By day I work 60 hour weeks. At night I am a devoted father and husband to the world's greatest family. Somewhere in the non-existent time between the two, I am a writer. Join me from the beginning as I chronicle my adventures to become a successful published author.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 197 - I'm Still Here! Well, in Houston at least!

I could regal everyone with tales of horror and insanity surrounding the last three months. The move to Houston has been anything but smooth. We finally arrived late last Sunday (November 6th) and I am still in recovery mode, not to mention unpacking and setting up a new office.

I am not fully settled in yet and still have so much to do. At the same time, I have been missing writing pretty badly. It's not to say some days I don't miss it, but overall I have these amazing (IMHO) stories racing around in my head and I need to let them out! AAAAAAAAHHH!!! So I am not quite ready to come back to regular 5-day a week blogging, but soon. And writing... that's starting tonight.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 110 - Something Big Happened

Okay, so you'll remember how on last Monday I blogger about how something big was coming, I could feel the Lord preparing me and he needed me running at full speed to make it happen. Guess what? The very next day, something big happened!

I was offered the opportunity to open an office for our property management firm in Houston, Texas! And it needs to be open around November 1st. Christina (my wife) and I figured out most of the logistics and costs by the end of Wednesday, spoke with my parents because they'll be most affected by our departure, made a decision Wednesday night, and went to the Provo LDS Temple to gain confirmation of that decision, which we received! This is HUGE!

It's also why I didn't blog Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday. There is a ton happening right now as we have two months to figure everything out when we were settled in quite well for the long haul here in Utah. It was so out of the blue, but it felt right.

Blogging may be sporadic for the next four months while we pack up here and establish ourselves there, but I'll do my best to keep the ball rolling. I don't want to let this be an excuse for me to stop writing!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 106 - Book Review of Double Deceit

A few housekeeping items first:

1) You will notice I didn't blog last night (Tuesday). As I blogged about Monday, I could feel something coming, something big. Yesterday, what that may be happened. I haven't actually slept and it's 4:23 AM. I've been up all night working on the details to see if it's doable... I'll let you know details when I have some answers!

2) Today is the book review for Double Deceit! Please visit her website at after reading my review. More importantly, please leave a quick hello on her website/blog. I've notice comments are low there, and you can fix that! So support an author, and a good one at that!

On to the review!

Book Review: Double Deceit by Stephanie Humphreys

The story is set in various parts of Canada and follows the events over a few months in the life of Elaina. She had recently suffered spousal separation due to an obsessively controlling husband, and then a greater tragedy when her husband dies with her little girl. She returns to her childhood home, reunites with family and old friends, and even begins to relearn how to love and be loved. Everything isn't as perfect as it seems though. Mysterious phone calls, haunting letters, threats, and doubts about friends and family surface. Who is trying to scare her and what do they want? Or is she imagining all of it?

What I Liked:
Stephanie wrote a fantastic novel! The story is well crafted in many different areas. Her main character is well defined, believable, and someone whom even as a guy I feel I can easily empathize with. The tragedies she has suffered in her life are all too real, and multiple times I wanted to go find certain fictional characters and beat them to a pulp. I only refrained because it's hard to continue reading a book when the paper is mush.;-).

What really makes the novel though is the supporting cast of secondary characters and environment. Each of the secondary characters have very distinct and realist personalities. I did not once feel like I was pulled out of the story by anything they did, which is an achievement. The way they interacted with each other and Elaina just seemed natural and I cared about each of them. In line with that, Stephanie vividly portrays the Canadian countryside and small town feel to someone who has only seen pictures. More importantly, she does so subtly throughout the book, never focusing directly on it, but rather weaving it into the narrative.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention the mystery element of this romantic suspense novel. In my not so humble way, I say that I am rarely unable to figure out what the real answer is to a mystery earlier on than most. But Stephanie had me guessing to the very end, and when the big reveal happened, I had to pause and think about how wrong I had been. This alone makes picking up the book worth it for anyone and everyone. You are missing out on one fantastic twist if you don't!

What Didn't Suit My Tastes:
I don't say these things are bad, wrong, or need to be correct; only that they weren't my cup of tea. The first chapter just did not work for me. I pressed on though and by the third I was already caring about the characters and what happened to them. Secondly, the novel is in 1st person perspective. I have to admit I haven't read a novel like that in a very long time and it too me a while to wrap my brain around it. In time, it became very natural, but I would still say it is not my preferred method of delivery. I know many others feel differently. Finally, without going into great detail and giving away story plots, the only thing that made me think "well, this is unbelievable" and took me out a small way from the narrative was how Elaina (the MC) chose to handle certain events on her own after multiple experiences had taught her better. I understand the feelings she had of wanting to sort things out alone, move past them, and even concern about how others would perceive her. It just happened one or two times too many, making her appear silly rather than troubled. All of these are minor observations and feelings of taste.

Final View:
Pick this one up immediately. You can read it in less than a day and the story will stay with you. I finished it a week ago and images of it keep popping into my head on a daily basis. And that my friends is the hallmark of a truly memorable book that is worth your time. Stephanie, great job.

And now... go visit her blog and tell her you plan on picking up a copy of her book soon!

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