Archives for posts with tag: Boston

Hi all:

As you know on Fridays I bring you a guest. I’ve been talking to one of my fellow authors from ASMSG, Rebecca Scarberry, and as she has quite an number of books published, all well deserving of a visit, I asked her to choose one for today, and she’s decided to bring us ‘Where Love Takes You’. Just the title and looking at the cover makes you want to dive into the book, but Rebecca has been kind enough to send us not only some information about herself, but also a sample. And rather than keep talking about it, let’s get going.

First, introduce you to Rebecca:

Author Rebecca Scarberry

Author Rebecca Scarberry

Rebecca Scarberry (@Scarberryfields on Twitter) lives on a secluded farm in the Boston Mountains of Arkansas. She has self-published six books (four different genres): Messages from Henry (mystery), Rag Doll (psychological thriller/crime drama), Jumper series of three children’s picture books, and Where Love Takes You (transatlantic romance). She is currently editing the script for one episode for her children’s book series. A couple of television producers have requested she do so. Way to go, Rebecca!

Where Love Takes You by Rebecca Scarberry and Francis Potts

Where Love Takes You by Rebecca Scarberry and Francis Potts

Book description for Where Love Takes You:

The devoted, unlikely hero pigeon, Henry, is back in this sequel to Messages from Henry. This romance will take you on a transatlantic journey to England. With racing birds and racing hearts, you’ll find yourselves routing Henry on once again. His devotion to his new challenges and his mate, Cecilia will touch your hearts.

Book Sample:

Chapter 1. Henry goes to school.

“Tammy, I received the most wonderful letter in the mail!” Evelyn shouted over the phone to her long-time friend and neighbor.

“Who’s the letter from?”

“It’s from the president of the Parent Teachers Association. She says the children attending Pickford Elementary school were learning about carrier pigeons when word of Henry saving my life hit the local news. She says they have made an award for Henry and want me to bring him to an awards ceremony.”

“That’s so lovely, Evelyn. When is it?”

“Hang on. I’ll look at the letter. October 2nd. It’s a Saturday. Will you be able to come too? After all, without you to read the messages, I’d be dead.”

The thought made Tammy shiver. “Of course, I’d love to come with you. I’m trying to picture what they could have possibly made for him.”

“I don’t care what they made. Henry is going to love their attention.”

Tammy showed up at Evelyn’s beautiful, large farmhouse an hour before they had to have Henry at the school auditorium. She was dressed in a casual pastel orange dress that complimented her red curly hair and azure eyes. Her high heels matched her dress perfectly.

As soon as Evelyn opened the front door, she looked at Tammy’s shoes and said, “Well, I guess I’ll be going out to give Henry a quick grooming by myself. You certainly can’t walk through the mud in those heels.”

“I could just slap you, Evelyn,” Tammy teased. “I was expecting a compliment and Henry all ready to go.”

Evelyn laughed and then said, “No, he’s not ready yet. I’ve been fussing with my out-of-control hair for half an hour. My hair is the same color as yours, but it certainly isn’t as controllable.”

“Your hair looks beautiful and you look so pretty in that light green dress. Have to tell you though; you’re going to have to lose the house slippers.”

Evelyn laughed as she removed the slippers, and replaced them with black rubber boots.

“Oh, those look much better,” Tammy joked.

Evelyn looked back at Tammy and rolled her eyes, as she headed for the backdoor. Once she arrived with Henry, in a nice clean cat carrier, she placed him on the kitchen floor.

Tammy looked at Henry, staring up at her. “Hello, Henry. Why you look beautiful. Your pure white feathers glisten, and your yellow eyes look brilliant, as usual.”

“I wiped him down a little bit, but I agree he looks beautiful. Like his girlfriend, Cecilia, he likes to keep his feathers in pristine condition. Let me put my heels on and we’re ready to go.”

The traffic held Evelyn and Tammy up. There had been an accident on the freeway earlier, and traffic hadn’t normalized.

