decided I wanted to write fiction it took me five years to get the idea onto paper and into publication. That included many stop and starts and several periods of deep mourning that the book would ever happen. But with luck, and love and support I finally published The Walker on the Cape, the first book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series in 2012. Since then I have published The Body on the T and now Beneath the Surface.
Now I know that the process of writing a book and getting it finalized for publication takes me about six months. I am lucky, so far, that I seldom get writer’s block and I am quite disciplined when it comes to my writing. I get the initial inspiration and then the characters come and tell me the story. All I have to do is write it down.

Any advice to aspiring writers?
If you are a struggling writer, keep on struggling. If you are a writer, you just have to keep on writing. And remember what Stephen King says about writing “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” That’s a guy who knows something about scary stuff!!
If you think you are a writer then start writing. Take all those great ideas out of your head and put them down on paper or on your computer screen. Then share them with someone you trust. Someone who cares about you but is not afraid to call you on your stuff. Ask them if they think it is any good. If they say no, back to the computer or notepad. If they say yes or maybe then take a big risk and show it to someone in your life who is a writers, an editor or a teacher, preferably English. The last one there may correct your grammar, but all of them can give you an honest appraisal.
But do you know what? You already know that it’s not too bad. After all you are a writer.

Who are your favorite Authors?
My favorite authors are Charles Dickens and JRR Tolkien. Dickens because he wrote about his times with humor and a social conscience. Tolkien because as everyone in the world now knows, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are some of the best fiction books every written. Because I’m a mystery writer I also like Agatha Christie, (who doesn’t?), and some modern writes like Ian Rankin, Donna Leon and Elizabeth George. Each of these authors is a master and I would and do read their books over and over. To me that it the test of a great author, that you want to re-read them in different parts of your life.


PURCHASE LINKS

Chapters   |   BookLocker   |   AMAZON   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Books A Million

E-Book
AMAZON   |  Barnes & Noble   |   BookLocker   |  iTunes   |   Kobo

Friday, May 30, 2014

#ArmchairBEA2014 Topic of Choice & Middle Grade/Young Adult

Armchair BEA

Since I get to choose the topic, I'm gonna shameless plug my topic. 
Memes.
Do you meme? Do you host a meme?

The Friday 56 has been my meme for almost 3 years. I was voted the torch, and was passed it from Tonya and Storytime With Tonya And Friends. 
The idea behind The Friday 56, is to share a bit of the book, from Page 56, and see if it suits your tastes. It is much like Teaser Tuesdays which I also participate in, but different as well.
It's a great resource for finding new books or even discovering old ones. It has a decent turnout too, so you are more than welcome to check it out or even join in. (Linky is open all week.)

Now let's discuss Middle Grade and Young Adult.
Seems I have read a ton, and am learning just how much adults can enjoy these books too.
Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order, but starting with middle grade books.
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AMAZON

Now Young Adult books I loved.

AMAZON


The Friday 56


Welcome to Week 180!

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
 *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.






Due to ABEA I've not read much.
I'm still on this book, but here is a bit from page 256

AMAZON

"Yes! Yes!" she shrilled, "he called me long distance and told me everything! Now he thinks he hates you! Now he wants to cut you off. And when he does, he won't have a heat left to keep him alive! For he gave you his heart years and years ago!"












Thursday, May 29, 2014

#ArmchairBEA2014 Beyond The Borders

Armchair BEA

I love going 'beyond the borders' in books. Taking me far away, to another place and sometimes time, showing me how things are elsewhere. From the culture, food and even way of thinking is often different than my own.
The first time I was touched by a book based in another country, I still think about it;
AMAZON
This book shows that not all Muslims are terrorists. Really, the message could not be any clearer. I read it in 2009, when people were quicker to judge Muslims on this side of the world. 

Then I read this one;
AMAZON
This story I will never forget. He was so filled with hate once, and everything people assumed terrorists to be, and then it all changed. A very powerful story indeed. You should really check it out.

Last one that I remember clearly is this one;
AMAZON
This is all about the Jihad, and the best part of it is how the author tells the story. Some of the best writing ever!

I've read more but these are the top ones I could think of. I really love reading outside the box, so-to-speak. It expands my horizons.




