Music

Song of the Week – “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” by Michael Jackson

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I miss the King of Pop, since I grew up with his music still love it.  Michael was more than a singer, dancer and entertainer.  He was humble, generous and sadly, misunderstood.  I wish he were still with us.

The song of the week reflects a challenge that I set for myself today.  I just joined the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge (April 2014).   As someone who was diagnosed with ADHD, in her mid-forties, this will go one of two ways (1) help me organize my thoughts and blog every day or (2) create chaos and anxiety in my life.

I choose organization, as it will “force” me to publish book reviews, and some reflection posts, I have been putting off.   I am #1703.  Hear me blog!   Now, DANCE!  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Song of the Day – “What Does the Fox Say?” with Corresponding Spoof

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If you haven’t seen Ylvis’s video “What Does the Fox Say?” you are a) lucky, b) in for a treat,  or c) may curse me for leaving you with a terrible earworm.  Either way, this is Norwegian comedy at it’s best.  Or worst.   Or strangest.

 

Ryan Higa’s spoof is priceless!  Happy Friday,  everyone!

Happy Release Day to Olivia Cunning!

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Olivia Cunning’s Sinners are going to the chapel and going to get married!

Olivia Cunning's Blog

So, the paperback proof copy of Sinners at the Altar just arrived on my doorstep. Freaking finally… *grumble, overnight airmail my ass, grumble*

And all those lines that were on the digital proof’s cover are nowhere to be seen on the hard copy, so in celebration of the release (of the breath I’ve been holding since Friday *cough*) of Sinners at the Altar, I’m giving away 10 autographed copies of the book w/ a Sinners on Tour wristband. (Two are in the picture so you can see both sides.)

SatA Prize 1

And since I’m feeling generous, I’m giving away 20 additional wristbands. 1 per winner.

SatA Prize 2

So that’s 30 prizes up for grabs!

Well, you do have to enter…

Click on the link below to enter for your chance to win.

Sinners at the Altar Release Day Giveaway!

Good luck!

And yes, it’s open internationally.

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Song of the week: “I Wish” by Steve Wonder with Soul Train Line

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This song always puts a smile on my face and gets me up to move and groove. Happy Friday!

“Battle Flag” by Lo Fidelity Allstars featuring Pigeonhed is the Song of the Day

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A word of caution.I first heard “Battle Flag” in the late 1990s as a club mix. It was originally written as an homage to Prince by Pigeonhed and remixed and recorded by Lo Fidelity Allstars. The beat and a few of the lyrics stuck with me. However, it was not until I heard it on the episode of “ER” where Dr. Carter (Noah Wylie) meets, and is stabbed by, a Schizophrenic patient that it grabbed me.

Then, I heard it on an episode of The Sopranos and was thrilled when they included on one of their show soundtracks.  It has become one of my get-up-and-MOVE jams.

The song starts off with a bang and just keeps going. Here are the first few lines:

Your construction
Smells of corruption
I manipulate to recreate
This air to ground saga
Gotta launder my karma

Gotta launder my karma, indeed.   Great advice for all of us.     Wave your own battle flag!

¡Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas!

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I received the best gift I could ever hope for, on Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) – time with Papi, Mami, Hubby, Brother (PSM), Sister-in-Law, 2 Nephews and our Niece. Later today (Christmas Day) we will spend time with my Mom-in-Law and Hubby’s extended family.

We exchanged funny cards and gave the kids the “Harry Potter” boxed set collection. Nothing is better that time with loved ones. Several years ago, we decided to only give gifts to the kids and enjoy the joy of watching tear open their presents. It keeps the focus on our family and we love it!

Hope the spirit of the season fills you with joy.

Please enjoy “Navidad en Panamá.”

Book Review and Trailer – “Moore to Lose” by Julie A. Richman

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Followers of this blog will recognize Julie Richman’s name as the author who knocked my socks off with her debut novel, Searching for Moore.   My review, on July 11th, was one of the most organic posts I have written, since starting this blog.    Julie’s words inspired a friendship between Kristen, Samantha, Cleida and I that culminated in the Searching for Moore Book Trailer, on July 23rd.    These relationships have continued to evolve and I am proud to count these women among my dear friends.

Julie and I stayed up countless nights this Summer analyzing publishing trends, discussing the merits of stand-alone books versus book series, realizing that we had worked at similar agencies at different points in our careers and bonding over her “Needing Moore” series.   I knew she was writing a follow-up book to Searching for Moore, but was conflicted.  She originally intended to write two books for the series, not three.   However, her characters, namely Mia Silver, guided her into writing a beautifully, heart-breaking second book:  Moore to Lose.   Julie received advice from many “experts” in the publishing world, who told her not to write this book.    What the “experts” failed to realize, was that when Julie’s characters spoke to her, she listened.   And wrote.

Then she shared her words with Mom Richman, Kristen, Cleida, Samantha and I.

After reading Moore to Lose I was speechless.  Breathless and hyperventilating, I cried.   I was unprepared for the myriad of emotions and memories it would trigger in me.  It was a deeply personal experience, for I have known Mia my entire life.   I have been Mia.

Moore to Lose focused on Mia’s journey. We already knew she was not the typical, innocent ingénue – she was a tough New York City girl.  This story showed us the dichotomy of the sweet teenager versus maturing young woman, in some of her early decisions. Decisions that many readers have made in their own lives – good, bad and ugly. Julie approached these events with great sensitivity, knowing how deeply the readers were invested in Mia’s happiness.

What Julie did not know was that as I was reading these incredibly difficult, gut-wrenching scenes, I was reliving events from my college days.   Events that were entirely too common for college women.  (Still are, unfortunately.)  As Mia continued on her life’s path, I revisited similar situations that my friends and I found ourselves in and our reactions to those situations.   As the story progressed, and Mia’s past caught up with her, my heart broke alongside hers.   Later, Julie placed Mia at the center of one of the most agonizingly painful events in recent history.   As Julie suffered writing those words, she crafted a grief-stricken, yet delicately fitting homage to her beloved NYC.  She should be proud of the way she honored her resplendent and resilient hometown.

Julie continued to weave the rich tapestry that became Moore to Lose by revisiting familiar secondary characters and using New York City as a vivid backdrop for the action.  In fact, NYC served as another character in the story and served as a touchstone for Mia’s voyage of self-discovery.    Julie further incorporated her trademark use of music and popular culture references as touchstones throughout the story. They helped mark the passage of time and kept Schooner with Mia, connected across the miles and years.

Moore to Lose is so much more than a “romance” novel. It is the story of a woman losing, finding, healing and honoring herself and her spirit. We fell in love with Mia in Searching for Moore. In Moore to Lose, we understand why we love her. As Mia lives her life, we live the experiences with her. Searching for Moore was a roller coaster ride of emotions. Moore to Lose took that ride, plunged it into complete darkness and added loops, spins and rolls.

Julie promised that all issues would be resolved in the third, and final, book in the Needing Moore series.  I will be anxiously waiting for that book, and highly recommend Moore to Lose, for readers who want rich characters who evoke tears, anger, joy, heartbreak, forgiveness, friendship, acceptance, and ultimately, love.

Here are the links to my reviews on Amazon and GoodReads.

In the meantime, please enjoy the Moore to Lose Book Trailer.