Once the two entered the crowded auditorium, many of the children in the back rows turned to see who had entered. They immediately rose from their seats and began to clap. Once the others within earshot heard them clapping, they stood to see what it was about. Before Evelyn and Tammy took another step, the auditorium was filled with the sound of hundreds of people applauding. Evelyn looked down at Henry and found him bobbing his head. It was as though he was thanking them. She smiled big and raised the carrier above her head, for all to see.

A chubby, gray-haired woman in her fifties came up behind them and patted Evelyn on the back. “Come this way, Mrs. Bury. We have a seat for you on stage.”

Evelyn set the carrier on the floor next to her wooden chair, on stage. Once Evelyn sat down, proceedings began.

A tall, thin woman in her thirties stood at a podium and began, “Good afternoon. I’m Sharon Batista. Thank you all for coming this evening to honor Henry. Evelyn, we all want to thank you for bringing your hero to meet all of us tonight. We read in all the newspapers and saw your story on the local television news. We were all rooting Henry on, and praying you would be saved from death by the hands of your kidnapper. With each message Henry delivered to your dear friend, Tammy Wade, we were hoping that would be the one message to lead the authorities to you. I also want to add, we are so sorry for the loss of your son, Scott. We know he was trying very hard to pay the ransom and save your life. I don’t want to put you on the spot, but I’m wondering if you’d like to say a few words”.

Evelyn rose from her chair, Sharon stepped away from the podium, and Evelyn adjusted the microphone. “Thank you, Sharon, for your kind words. Tammy and I have been looking forward to this night for weeks. I’m thankful my dearly beloved husband trained Henry so well. Had it not been for Henry’s special abilities, and my loving friend Tammy, I never would have been found. Thank you all for coming to meet him.” As she walked back to her seat, the crowd applauded. Sharon returned to the podium, “Thank you, Evelyn. I would like to introduce you to one of Henry’s dearest fans, six-year-old Martin Quinten. He has the award, he made himself, and one-hundred and fifty students agreed was the perfect award for your special bird.”

A very small six-year-old redheaded boy started up the stairs to the stage. He stumbled on the fourth step, and this caused several of the children to laugh. Evelyn smiled dearly at the poor boy, as his face continued to redden with each step he took.

Once Martin regained his footing, his face turned to its normal pale white. In one hand, he held something in a silver box with a red bow tied to the top. He walked up to Evelyn and stood speechless.

“Nice to meet you, Martin,” Evelyn said with a smile. As she scooted the carrier closer to the child, she began again, “I would like to introduce you to Henry.”

The boy leaned down and looked inside of the carrier. With a large smile on his face he said, “We have an award for you, Henry. We hope you like it. We all think of you as the prince of pigeons.” Henry tilted his head and looked up at Martin, through the wire, atop the carrier. This clearly thrilled the boy and he soon handed Evelyn the box.

“I’m certain he will, Martin.” She slowly removed the bow. She opened the box to find a tiny, dark red felt vest. On the back, in yellow lettering, it said, HERO. She fought back tears of joy and said, “Henry will look stunning in this, and it’ll keep him warm on these cold mornings.” She sat the vest on her lap, removed Henry from his carrier, and placed the vest on his muscular body. It fit perfectly. She held Henry high into the air and Henry bobbed his head. The audience began to clap once again.

A line of people then began to line up on stage to meet and pet Henry, proudly displaying his new vest.

After reading that, you must go get it, here:

Thanks so much to Rebecca for being my guest and bringing us such a great read, to all of you for reading, and you know what to do, if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment, and of course, CLICK!

Today I bring you my review for a book I’ve enjoyed, suffered and admired profoundly. I thoroughly recommend it. This being domestic violence month it is even more pertinent.

October Snow

October Snow’ is a book about an important (pressing) issue, domestic violence. Not enough has been written about it, and that alone would make this novel a worthy read. Raising consciousness and informing people about all aspects of domestic violence (legal, emotional, personal, psychological) is required, and by putting the readers right in the middle of a charged situation, and making us identify ourselves with protagonists who experience the problem at different levels (Jo who survived years of abuse and became and advocate, Maxine who comes to realise she was the child of an abusive marriage, Sam, a victim who with the help of her friends gains the strength to move out and restart her life) Ms. Brooks helps us achieve a better understanding than that possible from reading the news or even academic books or essays on the matter. We are there.

