And now, a word from our sponsor

Sign up here to see the latest updates from Book Talk

The Daily News--Book talk on paper.li

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Fishy Business Handbook for Mermaids

The Fishy Business Handbook for MermaidsThe Fishy Business Handbook for Mermaids by Raina Mermaid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Full disclosure: I helped Raina edit this book. My name is listed in the book.

This is Raina's third book about being a professional mermaid. This book is more of a workbook than the other two. It is designed to be read in conjunction with the other two, as it references them frequently.

She addresses several issues she avoided in the first two books. One is mermaids who take advantage of you, or act inappropriately. Between the writing of the secondam and third book, she had to fire one of her mermaids for acting inappropriately. The key is to be firm. The second is working with kids. Some people shouldn't work with kids.

The book also includes pictures of how to get in a mermaid tail, and how to pick up a mermaid in a tail. It includes samples of contracts and media communications. Some of this information can be adapted to other businesses as well. An excellent book, along with the others, for anyone looking to be a professional mermaid. With Disney's scheduled release of a live-action Little Mermaid next year, there will be a lot more interest in mermaids. These books will be there to help.

View all my reviews

Monday, December 26, 2016

Mastering Civility

Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the WorkplaceMastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace by Christine Porath
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

Everyone wants civility in the workplace. People want to be treated fairly. The author makes the case that civility is good for the bottom line, and can make the workplace better. There are several tests in the book to determine how civil you are.

The book sounds like a lot of others I've read. It's good as far as it goes, but there are some things missing. For example, she recommends that employers ask prospective employees, "What would former employers say about you?" In many cases, the answer is, "They will only confirm dates of employment." Thanks to lawsuits, many employers are skittish about saying anything beyond that. Most companies won't go the trouble of deeper investigation.

Another area that doesn't go that far is in her chapter on what if incivility happens to you. Her advice is to focus on yourself and your situation. That's fine as far as it goes, but it doesn't address the situation when the incivility raises to discrimination or harassment. That requires focus on eliminating the problem, rather than simply focusing on yourself. That area was missing.

A minor issue. She uses Pete Carroll, coach of the Seattle Seahawks, as an example of civility in the NFL. After he left USC, the NCAA found significant recruiting violations had occurred during his time there. USC had to vacate several wins, including a national championship, and lost several scholarships. Reggie Bush gave back his Heisman Trophy. There was a sense that Pete Carroll got out of Dodge before the hammer fell. I don't think that was a good example.

Overall, a good book, just not complete.

View all my reviews

Sunday, December 25, 2016

$10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list...

Saturday, December 17, 2016

World Almanac 2017

The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2017The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2017 by Sarah Janssen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I get a copy of this every year. It's a good reference book. It lists a lot of historical data and current events information. Obviously, things are described in a nutshell, because of space limitations, but it is a good starting point. As a writer, I use this to see if what I'm saying has any semblance of truth. When you write fiction, you can make things up, but they sound more believable if there is some basis in fact. Later editions include pictures of the prior year's events. This was published in mid-November, shortly after the elections, so anything after that is not included. It's a great book. You don't usually read it cover to cover, but it has something for everyone.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Operation Mermaid giveaway.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Operation Mermaid by Joseph McGarry

Operation Mermaid

by Joseph McGarry

Giveaway ends December 31, 2016.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sunday, December 4, 2016

You're A Leader, Charlie Brown

You're a Leader, Charlie BrownYou're a Leader, Charlie Brown by Carla Curtsinger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a bullet point rang out!

I can imagine Snoopy being told to write a business book, and sitting on top of his doghouse writing this. I grew up with Peanuts. I've also read a lot of business books. This is the first time I've seen them together. It seems an odd combination. Charlie Brown was described as "wishy-washy" in the comics. How could he be a leader?

The book uses not only Charlie Brown, but also a lot of the other characters, such as Linus, Lucy, Sally, Schroeder, even Snoopy. It is sprinkled with classic Peanuts cartoons and illustrations. There is a helpful summary of the bullet points at the end of the book. A lot of them are ones that have appeared elsewhere. Some of them are "Learn from failures." "Know what kind of leader you are." "Write in a concise but conversational style." (Although, if anyone starts any memos or reports with, "It was a dark and stormy night," they picked up the wrong message.)

It's a short read. That can actually help business readers, since they won't worry about a lot of details. I also liked the cartoons. Very enjoyable, which you rarely hear about business books.

View all my reviews

Friday, November 4, 2016

Think Better, Live Better

Think Better, Live Better: Deleting Negative Thoughts, Labels, and AttitudesThink Better, Live Better: Deleting Negative Thoughts, Labels, and Attitudes by Joel Osteen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the latest book by Joel Osteen. For those who don't know him, he is the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. He took over in 1999 when his father died. In 2003, the church moved into the former Compaq Center, where the Houston Rockets of the NBA used to play basketball. His sermons are broadcast every week on various cable channels.

