Meet The Reader Series with Starjustin

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for friends on Goodreads that have similar tastes. I like learning about new books and discussing them with others. I decided to experiment with a new idea and thought it would be neat to find readers that I’m friends with on Goodreads and share them with you. Maybe they might be someone you’d like to add too. As I find readers with an interest, I’ll introduce them.

Meet the Reader Series

Today’s reader: Starjustin a.k.a. Mom

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Q: Did you enjoy reading as a child? If so, what were some of your favorite books?

A: One of my fondest memories from my childhood is when my Mom decided to have bookshelves built into the north wall in our living room.  She filled the bookshelf with books and we also had a new World Book set of Encyclopedias we used through our school years.  I loved my ‘Tall Book of Nursery Rhymes’ most of all and remember reading from larger poetry books as I got older.   My Father was quite the reader also, still going for his Masters when we were very young and then on to becoming a teacher and eventually a grade school principal.  So, yes, books were a crucial part of my childhood. 

Q: What are some of your favorite books this year?

A: I am a ‘slow reader’ and have just gotten back into the reading world within the last year or two.  I truly like to take my time reading a book.  I would have to say that ‘The Life We Bury’ by Allen Eskins,  ‘On the Other Hand’ by Renée Paul,  which was actually life-changing for me,  The ‘Walk Series’  by Richard Paul Evens,  and even though ‘The Policewoman’ by Justin Roberts is not my typical genre,  I am very happy to have taken the time to read the book.  

Q:What are your favorite book genres?

A: Dystopian novels,  Self-Help, Memoirs,  Self Awareness,  Children’s,  Short Stories,  and Spirituality.  

Q:What are some of your favorite authors today?

A: Bobby Underwood, Renée Paul,  Richard Paul Evans,  George Orwell,  Liane Moriarty,  Allen Eskins.  There are just too many to list. 

Q: How many books are on your TBR shelf?

A: 414 last time I looked. 😊

Q:What’s an emotional book you’ve read this year or last?  

A: Two books come to mind. #1.  ‘A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Cat’ by Bernard Jan( I was teary from beginning to end with this one)

Click the covers to add…

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 #2.  ‘The Policewoman’ by Justin Roberts (an extremely emotional read for me several times during the reading.)

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Q: Is there a book you really didn’t enjoy this year or last?

A: No.  It may take me some time to read certain books however,  there are no books that I’ve read that I’ve not enjoyed in one way or another.

Q: They say to never judge a book by its cover, but just how important is the book cover to you?

A: Seeing a book cover for the first time is ‘Love at First Sight’ for me when it’s one that catches my eye immediately,  even though I know nothing about the contents of the book. However, It doesn’t determine whether of not I’ll read a book.f_lovem_2ec3144.jpg

Q: Do you have a blog? If so, what is the name? If not, have you ever thought about starting one?

A: Easy answer here.  No, I don’t have a blog of my own however, I do enjoy others and find interest in reading blogs.   No, I would never start a blog, only because I’m retired now and enjoy my free time to spend as I wish.  I feel the time I spend reading blogs is enough to keep me very content.  

Q: Have you written anything? If not, have you ever thought about writing your own book?

A: No, other than essays in my school years and of course college papers, etc.   No, I don’t think I would enjoy writing a book due to the hours needed, and the stress involved with printing and publishing.  It would just be too much for me at this point in my life.  

Q: Which do you enjoy more, ebooks or physical books? How about audio books?  

A: 51QEbDDolEL._SX425_.jpgI love my ‘Kindle’ and it’s much easier for me to read e-books than physical books. Don’t get me wrong, I have a bit of collector in my genes, and I love having signed copies from the authors. I love purchasing books so that I own them and can read them over again if I wish. 

Q: Where do the majority of your books come from? (Library, bookstore)

A: The majority of my books and readings, since I own the Kindle, come from Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.  So easy to obtain and purchase and many are free.   I have recently moved to stay with my family and I am learning to use the library system again.  I just picked up ‘Garvey’s Choice‘ by Nikki Grimes from the library r/t a GR recommendation from my granddaughter. ( She even went with me! ❤)

Continue reading “Meet The Reader Series with Starjustin”

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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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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Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Syrian Cooking”