Thursday, December 17, 2015

Goodreads Giveaway!

Starting December 18, 2015, you can enter for a chance to win a copy of Red Ochre Falls. Click the Goodreads Book Giveaway link below to enter.

If you can't wait to find out if you won, you can buy Red Ochre Falls right now. :) Happy reading!



 
 


    Goodreads Book Giveaway
 

   

        Red Ochre Falls by Kristen Gibson
   

   

     


          Red Ochre Falls
     
     


          by Kristen Gibson
     

     

         
            Giveaway ends January 09, 2016.
         
         
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.
         
     
   
   



    Enter Giveaway



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Holiday Gift Ideas for Book Lovers

Although the temperature is just beginning to dip, it's that time of year. A time to be thankful, to pause and reflect, and to celebrate friends and family.

Whether you need presents for a family member, a gift exchange, or a fabulous hostess, books make great gifts. I'll be posting ideas as I find them over the next few weeks. Plus, I'll share ordering information for my upcoming novel Red Ochre Falls. Just in case you'd like to order one for yourself and a few friends. 

Here are gift book ideas from Real Simple: http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/gifts/gifts-book-lovers/homes-up-high

Get your laptop or notebook ready to add at least one of these books to your holiday list. 

Cheers!


Friday, October 16, 2015

Fall Reads & Formatting

Formatting and editing are in full swing here. Work, school and family activities take priority, but I still search for good books to read when I have downtime. 

Here is a Huffington Post list of 10 Fall Books That Should Be On Your Nightstand. Not sure, but I plan to check out this list, and the reviews, before I add them to my Goodreads shelf. 

Here's the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sharon-greenthal/best-fall-books_b_8113614.html

Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

While I Gently Weep (the Start of Another School Year)

“While my Guitar Gently Weeps” from the Beatles White Album is one of their best, IMHO. I love the guitar chords and the stories of how it became the version we know today.

The song was supposedly inspired by I Ching a Chinese Book of Changes, which George Harrison found at his mother’s house one visit. Some say Harrison had trouble convincing the band the song was any good. After several attempts, the band had a little help from their friend, Eric Clapton, and got it right.

Whatever happened, it is hard to argue the beauty and longing in this song. It reminds me of how change sometimes feels.

So many changes happen in September: back-to-school, football, autumn, and transforming leaves. I keep thinking how much our kids have grown this year, how much fun we had this summer (most of the time), and that they’re heading back to school. It makes me smile, and yet, I long for those seemingly simpler days when we went everywhere together. It wasn’t really simpler, just different.

Our family investigated the world and the kids asked a million questions, usually while I was driving. It was fun, crazy, exhausting and…everything all at once. And it was beautiful. So, in honor of change, and beauty, and longing, I’ve compiled my top five versions of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ by some truly great musicians: The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Santana, India Arie, Prince, and Tom Petty, just to name a few.

Let’s listen, maybe weep a little, and get through the start of this new school year together. Feel free to share your favorites too!


1. Santana, Yo Yo Ma feat. India Arie

2. Beatles “White Album” (with Eric Clapton)

3. Jake Shimabukuro playing near Strawberry Fields

4. Eric Clapton

5. Prince, Tom Petty, Dhani Harrison, Jeff Lynne & Steve Winwood


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Should Amazon be the Only Business on the Hot Seat?

Apparently, the New York Times article detailing Amazon's workplace environment has piqued more than the public's interest. Thousands of people are said to have posted responses to the NYT article both in favor of and in opposition to the description of Amazon as a "bruising workplace" environment. 

And now, the government is involved. I read in this Publisher's Weekly post after the article appeared, Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi paid Amazon HQ a visit to check things out and discuss the Equality Act. Maybe it's just to keep them in line, but an article and a trip like this doesn't go unnoticed.

Coming to his company's defense is Nick Ciubotariu, Head of Infrastructure and Development, Amazon.com Search Experience, writing this response

All this public back-and-forth is interesting. In my corporate experience, I felt first-hand the pressure to perform above and beyond, and work extra hours. Sometimes this pressure came directly from management, sometimes from peers, sometimes it was internal pressure to get my job done, and be a great employee, to advance in the ranks, or at times, to just keep a job. 


I don't know how you can put only one business on the hot seat for this. I hear people from companies all over talk about being tied to their job, or their smartphone, and struggling with work-life balance. Is it fair this goes mostly unwritten, but is expected? What is your take on this? Are heavy workloads and long hours Standard Operating Procedure these days, are Amazon's employees being treated unfairly, or other?



Thursday, August 13, 2015

'Sesame Street' to Air First on HBO (Yikes!)

