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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Book Review: The Minimum Wage Millionaire

Title: The Minimum Wage Millionaire

Author: Bill Edgar

Genre: Non-fiction

Book Blurb: 
The Minimum Wage Millionaire is a must read for teenagers and parents of teenagers who want to learn about how money works. The book presents a practical approach to accumulating wealth for teenagers who are just starting to earn income with a part time job. Using simple analogies to unravel complex financial concepts allows the young mind to grasp why it is important to invest early and how to start with their first paycheck.

I know I usually don't dip into the non-fiction genre, but I decided to make an exception for The Minimum Wage Millionaire.  Boy was I glad; the book offers plenty of good advice for young adults (like me.)  The writing was easy to follow and all the terminology was explained/defined.

I really liked how the author uses analogies to explain certain concepts of investing.  Also, the voice of the narration was engaging; it felt as if you were actually talking face-to-face with another person (financial advisor, in this case.)  The author also makes it a point to take into consideration the mind set of the average young adult--he notes that although saving money from a young age is a good habit, it doesn't mean that one has give up all fun activities (such as going to the movies for a treat.)

I also appreciated how the author draws from his past experiences (and the mistakes he made and lessons he gained.)  That allowed readers to connect with the narrator more, knowing that he's a real live person who is offering advice from past experiences. 

Several good points are also made in the book.  For example, the author states that "If it's not our idea, we don't want to do it."  I could totally relate to that statement--everybody wants to be independent and do things their way, but sometimes "my way" isn't the best way.

He also states that "You are responsible for what you believe, so understand the impact people around you are having on you."  I couldn't agree more.  

Advice for starting to invest in the future is presented in a clear way, with the author explaining the benefits of a Roth IRA and how to set up an account; he also compares and contrasts a Roth IRA different plans.  Last but not least, I found this book to be eye opening when I learned that most millionaires don't drive big fancy cars or own private boats; they're normal people who don't spend money on excess things.

The only quip I had was the grammatical errors; I noticed that several of the words that end in double "l''s" (such as "all" or "well") only had one "l." Just only minor errors and the writing was still understandable; they just distracted me for 1-2 seconds while reading.

Overall, this was a quick read (under 100 pages) and well worth the time. I would recommend this book to any young adult who want to retire with $1,000,000 :)


About the Author:

Bill Edgar is the author of The Minimum Wage Millionaire: How a Part Time After School Job Can Change Your Financial Life. He is passionate about helping youth understand how to become wealthy. He lives in Elburn, Illinois, with his three nearly teenage daughters (who will all be required to read his book). Connect with Bill on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/696268.Bill_Edgar) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/AuthorBillEdgar). 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Chat with Reyna Hawk and Book Excerpt

Hello world!  I hope you have been faring well as the holiday time crunch draws closer and closer.  I'm happy to introduce you to Reyna Hawk, author of Angels and Arrows, The Alter Ego of Insanity, My Imprisoned Life, and the Valentine/Petrilo Series (to be released in 2015).

The Book Landers: What inspired you to start writing? (I know, I know--it's probably a hackneyed question, but it still bears worth asking)

Reyna Hawk: While growing up I would listen to my mom and dad tell stories of different events in their lives, this stirred a creative spark in me and I began to create my own stories. In fact, I wrote much of the Valentine/Petrilo series in the 1990’s, but left it lay on a shelf. It wasn’t until 2012 that I felt it had evolved enough to be made available to the public. Now that I signed with a publisher, the series that started it all for me has gone under extensive editing and will be released under the publisher in 2015. When I think back on how my writing all began in the 1990’s, it still amazes me how far I have come. I never thought I would be signed with a publisher with almost ten books under my belt.

TBL: Who is your favorite author?

RH: I’m not sure I have one particular author that I’d call my favorite. I have certain ones that if they release a new book, I will definitely check it out and see if it’s something I like. I am quicker to look over an indie author’s work than I am the mainstream because I know the struggle of being an indie author. Unfortunately, as of lately I haven’t had much to read due to my writing.

TBL: How would you describe your writing method? Do you outline?

RH: I will write out a very brief outline of what I’d like to put into the book, but it is nothing concrete. I have been known to scrap almost an entire book because I didn’t like the ending. I begin with a thought, an idea of where I want the storyline to go and then I just begin writing. It can be rather scattered with thoughts and ideas, however once I get that creativity flowing the storyline begins to take shape making the writing process a bit easier. 

TBL: If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be?