This book, like his others, is a collection of his sermons. This concept by itself is not new. Priests and ministers of all religions have been publishing collections of their sermons for many years. I focused on the content of the sermons. To me, they felt like something I would read in The Secret, only with Bible references. The themes are eliminate negativity, you have possibilities, good things are coming your way, God wants you to have abundance, just believe. It's good to believe all these things. It's just not enough.

First, there are some things that will never happen, no matter how much you believe. I am 52 years old with major health problems, and have never been very athletic. I will never play professional sports. The Vikings will never call me to replace someone in their starting lineup. I can believe, I can tell myself it will happen, but it's not happening. It's not meant to be. That needs to be there.

Second, there's nothing in here about taking action. For many years, I wanted to write a novel. I could think about it, I could believe, but until I sat down at my laptop and actually started writing, it wasn't going to happen. It did happen, and I published my book, Operation Mermaid: The Project Kraken Incident, late last year. The inspiration helped, but not without action.

Third, he talks about abundance. I wonder what he thinks of this Bible story. I'm paraphrasing Mark 10:17-27. A rich man went to see Jesus, and asked, "What must I do to gain eternal life?" Jesus told him, "Keep the commandments. Don't lie, don't steal, honor your father and mother." The rich man said, "I've done all these things. What more must I do?" Jesus looked at him with love and said, "Sell everything and give to the poor. Then you can follow me." The rich man walked away sad, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven." On the one hand, Joel Osteen is saying God wants you to have abundance and be rich. On the other hand, Jesus is saying it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. How do you reconcile those two?

The book is OK as far as it goes. It's just incomplete.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Kiss That Changed Me

***COVER REVEAL***
THE KISS THAT CHANGED ME- COMING DECEMBER 2016
THE TIDAL KISS TRILOGY-BOOK 3
*SYNOPSIS*
As two brothers reach the final phase of their plan to seize the stolen powers of a God made flesh, the Psirens lay claim to the debris of the Occulta Mirum. With this, a race against the rising blood moon begins.
 
As the seconds tick away, Callie and Orion must journey to the farthest corners of the earth, learning to balance devotion and duty whilst reuniting the segregated Kindred of the Circle of Eight. If this is not enough the function of the conduit is still unknown, meaning Callie and Orion must learn democratic flare in multicultural waters to convince others to risk their lives as well. With their foretold future together in the balance, their unity has never been so crucial and one’s willingness to sacrifice the other for the greater good never more necessary.
 
Can the journey of an immortal lifetime hold answers to salvation, or will it only bring the mer to their final resting place as their race is threatened with extinction?
 
LINKS
BUY BOOK 1 IN THE TIDAL KISS TRILOGY:
Paperback:
 http://amzn.to/1WEBPpz
Amazon US:
 http://amzn.to/1UA798P 
Amazon UK:
 http://amzn.to/1pIex4p
BUY BOOK 2 IN THE TIDAL KISS TRILOGY:
Amazon.com:
 http://amzn.to/28UpZSk
Amazon uk:
 http://amzn.to/28TK1RB
Paperback US:
 http://amzn.to/28Snu4F
Paperback UK:
 http://amzn.to/28TK1RB
 
FACEBOOK PAGE:
 
STREET TEAM:
 
NEWSLETTER:
 
COVER REVEAL EVENT!






Friday, September 9, 2016

The American Girl

The American GirlThe American Girl by Kate Horsley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review.

This book is the story of Quinn Perkins, an American exchange student living in France in 2015. One night, she is found by some German tourists stumbling around outside after being hit by a car. She winds up in the hospital. Video of the accident goes viral on the Internet, drawing the attention of a TV reporter, Molly Swift. As the investigation unfolds, it is discovered that Quinn's host family has disappeared, with no explanation. Suspicion falls on Quinn, that she may be responsible for this. Is Quinn a victim or a villain? Or is the truth somewhere in the middle?

I don't want to give away too much, because of spoilers. It was an intriguing novel. The point of view shifts back and forth between Quinn and Molly. Early on, Molly is taken as Quinn's relative, which gives her more access to the story. Quinn's story is told in flashbacks, with a video log and her own blog. This works to add to the suspense, to keep you guessing. There are some details to keep this going. For example, Molly goes out to the house to find a creepy old caretaker out there. Part of me thought that this is how Scooby-Doo cartoons usually started. "I'd have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!" But that was a minor distraction. All in all, this was a good book.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mystic Tides

Mystic TidesMystic Tides by C.J. Godwin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for this review.

I've always been fascinated with mermaid stories. Most people now know the Hans Christian Andersen story The Little Mermaid, or, more precisely, the Disney version of that story. The premise of the book is that the Hans Christian Andersen story was true, and that mermaids exist. The story starts out with Aden in Alaska. He has just turned 17, and is given a necklace with a mysterious moonstone as a birthday present. He's moving to Florida, to be with his aunt and his cousin. There are quite a few people who are interested in him, and have been watching him for some time. While in Florida, he discovers some unusual powers. He also meets Kat and Kailani, twin sisters with something special. I don't want to say too much more, because of spoilers.

