Review: A Husband’s Regret by Natasha Anders

A Husband's Regret BCTitle: A Husband’s Regret

Author: Natasha Anders

Genre: Romance

Length:  310 Pages

Publisher: Montelake Romance

Release Date: April 29, 2014

ISBN: 978-1777818374


Book Summary: (From Goodreads) Tall and thin, twenty-eight-year-old Bronwyn Palmer has become positively gaunt, a ghost of her former self. That self was—and still is—the wife of a rich, handsome executive with an ocean-view house and his own security staff.

It was in that house, two years ago, that Bryce Palmer learned Bronwyn was pregnant with their first child. But Bryce’s rage over his impending fatherhood touched off a chain reaction of emotional and physical traumas that wounded them both. For Bronwyn, it meant fleeing the perfect marriage to start over with nothing but a precocious daughter named Kayla to care for. For Bryce, it meant a tortuous two years spent blaming his wife for deserting him, and living with the pain of not knowing his child. Now a chance encounter has brought Bronwyn back into Bryce’s life, both bearing scars…and neither knowing the whole truth of that fateful night that drove them apart.

Review: I enjoyed this book by Natasha Anders. It was a quick read and a decent romance. The characters were believable, and I liked that the male protagonist had a disability. It was a bold move that worked, though the reason for the disability wasn’t explained in enough detail for my taste, but that’s just the armchair scientist in me speaking.

The parenting moments were fun to see, though at times, Bronwyn and Bryce seemed to know just what to do even though they were first time parents. It would have been added a humanizing element by making them less than perfect as parents by making few mistakes most first time parents make.

While the book was a good read, there were still a few things that could have been developed better.

The story is set in South Africa, but Anders does little to set up the setting outside of their house. As a result I never got a real sense of place with this story. In fact I never got a real sense of how much Bronwyn struggled during those two years without Bryce because it was all relayed as back story. Showing some of her struggle could have added to her characterization.

Speaking of Bronwyn… she’s a bit of a Mary Sue. It would have been nice if her characterization had been more well-rounded and she’d owned up to her part in the disaster that tore her marriage apart. It was never really clear why she hid from Bryce for two years. The reasons for it weren’t strong enough. Why struggle and live one step ahead of homelessness when she could have applied for child support. I’m sure South Africa has laws to provide for children with delinquent fathers. Bronwyn does show character growth in this story and that was good. But in my opinion, more could have been done to even out the blame instead of placing it all on Bryce. There are two sides to every argument and Bronwyn’s side was a little too perfect. She was the perfect martyr.

Bryce was a little too extreme on the vitriol meter. It was the classic emotionally injured alpha male lashes out at the female protagonist, and then mauls her because he just can’t keep his hands off her, only to hate her even more because he wants her so much. And she takes it like a doormat.

But still, these elements were never so bad that I was tempted to walk away. The conflict here could have been cleared up if there two kiddos had done a better job communicating with each other. I was happy to see that Anders does show these two characters improving in the “let’s talk about it before we fly off the handle” arena. And watching Bryce grow by accepting he could be wrong, learning that it’s okay to ask for help, and facing the demons from his childhood was good. Kayla’s reaction and acceptance of her father was heartwarming. I especially liked that Anders showed how adaptable children are when faced with someone with a disability. Kayla’s quick adjustment to Bryce’s limitation was spot on. I’ll be looking for Natasha Anders’ next book.

*I received a free uncorrected proof from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*

Find Natasha Anders on: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

The Write Savage Rating

Three Star


Should We Ban Bossy?

Should We Ban Bossy?

[Reposted from my article “Diva Chat: Should We Ban Bossy?” by Janine Savage on Write Divas.]


divachatRecently Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg did something that makes little sense to me. She called for a ban on the word bossy. She claims that this word is used to belittle girls and women; therefore, the offending word must be banned in the name of feminism.

When I first heard about this, I was confused. What did the word bossy ever do to anybody? It seems odd to place the blame on a word instead of the people using the word. There are many words that change meaning depending on the use. And these can be used positively or negatively.

