Category Archives: Books and Movies

Join Me at the OC Book Fair in Costa Mesa This Saturday

OCWriterbookfair_Poster_LogoOnlly

This upcoming Saturday, March 26, 2016, I’ll be one of 30 authors participating in the Orange County Writers Book Fair. Fun! 🙂 Click to find out more about who will be there. We’ll have fiction and nonfiction authors, and books for children and adults.

We’ll be at The Lab Anti-Mall in Costa Mesa, CA, from 11am to 4pm. I’ve never been there, but it looks really cool. Kind of artsy and eclectic. And it’s outdoors so it should be perfect at this time of year. (Right now, the weather is supposed to be a gorgeous 73 and sunny!)

If you live in the Orange County area, I’d love to see you on Saturday!

Spring Fling Romance Readers Club Giveaway TODAY

Happy woman with tablet in the park

Guess what I’ve got for you today? Romance Readers Club is doing a Spring Fling Massive Ebook Giveaway today only!

Click the link and scroll through the list of over 100 free romance books. Download any or all of them today! 🙂 My romantic comedy, Little Miss Lovesick, is one of the free books, and free through tomorrow.

There are a variety of subgenres, heat levels, and book lengths. Most are novels, some are novellas, some may even be short stories (I don’t know for sure.) Some of them are free every day, but most of them are free today (and maybe tomorrow) only.

And if dozens of free books aren’t enough to start your spring off right (or your autumn if you’re Down Under), scroll to the bottom of the list of books to see how to have multiple chances to win a Kindle Fire HD6.

Hurry! The giveaway ends in a few hours at midnight Pacific. 🙂

Book Marks: My Name is Mahtob – Book Review by Carrie Kurtz

My Name is Mahtob book coverMy Name is Mahtob by Mahtob Mahmoody

Goodreads Summary

The daughter at the center of the international bestseller and film Not Without My Daughter finishes the story that captivated the world: held hostage in Iran, escape over the mountains, growing up in fear of kidnapping, battling deadly disease, and leaning on the sustaining power of God’s goodness.

Two decades ago, Not Without My Daughter (a global phenomenon made into a film starring Sally Field) told of the daring escape of an American mother and her six-year-old child from an abusive and fanatical Iranian husband and father.  Now the daughter tells the whole story, not only of her imprisonment and escape but of life after fleeing Iran: living in fear of re-abduction, battling recurring nightmares and panic attacks – all under the menacing shadow of her father.

This is the story of an extraordinary young woman’s triumph over life-crushing trauma to build a life of peace and forgiveness.  Moving from Michigan to Tehran, from Ankara to Paris, Mahtob reveals the profound resilience of a wounded soul healed by her faith in God’s goodness and his care and love for her.

My Thoughts

My Name is Mahtob is a companion book to Not Without My Daughter.  Mahtob Mahmoody shares her experiences in her own words.  She writes about her feelings, thoughts, and experiences while being held captive in Iran and even afterwards when she made it home.

I actually haven’t read or watched Not Without My Daughter but that didn’t make My Name is Mahtob any less interesting.  I enjoyed reading this book and I definitely plan on reading and watching Not Without My Daughter now.

I do have to say that after about the first half of the book it got pretty slow.  It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t quite as interesting as the first half of the book.  It got a little confusing at times because it wasn’t necessarily in chronological order.

Mahtob Mahmoody did discuss her faith but not to an extent that it was overly religious toward any certain religion.  She is Lutheran but this book isn’t offensive to readers of any religion.  It is just an autobiography of her life and faith and it is a lovely book.

*Note: I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Carrie Kurtz

 

Carrie Kurtz is a full-time mom and wife who can’t help but make time to explore new worlds in between carpooling and laundry loads. She’s trying to encourage a similar obsession with reading in her two children, and she’s grateful her husband supports her habit. She can be found at Carrie K’s Book Reviews.

Too Embarrassing or Too Funny? You Decide

My friend Elena Dillon and I do a lot of career planning together. We talk about what’s working for us in terms of writing faster and better, what marketing techniques seem to work for us and what doesn’t seem to help, and we discuss new things we’ve learned – much of which came via podcasts.

Laughing and pointing emoticon

In fact, we’ve talked a few times about doing our own podcast. I really wanted to, but it’s a lot of work to make it really professional. Then Elena had an idea to do a weekly Blab – kind of like a podcast, but live so there’s no editing. I said “YES!” pretty darn quick! LOL! (You may remember me saying this in the past – John thinks I love being the center of attention. I refuse to confirm or deny on the grounds that it might incriminate me.)

So starting this Wednesday, February 3, we will host a weekly Blab from 7pm to 8pm Pacific interviewing authors. The weekly show is called Elena and Kitty Blabbing About Books and it will have a kind of “Inside the Actor’s Studio” feel. We’ll have funny questions like “What is your favorite word?” and “What sound or noise do you hate?” and “What profession would you never want to be in?” as well as questions about the author’s books and characters. The people watching can ask more questions in the chat box during a live Q&A at the end!

