Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Update on Shanley Belle and Japan

I don't know where this is from, but I'm seriously treating myself to flowers today.

I want to thank y'all for emailing and texting me about your concern for Shanley Belle.

Shanley was supposed to be in Hiroshima this week presenting her research on fluency for the 2018 World Congress hosted by the International Fluency Association.  She flew out of New Orleans on Saturday, July 7, and while on route, Hiroshima received torrential rain resulting in mudslides and catastrophic flooding.  While at the Tokyo airport, the airline workers tried to tell her what was happening in Hiroshima which was difficult since Shanley doesn't speak Japanese.  They pantomimed mudslides, flooding, and death.  She finally googled it and had a complete meltdown in the airport, and I can hardly blame her.

She contacted the embassy, and when she shared the conditions with her supervisor who hadn't left Louisiana, he requested that she come home and he canceled her presentation.

She made it back to Baton Rouge early this morning, and she is completely exhausted.  She's had very little sleep, and since she kept us on the phone a lot while she was changing her travel plans, we've had very little sleep.  

I'm thankful that she didn't leave earlier and arrive in Hiroshima.  The highway from the airport to the city is damaged and (still) closed.  She would have had to taken a train and then walked at least a half an hour to her hotel in the rain.  There's also rain in the forecast for today and Thursday.  

My heart breaks for the loss of life and property.  These people need our prayers!  One hundred and fifty-five are known dead, and authorities are struggling to restore utilities according to ABC Australia.  It's a forty-year flood, and some of the adjectives used to describe it are just plain scary, like apocalyptic, havoc, and chaos.

But I'm also sad that Shanley can't share her research.  She's worked so hard, and it breaks my heart that she won't be sharing it.

I'm tired, y'all.  I'm planning to rest as much as I can this week

Again, thanks so much for your prayers and concern.  I have the sweetest friends in the world!

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Monday, July 2, 2018

When We Found Home by Susan Mallery Excerpt Tour and Giveaway

Happy Monday, My Lovelies!  Although I won't be sharing a lot of reviews with you in the coming weeks, I'm happy that I can share another wonderful excerpt with you.  Today's excerpt is from When We Found Home by Susan Mallery.  And since the book's release date isn't for another week, you can read more from the book by linking to other blogs at the bottom of this post!  There's also a tour-wide giveaway: 

The Taste of Seattle Gift Bag includes:
An “I [Heart] Happy Books” tote bag
Starbucks Pike’s Place ground coffee
Seattle Chocolates gift set (3 truffle jars)
Cucina Fresca marinara sauce
Sahale Snacks (6 packs)
Maury Island Farms jam (2 jars)

Enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of the post!

Since it's rather long, I'm not posting the book's synopsis.  Let me know in comments what you think about it: Would you read the book?

     A nurse stuck her head in the room. “Delaney, hon, just wanted to let you know, she’s doing great. She’ll be back in a second.” She lowered her voice. “Nothing’s broken that we can see. She’s banged up pretty bad, but so far so good. There’s still her head to worry about, but we’ll get those tests done in a little bit.” She offered a sympathetic smile. “I thought you’d want to know.”

     The woman left without acknowledging Malcolm. He turned to Delaney, who was petting the
kitten and easing it back into her tote.

    “Why is she telling you that? How come she knows you?”

     Delaney sucked in a breath. “My dad was a cop. A couple of years ago he was shot and brought here. He was in the hospital over a month. I pretty much know everyone who works here.”

     “Is your father all right?”

     “Yeah. He’s in a wheelchair, but he’s doing fine. He got engaged a few months ago.” She shook her head. “I’m sorry. I’m having trouble concentrating. Everything happened so fast and there was no way to stop her. She just ran into the street.”


     Delaney stared at him. “The kitten. She saw the kitten and didn’t want it to be run over.”
Instead she’d been hit by a car.

     Before he could ask any more questions, Keira was wheeled back into the room. She looked impossibly small in the bed. Her skin was a pale contrast to angry scrapes and bruises. She wasn’t moving—he couldn’t even tell if she was breathing.

     Guilt merged with panic. Shouldn’t someone do something?