RH: Out of my books I would love to meet Malachi. He is what many would call the perfect man. LOL and being single for nearly five years now, meeting the perfect man would be awesome. All kidding aside though, Malachi is such a caring, honest, and genuine person it would be good to know someone with such character. Although, if I needed something done (wink, wink) then I would like to meet Rico. Naturally, it doesn’t hurt that both men are gorgeous!

TBL:  How do you develop a character in your writing? What questions do you ask yourself when creating a character?

RH: I first think of the person’s upbringing, the normal questions of where did they come from? What were their parents like? Did they have any siblings? What stage of life are they at right now? Did they have a happy childhood? Or have they suffered some sort of tragedy? I want to get their personality and their behavior done to a science before I introduce them. I may not always divulge why the character is the way they are right from the beginning, but little by little I will express to the readers just what has happened in that character’s life to make them the way they are.

TBL: Is there something you *must* need when you write? (ie. coffee, music, tea, etc)

RH: Well I have to have Diet Pepsi, aside from that there really isn’t much more I would say that I need. Once I get on a roll, I can write for hours without even realizing that amount of time has passed. Sometimes music will help me to develop certain aspects of the storyline, but I do not need it.

TBL: What is one song that would describe the theme of your novel?

RH: The one song that seems to fit for Angels and Arrows is the song by Evanescence titled Wake Me up Inside; anyone who hasn’t heard that song should at least look up the lyrics. Every time I hear this song, I think of this book.

TBL: Angels and Arrows is based on true stories--how did you get the idea to base a book off true events?

RH: The events that have happened many may not believe, but they did happen and have many witnesses. No one can really explain that thin veil that hangs between this world and that of death. Every person has his or her own opinion on the afterlife, I believe after reading this book it will make some rethink their thoughts on angels, demons, spirits, and the afterlife.

TBL: Dogs or cats?

RH: Well I actually prefer cats, because they fit my personality LOL mysterious, quiet, and full of attitude. However, I do like dogs and actually have two—a border collie mix, Anna, and a husky Dakota. Both keep me entertained with their antics and goofiness.

TBL:  Any advice for aspiring writers?

RH: Never give up on your dream. It’s not an easy road of becoming an author, but the scenery can make the journey more pleasurable.

TBL: Thank you!

About the Author
Reyna Hawk is a 47 yr. old mother of one son and grandmother to one little girl. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio she has had the passion for storytelling and writing since her teen years. Reyna's main genre is romantic suspense although she does have works in the paranormal genre and psychological thriller. Reyna is currently published through Ravenswood Publishing, GMTA Independent Publishing LLC & Libertine Press. 

Reyna currently holds an Associate of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Culture Anthropology. 

Links to follow Reyna:

About the Book:
Maria Ridge was born having gifts that allowed her to see and speak to the spirit world. As she aged these gifts became more of a curse than a blessing. At 18 she escaped the taunting from not only the town but also from her family to embark on a journey that leads her to discover others like herself, secrets to her past, and the reality of her gifts. With the help of her new friend, Allie, Maria feels she finally found her place in this world. The destined meeting of Ash awakens the two girls to the fine veil between this world and the next. Can Maria survive the haunting evil that threatens her?

This book is based on true paranormal events that are due to personal experiences or eyewitness accounts. The names of people and places have been changed strictly to enhance the story line.

Sneak Peek:
“Wake up!” the faint female voice screamed frantically causing Allie to stir in her slumber as she tried to reposition herself in the beige rocker recliner; the voice had barely penetrated into her brain.
“Wake up! He’s killing her!” This time the voice echoed through the two-story country home jolting Allie awake.
“That was weird.” Allie thought to herself as she sat up and gazed at the television as the DVD’s screen saver started the movie’s intro music again. 
“Damn, we missed the ass end of the movie.” Allie chuckled, turning the table lamp on shifting her attention toward me. For a fleeting moment, Allie wasn’t sure if she was asleep or possibly hallucinating, for what she saw made her heart stop and fear race through her veins. Allie’s eyes had directed their focus at the ugliest most inhuman being she had ever seen crouched on top of me. The beast appeared to be choking me while whispering inaudible words in my ear. The monster slowly turned its gaze to meet Allie’s and let out a deep throttle of a laugh licking its grey lips as thick greenish mucous oozed from the side of its mouth.
“You’re next.” It growled as it leapt toward Allie. However, when the beast caught its reflection in a sconce mirror it screeched out in terror and instantly evaporated into thin air leaving behind black speckles of matter that disintegrated as they floated to the ground.
“Maria!” Allie gasped at the sight of my pale pasty face and bluish lips. Allie jumped to her feet rushing to the couch where I lay motionless.
“Maria!” she yelled, grabbing my shoulders and shaking me violently. Every light in the house had begun to flash and flicker; Allie prayed the electrical issues were due to the powerful summer storm passing through the area.
“Maria! Wake up!” Allie screamed out in panic; slapping me across the face causing my eyes to snap open wide as I gasped out in desperation for air.
“Oh God he’s here and he’s pissed!” I choked and heaved trying to catch my breath; my clothes reeked of the beast’s foul stench. I sat on the edge of the couch trying to gain my senses, leaving a clump of hair on the pillow.
“Jesus!” Allie gasped picking up the hair and inspecting it.
“Jesus had nothing to do with that.” I added fighting the inevitable tears. Thunder and lightning from the late summer storm rumbled through the town. The rain seemed to come down in bucketful’s as it beat against the roof and sides of the house. The lights flickered with every crack of lightning and crash of thunder. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Review + Giveaway: Capturing You

