#BookReview & #GiveAway: Parrot Talk by David B. Seaburn On Tour

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Parrot TalkSummary:

At the age of 14 and 11, brothers, Lucas and Grinder’s mother has left them and their alcoholic father. They never hear from her again.
Out of the blue a friend of their mother, Janice, contacts Lucas with the news that their mother has died. She asks them to come to Pittsburgh to take care of her effects, chief among them being Paul. Reluctantly, Lucas and Grinder head for Pittsburgh where they meet Janice and learn that Paul is their mother’s African grey parrot. Turns out that Paul has things to say that turn the brothers’ worlds upside down, especially regarding their mother.
This is a humorous look at matters of consequence—abandonment, alcoholism, grief and loss of a mother, living without clear answers, the relationship between brothers, separation and reconciliation and hope. It is also about a father who carries a piece of Jesus with him in a Ziploc baggie, a parrot who likes to get stoned, and a brother who cleans dead animals off the streets for a living.

Review:

David B. Seaburn captures the true essence of what children go through when one parent walks out on them leaving them with the parent that cares more about the beer bottle. The love that Lucas and Grinder have for one another is palpable throughout each page; most vividly as I got to the end of the story. I was in love with the two of these characters.
While I did not care for Martha at all, she had her place within the fabric of the story being told. I was happier once I realized that importance, because she was growing old on me. Even Pop won my heart.
Using Paul, their Mother’s African Grey Parrot as a bridge of love between Mother and son was such a genius idea. It was not only riveting; it was endearing. I only wanted that bird to be safe by the time I finished this book. I bet you will wish the same!
This was a super fast read, great for a one-nighter!

3.5 Stars.

GIVEAWAY: LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TO BE ENTERED INTO A GIVEAWAY OF YOUR CHOICE, PRINT OR EBOOK COPY. WINNER ANNOUNCED NOVEMBER 8TH.

Excerpt:

Parrot Talk by David B. Seaburn
Introduction to excerpt: Grinder discovers Paul, the parrot, lying on his back in the bathtub. Turns out Paul pilfered a bag of marijuana from a suitcase in their motel room and then proceeded to eat some of it. This leads to an emergency visit to the vet’s where Grinder immediately become enamored with their veterinarian, Grace.