To make sure we were ready for our first guest (the very fun Tracy Reed), we did a test run yesterday. We hit the record button when we were ready so we could be sure we knew how to do every single bit of the process, but we said beforehand we probably wouldn’t use it because it would probably be “junk.”

BUT…it was hilarious! I was the show announcer and Elena was the interviewer, but she needed someone to ask the questions of, so she interviewed me. Oh my gosh, we laughed so much! I decided – embarrassing or not – it was too much fun not to share, so I’ve posted it here for you. I hope you laugh out loud at our silliness. 😀

If you’d like to watch our weekly show, go to my Blab profile, then look for and click on the Follow button. You might have to create your own account first to follow. But if you don’t want to do that, you should be able to go to my profile page every Wednesday at 7pm Pacific and find the live Blab that is happening right then.

Elena and I are super excited – we have over a dozen authors lined up already! We hope to see you on Wednesday!

Book Marks: Truthseers Trilogy – Book Review by Carrie Kurtz

Truthseers Trilogy by Debra MullinsProdigal Son, Heart of Stone, and Warrior of Fate by Debra Mullins

A few months ago, Kitty introduced me to a friend of hers who also happens to be an author!  That friend was Debra Mullins 🙂  This is the book review I posted on my own blog not long after.

Debra asked me if I would like to read her Truthseers Trilogy and review them on my blog!  The first two books are award winning books and the third book, Warrior of Fate, isn’t available yet but will be on October 20th.  Of course, I said yes!  She sent them right out to me and I got started reading 🙂  Let’s start with letting you know a little about each book…

Goodreads Summaries

Prodigal Son
Bounty hunter Rafe Montana is a Seer, descended from the fabled Atlanteans. He uses his inherited power to “see” criminals across the globe and track them down, and he’s just started on a new case. Danny Cangialosi is accused of disappearing with a stolen car…but for the first time in his life, when Rafe goes looking, he is unable to “see” him. Instead, his search leads him to Danny’s stubborn, meddling, and very cute stepsister, Cara McGaffigan.

Cara is looking for Danny, too, but not to turn him in. He is her brother, after all, and she’s convinced he has a good heart. If she can just find him before the cops do, she’ll figure out a way to get him out of this. But Cara didn’t count on a scorching-hot bounty hunter getting in her way.

Heart of Stone
Darius Montana is a Seer. With his gift of empathy, he can see into the hearts of others, both human and Atlantean. When his family comes into possession of one of the legendary power stones of Atlantis, Darius is sent to find the Stone Singer.

Faith Karaluros is the last Stone Singer. Manipulated all her life for her rare ability, she is widowed after her husband tried to steal her power for the Mendukati, an extremist group that hunts Seers. Faith wants nothing more than to stay out of this war when Darius comes to find her—just in time to rescue her from being kidnapped.

Warrior of Fate
Warrior Adrian Gray has dedicated his life in service to his people, and has never doubted his calling… until now. Three mystical Atlantean power stones were assumed lost for centuries, but one by one the Seers of Atlantis have tracked them down in a tireless race against the extremist Mendukati. Adrian’s mission? To ensure that the stones are acquired and protected by the right people—his people.

My Thoughts on the Books

I don’t typically read this genre but, I do have to say, I enjoyed the story lines a lot!  I liked the mystery and excitement that each book brought.  I liked how each book focused on a different set of characters while still including the past characters.  In Prodigal Son, you read the story back and forth from Rafe’s perspective and from Cara’s perspective.  In Heart of Stone, it was Darius and Faith, and then in Warrior of Fate it was Adrian and Tessa.

Now, I do have to add that these are adult romances.  I do not usually read adult romances which makes this review a little harder to write.  Like I said, the story lines were wonderful!  But, I personally couldn’t give them 5 stars because of the “romance” sections.  If you are like me and don’t read adult romances but like fantasy types books, you can always skim past those parts!

I feel so honored to have been asked to read and review these books for her. I love that I have made a new friend as well!  If you like Adult fantasy/paranormal romances then pick these up!  If you like fantasy/paranormal books but not typically adult romances then these may or may not be for you (again, you can skim past those parts if you want to!).

*Note: I received these books from Author Debra Mullins in exchange for an honest review

Carrie Kurtz

 

Carrie Kurtz is a full-time mom and wife who can’t help but make time to explore new worlds in between carpooling and laundry loads. She’s trying to encourage a similar obsession with reading in her two children, and she’s grateful her husband supports her habit. She can be found at Carrie K’s Book Reviews.

FREE Book – Generational Curse by Tracy Reed

Generational Curse CoverTo celebrate the one year anniversary of my first book, GENERATIONAL CURSE, it will be available as a free download at Amazon, December 28th – January 1st.  Help me celebrate my book, while you celebrate the New Year!

Blurb:
Kyla James is a beautiful, confident woman.  She has two vices, champagne and sex with married men.  Being tied down and answering to a man has never appealed to her until, her friend Sean Prescott presents her with a proposal.  They’ve been friends and business colleagues for several years, but if she accepts his proposal, they could discover something better than friendship.

Is it possible for a celibate Christian man to be involved with a woman who has only been the plaything of married men?  Or will she make him the next notch on her belt?

