Conversations With Laura Bush

Former First Lady Laura Bush continued her White House Initiative in Fort Worth, Texas by speaking at the TarrantNET banquet benefiting Read 2 Win! This program is a faith based program that offers reading tutoring to elementary students. Churches are partnered with elementary schools to assist in bringing students up to grade level in reading.

I had a wonderful time sitting at the media table with Jill Darden, editor and CEO of the Fort Worth Black News, Anna Tinsley, reporter for the Star-Telegram and Britine Burton, professor at Dallas County Community College District and of course former First Lady Laura Bush who is now a very happy grandmother who enjoys reading.

To find out more about this organization go to www tarrantnet.org/read2win.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

An Evening With Laura Bush–To Fight Illiteracy

laura-bushFormer First Lady Laura Bush will be the featured speaker at the Tarrant Net (networking churches reaching Tarrant County) banquet. The proceeds from this event will benefit Tarrant Net’s Literacy Initiative Read 2 Win. The event will be held on September 9 from 6:30 PM to 9 PM at the Fort Worth Convention Center.  The check in will start at 6 PM.  You must have photo ID to gain entrance into the banquet.

Tarrant Net has a purpose that seems to be right on target today.  It’s mission is to see churches and ministries from across racial and denomination lines working together to raise up an army of volunteers to make a difference in the cities that comprise Tarrant County, Texas.

Read 2 Win is striving to eradicate illiteracy by matching first grade at risk students with volunteers that are committed to helping the students of Tarrant County. Eradicating illiteracy was one of Mrs. Bush’s initiatives while she was in the White House.

You can find out more about this event by going to http://www.tarrantnet.org/laurabush/

Remember ‘thisisyourbestyear”.

 

Symbiotic Section Review and Give Away

Hey Guys,

I’ve just published my review of “The Symbiotic Section“, a thriller by Tina Louise Brotz.  Here is your chance to win an autographed copy of the book plus a $50 Visa Card.  The rules are simple, please read the review below, like this post and comment by telling us what you are reading.  The winner will be announced December 21, 2013.  Good luck!

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The Symbiotic Section

By Tina Louise Brotz

A Review by Maricia D. C. Johns, “thisisyourbestyear”

            Whew, I am tired.  Tina Louise Brotz should have had a flight attendant give instructions on how to read “The Symbiotic Section”. When reading this book you should fasten your seatbelt.  Seriously this will be one of the fastest, intriguing flights that you will ever take.

            Immediately after takeoff, I was off and flying and you will be too.  During the takeoff, just before we were to reach our cruising altitude, the book was hit with turbulence.  It caused me to grab the seat because I knew at that moment it was going to be a bumpy, exciting ride for the rest of the novel.

            The pilot, Ms. Brotz proved to be in control.  She takes each character and gives us a complete picture of them.  While we think we know them, we don’t.

            The city of Chicago is at its best—showing the glitz and glamor along with the gritty side.  As I reached for my refreshments, pushed my seat back to get comfortable, out of the blue we were hit with turbulence again.  This time I knew that I might need something a little stronger to drink than what I had.

            Getting to know the characters was a real page turner.  No one is exactly what they seem which is sometimes good and other times not.  Even the secondary characters are interesting, and Ms. Brotz gives us the reader an insight into what makes them who they are.  She carefully, yet expertly gives us the description of each character so that we fully understand why they are a certain way.  You will “know” them.

            “The Symbiotic Section” is a mystery; it’s a thriller with a little romance thrown in.  It is novel that will grab you from the beginning.  You will reach flying altitude in the novel, but you will never hit cruising speed—it will be fast and rocky.  The time will fly as you read this novel, and when you finish you will be glad that you reached your destination.

            When we taxied to the gate and I collected my luggage from the overhead, I knew that nothing was left behind.  As Ms. Brotz stood in the doorway, I thanked her for a wonderful journey.  She smiled and said she hoped I would travel with her again—I know I will have many frequent flier miles with Ms. Tina Louise Brotz.

The Characters are How Old and Doing What?

Well, I know you thought this post would be about Mother’s Day.  Hey, you know it’s coming up, and you know what to do–make Mama feel like the queen she is.

I have always loved to read.  Almost nothing is better than curling up with a good book, cup of coffee/glass of wine (depending on the time of day), pair of socks and enjoying a good book. This week we’re going to talk about the books we love to read. We’re going to share the titles and tell a little bit about the book.

As a young child, the Bobbsey Twins ignited my love of reading.  I lived in their house and named my cat Snoop in honor of them. 

Over the years, my reading taste changed, but one thing that I noticed, very few of the characters changed; they never really matured, and if they did, they were relegated to sub-sub plots, you know, cooking, babysitting and sitting on the porch.

While in search of something to hold my attention, I found Ms. Evelyn Palfrey, and she bought joy to my heart.  Her books let me laugh, cry, become a detective, talk with the characters as I read and so much more.

I first got acquainted with her work while attending an event in Dallas, Texas where she told us of her love for romance novels (she almost lost me there), but I kept listening because she was so entertaining.  Then she said something that caught my attention–all the romance novels had beautiful, twenty something, fit characters in them.  As she had matured, the characters she had grown to love had stayed the same age.  She decided that she wanted to read about people who were more like her–maturing, working on second careers, some with children, grandchildren, some dealing with divorce, death, everything that happens as we go through this life.

I feel I know her because she writes about real women, but she does so entertainingly–they are not dull characters.  She writes about the one who goes on a diet, and doesn’t lose any weight.  She writes about the one who is insecure, the one who is confident, the one who dreams about the man who got away, until she sees him again, and then thank’s God he got away. Evelyn writes beautifully about women who sometime look back over their lives with regret, but also who look toward the future with hope.  One of my favorites by Ms. Palfrey is “Three Perfect Men”. There is romance and mystery which I love.

For pure pleasure, take a look at “Butterfly” by Kathryn Harvey. This one was something I picked up years ago.  It was recommended by the store clerk, and he was on the money.  It is a weekend read that is  just for fun. 

The last book that I read just for fun was “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”,  by Stieg Larsson.  It was wonderful, action packed, sexy and so much more.

Ladies who do you like to read?  Give us a name and a title of something that you enjoyed–tell us a little something about the book.  Let’s share.

Ms. Palfrey’s website is: http://www.evelynpalfrey.com

You can purchase her books and also the book “Butterfly” on Amazon.

If you don’t have time for an entire novel, take a look at this blog written by Pam Wyatt Aaron.  It is called the “Sage Book Whisperer”.  She writes about so many wonderful things–life, travel, tea, crafts, foods and so much more.   This blog will keep you entertained and informed.  Her blog site is:http://sagebookwhisperer.blogspot.com 

If any men are reading this, and I hope there are–buy Mama a tablet to read her books on–remember Mother’s Day is here.

Happy Mother’s Day and remember, “Thisisyourbestyear”.  Don’t forget to share your favorite books and authors with us.  See you next week