I thought it gave a good backstory on mermaids, and why they were the way they were. Full disclosure: I am the author of Operation Mermaid: The Project Kraken Incident, another novel about mermaids, so I know how important the backstory can be. She doesn't try to overwhelm everyone with the backstory all at once, but reveals it piece by piece as needed. I like how Aden's story (1st person) and the mermaid story (3rd person) are alternated, with Aden's story in regular type, and the mermaid story in italics. This made it easier to follow. I've read other books that don't do this, and it can be easy to get lost. I couldn't help think about Disney's version, though. In one scene, Aden picks up a crab, and part of me thought the crab would start singing "Under the Sea." In another, Aden plays his guitar and sings to Kailani. I thought for sure the song would have been "Part of Your World," which would be an ironic commentary on their situation. (Read the book to find out why.) I also felt a little bit of the Australian TV series H20: Just Add Water and Mako Mermaids. Both of these series deal with mermaids in high school. The end of the book suggests that this is the first of a series. It's like Marty McFly getting the Western Union letter that Doc Brown is alive and well in 1885. The series aspect also explains all of the exposition in this book, to avoid a lot of this later. All in all, a good book. I look forward to reading book 2.

View all my reviews

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Little Black Dress

Little Black DressLittle Black Dress by James Patterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of the Bookshots series by James Patterson. Short books of less than 150 pages, priced at less than $5 each. In another world, they would be called novellas. They're designed for quick reading. You can finish it quickly.

This was the story of Jane Avery, a magazine editor who usually spends her nights alone with Netflix and Oreos. One day, she buys a little black dress. Suddenly, she releases her inner sexual desires. At first, she is somewhat reluctant, but that soon passes. This leads her in to some dangerous situations.

Obviously, this is designed for a quick read. There's not much character development, except for Jane. It seems a little unrealistic. A woman gets a black dress, and suddenly she's a nymphomaniac. I didn't buy that. Granted, an outfit can give you a different attitude. I feel different in a suit than I do in a t-shirt and shorts, but it's not that dramatic.

I picked this edition up at Target. The Target edition had an epilogue just for this edition. It felt tacked on, like it wasn't part of the story. This may be so that non-Target readers wouldn't feel too left out.

I think this is a good concept for a series. Shorter books might encourage more people to read. You also have to tighten up the plotline. I just think this book had some shortcomings to it.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Army of the Winter Court

Army of the Winter CourtArmy of the Winter Court by Ali Winters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this review.

Army of the Winter Court is about a battle between Aurelian and Nolan for control of the Winter Court. Their sister, Lilith, has set rules so that neither one will have an unfair advantage.

Evvie is a college student who meets a man named Ian. After one date with him, she suddenly feels strange. She takes a skeleton key and unlocks the door to another world, where she is the prize in the battle between Aurelian and Nolan.

This is a novella, not a full length book, so the story moves along quickly. I won't say too much more about the story, to avoid plot spoilers. I thought it was a good story. I wanted more development, but that's not in a novella. The author focuses on the 4 main characters, which is good for a novella. Too many cooks spoil the broth. When they mentioned it was winter all the time, I couldn't help but think of Frozen. Granted, there was no talking snowman named Olaf. but there were some similarities, especially compared to The Snow Queen, which is the original tale on which Frozen is based. Again, I can't say too much because of spoilers.

This is part of the Skeleton Key series. I look forward to reading other books in the series.

View all my reviews

Sunday, June 26, 2016

New Goodreads giveaway for Operation Mermaid: The Project Kraken Incident

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Operation Mermaid by Joseph McGarry

Operation Mermaid

by Joseph McGarry

Giveaway ends July 31, 2016.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Friday, June 10, 2016

