CELTICLADY'S REVIEWS   

28 May, 2016

Blog Tour of Goodnight by Susie Tate! With #Giveaway! @susietate @starange13



  
Title: Goodnight
By: Susie Tate
Publication Date: April 28, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Life is pain. That is the reality Goodie has had to accept since she was nine years old. Even before the night her childhood shattered she was never normal: her mind can process people and situations at lightning speed, she has the ability to recall anything she sees or hears with perfect clarity, she can separate from herself if she needs to – making her difficult to torture, difficult to intimidate. In summary, she is the perfect mercenary. A life in the shadows where she can stay in darkness is fine by her. That is until he tries to pull her into the light. Powerful, arrogant, filthy-rich men are, quite frankly, a pain in Goodie’s arse. She’d much rather take an extraction job in the depths of a Colombian jungle than have to deal with their bullshit. But sometimes the money is just too good to turn down, and this time someone important, who is actually doing something Goodie believes in, needs to be kept safe. Luckily, Goodie is an expert at maintaining an invisible presence, enabling her to keep any interaction with the egomaniacs she protects to a minimum … until she meets Nick Chambers. Nick doesn’t seem to understand invisible presence, appropriate employer–employee protocol, security precautions, following instructions, or in fact just leaving her the fuck alone. Everything about him, from his ability to laugh at their situation to the perpetual smile on his gorgeous face complete with goddamn dimple, drives Goodie insane, and for some reason makes her feel threatened. Fear is weakness, and if Goodie’s life has taught her anything it’s that you never, ever show weakness. But Nick is determined, and he’s used to getting what he wants. He’s been effortlessly charming the women in his life since he was five years old, so he knows it won’t be long before he has Goodie right where he wants her. Only some things are so dark, so horrific, they can’t be dragged into the light. Some people are beyond redemption, and Goodnight may be one of them. This book is a full-length contemporary romance of approximately 85,000 words with no cliffhanger and its own HEA. Warning This story involves both swearing and violence from the outset.
  
Amazon UK - http://goo.gl/ctkH6P
Amazon CA - http://goo.gl/MoNv12

Nick watched as Goodie’s eyes opened again, and searched for the panic he could have sworn was there before she closed them, but her ice-blue gaze was now blank, all emotion wiped from her expression. She moved quickly, her mouth crashing down on his and her hands going up into his T-shirt. ‘I want you,’ she told him, her voice husky and unbearably sexy as her hands traced over his abs and the muscles of his chest. He sucked in a sharp breath – he could tell something was off, there was an unnatural desperation about her; but with the woman he had been obsessing over finally touching him, he became incapable of rational thought. ‘Christ,’ he rasped as one of her hands moved down to his crotch and all his ability to think was obliterated. He drove both his hands into her soft hair and took control of the kiss, pushing her back to lie on the duvet he had dumped on the floor. He pulled her hands from him and unzipped her hoody, revealing the black bra beneath. Her body was more amazing than he had imagined (and he had a good imagination and had invested a fair amount of time on this endeavour when it came to her, so that was saying something): she was all defined, toned muscle, combined with softer curves. She was magnificent. She rocked against him and her hands went to his belt, frantically pulling at the buckle. Something about her movements jolted Nick out of his lust-induced haze. He dragged his eyes from her breasts and stomach to her face and he almost flinched. Her expression was blank and her jaw was clenched. ‘Goodie?’ he whispered, and her gaze flew from his belt to his face briefly before focusing just over his shoulder. ‘Hey … hey,’ he muttered, grabbing her hands to still them in her frantic attempts to undo his belt. ‘What is problem?’ she asked sharply, her Russian accent thicker than normal and a frown marring her beautiful face. ‘Where did you go?’ Nick asked, his eyes roving her face. He gathered both her small hands in one of his and reached up to cup her cheek, stroking across her cheekbone and up to her crescent scar with his thumb. ‘I am here,’ she said, jerking her head to the side, away from his touch. ‘No,’ Nick told her, ‘no you’re not here. Where have you gone? Why are you so scared?’ ‘Scared?’ Goodie spat, wrenching away from him, and then scuttling back against the units next to Salem, who raised his head in surprise. ***** Goodie was breathing hard, her exposed chest rising and falling. She desperately wanted to zip her top, but knew that would show yet more weakness. She had perfected the type of meditation that took her out of her own body many years ago. The fact was that there were times in her life that she needed to be able to separate from herself; torture situations being one example, any form of intimacy being another. But nobody, nobody had ever called her on it. Nick made a move forward and she flinched – fucking flinched. What was wrong with her? Salem could feel her tension and flattened his ears against his head, letting out a low growl. She stroked his head and muttered to him that everything was okay in Russian – Salem could smell fear and the only other times Goodie had been as tense as this was when they had been in mortal danger, so she didn’t exactly blame him for his reaction. Nick continued to move towards her, his palms up like he was approaching a terrified wild animal. When he was inches away he reached down to her zipper and surprised her by hooking it together and pulling it up, covering her to just under her chin. ‘Are … are you okay?’ he asked softly, and for the first time since Goodie was eight years old she felt her eyes sting with tears. She blinked rapidly and gritted her teeth. What the fuck was going on? Nick turned and sat next to her on the floor up against the units leaving just a little more space than before, which she was grateful for. They sat in silence for a few minutes. ‘Um, Goodie?’ he asked. ‘Yes?’ ‘Look, I don’t want to pry or anything –’ Goodie sucked in a breath preparing to have to explain her reaction to him ‘– but … well, you don’t seem to have the full complement of toes.’ Goodie blinked, letting out a short bark of laughter in her relief (but unusually for her not noticing Nick’s body jolt at that rarity) and staring sightlessly down at her bare feet. Yes, she was two toes down – both her little toes were missing and part of her third toe on her left foot; ugly scars marked where they had once been. ‘I have never noticed this before,’ she deadpanned, curling the few toes she did have into Salem’s fur so that he would settle back down to go to sleep. Nick sighed. ‘You won’t give anything away, will you. You are the most closed person I’ve ever met. It makes me crazy – do you know that?’ Goodie shrugged. ‘Can’t you just tell me this one small thing? Give me that at least – you know everything about me.’ Goodie rubbed her temple and closed her eyes slowly. After a few silent moments Nick puffed out a frustrated breath and she felt him start to push up to stand. ‘Frostbite,’ she blurted out. She had no idea why, as his questions annoyed her to death, but the idea that he would give up asking them made her stomach clench with actual pain. He eased back down and turned his body towards her. She could feel him watching her face closely. ‘How did you get frostbite badly enough to lose actual bloody toes?’ He sounded incredulous, and weirdly furious, about something Goodie considered relatively trivial. She had been lucky to come out of what happened that winter alive, leave alone largely intact. ‘I lay in the snow for a long time,’ she told him. ‘Why did you do that for God’s sake?’ ‘I had to be still, and I had to wait.’ ‘Well, that’s just goddamn ridiculous. Whoever ordered you to –’ ‘Nobody orders me to do anything,’ she told him. ‘I had a job and I was going to complete it. I knew the risks.’ And she’d finished the job too. The cold had driven her nearly insane and she’d thought she would go blind if she had to stare down the sight of her rifle any longer. Even now she could still feel the surge of excitement as her target finally came into view after so many hours waiting, and the internal battle she had to fight to remain in control of her heartbeat and breathing. She’d resisted the urge to just fire immediately, taken three deep breaths, and on the respiratory pause at the end of the last breath she’d taken her shot. Adrenaline was pumping through her system but she still had to make sure that even after the shot had broken she maintained a slow steady squeeze on the trigger; follow through is everything. So despite the cold and the pain, when she did get her shot she took it; she finished it. Just like she always did. Just like she was trained to do.


Susie Tate is a general practitioner and when she's not working she's looking after her four yummy boys under six (okay one is actually over thirty-six but it's the mental age that counts!). This is the first of her books to be set totally outside the medical world and is a little darker than the others, but hopefully still funny at times.

Mirror Image by Michele Pariza Wacek Book Blitz!


Mirror Image
Michele Pariza Wacek
Publication date: May 27th 2016
Genres: Adult, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

Which would be worse, knowing that your dead sister has come back to life and is now a serial killer or that someone else is the killer….and that person is you?
Six months after Linda’s sister Elizabeth killed herself, Linda has finally gotten her life back to some semblance of normalcy. Until a killer appears who is stalking men … a killer who resembles Elizabeth … a killer who seems somehow familiar to Linda.
And, to make matters worse, Steve, her old high school crush and now a detective, is assigned to this case. He’s asking Linda all sorts of questions, questions Linda couldn’t possibly have an answer to.
There’s no reason for him to be investigating Linda. She couldn’t possibly have anything to do with this.
Could she?
EXCERPT:
When Elizabeth was born, her mother knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the hospital had made a mistake.

It had been a difficult pregnancy. Marie spent most of it in bed, nauseated, uncomfortable, exhausted. She barely kept anything down, subsisting mostly on tea and saltine crackers. When the time came to deliver, the doctors performed an emergency Caesarean section, so she wasn’t able to actually watch the birth.
She couldn’t explain it, but the first time the nurses presented her with Elizabeth, she refused to even hold the baby. “There must be some mistake,” she insisted.
“There’s no mistake,” the nurses said, their approach firm and no-nonsense.
Blond and pale, Elizabeth looked nothing like the other dark haired members of the family. But it was more than that. Elizabeth felt wrong. Marie sensed it every single time she looked at Elizabeth, touched Elizabeth, smelled Elizabeth. The baby was alien to her. Elizabeth was not her baby.

But she could do nothing about it. Her husband hadn’t seen the birth. He had refused to attend any of his children’s births. The nurses kept assuring her that no one had made, could possibly have made, a mistake. So Marie had little choice but to bring her home.

Elizabeth was different, always — strange. Marie hated to use that word about any of her children, especially her youngest, but she could find no other word to describe her. Elizabeth was strange. Period.

From birth, the baby kept quiet. Rarely fussed. Hardly cried. She started talking at six months, much earlier than the rest of her children, and started forming full sentences at just over a year old.

She spent most of her time alone or, once she learned how, reading. In fact, Elizabeth remained such a quiet child, Marie could easily forget about her. It made her nervous. Elizabeth was too quiet.

Even her scent was all wrong. Babies smelled warm and sweet, of milk and talcum powder. Elizabeth’s scent reminded her of meat just beginning to
spoil: thick and rotten.


But there was something else wrong with Elizabeth, something more serious than her near silence, her behavior, her scent. Even more serious than that alien feeling, which Marie had tried to dismiss as simple post-partum depression, although it never did go away entirely.

When Marie was really being honest with herself, which didn’t happen often, she could admit what really disturbed her most about her daughter.

Her eyes. Elizabeth had silver eyes.

Not always. Most of the time they looked gray. But sometimes, they changed to silver. Occasionally, Marie even thought she could see them glowing, like a cat’s. Especially at night. There Elizabeth would be, lying on her back, perfectly quiet in her crib, her eyes strangely open, shining faintly in the darkness. Marie would tell herself that Elizabeth’s eyes merely reflected the nightlight in a bizarre fashion. After all, none of her other children’s eyes ever glowed. But it still didn’t make her any easier to face, late at night, as silver eyes stared at her from the darkness. They seemed so old, so ancient. Eyes that had seen thousands of years and hundreds of lifetimes. Those eyes peered out from her newborn’s face, watching her every move, strangely calculating, full of adult understanding and knowledge. She felt afraid, if she were being honest … all alone in the room with those peculiar silver eyes watching, watching, always watching.
Nonsense, she reassured herself. Surely, she could not be afraid of her own infant daughter! What would her husband say? Plenty probably, and most of it with his fists.

