Saturday, November 3, 2012

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Attention Jane Austen fans! Here's a treat for you.

Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen—or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It’s all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

This thoroughly enjoyable story is one that you'll finish all too soon and will be left wanting more from Mrs. Hale. Luckily for you the sequel Midnight In Austenland just came out, so you can enjoy another enchanting tale by this very busy and talented author, who by the way went to high school with me!
Shannon Hale  Yes, I'm gonna brag!
She even used my maiden name in the book (Riboldi, you'll have to look for it of course, because I won't give out any spoilers here). But yep, we were friends in high school, and somewhere in the back of her mind while she was looking for funny names to give to her characters, my last name must have crept up and she used it. Shannon was in fact, one of the first people I remember meeting when I first moved to the U.S.  She was kind and found the time to be interested in a blond, South American, who spoke very little English. I distinctly remember showing a skinny, tall, redhead, the face of my Benetton watch (that had a map of the world) and telling her where Argentina was.

Since high school, Shannon has kept very busy getting degrees, having a family and writing many books, one of them The Princess Academy, that won a "Newbery" award!

Still to come:

A movie for Austenland is currently in the works, so for those of you who like to read a book and then watch the movie, keep a lookout for this one. It's being directed by Jerusha Hess (Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre) and produced by the one and only Stephenie Meyer!

~The Supernatural Chick~

Monday, October 15, 2012

Feels Like the First Time by Shawn Inmon

Here is a story that is so real and full of memories for anyone who can relate to the 60s and 70s era and music. But mostly, Shawn's own memories of his first, last and only real love. Beginning in present time and taking you back, Shawn Inmon makes the transition memorable. If you were too  young to remember the time, this book will give you a real picture of what it was like back then.

This true story by author Shawn Inmon took me way back to a time in my life that I miss dearly. In his book, Feels Like the First Time, memories flooded my way with his descriptive scenes and mention of music that can only be considered classics of an era gone by. From the cover to the very last page, Shawn takes you through the time period of the 60s through the present, while his story of love unfolds.

     In a little town called Mossyrock, Shawn meets and falls in love with Dawn Adele when her family moves into the house next door. They grew up together and learned things about life and love, before their relationship was halted by Dawn Adele's parents. Three decades later, a chance meeting brings them together again. Can Shawn and Dawn Adele's love pick-up where it left off, so many tears ago? Will you become a believer in fate? Shawn Inmon proves that true love does exist in this wonderfully romantic story of misunderstandings, heartbreak, and finally true happiness.

If you've grown up in the early setting of this book, reading it will be like a walk down memory lane. 

This true story by author Shawn Inmon took me way back to a time in my life that I miss dearly. In his book, Feels Like the First Time, memories flooded my way with his descriptive scenes and mention of music that can only be considered classics of an era gone by. From the cover to the very last page, Shawn takes you through the time period of the 60s through the present, while his story of love unfolds.

If you've grown up in the early setting of this book, reading it will be like a walk down memory lane. 

Here is where you can get your hands on a copy. 

And, here is where you can visit Shawn. Go on over and "like" his page. :-)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions, 

by Becca Wilhite

Yes, this is a girl-meets-boy story, but the boy is totally hot while the girl is, at best, average. (Except for my wild, Medusa-curls. Ugh.) And yes, there is a misunderstanding, and a villainous outlaw, and a timely confession of love . . . well, okay, fine. It's totally a romance novel. But please note, there is no scantily-clad woman on the cover wilting into the arms of a muscular pirate; I'm not that kind of girl.
I'm a normal, everyday girl. And I can't understand why Ben — who is hot as a Greek god — wants to be my friend. Is it because we both play the guitar? Like the same flavors of ice cream? Laugh at the same jokes? Or does he want to hang around strictly so I'll help him with his homework? I hope not because I've been there, done that, and gotten burned. Not interested, thanks.
But I am interested in Ben. He's a real gentleman — a true romance novel here. (It's like Mr. Darcy signed up for my art history class.) Is it possible that this is the real thing? Or have my ridiculous, romantic obsessions gotten the best of me — again?