Through the Storm

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
Through the Storm (From Kenya, With Love #3) Rula Sinara Adult Contemporary Romance Paperback & ebook, 368 pages April 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming
The biggest risk she'll ever take… Tessa Henning is no damsel. But she's definitely in distress. If her husband really is involved in the ivory trade, he'll come after her when he finds out what she's uncovered. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Mac Walker. Stubborn, fiercely independent, danger-loving bush pilot Mac Walker—with whom she shares custody of their orphaned nephew. Though Mac's no knight in shining armor, he can keep her and their nephew safe in the Serengeti while they wait out this storm. But he can't protect Tessa from the strange weather brewing inside her, stirring up feelings for Mac she wishes she could ignore.
Other Books in the Series
The Promise of Rain (Book 1)The Promise of Rain (From Kenya, With Love #1) Rula Sinara Adult Contemporary Romance Paperback & ebook, 384 pages January 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming
He wants to take her child out of Africa...
The Busara elephant research and rescue camp on Kenya's Serengeti is Anna Bekker's life's work. And it's the last place she thought she'd run into Dr. Jackson Harper. As soon as he sets eyes on her four-year-old, Pippa, Anna knows he'll never leave...without his daughter.
Furious doesn't begin to describe how Jack feels. How could Anna keep this from him? He has to get his child back to the States. Yet as angry as he is with Anna, they still have a bond. But can it endure, despite the ocean--and the little girl--between them?
After the Silence (From Kenya, With Love #2) Rula Sinara Adult Contemporary Romance Paperback & ebook, 368 pages March 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming
Does following her passion mean losing her way?
Marine Ben Corallis is an expert at facing death, but nothing comes close to the terror that grounds him when his wife is killed in a car accident the day he returns from duty. He's left to raise an infant, a toddler and a ten-year-old girl who hasn't uttered a word since her mother's death.
It's hard not to care for the widowed marine with three young children. Yet he's still grieving, too burdened with guilt to fall in love again. And Hope Alwanga's future as a doctor awaits her on the other side of the world, in Nairobi. If two such opposites can't agree on a common country, how can they ever create a safe place to call home?
After a childhood enriched with exotic travels and adventures (both in books and real life), USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author Rula Sinara is now settled in rural Virginia with her husband, three boys and crazy but endearing pets. When she's not writing, she's busy attracting wildlife to her yard, watching romantic movies or researching trees on her garden wish list.
In addition to being a coffee addict, she's also a 2015 HOLT Medallion Award of Merit winner, a 2014 National Reader's Choice Award winner and double finalist, a 2015 Golden Quill Award Runner Up and a 2015 Book Buyers Best third place recipient. For updates on her releases and more, sign up for her newsletter.
Tour Schedule
Tour Giveaway
US PRIZE PACK: One winner will receive 3 'From Kenya, With Love' series canvas tote bags (one of each book), bookmarks, autographed copies of The Promise of Rain and After the Silence, and a $10 Amazon gift card.
INTERNATIONALLY OPEN PRIZE: One winner will receive Kindle copies of The Promise of Rain and After the Silence.
Ends June 17th
Excerpt She curled onto her side on the massive leaves he’d laid on the ground. “You’ll watch for snakes, too, right?” she asked. Her back was turned but her waning voice told him her eyes were closing. “I have you covered. Go to sleep.” Hopefully they wouldn’t get any unwanted visitors—legless or legged—but he had a gun tucked at his lower back and a preferred tranquilizer rifle a couple of feet away just in case. He’d also shone his LED torch around the area in search of red eyes. No night stalkers turned up. That didn’t mean they wouldn’t. She shivered again and put her hands between her knees in a fetal position. Mac leaned back and reached over her. He put his hand against her forehead. It felt normal. “Sorry, just wanted to make sure you didn’t have a fever. You got vaccinated before coming out here, didn’t you?” He kept his voice down, not wanting to make Nick anxious if he wasn’t totally knocked out. “Yes. I don’t think I’m sick. I’m just freezing. I really think it’s exhaustion and the temperature drop.” Her voice sounded sleepy and weak. Mac laid down behind her and pulled her against his chest for warmth. “Does this help?” She nodded, holding onto his hand at her waist. Within seconds, her muscles relaxed and her breathing steadied. He hoped she wasn’t coming down with anything like malaria. He lay there with every intention of staying awake, but the touch of her hair against his face and the warmth of her scent lulled him to sleep for a few minutes. The call of a wild dog had his eyes jerking open. He kept his ears peeled to gauge the distance, relaxing when the sound got farther away. He’d always been comfortable being alone. He’d always felt at home out here in the Serengeti...but right now, hearing Tessa’s soft breathing and a bit of snoring from Nick, for the first time Mac felt like he was home. This was his family. The idea shocked him. Panic zipped through his chest. What was he doing? Warming Tessa? Yes. But still, lying here spooned against her was wrong. He slowly unwove his fingers from hers, lifted his arm up and inched his body away from hers. He sat up without waking her and considered the small supply box and tranquilizer gun within his reach. He was here to protect them. That’s all any of this was. Hopefully, Tessa wouldn’t get too cold...or remember being held by him when she woke up in the morning. He wouldn’t be forgetting anytime soon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Care and Feeding of an Independent Bookstore

The Care and Feeding of an Independent Bookstore: Three Instructive EssaysThe Care and Feeding of an Independent Bookstore: Three Instructive Essays by Ann Patchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this book up at Scout & Morgan Books in Cambridge, MN, as part of Independent Bookstore Day. It's a short book but a good one. In this age of Amazon and Barnes & Noble, independent bookstores still thrive. Why is that?

The author, Ann Pratchett, owns Parnassus Books in Nashville. It consists of three essays about her experience. When the last independent bookstore, as well as Borders, in Nashville closed, she was approached about starting a new one. She was originally cool to the idea, but eventually she decided to go for it. As one person described her, she was like a chef who wanted to open a new restaurant. Mount Parnassus in Greek mythology is the home for poetry, music, and learning. In some traditions, it was also the home of the Muses. An appropriate name for a bookstore.

The bookstore went well, and is still going today. It got a big boost when the author was on The Colbert Report talking about her book. She describes her experiences with the bookstore, like employees, and dogs. She doesn't have a café, because she allows dogs to come into the store. (So does Scout & Morgan. They have two dogs on their logo.) There is also a list at the end of books she recommends. She encourages anyone who wants to open a bookstore to do so, provided you can get the money.

