Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

I hope everyone has had a fantastic holiday season and has plans to cap it off with a fun New Year’s Eve and Day. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all the support this past year. I hope all my readers have enjoyed my various adventure novels and, for a moment, were transported to another place and time filled with excitement. 

Have a safe and happy New Year! 

Thank you.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Adventure Scrapbook – Solomon Islands

In a country comprised of over 900 islands spread out over a vast area of the South Pacific, transportation is often an enormous challenge. Many Solomon Island villages are connected only by the sea, and the locals have become very adept at moving everything via motorized canoes, including livestock. With no roads to a remote rural training center on the island of Makira in the Solomon Islands, I witnessed the process in action and it was something I will never forget.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Greetings

Here’s wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas filled with the joys of the season and quality time with family and friends.  

Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas! 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Gingerbread House Review

The Gingerbread House by Jacqueline Hopper is a truly wonderful and well-written novella. The author did an amazing job telling this important story in an uplifting way. 

Helping her son overcome his fears brought on by her own childhood trauma is Keren’s number one priority. She worries too much damage has been done until she reunites with her long-lost best friend, who shares her painful secret. Through the remarkable work of The Gingerbread House, Keren is forced to relive her past in order to complete the healing process and prevent her phobias from scarring her child, and she discovers a new hope for happiness.  

For more on Jacqueline and her work, please visit http://jacquelinedhopper.blogspot.com/

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Free ebook and Fascinating Author

I would like to introduce Australian western author, Susan Horsnell, and welcome her to Embrace Adventure.  Just living in Australia conjures up all kinds of adventurous images in my mind, and I dream of going there someday. For now, let’s get to know Susan, and we can live our Australian dreams vicariously through her.

First, Susan, tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I have been retired for almost 5 years which is wonderful. I now have the time to do the things I have always wanted. As a child I was a dancer, did TV work as well as Pantomimes at clubs during the holidays. We have a young granddaughter who is also fast becoming an accomplished dancer. We have a granddaughter who is a brilliant horsewoman and is very good at Marshall Arts, her sister is also very good at Marshall Arts. We have 2 gorgeous grandsons who are also into sports. We are very blessed.

What are your hobbies away from the computer? 

We have 2 Jack Russell’s who I walk every day. I am an avid reader and my husband, of almost 40 years, and I love travel.

What did you do before you became an author? 

I was a Nurse for almost 35 years. I nursed mainly the elderly and disabled. Very mentally taxing as well as physical, but I wouldn’t have done anything else.

What type of books do you write? 

Western Romance with some murder, torture and damsel in distress scenes thrown in. I love the stories conjured up with cowboys, sheriff’s and the outlaws. Can make for some very juicy and romantic scenes.

What is your latest book about? 

Haha. Believe it or not my latest book is in collaboration with my eldest daughter-in-law, Coralie. She is an artist and talked me into writing a children’s book. It’s called ‘The Mystery Under The House’ and we have literally just released it. There are all sorts of strange characters, goblins, fairies etc. 

My other recent release is ‘Blind Achievement’. This is the sequel to my award winning – ‘Blind Acceptance.’ These books are about a 6 year old child who is blinded in a wagon accident and his fight to learn how to live on a ranch without sight. It also explores his father’s reaction to his son being suddenly blind. The first book has Phillip as a 6 year old while the second has him at college as an 18 year old.


What inspired you to write Blind Acceptance? 

I worked with the blind for 4 years and witnessed the struggles, not only the victim went through but also their family. It is difficult for a family to have a ‘perfect’ child and then have to deal with a sudden disability. 

What are you working on now? 

I am actually working on a novel set around here in Canberra, Australia. It will be on a cattle station in the 1800’s. I am going to have a white, British, Aristocratic Lawyer (son of the property owners) become involved with an Aboriginal Dairymaid who works for them. White/Aboriginal affairs were not accepted back then so could be rather controversial.

What are the similarities and/or difference you’ve seen between the American and Australian Western? 

Hugely different. We didn’t have Sheriff’s, one of the main reasons I wrote American based westerns. Nothing says westerns like a local, hunky, drool-worthy sheriff. We have cowboys but to me America says cowboy in the truest sense. We have a history of Bushrangers – Ned Kelly – for example, but nothing like the outlaws of America and one huge difference – we don’t have Indians!


I grew up in the Western Suburbs of Sydney in the 50's and 60's. My parents are originally from the Newcastle-Under-Lyme area of England and came to Australia in 1952 as £10 poms. My father was a Painter and Decorator and I was the eldest of five children. We lived comfortably and we wanted for nothing.