I found this book at a second hand book store, I must say two dollars well spent. The romance is sweet and clean, so I highly recommend it for young readers too. At only 181 pages this is certainly a light read, but don't let that fool you, this book is good for the abs. Its easy humor transformed my mood and had me laughing out loud with every page. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A new release ~ Quail Crossings

by Jennifer McMurrain

An excerpt from Quail Crossings:

"Elmer watched his sister storm out of the house, squeal at the sky, and then stomp off in the direction of the barn. He shook his head. She made absolutely no sense to him. Here they were with a warm house, honest work, and good food in their bellies, and she was acting like they were being tortured by giant mutant ants.

Putting the slop bucket back in the shed, Elmer headed out to the orchard with Freckles. He knew James was ready to sell the dogs, but so far they had no takers. He really wanted to show people what his dogs could do, but understood a dog was more of a luxury than a necessity now-a-days. Freckles stuck close to his right side, waiting for a command, but Elmer wasn't in the mood to train today. He was in the mood for an adventure.
He slid the shotgun under his arm and started walking south east from the orchard. He wished he had a shoulder holster like Jack Armstrong. A good adventurer always had his hands free in case he had to wrestle a tiger or bear, or to catch a damsel in distress as she hung from a towering cliff.

He thought of Tiny as his damsel and quickly pushed the thought away. Tiny would never be a damsel in distress. If she was hanging from a towering cliff, she’d just scramble up the side like it was nothing, instead of waiting for some man to catch her. That was one of the reasons he liked Tiny, she was fearless and didn’t mind getting dirty when the occasion called for it."

To learn more about Jennifer McMurrain

visit her at here.

Available at September 5, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Drum roll please.

Here's the exciting conclusion to my short story "Tech-nesh".  If you haven't already read chapters 1-5, don't spoil the ending for yourself, they are in my earlier posts. Thank you to all who have been staying with me through this, its been a lot of fun writing it and reading your helpful, kind comments. Enjoy!


            He drove to the only place he could think of, a new subdivision near his apartment. Only a couple of homes were under construction in the deep cul-de-sac that Ben pulled into. The empty house frames loomed in the dim street lamp light like wooden skeletons.
            Ben closed his cell phone, pleased with the performance he had just delivered to the 911 operator. The police were on their way, now to make good on his story. Ben popped the trunk and exited the car. He lifted the trunk lid and shifted the body so that he could lift it and lay it on the sidewalk where Ben had told the police he had been attacked. The neck twisted abnormally, raising Ben’s suspicions. He pressed two fingers against the cool skin searching for a pulse. None could be found. Ben leaned into the trunk to lay his head on the man’s chest. No heart beat. Shock washed over him momentarily as he pieced this together. Then he shrugged, Just as well he thought. This could all be explained away to the police.
            Ben began to lift the body when he felt a wallet sized bulge inside a back pocket. Curiosity grew inside him. What does a mass murderer keep in his wallet? He wondered, as he pulled it out. With it came a small envelope. He opened the black leather to reveal a police detective badge and ID. Aw, a crooked cop Ben thought scandalously as he examined the name on the badge. It read Mark Bolin, homicide. Ben opened the envelope hoping for an explanation. He unfolded the note inside and began to read it in the dim glow of the street light.
            Dear Stacy,
    I hope you can forgive me for using a letter as my first contact with you. What I have to tell you will come as a complete shock and I have struggled for the right way to do it. When I first found you, your husband had just passed away. I came to the funeral but it just didn’t seem to be the right time and then you moved suddenly and I had to find you all over again. I even came to your office a couple of times but chickened out. 
     Stacy, I know you think you lost your family to that bear attack when you were little but I wasn’t killed, I ran into the woods and got lost for a week before I was found. I would love to explain everything and finally get to know you if It is something you want. So I leave the ball in your court. I will wait in the cafĂ© on the corner of Walnut and Elm this Saturday at 12:00. I hope you will come. We are our only family.
                                                                               Your brother, Mark Bolin
            The earth under Ben’s feet seemed to shift and jerk; the dark scenery spinning all around him as the truth unfolded. Her brother? He thought, frantically looking between the photo on the badge and the dead man in his trunk. There was an unarguable resemblance to Stacy. How is this possible? All his assurances, all the clues were now unraveling, painfully in his mind into mere assertions. Those pilfered files in his apartment weren’t the articles collected by a sick mad man but pieces of detective Mark Bolin’s case file that had managed to survive from a hard drive wipe. And now he’s dead, never to finish the case, never to meet his sister.  “Oh, Stacy” Ben clutched his fingers into his unkempt hair while a hole expanded inside him from the loss of something he never had, for someone who never even knew of his existence. He was no longer the hero of his own unlikely love story. “I’m the bad guy”, he spoke slowly as the realization sank in, pulling him to his knees. His head began to pound with anxiety and dread acerbated only by the urgent sound of the police sirens that were fast approaching.     