Still, she found herself checking on Elizabeth less and less. She argued with herself: Elizabeth didn’t fuss much anyway. Marie didn’t need to check on her so often — not like she did with her other, noisy, “normal” babies.
Her other children. Such a joy they were, her four boys and other girl — Peter, Mark, Mike, Chad and Linda. All healthy, regular children, with coarse dark hair, brown eyes and a little bit of baby fat on their bones. They looked the way children should look, the way her children should look, like their parents. But more importantly, they acted the way children should act — loud, boisterous, rough, needy. Marie loved them for it, loved how she couldn’t get a moment’s peace when they played together. Even when their play turned to fighting, she still preferred it to Elizabeth’s silent, eerie presence.

But Marie loved Elizabeth, too. Loved her fiercely, with the same passion she felt for her other children. Marie knew she did. She told herself she did, time and time again. The fact that she felt relief when Elizabeth wasn’t around meant nothing. She just needed time away from her children, after all. Almost all mothers welcomed the time they had away from their constant, children-related responsibilities. It didn’t mean she loved them any less. It didn’t mean anything at all.


Author Bio:
When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly.
As you can imagine, writing has been a driving passion throughout her life. She became a professional copywriter (which is writing promotional materials for businesses), which led to her founding a copywriting and marketing company that serves clients all over the world.
Along with being a copywriter, she also writes novels (in fact, she just published her first novel, a psychological thriller/suspense/mystery called "The Stolen Twin" and her second novel "Mirror Image'" is set to be published in May 2016) plus, she is also the author of the "Love-Based Copy" books, which are a part of the "Love-Based Business" series and cover both business and personal development.
She holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and her border collie Nick and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.

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Over the Ivy Wall by Rosa Sophia Free On Amazon May 25th - 29th @SizzlingPR #RosaSophia #Clearwater #SizzlingPR

Kindle Free OTIW May


OtIWOver the Ivy Wall by Rosa Sophia

Genre: Romance / Young Adult

Clara Pendleton is a prisoner in her home. Always searching for new places to hide from her uncle, whose drunken attention terrifies and confuses her, she finds a tiny clearing in the back of the property near a disintegrating section of the ivy-covered wall that surrounds the estate.
Gaven Bridge has been sent to Clearwater to live with his Uncle Daniel. Never fitting in, he doesn’t believe he’ll ever meet anyone who understands him. But when he goes out for a walk in the woods, he happens upon a young lady sleeping soundly on a patch of moss.
A deep bond is fostered between them, helping Clara find the courage to change her life. When she finally decides to climb over the ivy wall and out into the world, there is no going back. Will Clara escape her horrible past, or will it destroy the love she and Gaven share?

Amazon US - Amazon UK

OCMS

Orion Cross My Sky by Rosa Sophia

Genre: Romance / Young Adult

Tammy Pendleton thinks she’s broken beyond repair. Sheltered by her parents, a victim of sexual abuse, she wants to escape but doesn’t know how. Until her cousin Clara leads her away from the Pendleton estate, and into Clearwater.
Orion Bennett is a motor-head who works at Pete’s Service Station. At nineteen, he is battling depression. But he’s also suffering with trigeminal neuralgia—the suicide disease—and he’s desperate to escape the pain.
When Tammy wanders into the shop one day, she finds herself strangely comforted by the scents and sounds of the garage. Although the pain they suffer is very different, they discover comfort and understanding in one another. The companionship they share has the power to heal. The question is, will they let it?

Also Available: Orion Cross My Sky (sequel to Over the Ivy Wall):

Amazon US - Amazon UK

Excerpt of Over the Ivy Wall

Tears brimmed in her eyes as she wrapped her arm around him. He tucked her close to his body, holding her. “You’re making me feel good right now,” she whispered. “Touching me like this. Don’t you see?” When he said nothing, she leaned up to look at him. “Gaven, you’re the reason I got away from there. You talked me into climbing over that wall. I wouldn’t have done it without you. After we met, I couldn’t get you out of my head. I wanted to be with you, and I still do. Thank you. Thank you so much for helping me out of there, for talking me into it. I’d still be there if it weren’t for you.” “Clara, you’re strong, stronger than you realize.” With a gentle touch, he caressed her cheek, gazing into her eyes. “You could’ve done it without me. If—” “No, don’t say if. I don’t want to think about that. I just want to be with you.” His brow crinkled, his eyes betraying his amazement. “How can you want me?” She smiled through her sorrow, tears rolling down her cheeks. “How can I not?” Leaning forward, she pressed her lips against his, the saltiness of her tears mixing with the sweet taste of his kiss. “I love you, Gaven.”