If that did not suffice, ‘October Snow’ is a novel about a group of women, who become stronger together, and whose friendship gives meaning to their lives, enriching them and helping them achieve things they would not have on their own. I love the characters and cried at the end. They are all heroes in their own right. Although I had suspected where things were going for quite a while, that did nothing to reduce the emotional impact of it. I agree with many of the reviewers and I’m sure that ‘October Snow’ will live with me for a very long time. (Ah, and the wedding is one of my favourite ever!)

Although some of the legal issues might be very specific to the US (and even to some States), the psychological and emotional depth of the characters and the effect the abuse has on them is, unfortunately universal.

I will follow Mrs. Brook’s literary career with interest and I hope her novel gets the attention it deserves. The world would be a better place if we did not allow such problems to remain hidden in plain sight.

Check it out here!

If you have enjoyed the review, please remember to like, share, comment, and CLICK to get the book!

Mobile Vs Mobile

Mobile Vs Mobile (Photo credit: koalazymonkey)

Os confesaré algo. No me gustan nada los móviles. De hecho me resistí durante tiempo a tener uno. Al final una chica con la que estaba estudiando en la Universidad de Sussex (estaba haciendo el doctorado en Literatura Americana, o para ser más precisos, Los Films de David Mamet) Heba, insistió cuando presenté la tesis en que tenía que tener un teléfono móvil para poder seguir en contacto, y me dio uno viejo de los suyos. Como yo andaba a la búsqueda de trabajo necesitaba un número de teléfono así que…

Unos cuantos móviles más tarde (normalmente los cambio cuando se empiezan a enganchar las teclas o la batería se desgasta tanto que cuesta menos comprar otro teléfono) ando con un androide que me está haciendo la vida imposible porque tiene muy poca memoria y se empeña en descargar cosas que yo no quiero cada vez que me doy la espalda,  y luego me toca borrar todos los programas manualmente, y naturalmente desaparecen las cosas que necesito…así que sospecho que lo tendré que cambiar. Me he resistido a pasar de Pay As You Go (sin contrato) a contrato porque sigo pensando que así estoy menos atada al móvil. La verdad es que lo uso poco.

¿Por qué no me gustan los móviles? Para la gente que adora los móviles (y hay muchos) lo de convertir a los demás es eso, como una misión devocional. Siempre puedes estar en contacto con la gente, si hay una emergencia (esa me parece la única buena razón, aunque naturalmente, es posible que cuando lo necesites estés en una zona sin cobertura, te hayas quedado sin batería o…lo que sea) te será muy útil, puedes comprar cosas, leer tus correos, no dejar pasar ni una oportunidad, sacar fotos, leer libros…Ya, vale. La verdad es que de vez en cuando se está muy bien tranquilo sin que nadie te pueda venir a dar la lata. La mayoría de cosas que son tan ‘urgentes’ de hecho no lo son y si uno se conecta a todo en el teléfono (Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Instagram, Tumble, Goodreads, Pinterest…añadid los que queráis) no te queda ni un segundo para hablar con nadie. Hablar de verdad, quiero decir, no a través de una pantalla. Sí, ya sé que puedes desconectarlo, pero entonces, ¿no es lo mismo no tenerlo? Y de hecho supongo que ya os habéis dado cuenta que los móviles de hoy en día de teléfono ya tienen poco (y la mayoría ni siquiera te dan instrucciones de cómo usarlos como teléfonos) y los hay hasta con zoom para la cámara.

Hace unos años acudí a una conferencia (de la Asociación Americana de Literatura, ALA) en Boston y descubrí que mi móvil no funcionaba allí. Un sentimiento de paz me invadió y he de reconocer que aunque solo fueron 4 días (y tenía que  hacer una presentación yo) no recuerdo haberme sentido tan relajada desde hacía tiempo.


Mobile (Photo credit: Albany Associates)

Pero esto todo es una digresión. De hecho yo quería preguntaros algo. Hace tiempo ando bromeando que necesito un App que haga los días más largos, porque no me llegan las horas. Un App que promocionara las obras de uno (ya sean libros, discos, fotografías, artesanía, ropa…) también sería muy útil (y los dos combinados me cambiarían la vida, y sospecho que no solo a mí). Y vosotros, ¿con que Apps soñáis?

