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The Year of Living Minimally – Week Thirteen



A quarter of the way through this year-long project. The focus is still on ‘the other house.’ But what a lot of work has been done in just a few weeks’ time! Seven rooms, an attic, a basement, and a garage. Donations and discarding. Discarding isn’t easy, but it’s necessary.

Joshua Fields Millburn of The Minimalists posted this (excerpt): “Initially, I didn’t want to let go of anything. If you’ve ever lost a parent, a loved one, or been through a similarly emotional time, then you understand exactly how hard it was for me to let go of any of those possessions. So instead of letting go, I wanted to cram every trinket, figurine, and piece of oversized furniture into that storage locker in Ohio, floor to ceiling. That way I knew that Mom’s stuff was there if I ever wanted it, if I ever needed access to it for some incomprehensible reason. I even planned to put a few pieces of Mom’s furniture in my home as subtle reminders of her.”

We felt the same way – Jim had the emotional ties, I was being practical (don’t toss it if it can be used). But the clothes, the coats, the hangers, the photographs, the curios, each item held a small memory for my husband. The memories would remain, even without all the stuff.

We are not defined by what we own. Not by the car we drive, or the square footage of our house or apartment. We’re not measured by our possessions. There is joy in knowing some things will be put to use by others.

In California, some folks have literally minutes to evacuate their homes. Minutes! What do you grab? (My external hard drive – it holds my books and my wannabe books).

As Joshua noted, he didn’t need his mom’s stuff to remind him of her. We don’t need Ray’s houseful of stuff to fuel our memories. 

I began this project by tackling little things – a couple of drawers in the bathroom, the kitchen. I donated some books, some clothes. Larger projects await me in my own house (the garage, my writing space), but I’m ready.

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Saving Sarah is here!



She thought she’d never feel safe again. She was wrong.When Sarah Bennett’s abusive ex hunts her down in Chicago, her friends spirit her away to Willow Bay, where she hopes to begin again with a different identity. But terror keeps her holed up, unable to start her new life.

Deputy sheriff Tony Reynard never expected to be staring down the barrel of a gun when he enters Sarah’s apartment to finish up some handyman work, but that’s how the fiery little redhead greets him, and he’s beyond intrigued.

After an intervention by her loving friends, Sarah becomes involved in a project to turn an old mansion into a battered women’s shelter. The women work together to renovate the house, along with the help of the townspeople and the delectably handsome Tony, who is a true renaissance man. Tony vows to bring Sarah back to life and love, but knows he needs to move slowly to win her heart.

When her ex tracks her down once more, Sarah must find the courage to protect her friends and her new love from his wrath.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saving-sarah-nan-reinhardt/1127062255?ean=2940154535783

Nan Reinhardt has been a copy editor and proofreader for over twenty-five years, and currently works mainly on fiction titles for a variety of clients, including Avon Books, St. Martin’s Press, Kensington Books, Tule Publishing, and Entangled Publishing, as well as for many indie authors.

Author Nan writes romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after they turn forty-five! Imagine! She is also a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. She’s been an antiques dealer, a bank teller, a stay-at-home mom, and a secretary.

She loves her career as a freelance editor, but writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. She can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t writing—she wrote her first romance novel at the age of ten, a love story between the most sophisticated person she knew at the time, her older sister (who was in high school and had a driver’s license!), and a member of Herman’s Hermits. If you remember who they are, you are Nan’s audience! She’s still writing romance, but now from the viewpoint of a wiser, slightly rumpled, post-menopausal woman who believes that love never ages, women only grow more interesting, and everybody needs a little sexy romance.

Visit Nan’s website at http://www.nanreinhardt.com, where you’ll find links to all her books as well as blogs about writing, being a Baby Boomer, and aging gracefully…mostly. Nan also blogs every Tuesday at Word Wranglers, sharing the spotlight with four other romance authors; and she is a regular contributor at the Romance University website, where she blogs as Nan Reinhardt, Copy Editor. Her latest novel, Saving Sarah, book 4 in the Women of Willow Bay series releases in all outlets on September 26, 2017.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authornanreinhardt

Twitter: @NanReinhardt

Talk to Nan at: nan@nanreinhardt.com

It’s December!


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Isn’t that the truth? For those of us who have been connected way too much to every tweet, snipe, or carp, perhaps it’s time to pick up a book. A real book, with pages you turn.