     Delaney took one of Keira’s hands. “Hey, you,” she whispered. “Your brother is here. You should have told me his name was Malcolm. Not knowing that made for a very awkward call.”

     Keira’s eyes fluttered, then stayed closed.

     “You’re going to be okay, Keira,” Delaney continued. “You’re going to be okay.”

     They couldn’t know that for sure, he thought grimly. Why wasn’t she awake? Wasn’t a brain injury more significant than any broken bones?

     A doctor walked in. She was about five-four, with gray hair and a kind expression. “You two are the siblings?” she asked.

     Delaney smiled. “Hi, Dr. Newport. This is Malcolm. He’s Keira’s brother. I’m a friend.”

     Dr. Newport smiled. “You’re assuming I’ll make an exception and allow you to stay.”

     “I kind of am.”

     “Then I will.” The doctor turned to Malcolm and offered her hand. “Mr.…”

     “Carlesso. Call me Malcolm. How is she?”

     “Bruised and sore, but otherwise intact.” She went on to detail the injuries Keira had sustained when she’d been hit by the car. “She’s incredibly lucky. All her vitals are normal and her concussion is very mild. Still, we’ll want to keep her overnight for observation. Just to be safe. She’ll need to stay quiet for a few days, until the worst of the pain passes. She’s going to be stiff and sore for a while.”

     He glanced at Keira who still had her eyes closed. “Why is she unconscious?”

     “She’s asleep. We gave her something for the pain. Even without serious injuries, her body suffered major trauma. She’ll wake up in a bit and you’ll be able to talk to her.”

     Dr. Newport promised to look in on Keira before she was taken up to the pediatric floor. Malcolm excused himself to phone Carmen with an update. When he returned to the room, there was yet another nurse there, chatting with Delaney. When the nurse saw Malcolm, she hugged Delaney, then walked over to him.

     “Hi. I need to get Keira’s medical history. She was pretty out of it when she came in and Delaney didn’t have any info.” She opened her tablet and looked at him. “We’ll start with the big stuff and work back. Any allergies or sensitivities?”

     “Not that I know of.”

     “What about major surgeries?”

     “I don’t know.” He looked at the bed, then back at the nurse. “I don’t know. She’s my half sister. She moved here from Los Angeles a couple of months ago. My grandfather arranged it. Let me call home and find out if he knows anything or if she came with medical records.”

     “Any medical information would be helpful. As an FYI, you’re going to need her vaccination information for school and sports. Oh, wait.” The nurse smiled reassuringly. “She’s in school, right?”

     “Yes. Puget Sound Preparatory Academy.”

     The nurse and Delaney exchanged a look. “Someone would have had to fill out a medical history to get her enrolled,” the nurse told him. “So there is some information.”

     “I’ll call Carmen,” he muttered, feeling more and more out of his element.

     “Great. Just buzz when you have the information and I’ll come back.” She smiled and left.

     Malcolm stared after her. “It’s not as bad as it sounds,” he said, knowing his tone was defensive. “My grandfather enrolled her in the school. It’s only been two months.” How could he be expected to know very much about her?

     Except she was his sister, a small voice in his head whispered.

     “So it’s all true,” Delaney said. “I thought she was making it up.”

     “Making what up?”

     “All of it. Moving from Los Angeles, that she’s only been here a couple of months. Carl and Angelina.”

     “Who are Carl and Angelina?”

     “It’s really not important.” She touched his arm. “She’s going to be okay. That’s what’s important, Malcolm. Focus on that and let the rest take care of itself over time.”

     He nodded at her tote. “That’s the kitten?”

     “Uh-huh. I’ll take care of it until Keira’s better.”

     He got the implied message. That of course his sister would be keeping the damned kitten that nearly got her killed, although at this point, the kitten was the least of it.

     “I need to call Carmen and get her medical records,” he said.

     “The housekeeper?”

     “Yes. Thank you for staying with her.” He felt like he should say more, but couldn’t think what.

     “It’s fine. She’s sweet and I was glad to do it. She shouldn’t be alone.”

