Guest Posts, Talk About It Thursday

Authors & Readers Book Corner’s January Wrap Up

Wow, isn’t the title of this post a mouth full to say. I tell yaw!

Anyway, I wanted to share my thoughts on the books I read for my first wrap up for the new year. I read a variety and hit some books in series that I’m trying to finish.

This are the books I read in January:

On Pointe by Shelly Ellis (3 Stars)

This was a wonderful set up to this new series set in a dance academy school ran by siblings and their mother. It was exciting meeting the first sister, Bina who has recently had a breakup but determined to get on with her life. Bina’s transformation in the story made it worth reading but I share more in my review.

*Full review will be available later this week.

Ex-Ray by Cheryl Robinson (5 Stars)

Ex-Ray had me on the edge of my seat and wanting so much more. These characters had me mesmerized from the first chapter with their betrayal, secrets and personal issues. It has everything a juicy drama needs and I enjoyed it so much and can’t wait till book three comes out later this year. I talked about it more in my review here.

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs (5 Stars) 

No words can express the kick ass main character in this series, Mercy Thompson. Even though she puts herself in danger more times than she should, the plots, descriptions and locations make you feel like your in the story with her.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas (3 Stars)

I’m sure this book is just a set up for more action and better character development because at this point I’m not invested in this series at all. I dont want to give up on it just yet. I do believe Celeana has the potential to be a great. I also like that she is not fully following the King’s wishes even though I believe it’s going to backfire at some point.

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (3 Stars)

I will be honest the only reason I purchased this book is because I loved her father. The plot of this book seemed intriguing and I’m always up for a suspense, thrillers and mysteries. However, it was boring as heck for me. The twists were flat and the ended was rushed. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters but I will give her next work a try if there is one.

The Killing Lessons by Saul Black (3 Stars)

I’m a big fan of psychological thrillers especially those with serial killers, which I hoped this would be a great one. It didn’t excite me like I thought it would. Don’t get me wrong, it starts off great and the author created characters tgat yoy really get to know.  The suspense is even there but It seemed he got long winded in some areas that could have been shorten and maybe the story wouldn’t have stalled for me.

The Alpha Drive by Kristen Martin (3 Stars)

I’m not a big fan of science fiction/Fantasy books but I love the movies. This particular book caught my attention. I was able to pick up on Emory going to a boarding school when she is asked to join an organization but then she is asked to play both sides, good vs bad. Emory has to decide who to believe and figure out who she can trust. This book kept my attention even though it felt rushed and some of the characters actions were not believable. I still enjoyed it and will probably buy the rest of the books in the series.

Saturday’s at Sweeney’s by Ashley Farley (5 Stars)

I love a good mystery and this book did it for me. After reading this, I so ordered the rest of the books in this series. I love the Sweeney family with all of their flaws and secrets. This is book five and I believe the last book and it starts off with the family’s business burning down. Who started it? everyone wants to know. You have to read it to find out.

*Full review will be available later this week.

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs ( 5 Stars)

In Iron Kissed the stakes are pretty high and Mercy made me so mad at her in this one. There is also a little love triangle that has you picking sides before you get to the end.

As you can see in my January Wrap Up there were books I loved and some books that didn’t work for me. I always give an author a second chance, so I will try another one of their books.

What books did you read for January? If you have read any of the titles above, leave me a comment and let me know what you thought about them.


Guest Posts

Happy New Year! from Authors & Readers Book Corner

(new year image courtesy of

Authors & Readers Book Corner wishes you a prosperous 2018.

It’s that time, a new year is here, which calls for

A. New goals

B. New strategies

It is also time to

A. Increase networking

B. Increase the support for all literary avenues.

C. Create  new features for the site.

I want to start Authors &Readers Book Corner of on a good note by sharing some of my goals for 2018. These are reading goals as well as site goals for the year. When one is completed it will be crossed off the list.

1. To change the logo for the site.

2. Have more post sharing information such as

-Worth Reading (book recommendations)

-New release (anticipated books to read)

-Wrap ups (books read in the month and my thoughts on them)

3.  Create an Instagram account for the site

4. Reach out to authors, bloggers and literary businesses to collaborate with them.

The reading goals are a little different this year because there are specific things I want to accomplish.

1. Reading goal is 80 books since other projects are underway.

2. Read at least 10 book series with 4-6 books in the series. That is two series in the following genres: Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller, Romance, Paranormal/Fantasy.

3. Try to review as many books as I can this year.

4. Read 1 non-fiction book bi-monthly

6. Try audio books through my local library (Overdrive) to see if I like them.

7. Try to do video reviews of 4-5 star books.

8. Get back into doing wrap up videos on my YouTube channel and continue posting wrap ups on the site.

There will be no new year resolutions this year so no failing at them. However, there will be more research so that I can provide factual, helpful and useful information for the authors who visit as well as the readers.

