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Book Cover Release – The Summer Springsteen’s Songs Saved Me

 

The Summer Springsteen’s Songs Saved Me
Barbara Quinn
Published by: Lakewater Press
Publication date: October 24th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

Coming home to catch her husband with his face between the long, silky legs of another woman is the last thing Sofia expects—and on today of all days. But, after scratching an expletive into his Porsche and setting the cheating bastard’s clothes on fire, she cranks up her beloved Bruce and flees, vowing to never look back.

Finding solace in the peaceful beachside town of Bradley Beach, NJ, Sof is determined to start over. And, with the help of best friends, new acquaintances, a sexy neighbor, and the powerful songs of Springsteen, this may be the place where her wounds can heal. But, as if she hasn’t faced her share of life’s challenges, a final flurry of obstacles awaits.

In order to head courageously toward the future, Sofia must first let go of her past, find freedom, and mend her broken soul.

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Author Bio:

Barbara Quinn is an award-winning short story writer and author of a variety of novels. Her works have appeared in print, online, and in audio form, and her stories have received honors that include nominations for the Pushcart Prize and being chosen as Best of the Web. She’s a Founder and former Publisher of the Rose & Thorn Journal.

Barbara and her husband love to travel and have visited 47 states and five continents. She’s ridden a camel in the Canary Islands, hiked on Machu Picchu, attended the opera in Vienna, and spent time in an absinthe bar in Budapest. When she was 19, she hitched across Europe with a backpack. For a time, she owned a motorcycle, and a pink-suede biker jacket.

As a lawyer, she held the position of North Salem Town Attorney, and Westchester Assistant County Attorney, and spent time in private practice, writing everything from zoning ordinances to manure pile rules. Before that, she worked at many jobs including, process server, lingerie sales clerk, waitress, and postal worker. She’s a native New Yorker, born in the Bronx, and raised there, on Long Island and in Westchester. She enjoys spending tiime with her grandson Ammo, her son Bret, and Gianna. Barbara welcomes email at BAQuinn7@gmail.com and would love to keep in touch via twitter.com/BarbaraQuinn

Her novels include: 36C, chick lit/women’s fiction, Slings and Arrows, paranormal romance/dark humor, Speed of Dark, inspirational fantasy/coming-of-age, and Hard Head, suspense/romantic and paranormal elements.

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Chocolate, Peeps, and Characterization

 

chocolateWith Easter here, I thought it would be fun to play a characterization game. If my main character, Bethany, was a type of Easter candy, what kind would she be, and why?

“I would totally be anything chocolate. Dark. Milk. Cream-filled. Doesn’t matter which kind.  Chocolate is my drug of choice—my addiction—and I self-medicate whenever possible. I have stashes in my drawers (dresser, not panties, lol), under my pillow, in my backpack, and I’m not above consuming a warm and gooey bar from my pocket (or AA bra when a pocket is unavailable). Chocolate is my friend, my comforter, my ‘holy crap, it’s shizztastic!’ But I’d give it up for Jeremiah … as long as I could still smell it on occasion—or lick the wrapper.

“Hey wait. I just had a thought. Can I pick the kind Zoey would be? Because I’d seriously make the heartless bully-of-a-wench a Peep’s bunny … and bite her head off!”

-Bethany Keatley                         img_8926 peeps

Since we’re having fun, let’s keep it going and do another characterization game, meeting the cast using the gang of Scooby Doo!

Butterfly Bones Dream Cast #1

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scooby gang 2

Scooby Doo and the Gang

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The role of Bethany Keatley will be played by Velma. “Do you think I’ll get to solve the mystery of the butterflies? Jinkies!”

The role of heartthrob, Jeremiah Wright, will be played by Fred.  th

“Hey! I thought Daphne was cast as the leading lady. I won’t have to kiss Velma, will I?”

The role of Dr. Keatley will be played by Shaggy. “Look, Scoob! I get to wear a lab coatshaggy and act smart. Hey, check out these mouse pellets. Do you think they taste good? Only one way to find out; Bottoms up!”