This is news. BIG news. After 45 years with PBS, HBO will now air Sesame Street's first episodes. Something about a nine month run of new shows on HBO, then the 'newer' shows will run on PBS. We'll still be able to watch revamped reruns on PBS this fall. yay

This will last five seasons. 

I'll have to decide if it's worth the money to see the first-runs, or if we can wait for the PBS aired episodes on a nine-month delay. I know they need money to make the show, but it seems wrong on so many levels to make parents pay for what was free educational programming for decades. Let's hope the folks at HBO don't try to make it edgier by making Oscar's trash-can lifestyle a result of hardcore addiction, and renaming it 'Sesame: Life on the Street' or just 'The Street'.

You can read more of the The New York Times article here


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Summer Reads: Kid Reads

Our family loves books! This week while searching for interesting kid books, I found some suggestions worth sharing from The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC).

Kids can learn and get so much enjoyment from books, so read with them, it really does make a difference! I grouped these by age to make things easier for parents, aunties, and anyone looking for children’s books.

What do you like to read to your kids, neices/nephews, grandkids? Feel free to add to this list in the comments section. 


Listed with books good for grades K-2 (ALSC)


Like pandas? How about Haiku? Koo the panda is back and discovering each season through poetry.  This looks fun!



Because…dinosaurs.

In a series of charming portraits, dinos of all sizes are compared to real-life objects in the modern world.


Listed under books good for grades 3-5 (ALSC)


Crime-solving chickens. Why didn’t I think of this?

Meet the Chicken Squad: Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie. These chicks are out to solve some mysteries. First in a series.



Twelve-year-old Rump goes on a quest to discover his true identity and to break a magical curse in this humorous take on the classic fairy tale.


Listed under books good for grades 6-8 (ALSC)


In an epic novel, three children find their lives changed through a magic harmonica and their own self-resilience.

Magic harmonica. ‘Nuf said.



So. Curious.

Flapjack, Elirio, and Lupe build a custom out-of-this-world lowrider car to enter in the Universal Car Competition. They hope to win the cash prize and open their dream garage. First in a series.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Summer Reads: Five for Friday

This week I noticed a lot more back-to-school chatter. Summer vacation has ended for some, and is coming to a close for others. This is both good and bad news. Yay, school and learning! Boo, end of lazy, summer days (if you had a chance to enjoy any)!

There are still sunny days left before we head back. I want to spend most of them playing outdoors with the kiddos and reading great books long after sunset without an alarm at reveille. So, here’s a Five for Friday list in case you want more summer reading ideas.

Now go, pack in as much fun as you can, and squeeze in a few more good books before summer sails off into the horizon.

Enjoy!



If the title and the cover are any indication, this is going to be an incredible book.

Inspired by a chance encounter with spinner dolphins off the coast of Maui, Casey decided she wanted to learn more about dolphins. The book is said to explore dolphin science and cultural meaning, but also discusses the importance of protecting the species from hunters.

This sounds like the perfect blend of heart and science. The kind of summer read that reminds us all of earth’s many wondrous creatures.



Kinsey Millhone is a pretty strong character. She’s a private investigator who’s seen her share of bad guys. In her latest installment of the alphabet series, X, Millhone has to identify and help catch a serial killer before he catches her.

Reviews are listing this as an “intense” and “chilling” novel. Grafton crafts Millhone with the characteristic pluck, intensity, and humor readers enjoy while creating a psycho serial killer to ratchet up the anxiety while Millhone works her investigative magic.



Looked so interesting, I may just have to buy it right now.

Excerpt of Amazon's Overview:

The acclaimed author of The Good German “deftly captures the ambience” (The New York Times Book Review) of postwar East Berlin in his “thought-provoking, pulse-pounding” (Wall Street Journal) New York Times bestseller—a sweeping spy thriller about a city caught between political idealism and the harsh realities of Soviet occupation.



This book delves into a CIA hostage rescue mission that went sideways. The Vienna agents on duty, lovers at the time of the incident, meet up six years later to piece together what really happened, and find out if one of their own had been compromised.



A man named Monsieur Perdu is a self-described literary apothecary. He runs a bookstore from a barge floating on the Seine, prescribing “novels for the hardships in life.” (Amazon) He just has trouble finding the right prescription for his own loss, until he reads a letter from a great, lost love.

This book is on Oprah’s Book List under the tab ‘Books for When Your Brain is Melted’. Sit back, relax and travel with Perdu as he ventures out to heal others, and possibly, himself.