How about your reading goals for 2018? Leave a comment sharing what top five goals you are working on for this year.

Guest Posts, Talk About It Thursday

Guest Post: Best and Worst Writing Advice I Received by Anita Dickason, Author of Sentinels of the Night

At Authors & Readers Book Corner, author Anita Dickason stops by to share the best and worse writing advice she received when starting her writing career.

Best: Narrator

My business is Mystic Circle Books & Designs, LLC. In addition to publishing my books, I provide manuscript and cover design services to other authors.

My first client had been working on her manuscript for close to ten years. She always claimed she never expected it would be published. The process was a learning curve for both of us, and the friendship we built is one I will always treasure.

I was also in the middle of my manuscript for Sentinels of the Night. As I struggled with the plot, I thought I might hit that ten-year mark before my book would be finished.

During one of our many conversations, I mentioned the difficulty I was experiencing in the flow of the text in mine. My friend asked if I used the narrator function on my computer. I was aware of the option, but it never occurred to me to use it for my manuscript. She was so right. Hearing the text read aloud made it easy to spot the breaks in the continuity along with other mistakes. The narrator is now one of the tools I use to write a story as well as my first step in the editing phase.

Sentinels of the Night Giveaway Code

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Worst: Outline

When I started writing, I joined a couple of writing groups. An award-winning author was the guest speaker for one of the meetings. During her presentation, she stressed the importance of an outline before starting the book.

I had written about twenty or so pages for Sentinels of the Night. I thought, okay if I need an outline, I’ll write one before I go any further. OMG, what a disaster. I got so hung up on trying to stay with the outline, that I lost track of my plot. Something would occur to me as I wrote a scene, but if it didn’t mesh, then I’d rewrite the outline. It seemed I was spending more time on the outline than on the book.

So now, I just write. Even though I have a general idea of the plot, how it develops depends on how I set up the characters. It’s not unusual to change midstream, and add another section or go in another direction based on a character’s actions. For me, the process is similar to an investigation. When connecting the dots, you never know where they will lead.

For more information on Sentinels of the Night and the second Tracker novel, Going Gone!, please see my website or the book trailers.

Anita Dickason’s knowledge and experience spans two careers. As a former Marketing Manager for AT&T and Project Manager for Electronic Data Systems, she worked in the computer industry. Electing to pursue a second career, Anita joined the Dallas Police Department where she served as a patrol officer, undercover narcotics officer, Dallas SWAT team/sniper, advanced accident investigator, and administrator for the department’s crash report system.

Her first book, JFK Assassination Eyewitness: Rush to Conspiracy, is non-fiction and details the reconstruction of a 1966 vehicle accident near Midlothian, Texas that killed a key witness to the Kennedy assassination. The project opened the door to a new career, Author and Publisher. She owns Mystic Circle Books & Designs, LLC and provides manuscript and design services, helping other authors turn their manuscripts into a published book.

Her fictional works are suspense/thrillers and her plots are drawn from her extensive law enforcement knowledge and experience. Characters with unexpected skills, that extra edge for overcoming danger and adversity, have always intrigued her. Her infatuation with ancient myths and legends of Native American Indians, and Scottish and Irish folklore adds a touch of paranormal for the backdrop of her characters.

Sentinels of the Night:
Going Gone!:

Book Features, Guest Posts

Guest Post: “Career Transitions Don’t Have to Be Painful” by Vicki Morris, Author of InspiredWork

Here is a book excerpt from the transformational career guide InspiredWork: Create Work You Love in 8 Weeks by Vicki Morris, the Career Happiness Coach, founder of InspiredWork and author of the Inc. Best 100 Business book Happy Habits, and the InspiredWork Workbook.

How InspiredWork Can Help YOU

In my 25-year high-tech career, I hired 160 professionals and went through 16 career transitions. I know that career transitions are a normal part of a person’s career, and that they happen to everyone. They are so common, in fact, that in the U.S. alone, professionals – on average – go through approximately 11 career transitions by age 38. Even more eye opening is the fact that, as previously mentioned, millennials may go through about 20 jobs in their lifetime. Yet, despite the frequency of these job changes, I found that most people tend to become a bit less inspired with each and every job transition they encounter. They experience a great deal of pain, which tends to be transferred to their loved ones, as well.

My goal is to reverse the cycle. With InspiredWork, I want to take the frustrations and pain that typically come from switching careers and transform them into positive energy, which you can use to find a job that fulfills you and aligns with your values, or start your own company that helps you make a positive impact on the world.

Career transitions don’t have to be painful. Perhaps a job transition is just life’s way of telling us that it’s time for something better. And, as you’ll see, with each change, you become better equipped to handle the transition process.

