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As a fan of the original March girls, I was very interested in reading Gabrielle Donnelly’s The Little Women Letters.

Ms. Donnelly, breathed new life into a story that had fallen to the back of my mind and been simply forgotten as an adult. Sisterhood holds a bond that is completely sacred to those involve, and Donnelly captures that spirit blending our March sisters of old with the lives of the Atwater sisters. As a teen, I wondered where these women would go in their lives. What happened to them? The middle daughter Lulu, discovery of the lost letters helps shed light on the lives of the March girls and their family after the book. We find out there’s a different bond between the first sisters and the new set: Jo is the grandmother.

Lulu is on the road to self-discovery. Her older sister Emma is the centered, focused woman of the family, much like Meg in Little Women. Sophie, the baby of the family is young, vivacious, with talent to lead her to be the next big actress.

As with the original set of sisters, these three are very different with one main character bringing them together: Lulu. Words from her grandmother’s pen help Lulu to find her way as well as put things right for her family as well.

In a time where books about vampires and werewolves rule, The Little Women Letters proves to be a nice refreshing change. I recommend this book for any fan of the original Little Women, and any little women they may know. What a great summer read to take along to the lakeshore, beach or just a quiet porch.


Lynda Peters!

Congratulations Lynda, you win a copy of Santa Montefiore’s “The Mermaid Garden”. You’ll be receiving you copy next week.

Thanks for visiting, playing and commenting.


Since we’ve had no comments in this contest, I’ve decided to open it up to a few more sites.

I’ve extended the contest until midnight, 8 June.  Contest details can be found here, http://networkedblogs.com/iiVEz and here, http://networkedblogs.com/ij1GJ.


My Infamous LifeBy Albert "Prodigy" Johnson with Laura Checkoway

Touchstone, April 2011

Hardcover, 320 pages

Description:

From one of the greatest rappers of all time, a memoir about a life almost lost and a revealing look at the dark side of hip hop’s Golden Era . . .

In this often violent but always introspective memoir, Mobb Deep’s Prodigy tells his much anticipated story of struggle, survival, and hope down the mean streets of New York City. For the first time, he gives an intimate look at his family background, his battles with drugs, his life of crime, his relentless suffering with sickle-cell anemia, and much more. Recently released after serving three and a half years in state prison due to what many consider an unlawful arrest by a rumored secret NYPD hip hop task force, Prodigy is ready to talk about his life as one of rap’s greatest legends.

My Infamous Life is an unblinking account of Prodigy’s wild times with Mobb Deep who, alongside rappers like Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Jay-Z, and Wu-Tang Clan, changed the musical landscape with their vivid portrayals of early ’90s street life. It is a firsthand chronicle of legendary rap feuds like the East Coast–West Coast rivalry; Prodigy’s beefs with Jay-Z, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Ja Rule, and Capone-N-Noreaga; and run-ins with prodigal hit makers and managers like Puff Daddy, Russell Simmons, Chris Lighty, Irv Gotti, and Lyor Cohen.

Taking the reader behind the smoke-and-mirrors glamour of the hip hop world, so often seen as the only way out for those with few options, Prodigy lays down the truth about the intoxicating power of money, the meaning of true friendship and loyalty, and the ultimately redemptive power of self. This is the heartbreaking journey of a child born in privilege, his youth spent among music royalty like Diana Ross and Dizzy Gillespie, educated in private schools, until a family tragedy changed everything. Raised in the mayhem of the Queensbridge projects, Prodigy rose to the dizzying heights of fame and eventually fell into the darkness of a prison cell.

I generally don’t read rap autobiographies, but I have to say that Prodigy’s view into his life as one of the high ranking rappers in the game was a bit different from the pompous, self-glorifying stories I’ve come accustomed to hearing. 

Straight, and to the point, Albert Johnson (Prodigy) takes you on a tour of his rise to fame and his fall from grace of the rap world during the nineties. From Jay Z to Lindsey Lohan, you find that no matter where come from you can rub elbows with people from all walks of life, and bump heads with a lot of them.

If you’re a fan of Mobb Deep, you’ll enjoy this true-life, story told and seen through the eyes of Albert “Prodigy” Johnson.