I met my husband, Robert, in 1973 and we married in March 1974; we were both 18 years old. I was a Nurse, a career that spanned more than 35 years. Robert is now a Commodore in the RAN having served more than 40 years. We have 2 adult sons, both married with family. I have always loved the country and have a fascination with Texas in the 19th century - I think I must have lived my previous life there!!

Susan has generously offered to give away an ecopy, through Amazon, of Blind Acceptance and Blind Achievement to one person randomly selected from all comments received on this blog post through midnight (Central Time-U.S.) on December 21, 2013 (an email address must be included in order to contact the winner). Thank you, Susan for visiting.



Monday, December 16, 2013

Lovers of Action Suspense Mysteries

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Reading December 11, 2013 (Amazon)

CIA agent Cash Luker leads an international team of agents and scientists in a desperate attempt to stop a terrorist group from getting their hands on a collection of crystals which have the power to destroy the world. Shrouded in Secrets is an action-packed highly suspenseful novel which is nearly impossible to put down.

I think what impressed me most about the novel, however, was not the thrilling story, although that is certainly there. The plot takes place in the Bahamas, Arizona, Argentina, Mexico, and Peru. Each of these locations is described in rich detail, drawing the reader right into the mangroves or the Arizona desert. The story is told from multiple perspectives so the author has to be able to transport the reader easily and quickly between some very diverse locations, and overall, these jumps are handle well.

In addition, the entire plot line revolves around ancient history, particularly ancient Mayan knowledge and again Kim McMahill proves that she has done extensive research which she shares in depth with her readers so that this novel becomes much more than just another adventure story. I learned a lot as I was reading this story and I always think that is a plus in any novel.

The characters are also very engaging and well-defined. The interactions between the various agents under Cash’s command ring true. Cash’s past history has left him badly wounded emotionally, and some of that past history returns to haunt him, adding a layer of humanity and depth to his character. The same is true for the other members of his team which results in having characters the reader can really get to know and care about.

Lovers of action suspense mysteries are sure to enjoy Shrouded in Secrets. The pages seem to turn themselves.

Originally posted at Long and Short Reviews

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Bear Essentials

In Wyoming, black bear populations are widespread, whereas grizzly habitat is primarily confined to northwestern Wyoming, but as populations increase and habitat decreases, bears will expand their territory and reestablish in previous historical ranges or in new habitats. Grizzly bears have not inhabited the Bighorn National Forest since the early 20th century, but for the sake of fiction I have hastened the return of a solitary grizzly to the Big Horn Mountains just as a deadly storm is brewing 

Black and grizzly bears can be incorrectly identified if attributes such as size or color are relied upon. For a more accurate identification, it’s important to remember that black bears have no shoulder hump, tall pointed ears, and a straight facial profile from nose to ear. Grizzlies have a distinctive shoulder hump, short rounded ears, and its facial profile appears dished in. 

Bears play a fairly small role in Big Horn Storm, but added to an already dire and deadly situation, the encounter further degrades the characters ability to survive. The novel is a contemporary western romantic adventure set in rugged mountain country. The story combines a foreign invasion, harrowing horseback escapes, a traumatic accident, and a terrifying bear encounter, along with an attempt to reconcile the past in an action-packed thriller.
For more on Big Horn Storm visit  http://amzn.com/B0091LFPCM

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Stone of Destiny Review

Stone of Destiny by Mary L. Ball, is a heartwarming story of a young woman’s struggle to sort out what is most important in life in order to live a fulfilling and happy life. This is an all too common theme in today’s society, which makes this story especially relatable.  

The main character, Taylor, has focused solely on her job. She thought a successful career would be all she needed to live a complete and happy life, until an unexpected event introduces a man who seems perfect, except she fears he might get in the way of her career aspirations. As Taylor embarks on an emotional journey, she begins to question many long-held beliefs. She finds guidance from her grandmother and an unexpected source, a missing family heirloom.  

The author did a very good job intertwining the complexities facing Taylor’s future as she tries to balance family, the power of a mysterious stone, and priorities, all while struggling to untangle her feelings for a man, who despite her attempts to keep at a distance, can’t be pushed from her thoughts or kept out of her heart. This is definitely a worthwhile read.
For more on Mary L. Ball and her other work, visit http://MaryLouwrites.weebly.com.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Adventure Scrapbook - Old City Cartagena

I recently had the opportunity to visit Cartagena, Columbia. I spent my limited time exploring the “Old City,” which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was established in 1533 by the Spanish explorer Madrileño Don Pedro de Heredia. Much of the original city walls, constructed for protection from pirates, is still intact and encircles the winding cobblestone streets lined with colorful Spanish Colonial architecture. My time in Cartagena was too short, but what I did experience was amazing and I look forward to seeing more.