Posted in Reading/Book Reviews

Coffee, Tea or Me by Rich Amooi

Coffee, Tea or Me by Rich Amooi book review
Via Goodreads
Title: Coffee, Tea or Me
Author: Rich Amooi
Genre: Romantic comedy
How I got the book: I borrowed it for free through the Kindle library

Summary (from Goodreads):

Susie opens a tea shop next to Jack’s coffee shop and the war begins.

Jack Robbins has a booming coffee business, an eighty-year old customer who can’t keep his clothes on, and a rescue Chihuahua named Chimichanga that likes to kiss on the mouth. Life is good until the new business next door takes a bite out of his sales.

Susie McKenna has the new tea shop everyone is talking about, an over-protective brother, and a stubborn, good-looking neighbor who is trying to steal her customers.

Things really start to percolate when Jack and Susie both volunteer to help plan the downtown festival. They have to work together and soon Jack won’t be able to get by without his daily fix of Susie. But can a coffee lover and a tea devotee put their competition aside to get their happily ever after?

My Review:

I read this book on a whim because when I read the summary the movie “You’ve Got Mail” came to mind. I love that movie and I felt that this book would be a fun read since I was on vacation.

The chapters go back and forth between Jack’s point of view and Susie’s. I have to say that the author nailed both the male perspective and female perspective. I was often thinking the same things Susie was thinking. Jack was trying to keep his coffee shop up and running while Susie was starting off with her own tea shop right across the street.

The best part of this novel were the characters. Jack and Susie were fun to follow and it’s obvious from the beginning that they’re going to get together so I was cheering for them the whole time.

Plot-wise, I felt as though the beginning was slow. I didn’t mind it as much because I was enjoying the characters so much, but I didn’t think too much was going on. Towards the end, things get shaken up by something that happened in the beginning, which made it all come full circle and worth it.

The book was filled with great details and fun shenanigans from the characters. It was the perfect romantic comedy.

Coffee, Tea or Me by Rich Amooi gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“He could never be a spy. He would get caught or killed on his first day on the job, for sure.” –Rich Amooi, Coffee, Tea or Me

Buy the Book:

Amazon

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Posted in Writing, writing contests

December 2016/January 2017 Writing Contests

December 2016/January 2017 Writing Contests

December 2016

 

Type: Fiction (Short Short Story)
Hosted by: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: December 15, 2016
Entry Fee: $20

Type: Flash fiction, nonfiction, or poetry
Hosted by: Redivider
Deadline: December 15, 2016
Entry Fee: $6

Type: Nonfiction (Inspiration for Teachers)
Hosted by: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: December 31, 2016
Entry Fee: None

Type: Fiction
Hosted by: River Styx
Deadline: December 31, 2016
Entry Fee: $10

January 2017

Type: Fiction (Family Matters)
Hosted by: Glimmer Train
Deadline: January 2, 2017
Entry Fee: $18

Type: Fiction
Hosted by: Literal Latte
Deadline: January 15, 2017
Entry Fee: $10 for one entry or $15 for two entries

Type: Nonfiction (Dreams, Premonitions, and the Unexplainable)
Hosted by: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: January 30, 2017
Entry Fee: None

Type: Nonfiction (Stories About Cats/Dogs)
Hosted by: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: January 31, 2017
Entry Fee: None

Please be sure to read through the guidelines for each contest. Information may change.

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Posted in Author/Site Information, Blogging, Reading/Book Reviews, Writing

December 2016 Goals

Reading

With five Saturdays in December, I plan on reading five books. I read extra in November, so I technically only need to read three books, but I want to keep up the pace of one book a week. There are just too many books out there and not enough time!

I plan on reading…

1. The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris
2. Skeletons in the Closet by Jennifer L. Hart
3. Warriors: The Fourth Apprentice by Erin Hunter
4. The Selection by Kiera Cass
5. Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Writing

I have my work cut out for me this month since I neglected all other writing last month due to NaNoWriMo.

1. George Florence — Finish planning series and finish book one.
2. Side Effect — Edit this for Kris while she edits The Lost Girl for me.
3. Short Stories — Keep writing shorts for magazines, contests, and my writer’s group.

Blogging

Each year I’ve been getting more and more serious with my blog and I’ve been coming up with bigger and better ways to improve. I have a lot of stuff ahead for 2017 and honestly, blogging is going to be the death of me. But I love it, so I won’t complain.

