First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros: Heart Like Mine

First Chapter First Paragraph

Today I’m participating in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, in which bloggers share a bit about a book they’re reading or planning to read soon.

I started reading Heart Like Mine today.


Chapter 1

The CFO’s office smelled of sweat, burnt coffee, and tears. That’s all Delaney Blair could think as she sat in the guest chair, awaiting her doom.

Six people had sat in this same chair over the past week, and every single one of them had left with an HR escort and the ironic farewell gift of a Mercy Hospital mug and tote bag. On the outside, she was a successful financial analyst dressed in a charcoal power suit, a pasted-on smile, and her favorite Jimmy Choos. On the inside, she harbored a pod of baby grasshoppers.


Delaney Blair loves her job at Echo Lake’s Mercy Hospital, where she’s developed a reputation for being smart, fair, and driven. When she’s assigned to cut funding, she has to temporarily relocate her office, put on borrowed scrubs, and go toe-to-toe with Dr. Joshua Mackenzie, the interim head of the pediatrics department. His killer smile and rock-star body are distractions Delaney could do without, but she’s determined to stay focused while she brings his budget into line. It’s not working.

Beloved by his colleagues and patients alike, Josh is too busy caring for sick kids to talk numbers with the sexy, stiletto-clad Delaney. Every time they talk business, tensions run high…but so does a powerful attraction neither of them can ignore. When an emergency brings Mercy to its knees, Delaney and Josh must work together to save lives. But can they also find a way into each other’s hearts?

Would you keep reading?  


Summertime Challenge: Write a GOOD Summer Poem

desert CAMPING

This is a summer challenge hosted by Parajunkee. It runs through the month of June and has weekly link-ups.

Write a Good Summer Poem

I wrote this poem in 2009, the summer I worked at an exotics ranch.



The hot sun beats down on the land

The dry grass crackles with jumping grasshoppers

The gentle breeze whispers through the trees

The animals frolic in the fields

The rows are long, the crops ripe

The water is always cool and welcome

The cold iced tea slides down like sweet brandy

The days are long and hard on the back

The evenings are flirtatious at the dancehall

The nights are soothing with the soft words of a lover

The storm nights reign over it all,

Through the heated days and heated nights of Summer.

Review: Lost in Yonkers

170539Title: Lost in Yonkers
Author: Neil Simon
Publisher: Samuel French, Inc.
Release Date: June 2010 (first published 1990)
Length: 114 pages
Series?: no
Genre: aDram, Humor

Find the book: Goodreads |Amazon

Neil Simon’s inimitable play about the trials and tribulations that test family ties – winner of the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

What happens to children in the absence of love? That is the question that lies at the heart of this funny and heartrending play by one of America’s most acclaimed and beloved playwrights. Debuting at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in 1990, Lost in Yonkers went on to win four Tony Awards, including Best Play, as well as the Pulitzer Prize, and tells the moving drama about the cruelties and painful memories that scar a family.

It is New York, 1942. After the death of their mother, two young brothers are sent to stay with their formidable grandmother for the longest ten months of their lives. Grandmother Kurnitz is a one-woman German front—a refugee and a widow who has steeled her heart against the world. Her coldness and intolerance have crippled her own children: the boys’ father has no self-esteem . . . their Aunt Gert has an embarrassing speech impediment . . . their Uncle Louie is a small-time gangster . . . and their Aunt Bella has the mentality of a child. But it is Bella’s hunger for affection and her refusal to be denied love that saves the boys—and that leads to an unforgettable, wrenching confrontation with her mother. Filled with laughter, tears, and insight, Lost in Yonkers is yet another heartwarming testament to Neil Simon’s talent.


The Skinny

Jay and Arty come to live with Grandma and Aunt Bella after their mother dies. Their father, Eddie, cannot serve in the military, so he is a traveling salesman throughout the south. He sells metals – steel, mostly – to benefit the military and contribute to the war. They learn interesting things about their Aunt Bella and Uncle Louie, both who have their own struggles, while trying to please their hard-nosed German grandmother.

