• books,  product review

    Book review: ‘Specters in a City of Ruin’, by Nathan Ritter (plus a giveaway!)

    Specters in a City of Ruin

    Specters in a City of Ruin (The Mind Trips of SCAM #2), by Nathan Ritter (66 pages, Kindle). Buy it here on Amazon. (Snag it for free until February 1st!)

    A couple of weeks ago I gave you guys a review (and an author interview!) of Heroes in a World Reborn, the first in a new series of kids’ books, with a fun twist: the books are meant to be read while listening to classic music albums.  Now the sequel, Specters in a City of Ruin, is available on Amazon–and for a few short days, you can download it for free (so hurry!).

    This book is meant to be read to Marvin Gaye’s 1971 album What’s Going On (which you can find here on YouTube). Just a day has passed since Max and Rob went on their first music-fueled adventure and founded S.C.A.M. (the Secret Club of Ancient Music), but they’re eager to go back to Uncle Lou’s and have another adventure.

    However, things aren’t going so smoothly for the boys today. For starters, they can’t stop arguing about the rules for their new club. And when they choose a record from Uncle Lou’s stash, instead of a vibrant fantasy world, they find themselves transported to a dead city filled with phantoms and skeletons. What’s happening, and how will they get home?

    If you have eight-to-twelve-year-old kids who enjoy fantasy adventures and music, they’ll love this series. The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger that nicely sets up the third book in the series.

    And for those of you who haven’t read the first book in the series, I’m giving away a Kindle copy this week! Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter, and don’t forget to download your free copy of book two before Sunday!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Thought Questions

    Thought Questions, #225-231

    Bridge at dusk

    (photo by Ryan Lum via Unsplash)

    #225: What’s the best decision you’ve ever made? Adopting my cats, even though it was a lot of work at the time and has been a lot of work on occasion since then.

    #226: What’s your favorite true story that you enjoy sharing with others? Maybe the stories of how I caught the cats? I mean, pets are like family members, so it’s like telling everyone about the moment you met your BFF for the first time. It never gets old to you, and you want everyone else to know how happy it made you!

    #227: Right now, at this moment, what do you want most? Uninterrupted sleep. Not happening, since I agreed to work an extra shift tonight.

    #228: What are you waiting for?  How are you writing your life’s story? I guess I’ve spent a lot of time waiting for “the right moment”, but I’ve realized that if I wait for it it’ll never come. I have to make it happen. So now I’m cutting out the fluff and recommitting myself to writing!

    #229: What makes love last? I think that you have to be good friends first, because then you have a real relationship on which to found your romance. Insta-love doesn’t cut it, because you haven’t had time to build honesty, selflessness, and all of the other attributes of a solid friendship. Remember, romance flickers from day to day, but a real friend will always have your back even when times get tough! An insta-romance is too shaky to withstand the ups and downs of life.

    #230: What good comes from suffering? I think you learn patience, and also the value of being grateful for the little things.

    #231: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in the last year? To say “no” to things I’m not passionate about. Things being worthwhile causes or potential paydays or great fun just isn’t enough if I’m not truly eager to do them. This has also greatly helped with my over-scheduling problem.


  • music

    Music Monday: Bizarre Love Triangle

    I SWEAR I heard a cover of this old New Order hit on the radio the other day, but I have no idea who the artist was. Either that, or it was a remix that I haven’t yet found on YouTube. Has anyone else heard it, or am I imagining things?! It’s driving me NUTS.

  • Thought Questions

    Thought Questions, #218-224

    Overhead view of bridge wires

    (photo by Vita Vilcina via Unsplash)

    #218: What’s the best part of being you? My sassiness. I have very few inhibitions and don’t mind speaking my mind…which sometimes gets me in trouble.

    #219: When you look back over the past month, what single moment stands out? I’m going to say Christmas morning, getting to have breakfast and open presents by the tree with the husband. We’ve had very little in the way of traditional holidays in our 6-1/2 years together, due to busy schedules and such, so it was kind of a magical Hallmark moment. (I know, such a schmaltzy thing.)

    #220: What do you do to relieve stress? Drink tea, read, and snuggle with my cats.

    #221: What is your happiest memory? First thing that springs to mind is dancing in the crowd at the Thirty Seconds to Mars concert this September. Totally awesome.

    #222: What is your saddest memory? What pops to mind is a baby bunny that died in our yard when I was a kid, even though we tried to save it. It was just too young–it’s eyes weren’t even open I don’t think. I don’t know what happened or why it was abandoned, but we named it Ragamuffin and tried to nurse it along. Poor baby bunny. Still makes me sad today.

    #223: What would you like to change? All the animal cruelty in the world.

    #224: How many people do you love? I think I can count them on one hand. I don’t tend to form a lot of close relationships with people. I’m too content being a hermit with my books and cats, I guess!