1. Finish December posts
2. Get ahead on graphics for 2017
3. Start January’s posts

Overall

I always think I can do a lot during November despite NaNo and I’m always wrong. I do the same for December because the weight of NaNo is off my shoulders, but then holidays and other things get in the way.

Let’s see how much I can accomplish during this month. Happy December! …And the end of the year. That came up fast.

What are your goals for December? Let me know in the comments below!

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Posted in Blogging, NaNoWriMo, Reading/Book Reviews, Writing

November 2016 Wrap Up

Reading

I read six books, but I didn’t read all the books I had originally planned to. I realized that one of the books was actually the third book in a series. Whether I need to read the series in order or not, I don’t know, but I prefer to read the books in order anyway.

Either way, my Reading List has been updated with the books I read and reviewed in November.

Writing

I wrote 50,000 words and won NaNoWriMo. That was my biggest accomplishment this month, especially since those words are all going towards my blog for next year. I killed two birds with one stone and I’m feeling good about it!

I didn’t get any other writing done during the month. I had planned on getting a few other things done, but life got in the way. I still had a good writing month, though. So I’m not complaining.

Blogging

Well… I got my posts out on time. That’s about it.

I didn’t even read or comment on anyone else’s blogs. Sorry, guys! Between real life events and NaNo, I was so super busy. December will be better!

Overall

I had a really good NaNo, even though I didn’t get everything done I had originally planned. However, I think I overplanned. It was a productive month nonetheless.

Posts to Remember

1. November/December 2016 Writing Contests
2. Why I’m Writing Short Stories for NaNoWriMo
3. 8 Tips for a Wonderful NaNoWriMo
4. Guest: Creative Process Invites Us Beyond Our Expectations

How did November treat you? Did you reach all your goals? If you participated in NaNoWriMo, how did you do? Let me know in the comments below!

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Posted in Reading/Book Reviews

Top 10 Books of 2016

The end of the year is just about upon us. I recently reached my Goodreads Reading Challenge and I thought I would pick my top ten favorite books that I read in 2016.

Top 10 Books of 2016

10. The Boys Upstairs by Jane Lebak

9. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

8. The Murder House by James Patterson

7. Death by Pumpkin by N.A. Granger

6. An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo

5. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

4. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

3. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

2. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

1. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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Posted in Interviews, Reading/Book Reviews, Writing

Meet Jasmine Farrell, Poet

It’s my pleasure to welcome poet Jasmine Farrell to my blog.

Jasmine Farrell

 Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a poet and an author. I published two collections of poetry, My Quintessence and Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves. I write for Ayo Magazine and I like to dance to Charles Mingus and lil’ Kim when no one is watching. I am from Brooklyn, NY and I badly want a snow leopard.

How long have you been writing for?

Well, I’ve been writing since I was a child. However, I didn’t begin to take my poetry seriously until I was in high school. I attended Fashion Industries High school and during draping classes, I would be writing poetry instead of my assigned tasks. Probably why I did so poorly during Draping I.

What is your writing process like?

Free writing. I love free writing for a set amount of time and listening to music. Whenever I get inspired to write, I immediately let the words flow and call it a “word vomit” until I polish it up to become a poem.

Do you have a writing routine? If so, what’s a typical day like for you?

Not really. Unless I am writing an article for Ayo, I just simply write whenever I feel inspired to write. Excluding my personal journal writing, of course.

What motivates you to write?

Life motivates me to write. Autumn leaves, heartache, self-discovery, new beginnings, etc!

What was the first thing you did when you found out your book was being published?

I put on a pair of my “good socks” and slid around my house as though I was the flyest thing since clouds.

Are you currently working on anything new?

Yes, I am currently working on a novel. I won’t release what it is about yet.

If you weren’t a writer, what would your career be?

I would have been a lawyer. A bitter, miserable and angry lawyer.

What is the easiest part of writing for you? What is the hardest part?

The easiest part of writing for me is completing the last line of a story or a poem. The hardest part is continuing my poem or story after the first line. Oh, and grammar. Good God, grammar and punctuation are my enemies!

What’s one thing you learned through writing that you wish you knew before you started?

Restricting yourself is for fools.

What is your favorite book or genre? Is there a special book that made you realize you wanted to write?

My favorite book is, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. There wasn’t a special book that made me realize I wanted to write.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Write EXACTLY what’s going on in your head. Write down your vividly awesome stories and make adjustments later. Don’t second guess your words before those words reach the paper.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Be yourself. Everyone else is taken and someone needs your weird ass just the way you are.