I like both types of bookstores. I will admit to getting books from Amazon that I can't get anywhere else. I also get a lot of Amazon gift cards. I will also admit to spending lots of time in Barnes & Noble. My first experience with Barnes & Noble was at Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. Three floors of books, all available for me, provided I had the money. I was in heaven. And yet, I do like the independent bookstores like Scout & Morgan. It's easier to talk to people, especially the owners. It feels more relaxing. I can sit an enjoy a potential new purchase. There's a café next door, so it's easy to get a drink and relax. The other night, our local bookstore sponsored Fredrik Backman, author of A Man Called Ove, in Cambridge, MN. He came from Sweden to be with us. That took a lot of work, and was a good event. I will have a separate post on my blog later about that.

I also like the different attitudes on book signings. I've gone to Mall of America book signings. There, you stand in line with your book, which is usually a celebrity autobiography. You get your book signed, a picture with the celebrity, and then you go on. It's like an assembly line. At Scout & Morgan, and at the event last night, the author interacts with the audience, and gets to know them. As an author myself Operation Mermaid: The Project Kraken Incident(Operation Mermaid: The Project Kraken Incident, available on Amazon), I like the second type better, although I wouldn't mind being in the Rotunda of Mall of America with a huge line to sign books.

All in all, this is a good little book. It was just for independent booksellers, and just for the one day. It does make me appreciate them more. While I'm mentioning independent bookstores, I'd like to give a shoutout to some other independent bookstores I've been to over the years. Paperbacks & Pieces and Book Shelf in Winona, MN, and Book People in Sioux City, IA.

www.scoutandmorganbooks.com
www.bookpeoplesc.com
www.bookshelfwinona.com
www.paperbacksandpieces.com
www.parnassusbooks.net

View all my reviews

Under New Management

Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as UsualUnder New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as Usual by David Burkus
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been on both sides of the management coin. I've been in management, and I've been managed. I have an idea of what works for me and what doesn't. In this book, David Burkus shows that many of the management practices that were developed in the early 20th century to manage line workers don't work today. Even some that have evolved over time need to change. He identifies 13 items that need to change. They are:
1. Outlaw Email
2. Put Customers Second
3. Lose the Standard Vacation Policy
4. Pay People to Quit
5. Make Salaries Transparent
6. Ban Noncompetes
7. Ditch Performance Appraisals
8. Hire as a Team
9. Write the Org Chart in Pencil
10. Close Open Offices
11. Take Sabbaticals
12. Fire the Managers
13. Celebrate Departures.

Some of these sound counterintuitive at first glance, but he makes the case, with examples of companies that have tried them, that they can actually work. Some of this is not new. For example, the idea of scrapping the standard vacation policy was explored in Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: The Results-Only Revolution by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson. They argued, as does David Burkus, that as long as the work is done accurately and on time, it shouldn't matter if you're at your desk for a certain time each day. There is some freshness to this book, though, from the use of real world examples. Some of them are modified from what he thinks. For example, the chapter on outlaw e-mail could be retitled outlaw internal e-mail. If a client is emailing you something important, you'd better be ready to take it. Space alone prohibits me from going into detail about every chapter.

One thing I wish the book had done more of is to show instances where the item in the chapter title was tried, and it didn't work. There is some of this, but there could be more. In the chapter on salaries, he discusses a company called SumAll, which has fixed, but transparent, salaries. You're assigned to a salary level, and there is apparently no negotiation. When I saw that, I thought of Ellen Pao, former CEO at Reddit. Ms Pao came to Reddit after losing a discrimination suit against her former employer, an investment firm. The jury returned the verdict in favor of the firm. Ms Pao then instituted a no negotiation policy for salaries at Reddit. This was your salary, take it or leave it. It was supposed to take the pressure off people who didn't feel comfortable negotiating, which some studies have shown many women are. Ms Pao may still have been reeling from her loss in court. At any rate, the policy was universally panned, not just at Reddit, but on other social media and the regular media. It probably led to her exit from Reddit. I believe the policy has since been rescinded. I'm not sure if salaries at Reddit were disclosed within the company or not. This would have been a good example for the book.

The author does emphasize flexibility. There is no one size fits all solution. For example, I'm a CPA who does taxes. The policy on vacations would have to be modified. January 1-April 15, no extended vacations other than medical or death in the family. The rest of the year, the schedule is much more flexible. That's what I like about this book. It doesn't attempt to impose a solution. it suggests a solution, and leaves it to the individual companies to implement it, realizing that it may not work for everyone. All in all, a good book.