About the Author

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Rosa Sophia is a novelist and full-time editorial consultant. With a degree in Automotive Technology, she adores writing and editing as well as fixing cars. Rosa is also a crazy cat lady in training, and currently resides in South Florida.

Website - Blog - Facebook - Twitter

Windmill Point by Jim Stempel Book Spotlight!



Windmill Point is gripping historical fiction that vividly brings to life two desperate weeks during the spring of 1864 when the resolution of the American Civil War was balanced on a razor’s edge. 
At the time, both North and South had legitimate reasons to conclude they were very near victory. Ulysses S. Grant firmly believed that Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was only one great assault away from implosion; Lee knew that the political will in the North to prosecute the war was on the verge of collapse. 
Jim Stempel masterfully sets the stage for one of the most horrific battles of the Civil War, contrasting the conversations of decision-making generals with chilling accounts of how ordinary soldiers of both armies fared in the mud, the thunder and the bloody fighting on the battlefield.
“We must destroy this army of Grant’s before he gets to the James River. If he gets there it will become a siege, and then it will be a mere question of time.” General Lee. 

Jim Stempel’s Windmill Point captures the dreadful fury and desperate humanity of the American Civil War with a power and immediacy few authors have been able to achieve. I recommend it highly for anyone interested in a vivid portrayal of that violent crucible from which our modern society ultimately emerged. 
Mark Robert Waldman, Executive MBA Faculty, Loyola Marymount University and author of Words Can Change Your Brain



Jim Stempel was born in Westfield, N.J.,in 1948,and graduated from the Citadel, Charleston, S.C., in 1970 with a degree in political science. He is married and the father of three. His first novel, American Rain was hailed by critics and labeled a "masterpiece" by the West Coast Review of Books.A student of the human condition, Stempel's works span a range including satire, spirituality, and military nonfiction. His most recent work is an examination of the psychological roots of human warfare (The Nature of War: Origins and Evolution of Violent Conflict) that Choice,the publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries, said "..offers ripe fruit by which to contemplate humanity's future." Stempel is considered an authority on the Eastern campaigns of the American Civil War, and his books on that topic have drawn an international audience. His novel Albemale was nominated for the James Fenimore Cooper Prize in Historical Fiction, and his newest novel, Windmill Point was released in March 2016. 


http://www.jimstempelbooks.com/
amazon.com/author/jimstempel

27 May, 2016

The Capresso Ultima PRO Espresso & Cappuccino Machine Giveaway ($200 RV) #Capresso

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Celticlady's Review is excited to bring to you The Capresso Ultima PRO Espresso & Cappuccino Machine Giveaway ($200 RV) #Capresso

Deliciously Savvy is hosting a giveaway in which 1 Lucky Winner will receive an Ultima PRO Espresso & Cappuccino Machine Giveaway valued at $200! This is a fabulous machine.... made in compact form with professional results! Read My Review HERE!

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Entrants must be 18 years old to enter and giveaway is open to US residents only.
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Hello Again by Stan Schatt Book Spotlight! @StanSchatt



A dead lover wants company. Meanwhile, a no-nonsense detective who doesn’t believe in ghosts teams up with a psychic who fears something very evil is stalking its prey. A scientist finds that modern science can’t explain what he’s experiencing. 

Bill met the woman of his dreams, but now she’s become his worst nightmare as her text messages become more demanding and threatening. How can he avoid her when she seems to know every step he takes? When high-tech equipment fails to explain the mystery, he finds the only solution might be to meet her face-to-face. 