I’ve never really pondered the word bossy before and asking us to ban it seems like a big waste of my time. There’s nothing wrong with being bossy. I’ve been called bossy and plenty of other words to my face, and I’m sure more times behind my back than I know about. But I don’t care. In fact, I’m sure most people who have been called bossy aren’t about to let a label bring them down. And I say people because let’s get real, being called bossy is not exclusive to females. Males are called bossy just as often, and it’s not just men using the word. So when someone tries to put a negative spin on a word like bossy in the name of feminism, it’s a waste of everyone’s time and makes feminism take a step back. Bossy is an empowering word. It’s root is boss. But vilifying words does absolutely nothing to further feminism, or anti-bullying, or any other cause. All it does is use heavy-handed techniques to shift the blame from those who label to the label itself.

So we all stop using the word bossy. What’s next? Shall we ban the word aggressive, zealot, persistent, tenacious? Instead of throwing money and countless hours to banning a five-letter word because someone decided it’s now a four-letter word, shouldn’t we be devoting those resources to raise the self-esteem of girls and boys so that when a label is placed on them, they are strong enough to rise above the perceived negativity?

I, for one, don’t mind being called bossy. Why? Because I am. I’m also a know-it-all. I even earned the nickname of “the Growler” in one of my first jobs after graduating from college. Was I horrified by these labels? Not in the least. I don’t derive my self-esteem from what others think of me. It comes from within because I know who I am, what I can do, where I’m going, and how to get there. I don’t want special treatment because I’m a woman, and I’ve never considered that being a woman put me at a disadvantage. Ever.

If you’d like to read what my business partners thought of the Ban Bossy campaign, you can read the rest of the article “Diva Chat: Should We Ban Bossy?” on the Write Divas website.

What do you think of the move to “Ban Bossy”? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. If you decide to blog about it, include a link. I welcome all opinions on this topic.



Noah Should Have Gone Down With The Ark

Crowe what theI may be in the minority here, but I’ve never been one to “go with the in crowd,” so… here it goes.

Hands down, Noah is the worst movie I’ve seen all year. And I’m talking in the last twelve months, not just in 2014.

If you want to see the story set in the industrialized Middle Ages where Broody McBroody Pants enlisted the aid of Rock Giants to save the planet from the wicked polluting ways of humans while plotting his own version of Jim Jones to ensure that man does not survive, including his own family, Noah is the movie for you. If you thought would were going to see a movie about Noah from the Bible, don’t bother; this movie completely jumps the shark. It’s not that I expected Noah to conform exactly to the story from Old Testament, but I did expect it to recognize that it was the story of Noah and the ark. Even a little bit.

Now before you continue on with this review, I will say upfront: While I am religious, I’m not one of those people who gets their panties in a bunch every time someone pokes fun at religion. And when it comes to entertainment I don’t go to a lot of religious movies nor do I read a read religious books. Why? Because when I’m looking for entertainment, I want to be entertained, not preached to. I don’t like preachiness. And that’s not limited to religion. If you want to preach politics, the environment, gay vs straight, whatever it is… take it somewhere else. If I’m going to a movie, I want to be entertained. If I want to be preached to, all I have to do is turn on the radio, television, or go to church. And I do all three on a regular basis. So why did I go see a movie about Noah? Because it looked good. I also went in expecting it would follow the story of Noah and that there would be religion.

So what did Noah deliver? (Spoiler Alert) From almost the beginning, the heavy-handed environmental lean was apparent. Man has killed mother earth, therefore “The Creator” will kill them all. A movie that I expected to be on the preachy side of religion was full-steam-ahead preachy on the environment. And did you notice that God is referred as “The Creator”? By renaming God as “The Creator,” Darren Aronofsky removes God from the movie. I guess that makes sense when you hire an atheist to direct a story from a religious text. Aronofsky even tackled the story of  the creation and filled it full of evolution. It stopped just short of showing man evolving from monkeys. And while I don’t begrudge those who don’t believe in God, I often wonder why there’s such a need to spit upon and belittle everything religious? So you don’t like religion. Fine by me. But why all the mean-spirited attacks—the need to cut down anything religious for amusement? This movie willingly distorts the original tale so that the only thing it has in common with the original is the big boat and the flood.

On top of all this, the movie is also anti-war, which is ironic when you consider how many people died at the hands of Noah in this movie. Which makes me suspect that the underlying message here is that religion is responsible for war. King Tubal-Cain’s internal conflicting need to be ruler of the earth and be free of The Creator’s will, while secretly wanting The Creator to speak to him is at the core of much of the violence he incites in his followers.