Book Marks: A Season to Wed – Book Review by Carrie Kurtz

A Season to Wed book coverA Season to Wed by Rachel Hauck, Cindy Kirk, and Cheryl Wyatt

Goodreads Summary

They’ve helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

Love at Mistletoe Inn by Cindy Kirk
Sometimes the road to happiness is paved with youthful mistakes.

Ten years after what she thought was her almost-wedding, Hope Prentiss discovers that the ceremony counted—and, as fate would have it, the jilted John Burke has just ridden back into town. After spending some time with John and helping plan a Christmas wedding for a mystery couple, Hope begins to wonder if she really wants a divorce . . . or a real wedding of her own.

A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck
Revealing the beauty in other women might be Ginger Winters’s specialty—but it will take an unexpected kind of love to help Ginger see the beauty in herself.

Ginger Winters will be the “beauty-maker” for the Alabama society wedding of the decade.

But when high-school crush Tom Wells shows up looking for a haircut, Ginger’s thinly veiled insecurities threaten to keep her from love once again . . . despite Tom’s best efforts.

Serving Up a Sweetheart by Cheryl Wyatt
Meadow knows how to serve delicious food to match any wedding theme. But can she accept love when it’s served up on a silver platter?

Meadow Larson is having the mother of all Mondays when her roof caves in during a blizzard, right before the most important wedding contract of her career.

Renovation contractor Colin McGrath offers to fix Meadow’s roof, even though he knows he is the last person she would accept help from.

But the more Meadow gets to know the new Colin, the more she realizes God may have something more permanent in store than a new catering kitchen.

My Thoughts

Sometimes I just get in the mood to read novellas. To have a fun, enjoyable book that doesn’t take forever to read. And what is better than a good novella? Three novellas!!! A Season to Wed is a collection of three Winter love stories and they were all good!

I’m not sure which one I enjoyed most because they were all pretty good. Christmas/Winter/Holiday stories are my favorites! I’m thinking that I enjoyed Love at Mistletoe Inn a little more than the others but I may change my mind later J

I’m so happy to be able to write another positive review! I hate having to write negative reiews so this book totally made me happy! I will definitely be recommending A Season to Wed to my friends and fellow book lovers!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from BookLookBloggers.com in exchange for an honest review.

Carrie Kurtz

 

Carrie Kurtz is a full-time mom and wife who can’t help but make time to explore new worlds in between carpooling and laundry loads. She’s trying to encourage a similar obsession with reading in her two children, and she’s grateful her husband supports her habit. She can be found at Carrie K’s Book Reviews.

Book Marks: If I Fall, If I Die – Book Review by Carrie Kurtz

If I Fall If I DieIf I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie

Goodreads Summary

A heartfelt and wondrous debut about family, fear, and skateboarding, that Karen Russell calls “A bruiser of a tale… a death-defying coming-of-age story.”

Will has never been outside, at least not since he can remember.  And he has certainly never gotten to know anyone other than his mother, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who panics at the thought of opening the front door.  Their world is rich and fun loving – full of art, science experiments, and music – and all confined to their small house.

But Will’s thirst for adventure can’t be contained.  Clad in a protective helmet and unsure of how to talk to other kids, he finally ventures outside.  At his new school he meets Jonah, an artsy loner who introduces Will to the high-flying freedoms of skateboarding.  Together, they search for a missing local boy, help a bedraggled vagabond, and evade a dangerous bootlegger.  The adventure is more than Will ever expected, pulling him far from the confines of his closed-off world and into the throes of early adulthood, and all the risks that everyday life offers.

In buoyant, kinetic prose, Michael Christie has written an emotionally resonant and keenly observed novel about mothers and sons, fears and uncertainties, and the lengths we’ll go for those we love.

My Thoughts

There were things I liked about this book and things I didn’t like as well.  I was very interested in reading this book when I read the summary but it didn’t seem to hold my interest.  Reading felt more like a chore than fun pastime, which makes me sad, so it took me quite a while to read this one.

The beginning of the book was super slow, the middle got pretty good, but then the end seemed rushed and anticlimactic.  There were too many story lines mixed in and I just couldn’t keep up!  And then it just ended…as if the author was told to wrap it up.

If I Fall, If I Die certainly wasn’t the worst book I have ever read but it wasn’t my kind of book at all. I probably will not be recommending this book to many people but I wouldn’t mind trying another book by Michael Christie if he writes one.  His writing style was good; I just didn’t enjoy this story.

*Note: I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

Creepy Fun Halloween Quiz

We’ve all taken lots of silly quizzes on Facebook or someplace else on the Internet, but I’m used to them being upbeat queries like “what superhero are you most like?” or “what literary hero are you most like?”

This creepy quiz asks you innocuous questions that don’t give you any indication that the answers are comparing you to scary monsters. And when I got my result that the literary monster I’m most like is Pennywise the Clown from Stephen King’s It, well, let me just say, that was creepy!!

Take the quiz and share what scary monster you’re most like! (Courtesy of Grammarly https://www.grammarly.com/grammar-check)