View all my reviews

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Saving Michael

Saving Michael- Banner

TITLE: Saving Michael
AUTHOR: J.R. Wirth
GENRE: YA Suspense
Imprint/Publisher: Edge, Bison Publishing
RELEASES: May 3rd, 2016

PRE ORDER LINKS
Amazon US: http://bit.ly/1VuSTys
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1T9ykUg
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1VuT7FQ
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1p4CGkV

Saving Michael - JR Writh - BISON PUBLISHING

SYNOPSIS
Gabriel Rucker knows there is a storm brewing, and it’s more than just the dark, ominous clouds that hang over Sacremento, California. His step-brother, Michael Rucker, lives for trouble, and he has dragged their little brother, Aaron, down with him. Fearing that their children will end up in a prison far worse than in-school suspension, Shannon and Jenson Rucker turn to The Serenity Institute to tame their wild behavior. “Are you my angel, here to take me away?”Melissa Jenkins quickly became The Serenity Institute’s obvious successor after her father’s untimely death, but her heart was plagued by turmoil regarding what really happened there, and whether or not it was truly for the greater good of mankind.“One day you will have to fix all of this.”Twins, Daniel and Donnie Conan, are regular fixtures in the Rucker home due to their father’s unpredictable work schedule. Together, with Gabriel Rucker’s help, they uncover the many secrets their father holds, and it’s then that they know they have no choice.They must band together to save Michael.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JR Wirth was born and raised in Southern California. Now hailing from San Bernardino, he was intimately affected by the recent terror attacks, but luckily his family escaped physical harm. With several pieces published—including a poem and the bestselling series: “Twisted Family Holidays,” along with the epic paranormal, “In Passing,” J R. Wirth is an emerging author. The latest, young adult novel, “Saving Michael,” promises to be his best to date. Utilizing his extensive background in psychotherapy, J.R. exhibits a strong understanding of the emotions of a moment in time, as well as the inner workings of his characters. In all of his works, J.R. Wirth combines ordinary people with extraordinary circumstances to create characters will jump off the page and straight into the readers’ hearts and minds. Look for J.R. in Goodreads, Barns and Noble, and Amazon.

Facebook: http://bit.ly/1N96GHS
Twitter: http://bit.ly/1TRYop2
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1VWflyM

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
header
Facebook: http://bit.ly/bisonpubfb
Twitter: http://bit.ly/bisonpubtw
Website: http://bit.ly/bisonpubweb
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/bisonpubnews
Saving Michael- Banner

TITLE: Saving Michael
AUTHOR: J.R. Wirth
GENRE: YA Suspense
Imprint/Publisher: Edge, Bison Publishing
RELEASES: May 3rd, 2016

PRE ORDER LINKS
Amazon US: http://bit.ly/1VuSTys
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1T9ykUg
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1VuT7FQ
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1p4CGkV

Saving Michael - JR Writh - BISON PUBLISHING

SYNOPSIS
Gabriel Rucker knows there is a storm brewing, and it’s more than just the dark, ominous clouds that hang over Sacremento, California. His step-brother, Michael Rucker, lives for trouble, and he has dragged their little brother, Aaron, down with him. Fearing that their children will end up in a prison far worse than in-school suspension, Shannon and Jenson Rucker turn to The Serenity Institute to tame their wild behavior. “Are you my angel, here to take me away?”Melissa Jenkins quickly became The Serenity Institute’s obvious successor after her father’s untimely death, but her heart was plagued by turmoil regarding what really happened there, and whether or not it was truly for the greater good of mankind.“One day you will have to fix all of this.”Twins, Daniel and Donnie Conan, are regular fixtures in the Rucker home due to their father’s unpredictable work schedule. Together, with Gabriel Rucker’s help, they uncover the many secrets their father holds, and it’s then that they know they have no choice.They must band together to save Michael.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JR Wirth was born and raised in Southern California. Now hailing from San Bernardino, he was intimately affected by the recent terror attacks, but luckily his family escaped physical harm. With several pieces published—including a poem and the bestselling series: “Twisted Family Holidays,” along with the epic paranormal, “In Passing,” J R. Wirth is an emerging author. The latest, young adult novel, “Saving Michael,” promises to be his best to date. Utilizing his extensive background in psychotherapy, J.R. exhibits a strong understanding of the emotions of a moment in time, as well as the inner workings of his characters. In all of his works, J.R. Wirth combines ordinary people with extraordinary circumstances to create characters will jump off the page and straight into the readers’ hearts and minds. Look for J.R. in Goodreads, Barns and Noble, and Amazon.

Facebook: http://bit.ly/1N96GHS
Twitter: http://bit.ly/1TRYop2
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1VWflyM

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
header
Facebook: http://bit.ly/bisonpubfb
Twitter: http://bit.ly/bisonpubtw
Website: http://bit.ly/bisonpubweb
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/bisonpubnews

The Kiss That Saved Me Cover Reveal

COVER REVEAL!
THE KISS THAT SAVED ME- BOOK 2 IN THE TIDAL KISS TRILOGY
COMING JUNE 25TH 2016

SYNOPSIS

Four months have passed since the night Callie Pierce fulfilled her destiny as the Vessel and her world is shifting faster than ever before. The Occulta Mirum is in disarray, still reeling from the demise of its longest reigning monarch and its people have a decision to make, on which more lies balanced than they know. As Callie and Orion rise together to new responsibility, dealing with the consequences of what has passed, Callie finds herself changed and looking into the shadow of the deep for answers. The life she’s been thrown into isn’t what she expected, and as the responsibility of her new found position among the mer mounts, the cracks in the fantasy world she so loves are starting to show. Can then, the dark mystique of the Psiren’s world be what Callie was destined for all along?