The Players

Jay – called Yakob by Grandma

Arty – called Artur by Grandma

Eddie – Jay and Arty’s father, he is a traveling salesman selling metals for the military, known to be sickly

Grandma – a hard, cold German woman, escaped Berlin, owns a candy store

Aunt Bella – Jay and Arty’s aunt, she lives with Grandma and works in the candy store, has the mindset of a child

Uncle Louie – Jay and Arty’s uncle, he is rarely around and seems to take part in nefarious activities

Aunt Gert – Jay and Arty’s aunt, she has a speech impediment

The Highs and Lows

  • Jay and Arty. The two are wide-eyed coming to live with Grandma. They know virtually nothing about their relatives, since they’ve never really visited. They are a quiet, cute duo who are piecing together and learning the history of Grandma, Bella, Louie and Gert.
  • Grandma. She is a hard, cold, steeled woman who does not believe in showing any emotion. A display that could be interpreted as weakness disgusts her. She suffered in her escape from Berlin, and although she has buried her husband and even some of her own children at young ages, she does not cry. In this, she has pushed the rest of her children away. She keeps a tight reign on the candy store and knows when even a pretzel has gone missing. It is rumored that Grandma has thousands of dollars stashed away somewhere in the house.
  • Bella. She is a grown woman, in her mid-thirties, but has the mind of a child. She will be that way always, and she should be in the Home. Grandma has threatened her many times to go into the Home, but Bella knows she does not want to be alone. She uses this to her advantage. That is Grandma’s weakness. Bella is a strange mix of child and adult, having her own hopes and dreams. She believes she is going to marry Johnny, an usher at the movie theatre. They’re getting married because they’ve gone to four movies together. He is like Bella, but he cannot read. Bella wants to help him open up a restaurant but needs five thousand dollars to do so.
  • Louie. He’s a little gangster! Really, he is. Or, as Arty calls him, a henchman. He’s a real jokester. He carries a black bag, a gun, and has men in a black Studebaker following him. He comes into town spur of the moment and is very antsy. He hires Jay and Arty to keep a lookout for him, and to tell anyone that he’s not around. He teaches the boys what “moxie” is and the boys learn Louie was a rough kid. He ran away from home several times and got in with the wrong crowd to survive.

The Take-Away

I love this story. I read it in my high school drama class, and I had my sixth grader creative writing class read it this past year. It is a funny story. Everyone fears Grandma. Bella has grown-up dreams without a grown-up mentality. She sees the world in a different light, and it’s a beautiful and sad thing. Louie cracks me up. He’s just hilarious, and he scares the boys, keeps them on their toes.

Recommendation – Buy, Borrow or Skip? 

Buy it. If you don’t want to read the play, but the film version with Richard Dreyfuss. It stays pretty true to the script and brings to life the humor – and the embodiment of Grandma – to life.


About the Author

Marvin Neil Simon is an American playwright and screenwriter. He is one of the most reliable hitmakers in Broadway history, as well as one of the most performed playwrights in the world. Though primarily a comic writer, some of his plays, particularly the Eugene Trilogy and The Sunshine Boys, reflect on the twentieth century Jewish-American experience.


Cover Characteristics: Ladders

Cover Characteristics2

This is a new meme hosted by Sugar & Snark. It came about when Sugar was wondering which cover to use for her #70 Cover of the Week post. Sugar kept on thinking of more than one, and they all seemed to have a theme/characteristic. So she decided to switch things up a bit!

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the week’s particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit). You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!

Today’s Cover Characteristic: Ladders

This was not an easy one for me, so I kind of copped out on this week.

c3c76f954bece08029dfabee3351bab6 Everyones-a-genius ladder


Upcoming Themes:

July 3 – Feathers

July 10 – Balconies

July 17 – Eggs

July 24 – Schools

July 31 – Flags


  • Desks
  • Smiley Face
  • Dress/Clothing Only
  • Mountains
  • Handcuffs
  • Pyramids
  • Big Ben
  • Utensils (fork, spoon)
  • Cheerleaders
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Playing Cards
  • Teapots
  • Cookie Jar
  • Cookies
  • Elephants
  • Santa
  • UFO
  • New York City
  • Person Sitting in Field
  • Perfume
  • Balloons
  • Pencils/Pens
  • Wolves
  • Footprints
  • Clocks
  • Swamp
  • Compass Symbol
  • Face in the Sky
  • Movie Screen

Sunday Post ~ Shit Just Got Real

0abf9b9e-b7ac-4d59-b451-7eb7c64ea1b9_zps47hi5hueThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme.

Remember, there are free audiobooks all summer long! Sign up for the text alerts to remember to grab them each week!

Nothing spectacular happened this week. I didn’t really accomplish as much reading as I intended. I spent a lot of time catching up on Pretty Little Liars since the new season kicked off.

I did have some school duties to do this week – getting everything together to register my yearbook officers for the summer workshop. Since school is out and some of them were not even students in the grade I teach, it was slightly difficult getting all the paperwork out to parents, and then getting it back in time.

A lot of family shit went down this week, resulting in my mother calling the sheriff and a series of other events. The only humorous thing in it all was a relative accusing my mother of ignoring her “emotionally distressed son” – and not the high school one who lives at home. They meant my oldest brother, who is 23, married, has 2 kids, and just bought a house. Ha! He, his wife, and I all had a good laugh over that. I also learned two very important things that I never knew growing up, both that will help my mother. Otherwise, I don’t want to say too much, but we are going to see an attorney next week to start proceeding to shut down the dick in the family. Legit dick who seems to all of a sudden be scared.

