Monday, April 30, 2012

Laughter in Four Languages


Monday Musings on This ‘N That

Yesterday while in a fast food restaurant, the noise was at a moderate level. Not enough to annoy. But while eating I tuned into the chatter. I detected four different languages being spoken around me.


I scanned the room to find where the different dialects were located. One of them was among at least a dozen people. In another language I heard about six or eight joining in. A couple was conversing in yet another language. And finally I heard four others speaking in another foreign language.


Now and then in the room the volume of all conversations rose and fell. Among all the talking I heard some laughing. When they finished the laughing they got back to their food but still with smiles toward one another.


Finally, all of the four groups had randomly burst into laughter and shared smiles as they ate.


In all four of the languages, laughter and smiles were the same. I recognized that I had had the privilege to witness universal communication. I was aware that smiles are the same among all people and convey the same message. Laughter is also used and understood by everyone.  Yesterday I had the priceless opportunity to see that we’re not all that different after all: people to people and country to country. This incident reminded me of what I try to do and will now certainly continue to do—smile.


Till next time ... keep on smiling.



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Same Sweet Girls


Thursday Thought on Reading and Writing

There’s no book giveaway today. But, wait! (you’ve heard that on TV, haven’t you?) If you leave a comment on this blog by 6 pm CT Sunday April 29, 2012, you’ll be entered an additional time in a future drawing for a book giveaway. (Please see further information on book giveaways by clicking the "Disclaimers" tab at the top of the page.)


Today I review Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King


Cassandra King is a bestselling novelist whose fiction has won the hearts of readers everywhere, especially in the American south. Often told in first person, her novels portray strong and memorable characters who struggle with the same timely issues and dilemmas that readers face in their own lives. You may visit with her at her website.






Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King

Cassandra King excels at development of characters and great storytelling. The girls of this book still rumble around in my head and I expect they will stay there always. Innumerable sequels could follow this novel because the book ends with the reader wanting to know much more about these characters. But these characters initially belonged to Cassandra King who so graciously shared them with us and whether she shares them with us again is rightly her choice.

Six college friends who are now approaching age 50 have met twice annually since their college graduation. This is a story of strong, lasting female friendships. The six girls are each unique yet they have the commonality of being held together by the ties of friendship. Yes, the book is Southern fiction about Southern ladies, but anyone who has experienced a strong friendship can identify with this story. King is an exceptional storyteller that brings the reader to laughter and tears.

But in the end, regardless of wanting more of the girls, I’m extremely glad I read Same Sweet Girls. It’s a book I’ve read that I’ll probably never forget the story or the characters. I very highly recommend this book.


Have you read Same Sweet Girls? If so, would you recommend it and why?


Till next time ... keep on smiling.


Monday, April 23, 2012

All the Goodies


Monday Musings on This ‘N That

Do you ever notice all the goodies that appear on the left column of each blog page? If not, now is a good time to do that.

At the top of the column are my lovely Hollywood photo and the words “View my complete profile.” Click that to read the serious and silly things about me.

Next, under my photo, you can “Follow by email.” When you do this you will always get a short email in your inbox telling you when I have posted a new blog message. Please follow me by email and you’ll know when I’ve put up anything new since the last time you were here.

Next, you’ll see “Sign up for Newsletter.” It’s a simple and quick process and I only ask for your first name. I publish a free email newsletter six times a year in which I have highlights of recent releases, an author interview, some writing wisdom from a pro in that field, reviews of books I’ve read, book giveaways for subscribers only, include a clean chuckle, and finally I leave you with some inspirational thoughts.

Just below the email sign up for the newsletter is “View Newsletter Archive.” By clicking there you can take a look at past newsletters to see exactly what they are and decide if you’re interested in receiving them.

Next is where you can “Join this site with Google Friend Contact.” I’d love to see your face there but by becoming a Follower you will not get notification when I post a new blog. See this blog article for discussion of joining by email or by being a Follower.

Below this is “Where to Find Books by Jo Huddleston.” Clicking on any of those online bookstore names will bring up a listing of my books at their store.

Next I have a short Bible verse that changes daily. The girl on the beach is me. NO, NO, it’s really NOT me. It’s just where I would like to be. Isn’t it a beautiful, peaceful scene?

Now you see the front cover images of my books. You can click on the photo and it will take you to a detail page about the book. All the detail pages are on Amazon, but you can also see details by clicking the other online bookstores I listed earlier.

Then there are several things you can click on for further information. They are, in this order, my membership in American Christian Fiction Writers; Christian Fiction Online Magazine; Christian Women Online magazine; a couple of photos depicting Scripture verses; and last, New Releases Worth Noting, which scrolls through several new books. Below that are simply numbers and dates of blogs I’ve written.

When you’re reading this blog or anyone’s blog please take the time to glance over at the left or right columns just in case something has changed.

This site is also my website so please browse by clicking the tabs you'll see at the top of the page.

The winner of last Thursday's drawing for a copy of Kiss Me If You Dare by Nicole Young is Lori.  I'll email you to get your mailing address and get the book out to you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.

Till next time … keep on smiling.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Win a Book


Thursday Thoughts on Reading and Writing

When you leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, April 22, 2012 you'll be entered in the drawing for a copy of the book I review below. You must be eighteen, a U.S. resident, void where prohibited. (You can read further details about book giveaways here.)

Kiss Me If You Dare by Nicole Young

Nicole Young has a degree in communications and has earned several awards for speechwriting and presentation. In 2004 she won the Noble Theme Award for the Best First Chapter from the American Christian Romance Writers. She is the author of Love Me If You Must and Kill Me If You Can and lives with her family in Michigan.


From the book’s back cover:

Tish Amble is dead—or so she’s been told.

On the run from a backwoods Michigan drug ring that wants her dead, Tish Amble finds herself in sunny California with an assumed identity and a mysterious benefactor. All the wants to do is lay low for awhile, then return to her family—including her almost-fiancĂ© Brad. Instead, she ends up trying to start a normal life, going back to work on the college degree she postponed long ago, and restoring a block of homes.

But her past catches up with her. Someone sabotages her work, and Brad hasn’t called in months. Should she return to Michigan to find out what has happened? Or would a homecoming be more painful—and deadly—than she’s ready for?

Full of fast-paced action and nail-biting suspense, Kiss Me If You Dare  is the thrilling conclusion to the Patricia Amble Mysteries.


From Jo:

Everything from “who shot who,” why hasn’t Brad called, who pushed Jane off the cliff, just who is Tish’s benefactor, who left Tish stranded overnight on a housetop, and who committed arson are only part of the riveting suspense in Kiss Me If You Dare. Only close to the last pages may you guess the ending.


Remember: leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, April 22, 2012 and you'll be entered in the drawing for a copy of Kiss Me If You Dare. You must be eighteen, U.S. residents only, void where prohibited. Please remember to leave your email address so that should you be the winner I can get in touch with you for your mailing address.


Till next time ... keep on smiling.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bubba's Success


Monday Musings on This ‘N That

Bubba made the headlines. I read a recent Associated Press newspaper article with this headline: "Watson now faces task of mastering fame, spotlight.”

The article referred to the PGA (Professional Golf Association) Tour that held the Masters tournament in Augusta, GA several days ago. The winner of that annual Masters receives a green sports jacket; therefore the headline about “mastering fame.”

This year Bubba Watson won. He received the green jacket. In a two-hole playoff. That’s like overtime in a college football game or extra innings in a baseball game. Except in golf, like tennis, the win or loss is up to one person, not a team.


Reports say that Bubba has never had a golf lesson and he has no swing coach. Yet here he is wearing the coveted green jacket.


Back to the article in which Bubba said, “I’m not ready for fame, I don’t really want to be famous or anything like that. I just want to be me and play golf.”

I like Bubba’s attitude toward fame. He’s apparently not going to let this Masters win “go to his head” as we say in the South, not going to let his ego balloon. Reading this article headline caused me to wonder just what we consider to be fame and/or success. So many times we learn of people who let material things mean success for them. They let temporary things be fame for them. I hope these folks realize that fame is sometimes fickle and usually fleeting.

I hope Bubba is serious when he says he “just wants to be me and play golf.” That’s a refreshing approach to the opportunity to be famous. I’m something like Bubba, I just want to be the best me that God wants me to be. That would mean fame/success for me. How about you?

"Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success."  --Louisa May Alcott



The winner of last Thursday's drawing for a copy of The Last Target by Christy Barritt is Merry.  I'll email you to get your mailing address and get the book out to you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.


Till next time … keep on smiling.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Win a Book!


Thursday Thoughts on Reading and Writing

When you leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, April 15, 2012 you'll be entered in the drawing for a copy of the book I review below. You must be eighteen, a U.S. resident, void where prohibited.

The Last Target by Christy Barritt

Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker. The second book in the Squeaky Clean series, Suspicious Minds, won the 2009 Daphne de Maurier award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense. Christy lives in Virginia with her husband and two sons. For more information about Christy's other books and projects, visit her on her Facebook page here.
  
From the book’s back cover

The paper found in a terrorist’s pocket holds six names—and single mom Rachel Reynolds is the only one on the list who’s still alive. Private security contractor Jack Sergeant wants to ensure she stays that way, but first he must convince Rachel the danger is real.

Rachel can’t believe that someone’s after her…until she’s grazed by a shooter’s bullet. She won’t take chances with her son’s life—but she doesn’t want Jack getting too close. Yet as Jack comes to care for both mother and son, the target he’s after is a family to love and protect for a lifetime.


From Jo

Rachel Reynolds, who owns a non-profit, turns up on a terrorist’s hit list. A young widow with a small child goes on the run, protected by a former FBI, Jack. Again Barritt writes excellent suspense and well rounded characters. One thing after another prevents Rachel from overcoming her fear. There’s a surprise in practically every chapter. Keeps you guessing till the end.


Remember: leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, April 15, 2012 and you'll be entered in the drawing for a copy of The Last Target. You must be eighteen, U.S. residents only, void where prohibited. Please remember to leave your email address so that should you be the winner I can get in touch with you for your mailing address.


Till next time … keep on smiling.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Follower or Subscriber?


Monday Musings on This ‘N That

The winner of last Thursday's drawing for a copy of Broken Trust by Sharon Dunn is Carolyn.  I'll email you to get your mailing address and get the book out to you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.


Some of you may be confused about exactly what a Follower on my blog is and the difference between a Follower and an email Subscriber. I know I was confused in the beginning. A Follower and a Subscriber are not the same.

In the column on the left when you click “Join This Site” in the blue box you become a follower of my blog. If you have a Google account, a picture of your face will appear on my blog. It’s nice to know others enjoy my blog and this is a way to see those who do. Those who follow my blog this way do NOT receive any kind of notification when I post something new on my blog.

A Subscriber is someone who signs up to get notification of my new blog posts through their email account. In the column on the left, beneath my photo, is where you can become a subscriber. A subscriber will receive an email whenever I post a new article.

I love to see your faces in my Follower box. Thank you so much for following me. Thanks also for being a Subscriber. But you can be BOTH. That way I can see those who follow and subscribers will always know when I put up a new post.

I appreciate the interest you’ve shown in my blog. I love to read your comments and hope you will continue to leave them. And I certainly hope you will continue to read my blog. If you have any suggestion or comment about my blog content or what you may want to see there, please let me know. There is a Contact tab above, the last tab on the right end.


Until next time ... keep on smiling.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Win a Book


Thursday Thoughts on Reading and Writing

When you leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, April 8, 2012 you'll be entered in the drawing for a copy of the book I review below. You must be eighteen, a U.S. resident, void where prohibited.


Broken Trust by Sharon Dunn

Sharon has performed in theater and church production, has degrees in film production and history and worked for many years as a college tutor and instructor. Despite the fact that her bio looks as if she couldn’t decide what she wanted to be when she grew up, all the education and experience have played a part in helping her write good stories. You can reach Sharon through her website at www.sharondunnbooks.net.


From the back cover

Sheriff Christine Norris still remembers the heartache from the last time she gave Special Agent Wyatt Green her trust. And she certainly doesn’t believe him now, when he claims some of her residents are involved in a dangerous militia. But Christine can’t ignore the fact that someone who may be tied to the militia has kidnapped an innocent boy. And when she’s almost killed in a fiery explosion, Christine realizes Wyatt may be the only person she can trust to protect her. Even if she’s still not sure she can trust him again with her heart…


From Jo

Dunn gives us strong, memorable characters and a realistic plot. You won’t know who or how many “done it” until close to the very end. Wyatt and Christine have a past that surfaces in their thoughts throughout the book.


Remember: leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, April 8, 2012 and you'll be entered in the drawing for a copy of Broken Trust. You must be eighteen, U.S. residents only, void where prohibited. Please remember to leave your email address so that should you be the winner I can get in touch with you for your mailing address.


Till next time … keep on smiling.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April Fools?


The winner of last Thursday's drawing for a copy of Organized Grime by Christy Barritt is Pamela J.  I'll email you to get your mailing address and get the book out to you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.

Monday Musings on This ‘N That

Did you let someone get an “April Fools” joke on you yesterday? I didn’t and can’t believe I didn’t try to get one on anybody else. I’m not even sure the very young among us even know what I’m writing about. But for those who do know, please let me tell you a true story. It was a cruel, cruel joke to pull on someone, considering the circumstances.

I was in the 5th grade, living in Tennessee. Oak Ridge, Tennessee (the Atomic City, some called it) was just beginning to bloom. Of course the government built the plant buildings first. As men and women came from all over the region to work at Oak Ridge, there were no living quarters. Everyone commuted from near and far.

When they began to build homes they were assigned to the employees according to how long they had worked there and the size of their family. My uncle got the tenth house they offered. Then when Daddy later went to work in Oak Ridge, we moved in with them in their two bedroom house: three in my family, three in theirs.

My uncle and Daddy worked different shifts. One snowy April 1st morning, my uncle had just gotten to sleep when Daddy had to go to work. Their cars were parked along the curb. So this was the April Fools joke Daddy played on my uncle:

He bundled up to go out into the cold and go to work. Before he left the house, he had asked my aunt to wake my uncle and tell him Daddy’s car wouldn’t start; would he please come out and give him a push off with his own car.

Daddy sat in the driver’s seat of his car and my uncle got into his car, started it, and eased his front bumper up to Daddy’s car’s back bumper. Just as he started to push Daddy’s car, Daddy stepped on the accelerator and sped down the street. My uncle was a mild-mannered man, but he did love a joke. So he took it good heartedly. When he came into the house, his wife said she had a message for him from his brother—my daddy—April Fools!!

Hope you didn’t get tricked yesterday. And you surely are too good to have pulled a cruel joke on some one. You really didn’t, did you?