Gracias por leer, y si os ha gustado, ya sabéis, ¡comentad y compartid!

Boeing 757-200 N741PA titled Air Peru takes of...

Boeing 757-200 N741PA titled Air Peru takes off from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been having a few interesting days at work (and more to come) and I felt like letting off some steam. I hope you don’t mind. I know you’ve heard me (or rather fortunately, read me) rant before, about book promotions, the value of art…

Today it’s something fairly common…The lack of consistency. I was on holiday recently, with my parents. We flew to Ireland from the UK. (The holiday was lovely, thank you for asking. I recommend Ireland to anybody and everybody.) My parents had come from Barcelona, Spain, landing at Liverpool. We flew from East Midlands airport. I’d never been there before. We were chatting on the way (there was an incident in the M1…yes, that’s a rant for another day, 3 highways agency cars blocking a lane with nothing to be seen. Maybe they were just having a cup of tea and biscuits and needed some space) and my father was wondering if he’d have to take his shoes off or not (with his arthritis that’s becoming a bit difficult) and noted that even wearing the same shoes, sometimes he had to take them off and sometimes not.

This time, no. My mother, on the other hand, had to take her sandals off, although she didn’t when she flew into the UK. And mystery of mysteries. Both my mother and I had our Kindles with us. I had also a notebook computer. They paid no attention to the notebook, but for some unknown reason took the Kindles away, passed a strange thing over them and put them through the X-ray machine again. What were they looking for? Anybody knows? I know books can be dangerous, but it seemed ridiculous. (And I had taken my Kindle to Paris recently flying from Liverpool and they didn’t check. That trip is all another story…)

I won’t talk about airlines as they are a law onto themselves (only 1 bag, two bags, 15 kg, 20kg, 24kg…) and that’s somewhat reasonable, but shouldn’t all airports have the same procedures? Well, that’s not the case even in the same country, as I’d never seen this Kindle thing before and I’d travelled only a couple of months ago with mine.

Of course in Ireland they didn’t check the Kindles, or the computer, and we didn’t have to take the shoes off. But they didn’t check our passport either when we came back…Hey!

I remember once in the US I was flying from Fort Lauderdale in Florida. I only had cabin luggage as I’d been to a conference for 4 days. They checked inside of my bag as I went in. Then I walked down the corridor by the shops to the gate. And there, they checked my bag again. Exactly what could I have bought that would have been that dangerous? Yes, I know American snacks can be killers, but really…Even the woman who was checking the bag looked at me and asked me: ‘Haven’t I checked this bag before?’ Yes, she had. Every time they had checked my bag. So when we stopped at Logan Airport in Boston for a connecting flight I was telling a fellow traveller: ‘They’ll check my bag. They’ve checked it every time.’ But no, Boston liked me better and they didn’t check. On the way in they’d checked it in New York but I guess…

English: Boston's Logan Airport (KBOS) aerial ...

English: Boston’s Logan Airport (KBOS) aerial view. Part of NOAA’s aeronautical survey program. Runway 14-32 was built after this photograph was taken. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maybe it’s me, but it is confusing (oh, and the body scanners! And the metal detector that will randomly beep or not irrespective of what you have or wear!), not useful, stressful (sometimes eventually funny, but not at the time), and I don’t think it does much for the security of anybody. Can’t they get their act together?

Sorry, I just had to have a rant. Thanks for reading. If you have any great insights, please share, and if you’ve enjoyed it or felt like joining in, please comment and share!

English: Photo by Nick Juhasz.

English: Photo by Nick Juhasz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Llevo unos días bastante interesantes en el trabajo (y los que quedan) y decidí que necesitaba desahogarme un poco. Espero que no os importe. Ya sé que me habéis oído (o leído, por suerte) quejarme antes, sobre promociones y marketing de libros, el valor del arte….