The Mermaid Garden
Author: Santa Montefiore
Pages: 400

Reading Level: Adult
Release Date: May 3rd 2011
Review Source: Simon & Schuster
Available: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Borders

Not one, but two beautifully written stories. Young love at its best, unfolds in the first story with Floriana and Dante. A poor girl meets rich boy, and they fall in love story, but the heart provides a difficult path to follow.

The second story takes you to the coast of Devon England. Here you find a husband, Grey and his wife, Marina struggling to keep the hotel they own open. Rafa, a handsome, young Argentine is hired by Marina to teach painting during the summer. He soon makes an unforgettable impression on the town, Marina, and her family.

If you believe in the power of love, then I suggest you read The Mermaid Garden. The wonderful details of the settings, take you into a world of love waiting to blossom. I love a book that introduces the characters with such detail, you feel as though you know them. Knowing them, makes your care what happens to them. Isn’t that what we all want in a romance novel?

Santa Montefiore’s The Mermaid Garden, will make a great addition to your summer reading list.

Now for the good news. To kick of that list, I’m offering a chance to win a free copy of The Mermaid Garden. All you have to do is leave a comment about the best romance story you’ve ever read, at one of the following blogs: Formulations, or Dusk to Dawn Romance.

Your name will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of the book. (Only one entry per person) Winner to be selected by Random.org. Winners be notified via email, and the name posted on all three sites. So please make sure you leave your email address.

Contest will close at midnight on 3 June. Winner announce on 4 June. Don’t miss your chance to enter.

Good luck!



Blurb:
Erika leads a quiet life—at least in the real world. But her alter-ego, Little Lottie, is a singer at a local club and engages in a wild online romance. For months she’s been communicating with a mysterious man, known only to her as The Phantom.
Her lover contacts her via texts, emails, and instant messages so When he offers to fulfill her desires in real life she can’t refuse—the only condition to meeting for their sizzling assignations—he wears a mask to hide his true identity. Despite his reluctance to reveal himself to Erika, he tears down her inhibitions and unleashes her suppressed passions, taking possession of her body and soul. Erika may have finally found the one who can sate her every longing…if only he would show her the man behind the mask.

Excerpt:
See you tonight in your dreams, he’d written. But he didn’t have to wait until bed time to see Erika. He saw her dressed up as Little Lottie every time he closed his eyes. He could smell the white chocolate undertones of the perfume she wore at work. Day after day he saw her, bored out of her mind in her cubicle or making a break for the door at exactly five o’clock. She didn’t even know he worked with her, that every day he longed to talk with her about more than just business, but she never seemed open to it. As if he’d have the courage if she were.
It’d been an accident when he’d first come across her performing at Masquerade, even then he’d hardly recognized her. He’d heard about the club online—a place where everyone was accepted—and decided to stop by one Saturday night. A beautiful woman sang onstage. Melancholy acoustic guitar and her pure, clear soprano voice bewitched him. She’d sung a haunting song she’d written herself—though simplistic, it suited her. At the end of her set, he’d noticed the Phantom of the Opera sticker on her guitar case. It was then the idea was born.
That night, he’d created The Phantom’s profile on the social network where she advertised her gigs and sent her a friend request. Erika immediately accepted…Well, Little Lottie had accepted because the two personalities seemed like totally different women. Where Erika was shy, quiet, desperate to avoid calling attention to herself, Lottie was vibrant and bold with so much stage presence. Erika usually wore her hair in a sloppy ponytail, wore slacks and oversized sweaters paired with flats or loafers. But as Lottie…oh, as Lottie—red hair spilling in loose curls over her delicately freckled shoulders, a pink mini-dress cut up to there, pouty red lips and five-inch stiletto heels.
His cock sprang to life at the thought of running a hand up her long, shapely legs. Would her pussy get wet with just his touch or would she take some time to coax open like a ripe peach? What would she taste like? Would she be wild and daring or sweet and submissive? An endless stream of questions tortured him, his erection growing harder. Heaven knew he wanted to sink himself inside her. And she wanted him too, but when it came down to it—if she saw who he really was—would she still want him?
He stripped off his shirt and looked at himself in the mirror. Regular workouts and good eating habits kept him lean and muscular, but to his mind it was kind of like putting lipstick on a pig. His fingers strayed to his face. He hadn’t been truly handsome since he was nineteen years old—that was ten years ago. Ten years of one night stands, fumbling around in the dark to sate his needs with women who wanted nothing more from him than he wanted from them. And inevitably, once they’d gotten a quick fuck or two, the questions would come. That was his cue to leave. He never bothered to take their numbers, if they bothered to offer… Which wasn’t often. But it was all good. At least he’d thought so until he’d gotten to know Erika, until he’d seen her as Little Lottie. She belonged with him. They were kindred spirits, hiding their true selves from the world. Falling in love with her was as easy and natural as breathing.
Pulling on a black turtleneck, he narrowed his eyes at his reflection. With mask over his face so only his lips and chin were exposed, he felt powerful, like the young man he used to be. He needed her to love him, it was worth the risk. If she wanted him to be her fantasy lover then that’s what he’d be.