“Paul?” Grinder knelt down beside the tub, but Paul didn’t seem to notice he was there. In fact, Paul didn’t move. He didn’t blink. But when a drip fell from the faucet, he made what could only be called a laughing sound. “Hee eee eee eee aww.” Then he fell silent again, watching and waiting.
“Paul? Buddy?” Grinder reached for Paul but another drip was about to fall. Paul opened his mouth in delight and squealed.
“Wow.” Paul’s lids were at half-mast. The corners of his mouth were drawn up in a goofy grin. Another drip. Paul’s stomach shuddered with a deep guffaw. He blinked slowly.
Grinder reached for Paul and patted his belly. “Hey.”
Paul startled when he recognized Grinder. “Hey, man.” He stood up and then slipped and fell on his side. He laughed. “Do that thing again,” he said to the faucet.
“Paul, are you okay?” But Paul was pecking affectionately at his reflection in the chrome fixture. “Paul?” He put his hand on Paul’s back, steadying him because he was about to fall again.
“Paul hungry, Paul hungry. Dorito time, Millie. Dorito time. Millie, Millie.” Paul waddled to the back slope of the bathtub, dropped down on the porcelain and slid on his belly toward the faucet. “Oooooooooooo-eeeee!”
“What the hell.”
Paul rolled over and looked at Grinder through blood shot eyes. “Dorito time, Millie; Dorito time.”
Grinder scurried to the mini-bar and retrieved a bag of Doritos. He tore them open and held one out to Paul who grabbed the bag instead and ripped it apart. He munched furiously while watching for another drip.
When Grinder slipped out of the room to get a bag of nuts, he noticed his duffel bag, which lay open on the floor. Beside it was a Ziploc baggie, a hole gnawed through it and marijuana buds scattered on the carpet. “Shit.” He picked up the remaining pot and flushed it down the toilet while Paul stood in the bathtub, mesmerized by his shiny new chrome friend.
Grinder leafed through the phone book and found a number for the Greater Pittsburgh Animal Urgent Care Center.
“Hello…yes, it’s an emergency…uh huh, my bird…a parrot…okay, yeah, well, I think he’s ODed on some weed…yes, marijuana…no, I didn’t give it to him…no, he doesn’t smoke…ate it, uh huh…okay, okay.”
Grinder went back into the bathroom where Paul had just discovered the shower head.
“Look!” he said.
“C’mon, buddy.” Grinder took a face towel and wrapped it around Paul and cradled him in his arms, Doritos falling from Paul’s mouth.
“More crunchy, more crunchy.”
Grinder opened the mini-bar again and grabbed another bag. He reached for the car keys on the counter and tiptoed past Lucas and Martha’s room.
“Weeeeeeeeeee,” said Paul.
When they arrived at the Urgent Care Center, they were immediately ushered into an exam room where they waited for another fifteen minutes. Paul’s mood had changed. He was singin’ the blues.
“Nobody knows the trouble…”
Grinder tried to perch him on the back of a chair, hoping it would help Paul regain his balance. Wobbly at first, soon Paul was able to stand steady with barely a wing shuffle. Minutes later, he was ambulating without any visible sign of difficulty. His mood, though, hadn’t improved.
“Millie gone.”
“I know, buddy.” Grinder pulled him a little closer. Paul noticed the bag of Doritos and dove in.
When the exam room door opened, Grinder watched as a tall, waifish, middle-agey woman entered the room, her stringy brown bangs covering her ample forehead unevenly. She pushed her horn rimmed glasses up her beak-like nose and clutched a medical chart to her chest. She wore a beige shell, an indifferent knee-length dress and New Balance sneakers. Her hair was pulled back on both sides with yellow barrettes. And her eyes were large a saucers and brown as Hershey’s kisses. She smiled, her teeth as bright as piano keys, her face as welcoming as a summer sunrise. Grinder’s mouth fell open at the sight of her.
“Hello, I’m Dr. Napolitano, one of the vets. You can call me Grace.”
Grinder held his breath. His brain went all monosyllabic on him. “Uh. Wha. Ha.” She extended her hand and it hung out there for an inordinately long time. Grinder knew what it was but didn’t appear to know what to do with it. Instead he grinned a big toothy grin and then snorted when he finally took a breath. He reached for her hand just as she withdrew it. But she kindly reached out again and he took hold of her thumb. To his credit he let go almost immediately.
“Oh. I’m sorry.” Grinder was still grinning.
She laughed, a sweet, lilting laugh. “Let’s try that again.”
This time Grinder was on his game. He took her hand gently in his and shook it an appropriate number of times before letting go. Success. He slumped into his chair again, then quickly straightened his back. He combed his hair with his fingers and cleared his throat. Her hand had been soft, her palm silky and warm to the touch. She reached for Paul, scratched his head and caressed his back slowly. “Hello there, you must be Paul,” she said in a near whisper. “You’ve been through a lot.” She caught Grinder’s eye and smiled knowingly. “Both of you have, I guess.”

About David B. SeaburnDavid Seaburn
David B. Seaburn has been a Presbyterian pastor of a small country church, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at a leading university medical center, a pioneer in the field of Medical Family Therapy, and a prolific author.
Since 2005, Seaburn has published six novels. His newest, ‘Parrot Talk’, was released in May 2017 by Black Rose Writing. He also writes a blog for Psychology Today magazine, “Going Out Not Knowing.” Seaburn was a Finalist for the National Indie Excellence Awards in fiction for his novel, ‘Charlie No Face’ (2011). He is currently an instructor at Writers and Books in Rochester NY. Seaburn is married with two married daughters and two wonderful granddaughters. A third grandchild is on the way.

Website: www.davidbseaburn.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/david.seaburn
Twitter: twitter.com/dseaburn

Buy Parrot Talk by David B. Seaburn
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#Spotlight & #Excerpt ~ “The New Mrs. D” by Heather Hill

The New Mrs. Dclp button

 

The New Mrs DSummary:
Four days into their honeymoon in Greece, Bernice and David Dando have yet to consummate their marriage and after having accepted his almost non-existent desire for sex throughout the relationship, Bernice finally discovers the reason; he is addicted to porn. Learning that the love of her life chooses the cheap thrill of fantasy over her is devastating but then, ‘every man does it; it’s just looking, right?’ If she leaves the relationship because of virtual adultery, will she be labelled as pathological, overreacting, or even worse, frigid?

When funny, feisty, forty-something Bernice plans the adventure trip of a lifetime, she doesn’t expect to be spending it alone. But as it turns out, unintentionally contributing to a Greek fish explosion, nude karaoke and hilarious misadventures with volcanoes are exactly what she needs to stop fretting about errant husbands and really start living. But when Mr D tries to win her back, Bernice has a decision to make: is this a holiday from her humdrum life, or the start of a whole new adventure?

“The New Mrs D is a refreshing, sharp-witted and empowering romp that reflects real life, delves into unspoken about subjects and slaps the reader in the face with honesty.” Fleur Ferris, author

It is a story about one woman’s midlife awakening… on her honeymoon alone.

Click Here for My Review

Excerpt:

Would a stolen pencil really warrant such an elaborate daylight operation? Of course not, stupid woman. Maybe I was being mugged. Was it the stash of Euros in my purse I’d flashed while paying for the moped? Oh no, wait – they surely weren’t after my faux diamond emblazoned Primark flip-flops?

In a panic, I kicked one off into the path of an elderly couple as they strolled out from a hotel car park. The shoe shot straight into the old man’s portly, bare stomach with a sickening slap.

‘They have the diamonds!’ I called, mercilessly pointing them out to the gangsters before whizzing onwards to make my getaway.

But it was all for nothing; the roar of bikes continued behind me. I slowed to turn a corner into another side street and heard a shout.

‘Stop! Mrs Dando! You stop NOW!’

What on earth could they want? I reached down with one hand, trying to take the other flip-flop off to throw back as a ransom, but dropping it instead. As I cursed myself and looked up, an ancient Greek woman on a scooter was zipping round a bend straight at me, only swerving at the last second to avoid a collision.

‘What the…’

‘WAAAAHHHH!!!’ We screamed the last part in unison; ‘Waaaahhhh’, it transpired, being the international synonym for ‘OH SHIIIIIT!’ In an instant, her front wheel bounced off the kerb, sending both the old lady, and the basket of lemons balanced on her handlebars, flying, Frank Spencer style through the air towards a couple of teenage boys. Christ, I’m in a Carry On film.

‘Save the lemons!’ I called back, rattling onwards with no time to look behind again or wonder why my first manic thoughts were for Frank Spencer and the fruit – not the little old lady. Speeding away from the increasing chaos behind, I rounded a honking car pulling out from a driveway and yelled at its startled occupants, ‘CALL THE POLICE!’

Despite the throttle being fully open it seemed the tiny moped engine had no more to give and the roar from the biker gang got closer. Turning round once more, I could see the two bikes were still in hot pursuit, and for the first time I noticed the boy had a very fat man riding pillion. So there were four of them! And the fourth had mad lady-killer written all over him. Heart pounding with fear, I grabbed the nearest thing to a weapon from the moped basket and began hurling ammunition overhead at the assailants. However, taking my eyes off the road to lob miniature chocolate croissants was a last, fatal mistake.

Crunch!

The moped bumped straight up a kerb, sending my stomach boinging up to my lungs and my knicker tops rolling back down below my belly again, as the bike came to a near halt. This was it, the end. I waited for my life to flash in front of me… but a massive, spiny bush got there first. Without testing the moped’s brakes and fuelled by an extraordinary burst of adrenaline, I dived off, sending it ploughing, un-helmed, into the bush. This was where, in a moment of TV cop-esque brilliance, I rolled over-and-over onto a grass bank before springing back to my feet.

‘Whoa!’ For a split second, Mrs David Dando was Lara Croft; crime-fighting, tomb raiding stunt rider. That was until My Big Fat Greek Assassin got off his bike and made towards me and I remembered who I actually was. Bawling Binnie – with her knickers rolling down again.

‘Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me! I’m unarmed!’ I yelled, trying – and failing – to get my helmet off before throwing up my hands in surrender to the waiting gang.

‘Other side, Mrs Dando! Other side!’ yelled Zorba the Crook, taking a handkerchief from his pocket to wipe bits of chocolate and pastry from his fat sweaty face. Spying his accomplices coming up behind, I turned around and flung myself face down in the dirt with my hands behind my still helmeted head.

‘Okay, okay,’ I whimpered, ‘just, please don’t hurt me.’

There are moments that should flash through your mind when you think death is imminent; the faces of loved ones, lifelong friends, long-forgotten happy moments, childhood memories. This was my crucial moment – and I was going to die wondering if Greece had body bags big enough for me in this colossal monstrosity of a biking helmet.

The Fat Assassin flopped down beside me and prodded my shoulder. ‘Oh God,’ I thought. ‘He’s really mad! Goodbye cruel world!’

Dear Facebook, today I was so hot. Oops, bloody mobile phone typos! I was s-h-o-t. 

‘Mrs Dando…’

As I lay there with my eyes screwed shut waiting to feel a gun in my ribs, (please God let it be a gun in his pocket) hearing him huffing like a muddy, wet contestant on Total Wipeout, his voice took on a calmer, more sinister tone.

‘I not kill you. You kill yourself.’

I froze. Oh my God, he was going to make me shoot me.

I heard him take another deep breath and cough. ‘Mrs Dando,’ he said finally. ‘You drive with the moped on the other side!’

‘I didn’t mean… I wasn’t… oh!’ Ah. Right… I rolled back over to face him, but again, met with nothing but blackness. Bloody helmet! So, I wasn’t going to be bumped off for stealing the island’s only pencil. Or for assault with a supersized bag of mini croissants.

Twisting the monstrous headgear off and easing myself upright, I was met by four nonplussed faces caked in, well… cake.

‘Oh,’ I said, smoothing my hair in an attempt to recuperate some composure. ‘Well, er… why didn’t you just say so?’

heather hillAuthor Bio
Heather Hill is a Scotland based comedy writer, author and mum of five (not the band). She is one of a rare kind; the rare kind being one of only 0.5% of women who are colourblind. She has been known to leave the house with blue eyebrows on at least one occasion. Her debut novel, ‘The New Mrs D’ is being pitched for film by a British TV comedy producer and Snipper Films.

Website: www.hell4heather.com
Twitter & Instagram name: @hell4heather
Links to buy The New Mrs D:
Amazon UK 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00P4D57KQ
Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Mrs-Heather-Hill-ebook/dp/B00P4D57KQ
Paperback: 
https://www.bookdepository.com/New-Mrs-D-Heather-Hill/9781634157735

Also available to order at all UK Waterstones, Foyles Bookstores & WH Smiths branches

CLICK HERE FOR GIVEAWAY

 

 

#BookReview & #Excerpt ~ “What the Heart Remembers” by Bette Lee Crosby

What the heart remembersSummary:

TWO LOVERS. ONE CHANCE AT HAPPINESS….When Max Martinelli returns to Paris in search of her lost love, what she finds will change her life forever.
For three years the memory of Julien Marceau has haunted Max. Her life is stuck on hold simply because she can’t stop wondering what would have happened if she had gone back. Was Julien simply part of the magic of Paris? Or was he meant to be her destiny?
After a New Year’s Eve party that ends in disaster, Max decides to find out once and for all. She is going to return to Paris and search for Julien. But will her search bring forever after happiness or a truth so ugly it will change her life forever?
What the Heart Remembers is Book 3 in the Award-Winning Memory House Series

Excerpt:

Before I left Wyattsville Annie told me that after her mother died she kept going back to the places they’d gone together. The same restaurant, the same beauty parlor. She even went crosstown to the same library. She claims doing that was a big mistake. It was never the same, according to Annie, and going back spoiled her good memories. She said when you’re happy and having a good time you can’t see the imperfections of a place, but if you go back and look at it with a critical eye trying to figure out what it was that you enjoyed so much you’ll discover it’s nothing like you remembered. I’m beginning to wonder if maybe she isn’t right.

Review:

This is the Book 3 in the “Memory House Series”, and once again, I was enamored.

Bette Lee Crosby’s writing is just so beautiful.  Especially when writing about Paris in this story. I felt like I was given a guided tour of the city!! When she writes about her character’s thoughts, you feel as though you are in their head. She paints a very vivid picture, and it is truly magical.

Annie and Ophelia are still a huge part of this story, but the main character in this book is Maxine (Max) Martinelli. She has been Annie’s best friend for about one year now. Their connection is powerful.

It was a year of love; the best love Max has ever known. She will not be able to move on in her life until she finds Julien, and gets answers. She met him in Paris, where she spent her junior year of college, studying abroad.

It has been three years since she has seen him, but he is ingrained in her heart and mind so deeply, that her life is limited. As if he is going to show up at her doorstep one day.

As Bette wrote in this book, “What the heart remembers isn’t always a true picture of what was”!! I could not wait to find out what the true picture was…

A return trip to Paris is definitely in order! She is determined to find out why Julien had never joined her to the United States as he had promised her. She believes with all of her heart that whatever happened, it was not because he simply chose not to join her.

Will she find Julien? Will their love be restored? Or, will she regret this trip forever? Going against everyone’s advice, she heads for Paris.

If you have a lost love…. you do not want to miss this book. If you want to travel from your couch, you do not want to miss this book.

If you love a great story, I highly recommend “What the Heart Remembers” by Bette Lee Crosby.

You do not want to miss this book.

5 Stars.

#Giveaway & #Excerpt ~ Courtney Psak’s book, “Thirty Days to Thirty”

clp buttonSummary:

What if you were on the cusp of marrying the guy of your dreams and reaching that career goal you set for yourself, only for all of it to be taken away in one fell swoop? 

What if this all happened a month before you turned 30?

This is the story of Jill Stevens, who after moving back home, finds a list she made in high school of thirty things she wanted to accomplish before her thirtieth birthday.

With a month left and hardly anything crossed off her list, she teams up with old friends to accomplish as much as she can before the big 3-0. Along the way, she discovers her true self and realizes it’s not about the material successes in life but the journey. 

 Thirty days to ThirtyExcerpt:

“So do you want to talk about it?” my mom finally asks me, taking a seat next to me with a cup of tea.
“I’m not really ready to recap,” I tell her with a mouth full of peanut butter. “I’m still trying to process everything.”
My mother basically got the hysterical gist of it when I called her at midnight, crying, and all she could make out was “pig head … boyfriend … cheated on me … fired … homeless.” She sat on the phone with me while I tried to pull myself together, and finally ordered me to pack up and get on the next train home.
“I understand,” she says, sounding disappointed. “We can talk about what you want to do for your birthday coming up.”
I look up mid-bite to stare at her.
“It’s your thirtieth, it’s a big deal,” she presses.
Yes, I know it’s a big deal. It’s a big deal because that’s when you’re supposed to have your life together. “Mom, that’s really the last thing I want to think about right now.
“Fine,” she says getting frustrated. After a few minutes of silence, she leans forward as if to say something and then retreats.
“What’s wrong?” I ask her, knowing I won’t be able to avoid hearing what she wants to say.
“Well, I mean, aside from wanting to know what happened, I want to know what your plan is to get past this? I don’t want you just sulking around the house for the next few weeks.”
“Come on, Mom it’s been twelve hours since my life fell apart. I can’t get a full day to mourn here?”
“I didn’t mean it like that,” she defends herself, shaking her head as if I’ve blown things all out of proportion. “I was just reading this pamphlet about how to handle adult children living at home that I downloaded off the Internet.” She stands up and pulls it out of a drawer underneath the phone. Then she hands it to me. I scan it over. “When the Empty Nest Becomes Full Again,” I read. “I don’t plan on being here that long,” I say, handing it back to her. “Think of it as a two-week vacation.”
She doesn’t say anything. She simply shrugs and puts the pamphlet back in the drawer.
Finally, I give in and proceed to tell her what happened. My father, who’s come in from the garage to get his keys out of the drawer, listens in and eventually joins us at the table.
“Those bastards,” he contributes.
“Tell me about it,” I say, looking down at my milk and swirling the liquid inside the glass.
“Can you sue them?” my mom suggests.
“For what, exactly? Even if I could, it’s a law firm. You ever try to sue a bunch of lawyers?”
They’re both silent for a moment and give each other nervous looks. It’s obvious they’re trying to be supportive but they don’t really know what to say.
“It’s fine.” I try to convince them and myself. “I’m going to call a headhunter first thing Monday morning and I’m going to bounce back from this in no time. I’ll start looking at apartment listings today. Everything will be fine.” I stand up from my chair.
“I think you should at least stay here until you find another job,” my mother says. “There’s no sense in you getting an apartment somewhere and finding out your job is a far commute.”
Stay here? I do a double take. I can’t imagine doing that. “Mom, it’s New York. No matter where I get an apartment, as long as it’s in Manhattan, the commute will be doable.” I stand up and dump the remainder of my milk in the sink and load my glass and plate into the dishwasher.
“Well, what if you don’t get a job in New York?” she says, turning around in her chair to face me.
“Why wouldn’t I get a job in New York?” I ask, confused, as I close the dishwasher and stare out the window. I feel my body turn to ice at the thought.
“Well, Jill,” my dad says, “the job market is pretty bad, and as great as your resume and your education are, there may not be a lot of opportunities out there.”
“All we’re saying is maybe you’ve outgrown the city, and maybe now it’s time to settle somewhere closer to home. Maybe you’ll meet someone and settle down,” my mom concludes.
“Really?” I say, shaking my head. “You’re really giving me the you-aren’t-getting-any-younger speech when I’m already at the lowest point in my life?” I start to storm towards the hallway. I really don’t need to be hearing this right now.
“Sweetie, it’s not that I’m trying to kick you while you’re down, I’m just saying maybe it’s time to start reassessing your life.” My mom stands up to follow me.
“Thanks for the talk,” I say, walking past her and back up to my room. I suddenly feel like I’m a teenager again as I slam the door to my room.
“Marilynn, she just got home. Go easy on her,” I hear my dad defend me.
“Martin, I’m just following the pamphlet,” she insists.
“Well stop reading,” he says. “This is our daughter, not a case study.”
Living at home with my parents in my thirties? Maybe I really am a case study. I barely made it out alive the first time, how the hell am I supposed to do it all over again?

Blog Tour

November 17 – Chick Lit Plus – Review

November 18 – Book Groupies – Review

November 19 – Chick Lit Goddess – Q&A& Excerpt

November 19 – Change the Word – Q&A

November 24 – Love Chick Lit – Review & Excerpt

November 25 – Queen of All She Reads – Excerpt

November 27 – Authors and Readers Book Corner – Excerpt

November 27 – Granny Loves to Read – Review & Excerpt

December 1 – Annabel and Alice – Review

December 2 – Wendi Nunnery – Review

December 2 – A British Bookworm – Excerpt

December 3- The Write Review – Excerpt

December 4 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Q&A & Excerpt

December 4 – The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

December 7 – Reecas Pieces – Review & Excerpt

courtney psakAuthor Bio:

Courtney Psak is a New Jersey native who grew up with a passion for reading and writing.
After traveling the world, she settled into New York City where she earned her Masters in Publishing.
She is a member of the National Writers Association and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association.
She currently resides in Hoboken with her husband. 
She spends her weekends seeking adventure through hiking, skiing and traveling.

website:
http://www.courtneypsak.com/

goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14358396.Courtney_Psak

Author Central/ Amazon
https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/profile

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/CourtneyPsak

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/courtneypsak/

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/courtneypsakauthor

Blog:
https://courtneypsakauthor.wordpress.com/ 

Purchase Links below: 

Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Thirty-Days-Courtney-Psak/dp/0996815910/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1447422443&sr=8-1&keywords=courtney+psak

Barnes and Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thirty-days-to-thirty-courtney-psak/1122917276?ean=2940152449723

Smashwords
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/589711

GIVEAWAY LINK