Even weirder is that Noah believes that he and his family are to die off, thus ending man’s reign on the earth. Noah is even hell-bent on making sure man does not survive because the only innocents on the earth are the animals they are rescuing. Noah even goes so far as proclaiming to The Creator that he will kill his own grandchildren in a very Abraham-esque moment. Aronofsky took great liberties with the story of Noah. He even subjected us to his version of what happens for nine months on the ark… as mutiny grows with contrived drama. How Ham is able to hide the evil King Tubal-Cain on the ark for nine long months is a mystery. And why no one notices that he’s eating the animals is an even greater mystery. And the biggest mystery of all is… why aren’t Noah’s sons already grown and married when the ark sets sail rather than the incestuous slant the movie takes in the end? Noah’s sons being married is clearly part of the original tale in the Bible. Everyone who went into the ark went in two-by-two, both male and female, including Noah and his family.

Noah drowningThis movie had little to do with the story of Noah from the Bible: from the rock giants aka fallen angels who are responsible for the industrialization of mankind to Noah living as a wino in a van down by the river… er… in a cave down by the beach. Why call it Noah at all? Why not rename it Two Girls, Five Guys and a Boat or better yet, Flowers in the Attic: The Early Years?

You know a movie is bad when the entire theater sits in stunned silence as the credits roll. No one spoke, no one moved. Everyone sat in their seats, mouths agape in horror. When people did finally move, it was as if everyone moved in a slow stupor. No one spoke. My guess they were all cursing the loss of the money for the tickets and the two and a half hours of their lives forever wasted. I finally couldn’t stand it anymore and asked in a loud voice… “Did anyone think that was as stupid as I thought it was?”

This is the first Aronofsky movie I’ve ever seen, and I dare say, the last. I, for one, will not be applauding his attempt to “revitalize” the biblical genre. My only advice to you is, don’t drink Jim Jones… er… Aronofsky’s Kool-Aid. Noah should have gone down with the ark.

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Why PacSun’s Visual T-Shirt Line Should Offend You Too


I found a great article by Rachel Watkins that I wanted to share. Watkins hits the nail on the head about the reaction in the press and on the Internet to a woman who objected to a T-shirt line being sold at PacSun.

Why PacSun’s Visual T-Shirt Line Should Offend You Too.

I’ll say upfront that I too live in Utah, and while I consider myself moderately conservative, I am also a feminist. And yes, those two ideologies can co-exist within the same person.

Judy Cox, the woman who was branded as a conservative trying to censor PacSun, is a woman who took a stand against the sexual objectification of women, a subject that makes my blood boil. As Cox said, “I am a progressive, liberal woman and I am offended too. My body is not a way to sell T-shirts.”

Read the article and sound off. Is it okay to sexually objectify women? Do we want our daughters to grow up thinking they’re nothing but a pair of tits and a nice ass?

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Author and Blogger Fan Appreciation Giveaway!

My good friend, Bev, part of an author and blogger fan appreciation giveaway. Check it out and enter. You might just win something!

Beverlyn Elliott

January Author/Blogger Fan Appreciation Giveaway
JABFAgiveawayFINAL (1)
This is a joint Author & Blogger giveaway!

Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a prize pack totaling  $240 in amazon gift cards!  This is our way of saying thank you to all of our wonderful fans who support us each and everyday.  As an additional thank you we have set it up so our fans can vote for their favorite book bloggers.  This is another way of giving back because we know that the money won by the book bloggers will in turn find it’s way to their followers and more books will reach even more people.  Thank you everyone, your support means the world!


1. Back Off My Books

2. Amy Queau – Author

3. Southern Belle Book Blog

4. Sarah Mack – Author

5. Headtripping Books

6. Penny For My Thoughts Book Blog

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Writing Tips: Details: Fantasy Transportation (Guest Post – Charles E. Yallowitz)

This is a great article by Charles E. Yallowitz about the importance of knowing your transportation for the fantasy genre. His advice can be applied to other genres as well. Check it out!

Shannon A Thompson

Shannon, here, for an introduction: 

If you checked out my last post, then you know about my new series: “Writing Tips: Details: ____.” I will be periodically posting about the little things – how to choose something like a wardrobe for your character. Last time, I spoke about vehicles, and that’s when Charles E. Yallowitz blew me away in the comments. As a high fantasy writer, he doesn’t deal with cars, but he still took the time to see the correlations between the cars and other transportation methods he has had to decide. By broadening the discussions, I knew he had to have his own slot – his own posting – and I offered him today’s place. Below you will read tips from Charles E. Yallowitz – and who knows? – maybe your added commentary will be the next one chosen to keep the discussion going.

Fantasy Transportation:…

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Awesome Alien PSA: “Avoid Earth. It sucks. Hard.”

This had me laughing from the moment the video started. A very entertaining look at how humans could appear to other, more sensible alien creatures.

OK, This Is Awesome

Just imagine if, instead of Earth being a small, weak, backwater that every alien species is champing at the bit to invade, it is viewed as a terrible, scary place full of violent sociopaths that every other sapient species knows to avoid like the space plague.  How would they get that message across?  Probably with something like this kick-ass PSA.

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First Look at the Outlander Series!

Aside from loving action movies, I’m a sucker for historical novels. Add a little science fiction in the form of time travel and I’ll follow you anywhere. When I heard Starz was making Outlander by Diana Gabaldon into a series, I was more than a little excited. Here’s a first look. For those of you who have not read the Outlander series… What are you waiting for? It’s got Scots fighting the English for their freedom, strapping young heroes, devious villains, strong women, and a time travel romance that makes you all squishy inside. So here’s to the yummy Jamie Fraser and his true love in time, Claire Randall. If you haven’t started reading these books, do it before the series starts this summer. I’ll bring the popcorn!

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January Movies I Want to See

It seems that 2014 has a few movies I’m just itching to see; too many, it seems, for one post to rule… er… talk about them all. So instead of doing a mega gigantic post, I’m going to treat you to a monthly post highlighting the movies that interest me. To start with, I’m an action-movie junkie. You won’t find many chick flicks here, unless the chick blows up something and wields a wicked crossbow or firearm. Maybe there’s a glitch in my X chromosome. I don’t know, but you won’t find my husband complaining about it. We almost always want to see the same movies.

In January, the hubby and I have our birthdays exactly one week apart… well, six years and one week to be exact. LOL And it’s not very often that our birthdays fall on a Friday. But this year the stars aligned so that we have Friday birthdays and movies we want to see opening on those dates. Needless to say, it’s a no-brainer what we’re doing to celebrate. There are three movies this month that made it on the family calendar in the kitchen: The Legend of Hercules, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and I, Frankenstein (in order of release date).

The Legend of Hercules

Immortality is in his bloodline.

Hercules 13036_poster

Release Date: January 10th
Rating: PG-13
Starring: Kellan Lutz, Liam McIntyre, and Scott Adkins

Summary: In the epic origin story the legend of Hercules, Kellan Lutz stars as the mythical Greek hero—the son of Zeus, a half-god, half-man blessed with extraordinary strength. Betrayed by his stepfather, the king, and exiled and sole into slavery because of a forbidden love, Hercules must use his formidable powers to fight his way back to his rightful kingdom. Through harrowing battles and gladiator-arena death matches, Hercules embarks on a legendary odyssey to overthrow the king and restore peace to the land. [SOURCE: http://www.hercules3dmovie.com/]

This movie made the list at the request of my sixteen-year-old daughter. She has proudly followed in her mother’s footsteps and eschewed the chick flick, unless there’s a hot guy who ends up shirtless at some point in the movie. But I digress. This film looks like a good way to spend a few hours. Am I expecting Oscar-winning performances or a screen play that will leave me enlightened? Nope – too many shirtless buff men. But I do expect to be entertained, and I’m hoping the story isn’t weak or full of plot holes. Even though I’m not expecting to be amazed or transported to a higher consciousness, I also don’t want my intelligence insulted. This is Kellan Lutz’s second role as a mythical god or demigod, having played Poseidon opposite Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill in Immortals (2011)

For more on The Legend of Hercules:

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Tumblr

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Trust No One


Release Date: January 17th
Rating: PG-13
Starring: Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh, and Keira Knightly

Summary: In a story taking place prior to the original Jack Ryan stories, Ryan is a young stockbroker working for a billionaire in Moscow before joining the CIA. When the billionaire he is advising frames him for a terrorist plot and kidnaps his wife, Ryan must race against time to clear his name, stop the plot, and save his wife.