Hello Again combines the spine-tingling tension of a paranormal mystery and the descent into madness of a psychological thriller with a good detective story’s step-by-step approach to finding a killer.

Amazon


Stan Schatt has written forty books on a wide variety of topics including science fiction, mysteries, a chapter book for children, a YA novel, biographies of Michael Connelly and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and books on technology and career changing. His love for teaching is reflected in outstanding teaching awards he received from the University of Southern California and DeVry Institute of Technology.

Rather than having one career, Schatt has had several. He has worked as an autopsy assistant, an English professor, a software trainer, a law enforcement administrator, a market research executive, and a sales manager. He spent the last two decades as a technology analyst or 'futurist" trying to figure out what future technologies will be successful.

http://www.stanschatt.com

My Father Didn't Kill Himself By Russell Nohelty @russellnohelty @_BookMistress

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My Father Didn't Kill Himself
By
Russell Nohelty
YA Mystery. This book deals with death, loss, and grief. There are difficult concepts to deal with and uncomfortable.
Author Bio:
Russell Nohelty is a writer, publisher, and consultant. He is the publisher of Wannabe Press and its main author. Russell likes to write genre fiction with deep character studies. He’s sadistic with his characters, putting them in the worst situations and watching them claw their way back up, just to kick them back into the abyss. Russell started his career writing comics, and now writes novels and children’s books as well.  
Social Media Links:
@russellnohelty (twitter/Instagram)
Blurb:
How would you cope is somebody you love committed suicide?
Delilah's father is the greatest man she has ever known. When he commits suicide her world is shattered. She can't eat. She can't sleep. Her bubbly personality becomes ascorbic. All she wants is to be left alone.
When his insurance policy refuses to pay out, Delilah sets out to prove what she's known all along: that his suicide was in fact a murder.
A story of getting over grief and learning those you idolize aren't perfect, told in blog posts through Delilah and her best friend.
On the surface My Father Didn’t Kill Himself is a mystery book, but right below the surface is a story of how people get over grief. And not just how Delilah gets over her grief of losing the person she idolizes most in the world. Also about how a wife gets over the grief of her husband, a husband that was supposed to provide for her, but instead left her alone and destitute.
Mixed with that is the loss felt by Alex, Delilah's best friend, in losing her best friend to the anguish of grief, watching her slip away and pull back from the world, feeling helpless.

Buy Link:
Amazon
Excerpt:

DROWNING

Posted by Delilah Clark × December 15 at 9:31 pm.
Here is what The Suicide Handbook says about drowning.
Drowning in cold water is supposed to be like going to sleep. For me, it was a nightmare.
Shivering, freezing, I sat for a minute until my body
Adjusted to the cold. Then I sunk down under the water. The cold washed over me, but my lungs were on fire. Before I could pass out my natural instincts kicked in. I couldn't fight them. I kicked and screamed
until half the water was gone. I gasped for air. It was frightful.

I performed my experiment much like J. I laid down in the tub until my body adjusted to the temperature. Once I was acclimated, I sunk below the water. I breathed out until there were no bubbles. And I waited. It didn’t take long for the fire in my lungs to start. Soon, it was unbearable. My body thrashed around for a moment before I shot out of the water and gasped for precious air.
I wholeheartedly endorse every word J said.
On top of that I realized something.
If I died in this tub, my bowels would empty, and I would be sitting in feces-filled water until somebody found me. That is not a dignified way to die—my bowel excretion muddying the water and coating me in a fine mist of poop. They’d be scrubbing for days to get me ready for the casket.
No thank you.

