Q&A with author Bobby Underwood + Book Reviews – The Wild Country & Beyond Heaven’s Reach

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I’ve been interested in reading some of Bobby Underwood’s books for some time now and recently read The Wild Country & Beyond Heaven’s Reach. Mr. Underwood was kind enough to answer some questions about his writing and on these two books as well. You can see my reviews for both books and the Q&A below. If you’d like to add these books on Goodreads, just click the covers.

~The Wild Country~

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I love western films, but I personally haven’t read many western’s as I’ve never considered it one of my favorite book genres, but this book has opened up a whole new world for me. The Wild Country is a story about a boy named Wyn, who along with his older sister witnesses his parents being killed by a gang of evil outlaws. To add to the catastrophic events, his sister, the only person he has left, is kidnapped by them. Wyn is left alone in hard times and as he gets older he is determined to locate his sister and seek revenge against every man that was involved in killing his parents and kidnapping his sister, especially Muerta, the main man responsible for it all.

I knew right away that I would LOVE Wyn, the main character. I love a good revenge and I was rooting for Wyn from the beginning. He builds a reputation for himself and people from all over the lands hear stories about him, the man known as “Ghost Rider.” On his journey he experiences love, violence, death and meets new people along the way.

I found the book to be written well with beautiful descriptions of the landscape, people, and even the horses.  It was smooth to read, easy to follow, and interesting. I enjoyed it from beginning to end and I was pleased with the conclusion. If you like stories about the wild west, you’ll love The Wild Country.

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Blurb: As a boy, Wyn watches helplessly as raiders kill his parents. Saved by his sister in a terrible bargain struck with their leader, Wyn dedicates his life to finding her. He becomes a legend in a time when the country was wild and free, and full of bad men as well as pioneer spirit. As the lonely cowboy metes out justice to the men responsible for changing the course of his life, he meets a girl, and begins to ponder over a life which might have been. Filled with beauty and complexity, with plenty of action for western fans, The Wild Country is a rip-roaring tale in the best tradition of legends told over a campfire.

  • Print Length: 203 pages
  • Publisher: Bobby Underwood (June 15, 2016)
  • Publication Date: June 15, 2016
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-1478180234

~Beyond Heaven’s Reach~

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Mike, the main character, is a man who is searching for a quiet place to settle down in California. He discovers a perfect little cottage near the coast and becomes very interested in buying it. He’s forewarned ahead of time by the village people that the cottage is inhabited by a ghost, but Mike loves it so much, he needs to find out for himself and is willing to take the risk. He soon discovers that Deanna, the supposed ghost, is very real to him and they fall in love over the course of a weekend. Mike discovers that this is the life he’s always wanted and will do whatever it takes to make it work. What he determines in the end is an unexpected twist you won’t see coming.

This book was a pleasant surprise. I learned about the book from my mom who read it a few months ago. She enjoyed it and told me that I had to read it. I went in completely blind and it was nothing like what I expected. It’s written well, easy to follow, and I found it compelling and mysterious. I have to say that the story felt a little rushed and came to an end very quickly, but I still enjoyed it. It’s a very thought-provoking story.

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Blurb: It is the summer of 1944. Fresh on the heels of his novel’s critical and commercial success, writer Mike McCrea is searching for a quiet and secluded spot for inspiration. On a morning drive along California’s coastline he happens upon a charming cottage overlooking the sea. Situated close to an equally charming village, he purchases the seaside cottage for a song, and soon discovers he is not the house’s only inhabitant. Thus begins a love story and mystery with ties to this world, and that beyond. Period atmosphere of the War years enhance this nostalgic tale which will touch the heart. Old-fashioned and romantic, with an otherworldly romance at its center, Beyond Heaven’s Reach is a reminder that the bridge between this world and heaven, is love. * The Trade Paperback edition also includes a bonus story, Gypsy Summer. *

  • Print Length: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Bobby Underwood (June 13, 2016)
  • Publication Date: June 13, 2016
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-1481957526

Continue for the Q&A…

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How Do You Implement Social Media With Your Blog?

Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful week. I have a question for fellow bloggers today and hope to get some feedback from you on the importance of social media and your blogs.

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I’m not a social media user. I use Goodreads for book reviewing, but I’m not on Facebook, Twitter, or any other site. Honestly, I’ve been against it because I don’t see how I can keep up with more than Goodreads and WordPress at this point with all of my life responsibilities and everything else. I worry that it would cut into reading time, time with my family, or just free time in general to do some other activities that I like to do.

I see the use of social media frequently and notice that Facebook and Twitter are often connected to giveaways. I noticed that fan pages on Facebook are quite common for blogs. I’ve also noticed the option to follow many authors on Facebook and Twitter.

Here are my questions…

 

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8 Brutally Honest Truths You Need To Hear If You Want To Get It Together

Reblogging this great post from ourbetterhealth.org. Great advice!

Our Better Health

No matter how much we believe we have it together, life carries many harsh truths, and no matter how much we may wish to run away from them, it is only through accepting them that we can take full responsibility for our lives.

You may be aware of some of these already, but for the rest, I’m willing to be the blunt bastard that tells them to you. You may hate me today, but you’ll thank me tomorrow.

For the record, this isn’t meant to be a pessimistic rant about how tough life is. It’s meant to motivate you to take action armed with this knowledge.

Here are 8 brutally honest truths you need to hear if you want to get it together:

1. You’re Going to Regret How Much Time You Spend on Social Media

Social media is amazing, and I’m as addicted to it as you are. But…

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Q&A with Cyndy Drew Etler – Author of The Dead Inside – A True Survivor’s Story About Her Experience with Straight, Inc.

 

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I recently read The Dead Inside by Cyndy Drew Etler and learned about Straight, Inc. for the first time. I’d never even heard of Straight and was quite shocked with Cyndy’s story. Cyndy was a troubled teen in the 80’s who had some experiences that aren’t all that uncommon. She was making wrong choices while trying to find her place in the world, until at the age of 14, when her mother decided to throw her into a drug rehabilitation for throwaway kids who are deemed out of control. This institution was called Straight, Inc.

I was able to ask Cyndy some questions about her experience with Straight and have included them below for those interested.

In case you haven’t learned about Straight, I encourage you to view my original review which includes videos and more information for The Dead Inside HERE and also the Q&A with Christine Flannery, another Straight survivor HERE.

Cyndy’s new book We Can’t Be Friends will be available later this year. You can find information on that below.

 

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Wednesday’s Wordless Picture Books

 

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I’m back this Wednesday with three more wordless picture books for you guys. I had to take a few weeks off from this post because I was running out of books! I’m pleased with these and hope you’ll enjoy them along with the children in your life too.

To add these on Goodreads, just click the cover and you’ll be redirected.

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson & Sydney Smith

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In this picture book, a little girl takes a walk through the city with her father and while on the journey, she decides to start collecting little wildflowers she discovers along the way. Her father is busy doing his own thing and is quite distracted. By the time they’re about ready to head home, she has collected a beautiful bouquet of flowers. What she decides to do with the flowers on her way back home is touching. Follow along in this beautiful picture book to see how sweet, caring, and creative she can be.

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The story is touching and will help children understand the importance of giving and thinking about others. The illustrations were eye catching with the majority of the pages being black and white with splashes of color throughout. It’s definitely a keeper.

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Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Syrian Cooking

Today I have a very strange breakfast to share with you and some great books! For breakfast today, I’m having stuffed grape leaves. It’s not really a breakfast food, but I eat these anytime. I’m Syrian from my grandfather’s side and stuffed grape leaves are something I grew up eating. When grape leaves are in season I try to make as many as I can because they’re fresh and taste delicious. I was always told not to cut leaves after July 4th because they are tougher. I have cooked them after this point, but they’re so much better in June. I made these yesterday and will eat them a few more times throughout the next few days. I might only get one more cutting.