#ArmchairBEA2014 #Giveaway: Tricia Goyer OR V.C Andrews with #TBT

Armchair BEA


Today's Instagram challenge is #ThrowBackThursday. I decided to share my submission with you.
This was taken in 2009, as I settled down and started reading a book that scared the crap out of me. Afraid by Jack Kilborn. If you haven't read it and like thrillers, get it.

Now onto the giveaway.
I have extra copies of two books that I absolutely loved and for different reasons. The winner will be able to choose one of those books.

First up, classic, Flowers in the Attic. It was made into a movie, twice, and this is the new cover. I love this book, well, the series in fact. It does touch on sensitive subjects, but that is what makes it great reading.

This book, Mom's Night Out, is a movie as well. I can't wait to see it too. I tell ya, without spoiling my upcoming review, this is laugh-out-loud funny that mom's and dad's will love!

So which book would you choose?

If you live in the US or Canada, you may enter.

Fill in the Rafflecopter form. 
Full terms & conditions are at the bottom of the form.


a Rafflecopter giveaway





Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Boat Beneath A Sunny Sky by Lewis Carroll


A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July —
Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear —
Long had paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die.
Autumn frosts have slain July.
Still she haunts me, phantom-wise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.
Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.
In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream —
Lingering in the golden gleam —
Life, what is it but a dream?


Alphabe Thursdays


#ArmchairBEA2014 Expanding Blogging Horizons & Novellas/Short Stories

Armchair BEA


When I think about expanding my blogging horizons, it leads me back to my intro where I discussed the progression of my blog from books to lifestyle. I think whatever goals I had when I began that change exist still. I am still learning, though I feel that will be never-ending, and try to stay true to myself at the same time. 

Novellas and short stories and something I have loved for a long time. I was a teenager when I read Stephen King's alter ego, Richard Bachman, and The Long Walk still resonates in my mind today. Ironically on the first day of ABEA, another blogger had mentioned The Long Walk should/was being made into a movie. I totally agreed with her and then sat and reminisced over that time I read it. It was actually part of, 'The Bachman Books' which had 4 short stories in it. The Long Walk was just my favorite.
I also went cray-cray for a series of novellas that were released within a series of books I love. You have all heard of Julie Kagawa's, The Iron Fey series. Well, in between each book was a novella.
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AMAZON


AMAZON

These novellas were just as awesome as the books and really tied them all together. If I hadn't read them, I may have missed out on a few things that only made sense when I read the novellas.

Crazy still, while looking for the Amazon links to these novellas, I see a short story that I haven't read, and even crazier, it's FREE

AMAZON

You know I grabbed a copy and will somehow squeeze it into my overloaded book schedule.... just 'cause.




Tuesday, May 27, 2014

#ArmchairBEA2014 Author Interaction & More Than Just Words

Armchair BEA


I haven't been to a book convention or expo of any kind before, though the bookaholic in me pines for one. Still, I was lucky enough in October of 2012 through the She's Connected Conference, to meet two very influential authors.
First I met Kate White. She was the editor-in-chief at Cosmopolitan magazine for many years.
This was an epic moment for me, not only being a fan of Cosmo, but of her books too.
Then at the same convention but a different day, I met Cathy M. Buchanan. She wrote a couple books you may know, The Day The Falls Stood Still or The Painted Girls.
I was completely giddy and starstruck here. I was a bag of nerves beside her, and man she was comfortable and funny to be around. It was really a great and memorable experience.

I wish more authors would tour into my city, maybe to my local library, then I could go see them speak. Sadly I never hear about them if they do come. The only ones I hear about are in Toronto, which is a little ways from me with no car....
I hope you wonderful authors read this, feel sorry for us bookies here in Hamilton and come for a visit.  :-)

I prefer my books in printed format. Mainly so I can build my home library. Shameless I know. The books I'm not crazy about I give away to friends, family and even charities. I do read ebooks too as I have a kindle, but I'm getting older and so are my eyes. Having diabetes doesn't help my eyes I'm told... so I get tired easily when reading from a screen. I also squint more at a screen, even with my glasses on. As for audiobook, I have been known to throw one on when I am doing my work, however, I stopped. I found I always felt like I missed something along the way and would have to re-read the book in print. So it seemed redundant for me to listen to books. That's just me though. To each his own.