The role of Zoey Margold will be played by Daphne.daphne “I’ve always wanted to play the bad girl. And check out this girl’s wardrobe. I’m in mini-skirt heaven.”

The role of the mice and the butterflies will alternately be played by Scooby Doo. “Uh, uh. I’m not wearing a stupid butterfly costume. No way. I have my dignity.” scooby

“… Would you do it for a Scooby Snack?”

“Uh, uh.”

“… How about two Scooby Snacks?

“No way!”

“… How about three Scooby Snacks?”

“Three Scooby Snacks? Yum, yum, yum! Mmmhmm.”

Gulp. Gulp. Gulp. “Rooby, Rooby, Roo!”

Scooby_doo

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Butterfly Bones at Amazon.com

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Nature vs. Nurture

Nature vs. Nurture

Nature vs. nurture. A common question into what forms the basis of our personality, character, lifestyle, education, and so many other things. And during March, something I dwell upon as I contemplate my heritage and who I am. Are we mainly our genetic makeup, or do the environments in which we live shape us? I believe it’s both—but does it have to be?

nature vs nurture

The best case study I have for this is my forty-seven-year-old husband, who was adopted as a baby. Cory was born October 16th, 1969 to an unwed, seventeen-year-old mother. After his birth, he remained in the hospital for a week while his mother struggled with the decision on whether to keep him or place him for adoption. After an agonizing battle between her heart and head, she opted for adoption.

On Dec. 3rd, 1969, Cory was adopted by Phyllis and Tom Carpenter, becoming the third child in their family.

Fast forward twenty-six years. Cory meets his birth mother and birth father.

Cory had always wondered who he looked like, although people often commented how much he looked like Phyllis—not knowing he was adopted. When we met his birth parents, we realized he had a mix of both of their features, yet didn’t truly look like either one. But there were other similarities that were striking—especially since he hadn’t grown up around them.

(Cory at age two)cory's baby pic

 

The first thing we noticed was the identical stance of the birth father and Cory—right down to the way they carried themselves.

The birth father and Cory also shared similar personalities—serious, sometimes rigid, but loved to laugh. And both had a difficult time forgiving others and letting go of the past. The other thing they shared—a love for the same kind of beer. Now this might seem like it’s not related, but Cory’s adoptive father, Tom, was killed when Cory was only four, and his mother didn’t drink beer, so I found it to be more than mere coincidence that they both loved malt liquor.

Another strong genetic makeup tendency passed to Cory—alcoholism. Not only did it run rampant on his birth father’s side, but his birth mother had an alcoholic father. And Cory wasn’t far behind. He had abused alcohol as a teenager into his twenties, and had he continued down the path he was on, I’m sure he’d be dead. Instead, he gave up drinking in exchange for a healthy life. His birth father wasn’t as fortunate.

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Cory acquired type 1 diabetes from his birth mother’s side. She, two sisters, and their father were all type 1 diabetics. A strong similarity with the birth mother is they are both worriers–about everything. And both are night owls. Cory would rather sleep most of the day and be awake at night, and his birth mom is the same. He definitely didn’t get that from Phyllis.

So how did his environment shape him?  Cory laughs like Phyllis. He adopted her belief system, work ethic, honesty, and the importance of serving others from her example. He has strong family bonds that were encouraged and nourished through his childhood with a large extended family of cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, etc. His mother was a proactive parent who put family first and supported him in sports and anything he wanted to try. Cory was and is the same with his children and grandchildren.

And Cory and Phyllis are both stubborn to a fault.

(Cory and Phyllis)

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But honestly, when it comes right down to it, we are who we are not because of how we are raised or who raises us, but because of our own personal choices.

Cory’s maternal grandfather and birth father didn’t become alcoholics because their genetic makeup predisposed them to it. They became alcoholics because they chose to drink in excess.

I know people who were brought up in horrible circumstances and rose above to become better people than their parents. And I know people who were brought up in wonderful homes but made decisions that landed them in prison, addicted to drugs, or even dead.

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So who are we? a sum of our genetics, a sum of our upbringing, or a mixture of both?

While some things are out of our control, like diseases, the socioeconomic status of our family, or the family we’re born into, those things don’t have to be defining. I believe who we are is up to us.

So the question isn’t really: Who am I?

The question is: Who do I want to be?

And to that I say, figure it out and make it happen.

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First Love

First love. Just the mention of it makes me smile. I can still remember the butterflies in my stomach, sweaty palms, and racing heartbeat as I locked eyes with the boy who I was sure was “the one.”

giphy-heart-beat

He wasn’t.

But no one could have convinced me otherwise. I was going to marry this boy, have his children, and we were going to live happily ever after.

I mean, I wrote my name with his last name, practicing my cursive in all different styles until choosing the perfect one.

giphy-love

I wrote love poems. Lots of them. This boy consumed my thoughts and my journal space.

But that wasn’t all. My hormones raged, and I adopted stalking tendencies; where was he and what was he doing at all times? And all this proved it. We were meant to be together.

Oh my blooming bloomers. I was so naïve back then.

But for some, it happens just like that: Eyes lock, heart twitters, perspiration flows, and Wham-O! The couple is together for the rest of their lives. And to them I say, “Viva Love!”

But like me, most of us will fight our way through many suitors before finding the one we can’t live without.

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For the main character of Butterfly Bones, fifteen-year-old Bethany Keatley, her first love is Jeremiah Wright. With his blue-grey eyes, curly brown hair, and muscular figure, he’s on every girl’s radar at Springs High. But Jeremiah is the star quarterback. And football is his one true love. Why give up a lifetime of dreams for one night of fun?

With her sassy personality and inner beauty, Bethany wins Jeremiah’s heart, and he finally declares his love. But she can’t reciprocate. Not when she’s about to face metamorphosis with no idea as to whether she’ll make it out alive or not. She has to betray her heart and do everything she can to get rid of Jeremiah. And the act is like performing open-heart surgery on herself—without anesthesia.

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First loves aren’t always a crush. Sometimes they’re for keeps.

Butterfly Bones is available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

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https://www.amazon.com/Butterfly-Bones-Metamorphosis-Rebecca-Carpenter/dp/0994451172/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484193252&sr=8-1&keywords=butterfly+bones+rebecca+carpenter

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Review of JADEITE’S JOURNEY by Lucinda Stein

jadeites-journey-final-cover

Jadeite is a typical teenage girl living the typical teen life—if you call an enclosed society where everything is controlled, a test which determines your profession, people disappearing for challenging the rules, and no one being allowed outside the drone-guarded boundaries of United Society “typical.”

But when Jadeite must go against the societies’ rules to acquire medicine for her sick brother from the primitive people who live over the ridge, her eyes are opened to what the perfect society really is—a mirage built on lies and murder—she must put on her own facade and fool her teachers, and especially Mattie, the future leader of United Society who has marked Jadeite to be his wife, to believe that all is well in United Society.

At least until she can attempt her escape.

I was hooked from the first page of Jadeite’s Journey. Stein does a wonderful job of creating a futuristic world, located between western Colorado and Denver, her vivid descriptions transporting me into the story where I could see, taste, smell, feel, and hear what was happening along with Jadeite.

While the genre is science fiction, I found the story to have “edge-of-your-seat” thriller elements and a romantic subplot which blossoms into a poisonous obsession.

As Jadeite learns the truth about United Society and Mattie and how dangerous they both are, I could feel my pulse race as she snuck around the streets and crossed over the border, avoiding guard drones and citizens who would be happy to turn her in, all to risk her life for medicine for her brother.

This book asks some interesting questions about society on a whole, one being whether or not it is worth giving up one’s freedoms, personal ambitions, individuality, and creativity for the good of the whole.

Can a perfect society be attained or is it all an illusion?

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys well-written YA science fiction.

lucinda-steinJadeite’s Journey is available at Amazon.com