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Summer Reads for Your Journey



Photo Copyright: Windswept Sands by K.Gibson



I compiled this book list for a variety of summer readers. Here are three interesting picks for those who wish to take a literary journey; leap into pet-parenthood with their kids; or adventure with authors to new lands.

Whether you read one or not, I invite you to find and share your favorite summer reads in the comments.

Enjoy!



Summer is the perfect time to get swept away. This Pulitzer Prize winner could do just that. Some of the reviews I read are saying this beautifully written book has well-drawn characters and a story that flows. If those aren’t good enough, the page-long overview on Barnes & Noble might help sway you.

Here’s part of the Overview from Barnes & Noble:

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).



Are your little ones asking for a pet? This could be a fun book to help you settle on the right one, or just get the conversation rolling in a fun way. Since our kids have been asking for everything from puppies to ponies, it’s time we pick this one up and read together.

Not sure? Here’s a brief clip from Barnes & Noble:

This never-ever-before-seen picture book by Dr. Seuss about making up one’s mind is the literary equivalent of buried treasure! What happens when a brother and sister visit a pet store to pick a pet? Naturally, they can’t choose just one! The tale captures a classic childhood moment—choosing a pet—and uses it to illuminate a life lesson: that it is hard to make up your mind, but sometimes you just have to do it!



Anthologies are a recurring theme for me this summer. I enjoy them because you can sample short stories from a variety of authors. It’s a great way to find out whether I like a writer’s style before committing to a longer length novel.

This anthology sounds just right for all those rushing to fit in last-minute travels before heading back-to-school.

Overview from B&N:

An Innocent Abroad: Life Changing Trips From 35 Great Writers is everything a travel anthology should be, ranging from funny to touching to heartbreaking while always remaining engrossing. The anthology features a diverse and wide ranging number of contributors, from writers Dave Eggers and Ann Patchett to seasoned travel chroniclers like Jan Morris.



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Latest Summer Reads & Brief Review of The Liar


I admit this was a long book, but it didn’t feel long. Roberts does an incredible job of weaving in backstory as Shelby Foxworth works to put her life back together after the death of her husband.

It’s nice that Roberts didn’t make Shelby a whiner, or I’d have stopped reading. There were times I understood and sympathized with Shelby's role as a young mom of a three-year-old daughter. She juggles a lot, but puts her head down and keeps going. A hard-working, relatable character is one you root for in a story like this.

Roberts shows her mastery of character, setting, and story development—with a mystery to solve, a steamy romance (who doesn’t love a handsome man who works well with his hands?), and plenty of down-home comfort, this book is a definite summer read.

Here’s an overview from Barnes & Noble:

Shelby Foxworth lost her husband. Then she lost her illusions…

The man who took her from Tennessee to an exclusive Philadelphia suburb left her in crippling debt. He was an adulterer and a liar, and when Shelby tracks down his safe-deposit box, she finds multiple IDs. The man she loved wasn’t just dead. He never really existed.

Shelby takes her three-year-old daughter and heads south to seek comfort in her hometown, where she meets someone new: Griff Lott, a successful contractor. But her husband had secrets she has yet to discover. Even in this small town, surrounded by loved ones, danger is closer than she knows—and threatens Griff, as well. And an attempted murder is only the beginning...

*Booklist (starred review)




Controversial is an understatement when it comes to this book. Rumors and questions surrounded the publishing of the book so long after To Kill a Mockingbird. Was this what Harper Lee really wanted? Was it pushed out now because of money?  Oh boy, the conversations before the launch were lively, and now, they’re even louder.

Some folks love it, and are glad to read something else of Lee’s even fifty years later. Some can’t believe Harper Lee actually agreed to publish this as the character Atticus Finch is controversial in this one. (Word is the character inspired by Lee’s own father is shockingly different from the one we learned about in grade school.)

Either way, this book will be talked about for some time. So, if you’re curious, or want in on the discussion, you should probably check it out.

Overview from Barnes & Noble:

A historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014…




I posted the overview from Barnes & Noble (B&N) because it made me want to read this book. It just sounds interesting (King Lear and a pandemic? Whoa!). Maybe you’ll think so, and put it on your book list, too.

P.S. Mine is really long, and also eclectic.

Overview from B&N:

It seems like over the last few years a bunch of novelists got together and made a pact to pen postapocalyptic stories. If you choose to check out just one of them, Station Eleven, Arthur C. Clarke Award winnner and National Book Award finalist, is a great pick. In its opening pages, famous actor Arthur Leander collapses onstage during a production of King Lear. His death (though unrelated) heralds the beginning of a worldwide flu pandemic. The novel moves back and forth through time to describe what happens as the illness and panic spreads…

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