I just finished my Book-a-Day #Giveaway here on the blog (although each post stays ‘live’ for a week, so you can go back to November 25 and still comment on any of the last six posts for a chance to win) – this November series has led us up to what we in the Association of Rhode Island Authors call our BIG EVENT – the Fourth Annual RI Authors Expo. It’s this Saturday, from 11:00am to 5:00pm, at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet http://www.rhodesonthepawtuxet.com/directions/

Come join me and about 125 other talented writers – we’ll have plenty of books, discussions, raffle baskets, and I hear there’s even a bar. 😉

 

Book-a-Day #Giveaway! The Pie Sisters by Leigh Brown and Victoria Corliss


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Bonded by blood, sisters Shelby, Yeardley, and Lily Lane are three uniquely different young women. Shelby, the eldest, is a born leader and self-appointed caretaker of the people in her life. Smart and decisive, she thinks she can do it all. Middle child Yeardley is a ship without an anchor, unsure of where she’s going or where she belongs. Lily, as the pampered baby of the family, has never had to do anything for herself. But that’s about to change. At their Aunt Nola’s lake cottage where they spent their childhood summers, the girls return to a special place and time filled with familiar faces and favorite traditions. It’s a walk down memory lane that may help define their uncertain futures, as well. Set in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes region, The Pie Sisters is a timeless tale of love, family, and the true meaning of home.

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Writers Victoria (Vikki) Corliss (on the left) and Leigh Brown are friends who became co-authors in 2009. Soon after, they published their first novel, Second Chances, followed by The Pie Sisters in 2015. Creators of women’s fiction, Brown /Corliss novels feature universal themes and literary elements that resonate and connect with most female readers. They are often asked: 1) Are they sisters, and 2) How do they write novels together? In fact, they are sisters in spirit only. To learn more about how their collaboration works, visit their website at www.Browncorlissbooks.com.

The Pie Sisters is available from Amazon, and select bookstores and gift shops in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. Both women live with their families in Rhode Island where they are currently working on their third novel, due out next year.

Sorry, there is NO book giveaway but……….you can still WIN a $5 Amazon gift card (use it to purchase the book!) by commenting below. One winner will be chosen at random and notified by me. Contest ends one week after publication.

 

 

 

 

Book-a-Day #Giveaway! The Overlords: Legend of the Treasure by Mike Squatrito


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Your name is Harrison Cross. You’re a righteous warrior with an undying will to avenge your parents’ death and the power to reunite humanity. However, every step along your journey is met with obstacles – people stealing your prized possessions, the Scynthians (a marauding species of ogre-like beings that want to eradicate your race), the ruthless Lord Hammer of Concur and his menacing army, and a land filled with creatures that hinder your progress – but you persevere. Along the way you’re beaten, punished, and mocked for your beliefs, you witness friends dying, you’re hungry and tired, yet you persevere. Your will is your asset, both a blessing and a curse. People you meet admire you and want to help with your cause; they become friends for life. Others want to tear you down. You possess God-given physical skills that are tested each and every day. You must not only fight to stay alive, but think as well. And think you do. Your friends are your rock and you will never betray them. It’s not in your nature. You meet the love of your life and you will protect her forever. You gladly place the burden of the world on your shoulders and carry everyone with you. You persevere, the word quit not in your vocabulary. In the end, the result of your life is a simple outcome. Either you win or you die.  Intrigued?

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The Overlords: Legend of the Treasure is the first book in Mike Squatrito’s Overlords fantasy series.  The Overlords: The Talisman of Unification and The Overlords: Journey to Salvation, the second and third books in the series respectively, are also available, and he is working on the fourth installment currently. If you liked the intro then please visit his webpage, for more information about Mike and his projects.

Find Mike’s books on Amazon or to purchase an autographed copy of any of Mike’s books, click here

You can WIN a copy of the book featured here! Just leave a comment below. One winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication.

 

Book-a-Day #Giveaway! Hunting the Merrow by Heather Rigney


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In the author’s debut novel (and first in the series) Waking the Merrow, she explores mermaid-ish beings found in Irish folklore, known as merrow, a Gaelic term. One of these creatures, Nomia, is not pleasant at all, and has made it her mission to turn Evie’s life upside down. As Evie struggles to keep her family safe from Nomia, Evie learns that her husband’s Irish roots might have some aquatic history of their own.

The second novel, Hunting the Merrow, picks up where Waking ends, further exploring the strange history of both Evie, the unlikely hero, and Nomia, the evil mermaid who might have a good reason for being so nasty. Hunting the Merrow presents readers with a variety of mermaid legends found in historic folklore throughout Europe, as both Evie and Nomia race to find their missing siblings.