 ~ Last Week  on G1000W ~

~ This Week on G1000W ~

  • Monday
    • Cover Characteristic ~ Ladders
    • Summertime Challenge ~ Write a Good/Bad Summer Poem
    • Review ~ Lost in Yonkers
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ FREEBIE
    • First Chapter First Paragraph ~ TBD
    • Summertime Challenge ~ Favorite Quotes from Books
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
    • Summertime Challenge ~ City Summer Spotlight
  • Thursday
    • Famous Last Words #8
    • Thoughts on Thursday ~ TBD
    • Summertime Challenge ~ Challenge Wrap Up
  •  Friday
    • Feature Follow Friday ~ Bookcase Tour

~ New Arrivals to Land of 1000 Wonders ~

Scott Cramer, author of The Toucan Trilogy, sent me signed copies of the entire series after my efforts to rewrite the official blurbs for the books. I’ve done the first two books so far and will be working on the third. You can see my blurbs on Amazon!

~ Around Town in the Spotlight ~

 ~ Open Giveaways ~

Emoji Adventures: The Horse Party | Raising Sleeping Stones

Summertime Challenge: Share the Summer Love

desert CAMPING (2)

This is a summer challenge hosted by Parajunkee. It runs through the month of June and has weekly link-ups.

Share the Summer Love

I have loved participating in this challenge! I couldn’t make up my mind for the longest if I wanted to or not. Two weeks in I bit the bullet and I’m so glad I did!

While I’m slow on the roll making my rounds, I’m coming to visit. Promise!

These are some stellar posts I want to share from the challenge…


Marking Special Occasions ~ Nordie @ Writing About Books

Nordie asked a very thoughtful question about how we mark special occasions, whether they be good or bad memories. I feel a little disappointed in myself because I don’t do any of the things she talks about! Go check out the things she’s made over the years for others.

Non-Bookish Post ~ Katrina @ Bookish Things & More 

Katrina posted a cute picture of her and the hubs for their anniversary! I love seeing these kinds of things from the bloggers I get to “meet.” Go see how cute they are!

Summer Goals ~ Liza @ Classy Cat Books

I love Liza’s second goal, and the reasons for it. As a language arts teacher, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Great Summer Vacation ~ Parajunkee

I loved Parajunkee’s description of a great summer vacation. I think it sounds fabulous! I would love to do a road trip like that!

Feature Follow Friday ~ June 23, 2016

Feature & Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The goal of Feature & Follow is to meet new bloggers, make friends, and gain readers.

Standalones I Wish Were Series

I’ve talked before about my battle between series and standalones. Ugh! The struggle is real.

Alright, so standalones I wish were series…

Level Up

Tessa and Adam have their own little posses, which I call The Girls and The Geeks. All of the characters are interesting in themselves, and then their personalities put together is just phenom! I wish I could see where they go next.

Zach Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth

Zach Delacruz is a pretty cool kid…with a big mouth. He gets himself mixed up with El Pollo Loco in charge of the 6th grade chocolate fundraiser. If they can sell enough candy, their 6th grade class gets to attend the first dance ever in the history of Davy Crockett Middle School. An unlikely group of friends form and band together to get the 6th graders in!

27 Days to Midnight

Dahlia Walker goes on one thrilling adventure! She learns more and more about her parents, who defied time and their watches. Now she’s lost them both and hunting down their legacy…while trying to not get killed.

Along the way she meets Farren Reed, Keet Hawkins, and Tiberius. They have striking personalities and I hope I get to see them again!

Deadly Delicious

Josephine has gone and done it this time. Trying to bake love potion deserts gone wrong, and the town turning into cake-eating zombies.

I want to know what happens after everything is set to right. Does she get the boy she wants – or does her rival? Does she become a better baker and witch?

Hope in Every Raindrop

Young best-selling burnt out novelist Katie lands herself in Bishopville, South Carolina. She winds up with Doc and Kyle and the dogs. I wanted to know what happens after. Does Katie go back and deliver her next book? Does she stay with Kyle? Do they have babies and new dog stories to tell?

Real Santa

George Kronenfeldt quit his job and had one shot to keep his daughter believing in Santa. Megan has only one way to continue believing, so George becomes the Real Santa. His bank account and his marriage are threatened after the plans go astronomically awry. George’s kids from a previous relationship raise a horrible stink about his new family and his abandonment of them, George is faced with decisions and choices. Does he wind up doing right by his two older children? What will be his next step? Real Jack Frost? Real Ester Bunny?


Are there standalones you wish were series?