About Jasmine Farrell:

Born in “the village” and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Jasmine Farrell is an author, poet, and blogger with a Bachelors in Communications.  She released her first book of poems in 2014, My Quintessence, about adolescent angst, self-acceptance, love and societal stances. Ms. Farrell’s work has been featured in The Heron Clan III, appeared in the Nyack College’s literary journal, The Fine Print, and she has been a guest blogger for WomenWithGifts.com, GreenNation.Org and FemPotential.com. She writes for Ayo Magazine and dances to Charles Mingus and lil’ Kim when no one is watching. Writing in her late Grandmother’s memo pads is included into her repertoire of writings. She has recently released her second collection of poetry, Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves, May, 2016.

Connect with Jasmine Farrell:

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 

Buy Jasmine Farrell’s Books:

Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves
My Quintessence

Posted in Short Story Sunday, Writing

Short Story Sunday 137: The Girl Next Door

           

“I trusted you.”

“Well, then that was your mistake.”

Eric opened his mouth to retaliate, but closed it almost immediately. He shook his head and threw his hands up in defeat. He didn’t know what else to say even though he wanted so badly to come up with something witty. He turned his back on his friend—no, his ex-friend now—and left the dorm room.

He and Cole had been best friends since middle school. They knew everything about each other. They had been there for each other for all the ups and downs of life and growing up. Eric knew all of Cole’s deep dark secrets and Cole knew his. The only difference was that Eric had kept all of Cole’s secrets secret.

After all these years, he never thought that he would be betrayed by his best friend.

Eric exited the boys’ dorm building and walked across campus. It was the beginning of the fall semester. The season was still technically summer, but the mornings and evenings were beginning to feel a lot like fall.

As Eric walked across the campus, he stuffed both hands in his pockets. He wished he had brought a sweatshirt, but there was no way he was going to go back into Cole’s room and get it. He would have to take it back another time.

“Eric?”

Eric stopped walking and sighed. He didn’t want to talk to anyone. He didn’t even want to see anyone. He knew he was bound to run into someone if he was walking through the open campus, but he had hoped no one would try to stop and mingle with him.

He turned around anyway to see what the voice wanted. Ironically enough, it wasn’t anyone he recognized.

“Yes?” he raised an eyebrow looking the young lady up and down.

The woman tucked some strands of her long black hair behind her ear. Another cool breeze blew by making her hair jump out in front of her face again. “It’s Erika. Remember me?”

Eric narrowed his eyes. Erika? The name did ring a bell. He was pretty sure that he knew an Erika way back when he was just a kid. He had just moved to the neighborhood and there was a little girl his age who lived next door.

If he remembered correctly, her name was Erika.

“We used to be neighbors?” she read his mind.

Well, that answered that question.

“It’s coming back to me, yes.” Eric couldn’t help but smile.

They had been best friends up until the start of middle school. Erika had to move away because her father got transferred at work. It was a tough time for Eric. He remembered being so upset that she had to leave. He tried following her, if he remembered correctly. But his mother had caught him the moment he grabbed her car keys out of her purse.

“It’s crazy to see you here!” Erika laughed. “I never thought I was ever going to see you again. I’m surprised you remember me.”

“I’m surprised you remember me,” Eric commented with a chuckle. “I tried driving my mom’s car to follow you to your new house.”

“Eric, I moved a few states away. And we were only 10.” Erika frowned.

“I know. My mom caught me the moment I grabbed her car keys. But I didn’t have any sense of direction or time.” Eric shrugged his shoulders.

He remembered being so worried about starting middle school. He wasn’t going to know anyone because Erika wasn’t going to be there with him.

Then, like a miracle, on the first day of school he met Cole. And they had been peanut butter and jelly ever since.

Well, up until now.

“Please tell me that you’re attending this school and you’re not just visiting or something.” Erika pleaded.

“I live right over there.” Eric pointed to the boys’ dorm building a few feet away from them.

“Well, I live right over there.” Erika pointed to the girls’ dormitory in the opposite direction.

“Great!” Eric grinned. “We’ll have to get together and catch up soon.”

“Well, what are you doing right now?”

“Blowing off steam.” He shrugged hating to admit that.

“So why can’t we catch up now?” Erika took his hand in hers and looked him in the eye.

What could he say in return? Eric had been waiting for so long to see Erika again to the point where he almost completely forgot who she was. He wrapped his fingers around hers and nodded his head.

It was a perfect time to catch up with an old friend.

Words: 770

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