     Malcolm thought of Keira’s large suite of rooms at the far end of the hall. If she wasn’t at school, she was alone most of the time. Sometimes she even ate dinner by herself. He should do better, he told himself. She was only a kid. It was just…

     “Why did you call me the asshole brother?” he asked, suddenly remembering what she’d said when he’d first arrived. She couldn’t possibly know enough to judge him.

     Delaney flushed. “Sorry about that. I was surprised to see you.” She looked away then back at him before digging in her tote and handing him a phone.

     “It’s Keira’s,” she said. “She never refers to you by name.” She pointed to the phone. “It’s, uh, in the contacts.”

     He pressed a couple of buttons, then scrolled through the info. Sure enough, under the As—Asshole Brother. So much for having to guess how she felt about him.

     “I need to call Carmen,” he repeated.

     “Go ahead. I’ll stay here in case she wakes up.”

     He nodded and walked out of the room. Delaney would stay for now, but then what? At some point he was going to have to deal with Keira himself. He glanced at the phone. Apparently that day of reckoning had just arrived.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to be a part of the tour!

Don't forget to enter for a chance to win the sweepstakes/giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Susan

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Excerpt Tour:

Monday, June 18th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, June 19th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Wednesday, June 20th: Books & Spoons
Thursday, June 21st: Palmer’s Page Turners
Friday, June 22nd: The Sassy Bookster
Monday, June 25th: Reading Reality
Tuesday, June 26th: A Holland Reads
Wednesday, June 27th: Drey’s Library
Thursday, June 28th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Friday, June 29th: Mama Reads Blog
Monday, July 2nd: The Sketchy Reader
Thursday, July 5th: OMG Reads
Friday, July 6th: What is That Book About

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Excerpt Tour for Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton

Happy Saturday, My Lovelies!  Today I have a real treat for you: an excerpt from the novel Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton.  I'm excited about this one because I enjoy Southern fiction.

Below is a synopsis...

The heart has a home when it has an ally.

If Millie Crossan doesn't know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, eighteen months her senior, becomes Millie's guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie's tenth birthday.

Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother's upbringing and vastly different from anything they've ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn't gold. Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley's world as they find their way to belonging. But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?

...and this is the excerpt:

At the end of the summer of 1970, when my mother reconciled herself to the idea of divorcing my father, she needed to devise a long-range plan.

She wanted to keep up appearances, my father had lost all our money, which left her with four years until she could access the money her father left her in trust. After uncharacteristically humbling herself for financial assistance from my father’s wealthy relatives, she packed Finley and me in the car and drove with steel determination to Memphis.

She’d left my father standing drunk and hopeless in the driveway, watching his family evaporate in the distance, wondering how his life had come to this. Her mother, senile and incapacitated in Memphis’ Rosewood Nursing Home, barely clung to life. Although the house at 79 Kensington Park was in Gaga’s name, my mother had power of attorney.

So, first things first, my mother moved her mother from Rosewood to the guest house in Kensington Park and solicited the services of one Rosa Mae Jones to tend to her needs. After moving all of us into the big house, Mom set about the business of doing the two most important things: invigorating her social standing in Memphis and finding an escort, preferably a rich one looking for marriage.  She set those wheels in motion after she tackled the problem of where to send Finley and me to school. According to the dictum of Memphis society, there was only one acceptable answer to the question of where to educate a girl—the private Miss Hutchison School for Girls, and it had been
that way since 1902.

My mother told me she’d made no leeway from calling the school’s administrator, so without
skipping a beat, she slid on her stockings, zipped up her Lilly Pulitzer dress, stepped into her
Pappagallo shoes, and—because a lady never steps a toe in public without it—smoothed on her pale-pink lipstick, and drove to East Memphis, where Hutchison sat regal and tree-lined, overlooking a serene lake.

She marched the two of us unannounced and entitled into the ground-floor office of the school’s headmistress, and seated herself cross-legged upon an upholstered chair while I found a seat on a chintz-covered sofa and wondered what to do with my hands.

Are you intrigued?  Would you like to read more?  Below is a list of the stops for this excerpt tour.

Thanks to the Book Marketing Expert for letting me be a part of the tour!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill