Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Life, Love and Romance: A Dog's Perspective

Photo credit North Jersey Media Group--The Record
Prozac, a Yorkshire terrier therapy dog, who narrates a portion of THE THING IS by Kathleen Gerard, shares some of his "doggie" insights about living with a romantically challenged romance writer.

What the heck does a five-pound dog with a brain the size of a peach pit really know about life, love and romance? Well, don't kid yourself. With my doleful eyes and moist little nose... and the glee-filled wag of my stubby, docked tail...why, I'm cuteness and love personified. Most everyone I meet (outside of the postman) falls madly under my spell!

Of course, Meredith Mancuso--the romantically challenged, canine-averse romance writer I'm forced to live with in, THE THING IS--doesn't perceive me in this way. I don't think I've ever met anyone more determined to stick to a 'life-without-romance' plan—on the page or off—than poor, lonely Meredith. But dogs, we're smart, adaptable creatures. And my being a Spirit Guide Dog—my job is to help people move on to new levels of living—I'm even more adaptable than your average, spoiled four-legged fur-baby.

Meredith is stuck in grief because her fiancé died and ever since, she's been unable to shake the grip of her sorrow. But once I come unwittingly into her life, I quickly size her up and determine that it's my job to help return her to the land of the living.

How do I do this, you ask?  Well, you'd have to read the book. But I'll tell you this… Being something of a "Human Whisperer," I soon devise a clever plan (through a comedy of errors) to launch Meredith into Phase Two of her life by enlisting the help of some wise, fun-loving older folks in "Act Three of their lives" at an independent living facility where I visit each week as a beloved therapy dog.

Okay, so your next thought is...Since when are independent living facilities hotbeds of romantic possibility for 30-something, single romance writers? Well, hold your horses, and your dogs and cats, too! Any Spirit Guide Dog worth his Milkbones knows that with someone the likes of Meredith Mancuso, baby-steps to love—the lightness and sweetness of romance—often work best in trying to navigate the stormy seas of romantic vulnerability. In the end, adult children and relatives often visit older people and check in on them. If someone's in the right place at the right time—especially with a clever Spirit Guide Dog on her side—it's very possible love can bloom!

In the end, dogs can teach humans a few things about life, love and romance because:

a) We have a great attitude. (We fall down and get up. We shake ourselves off and forgive and forget.)
b) We explore every opportunity. (We follow our nose, wherever it leads.)
c) We relentlessly believe in "being ourselves" (Accidents on the carpet, doo-doo and all!)
d) We greet everyone with enthusiasm. (The tell is in the wagging tail!)
e) Loyalty! Loyalty! Loyalty! (Enough said?)
f)  We go to great lengths to protect those we love. (And sometimes even those we don't!) 
and
g) We love unconditionally.
If you'd like to learn more about Prozac and Meredith—read THE THING IS by Kathleen Gerard! It'll be time well spent…as readers everywhere will benefit from having a little Prozac their lives...Woof-Woof!
You visit the Kathleen Gerard  on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

To purchase a copy of The Thing is please visit the retailers below.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Winner of Mary Kay Andrews Prize Pack

Congratulations to Connie Fischer!  She has won the Mary Kay Andrews  Prize pack.  Please email
me for prize fulfillment at jenceyg@gmail.com

Another Great Book For the Summer! By April Switay, Jencey Gortney

Thank you to William Morrow for a copy of Homeland Carrie’s Run by Andrew Kaplan, in exchange for an honest review. 

How many of you are fans of Homeland?   Are you interested in seeing what Carrie is up to next?  Sit down and get comfortable as we discuss Homeland.

Synopsis:

“Beirut, 2006. CIA operations officer Carrie Mathison barely escapes an ambush while attempting a clandestine meeting with a new contact, code-name Nightingale. Suspicious that security has been compromised, she challenges the station chief in a heated confrontation that gets her booted back to Langley.
Expert in recognizing and anticipating behavioral patterns—a skill enhanced by her bipolar disorder she keeps secret to protect her career—Carrie is increasingly certain that a terrorist plot has been set in motion. She risks a shocking act of insubordination that helps her uncover secret evidence connecting Nightingale with Abu Nazir, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Determined to stop the terrorist mastermind, she embarks on an obsessive quest that will nearly destroy her.” (Amazon)

My Thoughts: 

I enjoyed this book. It defiantly kept a good pace throughout the story. Carrie, the main character is a CIA agent who suffers from bi polar disorder. While looking into her friend’s death, it leads to possible terrorist activity both in the United States and in the Middle East.

The picture the author crated gives the reader the visual feeling along with the sights and smells of markets and alley ways of a busy Middle Eastern city, along with the suspense and danger of being a CIA agent.

The character Carrie is believable She loves her job and does not take no for an 
answer.

Rating: 

5/5


Please visit Andrew on his Website.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

In the Spotlight Andrew Joyce shares his latest Novel Resolution Huck Finn's Greatest Adventure

My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Jencey has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new novel RESOLUTION: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure. I think it’s a good book, but what do I know? Anyway, I’m kinda shy about tooting my own horn. So I think I’ll turn things over to my dog, Danny, Danny the Dog. Usually when he writes about me it’s to tell the world what an idiot I am (his take on me, not mine). But today he’s feeling a little sentimental. So without further ado, here’s Danny.

Andrew interrupted my very busy life to help him out here. For a person that works with words for a living, he has very little to say in real life. He wants me to tout his book for him, but I don’t think I will. Instead, I think I’ll tell you about how we met.
I found him thirteen years ago down in Miami. Nowadays we live on a boat in Fort Lauderdale, but I’m originally from Miami. Andrew, as far as I know, has always lived in Fort Lauderdale.

I was six months old and I wanted to go out and see the world. I wasn’t getting any younger and the lure of the road was calling to me. So, one day when no one was looking, I just took off. At first, I had a grand time. I’d sniff my way up one street and then down the next. I met up with a few other dogs, chased a few cars, and thought to myself, “This is the life.” But after a day or so, I started to get hungry, and unlike the home I had left, the humans I ran into had no desire to feed me. I did get into a few garbage cans, but the pickings were kinda slim.

On my third day of freedom, I’m running down the street and a white pickup truck stops and this guy gets out and talks to me. I forget exactly what he said, but it was something along the line of buying me a hamburger. Naturally, I jumped into the truck and off we went. Right about now, you are all thinking that the human was Andrew. Well you are all wrong. The guy’s name was Don.

He took me to a McDonalds and bought me two hamburgers. Then we went to his house and I stayed with him. I had tired of being on the road. It was nice to be fed every day, and to be loved wasn’t bad either. The only down side was that Don kept calling me George.

Now this is where Andrew comes into the picture. About three times a week, Andrew would drive down to Miami to do some business. Don was a friend of his, and they’d get together for lunch whenever they could. A week after I found Don, he took me to breakfast where we met up with Andrew. Andrew and I were introduced and the three of us had drive-thru McMuffins. Whatever they are, but they were good.

While we were eating, Don said, “I can’t take care of George anymore. I’m going to take him to the Humane Society this morning.” He was? That came as news to me! I thought he liked me. But as you will shortly see, there were bigger things happening here—cosmic things.

Andrew spoke up. “Look, I live almost across the street from the Fort Lauderdale Humane Society. I’ll take the dog in for you and save you a trip.” So I was put in Andrew’s car and away we went.

It’s about a twenty-minute ride from where we left Don to the Humane Society.
As we exited the highway

To purchase Andrew's novel you can visit these retailers. 

Amazon

Smash Words

Barnes and Noble

Friday, May 13, 2016

Sister Dear: Gone Girl Themes of Love, Loss & Forgiveness

Gone Girl opens on the day of Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary, the very day wife Amy goes missing. The story begins with a light and breezy journal entry from Amy’s diary, in which she talks about “meeting a boy.” What follows is Nick’s first person narrative, a darker, more realistic look at the couple.

The reader soon learns that Nick and Amy have both lost their jobs and were forced to head back to Nick’s hometown in Missouri to take care of his sick mother. Amy, who grew up in a wealthy home, is openly bitter about the move and hates leaving the glamour of New York behind. She is unable to forgive Nick for their misfortune and carries that regret and resentment to their new home. It is then when Nick begins to cheat on Amy with a much younger girl.

Amy’s journal entries soon start to show a different side of Nick: one that is increasingly abusive and frightening. In a plot twist in the second part of Gone Girl, however, the reader discovers that Amy knew that Nick had been cheating on her. In an elaborate plan for revenge she concocted the year earlier, Amy disappears, hoping to frame Nick for “killing” her. It becomes clear that Amy is truly unhinged and that much of her diary entries are complete fabrication.

All of it leads to the showdown between the couple, with Nick attempting to win Amy back. It is his goal, in the process, to clear his name and perhaps exact his own revenge. With so much hate, angst, and strife, it is unlikely that Nick will ever forget Amy’s actions, but as the story closes, and the couple is still together, readers are left to wonder if Nick can ever truly forgive Amy and raise their child together.