Chris Pine is the latest actor to star as Jack Ryan, following in the footsteps of Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck. I’ve seen and loved these movies, even the one with Ben. (I’m not much of a fan of his. I’m sure he’s a wonderful human being; I’m just not sold on his earlier work.) I am excited to see Chris Pine in this role. I loved him in the new Star Trek franchise as Captain James T. Kirk and thought he did a great job in Unstoppable opposite Denzel Washington. I’m not sure how I feel about Keira Knightly in the roll of Jack’s wife, so I’ll hold my comments until after I see her in the movie. Kevin Costner as Jack’s mentor and Kenneth Branagh as the villain (and director) round out this film.

Am I expecting more out of this film? Yes. Tom Clancy is the originator of this series, though not the author of this particular story. That belongs to David Koepp (Angels and Demons, War of the Worlds, Spider-Man, Panic Room, Mission Impossible, and Jurassic Park.)

For more on Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit:

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

I, Frankenstein

In the battle between good and evil, an immortal holds the key.
I_Frankenstein_Teaser_Poster_Oficial_JPostersRelease Date: January 24th
Rating: PG-13
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, and Yvonne Strahovski

Summary: 200 years after his shocking creation, Dr. Frankenstein’s creature, Adam, still walks the earth. But when he finds himself in the middle of a war over the fate of humanity, Adam discovers he holds the key that could destroy humankind. From the co-writer of the hit supernatural saga, UNDERWORLD, comes the action thriller I, FRANKENSTEIN, written for the screen and directed by Stuart Beattie, screen story by Kevin Grevioux and Stuart Beattie, based on the Darkstorm Studios graphic novel “I, Frankenstein” created by Kevin Grevioux. The story is brought to life by a cast that includes Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Jai Courtney, and Aden Young as Victor Frankenstein. [SOURCE: http://www.ifrankensteinfilm.com/]

This is the movie I’m the most excited for in January. Why? Maybe I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Frankenstein. I mean who can forget that lovable monster in Young Frankenstein, right? LOL Somehow I don’t think Aaron Eckhart’s version of the monster will be warm and cuddly, but Eckhart is a big reason why I’m excited for this film. I’m also a fan of the classic good vs. evil with the tragic outcast, a victim of his circumstances, that must save the day. It’s got sad ending written all over it. But this is Hollywood, so while I don’t expect Adam to go riding off into the sunset on a unicorn with the girl, I do expect that the makers of this fill will end it on a hopeful note or something that either gives Adam the life he wants or releases him from his cursed existence. I’m also hoping that this film wows with the script, plot and acting as much as I expect the special effects to, but because of past expectations of movies of this nature, I half expect that the filmmakers have put more time and effort into the special effects and neglected the story. Here’s hoping against hope that Hollywood gets it right because that would make for a great birthday, right? Haha!

For more on I, Frankenstein:

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter (#IFrankenstein)

I’m sure there are other worthy movies coming out in January, but these are the three that I’m the most excited to see. All three are action adventure / thriller type movies. I doubt any of these movies will speak to me like the wonderful The Secret Life of Walter Mitty did (more on that movie later), but I’m not expecting a movie as insightful as Mitty. What these three movies do promise is a good romp and a lot of action and adventure, something I just don’t get a lot of living in suburbia.

Enjoy and pass the popcorn!

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Daily Prompt: Simply the Best

Daily Prompt: Simply the Best


Who would have thought that the place my muse speaks to me would be a twenty-year-old Suburban?

I often wonder if that pastime I enjoyed as a child, the Sunday drive that has been all but eliminated because of soaring gas prices, is the reason my muse comes to me when I’m behind the wheel. That’s when she whispers her secrets and gives me occasional pearls of creativeness.

She likes it best when I’m driving with my children, a cacophony of music, song and laughter filling the space. Maybe it’s because it’s a place of happiness and expression. My children feel it though I don’t think they’ve named it as I have because this is when they share their thoughts and ideas with me, too. It matters not how long or short the drive is. My creative muse comes along for the ride, even if she all she has to share with me is her time.  

Drew Chial

Advice for writers, stories about the world they live in.


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