Hoy es algo bastante corriente…Falta de consistencia y lógica. Estuve de vacaciones con mis padres recientemente. Volamos a Irlanda desde el Reino Unido. (Las vacaciones fueron maravillosas, gracias por preguntar. Le recomiendo Irlanda a todo el mundo. De verdad.) Mis padres habían venido desde Barcelona, y aterrizaron en Liverpool. Para ir a Irlanda volamos desde el aeropuerto de East Midlands. Nunca había volado desde allí. De camino estábamos hablando (había un incidente en la autopista M1…sí, eso lo dejo para otro día, 3 coches del servicio de autopistas bloqueando uno de los carriles sin motivo visible alguno. Quizás decidieron que era la hora del té y las galletas y necesitaban un poco de espacio) y mi padre se preguntaba si se tendría que quitar los zapatos (que con la artritis se está poniendo complicado) y comentaba que incluso llevando los mismos zapatos, a veces se los hacían quitar y otras no.

Esta vez, no. Pero a mi madre, que llevaba sandalias y a la que no se las habían quitar cuando volaron a Inglaterra, allí sí. Y misterio misterioso. Mi madre y yo llevábamos nuestras Kindle. Yo también llevaba un ordenador, notebook. No le hicieron ni caso a mi ordenador, pero por motivos desconocidos se llevaron las dos Kindle, pasaron un extraño aparato por encima y las pasaron otra vez por la máquina de rayos X. ¿Qué estarían buscando? ¿Alguien tiene alguna idea? Sé que los libros pueden ser peligrosos, pero me pareció ridículo.

No hablaré sobre las compañías de vuelo ya que esas cada una tiene su ley (solo una bolsa dos bolsas, 15kg, 20kg, 24kg…) y eso es algo más comprensible ya que son compañías distintas, pero, ¿no deberían tener todos los aeropuertos los mismos procedimientos? Eso no es el caso ni siquiera en un mismo país, ya que yo no he visto nunca esto del Kindle y viajé hace solo un par de meses con la mía a Francia (eso fue toda una historia.)

Por supuesto cuando volamos de vuelta desde Irlanda no comprobaron ni Kindle ni ordenador, y no nos tuvimos que sacar los zapatos. Pero tampoco comprobaron los pasaportes cuando volvimos… ¡A ver, quién lo entiende!

Recuerdo una vez en los Estados Unidos, yo volvía a Inglaterra desde Fort Lauderdale en Florida. Solo tenía equipaje de mano ya que había estado asistiendo a una conferencia 4 días. Miraron dentro de mi bolsa cuando entré. Caminé por el corredor donde estaban las tiendas y fui a la puerta de embarque. Y allí, me volvieron a mirar dentro de la bolsa. ¿Qué podría haber comprado tan peligroso? Sí, ya sé que los snacks Americanos pueden ser letales, pero de verdad…Incluso la mujer que me estaba registrando la bolsa me miró y me preguntó: ‘¿No he registrado esta bolsa ya antes?’ Sí. Habían registrado mi bolsa en todos los aeropuertos. Así que cuando paramos en el aeropuerto Logan, en Boston, le comentaba a otro viajero esperando subir al mismo avión: ‘Ya verás como me registrarán, porque me han registrado cada vez.’ Pero no, por lo visto a Boston le gusté más  y no me registraron. Cuando volé de entrada en Nueva York sí que me registraron. Quizás tienen motivos para ser más desconfiados.

Quizás sea yo, pero lo encuentro confuso (¡ah, y los scanners de cuerpo! ¡Y los detectores de metales que pitan cuando les da la gana lleves lo que lleves!), inútil, estresante (a veces divertido, pero solo cuando ha pasado algo de tiempo, no en caliente), y no creo que aumente la seguridad de nadie. ¿Por qué no se pueden poner todos de acuerdo?

Perdón, tenía que quejarme. Gracias por leer. Si tenéis alguna pista, por favor compartir, se agradecerá. ¡Y si os ha gustado o os queréis apuntar y quejaros de otras cosas, por favor, compartid!

English: Boston's Logan Airport (KBOS) aerial ...

English: Boston’s Logan Airport (KBOS) aerial view. Part of NOAA’s aeronautical survey program. Runway 14-32 was built after this photograph was taken. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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