Nicole Hill of Barnes & Noble Book Blog stated: You know what’s great about Rigney’s horror-ific (that’s horror-filled and terrific), hysterical debut novel? Besides the bloodthirsty merfolk, our antihero protagonist is an overweight, drunk, subpar mother, who also happens to be a funeral director. I can’t even describe the premise of this book without getting giddy, because how many times does a plot involve both vicious mermaids and Rhode Island colonists?” 5 Girl-Powered Sci-Fi and Fantasy Releases You’ll Love

Waking was also featured in Rhode Island’s Motif Magazine’s 2015 Summer Reading Guide to Classics and Local Soon-To-Be-Classics and Hunting appeared in Motif’s 2016 issue Summer Beach Reads.

So while you’re enjoying the silence after the holiday (and are shopping online in your warm jammies!) maybe head on over to Amazon.com. Waking the Merrow would be a great gift for an individual who enjoys fun historic books based in the Ocean State! It’s FREE for today, so go ahead and gift it! (Psst -No one will know that you didn’t pay full price!) Did you know you can gift an ebook? You can! It’s underneath all those purchasing buttons on the right on any Amazon page.

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Heather Rigney is a native Rhode Islander and author of Waking the Merrow and Hunting the Merrow. Both books are based in Rhode Island’s own Pawtuxet Village and adjoining Narragansett Bay, as well as Cape Cod, Ireland, and Europe. These dark historical fantasy novels take readers on a journey through pre-Revolutionary War Rhode Island, then jump to present day, where narrator Evie McFagan, alcoholic funeral director and hot mess mom, fights a centuries-old mermaid posing as a playground mother for her family’s safety.

You can WIN a copy of this book (or Heather’s first in the series – your choice)! Just leave a comment below. One winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication.

Book-a-Day #Giveaway! The Ferry Home by Debbie Tillinghast


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“You can almost smell the salt air and hear the waves lapping along the shore as you stroll through this memoir of childhood innocence, mischief, and excitement. It’s an easy and relaxing read, but not without its poignant moments. You don’t have to be a New Englander or an island dweller to enjoy it; if you were once a kid, it will warm your heart.”

Step back in time to a simpler life, as you read this captivating memoir of growing up in the 1950’s on the small island of Prudence. A story of re-connecting to long forgotten childhood bonds and memories, The Ferry Home embraces joyful moments with humor and more troubling emotions with compassion. Experience the rhythm of life on Prudence Island, the ebb and flow of changing tides and seasons, and the patterns and relationships that emerge.  As the vivid descriptions unfold, you will feel like you too have just stepped off the ferry and been embraced by the tiny Prudence Island community.

The Ferry Home is “…a love story, an answer to the siren’s call, a whisper of long-ago unacknowledged loss, pain, and grief and, ultimately, the healing realization that some things in life endure forever.”

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Debbie Kaiman Tillinghast has been published in County Extra Magazine, and Shoreline, an anthology published by the Association of Rhode Island Authors. Her memoir The Ferry Home was recently nominated for the Dorrys Non- Fiction Book of the Year, an award that honors the best in RI literature for the past year. Debbie, a retired teacher, loves being outdoors, gardening, walking, biking and visiting her grandchildren.

Find the book at Amazon or from Barnes and Noble

You can WIN a copy of this book! Just leave a comment below. One winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication.

 

Book-a-Day #Giveaway! Scoundrels by Paul Caranci


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Is Rhode Island Really the Most Corrupt State in the Nation?

Political corruption exists at so many levels simultaneously that until now, academic definition remained elusive. Scoundrels: Defining Corruption Through Tales of Political Intrigue in Rhode Island changed that by defining corruption, not through the prism of indictments, but rather by the deleterious affect the act has on society.

Like sin itself, political corruption can be both active and passive, and each of these corruption practices can be exhibited in three categories; traditional, circumstantial and situational.

Traditional political corruption manifests itself through a public official’s extortion demands or acceptance of a bribe.

Circumstantial political corruption ensues when a public official takes advantage of current circumstances to enrich him or herself.  In this case there is both a direct personal benefit to the official and an adverse impact to the public being served.

Situational political corruption arises when a public official is presented with a situation that serves either the public or individual good and makes a choice to serve the individual needs. There may be no direct benefit to the official other than performing a favor for another in the hope of receiving future favorable consideration.