Get ready to ride into the world of the Occulta Mirum at greater depth than ever before. As Callie learns the truth of the ancient agenda of three brothers, and comes face to face with the temptation and allure of what will seemingly save everyone she loves.
Power. 

THE TIDAL KISS TRILOGY FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/TheTidalKissTrilogy/?fref=ts
BUY BOOK 1 IN THE TIDAL KISS TRILOGY:
 Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1UA798P 
  Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1pIex4p
website: www.kristynicolle.com

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Have 2 ideas? Put them together.



Have 2 Ideas? Put them together.

When I was writing my book, Operation Mermaid: The Project Kraken Incident, I had some trouble with an idea for the plot. This happens a lot to writers. I had the main idea of some big thing transforming women around the world into mermaids. I was trying to get away from the whole plotline of being a mermaid is a secret, which is what most mermaid books are. I wanted to make it a big enough event so that it wouldn't be a secret anymore. I even brought in agents from Homeland Security. But now what? I tried to figure out a way to make a story out of this, but everything I tried turned out boring. I didn't want my readers falling asleep halfway through the novel. I just couldn't think of anything. I also couldn't explain why Homeland Security was there. I put it aside for a bit.



About that time, I remembered another idea I had for another possible book. This was about a mechanical Kraken. The mythical Kraken was a giant octopus that would come up and crush ships, taking them and their crews to the bottom of the ocean, where they would die. The new version would be a mechanical version, based on a submarine. The new Kraken would use mechanical arms for destruction. If you want more details, read my book. I didn't have a story for this, though. I had this thing, but it was just sitting there with no story.



Then, as I was working on my mermaid story, I decided what it needed was something to tie everything together. That's when I decided that the mechanical Kraken would be perfect for this. It was a submarine, so it would make sense for mermaids to be involved. It was a potential weapon, so Homeland Security would have a reason to be there. It would take some time to process, so it could drive the plot forward. To me, that was it. I put the two together. (It almost sounds like the Brady Bunch.) That got me over my block, and helped me produce the novel. I just filled in the details.



Sometimes it works that way in life, too. You have an idea for something. Someone else has an idea for something else. Neither one of you are getting anywhere. It might be time to talk about combining your ideas into one. There might be cost efficiencies in eliminating duplication. You also could get more income from your combined idea than you could from one alone. It's worth discussing.



This doesn't always work. There are all kinds of products that try to do two things that wind up in the late-night TV graveyard. There are also mergers that don't work, and legal restrictions on other mergers. But you will never know unless you try it. There are a lot of legal and other details I won't go into here. At least be open to the idea.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rediscover Jesus: An Invitation

Rediscover Jesus: An InvitationRediscover Jesus: An Invitation by Matthew Kelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from my parish.

This book is an invitation. It invites us to rediscover Jesus. The premise of the book is that people are looking for ways to nurture their soul rather than destroy it, and that Jesus is the way to do that. It challenges the reader to truly get an understanding of Jesus, and to follow him. Many people know about Jesus, and are familiar with the story (it's been told often enough on TV and movies), but don't really know Jesus. The book invites us to reread the gospels and understand Jesus.

The book is divided into 40 short chapters. It could be used as a Lenten meditation, reading a chapter a day. Each chapter contains a point to ponder, a verse to live, a question to consider, and a short prayer. This is a lot to think about. He also invites us not to just read the gospels, but meditate on their meaning. He describes a prayer process to get the most out of prayer. Briefly, the process is this:
1. Gratitude
2. Awareness
3. Significant moments
4. Peace
5. Freedom
6. Others
7. The Our Father

The book is easy to read. The challenge is living it. I know I have problems trying to live up to what the book says. I know I'm not perfect, but I can try to get better. This book would be a great guide for that.

View all my reviews

Saturday, March 26, 2016

In The Blood Book Tour

In The Blood Banner 540 x 200
  In the Blood: The Witchbreed, Book One by R.L. Martínez Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Lakewater Press
Date of Publication: March 21, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-9944511-0-1
ISBN: 978-0-9944511-1-8
ASIN: B019X8WCWI
Number of pages: 370
Word Count: app. 122,000
  ebookinthebloodgirl

Blurb

The Warrior The war between Dosalyn and Roanaan has ended, but a new battle begins for prisoner-of-war, Ottilde Dominax. Dreams of her witchbreed twin sister are visions of death and betrayal. Driven by their grim warning, she escapes her captors and races across nations to save her sister. But she may arrive too late… The Witch Oriabel Dominax has kept her healing magic secret while she cares for her family's struggling estate. But the arrival of a new lord with secrets of his own, the discovery of a dark and addictive magic, and threats from a cruel blackmailer push Oriabel closer to disaster. Through it all, the Witch’s Tree calls…"
Cover Artist E.L. Wicker available_on_amazon_badgeAdd-to-Goodreads-Button      