By Kensana Darnell

“We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell” ~Oscar ~Oscar Wilde~

 

Her horrified eyes stare back at me from beneath the murky waters.

With my hands tightly around her throat, she struggles. I hear her screams, intermitted between the gurgling water rushing past her lips.

I feel the blast of excitement electrifying my brain and fraying my emotions, igniting the sexually tormented demon inside me.

He likes this—no loves it. He is the part of me, the half that frightens my soul. He, is the part of me, I cannot stop—no matter how hard I try.

I look into my victim’s horror-stricken expression, I feel for her. I slightly release my grip, allowing her water filled lungs to seek refuge in the night air floating above.

clip_image002“Please–” she gasped.

I didn’t respond. I only stared back at her, waiting for him to respond.

She rises to her feet, taking to the woods in a panicked disoriented run.

Again, I waited for the orders from within.

Get her!

Like a dog following the commands of its master, I leapt to my feet in pursuit of the woman. She wouldn’t get far, he’d made me take her shoes and clothing away. That’s how he liked to keep them.

She’s screaming.

Don’t let her get away!

I picked up speed to close the gap between the woman and myself. Mad laughter exploding inside my head, as I reached for her hair, forcing her to the ground. Crawling closer, I straddled her torso, pinning her naked body to the ground.

“Please, let me go. I won’t tell anyone.”

Her whimpering pleas, drilling deeply into my skull.

Kill her!

“Shut up. I won’t do it!”

Do it! Do it now!

I have to shut him up. I want…no I need him to stop talking.

I pull the blade from my jacket, its long blade shimmering in the moonlight, casting a reflection of light across the girl’s face.

Taking the knife in both hands, I hold it over my head. She’s screaming again.

Now!

The blade plunges into her chest, and blood spatters across my face as I turn the blade to open the wound.

Bloody sputum, dribbles down her cheek.clip_image004

Silence. The voice is quiet. The demon has been satiated once more. How long until he speaks to me again? When will he demand another life to fulfill his pleasure?

Sirens.

I hear them speeding closer. Her screams. Someone must have heard.

Run.

I hear the voice trying to save me—try to save himself.

Run.

Should I flee? I can see the glimmer of red and blue lights now.

Run!

I pull the knife from her chest, and get to my feet. I know these woods like the back of my hands, getting to my car isn’t a problem. I break the wood line running at top speed. Safe behind the wheel, I watch the beams of light from the officer’s flashlights streak through the trees.

I put the car into reverse, making sure to leave the headlights off. I pull onto the road, switching them on only after I’m sure my freedom is safely is within reach. Looking down at the brightly lit fuel gage, I realize the car needs gas. I roll into an old mom and pop service station and begin to fill the tank as a royal blue beetle glides in at the pump opposite mine.

A young brunette climbs out of the car. She glances in my direction and smiles. “Hi.”

“Hello.” I reply. I watch her in the reflection of my car window. The way she brushes away the hair from the nape of her neck, every time the breeze blows. The curve of her long shapely legs, the crest of her breast, rising and falling beneath the cropped top she wore, called to it. My palms sweaty, heart is pounding, and then I hear him.

I want her.

“No.” I whisper.

Take her for me.

My head is pounding. I quickly climb back into the car.

I want her!

I don’t know how much longer I can resist him. I stare out of the car, my view falls on the girl once more. I can’t breathe.

“Oh God,” I pray, “please stop me, before I kill again.”


imageAnd if we write, are we writers"? Once we establish ourselves as writers, and we are published, are we then authors?