Orlando1lbJar_large.jpegAs a child I never really enjoyed going out to pick grape leaves. I grew up in the city and when it was time to pick leaves we would go out and do some searching, often finding good vines on the side of roads. There was a huge area that would grow right on the edge wall of our church parking lot. I always thought this was ironic! If you can’t find them fresh, you can buy them in a jar. I’ve done this many times and they taste great.

When I moved to the country, I couldn’t understand why we didn’t have any grape leaves growing in our woods. I knew so many people around our area who would have them growing up a single tree on their properties and I didn’t have one vine. I started looking online to see if I could buy some seeds. I couldn’t find anything. Then one day while I was walking around outside, I found this vine growing up alongside this small dead tree. I couldn’t believe it. They were small and new, but the following year they would be perfect, and they were wonderful and huge that following year. As time has gone by, there are more grapevines growing all over around my house. I think this is the coolest thing. They come up every year and I look forward to it. Here’s a picture of the first vine. It’s growing beautifully on this dead tree. I think it’s so beautiful the way they grow up and then cascade down again.

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TAG: Desert Island Discs Blog Tag

I would like to thank James@this-is-my-truth-now and Nel@reactionarytales for nominating me for an awesome tag! If you haven’t checked out these blogs yet, be sure to stop by. There’s new content daily and I enjoy communicating with both of them.

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The Rules:

  • Link back to BookBum’s original post, so she can see all your answers! (Remember to do this via pingback, she won’t get a notification if not!)
  • Thank the person who tagged you… show some love!
  • Come up with your answers
  • Then tag others to keep the tag going!

 

The Premise:

You are cast away onto a remote desert island:

  • You can bring 5 albums – what are they?
  • You can bring one book – which is it? You are provided with a Bible/ other religious text if you want it, as well as the Complete Works of Shakespeare. No series!
  • You can have one luxury item (it has to be inanimate and can’t help you escape the island) – what is it?

 

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Lost – A True Story…

I told the kids to let you both out. It was a busy day and I had no time for anything. I was a little stressed and hadn’t managed my time very well that day.

I’m not sure how much time went by, maybe ten or fifteen minutes, but I realized you weren’t in the house. I realized that I forgot you guys were even outside.

I opened the door and you were nowhere to be found. I called you both and a minute later Winston came running up to the house from the woods, black and murky from head to tail.

I knew you guys either ran to the pond or maybe the ditch. Judging from the fish water smell, I guessed the ditch because the stench was almost unbearable. But, why weren’t you coming home?

I wasn’t surprised that Winston ran home so fast. He’s a home boy, but not you. You’re one of those dogs you see in the commercials on TV, running through fields of freedom, a hard working dog that can run all day without a break. Like the hard working dog on the Sesame Street video from when I was a kid.**

I continued to call for you and by that point, I started to panic. From the look on everyone’s face, it was obvious what they were thinking. I’d really screwed up this time. Where had you gone?

My first thought in my mind was that if someone found you, we’d never get you back. All it would take is one look in those big brown eyes. You’d be gone forever. How could I have done this?

We called and called and clapped our hands. All was quiet. We checked the pond and walked to the ditch. You weren’t anywhere in sight. I knew if you heard us calling your name, you’d bark. You always do that to let us know you heard us. I realized you must’ve been really far, but where?

I hopped in the car and began to drive. I realized that I’d been so busy, we never got a chance to play Frisbee with you guys. It was still cold out too. Why didn’t I take the time to run you out today? Had you eaten? Shoot, you didn’t even have your identification collar on.

I drove all over from block to block looking for you. I glanced over at every field. It was sunny, but cold, and absolutely nobody on the road. I pulled over and got out. I called for you. After about twenty minutes, the tears started. I began to panic.

I continued to drive. I was hysterical and the tears were flooding my eyes to the point where I couldn’t see well. I pulled over and began to pray. “Please God, bring her home. I screwed up. I’m so mad at myself. Please bring her home safe. Please, God, don’t take her from me.”

It was 3:45pm and at that point it had been over a half hour. The humane society closes at 4pm daily and I needed to call to report that you were lost, otherwise they wouldn’t know to watch for you.

