Thursday, November 26, 2015

May You All Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!


I hope that all my blog readers in the United States have a very happy Thanksgiving! May your Thanksgiving be filled with great food, wonderful friendship and all the family ties that you may wish for. :) So, Mom and I had turkey au jus, pan fried potatoes and potatoes au gratin; and stew meat. I had canned pears for dessert while Mom had brussel sprouts. We also had an apple pie for dessert. After that, we may watch a movie or read books for the entire day! :)

May all of you have a wonderfully safe and blessed Thanksgiving. Be sure to find some quiet time for yourselves and count your blessings today when and if you can. I know that I'm incredibly thankful for my continued health and happiness, my daughter's continued health and happiness, that we are both comfortable and love each other as much as we do, and that our family is as well as they are. We are also incredibly thankful for our three kitties - Ruby, Leila and Lollipop.

I also hope that everyone who is away from their families at this time, will know that they are sorely missed, truly loved and deeply appreciated by all! God bless all of you, may you have a very happy and wonderful Thanksgiving! :)

May you read well and often

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Enid Blyton - The Adventures of Binkle and Flip

37. The Adventures of Binkle and Flip by Enid Blyton (1967)
The Bad Bunnies Series Book 1
Length: 185 pages 
Genre: Fantasy
Started: 7 October 2015
Finished: 18 November 2015
Where did it come from? This was a birthday present given to me by a friend when I was six years old.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 June 1984
Why do I have it? I like fantasy and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Binkle and Flip are a pair of very naughty bunny rabbits who live in Oak Tree Town. Binkle is usually the instigator of many of the practical jokes that are played on the residents of Oak Tree Town; and he somehow always manages to get Flip involved in all of his schemes. From masquerading as chimney sweeps, to fooling their neighbor Herbert the Hedgehog into becoming a carnival attraction, Binkle and Flip are determined to make as much mischief as possible. 

At least until Wily Weasel the policeman catches them and makes them apologize. Each time that the bunnies are caught, they promise never to be naughty again but it doesn't last for long. I must say that I have never read this book before - or maybe I have and just can't remember when - but I still enjoyed reading this book very much. I have always enjoyed Enid Blyton as an author, and while this particular book was quite dated, I still found it very sentimental and nostalgic reading. I'm definitely putting this book back on my 'childhood favorites' shelf. I would give this book a B+!

B+! - (89-94%)

May you read well and often

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

J. J. DiBenedetto - Dream Student

36. Dream Student by J. J. DiBenedetto (2013)
The Dream Series Book 1
Length: 285 pages 
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Started: 2 November 2015
Finished: 11 November 2015
Where did it come from? From Amazon 
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 23 August 2014
Why do I have it? I like paranormal mysteries and J. J. DiBenedetto is a new author for me.

Sara Barnes is just a normal college junior; suffering from all the typical stressors that studying pre-med classes will cause. Honestly, she believes that the most that she has to worry about are final exams, 'Secret Santa' Christmas shopping and deciding whether she likes the cute freshman who lives in the next dorm who's apparently got a serious crush on her. She never would have thought she'd have to contend with a recently acquired psychic ability as well.

The ability to see other people's dreams is incredibly embarrassing, disturbing and peculiar to Sara's way of thinking. Watching someone else's private, personal fantasies and uncovering their deepest darkest secrets, leaves her feeling extremely uncomfortable...especially when she can't seem to control this extraordinary ability. Her sixteen-year-old brother might believe whole-heartedly in the paranormal, but Sara is far more skeptical - more scientific and logical in her reasoning.

The worst part of Sara's newly acquired ability is that nobody else realizes that she can see into their dreams. This may be fine for 'nobody else', but Sara is nevertheless mortified by her nightly revelations. She's learning more than she ever wanted to know about her friends and fellow classmates...almost too much. Her abilities are getting stronger too; and way more dangerous: she's beginning to see into someone else's dreams - a terrifying stranger whose dreams could possibly get Sara killed.

In my opinion, I consider myself to be a pretty healthy skeptic when it comes to people having psychic abilities - not entirely disbelieving, but also not completely accepting of such claims. It just seems to me that so many people who claim to have psychic powers, tend to use such gifts for their own purposes. On the other hand, I would say that it must be incredibly difficult to have such powers; especially if the psychic feels the necessity to tell someone about their visions or dreams. There is always the possibility that they will not be believed, or even ridiculed for having such powers.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was a well-developed story and an intriguing plot. Sara is such a savvy, strong character and I could totally sympathize with her situation. I would give this book an A+! and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Friday, November 6, 2015

Michael Phillip Cash, author of the thrilling science fiction saga, The Battle For Darracia gives some well-needed advice to other aspiring writers

Meet Michael Phillip Cash

Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning screenwriter and novelist. He's written ten books including the best-selling Brood X, Stillwell, The Flip, The After House, The Hanging Tree, Witches Protection Program, Pokergeist and The Battle for Darracia Series.

Michael resides on the North Shore of Long Island. He writes full-time with his screaming kids in the background.