Though circumstantial and situational political corruption are not generally covered in news stories nor prosecuted by authorities, they have a significant corrosive effect on society and are therefore no less corrupt in their nature than the traditional form or political corruption.

Scoundrels, which was recently recognized with a  Dorry Award for non-fiction book of the year,  offers an in depth look at the damage acts in all categories of political corruption can cause and brings each form to life through both familiar and never-before-heard stories ripped from the annals of Rhode Island’s political history. These riveting stories will show just why Rhode Island is often times described as the most corrupt state in the nation.

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Paul F. Caranci is Rhode Island’s former Deputy Secretary of State and a former town councilman who worked undercover with the FBI to expose a corruption ring in his hometown that was described by Federal Judge Mary Lisi as “a criminal empire.” The resulting investigation resulted in ten indictments, with five sentenced to terms in federal prison and several others forced to pay fines and restitution for their criminal activities.

Scoundrels, and all of Caranci’s books are available in bookstores and on Amazon.

You can WIN a copy of this book! Just leave a comment below. One winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication.

 

 

Book-a-Day #Giveaway! Claiming Space by Patricia Hinkley


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Claiming Space introduces a novel perspective: You have a right to claim time and space to be happy and feel truly alive! That is your right!

A fast pace and information overload can leave you stressed, out of control, and unhappy. Why? All of nature, including humans, require intervals of action and rest. Cell phones, social media, and multi-tasking interrupt an innate balance and fragment our minds. We even teach children busy-ness by over-programming them. This has consequences. Non-stop availability drains your recovery and hides what you really care about beyond the phone calls, computer games, television, and distractions. Neglecting the impulse toward quiet time wired into all humans is unnatural and ultimately unhealthy.

It’s your choice— keep the pace—or interrupt it for less stress, more calm, and untroubled happiness in the space between actions.

Well-being and happiness are inside jobs. Claiming Space shows you how with simple ways get to a more natural state of harmony, health and a peace of mind connection beyond the mundane of everyday life.

Time for self also leads you to become more alive and linked to your place on earth. Your actions at this critical time matter to the planet we call home.

A reader wrote, “Claiming Space is priceless in its vision and breadth of detail about what claiming space is and isn’t, and how to find ways for each unique individual to claim space. The writing and ideas in this marvelous book lifted me up in times of sadness. Your book is one that readers will reach for again and again in moments of forgetting to love ourselves enough to take care of our self. Claiming Space, what power in those two wonderful words!”

 

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Patricia Hinkley holds a BS in Nursing and a Master of Arts in Holistic Studies and Psychology. She raised two grown children, served clients, was an artist, and made time to be active in her community. Through it all she has learned the value of finding the stillness within. What she has learned is worth sharing. Claiming Space is Pat’s first book.

You can WIN a copy of this book! Just leave a comment below. One winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication.

Book-a-Day #Giveaway! A LIFE BEFORE by Julien Ayotte


 Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00028]This article is from the US Review of Books:
“… I can’t explain it, but I think I was this woman in another life.”

In 1989, a young newlywed is murdered. At the time, her husband, attorney Mike Strange was working on a case against a company that withheld evidence pertaining to high levels of radon found on a site where they were constructing a large condo complex. Amid detailed investigations, courtroom drama, and his paralegal being run off the road, Strange continues to mourn the loss of his wife and her killer remains at large. Twenty two years later, young coed Samantha Collins is plagued by dreams suffered since adolescence, about a woman brutally attacked. When unexplained coincidences and an unexpected detour land Collins in the neighborhood of the decades old Strange crime, she soon realizes a deep connection to the murder victim. This same young woman who had once given an eerily topical valedictorian speech regarding life after death, suddenly feels compelled to flush out the killer.

For those drawn to the popular “Cold Case” television series or headlines of faltering investigations that benefit from the insight of uniquely gifted individuals, Ayotte delivers the perfect read. This is a story filled with emotionally distraught characters searching for answers, from a broken-hearted husband, devastated families, and determined detectives, to a young woman desperate to find peace in her own existence. In contrast Ayotte provides a cast of wrong-doers who need to be held accountable for their actions.

This is a smart, well-paced thriller that will give readers pause to rethink their own deja vu experiences. As an homage to the past life theme, Ayotte brings the plot full circle with creative touches that tie the opening and closing. A shocking, explosive twist plays into the well-crafted epilogue that not only bolsters the premise of A Life Before, but cleverly entices us to think about the possibilities of life ever after.

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Visit the author’s website here

You can WIN a copy of this book! Just leave a comment below. One winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication.