I am new to Goodreads, so I have been over there trying to figure how the forums are run and what the reviews are like.  When I first started this blog, I had no idea about Goodreads.  I am an avid reader and joined a book club, called Random Readers, so that I could explore many genres that I might not have been otherwise exposed to.  I also decided that I would do a book review on my blog every time I reviewed a new book.  I try to be most judicious with my reviews.  I want others to enjoy the books I enjoyed and to know my thoughts on books they might enjoy but we might not agree on.

I was told that Goodreads was a great place for readers and writers to connect, so one of the first groups that I joined was called Making Connections.  I am finding that these readers and writers are most helpful and supportive.   I am glad I joined for that reason.

I have a complaint that I feel needs to be made public, a rant if you will:

One of my most serious concerns with Goodreads has to do with reader reviews, which all of us authors recognize as supremely important.  However, I am finding that readers are posting juicy details of books that I might like to read and spoiling it for me.  I see that there is a way to hide reviews if they have spoilers and I am hoping that this is the author’s prerogative.  I recognize that readers may simply be all caught up in what they perceive is a good thing, and that is wonderful!  Some are inadvertantly reavealing too much detail, I’m sure, probably not even conscious that they are revealing too much, but some just seem downright mean spirited about it.

I found a book that I loved the cover for, and the book description was quite enticing.  I thought that I should like to read it.  I read a few reviews, and was very disappointed at the spoilers which seriously ruined it for me.  It was a murder mystery.  I learned who did it, how they did it, and what the consequences were.  Why bother reading the book?  It was a rather nasty rant from someone who obviously did not enjoy the book.  I might have liked it, because  sometimes I do like what others find disturbing.

I don’t know if I am going to like this Goodreads thing.  I want to learn the juicy details on my own.  So don’t spoil it for me or other readers.

Beauty – in thought, word and deed

Penny has wonderful words to share.

The Why About This

What is beautiful to you?

How do you experience beauty?

What is the sensation within you, when beholding beauty?

One of the most wonderful things about being human

is our ability to experience – the beauty of things.

Those most wonderful sights, sounds, touches, fragrances,

and tastes of our experiences, thoughts and memories.

All revolving around our perception of beauty.

“The most beautiful thing I can think of today – is TODAY!”


today 3

My share for the week! Please take this with you

if you’d like! No copyright restrictions, my drawing and words

Given with love, Penny

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WIPs, I need opinions!!!!

I am having a writer’s dilemma:  I have two works in progress and I have decided if I am to get either one of them finished in a timely manner, I am going to have to choose which one to deeply dedicate myself to.  The first one is a mystery murder/drama which may actually evolve into a series.  It is told by the Governor’s lover, a gay man who despises the Governor’s wife.  This one is very serious with little humor.

The second one is a sort of autobiography; the names have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty.  It is told in the first person.  It is the life of an orphan who has matured into adulthood.  My life has not been a mundane one and it has some very exciting characters and events. While it has some very serious moments there is ultimately more humor in this second one

Read, if you will, the two opening few paragraphs and tell me in comments which one peaks your interest most.  Which one, if either, makes you want to read more right away?  They are very different.  The first one is set in Orlando, Fl., a bit in Chicago and quite a bit in Washington, DC.  The second one is set in New York City initially, but progresses back to GA and then to Florida.




Delgado was not a name former Florida Governor Timothy Harrison would have chosen for his only son, had that choice been his exclusively. It was merely a Democratic political device of the times, and a Latin family name of his late and only wife, Maria E. Bohling-Harrison, chosen and insisted upon by her at their son’s birth, 33 years ago.

Maria was of mixed decent, with a Puerto Rican mother and an Irish father, but her Hispanic phenotype was unquestionable.  She was a dark and richly radiant beauty.

No red hair, but her fighting Irish spirit as well as her peppery Latina voice were clearly recognizable genotypes.  Although calm and composed in general public appearances, privately she most often displayed fiery temperament.

Living vicariously close as observer in those early years of Governor Tim’s second career, I was a young and impressionable man in awe of it all, the splendor of idealistic illusion.

Tim’s first career had been one of engineering, until that time, when he had been promoted to the point of actually ceasing to engineer anything but managing, instead, those in Civil Engineering who continued to work in the field.  The frustrations of such management were met with savvy political skill and relatively easily quelled despite the presenting problems of a population explosion in the new millennium of Central Florida.  Law, as a career choice, and the politics thereof, had initially been no more than hobby on the heels of his aging parents healing processes and the dealings with various condescending doctors during those processes.

It was during our last year in Law School at Barry University, and with all of the turbulent successes of that year and the years that followed, that Gov. Tim and myself were drawn together as friends and colleagues.  He was a young man then, at 43 years.  Not that I realized such at the time, being a younger man still at 23.


In one smooth motion, I clicked off the safety and pulled the hammer back on the little pearl handled Saturday night special and fired.  The bullet grazed the shoulder of the Wolfman Jack “wanna be” and hit the headboard just beside his friend, Johnny’s, head.  I could have hit his heart if I had wanted too.  I had not hesitated to use the gun.  On my grandmother’s back porch back in Georgia when I was four years old, I was shooting squirrels out of the pecan trees and skinning them for breakfast at the age of four.  I knew how to use a gun.

The gunshot brought a scurry of people up the stairs.  From the inside of the locked room I could hear people screaming for the key.  I was standing on top of a table, in my stilettos and evening gown, where the Wolfman Jack like character and his friend, the greasy long haired near toothless  Johnny, had been telling me to dance a performance for them.  I had feigned some moves and was trying furiously to inconspicuously unlock the window so I could escape when the Wolfman Jack guy leaned forward to approach the table.  That’s when I kicked his jacket in his direction and saw the glint of the gun hanging out of its pocket.

Nick was the first person through the door.  He snatched me by my long blonde hair and jerked me down from the table by the hair of my head.  I dropped the gun and scrambled to get my footing in the high heels.  It was only a matter of seconds before I was being dragged down the stairs, through the kitchen, out of the back door, and into the yard.  At least two dozen people stood watching; roughly one third of the party, and Nick proceeded to rip the evening gown from my body.  I stood naked and bare foot in the back yard in front of God, the Devil, and everyone else.  I was bruised and scratched when he was done.  I had fought back, but at 5’5” and barely a hundred pounds soaking wet, I was no match for him.  The party was over for me, and I was glad.

Grandmother’s Journey


Photo credit: Wikimedia

I wrote this poem in 1985 when my grandmother was still living, just before she passed. She was a hard working farm woman who raised us with morals and solid work ethic. The land my grandparents farmed was passed down through my greatest American ancestor, Thomas Holland, who won the land in 1827 in the land lottery for his service in the American Revolutionary war.

Grandmother’s Journey

In days of toil and troubles

I set out on the trails

Searching for a garden spot

Surrounding God’s fair hills.

I found a place I fancied.

I knew labor would begin.

Midst the thorns and brambles,

I tarried to the end.

Remembering the Lord’s wrath

I sowed each seed with care.

God’s blessing sent the showers.

Crops and flowers soon grew there.

Children roamed the hillsides

And wandered through the woods,

Growing ever taller than the corn.

Life has been more than good.

And when I meet the meadow,

As surely I know that I will,

I hope the good times flood my soul

Venturing up God’s greatest hill.

~ S.K. Nicholls

Hobbies: Beading and Jewelry Making

jewlry box2

This is what I do when I get writers block.

It keeps my hands busy and my mind free.

I keep a note pad nearby because this is when my mind juices start flowing.

The pieces look better when modeled, but I can’t do that well with my fat neck.

This box is overflowing as I have a piece to match everything in my wardrobe.

It is a fun and productive way to pass time and still keep my mind focused.

I only use metals, wood, shells, pearls, or natural stones and gems, like jasper, lapis, amethyst, turquoise and onyx.

I also give them away as gifts and sell some on consignment.

What do you do for a hobby or to get the juices flowing during a dry spell?