Connect and Socialize with Michael!

Amazon Author Page * Facebook * Twitter * Website

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The Battle for Darracia Books I, II, and III, are now combined into this one epic novel!

On the planet Darracia, an ever-widening social gap between its inhabitants is causing turmoil that is fracturing a once peaceful world. Struggling with his identity, nineteen year old Prince V'sair must harness the power of the elusive Fireblade, the secret to a warrior's heart, in order to overcome his uncle Staf Nuen's lust for supremacy. Will the energy of the Elements guide the young prince to his true destiny or will Staf Nuen conquer Darracia?

Coming to Amazon on June 11, 2015!

I would like to welcome Michael Phillip Cash, author of The Battle For Darracia Saga, a thrilling science fiction trilogy recently published in one epic novel, to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Mr. Cash was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in his own words:

'Don't TRY to Write - Just Write!'
by Michael Phillip Cash

There are challenges to anything anyone does, whether it’s owning a business or working in an office, everything has its trials. But I won’t focus on that here. What I will focus on is the benefits of writing full time. Writing full time (for me) is FUN. Is it stressful? Sure. But so is everything else. I simply don’t let the stress get to me because there is no reason. It takes the same amount of effort to enjoy the moment as it does to be annoyed by it.

The way I divvy up my time, I believe, is the most important part of the writing process. I never feel bogged down by my schedule. People ask me if it’s a nine to five job and I tell them ‘no’. For me, RESEARCHING is my nine to five. That’s the most important part of writing. Research your subject. Get familiar with your settings. Play with your ideas. If you’re writing about a certain city, for instance, New York City…go visit! 

Last year, when I wrote Witches Protection Program, I tried to spend as much time as I could in NYC. Scoping out locations, seeing my characters on the street and feeling their reaction to their surroundings – the cars honking, the sounds of people, and the smell of food. Research is as important, if not more important, than actually sitting down and writing. Put your findings on paper. Even if you don’t use it, nothing goes to waste. Keep notes for everything. I have a journal with over 50,000 musings and observations. I keep this as a reference for when I want to add something to a book.

For me, the writing really starts when my wife and kids go to sleep. My son and daughter are in bed by 7:30 P. M. My wife is in bed by 8:30 P. M. Then it’s me, a green tea with fresh mint, my TV on mute and my laptop. The TV has to be set to something mindless, like a cooking show on The Food Network, or travel show on The Travel Channel. If a good movie is on, The Hobbit, for instance... that’s on mute in the background. Then I write until my eyes go. Sometimes it’s an hour, but most nights I plug away for 3 to 4 hours. 

It’s easy to focus on the challenges of writing full time. Yet the more time you waste on the challenges, the less time you have researching and writing your incredible story. It’s as simple as that. As my favorite movie character Yoda once said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Don’t try to write. Just write. (And research your subject).

May you read well and often

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

V'Sair - Crown Prince of the Planet Darracia - Discusses the State of His Home Planet With Science Fiction Author, Michael Phillip Cash

I would very much like to welcome both Michael Phillip Cash, author of the thrilling science fiction saga, The Battle of Darracia and Crown Prince V'sair - the scion of the Darracian Royal Family - to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Thank you so much for stopping by Emeraldfire's Bookmark, Mr. Cash and Your Royal Highness, V'sair and I wish you all the best now and in the future!

Meet Michael Phillip Cash

Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning screenwriter and novelist. He's written ten books including the best-selling Brood X, Stillwell, The Flip, The After House, The Hanging Tree, Witches Protection Program, Pokergeist and The Battle for Darracia Series.

Michael resides on the North Shore of Long Island. He writes full-time with his screaming kids in the background.


Synopsis of The Battle For Darracia Saga

The Battle for Darracia Books I, II, and III, are now combined into one epic novel!

On the planet Darracia, an ever-widening social gap between its inhabitants is causing turmoil that is fracturing a once peaceful world. Struggling with his identity, nineteen year old Prince V'sair must harness the power of the elusive Fireblade, the secret to a warrior's heart, in order to overcome his uncle Staf Nuen's lust for supremacy. Will the energy of the Elements guide the young prince to his true destiny or will Staf Nuen conquer Darracia?


Coming to Amazon on June 11, 2015!

Interview with Michael Phillip Cash and V’sair from The Battle for Darracia

Michael Phillip Cash: Welcome to another fun and exciting interview with V’sair from the Battle of Darracia saga! Hello V’sair!

V’sair: Hello.

Michael Phillip Cash: Tell me, what’s it like being a Prince.

V'sair: Emotional.

Michael Phillip Cash: Care to elaborate?

V'sair: My mom is not from my home planet, Darracia. She is a Plantan. My father is pure Darracian, born in a long-line of warriors.

Michael Phillip Cash: That’s fascinating.

V'sair: It’s really not. It’s boring. Plus, I’m in half-breed.

Michael Phillip Cash: So, nothing wrong with that.

V'sair: Everything is wrong with that. I don’t know who I am. Am I a strong warrior? Look at these arms! I can barely lift two Yonada of Ramdam Crystals.

Michael Phillip Cash: What are Ramdam Chrystals?

V'sair: They are the element that my people mine for. It keeps our kingdom floating in the sky.

Michael Phillip Cash: Wow! That’s incredible.

V'sair: Eh.

Michael Phillip Cash: What is your world like?

V'sair: It’s boring. I’m coming into my own. I just don’t know what that is yet.

Michael Phillip Cash: Are you close with your parents?

V'sair: Yes and no. My dad wants me to be strong and brutish like him. My mom wants to stimulate my intellect.

Michael Phillip Cash: How does she do that?

V'sair: By setting me up with her handmaiden Tulani.

Michael Phillip Cash: Who is this Tulani?

V'sair: She’s...beautiful. She is always staring at me. Likewise, I stare at her.

Michael Phillip Cash: Marriage?

V'sair: My people do not mix with the Quyroo?

Michael Phillip Cash: A who?

V'sair: Quyroo. They are the tree dwellers. They scrounge in the dirt below our kingdom. According to my father, they want a seat on the Moon Council. That’s where everyone has a voice. A say in our planet Darracia.

Michael Phillip Cash: Sounds like a peaceful planet.

V'sair: Was a peaceful planet.

Michael Phillip Cash: What changed?

V'sair: My uncle Staf Nuen wants to supplant my father and me. Such is life as a prince. You can’t even trust your own family.

Michael Phillip Cash: What does he do?

V'sair: He implements a coup de tat against my family, our government. He drives us all out of our kingdom, and it’s up to Tulani, her grandmother Bobbien, my stepbrother Zayden, and my mother Reminda to take back Darracia.

Michael Phillip Cash: It really sounds like a huge battle.

V'sair: Hence the title, The Battle for Darracia.

Michael Phillip Cash: How did you come up with the name Darracia?

V'sair: Darracia is really an inversion of Arcadia. Arcadia means a peaceful utopia. We were once a very calm planet, until the greed of my uncle overtook the lands.

Michael Phillip Cash: Sounds like Star Wars.

V'sair: Without the Force.

Michael Phillip Cash: Do you like Star Wars?

V'sair: Huge fan.

Michael Phillip Cash: Well, thank you for joining me today V’sair. Our readers can find out if the Battle For Darracia ends well or bad for our guest.

May you read well and often

Monday, November 2, 2015

Introducing The Battle For Darracia Saga by Michael Phillip Cash!


So, I was delighted to learn that Michael Phillip Cash's bestselling science fiction trilogy - The Battle For Darracia Saga - was recently published in a single volume. Yes, Volume I: Schism, Volume II: Collision and Volume III: Risen have all been collected together and the book is now available as one epic novel on Amazon. I had the pleasure of reading Volume I: Schism by Michael Phillip Cash back in June of 2014, and here is my review.

I look forward to further refreshing my memory with this trilogy by reading the other two books very soon. I would advise you to grab your own copy as soon as possible! :) Mr. Cash is also hosting an awesome giveaway which will last until mid-November. Be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form below, and I wish you all the very best of good luck in taking part!

Meet Michael Phillip Cash

Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning screenwriter and novelist. He's written ten books including the best-selling Brood XStillwellThe FlipThe After HouseThe Hanging TreeWitches Protection ProgramPokergeist and The Battle for Darracia Series.

Michael resides on the North Shore of Long Island. He writes full-time with his screaming kids in the background.


The Battle For Darracia by Michael Phillip Cash (2015)
Length: 542 pages 
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

The Battle For Darracia Blurb:

The Battle For Darracia Books I, II, and III, are now combined into this one epic novel!

On the planet Darracia, an ever-widening social gap between its inhabitants is causing turmoil that is fracturing a once peaceful world. Struggling with his identity, nineteen year old Prince V'sair must harness the power of the elusive Fireblade, the secret to a warrior's heart, in order to overcome his uncle Staf Nuen's lust for supremacy. Will the energy of the Elements guide the young prince to his true destiny or will Staf Nuen conquer Darracia?

Enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or one of FIVE signed copies of this action-packed SciFi Fantasy Thriller!


May you read well and often

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Reading Wrap-up For October at Emeraldfire's Bookmark


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog.

Anyway, I started out October with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from authors and Amazon.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- An Epiphany Gift For Robin: A Short Medieval Christmas Story by Joyce DiPastena
- Madison's Song by Christine Amsden
- I, Mary by Mike Hartner

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- The Bad Lady: A Novel by John Meany
- The Weight of a Wing by Ioana Visan
- Monsterland by Michael Phillip Cash
- Second Chance Grill by Christine Nolfi
- Rock Bottom by Mi'kea
- A Kind of Compass: Stories on Distance by Belinda McKeon

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- An Epiphany Gift For Robin: A Short Medieval Christmas Story by Joyce DiPastena

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me, considering. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 3
Pages Read: 544
Grade Range: A+! to A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was October. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

May you read well and often