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Katana Collins

Reviewer: Aly

Book Description:
After discovering she's infertile, Lydia Ryder has all but convinced herself that she doesn't need children or a family to be happy. All she needs is her camera, her passport, and a damn good manicure. And maybe, maybe a sexy male travel companion. But when her job as a magazine photographer lands her in the small town of Maple Grove, NH, a precocious ten year old and her single father barge into Lydia's life, turning what she thinks she wants onto its head. In this town full of happily ever afters, Lydia finds herself wishing for things she had sworn off long ago...

When Cameron Tripp's wife passed away from heart disease, he thought he'd never find love again. He certainly never would have expected a woman like Lydia Ryder to waltz into his life and awaken his dormant heart and libido. But despite his better judgment, Cam finds himself drawn to the vivacious and argumentative outsider. He quickly learns that, like him, she knows all about misplaced trust, heartbreak, and how quickly a family can fall apart if you let it.

As impassioned arguments morph into frenzied kisses, the two wonder if one weekend can ever be enough. Despite lacking a maternal side, can Lydia connect with his ten year old daughter? And when Cameron finally learns the true nature of Lydia's article, the trust he worked so hard to build crumbles once again. With such doubts filling their minds, is there any hope that Lydia and Cameron will be able to start a new life together?

I was glad that we were able to get Lydia’s point of view first. It made things much more understandable and you didn’t start off on the wrong foot with Lydia. Her situation was difficult and it made it so much easier to not think she’s a witch, for lack of a better term. 

And the fun that that one scene meant throughout the book made you wish that Cam knew what you did and you could share the information with them. I was hoping that everything would work out between the two but it seemed like everything was against them. 

And there were some issues that were handled delicately in this book that I really applauded the handling of.

And of course the book included that character you just have to hate. Although you do find out more and more about her….and still hate her. She had so many choices and she seems to make the wrong ones each time but then Lydia did something(no spoilers or anything) that made you so proud of Lydia that you just wanted to stand up and cheer. You could really get behind the characters in Capturing You.

I liked the plot line of the novel. It was an interesting ride and it left you to have fun uncovering certain things.

Short Review for Meeting You (the prequel to Capturing You)
At first I wasn’t quite sure why this novella was included. But reading through and meeting the family as well as seeing the difficulties each character faced made me bond with them. This allowed me to have a deeper relationship with them in Capturing You.

Each family member have a chance to share their stories and perspectives and I did enjoy hearing each member’s story. 

And it also did an amazing job of introducing Capturing You.

Overall Rating:

Prequel available for free https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/498057

About the Author:
 Katana Collins splits her time evenly between photographing boudoir portraits and writing steam-your-glasses romances. Between navigating life as a small business owner, a first-time homeowner, and a newlywed, Kat is in a constant state of "OHMYGODINEEDCOFFEENOW."

She is the author of the Soul Stripper trilogy, Wicked Exposure, and the graphic novel, Cafe Racer, co-written with Sean Murphy.

She and her comic book artist husband commute back and forth as they please between Brooklyn, NY and Portland, ME with their ever-growing family of rescue animals (up to two dogs and a cat and still counting!). She can usually be found hunched over her laptop in a cafe, guzzling gallons of coffee, and wearing fabulous (albeit sometimes impractical) shoes.

Visit her on the web at www.katanacollins.com , on Twitter @katanacollins, or find her on Facebook www.facebook.com/KatanaCollins