Career transitions continue to happen. When I say that I’ve had 16Tcareer transitions, please note that I count both full-time jobs and full-time consulting projects as career transitions. I recommend that you count them, too, for several reasons: First, transitions after full-time consulting projects can take just as long as traditional career transitions and they can feel just as bad, too. Second, a full-time consulting project could be in your best interest versus a full-time job, so I like to think of these projects as viable career choices. Third, you can connect with high-quality people and learn just as much at a full-time consulting job as you would in a permanent job, so it would certainly make sense to include your consulting contacts and accomplishments on your resume, CV, and LinkedIn profile. Fourth, I’ve learned that in today’s knowledge economy, the successful management of your career comes down to managing projects – whether they are labeled as jobs or consulting projects. In fact, more and more people find themselves in what is described as “on-demand economy” or “gig economy”. And demand for this way of working and consuming is profound. Is it good or bad for workers? The real question is, “Are you equipped to deal with this disruptive change in the workplace?” So, it is wise to adopt a project-oriented mentality when you assess your long-term career.

Finally, I was able to realize that although career transitions happen, they don’t need to be painful. In fact, I realized that career transitions could be embraced as positive opportunities to find or create work through which you can learn, share your unique talents, and be happier overall. Even if you’re making the decision to move forward as an entrepreneur, the experiences you’ve collected in a number of different positions will only help in launching a successful career.

The key is not just to find another job. The key is to find or create a job that moves you—a job that inspires you and brings you closer to the vision you have for your life! There is more to work than just paying the bills and you can find – or even create – a job or business that’s both lucrative and fulfilling.

In the InspiredWork book, I’ve included only the most useful and practical information and exercises, all of which worked well for me. It also includes the most heart-centered wisdom I have gleaned as a spiritual practitioner. I have endeavored to combine all of this information into a practical, step-by-step job search guide, which can be used now or at any point in the future if job loss should strike. By writing this book, I hope to turn my personal job loss pain into fuel and to help a new generation of young professionals avoid unnecessary pain and delays to find or create more soul-inspired work.

There are things I’ve learned in going through so many different career transitions that I want to share with you – so you will know them ahead of time and be better prepared when career transitions become necessary (either because a company isn’t performing well or because it’s time for you to find more inspiring opportunities).

One of my most valuable learnings was the realization that I could cope by taking a heart-centered approach to finding a job. I could systemize the approach, and utilize it to my advantage. In doing so, I’d be able to get through each new transition and bypass a great deal of pain and delays.

I’ve also learned that other people experienced career transitions just like I did. There’s a great deal of comfort that comes with knowing that you’re not alone in any given situation. So, there is a need for people to find a heart-centered approach to the job transition or startup process. You’ll find that this pragmatic approach is really helpful and taking the time to master this holistic career change skill will make your life easier and less worrisome. It will help you find your best possible job or create a company that you’re proud of, so you can be true to yourself in your role. It will also aid in providing you with peace of mind so you’ll know you’ll be able to bounce back and find another job in the future, should you ever need to.

How Loss Can Become a Blessing

I’ve experienced so many losses and setbacks in life. Amazingly, each time, things actually wound up working out for the best. For example, when I went through the most devastating job loss of my life in 1999, I really wanted to move out of California and relocate to Atlanta to find a job near my brother and parents. A wonderful recruiter found me a VP of Product Marketing opening at a CRM software company that was headquartered in Atlanta. It was an ideal job opportunity, and it would also enable me to live near my family.

Yet, the interview with my potential new boss, the CEO, went very badly. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. I ended up staying in California and getting a different job instead. Then, I met my husband a few months later. Meanwhile, the Atlanta CRM company went under because it couldn’t compete with So, not getting the job that I thought I wanted so badly actually turned out to be a huge blessing in many ways.

This type of phenomenon happens all the time – I personally experience it so frequently that I now embrace these types of outcomes as Divine Will. Now, I actively try to make choices that are based on Divine Will, instead of worrying so much about how one certain experience will or won’t work out for me – I am able to accept the circumstances Divine Will gives to me, and I have actually learned to welcome alternate paths with open arms.

How this Information Can Help You – and How It Helped Me

I love the InspiredWork System because it helps professionals turn the entire job transition process into an adventure. Even if you’ve gone through it before, you can revamp the experience by transforming it, reconnecting with Source and setting a new, more heart-centered course. As a result, you’ll co-create your own work, through which you’ll find happiness and fulfillment every day.

Vicki Morris is the Career Happiness Coach, founder of InspiredWork and author of the transformational career guides InspiredWork: Create Work You Love in 8 Weeks and the InspiredWork Workbook as well as the Inc. Best 100 Business book Happy Habits. Vicki offers 25 years of experience as a high tech business leader, entrepreneur, and career happiness mentor. Vicki launched InspiredWork to help professionals create their own inspired work so they can be happy at work and love their life.