 The End

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hardin's Legacy ~ Endeavor to Do Right by R. Dale Bunch

A wonderful work of historical fiction..... 
Hardin's Legacy is a novel based upon the Hammond family history  preserved throughout the years. It is one man's account of success. compassion, love and tragedy. He possessed the values and philosophy of his life's motto, "endeavor to do right."

As I read through the pages of this book, I was taken back to a time I had never known, other than from reading about in history books, but it soon became a place I was very comfortable being. The characters are vivid with a depth of reality. And, as a diamond has many facets, so does the work of R. Dale Bunch. His ability to turn the experiences of his family during the Civil War into a poignant and earthy novel, not only shows his creativity as an author, but since he has cleverly summarized each chapter with a poem, his talent as a poet is exhibited, as well. Except for "Lasca" the Texas folklore poem, all poetry is written by the author. Here is a sample of the poetry you will find in his book.


     It's hard to leave the friends you've found;
    Change in life isn't always fair.
    You set your sights on familiar ground,
    Pack up your horse and leave for there.

    But wait; what about the love you feel?
    Time ran out, changed everything.
    Back down the road you steal,
    Feeling the loss, enduring the sting.

In August of 1862, the Hammond family was removed from the only home they'd ever known, by Federal soldiers..........and the story continues in Hardin's Legacy ~ Endeavor to Do Right.

An excerpt:

      "Hardin could feel the alertness in the little horse. He sensed danger.

     'Yeah, better get going. It's a long way to Quincy. It can be dangerous, too.' The man had a smirk on his face when he said it.

     Hardin felt fear deep inside. if they tried to rob him now, he had a chance with his rifle. But if they followed him, they would most likely come after him in the dark.

    Hardin turned and started walking Brownie down the road. The men sat on their horses without even pretending to continue in the direction they had been traveling. They were still there talking to each other when Hardin and Brownie rounded the bend in the road. 

   'They will probably follow me,' Hardin thought.

    He glanced back now and then and saw dust in the distance from their horses. He would have to be ready after dark. He was sure that they planned to rob him; they probably meant to kill him, too. Out there in the country, no one would ever catch them. He was in a tight spot." 

About the Author:

R. Dale Bunch is the former president of Midstate College in Peoria, Illinois. His love for nature is shared by his daughter, two sons, three step-sons, and their families. It is no surprise then, that he would live on a 40-acre farm reminiscent of the Missouri landscape that he loved to roam as a young boy.

This novel may be purchased at by clicking here.


  The Ethereal Chick

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


 To Kelly Hashway, the random winner of one copy of Living Soul for the great Summer Blog Hop! 

Many thanks to everyone that participated, please come by and visit any time.

~The Chicks In Lit.~