Sunday, April 14, 2013

Teachers' Sisterhood: ADK Makes a Difference

I was so honored to have been invited to speak at two of the breakout sessions at the 59th Alpha Delta Kappa State Convention at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro this past Saturday. As an invited guest at their luncheon, I was allowed a brief glimpse at what these dedicated sisters have accomplished in the name of educating the children of our future. The ADK organization in North Carolina has given away $14,000 annually in scholarships and grants to worthy recipients in high school, preparing for college, college students, and graduate students, as well as teachers in the trenches who are looking to push the envelope of the future, as they strive to meet the challenges of implementing technology in the learning place. Additionally, their altruistic project provided special needs children with even more specialized tools to facilitate their learning at Rolling Ridge Riders in Rockingham County; using hippotherapy, the use of horseback riding as a means for coordinating balance, motor planning, reducing spasticity, and promoting self-esteem, paired with specialized teaching to achieve what isn't usually done in the typical special ed classroom. These are only some of the examples of what the ADK sisters have achieved through their dedicated efforts, not to mention the obvious benefit they receive from enjoying the fellowship of one another over the years, becoming lifelong friends, and sisters, at their chapter meetings and the state conventions, as well as regional and national meetings.

It was gratifiying as an author to have found my target audience in one building, and this group of women could not have embraced me with any more enthusiasm and support than they did last Saturday. They even forgave me for selling out of all my copies of The One, a problem I've never before encountered, but one which, they assured me was a good problem!

I truly believe that there was a reason I was invited there that day, and maybe it is that I have found my sisters, and that there is another "chapter" awaiting me upon retirement. It is within all possible imaginings that I might one day be guiding the reins of a horse that transports a youngster into the world of reading, or that I might be a facilitator for a group of boys in a new book club, called "Flexing Our Reading Muscles". Who knows? The sky is the limit, as I have learned from these bright and passionate sisters, out to make a difference in the world. As if they weren't already.

As a romance author, I'd like to propose to this group of ADK sisters; will you have me? I'd sincerely like to be a part of what you do. I'm told I have 38 days to join the ranks before I am officially retired, so  let's make it happen. I'm sold! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me be in your midst for at least one day. I will never forget you!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Forever Man wins Reader Views Literary Book Award

I'm pleased to announce that A Forever Man has won an award in the 2012 Reader Views Literary Awards program. The fourth in the series, and following the 2011 award winning Second Time's a Charm, and Three Gifts, A Forever Man earned an honorable mention in the romance novel category in the Reviewers' Choice Awards. An accompanying review by Christine Watson follows below:

A Forever Man: A Novel

Mary Flinn
Aviva Publishers (2012)
ISBN 9781938686269
Reviewed by Christine Watson for Reader Views (2/13)
Article first published as Book Review: A Forever Man: A Novel by Mary Flinn on Blogcritics.
“A Forever Man” by Mary Flinn is a refreshing romance focused on a married couple and their family. While the couple is more of a fantasy couple (stunning good looks, plenty of money, great family, etc.), the story brings to life real issues many couples face, making the story relatable. There are many emotions the characters struggle through, including jealously, lust, anger, fear, and love. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and had a hard time putting it down once I started reading it.
Kyle and Chelsea are the perfect couple with twin 8-year-old boys. They have a supportive extended family and live in a cabin in the mountains of North Carolina. The author sets beautiful scenes and I found myself transported throughout the book. Since Flinn is a native of North Carolina, she knows the terrain well, and I was ready to move there by the end of the book because of the incredible descriptions!
When Kyle’s work hires a beautiful interior designer, he struggles with his attraction to her, and the story is built around the challenges this obstacle brings to his marriage. Although his wife is quite the catch herself, the allure of this new woman is intense and Kyle finds himself in many compromising situations. There is a bit of mystery to this story as well, keeping the reader engaged.
“A Forever Man” by Mary Flinn is light and easy to read, and I enjoyed getting to know the characters. I could easily relate in many ways to several of the characters, and was sad when I finished the book. This book was towards the end of a series, and while I like this book without reading the others, I would have liked to read them in order. This was the first book I have read by Flinn and I am eager to go back and read the others in the series. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a feel good light romance.