Like Gone Girl, Sister Dear is very much about love, loss, betrayal, and forgiveness. Similar to Amy Dunne in Gone Girl, Emma Marshall grew up in a privileged household. Her parents aren’t wealthy, but Emma’s father is a prominent veterinarian in Brunswick, Ga. Though she doesn’t lose her job, like Amy, Emma does bounce around in life, attempting to find her place between college and her career goals, all the while watching her older sister, Allie, achieve everything she sets her mind to, including the graceful handling of single motherhood.

About the time Allie is accepted to medical school, Emma finds love, only to find it snatched away after several months of bliss. Though circumstances are beyond Allie’s control, Emma determines that her loss is her sibling’s fault. Instead of coming to Allie’s rescue, Emma sits back and lets Allie’s life spiral out of control.

Though Emma is not as calculating as Amy, who spends a year plotting revenge against Nick, Emma does live with the knowledge that she could have saved her sister from spending a decade inside Arrendale State Prison. Emma tells her story through Caroline, her niece and Allie’s daughter. She recreates reality for Caroline, much like the “reality” created through Amy Dunne’s diary. Since Caroline is too young to remember her mother for who she was before her arrest, Emma weaves her own version of the story—convincing herself that keeping Allie locked up is just penance for her sister’s part in taking away the man she loves.

When Allie finally discovers that she has been betrayed, she doesn’t hatch her own plan, like Nick, to draw Emma back in and get revenge. Allie confronts her sister and asks for a confessional. She focuses on rebuilding her relationship with her daughter, her family, and her former fiancé Ben. Caroline, in turn, finds truth and forgives her mother.

Gone Girl and Sister Dear are full of disturbing characters, driven by jealousy and revenge. Both novels illustrate family dysfunction, the pain caused by keeping secrets, and the lasting loss that results from exacting revenge. Though Amy Dunne and Emma Marshall want desperately to right the “wrongs” they believe were done to them, neither woman takes responsibility for the harm they have caused to others, and therefore, neither wins anything in the end.

In contrast, Allie chooses forgiveness, allowing her to go on with her life. This, by no means, erases all that has been done to Allie, nor does it give back the ten years of her life that were lost inside Arrendale State Prison. But by forgiving Emma, Allie sets herself free and allows the past to exist—where it belongs—in the past.



Do you have a favorite story about love, loss, and forgiveness?








Thursday, May 12, 2016

Giveaway of Mary Kay Andrews Goodys Pack!

I have the opportunity to offer a goody’s bag to celebrate the paperback releases of BeachTown and Spring Fever in mass market.  We are also excited about the upcoming book by Mary Kay Andrews The Weekenders.  So what’s in the goodys bag?

Here’s a list of what will be in the fabulous goody bag:

•  Copy of BEACH TOWN in trade paperback
•  Copy of SPRING FEVER in mass market paperback
•  Two different Mary Kay Andrews bookmarks
•  A recipe card featuring two recipes from MKA’s kitchen
•  BEACH TOWN sunglasses
•  BEACH TOWN lip balm with SPF 15

Please visit the rafflecopter below.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Can Not Believe I Did Not Read This Sooner!

 I cannot say enough good things about this book.  I won it from Chick Lit Central and a few years ago.   Thank you Melissa Amster!  This is one of the greatest stories to read this summer.  It is definitely worth your time!

Synopsis:

Julie and Janice Jacobs are going home to deal with the death of their Aunt Rose.  The will is read and Janice gets the house and everything in it.  Julie gets a key with a plane ticket to go to Italy.  Her mission is to find out what her mother wanted her to know about the past and a possible treasure.   Julie Jacobs becomes Giulietta Tolemeis which is her given name.  Part of her search is to search for Romeo and all the people that are connected to the story.  Julie picks up a box that includes a story about the real Romeo and Juliet.  What was there story?  How can the current Romeo and Juliet break the curse placed on the houses of Tolemeis and Salimbeni?  Will there be a happy ending?

Synopsis:

I listened to this book and it is narrated by Cassandra Campbell.  She did an excellent job.  I couldn’t wait to get a chance to listen again each day.  I don’t know that I would have found the same enjoyment by reading the book.  The story has an interesting plot.  Every time the reader thinks they know what will happen next another layer of the story is revealed.  The genres from this story include fiction, romance, historical fiction, and mystery.  It keeps you guessing till the end.
You too will want your Romeo!

Rating:

5/5


Please visit Anne Fortier on her Facebook page and her Website.