Teaser Tuesdays



AMAZON

Top Ten Things Never to Say to a Woman in Labor
  1. Do you mind if I watch some TV?

(Okay, I only gave you one, but you get the idea.... )

Monday, May 26, 2014

#ArmchairBEA2014 Introductions & Literature

Armchair BEA


Welcome to my third year participating in Armchair BEA!
If you didn't catch my intro in 2012 or 2013, I'll refresh you here.
In case you don't know, I am Freda. (Pronounced Free-da).
I live in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Apparently the Waterfall Capital in the world. We have over 200 waterfalls in our city region. This behind me is just one of the smaller ones. It's on the Bruce Trail, which I love to hike on with my family or friends when I'm not reading.
I've been blogging since 2009. It started out as a place to put book reviews, but has matured into fashion, food, family and so much more. I like to think of Freda's Voice as a lifestyle blog now. Though books will always be a huge part of the site and my life. It's like being married to your high school sweetheart, my relationship with books, and I'm not about to give up that kind of love yet.

My blog in one sentence; A lifestyle blog from a Canadian perspective.



Ironically, last year I kept track of which genres I read the most. I can tell you I read more fiction than non-fiction. What surprised me is the amount of YA books I read. I think the imagination runs more wild sometimes in those fantasy books and that appeals to me lately. I know I couldn't get enough of thrillers before hand. Strange how tastes change...
I love to read because it takes me to another place, maybe even another time. Getting me away from real life, and allowing me to see through another's eyes often. Some great teachings can be found, depending on which books you read. I am sure my daily devotional with The Bible gives me that. Reading will always be my escape.

Best book I read in 2013:
AMAZON
Here is a prime example of my love for thrillers. Chevy Stevens scares the shit out of me when I read her books. It's rare when an author can write so well, so gritty and dark that it keeps me awake with one eye open at night. She manages to do it every time, not just with this book. Yeah, she is also probably my favorite Canadian female author too. Props Chevy, you are awesomesauce!

Favorite book so far this year:
AMAZON
After reading this I quickly realized why so many people have loved it! It is literally the best fairytale retelling I have ever read. This is YA, but adults love it too. Like me, an almost 40 year old with a forever 21 year old heart. At least for books.

This would be my ideal book nook:
Pinterest
With a nice seat, a beautiful view and the calm breeze, I would be in my glory. Especially if I could somehow incorporate this in the city. Yeah, dream big or go home.  :-)

My favorite blogging resource is word-of-mouth via the blogging community. I prefer to read someone's review on their blog about a book, service, whatever it is, then decide if I want to get it too. I trust bloggers more than main-stream media or even brand sites. I find a blogger will tell it like it is and keep things real. As for a source where to get books as a blogger, people will approach you when you have established yourself even a little bit, so running around looking for books really is not a thought. At least for me it wasn't. Let your reviews speak for themselves and watch the publicists emails roll in.

Last year I named some blogs I love and afterwards felt bad like I left people out that should have been there too. This year I won't be naming blogs. Just know I value every one in the blogging community. Blogging is about being an individual, having individual choices and sharing them even if others disagree. That is what blogging is about, sharing opinions. You don't always have to like them to respect them.

I love Maya Angelou. I love her so much I got this tattooed on my arm;
It's the title of one of her books. It means much more to me though. Maya had an incredible story. At a young age she experienced such traumatic heartache but managed to overcome it all. From having a child from a rape, to being in an abusive marriage, she lived it all. 
I also know why the caged birds sings. I also lived a hard life once. This sentence is quite profound to me for so many reasons.
Then one night, reading a book, and I can't even remember which one now, I came across this line and took a shot of it with my phone.
How true is that?! I love this line.

If I was stranded on a desert island, I would expect my Bible to be with me. Also I would want a copy of East of Eden by John Steinbeck. That's a story I can read a million times over, and if on an island stranded, I may have to. Lastly, I'd also want the phone book with me. Preferably the biggest one on earth. Makes for great kindling or warm conversation if I ever get rescued. 

I would love to see Spin by Catherine McKenzie made into a film. It's current and I seem to have seen a version play in my mind already when I read it. I think it would be a hit.


Stella & Dot

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