I sometimes ponder these questions, over and over again. Yes, I put fingers to the keyboard, and begin creating some outlandish story that no one has every read before. Every once in awhile, I may even put pen to a pad to express myself.

I write, therefore I am a writer. Most, consider me an author because of this. What makes you an author, is doing this professionally…this is your profession.

I have some serious things going on in my head. Some who know me well, have concerns about my sanity when hearing some of the ideas that float around in there.

Most who do not write, consider those who do to have issues when we imagemention that our characters speak to us. Yes, we hear voices, but sometimes the voices cease, and your characters seem to take a personal vendetta against you, refusing to tell you anymore of their dirty little secrets. What good is serial killer, who won’t share the gory details of his/her latest kill? How about a woman holding secrets that will be the bearing of why she chooses one man above the other to spend the rest of life with. Vampires, who seek out a normal life, while harboring secrets of a dark past to which they refuse to share the details. A Friendship with your characters, can be the most scrupled relationship you may ever experience.

Yes, writing can be a difficult journey at times, but when the smoke clears, and your characters decide they want to embark on a fresh friendship with you, there’s nothing like it. Ideas, stream from your head and onto the pages like magic.

I’m not rich from what I’ve published thus far, and getting the next work completed sometimes feels like a never ending battle. I’m working to get there though, and for now that’s all I can do.

Here’s to writing!


Dear Lord
Author: Unknown
Dear Lord, it’s such a hectic day
With little time to stop and pray
For life’s been anything but calm
Since You called on me to be a mom
Running errands, matching socks
Building dreams with building blocks
Cooking, cleaning, and finding shoes
And other stuff that children lose
Fitting lids on bottled bugs
Wiping tears and giving hugs
A stack of last weeks mail to read
So where’s the quiet time I need?
Yet when I steal a minute, Lord
Just at the sink or ironing board
To ask the blessings of Your grace
I see then, in my small one’s face
That you have blessed me
All the while
And I stop to kiss
That precious smile


In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s victory over French forces in 1862.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is an excuse to enjoy the great foods and drinks that the Mexican heritage has given us. Any reason to party, is a  good enough for us.

Now if you’re partying at home and having friends over, you have to pull out the fresh goods, and make some guacamole. Because good friends, don’t serve store bought guacamole to their friends. That’s just wrong.

To help you out, here’s a great recipe for guacamole and a fantastic margarita. I hope you enjoy them both. Remember it is Thursday, and tomorrow is a work day for most, so enjoy in moderation.

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Guacamole

Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: Makes 2 cups
Note: Molcajetes, lava stone mortar and pestles, are widely available at Latino markets and selected cookware stores.
2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped white onion
3 serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
4 heaping tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro plus cilantro leaves with little stems for garnish
3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
3 large avocados or 4 small avocados
4 ounces ripe tomatoes, finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1. In a molcajete, grind together the onions, chiles, chopped cilantro and salt to a paste.
2. Cut the avocados into halves, remove the pits and spoon the flesh into the molcajete. Mash the avocado into the onion-chile mixture until it is a uniform texture, but not smooth (it should still have some lumps).
3. Stir in the tomatoes and lime juice, adjust the seasoning and top with the cilantro leaves.
Each tablespoon: 36 calories; 0 protein; 2 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 3 grams fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 57 mg. sodium.

Frozen Mango Margarita

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1.5 oz. Cuervo Especial Gold (25 oz. per bottle)

3 oz. Jose Cuervo Lime Margarita Mix

1 cup(s) mangos

1.5 tablespoon(s) sugar

4 oz. crushed ice

1 lime wedge  

Drink Recipe Preparation:

  • Rub rim of a margarita glass with half a lime and dip into sugar.
  • Add Cuervo Especial Gold, lime margarita mix, diced and peeled mangos, and crushed ice.
  • Mix in blender until smooth.
  • Pour into the glass.
  • Garnish with lime wedge.

Welcome to our worlds.

Cindy Jacks's sexy, light-hearted, and somtimes comedic side of romance and Kensana Darnell's paranormal romance. Just as real, but not as brightly lit. Opinions, contests, guest bloggers and more will be added frequently. Come check in with us often for a tour of our corner of the web.

Kensana Darnell

Cindy Jacks/C.J. Elliott

Love Game Ellora’s Cave 7 Jan

One Touch, One Glance Anthology

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