Excerpt

  “296.” Angry hisses and mutters rippled through the assembly at the announcement of Ottilde’s number. The guard at the front of their formation watched with a bored expression as the other inmates spat at her feet. “King Killer,” the woman next to her hissed. Ottilde swallowed and her grip on the heartstone tightened. Chroy had not been a king when she threw her knife into his throat, not yet. But he had been their future, their hope. Ottilde raised one hand into the air. “Here.” The commotion died down after he called a few more numbers and Ottilde let out her long-held breath. She loosened her fingers from around the heartstone. They came away aching with the force of her hold. When all the prisoners were accounted for, several inmates broke formation to walk to the dining house for breakfast. The guards, however, growled at them to remain in line, shoving some of the slower ones back into place. Ottilde frowned at the change in routine, and peered around. Prison Chief Wilder Coomb strode towards them on the other side of the wire fence that formed the front of the yard, his adjutant close at his side. One of the guards unlocked the yard gate and stood back as the Chief entered. Wilder Coomb was a formidable man. He might once have been handsome, but life had bullied him viciously. His shaved head sported a deep, curling scar on one side of his scalp, while his face and neck carried similar gruesome marks. One earlobe was missing, which gave his head a cock-eyed appearance when viewed straight on. A jagged horizontal line along his neck indicated someone had tried to cut his throat at one time. But Ottilde believed the most impressive scar lay behind the patch over his left eye. The silvery tail of the wound snaked down his cheek and neck to disappear in the stiff collar of his forest green officer’s coat. Upon reaching the front of the prisoner formations, he folded his hands behind his back and swept a contemptuous eye over them. Ottilde could only imagine what he saw as he stared at them, the ragged unlucky soldiers taken prisoner during the recent Pleinour War. For a moment, Chief Coomb’s hard, dark eye settled on her and she lifted her chin, refusing to show him how much he intimidated her. But his gaze moved on, and she sensed the subtle shift of discomfort in the prisoners around her when one of them felt the whip of his gaze He held up a sheaf of folded papers; a letter, judging by the regular creases. “Queen Kuonrada has fled and Deauxerr has vanquished her armies.” The prisoners shuffled and muttered. The cold air warmed with the force of their anger and humiliation. Ottilde kept her eyes on Chief Coomb’s face, though she felt a good portion of their collective rage focused on her. She knew she held blame for breaking the back of Roanaan’s fighting spirit. “Over the last several weeks,” Coomb continued, “those with authority in such matters have considered what to do with you all. I have a list of officers and knights to be traded for Deauxerr soldiers now held by the remnant of Roanaan’s military as an act of diplomatic faith. Step forward when I read your number. You will be readied immediately for transport to the exchange point.” He snapped his fingers and his adjutant took the letter from his hand, replacing it with a single sheet of dark paper. Coomb scanned it and shouted out prisoner numbers. Ottilde’s breathing grew irregular with hope as each man or woman came forward in answer to the prison chief’s summons. But he reached the last number on the list without calling hers. Her stomach soured as she watched a contingent of guards escort the fifty or so fortunate prisoners from the yard. Once the yard gate had shut again. Chief Coomb’s adjutant handed him another paper. “Now, King Talin of Deauxerr has decided to offer those of you with reports of good conduct and no criminal past the opportunity to swear fealty to the Deauxerr crown. Talin has granted you permission to return to Roanaan or settle in Deauxerr; also, you will be given a small subsidy to start your new life. If you wish to accept this offer, step forward when I read your number.” He sounded off another list of prisoners. Again, Ottilde listened tensely for her number, though she knew how unlikely it was she would hear it this time. Coomb must have called a hundred numbers or more, but Ottilde estimated only forty prisoners stepped forward. They averted their eyes from those who remained in the formations. Another handful of guards led this group from the yard. “As for the rest of you,” Coomb said, “you are to be moved to a civilian prison facility where you will no longer be my concern.” He folded his arms behind his back. “Remember, as long as you remain in this camp, or in the custody of my staff, you will obey Lachlas regulations. Everyone will appear for morning roll every day. You all know what will happen should even one of your numbers go missing.” He gave them a last menacing glare then stalked to the yard gate.    

About the Author:

SONY DSC
R.L. Martinez writes fantasy and science fiction with dark edges and corners. She began writing when she was in the seventh grade when her teacher assigned a creative writing project. She lives in Norman, OK with her husband, two young sons, a mouse-killing cat, and two naughty pooches.
 
Website - http://robinlmartinez.com/
 
Twitter - https://twitter.com/RobinLMartinez
 
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/robin.l.martinez400
 
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8121315.R_L_Martinez
 
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/robinlm488/
 
Tour giveaway, enter HERE!
 
1 swag pack (book, bookmark, postcard, heartstone necklace) and
 
3 ebook copies