CEMETERY

Posted by Delilah Clark × December 16 at 7:22 pm.
Before every session with Dr. Bennett, Susie drives me to the cemetery and tries to coerce me into visiting my father’s grave.
I’d never been to his grave before; not since the funeral. It didn’t seem important to me.
It’s not like he's in there anyway. Maybe his body, but not him. If he’s anywhere, he's by my side as I try to fulfill his last wishes, not hanging out in a cemetery.
But Susie always insists on driving to the cemetery anyway. The cemetery is a weird place full of weird people. There’s this tall undertaker who seems a little too into the dead people’s families. He’s like overeager for them to buy something. His smile creeps me out.  
There’s a grave digger who has to be high on something because he moves slower than molasses. Sometimes I catch the funeral director yelling at him, as if that’s going to motivate somebody that digs graves for a living to pick up the pace. Shocker, it never worked.  
They’re not weird in a bad way though. Some of them I could like if I didn’t hate everybody on principle. There’s this guy who is always reading comic books. He introduced himself to me one day as “Roscoe. Roscoe Fay.” Like he’s James Bond or something. He just sits under this tall oak tree overlooking the cemetery and silently reads comics. I would watch him read sometimes, letting my eye catch a cool image every once and a while.
I would usually just sit there, looking out at the cemetery, until Susie gave up and drove us away. But today was different. Today, I felt a twinge in my stomach, a pang, not quite a stress baby, but maybe a stress zygote, or an unfertilized egg.
I needed to see his grave. I needed to talk to him.
Susie was ready to fight, but before she could open her big mouth I pushed out of the door and walked over to his grave.
It was weird.
For all my research on death, I had no idea how to act in a cemetery. I saw a few people crying over graves and placing flowers on them as they rehashed their day.
That isn’t me. I’m cried out.
His gravestone was simple and to the point.
Tim Clark. Devoted husband and father.
I read it over and over again. Have you ever noticed that any word you say over and over again sounds super weird? Just try saying neck two hundred times and tell me that’s not a silly word by the end?
By the eight millionth silent loop, my dad’s name sounded like an alien language. Maybe Zorgblopple, which I just made up.
“Hey dad,” I finally said. “How are you doing? Probably not so bad, right? I mean worms might be eating your insides, but at least you can’t feel how cold it is, right?”
I paused, waiting for a response from him. I felt like an idiot.
“It’s been snowing here a lot. Remember when Mom went out of town for the weekend and it rained? You always said that God was crying because he missed her. I thought that was silly, but I always think about that when it rains or snows now.”

I liked it. I liked it so much I skipped therapy and sat there most of the day. I really can’t tell you how much better than therapy it is.

GoodByn Hero & Bynto Containers Giveaway! @Goodbyn @IMHO_my_blog

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Celticlady's Reviews is pleased to bring to you the Hero & Bynto Containers Giveaway! Scroll down to enter on the entry form! Good Luck!


Deliciously Savvy is Hosting another Giveaway in which 2 Lucky Winners will each receive a GOODBYN Hero container & a GOODBYN Bynto Container in their choice of colors! These are perfect for packing healthy and delicious snacks and lunches.... take them to the pool, beach, camping, hiking, for school lunches....or for anything! Total RV $44! Enter Today & Good Luck!

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And Now The Giveaway!!!

Giveaway Dates ~ 05/24 9PM EST until 06/20 11:59PM EST
Entrants must be 18 years old to enter and giveaway is open to US residents only.
Any Questions Email Me At mcushing7 (at) hotmail (dot) com.
This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated or associated with Facebook,
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This giveaway will end at 9PM (EST) on 06/20/2016.

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The Gate of Dawn by Marina J. Neary Guest Post! @NearyMJ



Today it is Celticlady's Reviews pleasure to welcome M.J.Neary, author of her 

Thank you, Kathleen for hosting me and giving me an opportunity to share some obscure history and the inspiration behind my latest novel "The Gate of Dawn". I wanted to take a moment to discuss the historical backdrop. 


The title of the novel
The Gate of Dawn is a famous landmark in Vilnius, a city gate built in the first half of the 16th century with a chapel above it. Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn is a sacred pilgrimage spot for Christians of all denominations. The novel is set in 1880s, when Vilnius was under the regime of the Czar as part of the Russian Empire. But the city had seen better days. Before the Russian empire, there was another great civilization known as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Many of the 19th century nationalists were nostalgic for that era. Even after the nation was partitioned and stopped existing as an entity, many 19th century authors and musicians claimed that "Polish-Lithuanian identity".



Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn

A forgotten civilization
With the Tudors constantly being in the spotlight, there aren't many historical novels set in Central Europe. Nobody really talks about a once glorious and influential civilization known as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, or Republic of Both Nations, spanning a nice chunk of Central Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Politically, it was a dualistic state, a bi-confederation of Pland and Lithuania, ruled by a common monarch, who was both the King of Poland and the grand duke of Lithuania. 



Ethnic diversity
The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a multi-ethnic nation composed of various groups that inhabited that area: Poles, Germans, Lithuanians, Jews, Swedes. It was a melting pot of Slavic, Germanic, Baltic, Nordic and Judaic influences. The diversity is very apparent in the clothing, the food, the music. 


Religious tolerance
The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a multi-ethnic nation with many religious groups represented: Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, Jews and even Muslims. It was a relatively tolerant and safe place to be. While Western Europe was engulfed in the Catholic-Protestant conflict, Central/Eastern Europe was a safe have for "heretics". Individuals and groups that were considered extremist in  their home countries, often sought refuge in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The nobles of the Commonwealth were so horrified by what happened in France during St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in 1572 that they were compelled to put a protocol in place that would prevent their own monarch from allowing something similar. 

Cultural inequality
Even though the nation was called Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the indigenous Lithuanian culture was grossly underrepresented. Polish was the dominant recognized language. All official documents were written in Polish. Other languages were also officially recognized, such as Ruthenian (the Slavonic stem language for Ukrainian and Belarusian), German, French and Yiddish. Interestingly enough, Lithuanian language was not recognized as official. It was spoken, but there were very few official documents written in it. Lithuanian nobles willingly became "Polonized" and accepted Polish as the official language.





In this particular painting depicting the January Uprising of 1863, Poland is depicted as the pale dark-haired woman. Lithuania is the blonde woman behind her. The painting confirms Lithuania's secondary status.


Fast forward to 1880s
The novel is set during the rule of Czar Alexander III, a staunch Russification activist. In simple terms, he did not believe in diversity and ethnic equality or religious tolerance. He pushed the idea that Russian language was superior, as was the Orthodox faith. He believed that people who spoke one language and adhered to the same religious beliefs were easier to control. Who can argue with that?


About the Book
Welcome to 1880s Vilnius, a volatile Northeastern metropolis where Balts, Germans, Poles, Russians, and Jews compete for a place in the sun. After sustaining fatal burns in a fire instigated by his rivals, textile magnate Hermann Lichtner spends his final days in a shabby infirmary. In a hasty and bizarre deathbed transaction he gives his fifteen-year-old daughter Renate in marriage to Thaddeus, a widowed Polish farmer who rejects social hierarchy and toils side by side with his peasants. 
Renate’s arrival quickly disrupts the bucolic flow of life and antagonizes every member of the household. During an excursion to the city, Renate rekindles an affair with a young Jewish painter who sells his watercolors outside the Gate of Dawn chapel. While her despairing husband might look the other way, his servants will not stand by and watch while their adored master is humiliated. 
Taking us from the cobblestone streets of old Vilnius, swarming with imperial gendarmes, to the misty bogs of rural Lithuania where pagan deities still rule, The Gate of Dawn is a folkloric tale of rivalry, conspiracy, and revenge.


About M.J.Neary
A Chernobyl survivor adopted into the world of Anglo-Irish politics, Marina Julia Neary has dedicated her literary career to depicting military and social disasters, from the Charge of the Light Brigade to the Easter Rising in Dublin. 

Her mission is to tell untold stories, find hidden gems and illuminate the prematurely extinguished stars in history. She explores human suffering through the prism of dark humor, believing that tragedy and comedy go hand in hand. 

Her debut novel Wynfield's Kingdom: a Tale of London Slums appeared on the cover of the First Edition Magazine in the UK and earned the praise of the Neo-Victorian Studies Journal. With the centennial of the Easter Rising approaching, she has written a series of novels exploring the hidden conflicts within the revolutionary ranks.


http://ctcommie.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marina.j.neary
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3147523.Marina_Julia_Neary

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