First, I called animal control and left a message. When I called the Humane Society I could barely hear the guy. There were so many dogs barking in the background. I couldn’t describe you to the man. I was losing it and entered a totally panicked state.

I gave him your description through my broken voice. “She’s a black and white border collie, 2 years old, on the smaller side.” He asked your name and that’s when I really lost it. He told me, “We’ll call if she shows up or we hear from somebody.” I could hear the reassurance in his voice, but it still didn’t comfort me.

I had to call mom. Who else could I call? I knew she would ask me why I left you out. She would ask, “How did you forget?” She loves you too.

I told her the truth, that I was too busy doing other things. My mind was lost somewhere between the internet and washing clothes. I cried and couldn’t sit still. I wasn’t breathing right. I paced around the house.

We probably had about forty five minutes of daylight left. I began thinking about the boy that showed up late one night last fall and asked us if he could look around our property for his dog. That night I was thinking, “that poor guy.” Now, I might be in those shoes.

As my mind kept analyzing what to do next, mom was talking into the phone, but I was barely processing anything she was saying. I couldn’t concentrate. Every word went in one ear and out the other.

I started thinking about what life would be like without you. I’d miss your herding behaviors around the house. You wouldn’t be at my feet anymore. No more hugs and smiles. You’re the only dog I know that truly smiles.

As I stood in the hallway with my back to the door, I began to put my shoes back on. I was going to have to drive some more. I wasn’t coming back home without you. I had plans to start asking door to door.

I went to open the door and there you were. I could see you standing just behind the glass in the door. My heart dropped into my stomach. I let out a long sigh.

You were so dirty and had icicles hanging off your fur. While I’d been panicking, you were running free and having the time of your life. I knew you must’ve been swimming in the ditch. I bet it was really fun for you, all that freedom.

When I brought you in and saw the mess, I knew it would take hours to get you clean. You had burrs throughout your whole coat of fur. You were shaking and breathing hard. I was so happy to see you. I wasn’t mad at you.

I put you in the tub and began cleaning you up. I continued to cry and was still very angry with myself. I thanked God repeatedly for helping you find your way home. It was a close call and it was going to take me awhile to get over this, even though you were home. I was so thankful.

I enjoyed every minute of grooming you that day. I appreciated every second of it. I stopped to reflect on just how much you meant to me. I reminded myself that this incident could never happen again.

Every time I bathe you, I think about that day, the day we almost lost you. I won’t ever forget it, Cynder Rae. I’m not going to screw up like that again. I’ll be sure to remember your Frisbee time from now on too.

-Mischenko

 

Continue reading “Lost – A True Story…”

TAG: Who I Am

I’m not sure who created this tag, but I found this over at Icebreaker694’s blog and instantly fell in love with it. If you haven’t been to this blog yet, check it out. There are YA book reviews, comics, anime posts, manga reviews and more! Don’t miss it. 🙂

This tag requires doing some fun online quizzes which will help yourself and others learn some of your traits. I learned a lot about myself answering some of these questions. I didn’t know most of these quizzes existed!


What Is the Meaning of My Name?

So, on WordPress and Goodreads I use the name Mischenko because it’s my family’s last name. I’m Russian from my grandmother’s side and the name is special to me. It doesn’t really have a meaning, but to me, the name = family. 🙂

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What is my Myer-Briggs personality type? (Link)

 

LOGICIAN PERSONALITY (INTP, -A/-T)

I did a post on this a while ago with my results after I learned about it from a friend on Goodreads. Have you guys done this yet? It’s so fun. Here’s my original post.

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The Logician personality type is fairly rare, making up only three percent of the population, which is definitely a good thing for them, as there’s nothing they’d be more unhappy about than being “common”.
Role =ANALYST
Strategy = CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT
Individual Traits:

-INTROVERTED – 83%

-INTUITIVE – 71%

-THINKING – 60%

-PROSPECTING – 66%

-TURBULENT – 97%

 

Other Logicians include: Bill Gates, Kristin Stewart, Albert Einstein, and Issac Newton.

This personality test is very accurate for me. How about you?

 

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